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Video Card Upgrade Question

Posted By: CaptSopwith

Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/14/19 07:50 PM

Hi Gents,

Hope you are doing well. I'm about to upgrade the video card in my rig. I'm looking for a suitable upgrade that does not require me to also swap out the power supply. I spoke with Dell who recommended either this card (an nVidia 1050ti): https://www.amazon.com/PNY-NVIDIA-G...271325&s=gateway&sr=8-1&th=1

Or this card (an nVidia 1060): https://www.amazon.com/PNY-GeForce-...;qid=1555271101&s=gateway&sr=8-1

I'm curious as to your thoughts - would this make noticeable upgrade over my current 745GTX which has 3GB of on board VRAM? Would this card also make an improvement in more recent games like ARMA 3? Many thanks for your input guys, as always.

Cheers!

Edit: Forgot my system specs:

Dell XPS 8700
Windows 10 64bit
16GB RAM
Intel i7-4790 3.60ghz
Posted By: Fullofit

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/14/19 09:04 PM

Soppie, I have the exact same system and the move to 1050 is noticeable. I then upgraded to 1060 with yet more noticeable difference. If you decide on 1060, go for the 6GB version, it is a little more expensive but makes big difference for the more recent games especially for the high-res textures. And I also hear it is slightly faster than the 3GB version. I didn’t have to upgrade the power supply when I went with the 1050. By the time I switched to 1060 I had a different power supply, so can’t speak to that. As I remember, the original PS was rather weak to begin with.
Posted By: Redwolf

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/15/19 12:16 AM

I have the gtx 1060 myself - upgraded a few months ago to it. Happy with it. Get the 6mb version. The 1060 is a much better card than the 1050 and worth the price differential.

A quick video comparison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM8bOhmk_wg

Oh, here is a great site. Use the build and compare option to have a look (can adjust processor, graphics card, and desired quality):
https://www.gpucheck.com/
Posted By: JJJ65

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/15/19 05:46 AM

Originally Posted by Redwolf
I have the gtx 1060 myself - upgraded a few months ago to it. Happy with it. Get the 6mb version. The 1060 is a much better card than the 1050 and worth the price differential.

A quick video comparison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM8bOhmk_wg

Oh, here is a great site. Use the build and compare option to have a look (can adjust processor, graphics card, and desired quality):
https://www.gpucheck.com/

+1
GTX1060 6GB /with monitor 2560x1440/
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/15/19 11:59 AM

The 1050 Ti is very capable, the 1060 3G more so, and 1060 6G more still. The differences are worth considering (but you have to factor in the pricing, and that can vary significantly). No doubt, if you're on a tight budget, go with the 1050Ti. If you can afford it, go the 1060 6G route. Compared to your 745, I would anticipate the 1050Ti to be about a 2-2.5x performance increase, and a 1060 roughly 3-4x, depending on which model, 3G or 6G. It is true the 6G 1060s have a few extra functioning guts and thus are slightly better than a 3G model. However, I do actually have two of the 3G cards, and can say they are more than adequate for gaming at up to 1080p resolution, depending on the game and graphics settings. I can't say about ARMA3 specifically, but both my sons played PUBG, Rainbow6, and several other FPS games using 3G 1060s and they'd run fairly well (45-60 FPS) at mostly high graphics settings.

As for the PSU, it depends.

According to online info, the Dell XPS 8700 ships with a 460W PSU - and the Dells usually come with very good quality units. But, as is always the case with PSUs, it's the load that matters. Doesn't matter how big or small (in watts) a PSU is, you have to know the load your equipment presents to the PSU in order to say whether the PSU is up to it. You should also keep in mind that power supplies, over time, actually do sort of deteriorate in such a way that they progressively are capable of less and less output that is still stable. No reason for alarm; we're not talking a 20% drop-off in two years or anything, but this is another argument for high-quality PSUs: The good units don't suffer this anywhere nearly as bad as cheap designs, because the good ones use quality components that hold up better over time.

Still, all PSUs will lose at least a little output capacity over time. In high-quality designs, this means you get about 5 years of rated output (and possibly higher), then you start to lose a little each year. At 10 years, it may be a good idea to replace the unit (though you can keep running these longer, and I have in some cases). What usually happens is they will run, but might 'act up' in warmer temps or when stressed by a certain game, etc. Even "solid-state" electronics don't last forever frown

It's also not a great idea to run a PSU at or near it's maximum output capacity all the time. Without going into a lot more detail about efficiency etc, let's just say that you want to shoot for 50-75% load as a broad guideline.

So, in the Dell you've listed: There are four different types of 4790 CPUs, and they all are rated differently in terms of power required, from 45W to almost twice that. Based upon your citing 3.6GHz, I'm inferring this is a 'plain' 4790 (not the T, S, or K models); it is rated at 84W. If we take the 460 PSU - a solid unit, no doubt - and figure 75-80% load (which also leaves a little overhead), you 're looking at about 350W (+/-). Subtract 84 for the CPU, and allow ~200W for the motherboard itself, RAM, etc (which is more than adequate)...you're comfortably left 75W to power a GPU. Mind you, the math we're doing now always uses maximums; in reality these components do not run at max all the time - usually much less.

