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Glass_Knife

Upgrading Graphics Card

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Please forgive my lack of knowledge. I am trying to get a new graphics card for my computer. On the box of a GeForce card, it says: "350 watt or greater power supply with a minimum of 18 amps on the +12 volt rail" What does that mean, and how can I find out if my motherboard has this? Is there a website everyone goes to? Is there some program I can use to get the specifications? The computer is from Dell, but the documentation doesn't say anything like this. Intel core 2 Duo, 2.2 GHz, Windows Vista? I'm sorry if this is not the right forum to ask, and I don't know a lot about hardware, but I'm willing to learn if someone could just point me in the right direction. Thanks,

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The power supply is not part of the motherboard.

The power supply is the "box" that your power lead to your PC plugs into. There should be a data badge on the power supply which gives you the details.

HTH

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Thanks,

I don't know a lot about hardware, so I thought that "rail" had something to do with the PCI Express slot. This is completely to do with the power supply?

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It's the power supply, 12V rail is probably the most important one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_rail

A 350W power supply is kinda normal for desktop PC, and in the lowest for gaming PC. You probably already have over this since you can buy power supply up to 850W and maybe over. As Cambo_frog said, check directly on the sticker on the power supply inside the computer case, it will tell you. Another thing you should look for is if your power supply have a PCI-E power cord (or 2 like my video card need). If it does, it probably have the power.

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To add to what Dunge said:

The power supply unit (PSU) that comes with many prebuilt PCs are quite "generic"(crap). Even if your current PSU is rated at over 350watts, you still need to check that the PSU can supply the required amps on certain rail(s).

As Dunge said, you need a PSU with PCI-E power connector(s) for most of the latest graphics cards. If you need more than one PCI-E power connector to the graphics card, the graphics card often comes with an adaptor from which can connect 2 molex connectors from the power supply to make up the second PCI-E power connection.

Regardless of your PSU, your motherboard will need a PCI-E slot for the latest graphic cards (preferably 16x for best performance).

Glass_Knife, could you just answer a couple of questions?

1) What is the exact model of the graphics card you are thinking of getting?
2) What is the exact model of your Dell PC.

Any links would also be good.

TIA

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