I Just Bought an ASUS GTX 770 - now what?

#1 Posted by Atlas (2457 posts) -

Ok, I've been playing PC games for years, but I'm a complete novice when it comes to upgrading, altering, fixing, and generally maintaining PC hardware - my PC was just thrown together on the Dell website with minimal thought on my part. But that was three years ago, and my GTX 460 is out of date; recent games such as Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite have struggled, and I had to turn down a lot of graphics settings to get Far Cry 3 to run well.

My Dell PC has an good i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, so most of my hardware is fine for my needs, so that emboldened me to splash on a GTX 770. And now I kind of don't know what to do next.

I've been told that in the modern age we live in, installing and maintaining PC components has never been easier. But, as a novice, that doesn't stop me from feeling a great deal of anxiety and trepidation, especially when I can't find easy answer to what seem like major questions.

I guess what I want to know first and foremost is whether or not it's a good idea to try bolting this thing into my case (which might not work, considering it's on the small side - if so, I can afford to buy a new one), plugging it in, and seeing what happens. I know that the card will only work properly if it has an adequate power supply and if it's compatible with my motherboard, but is there a way to know whether or not it's going to work without just plugging it in?

Quick questions:

  • Any advice on finding out whether the card is compatible with my motherboard? And if it isn't, how easy is it to replace the motherboard?
  • What does power supply actually mean? Is it just how much power the cable is allowing into the PC? How can I check my power supply levels? If it's too low or too high, how can I go about remedying this?
  • Am I likely to kill myself by trying to remove my current graphics card and install the new one? I'm obviously not going to try it if the PC has been plugged in and powered on recently, but are special precautions wise?
  • Am I in over my head here? Should I just go to a PC shop and see if they can find this shit out for me?

I've searched online for answers to all these questions and more, but all the answers I found were either not specific enough (general advice, rather than applicable to the card and the PC) or too technical. I just want a relatively simple way of finding out what I need to know, and once I'm comfortable with that, then I'll try installing this bad boy.

All help and advice is much appreciated. I feel like a lot of people are dabbling in PC building/upgrading for the first time, and there are a lot of people out there who are so experienced in this field that they can provide a lot of help, support, and comfort for those who are trying it for the first time.

#2 Posted by RetroMetal (203 posts) -

You didn't figure this stuff out before buying the card?

Your motherboard will be fine.

The Power supply would be my concern.

#3 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

Send it to me.

#4 Posted by Hunkulese (2842 posts) -

What motherboard do you have?

What power supply do you have?

You can look at the receipt from Dell to find out or it should be saved on their website under your account.

#5 Edited by Atlas (2457 posts) -

Send it to me.

Alright. You seem trustworthy.

#6 Edited by Marz (5668 posts) -

if you have a 460 already, then 770 should be ok in the same slot.

mostly the concern with power supply is the amount of watts it supplies, so for the 770 lets say it consumes about 250 watts at full load, the rest of your system consumes about 150, so you need a power supply that will cover that and give it some room, so 500 watt power supply would be ok for this system, but not ok if you want to do things like SLI (add another video card).. you'll need a stronger power supply for that.

When installing, ground yourself.... usually get rid of the static electricity in your body when your about to grab stuff inside your computer.... do this by touching something metal beforehand.

installing a video card is kinda simple, so it shouldn't be over your head. And a PC shop will probably just charge you 50$ for something that takes like 5 minutes to do yourself.

#7 Edited by Atlas (2457 posts) -

@marz said:

if you have a 460 already, then 770 should be ok in the same slot.

mostly the concern with power supply is the amount of watts it supplies, so for the 770 lets say it consumes about 250 watts at full load, the rest of your system consumes about 150, so you need a power supply that will cover that and give it some room, so 500 watt power supply would be ok for this system, but not ok if you want to do things like SLI (add another video card).. you'll need a stronger power supply for that.

