Help me with recent video cards

I’ve been out of the video card market since I bought my 8800 GTS.

I have no idea what the different models are now in the Nvidia line. I want to get a card that is slightly better than my aging 8800 (I think it’s dying on me). Can someone point me to some cards that would do the job?

My system:

P4 3.4ghz hyperthread
WinXP SP3
2 gig RAM

PCI Express (I notice a ton of Nvidia cards are PCI Express 2.0- I can’t really remember if this MB has 2.0 or not… will 2.0 cards work on a 1.0 motherboard?)

budget: 9800GT
beefier PSU and roomy case: GTX 260 Core 216

Ok, so I got the 9800GT. Seems as though it wasn’t my videocard, it’s my PSU. I plugged the card in and the computer booted with no video. I made sure the external power connector was secure on the new card, still nothing. I put in my old card and the computer booted fine.

I just noticed that the external fan isn’t running on the PSU. So, I guess it’s time for a new one.

Now, another question. This card says I have to have a minimum 400 watt PSU with a min of 18amps on the 12v rail. My old PSU was 450 watt and it has this on the side:

12v1 : +15a
12v2 : +17a

I’m assuming that PSU wouldn’t have run this card anyways? Do you add both those numbers together?

I’m looking at this one now:

http://www.centralcomputers.com/commerce/ccp57372--antec-earthwatts-ea500-500-watt-atx12v-v2-0-powe-ea500-powantea500r.htm

It has this under specs:

Output: +3.3V&+5V @ 20A; +12V1&+12V2 @ 17A; +5V SB @ 2.5A; -12V @ 0.8A

So, that “17A” means that this card will not run on it either, right? This is pretty confusing.

Will this PSU run the card? I can’t find any voltages on the spec:

http://www.centralcomputers.com/commerce/ccp65257--antec-earthwatts-ea650-650-watt-atx12v-power-sup-ea650-powantea630r.htm

Actually on newegg it says this about that 650 watt:

[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],
[email protected],[email protected],[email protected]

That should be enough, right?

Will that PSU fit where my old one was in my box? I’ve never actually replaced a PSU before.

My understanding is that both 12v rails run off the same PSU output, only the much more expensive PSUs have real, separate 12v outputs.

This means you can count them both together towards your total for the most part.

However, for only $5 more I’d definetly get the 650W PSU.

Assuming you don’t have some proprietary Dell special, an ATX PSU is an ATX PSU, they are interchangable. There are about 4 screws holding the PSU in the case, plus of course cables to unplug. Depending on the design of your computer case, removing/replacing the PSU could be a piece of cake or require you to remove other components in order to create space to work.