New Dell 8200 with ATI 9700 Pro? (Long)


Junior Member
Sep 20, 2002
Just ordered a Dell 8200. With coupons and rebates was only a few hundred more than if I built it myself (first time in 10 years wasn't looking forward to it). Add in a warranty, tech support, no configuration headaches, I was sold.

Bragging to my friend, he mentions that the ATI 9700 Pro requires a 300 watt power supply minimum. Checked the ATI site. Bastage was right. After much searching 8200 has a 250 watt power supply. Note they don't mention this on your order confirmation. Everything else but not the power supply.

Called Dell tech support. Indian accent, he heard the question, then said since system hasn't shipped yet he can't help me. No system number. Why listen to the question then? He than gives me an 800 number to call. The number was for QVC? WTH?

Found another number. Spoke with rep. i told him that I was concerned since I was getting a fully loaded system and planning to get another hard drive installed in the future. He talked to a tech who said "ATI and Dell have conferred and a 250 watt power supply is sufficient." I asked to get this in writing. No go. Asked to speak to a supervisor. The same rep came back and said that now he was authorized to send an e-mail.

The email:

> The Dell Dimension 8200 is shipped and authorized to run
>and operate with the 128mb DDR ATI Radeon 9700 Pro with DVI and TV-Out.
>Brett Keith
>BSD E-Commerce Sales
>1-877-284-3355 Ext.61843

Not giving me that warm fuzzy feeling. So the question is with my system (see below) and the fact that I'm adding a large hard drive in the future (looking at deals now) am I going to have problems? Anyone have any experiences?

By the way there is no way to order a Dell with a larger power supply according to the rep. It can be upgraded afterward.

The system:

Dell 8200
Pentium® 4 Processor at 2.53GHz with 533MHz system bus/ 512K L2 Cache
Memory 1GB PC800 RDRAM(4x256M modules) (I know, I know)
Keyboard Dell® Enhanced Multimedia Keyboard
Monitor No Monitor
Video Card New 128mb DDR ATI Radeon? 9700 Pro Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI
Hard Drive 40GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard Drive
Floppy Drive 3.5 in Floppy Drive
Operating System Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
Mouse Logitech® Optical USB Mouse
Broadband Ready/ Ethernet Network Card Intel® Pro 100 M PCI Ethernet Network Card
Modem 56K PCI Data/Fax Modem
CD or DVD Drive 48x Max CD-ROM Drive
Sound Card Sound Blaster Live! Digital Sound Card
Speakers Harman Kardon HK-395 Speakers with Subwoofer
Productivity Software Microsoft® Office XP Small Business¹²
Virus Protection Norton AntiVirus? 2002, 90-day introductory offer
Digital Music Dell Jukebox powered by MusicMatch
Digital Photography Dell Picture Studio, Image Expert Standard
Limited Warranty, Services and Support Options 1 Year Limited Warranty plus 1 Year On-site Service
Internet Access Service 6 Mths of DellNet® by MSN Internet Access for Windows®XP Included
Mail-In Rebate Offer $200 Mail In Rebate (Free Memory Upgrade Offer not available)
USB 2.0 Adapter USB 2.0 PCI Card w/ 4-Ports
Power Protection Tripp Lite Internet Office 525 UPS,USB
CD or DVD Burner for 2nd bay 40x/10x/40x Max CD-RW Drive with Roxio's Easy CD Creator®


Junior Member
Sep 20, 2002
Yeah, I know I'm replying to my own thread. But just got off the Dell forums. Here's the reply from ChrisM of Dell to the question:

"Remember, the Dell Ati 9700 video card is NOT the same as the retail Ati 9700 video card which is on the store shelves. The hardware on the video card will have been tweaked by Dell which is why you don't need a 300 watt power supply"

Just begs the question. What are the differences from an ATI and a Dell ATI? What are the hardware Tweaks that cause the card to require less power. Does ATI know about this. Can I run the card to manufacture specs? I have a 21" monitor that can support a high refresh rate with a high resolution. Did Dell disable any features? Why do they have an option for an ATI 9700 Pro video card and not mention it's not a true ATI.

Warm fuzzy feeling is now gone. Replacing it is a acidic ulcer feeling. Every time I try to take the easy way out...

Anyone have any experience with a 250 watt power supply and an ATI 9700 pro? Too late to call off system. @#$%^.


Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
dude, your getting a dell?!?

realy, i hate to be rude but i think that was a realy bad move. if you havnt built a computer in 10 years, you are realy missing out, things have come a long way sence then. anymore its prety much just plug it all in and press power and you are ready to go. i just helped a freind of mine build his first rig over icq last night and he is absolutly clueless when it comes to hardware, even told me his gefroce from his gateway was a "lame agp" and when i questioned him on why he said that he said "isn't pci beter, there are more slots for that?" despite his shear incompatence we got his new rig up and running like a champ in just a few hours. also, most parts come with 2-3 year warranties and you can upgrade any part you want on your own without voiding the warrinty on the whole system and as for tech support thats what these forums are for. not to mention once you build it up right you know ecatuly how to take it apart in an atempt to track down a problem and stop it out if you know what you are looking for. furthermore you dont have to deal with uninformed corprate bs like what you have already started to see. as for the powersuply i would lay good money that this ChrisM guy is spewing bs just to calm people down, how in the world would dell figure out how to tweek the card to make it need less power if ati couldn't? i think Kingofcomputer pointed out the real awnser to why the card will work just fine in the system, that "tweeked by dell" comment holds about as much water as intel's "the p4 makes the internet faster."

as for it being too late to call of the system, no its not. just point out that you are unhappy about all the micomuncation with tech support already, been given controdictory information on the video card as you purchased and ati radeon and now they say it is not ati's verson but a specal dell one, and dont even want to take the risk that the rest of your experiance with the computer will be so distasteful so if they arleady sent the thing you are going to refuse delvery and they might as well credit your card back now. they will cancel the order for you if you want them to, and if they dont simply call your bank and tell them you want to despute the charge. granted if you realy want that dell you can just sit back and let things go as they are but i dont recomend it.


Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
The issue isn't so much 250w and 300w. ATI states 300w because it's a reasonably good basic guideline and easy to find spec. The real issue is the output of the +3 and +5 rails. Quite honestly, Dell's power supplies are pretty stout for the rating.

Another issue is Dell's computer configurations go through hundreds of hours of QC before they're offered. The reason for this is, just like any other major manufacturer, if they screw up, they lose upwards of millions of dollars (tech support, RMA's, new business loss, market perception, etc). I wouldn't worry too much about the ability of that PS to run a 9700.


Senior member
Jun 25, 2002
Dude, you're getting a Dell!! :D

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Seriously, I second Apex's sentiments. Dell's are solid. "A couple of hundred bucks more than you would have spent..." no. Their profit margins are paper-thin... I would have spent way less on my system if I bought it retail, considering all my screw-ups! (Cooling choice, PSU choice...) Dell won't make those mistakes, for the reasons that Apex mentioned. Would I have done it different? No. I build my systems and that's final. ;) The only thing you're missing out on is the fun and flexibiity of configuring your own system.

"Tweaked by Dell..." In the past, the OEM 8500's were actually clocked at a lower speed than the retail ones, I don't know about the 9700 Pro, it shouldn't be. Like Apex said, 300W minimum" would prolly be for a no-name...

Rest easy :)