When installing, ground yourself.... usually get rid of the static electricity in your body when your about to grab stuff inside your computer.... do this by touching something metal beforehand.

installing a video card is kinda simple, so it shouldn't be over your head. And a PC shop will probably just charge you 50$ for something that takes like 5 minutes to do yourself.

My power needs are pretty simple: one graphics cards, one monitor, one HDD. How do I find out my power consumption and the max watts of my current power supply? Is it written on the power cable, or do I need to boot up PC and find it there?

@retrometal said:

You didn't figure this stuff out before buying the card?

Your motherboard will be fine.

The Power supply would be my concern.

I didn't buy this PC to be upgradable, so I was prepared for the worst case scenario - gutting the whole thing and using card as the foundation for new PC build. Or I thought I could sell it/return it.

On a related note, I'm failing at the very first step; I can't even unscrew the bolt on my PC case. Why do I feel like this is all going to end horribly...

#8 Edited by dubios451 (134 posts) -

Put it in your computer, always the best first step

#9 Posted by alanm26v5 (462 posts) -

A power supply is the rectangular box inside your computer. The computer power cable plugs into it. OEM components (ones used by companies like Dell, HP) aren't always as labeled as off the shelf components, but there's probably a sticker on it somewhere that says what the wattage is. Also I don't know if this is still true, but a few years ago when I was researching upgrading my Dell's video card, I was told that Dell rates power supplies based on average wattage rather than peak. For example I mine was labeled by Dell as a 305 Watt but its peak was probably at least 400.

As for actually installing it, just be sure not to force anything. It should all slide in and out of place without much effort. There's probably a plastic clip on the motherboard that keeps the video card secure that you might have to look out for when you're taking the old card out. Also I went from a GTX 460 to a 660Ti and it was great for new games, so I can only imagine what your card will be like. Best of luck.

#10 Edited by Marz (5668 posts) -

@atlas: most power supplies will have their total wattage on it's label, if not just find the model number and look it up online.

#11 Posted by TheHBK (5554 posts) -

If your PC could run the 460 fine, then the 770 should be ok too.

#12 Posted by Atlas (2457 posts) -

Finally managed to open the case. Says my power supply input is 200-240V, maximum continuous DC output power won't exceed 350W, maximum continuous combined output power (5V & 3.3V excluding the SV auxiliary output) is 160W, and maximum continuous combined output power (12VA & 12VB) is 300W. I have no idea what any of that means.

#13 Posted by GreggD (4510 posts) -

As long as you have a PCIe 3.0 slot, then you're fine. As far as I know, all of the 6 and 7 series only work optimally in 3.0, and everything before it worked fine with 2.0 slots.

Online
#14 Posted by ikilledthedj (331 posts) -

@atlas

Could you supply some serial numbers or model numbers from the back of your case? we might be able to found out what the power supply is rated to from that for you.

The major concern is the 460 is only 8.25inches Long VS the 770 which is 10.5inches so there may not be any room in that case to fit it.

You would also need a 6pin to 8 pin PCI power adapter for the 770

#15 Posted by ikilledthedj (331 posts) -

@atlas said:

Finally managed to open the case. Says my power supply input is 200-240V, maximum continuous DC output power won't exceed 350W, maximum continuous combined output power (5V & 3.3V excluding the SV auxiliary output) is 160W, and maximum continuous combined output power (12VA & 12VB) is 300W. I have no idea what any of that means.

A 770 is rated to run at 230W min you would be really pushing the limits of the power supply if it was able to pass boot up at all

#16 Edited by Atlas (2457 posts) -

@ikilledthedj said:

Could you supply some serial numbers or model numbers from the back of your case? we might be able to found out what the power supply is rated to from that for you.

I will, but I'll do it in the morning. I've had an on-off headache for most of the day, and trying to do all this is making me go a bit cross-eyed.

The major concern is the 460 is only 8.25inches Long VS the 770 which is 10.5inches so there may not be any room in that case to fit it.