The PCIexpress slot itself can provide up to 75 watts of 12v power. There are 1050Ti cards that do not have a auxiliary 12v PCIe power connector, and this means that, per spec, they draw less than 75W - but there are some that have a 6-pin PCIe connector. The 460W PSU in your Dell should have a lead which has two 6-pin PCIe connectors 'daisy-chained'; each of these is rated to provide an additional 75W to a GPU. I don't think I'd want to put two GPUs on that power supply, and I'm not a big fan of daisy chained power connectors at all, but you should be able to comfortably power one that has a single 6-pin PCIe power plug on it.

The 1060 warrants a little more scrutiny, because there are no models that strictly use the PCIe slot for power (in other words, all of them require more than 75W). Some have a single 6-pin PCIe power connector. I have a couple of the 3G EVGA SSC cards - factory overclocked models - and they require 8-pin PCIe connections (which are rated for 150W). Obviously, the overclocking adds a fair amount to the power drawn by GPUs.

If you're going the 1060 route, you might consider one of the cards that only uses a single 6-pin connector, as this will ensure the card doesn't require more than 150W (75 from the PCIe slot and 75 from the 6-pin connector) per the PCIe specs. These 6-pin cards seem to all come with single fan arrangements, which sort of stands to reason as the lesser power used will generate less heat. There are 6G cards that only require a single 6-pin connector. To be accurate, some have worried that single-fan designs don't cool well enough, but I'm not sure it's that much of a problem in a well-ventilated case (see below).

If you decide to go with a double-fan design, obvously it will cool better/run quieter, but consider it will also be bigger. If your chassis is tight, this might be a problem. Also, all the dual-fan cards I've seen have 8-pin connectors - and if I'm looking at it correctly, your PSU doesn't have one. The 8-pin cards will sometimes include an adapter for using two 6-pin connectors on a single 8-pin card. You'll want to make sure whatever card you get comes with one of these, or get one separately. TBH, as a trained electronics person, I'm not a huge fan of these adapters; more connectors also automatically means more resistance and more points of failure to me...but I'm super picky like that. Plus, in your scenario, the two 6-pin connectors are 'daisy-chained'; i.e., actually on the same lead from the PSU (if I've looked at it right) - this means that you potentially have twice the current moving through the same number of wires...ordinarily, I'd try to avoid this, and only use one of these adapters if there are two separate 6-pin leads going back to the PSU. (They may well go the same place inside the PSU, but we're talking about the path to the load, not at the source).

Also, consider that any card with an 8-pin connector has it by necessity, because it draws more than the 150W a 6-pin connector and the PCIe slot can provide per spec. Now, the actual load on these cards varies and what I looked at wasn't very forthcoming about actual power used by the card itself, usually stating the size of the PSU overall in a system containing that card (which isn't too helpful, TBH). But, it remains that any 8-pin card, per PCIe spec can draw up to 225W at 12v. Note they don't have to draw that much, but technically if they draw even a little over 150W, they have to go to an 8-pin connector per spec. If we allow 225W for a GPU, and 84W for the CPU, we're already over 300W. Considering overhead, power for other system components, and the aforementioned degradation-over-time, this scenario probably comes close to being too much for the 460W PSU you have.

Realistically, yours is pretty much a 'worst case' for adding an 8-pin GPU. That said, and in spite of all the horror stories I've described above, I'd honestly bet an 8-pin would run OK, but then you might have problems - yours is such an 'edge case', with all the factors considered. It could literally come down to how well your PSU has 'aged' and how clean and cool it's been kept since new. In any event, if you did have issues, you'd be stuck either returning the card or replacing your PSU, which you indicated wasn't part of the deal. (Incidentally, the PNY 1060 unit you cited in your post is an 8-pin model, FWIW.)

So, to summarize: 1050Ti is a good budget choice; 1060 3G and 6G are better still, but given the PSU constraint I'd stick with 6-pin models. In either case, because of the increased power and possibly minimal GPU cooling, I'd also consider very carefully how well your current chassis is ventilated. This is an area where OEM machines (Dell, HP, etc) sometimes suffer: They are great builds but aren't great for upgrades. You need to look carefully at whether you can add fans to your chassis.

Sorry this is so long, it's actually quite a lot to accurately cover.

Hope it helps, and I welcome any questions.
Posted By: dutch

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/15/19 06:59 PM

Why not get the new GTX 1660ti cheaper and newer and much better then your selected $330,- GTX1060 ?
GTX 1660 starts from $220,- and the better GTX 1660ti start at $280,- on Amazon.com
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/15/19 07:38 PM

Originally Posted by dutch
Why not get the new GTX 1660ti cheaper and newer and much better then your GTX1060 ?



Interesting idea, but its really going to depend on where/when you shop; for example, right now I see NewEgg (US) has five 1060 models cheaper than 1660s, and a further 3 6G 1060 models for less than all but 1 of the 1660s. The 1660Tis look to be around $40 more than the 1060s as well.

Like I said it will depend on where/when you shop, I'm sure.

