Question on Buying a New Graphics Card

FarazFaraz Registered User regular
I'm thinking it's about time I got rid of my 8800 GTS (which has served me great for more than 3 years) and got a new card. I don't want to spend too much but still want to get something that will do the job (gaming) for a couple of years.

My motherboard is an Asus P5N-E SLI (with PCI Express x16 slots). My power source has a total power of 550W and two +12V rails with 18A and 20A amperage and max combined wattage of 420W.

I'm looking at two options for DX11 capable cards from stores in my area:

1. Zotac Geforce GT 430 1GB GDDR3 PCI-E ($10 cheaper than option #2)
2. MSI GeForce GTX 460 Fermi Cyclone OC 725MHZ 768MB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini-HDMI DX11 PCI-E

#2 seems quite a bit more powerful but seems to need more power. So guess I have a few questions:

1. Can I use these cards with that mother board and power supply (my understanding is that PCI_E x16 slots work with these cards, but I'm not entirely sure how to determine if I have enough power to run them)
2. Am I correct in thinking that the second card is quite a bit better? Anything specific I should know about either of them?
3. NVIDIA lists the 430 card as needing only 300W power but the store website lists it as needed 450+W (http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/zotac-zotac-geforce-gt-430-1gb-gddr3-pci-e-video-card-zt-40603-10h/10158489.aspx?path=afa0b053e5b0dfb34d52d7551a0c3ecaen02). Is that a mistake on the part of the store or is there something special about that card?

Thanks a lot for the help.

Faraz on


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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    A good place to look at PSU requirements (though remember they do sell power supplies, so grain of salt) would be Antec's PSU calculator. That'll ask you pretty much everything about your system, to give you a better idea of whether your current PSU is sufficient.

    As for your 12V rails, I wouldn't be too worried. The 460 maxes out at, IIRC, like 150W under load, so you should be fine.

    mcdermott on
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