As I said, I am fully aware that I might need to get a new case if the GTX 770 doesn't fit. I've seen people say that my case is a little on the small side - one guy said he could barely fit a GTX 670 in there. This is what happens when you don't have any foresight, and don't buy a PC with modifications in mind.

You would also need a 6pin to 8 pin PCI power adapter for the 770

A 6-to-8 adapter came in the box with the graphics card, so at least that step is simple.

A 770 is rated to run at 230W min you would be really pushing the limits of the power supply if it was able to pass boot up at all

Right, I was afraid of that as soon as I opened it up. OK, so the power supply is inadequate - now what?

#17 Posted by ikilledthedj (331 posts) -

@atlas then we need to find you a new power supply and case which creates a new issue, whether or not that motherboard is going to fit in a standard ATX case. I cant recall if dell use ATX standard (where the screws go) or if they would be using custom boards for that particular case.

ill try to remember to check the thread (stupid broken notifications)

#18 Edited by Atlas (2457 posts) -

I just typed "PC power supply too low for ASUS GTX 770" into Google, and this stupid thread is the first thing that comes up. YOU'RE NOT HELPING, INTERNET.

#19 Posted by Fattony12000 (7596 posts) -

You've doofed, yer doof.

You silly doofer.

#20 Posted by Sinusoidal (1743 posts) -

I recently did the exact same thing. Bought a video card without checking to see if my power supply supported it or if it fit in my case. It didn't and I had to then go out and buy a new power supply and do some scary alteration to get it to fit in the case. It fits and works great now. You can do it too!

#21 Posted by Humanity (9871 posts) -

@atlas: for a card like that you should get at least a 750W

#22 Posted by Atlas (2457 posts) -

@sinusoidal said:

I recently did the exact same thing. Bought a video card without checking to see if my power supply supported it or if it fit in my case. It didn't and I had to then go out and buy a new power supply and do some scary alteration to get it to fit in the case. It fits and works great now. You can do it too!

This is a really cool, helpful comment that is helping me in my time of anxiety and stress.

You've doofed, yer doof.

You silly doofer.

This is not.

#23 Edited by Devildoll (904 posts) -

@atlas:

EDIT:

..... oh god, the forum ate my post.

okay, i'll write it again but not in all of it's magnificence.

If your powersupply is indeed too weak, which it is if it only supplies 300 watts on the 12volt rails.

replacing that powersupply entails disconnecting all powercables to all components in the computer, removing the old powersupply and replacing it with a new powersupply, connecting up all the powercables to the components again, while making an effort to not obstruct airflow with the cables.

do you have a model number for that pc? we could use it to get the full spec of dell's website.

#24 Posted by Atlas (2457 posts) -

@devildoll said:

@atlas:

EDIT:

..... oh god, the forum ate my post.

okay, i'll write it again but not in all of it's magnificence.

If your powersupply is indeed too weak, which it is if it only supplies 300 watts on the 12volt rails.

replacing that powersupply entails disconnecting all powercables to all components in the computer, removing the old powersupply and replacing it with a new powersupply, connecting up all the powercables to the components again, while making an effort to not obstruct airflow with the cables.

do you have a model number for that pc? we could use it to get the full spec of dell's website.

It's a Dell Studio XPS 8100. I'm pretty sure I need a new case. Can anyone recommend a good one? And I need recs for a good 750-900W power supply - reliability and durability is more important than cost (willing to pay more for something that'll last longer and work more efficiently).

#25 Posted by Humanity (9871 posts) -

@atlas: thermaltake make good power supplies. I've had a Corsair for a long time now. Good idea to get a supply with modular cabling if you have a smaller case.

#26 Posted by ch3burashka (5180 posts) -

I won't say PC building is hard these days. Having said that, it's kind of... short-sighted, buying a component without bothering to check if it fits. Someone I follow on twitter made that mistake - his graphics card won't fit in his motherboard. You seem to have been luckier because your (pre-built?) system is newer, I guess.