I also noticed that all the 1660 cards I looked at are actually 8-pin connectors, which carries the same caveat as I described earlier. (I find this interesting, because it seems the TDP wattage on these GPUs is supposedly 120W, which should be handed in a 6-pin connector. Not sure why this is; maybe due to OEM overclocking etc. ) Same as above: If you go to an 8-pin GPU with that Dell PSU, you will have to use adapter(s) and are potentially using upwards of 150W, which means potentially pulling all the current through one set of wires instead of two, and it probably runs into the high end of what the PSU is probably good for.
Posted By: dutch

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/15/19 08:06 PM

Are you sure his PSU has only a 6Peg connector, normally it is 8
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/15/19 08:20 PM

As I posted above, the information available online for the Dell in question (XPS 8700) shows a 460W unit with two 6-pin PCIe connectors, 'daisy-chained' on a single PSU lead.

I actually found references to two different PSUs for Dell XPS8700: a Huntkey HU460AM and an AcBel AC460AM. Both have two 6-pin connectors 'daisy-chained' on a single PSU lead.

(As I mentioned, this assumes I've identified the PSU correctly, but I think it's accurate.)

Also, like I said above, there's a reasonable chance it would work (I think so TBH) but for all the technical reasons I cited, I don't feel it's the best choice, given the constraint the OP places on not requiring a PSU change.

Going from that 745, a 1060 6G is a huge upgrade, and there are many models that will safely work with the PSU as is. And - most likely because of the recent 1660 introduction - the 1060s prices are falling; lots of sales and rebates smile smile smile
Posted By: devere

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/16/19 03:03 PM

You can get a sata to 8pin adapter on Ebay for a couple of quid. ATM the 1660 or 1660ti give such a boost in performance over the 1060 it really is a no brainer, and it will last you many years longer.

As for PSU I always have a spare sitting in my cupboard any way as they are the most likely to fail item on any PC and they are dirt cheap to buy.

As to the 1050ti, pointless card. Only £40 quid cheaper than the 1660, yet only gives about the same performance as a GTX960.
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/16/19 04:05 PM

Originally Posted by devere
You can get a sata to 8pin adapter on Ebay for a couple of quid. ATM the 1660 or 1660ti give such a boost in performance over the 1060 it really is a no brainer, and it will last you many years longer.

As for PSU I always have a spare sitting in my cupboard any way as they are the most likely to fail item on any PC and they are dirt cheap to buy.

As to the 1050ti, pointless card. Only £40 quid cheaper than the 1660, yet only gives about the same performance as a GTX960.


Just because you can buy an adapter somewhere, doesn't make it a good idea. They made and sold USB extension cables from the day USB was introduced, yet such cables were explicitly forbidden by the original USB spec.

As I already explained above, the 8-pin connector itself is only part of the issue. By spec, any card that has such a connector can draw more than the 150W which the PCIe slot and a 6-pin connector can provide. Think about it: There's no way a company would put an 8-pin connector on their cards, thereby limiting the potential places it can be used and thus limiting sales, if it weren't necessary. If it were within spec, they'd use a 6-pin connector because it will work with all the 6-pin setups and all the 8-pin setups (given the 6+2 type connectors). Otherwise, the card manufacturer has to include an adapter, which still assumes there are two 6-pin connectors available, or force you to buy one before you can use their card. They'd be limiting their own sales for no good reason.

Not only that, if you use a SATA adapter, you (potentially) still have the current being pulled through one lead back to the PSU - only now, you're using the SATA connector that may also power all your drives. Probably not good. That single lead is conducting at least 6.2A, and there are mechanical crimps, mating pins etc to add resistance and points of failure. GPUs tend to draw more than most other components in PCs for gaming, and that's not really the place where you want a lot of questionable ideas hooked together.

By spec, if a card has an 8-pin connector (regardless of what you try to 'adapt' it to) then the card can draw up to 225W (75 for the PCIe slot + 150 for the 8-pin). Although it's not required to draw that, if it has an 8-pin connector, that means it draws more than 150W. The OP's PSU is fine with a card that draws 75W, even 150W almost certainly. But the cards you're talking about have 8-pin connectors, and that means over 150W, up to 225. I think it's a risky proposition, even though I did say it may well work. As with the adapter: Just because an arrangement appears to work initially doesn't mean it was ever really a good idea.

By the way, I'm also pretty sure the 12v power limit on SATA connectors is around 55W - and that's about 30% less than the 6-pin PCIe connector can provide, never mind that it's about 65% less than the 8-pin connector you're plugging it up to.

Again, will it work? It might, at least initially. Good idea? Well...not according to everything electronics and the specs say, no. I wouldn't recommend it because I wouldn't want someone to run into problems down the road.

Keep in mind it's also the original PSU , which has been around a while (admittedly, I'm assuming here). Using an older PSU to drive that much more of a load than it's ever had to, when it's already dated...well...if you say so. Not the best idea I've heard in the 35 years I've been in electronics.

And don't forget the heat constraints. If a card uses more power (as evidenced by the 8-pin connector), then it will generate more heat, probably worsening the potential for cooling problems.

Finally, as for cost - obviously, you've never been in a situation where even a few dollars makes all the difference. I indicated above that there are several models of 1060 cheaper than 1660s on NewEgg currently, so if budget matters (and it always does) then a few dollars more might be prohibitive for some people. Even when you know a few more dollars could buy you much more performance...if you can't afford it, you can't. It's very presumptuous to say something is "pointless" when you don't know someone else's situation.

