Need help with video card, power supply and motherboard compatibilty


Jul 18, 2008
Hi. I am new to these forums so in advance sorry if this is in the wrong section.

I want to buy a new video card but I’m not sure that the motherboard I have or the power supply I have is good enough. The video card I want is called the XFX GeForce 9800 GTX Video Card. It has 512MB DDR3 of ram on it. First I will copy and paste the minimum requirements of the video card, and secondly, what is in my computer.

Here are the minimum requirements of the video card:
• 1GB of system memory
• CD or DVD-ROM driver
• 100MB of available hard disk drive space for basic driver installation
• Microsoft Windows Vista or XP operating system
• PCI Express or PCI Express 2.0-compliant system motherboard with one vacant PCI Express x16 slot
• One vacant add-in card slot below the PCI Express x16 slot. This graphics card physically occupies two slots
• 450W PCI Express-compliant system power supply with a combined 12V current rating of 24A or more (Minimum system power requirement based on a PC configured with an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor)
• Two 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors

The website of the video card:

What’s in my computer:

Intel Core 2 CPU 6700 @ 2.66 GHz, 2 GB of ram at 667MHz, 375 watt power supply, 256MB ATI Radeon X1300Pro, Windows Vista Ultimate operating system. The mother board has 3 PCI slots as well as one PCI Express x4 card connector, one PCI Express x16 card connector, one PCI Express x1 card connector (I’m getting this from a manual). I think I should also say it is a dell dimension 9200. (If you need more information about my computer ask and I will try and find it in the manual)

So I know that I need a new power supply because the video card needs at least 450W PCI Express-compliant system power supply with a combined 12V current rating of 24A, as well as two 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors. The rest of the requirements I have. The problem is I’m not good with computers at all so I have a few questions. I just want to make sure I don’t go out and buy something that won’t even work in my computer.

So say that the video card needs 450W. Does that mean I would need to get, for example, a 600W power supply? Because the other components of the computer need power correct? If so, how do I find out how much the other parts use...Does this mean that...ok right now I have a 375W power supply, and the video card needs 450W so do I need to buy a (450W +375W) 825W power supply?

Website of a power supply I’ve been looking at:

Also, the two 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors part. Is this a connector from the power supply to the motherboard or a connector from the video card itself to the power supply, or a connector that goes to all three? Sorry I’m not good with computers. If anyone can help me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
The 450W is based on a processer with more or less the same power requirements as yours, so, IN THEORY, a 450W PSU should be enough (The wattage requirement is based on TOTAL draw from the computer based on q Q6700 CPU, not the card itself). In all honesty, 550-600 Watts would be safter though.

Also the PCI-E connector is a small connector that plugs into the motherboard. You should have one or two slots left to plug into.
The link to the power supply isnt working so i cant comment on that . Try re-sending it and i will have a look (Type in Make and model and i will probably know about it any way or can google it my end).
As for the card. The actual card itself dosnt need that much power as gamerk316 has said. The minimum requirements are based on the whole system, thats why they include what CPU it is based on.
So all you need is what it says a 450 Watt PSU with 24 Amps on the + 12v rails. Usually you would get something over this just to be safe say 500-600 but a quality 450 will be ample if it has the required Amps. As i said get back to me with the PSU you are looking at and i will advise more, you definatly should upgrade it though.

Ok so the two 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors that it is talking about come from your PSU and you can check before you buy one how many it has so we can sort that out as soon as we know what one we are looking at.
I am including some pages from a review the first has a picture of the 2 6-pin slots on top of the card where they plug in.
the second shows the bundle that comes with the card which includes two addaptors to make up extra 6-pin plugs from spare plugs on the PSU should it not have two. So if you have a good PSU but with only one 6-pin connector or if you wer going to SLI two of them you could make up extra sockets to plug into the cards.

Mactronix :)

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