Dell Graphics Card Upgrade - PSU?


OSNN Veteran Addict
Political Access
21 Mar 2002
Hi guys,

My bro has got a Dell Dimension 8400 Series with 512MB RAM and a P4 3Ghz CPU. I'm going to get him some more RAM for his birthday, which should just be another pair of 256MB sticks. However, he's put his birthday money towards a new graphics card*, and isn't sure if his PSU will take it. What do you reckon? The only PCI card he has in there at the moment is wireless network card. I don't even know what kind of PSU Dell puts in these things so I haven't a clue about this.

Any help would be much appreciated, and reps will be sent out as usual :)

*Probably a Geforce 7900GS or similar
Knowing Dell the PSU is probably 350 watts. I don't know how much the vid card will need.

If dell desktops are anything like dell servers, the psu's will be wired differently or use custom plugs. Check with Dell before changing anything.
There the same except for one major problem you need to cut away the back of the case to allow for the ATX power supply's switch on/off to be housed, Dell PSU's more likley 250watts never seen a 350 in a dell yet.
This page seems to confirm the fact that it's a 350W PSU, so that might be enough. I'll try that "what psu do you need?" page if I can find the link!
Good if it is 350watt then dont worry about it a good 350 and their power supplies are good will handle the 7900gs .
Cool :) I suppose if it's not enough for any reason, we'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it! I suppose the 12V rail might have something to say about this.

Cheers for the advice.
What kind of card does it have now, an X300 SE?

A previous poster noted that the case doesn't take standard PSU's and he's correct. You'll have to cut the back of the case or find a PSU without an on/off switch. PC Power&Cooling makes PSU's for Dells but they jack up the price for leaving off the switch. :mad:

Here are a few examples and links:

360 ATX ($65):

360 Dell ($79):

470 ATX ($99):

470 Dell ($149):

PC P&C's Dell PSU selector page:

The wiring on Dell's (newer model) Dimension desktops is standard. No worries there.

The 8400's that I've been into had a 350 watt PSU.
FWIW, the 4700's have either a 250 watt or a 305 watt PSU's, the 8300's had 250 watt PSU's. The 4700 will take a standard ATX PSU such as the 470 ATX above. It's been too long since I've seen any of the previous versions.
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That's right, it's an X300SE which is in desperate need of replacement!

Thanks for those links, they may come in handy if I need to replace the PSU, though fingers crossed I won't :)
You need to pull the PSU and check the +12V rating. Most 350W PSUs are 15-17A, especially if it is an older one.

Spec's on the 7900 GS- with a Dell the 350W may be ok IF it has +12V@20A. That 3 gig P4 hits the +12V hard as well as the card.
  • Minimum of a 400 Watt power supply. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 20 Amp Amps.)
  • Minimum 500 Watt for SLI mode system. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 28 Amp Amps.)
  • An available 6 pin PCI-E power connector (hard drive power dongle to PCI-E 6 pin adapter included with card)

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