(EDIT: I looked on NewEgg just now, and the least expensive 1050Ti was $160, while the least expensive 1660 was $220. So, it's actually $60 more - which is another 37.5%. May not seem like much, but if you're already strapped to come off the $160, the 1050s are great cards and this is widely known. No one's questioning that 1660s are better cards, but cost is cost.) As I mentioned, it will depend where and when you shop.
Posted By: dutch

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/16/19 06:05 PM

You are right about the 6pin Peg connector, so the 6pin is importantly
Watch these guys installing a GTX1060



Now this is more interesting
Here one thats is using the 2*6->8peg adapters and it is working as you see, I would then go for the GTX1660ti because that card is on the same power level at 8peg as the GTX1060 on 6peg. So you will never face any power risk, as I still think the GTX1070 is bit to powerful on needed Watts. PSU do get aged.


edit and do a search on the Dell forum lots of good stuff there and also info about bios update.
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/16/19 06:47 PM

Look, just because someone can cram a 1070 in an XPS8700 and make a video doesnt mean they have any idea how electronics work, nor any knowledge of the relevant specifications.

I already said these adapters don't make it a good idea to ignore specs. The adapters exist because people will buy them. Doesn't make them compliant with specs or a good idea, either. I can find plenty of references from knowledgeable sources online, advising against a lot of sh*t you see uneducated morons posting on the internet.

Some guys making videos doesnt change anything. I'm telling you what the specs are, and that's easy enough to prove, if you're interested in learning.

I also already said I am aware it would appear to work, at least initially. But, for all the valid technical reasons I've explained, I just think there's a better way to go. Just because you can do something doesn't make it a good idea.

If the OP wants to take chances, that's entirely up to him. He asked for input, that's mine. The facts are what they are, and the fact remains that while there are 6-pin versions of a 1060, there is no 6-pin version of a 1660 (at least not that I've seen, and I could be wrong). There are reasons for this, just as there are reasons the connectors and the specs are different.

I wish i had a dime for every time someone saw something on the internet, tried to do it, then brought it to me so I could fix it.
Posted By: dutch

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/16/19 07:50 PM

Ok now the simple way because we both speak another language and confusion is lurking.
the 6peg GTX1060 does have the same power consumption as 8peg GTX1660ti
Here a web site were both the 1060 and the 1660ti do have the same TPD of 120Watt.
https://tweakers.net/nieuws/149516/nvidia-brengt-geforce-gtx-1660-ti-uit.html
Sorry it is in Dutch but look at the TPD at the specs, now in my case I will give the 1660, 14Watt extra, more power because two fans, etc, etc, now you are not telling this extra 14 Watt will fry up your PSU and adapter, while that guy on youtube can use even a GTX1070 no way.

But these all are samples in what his choices could be, the OP must decide what he wants, the, if only being cheap at prices GTX1060-6gb series, is a rather good choice and balanced in combination to his CPU, I would not go for the 1050ti. BTW check the Dell forum about video card upgrade in your system, real good info to find.


BTW the GTX1650 will be released soon, as rumors stated it does not have any external PEG connecters, so a real safe and it will always fit in the case, Vcard.
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/16/19 09:41 PM

The information you've linked indicates that TDP is the same for both 1060 and 1660. I also refer to online sources, of course. And I already said that I didn't quite know why the 1660 cards all seem to have 8-pin connectors, if they really are only 120W.

I also know what the PCIe spec says about the 6 vs 8 pin power connectors. And I'm telling you there's no way manufacturers would cut their own throats by using an 8-pin connector if they could use a 6-pin connector and thus sell more units.

There is obviously a reason all the 1660 cards (that I've seen so far) have 8-pin connectors. The 1660 reference design may be 120W TDP, but the OEMs are clearly exceeding the 150W allowed by spec for 6-pin connectors. As an educated guess - although I already said I wasn't sure why - I think it probably has to do with OEM designs running the 1660 faster than the base clock of 1530 MHz**

** a quick review of the 1660 cards on sale at NewEgg right now : All the ones I looked at have 8-pin connectors, and all indicate clock speeds higher than the base 1530. Effectively, this is overclocking, and any overclocker can tell you it (almost) always involves more power. That explains the 8-pin connector: They're obviously exceeding the 150W a 6-pin connector can provide, and in fact some of them appear to be very aggressive about it, with boost clocks beyond 1800 Mhz; more than 18% faster than the base clock.

Like I said, I have two of the 3G 1060s, and both of them have 8-pin connectors. Why would this be, if they adhered to the reference TDP of 120W? Simple: Because they're "SSC" (factory overclock models) and they can obviously exceed the 150W a 6-pin connector could provide. To prove the point, many of the 1060 models actually do have 6-pin connectors, and that's as clear proof as you can get that according to the PCIe spec, they cannot exceed 150W.

So...why else would some 1060s have 8-pin and some have 6-pin connectors? And why would the 1660s have 8-pin connectors, thus lowering potential sales, if they're only 120W?

Like I said, there's a need to actually understand the relevant specifications, and principles of electronics involved.

