Video card and power supply voltage question.


Junior Member
Nov 27, 2008
So I finally got fed up with trying to play World of Warcraft on my dell optiplex 330's integrated card (a well meaning family member got it for me, I didn't buy myself :p). So I bought this card EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card Now the specs say it requires a 350 Watt power supply, so I went out and bought a 400W power supply as well since my Dell is one of those stupid "slim" desktop computers and only had a 290 Watt power supply. So I put the card in and decide to fire it up with the old power supply, just for kicks and giggles. Much to my surprise the computer booted right up and seemed to work fine. I installed the drivers and have been playing WoW for about 2 hours with amazing results. My frame rate has tripled and the game looks absolutely beautiful.

Now my question is... why is it working? there's not supposed to be enough juice to run the card, yet it's working fine. So am I running the risk of damaging my new video card or old power supply by doing this? What could go wrong, and why does it work? If I don't have to replace the PSU I would rather not since the new one doesn't even fit in the case, but I want to know if this will hurt my computer in the long run. Thanks in advance for your answers.

-Darius Pilgrim

Moved from Video Cards to Power Supplies

- AmberClad


Diamond Member
Mar 18, 2003
The required PSU size is inflated to account for the many junk PSU's that are sold which cannot deliver the power that the sticker says.


Golden Member
Mar 9, 2000
Also, if you are running a single hard drive, a not too power hungry CPU, and single optical drive, your power demands would be less, too. Also Dell is known for sort of under rating their power supplies. My new Vostro 220 PSU is rated at only 305W, but has no trouble powering an E7300, 4GB of ram, single 250 Gig Hard Drive and ATI Radeon 4670. Plays Far Cry 2 really nice at high settings at 1440x900 on the 20" digital monitor that came with it.