Good video card for a 250 watt power supply

By bobgreen5s
Jan 28, 2006
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  1. I have a friend that has a 250w power supply and has a graphics card that is unable to play Battlefield 2. He is interested in a video card under $100 that could play Battlefield 2 with medium settings(or close to). I was wondering if you guys could help me out.


    PS: and no he can't upgrade his PSU because its one of those proprietary dell's

    Thanks in advance
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    You don't say if you're looking for agp or a pci-express card, but since dell hasn't made proprietary psus for several years(maybe the newest ones, the btx cased ones, are proprietary, not sure), then I'd assume you have agp.

    In that case, I'd think a 9600xt might work well.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102600

    If you can go over budget a little(and don't mind a rebate), this would be a even better choice, 6800xt agp.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130268
  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

  4. bobgreen5s

    bobgreen5s Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 42

  5. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    The 9600xt is better than the 9800se and the 6200 (a 6600 would be similar to a 9600xt).
    It depends on the system whether 250w would be enough for any card, but it likely would work.

    The 6800xt should be a good bit faster than a 9600xt though, and is newer and supports shadermodel 3, which is used in newer games.
    You might be able to find a 6600gt around $100, if you look hard enough.
  6. bobgreen5s

    bobgreen5s Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 42

    thanks for all the replies, using the psu calculator it said the following:

    CPU: Intel Pentium 4 B 2400 MHz Northwood (59.8 Watts)
    RAM: Two Pair Rambus RDRAM (20 Watts)
    Video Card: nVidia GeForce 6800 GT (75 Watts)

    IDE HDD 5400 rpm: 1 - (10 Watts)

    DVD-RW/DVD+RW Drive: 25 Watts

    56K PCI Modem: 4 Watts
    PCI Network Interface Card: 4 Watts
    Sound Blaster - All Models: 7 Watts

    USB: 1 - (2.5 Watts)

    Motherboard, keyboard and mouse: 43 Watts

    PSU Utilization: 80% (default)

    Total: 223 Watts

    so am I missing something are shouldn't I been fine with a 6600gt?
  7. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    Nope. You're not missing anything at all. 223w is all your system needs. The problem is, you have to get a PSU that CAN put out 223 watts. Most 250W PSUs won't, even though they are rated at 250w.

    Most only put out about 70% of what they are rated at. So unless your friends PSU is a high quality brand name, then his 250w psu is actually only putting out about 175w.

    When you hook up the 6600GT to his system, it may boot up. But it'll more than likely be prone to random crashes, especially when gaming.

    This is why if you look at the specs of the 6600GT, it usually says you need at least a 300w PSU, and usually a 350W psu in order to use the card.
  8. bobgreen5s

    bobgreen5s Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 42

  9. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    Honestly? I'd be surprised if it DID work, but you can try. If you search around you'll see that it recommends a 300W psu for that card.

    If your 250W is a high quality (fortron, enermax etc) it MAY be OK.... but I'd say it is a gamble.
  10. bobgreen5s

    bobgreen5s Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 42

    err... :( so what would you recommend?
  11. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    Well, it's a tough spot to be in I think.

    He wants a card that will run BF2 at medium settings (or at least mid-low) right?

    I think without a minimum 300W-350W power supply, that just isn't going to happen.

    Not written in stone of course. If your 250W is a high quality one that is actually putting out close to 250w, you MAY be able to run a 9600XT (for example).

    But in reality, even a 9600XT is going to choke on BF2.
     
  12. bobgreen5s

    bobgreen5s Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 42

    understood, but what would run battlefield 2 best with a 250w power supply
  13. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    It really depends on the QUALITY of the psu you are talking about. There are good 250W psus and there are crap 250W psus....

    I know this isn't really the answer you want, but..... :giddy:
  14. bobgreen5s

    bobgreen5s Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 42

    lets just say its a crap psu, what would be the best card for it?
  15. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

  16. bobgreen5s

    bobgreen5s Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 42

  17. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    Nice find vnf4ultra. Looks like that 250w is not a cheap one, and is actually putting out some good juice.
  18. Athena

    Athena Newcomer, in training Posts: 69

    Dude if it is not to late go w/ a 6600 agp from BFG.
    It does not need much power and will be faster than the 9600.

    Also one question I had was how much memory do those 2 Rambus sticks add up to? 256, 512 or 1 gig? If its 256, save your friend's money until he can afford at least 512 if not 1 gig of ram for BF2.

    Godd luck to you two
     
  19. bobgreen5s

    bobgreen5s Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 42

    He paid about $100 to upgrade to 512MB of memory :(

    and the only reason I wouldn't go with the 6600 is because he is on a tight budget
  20. wkozey

    wkozey Newcomer, in training Posts: 21

    Battlefield 2 requires 1.7 GHz Intel Celeron D / Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon XP/ Sempron or greater
    512 MB of RAM or more
    Video: DirectX 9.0c compatible Video card.
    NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 or greater, or a ATI Radeon 8500 or greater.
    If your buddy is on a tight budget i would recomend a Sapphire Radeon 256MB 9600XT 256MB they don't cost nowhere near the 9800XT or the 6600, and has Full support for DirectX 9.0 and the latest OpenGL functionality they run around $120 canadian and should be more than enough to play the game at medium resolution.
  21. bobgreen5s

    bobgreen5s Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 42

  22. wkozey

    wkozey Newcomer, in training Posts: 21

    I have owned jetway motherboards and videocards products in the past and was a little dissapointed with them.
    The mother board failed in the first year due to capacitors on the board blowing and the video card from brand new did not work.
    Even though it was replaced under warranty it still took three weeks before I have a video card.
    I bought a SAPPHIRE ATLANTIS RADEON 9600XT at NCIX and have had no issues with it and am quite pleased with the product.
    Using the modified Omega Catalyst drives and not overclocking the card I have noticed better performance.
    These drivers offer exellent performance versus great image quality and are known by their great reputation. These are "optimized" drivers for the ATI Radeon family.
    The Sapphire would be my personal choice and I am not saying that it is better as I have been disapointed with jetway products in the past, they may have gotten better or maybe I was unlucky with two diffrent products from the same manufature.
    But in the end the decesion is all yours to make. :)
  23. wirm

    wirm Newcomer, in training Posts: 91

    My parents use a Dell 4600 with similar configuration to yours. I brought the ram up to 768, and put in a 9600xt. I’ve never played BF2 on a really good computer, so I don’t know how it’s “supposed” to run. However, it seems to run just fine in that computer. No problems with the power supply either.
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