I'd really hate for the OP to buy a card that can peak up over 150W, and have his machine locking up or crashing due to the PSU being over-taxed when the GPU gets really busy. As I mentioned, then he'd be stuck having to either replace his PSU (as he said he didn't want to), or return the card. I believe there's no need for all that...he can secure a very good upgrade, cheaper in all likelihood, by just going with a 6-pin 1060 model (either 3 or 6G, depending on preference and budget/cost).

One final time: An 8-pin card may well work...but is that something worth taking a chance over? Will it work but just cause the aging PSU to suffer accelerated failure/instability? I'd rather go with something that will be stable and won't cause problems, and you can't prove that with a 5-minute YouTube video.

BTW if it's true that the rumored 1650 will run at the 75W provided by the PCIe slot, and it outperforms a 1060, it may well be a better choice - when it's released.
Posted By: Polovski

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/17/19 12:44 PM

OK moving this to technical it's getting far to detailed in technical information for WW2..
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/17/19 02:41 PM

While back, a guy brought his machine over to my shop because it had quit turning on. No power at all. OK, says I, we'll throw it up on the bench, open 'er up and have a look.

I was shocked at what I saw: This is a chassis that is designed for mounting the PSU in the bottom. And, sure enough, that's where the PSU was. But, something was odd about it...couldn't quite put my finger on it at first. Then I realized: The PSU was installed upside down, with the fan facing the inside of the chassis.

When I pointed this out, the guy says "Oh yeah, I did that a couple of weeks ago...it was making a lot of noise, but when I turned it over it was a lot quieter."

Now, these PSU's and chassis are designed to bottom-mount with the fan drawing nice cool air from outside the chassis. When this genius decided the fan was too noisy (most likely because the bearings were gone), turning it upside down means it now is pulling air from inside the chassis. Hot air. And with a bad fan, no doubt.

When I explained all this to him, he just looked at me with this totally stupid look on his face and said "But it worked..." (remember "But it works" from above?).

So I further explained how what his decision to flip the PSU had caused, and why it had most likely overheated and finally some component gave up.

Then he says, "But I don't understand...it was working fine yesterday". So, I asked him "So you expected a letter in the mail telling you it was going to sh*t on you today? They don't really give you that kind of warning...well, you know, other than the fan trying to tell you it was going bad with all the noise".

biggrin biggrin biggrin biggrin biggrin

I hear this all the time... "But it works..."

Yup. Right up until it doesn't.

Just because you can do something - and at times, seemingly get away with it - doesn't mean it was ever a good idea. (Even if "It works".)

I watched the entire video of that kid putting the 1070 in the Dell machine, just to be thorough. I see all sorts of stuff that's questionable in that video (you'd probably never notice) which tells me this guy is just like the one who flipped the fan. He even has a second video, showing how he can play games with it, and hasn't had any problems.

Maybe so. I never said it wouldn't work; in fact, I've consistently said from the get-go it probably would work, at least initially. But it could just as easily be that kid got lucky at the time...I think it was two years ago, so who knows whether that setup is even still running. Maybe the week after he posted all that stuff, his PSU took a dump and he replaced it anyway - which is something I'd hate to see happen to CaptSopwith.
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/17/19 04:02 PM

.

kk, your recounting there reminds me of the farmers who would put a penny behind the old screw-in style fuse because the one in the pump house fuse box starting burning out every day or two, likely because the pump motor was going bad. Rather than addressing the actual issue, they'd just bypass the fuse's ability to do its job. That penny of course could carry why more current than the wiring to the pump could and, surprise surprise, as the motor got worse the wiring would eventually overheat and catch the pump house on fire, which in turn would catch the barn it was attached to on fire as well. But as you've noted, it worked - for a while. biggrin

.
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/17/19 04:25 PM

Yessir, and since everything that's at all relevant to fighting a fire pretty much comes from the pumphouse, well...

I do appreciate your stopping by. It's nice to get some support for an honest, altruistic effort to do things properly.

Yes, of course I'm aware the internet has lots of guys (and gals) doing all sorts of ill-advised things to (and with) computers. Some of it is somewhat amusing. But some of it's downright dangerous, and that's really terrible.

One thing I can say about the rules I advocate: I run somewhat of a 'hobby business' building computers; I'm not making anything to speak of, but I do sell things to people. Everything I sell - everything - I stand behind, even if I lose money (and I have). So, not only is the advice tempered by things like electronics experience and training, specs, and good reference work, but also by a certain respect for reliable judgment (and the consequences of ignoring the rules).

If I can be honest, the really sad part is that in my 35 year career, I ran across more than a couple of people; trained techs and even full-blown engineers, who constantly did stuff like that, then left their pile of poop laying in the proverbial floor for someone else to step in.

*Hehehe* I have an incredibly cheap-a$$ 300W PSU here, and it's got all the connectors (in concert with a two-'Molex' to 8--pin PCIe adapter) to support a motherboard I have on the bench, which just happens to have (you'll never guess) a 1070 sitting in it. I am awfully tempted to fire it up, just to show "It works" even if it's stupid.

Hmm...Dare I? I am sure it will power up, but it's running any sort of load on it that concerns me. I've seen 'em go before, and not usually in a polite way, either. And while I could care less about the cheap PSU, the motherboard/guts and the 1070 are worth a goodly amount, and all connected to a PSU I'm torturing.

Hmm...
Posted By: RAF_Louvert

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/17/19 04:35 PM

.

My pleasure kk. I've known you here for a fair number of years now and have collaborated with you on a few of my own builds. In that time I've never known you to have any agenda other than to provide professional, unbiased advice on computer components, upgrades, and full builds. From what I've seen you do all you can to stay current on the latest, greatest hardware and such, and I consider you one of the true technical gurus here. Anyone seeking it would surely benefit from your sage advice.

.
Posted By: dutch

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/17/19 05:47 PM

Look read again I did wrote down clear the GTX1070 is to much for his PSU, why here coming back to this type of video card. This on youtube is an perfect sample on how to use that adapter, no rocket science nor advice for the use of the GTX1070.

if it can run the GTX660 that was in the Dell option list, it can run an GTX1660ti easy. For checking this I use an PSU calculator. https://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator
PSU Power needed,
GTX1660ti 274watt on 12v, PSU advice total 416watt so this is below the 460watt, from your Dell PSU.
The biggest Vcard this XPS 8700 could have in the Dell option list was the GTX660 here it is 297watt on 12v, PSU advice total 433Watt
So the GTX 1660ti even with the needed 2*6->8 adapter, would be a safe choice, the same on the GTX1060 btw. The 6 copper wire from the PSU can handle the power thats going true it.

For mr Sopwith as I wrote down: go to the Dell forum, do a search like “XPS 8700 videocard” or “XPS 8700 graphic card” and you will tons on info about that upgrade. Be sure it will fit in your small PC case.


Posted By: CaptSopwith

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/17/19 05:49 PM

Originally Posted by Polovski
OK moving this to technical it's getting far to detailed in technical information for WW2..


I've had a knack for that lately! wink

Originally Posted by kksnowbear
Originally Posted by devere
You can get a sata to 8pin adapter on Ebay for a couple of quid. ATM the 1660 or 1660ti give such a boost in performance over the 1060 it really is a no brainer, and it will last you many years longer.

As for PSU I always have a spare sitting in my cupboard any way as they are the most likely to fail item on any PC and they are dirt cheap to buy.

As to the 1050ti, pointless card. Only £40 quid cheaper than the 1660, yet only gives about the same performance as a GTX960.


Just because you can buy an adapter somewhere, doesn't make it a good idea. They made and sold USB extension cables from the day USB was introduced, yet such cables were explicitly forbidden by the original USB spec.

As I already explained above, the 8-pin connector itself is only part of the issue. By spec, any card that has such a connector can draw more than the 150W which the PCIe slot and a 6-pin connector can provide. Think about it: There's no way a company would put an 8-pin connector on their cards, thereby limiting the potential places it can be used and thus limiting sales, if it weren't necessary. If it were within spec, they'd use a 6-pin connector because it will work with all the 6-pin setups and all the 8-pin setups (given the 6+2 type connectors). Otherwise, the card manufacturer has to include an adapter, which still assumes there are two 6-pin connectors available, or force you to buy one before you can use their card. They'd be limiting their own sales for no good reason.

Not only that, if you use a SATA adapter, you (potentially) still have the current being pulled through one lead back to the PSU - only now, you're using the SATA connector that may also power all your drives. Probably not good. That single lead is conducting at least 6.2A, and there are mechanical crimps, mating pins etc to add resistance and points of failure. GPUs tend to draw more than most other components in PCs for gaming, and that's not really the place where you want a lot of questionable ideas hooked together.

By spec, if a card has an 8-pin connector (regardless of what you try to 'adapt' it to) then the card can draw up to 225W (75 for the PCIe slot + 150 for the 8-pin). Although it's not required to draw that, if it has an 8-pin connector, that means it draws more than 150W. The OP's PSU is fine with a card that draws 75W, even 150W almost certainly. But the cards you're talking about have 8-pin connectors, and that means over 150W, up to 225. I think it's a risky proposition, even though I did say it may well work. As with the adapter: Just because an arrangement appears to work initially doesn't mean it was ever really a good idea.

By the way, I'm also pretty sure the 12v power limit on SATA connectors is around 55W - and that's about 30% less than the 6-pin PCIe connector can provide, never mind that it's about 65% less than the 8-pin connector you're plugging it up to.

Again, will it work? It might, at least initially. Good idea? Well...not according to everything electronics and the specs say, no. I wouldn't recommend it because I wouldn't want someone to run into problems down the road.

Keep in mind it's also the original PSU , which has been around a while (admittedly, I'm assuming here). Using an older PSU to drive that much more of a load than it's ever had to, when it's already dated...well...if you say so. Not the best idea I've heard in the 35 years I've been in electronics.

And don't forget the heat constraints. If a card uses more power (as evidenced by the 8-pin connector), then it will generate more heat, probably worsening the potential for cooling problems.

Finally, as for cost - obviously, you've never been in a situation where even a few dollars makes all the difference. I indicated above that there are several models of 1060 cheaper than 1660s on NewEgg currently, so if budget matters (and it always does) then a few dollars more might be prohibitive for some people. Even when you know a few more dollars could buy you much more performance...if you can't afford it, you can't. It's very presumptuous to say something is "pointless" when you don't know someone else's situation.

(EDIT: I looked on NewEgg just now, and the least expensive 1050Ti was $160, while the least expensive 1660 was $220. So, it's actually $60 more - which is another 37.5%. May not seem like much, but if you're already strapped to come off the $160, the 1050s are great cards and this is widely known. No one's questioning that 1660s are better cards, but cost is cost.) As I mentioned, it will depend where and when you shop.


Thank you kksnowbear and everyone else for all of your very kind advice! My apologies for my delay in responding back - it's been a hectic week and I've just now gotten some time to write back.

Based on everything I read here on the board, including all of the very detailed explanations about power loading, I decided to order the 1050ti 4GB card from Dell. My thinking is that the rig I'm on is a 4 year old chassis, with a 4xxx series i7. A 1060 would, I think honestly, be overkill for what this rig is capable of. My monitor, which I also finally upgraded last year, can only run up to 1920x1080, so it seems like the 1050ti would be the saner, and far less expensive option. Dell had a discount on the card, with free shipping for $209 and it falls under my system's extended warranty - so all good things. The 1060, by contrast, was running in the upper 300 range.

My other concern, as kksnowbear rightly pointed out, is power drain under load. While the Dell has a great PSU and the agent assured me that either card would be a good option, the 1050ti pulls a little less, and for someone seeking longevity out of a rig, I'm all on board with that.

Plus, looking at this benchmark: https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-GTX-745-OEM-vs-Nvidia-GTX-1050-Ti/2638vs3649 a 223% upgrade in overall performance over my aging 745GTX is a no brainer at that price point. (After all gents, I've got a wedding and a honeymoon coming up!).

Thanks so much again! Very much looking forward to diving into WoTR and getting even more out of WOFF and my other games - especially titles like ARMA 3, my old Total War titles, and Cities Skylines (which currently runs at the lowest possible settings).

Cheers and thank you!


Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/17/19 10:55 PM

CaptSopwith, I'm glad if this has helped you decide. I trust your choice was for the best, considering the circumstances (as I appreciate that only you truly can). I believe the upgrade will be a significant step forward for you. And congrats on the wedding. All the best to you and the future Mrs. Capt smile

Dutch, sorry if anything I'm saying seems confrontational to you - please be assured I mean no disrespect or ill will. I understand your points (and I also use that same PSU calculator as well; one of my favorites). BTW a 6pin 1060 as I suggested above, per spec, cannot exceed 150W. Only the 8pin models can. But I do feel your math is overlooking an important point: You can't subtract these values from 460W, for a few reasons:

1. Usage and heat fatigue over time dictate PSUs should be 'de-rated' as they age, as you know.

2. It is not given that this PSU (or any other) can output it's entire rated wattage 100% of the time, and especially not irrespective of temperature. Most do not, especially over about ~30-40 degrees C.

3. It is not wise nor efficient to operate a PSU at full load all the time. Efficiency varies a lot, but is broadly considered optimal in the 50% load range. Regardless, the efficiency of any PSU begins to deteriorate at a rapid slope as you move from 50% up toward 100%. Personally, I usually recommend trying to stay around 75% at most. As for the wisdom, it is all but absolute that running a PSU at 100% load all the time will shorten it's life span. Irrespective of how long or short it may have been otherwise, it will be shorter if the unit is forced to work at 100% any time it is on. Heat builds exponentially, and it destroys electronics over time. Finally, almost every PSU of this type will suffer far more noise/output fluctuations at the upper end of its rated output than toward the middle. Just adds to the potential for instability.

So, given all the above, I'd say this PSU - even if we assume optimal cooling and cleaning, and minimal usage for it's life thus far - should be 'de-rated' somewhat due to age/wear, and again due to overhead/efficiency/best practices. Between these factors, I don't feel it unreasonable to suggest we deduct ~20% from 460W, leaving us about 368W. If we then subtract even the lesser of the loads you cited (274W @ 12v), we are left with less than 100W for everything else in the PC - that is, the CPU, RAM and chipset, onboard devices such as network adapter and sound guts, as well as any drives, the system's fans, plus any external devices powered by the PSU such as with USB (TrackIR, joystick, pedals, mouse, keyboard...).

To be honest, I think it's pushing things too far to expect all that from 100W. As I listed above, per Intel that's an 84W CPU. If there are 4 sticks of memory, that's approaching 20W by itself (especially if high-speed/"XMS" type), and you can go on from there. I do factor in that these figures are maximum (including the GPU), and I said earlier that they usually operate a good deal lower. But, for the purpose of load calculations, it's best to use the max figures so you won't ever exceed that amount. The last thing anyone needs is things getting flaky when they're working hardest.

For these reasons, I believe it best to stay toward the conservative end of the scale in terms of GPU (and it's cheaper, too).

In fact, I usually take the GPU TDP and add 300W (rule of thumb/guideline) to rate a PSU - and then, of course, check that against good references. So far it seems to hold up well.

I hope you can understand.
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/17/19 11:06 PM

Lou, thanks so much for your kind words. It really does mean a lot, coming from you smile May I say that I've thoroughly enjoyed our conversations and 'projects', and everything I've learned from your fascinating historical knowledge and collection.
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/18/19 04:09 PM

Well, I did it.

I decided to go ahead and test the GPU with a PSU that is clearly rated too low. Now, keep in mind: The purpose of this test is not to identify whether or not a given GPU would run with a given wattage PSU. Nope - this test is to demonstrate that "Just because it works, doesn't make it a good idea".

I picked a PSU from my stuff that has all the necessary connectors (CPU 4-pin 12v, motherboard 24-pin, etc) but has no PCIe connectors whatsoever. I intentionally chose the crappiest PSU I could find in the lot: A 300W unit that weighs so little it probably couldn't even actually drive 300 watts for any length of time, and even according to it's own is label, is only capable of 252W total @ 12V. And, to make it really interesting it only has two Molex connectors to connect the adapter I used (two Molex to 8-pin PCIe)...and (you'll love this) both of them are on one lead going back to the PSU itself, with a single, 20ga wire (not even an 18, mind you) to feed the whole 8-pin connector. Lots of crimped connectors, and mechanical pin matings between the PSU and the 8-pin GPU connector.

Hopefully you can see I really wanted this to be "worst case".

I decided not to use the 1070 after all, because it does actually use more power than a 1060, and to be honest I was concerned for the equipment, given my horrible PSU choices as above. So, I took one of the EVGA 1060 SSC cards I have which has an 8-pin PCIe connector and used that.

And, lo and behold...

"It works!"

I even got up the nerve to run a 3DMark11 "P" benchmark on it, to make sure the GPU was loaded; watched the fans come on as usual. during the second frame rate test (they're off at minimal loads) It finished the entire run, with no indication it was struggling at all. Scored precisely where my records indicate it should. For all intent and puprose, it's ready to go, right?

Well...maybe not. I did reach over to the wires feeding the GPU's 8-pin connector. And it was warm, especially right at the point where the first Molex 'daisy chains' to the second, right where I'd expect it to - where all that resistance is going to occur, from pins and mechanically crimped connectors. Not melting insulation warm...but warm enough I'd have concerns about closing it up in a chassis full of other components and their heat. And that was from a few minutes of benchmarking, never mind hours of a game running continuously.

I even took some pictures and made a short video, though I don't know if I'll post them or not because now you apparently have to use a third-party host, which I'm not keen on.

Anyway, there you have it: Even though I can make it work under what are obviously dangerous and stupid conditions, I would never (ever) recommend that anyone do something like this. I was pretty nervous running this test under controlled conditions for even a short period. I can only imagine what it would be like to run a setup like this for a long time - but I'd bet money there's someone out there who's done it, if they're not actually doing it right now.

This should illustrate clearly that just because you can do something, with adapters and so on, to make a computer run, doesn't mean it's a good idea, compliant with spec, or even safe to do so.

Speaking of adapters, this should also clearly demonstrate why I'm not a big fan, and how easy they make it to do something totally stupid. Hopefully we all know better than to plug too many cords/devices into those 'power strips'...and this is no different at all.

Best regards to all smile
Posted By: dutch

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/18/19 06:56 PM

@KB, Now tell me, what you wanting to achieve inhere, I’m talking about an 2*6 to 8 pin PEG, not going from a Molex to an 8pins PEG. You are talking about something complete differently and I do not think the Molex is being designed for high Amps, to me it appears the PEG is more suited.

Now for the TS, sorry that it end complete OT, but be aware, if installing your GTX1050ti it could give problems in Dell systems specific, even if you have deleted all the drivers by using a Vcard driver cleanup software or reinstall your HD. Wayback in 2009 I did do modifications on my Dell 521, like another Vcard etc. all to play OFF3 at a decent level and I did encounter that freaking Dell problem. I know it is now 10y later but If facing that problem, you never know, read my remarks as the solution can be found in this post.

Now I will not bother you with my talk and stop from now.
Good luck.
Posted By: kksnowbear

Re: Video Card Upgrade Question - 04/18/19 07:21 PM

Those adapters are sold all the time, just like the one mentioned earlier (a SATA to PCIe). And most people don't even remotely know the difference. All they see is that, physically, it connects what they have to what they need want.

My point is that adapters of any sort can be very misleading. One problem with the 2x6 type you are referring to is that they can be connected, as I explained, to two 6-pin connectors that are on the same lead back to the PSU (just like with the Dell in the video you posted).

These adapters exist for one simple reason: To allow a video card manufacturer to sell a card to someone who would otherwise also have to buy a new PSU.

The designer of your PSU knows: If it was intended to drive an 8-pin load, there would be an 8-pin connector(s) on it. Nobody ever made a power supply and put 6-pin connectors on it when it could support 8-pin loads...though they have done the opposite many, many times (more connectors than PSU can support in actual load). Marketing. Stupid.

The guy trying to sell you the video card doesn't know anything about your PSU - he just knows you won't buy his graphics card if he doesn't make it so that you can use it. So, rather than lose a sale, he spends a little bit more to include an adapter. Again, marketing.

Once again, my test demonstrates just because 'it works' doesn't make it a very good idea. I did it because I know how stupid it is. Anyone else trying it is probably doing it because they have no idea how stupid it is. All they know is they got an adapter that will work, and some guy did it on the internet...so it MUST be OK...they wouldn't make and sell these adapters if it weren't safe to use them...
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