Watch building videos (Tested has two?) and go on forums like reddit where the community is more focused.

Man... I can't help but hang my head at the "quick questions", not because of the ignorance but, like I said, because of lack of knowledge before making a purchasing decision.

Good night... and good luck.

#27 Posted by Atlas (2457 posts) -

@ch3burashka said:

I won't say PC building is hard these days. Having said that, it's kind of... short-sighted, buying a component without bothering to check if it fits. Someone I follow on twitter made that mistake - his graphics card won't fit in his motherboard. You seem to have been luckier because your (pre-built?) system is newer, I guess.

Watch building videos (Tested has two?) and go on forums like reddit where the community is more focused.

Man... I can't help but hang my head at the "quick questions", not because of the ignorance but, like I said, because of lack of knowledge before making a purchasing decision.

Good night... and good luck.

All fair criticisms/comments. I found a lot of the advice and stuff that I was reading/watching online to be kind of over my head, or at least a lot to take in, and I'm kinda lazy so that really easily put me off doing the due diligence and working this stuff out - I also autistic, have a mood and anxiety disorder which means I can lose confidence in what I'm trying to do fairly easily, and ADHD, all of which make shit like this more complicated. I'd been talking about upgrading my PC for like two months without actually doing anything about it. The reason why I bought the GTX 770 is to try and make myself figure this stuff out - I now have the card, so I need to work out how to make it run. Realising that the power supply and the case aren't right for the graphics card isn't a shock - as mentioned, I didn't buy this PC to be mod-able, so I made that mistake three years ago.

At this point, I'm happy to spend money on a new power supply and case if it means that I can get the PC setup that I want. And if worse comes to worse and the whole thing is a wash...I haven't actually taken the card out of it's bag yet, the seal is unbroken. The box has been opened, but the card hasn't. Hopefully that means that I might be able to return it or at least sell it and make back some of the cost.

Like I said in the first post, I feel like there are a lot of people like me out there, who have been using computers forever but are completely new to the hardware/upgrade game. We all have to start somewhere, I guess, and sure I didn't pick the easiest (or cheapest) path for myself, but if that path ends with me having the PC I want, it'll all have been worth it.

#28 Edited by Nictel (2430 posts) -

Seasonic is a good PSU brand, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151132 this would give you enough room if you want to get SLI in the future.

#29 Edited by Atlas (2457 posts) -

Man, this would all be so much simpler if there was a good UK equivalent of Newegg. I've searched for ages but haven't found a good one.

#30 Edited by Devildoll (904 posts) -

@atlas: i'll give a few hints before i go to sleep.

750-900 watt is kind of exsessive, unless you are dead set on buying another 770 down the road.

5-600 is enough for pretty much any single card system.
a machine containing 2 GTX 770 might peak around 650 or so, so you'd want a tad of margin and go with like 850 or above, especially if you want to overclock.

Regarding the different qualities of a powersupply, you should understand that they all all do their job, and one powersupply wont give you more performance than another, the thing that can happen is of course that it dies, but thats not really a concern if you buy something mainstream-ish.

there are different efficiency levels, and what they mean are how much power gets wasted in the transformation from wall socket to the power that the computer actually uses.

that loss turns into heat wich is bad,

80+ efficiency is good, then you have silver, gold and platinum, above the regular bronze rating. it also assures you that the components inside the powersupply are proper and will last a while, cause if they were shitty, they wouldnt be able to achieve the 80+ rating.

A modular powersupply means that you can detach all the cables that you dont need from it, so that they dont clutter up the inside of your case.

#31 Edited by ikilledthedj (331 posts) -

@atlas said:

It's a Dell Studio XPS 8100. I'm pretty sure I need a new case. Can anyone recommend a good one? And I need recs for a good 750-900W power supply - reliability and durability is more important than cost (willing to pay more for something that'll last longer and work more efficiently).

From what i have been able to find online, the motherboard is a Micro ATX but the screw holes could be different on the case you buy but majority of them should line up.

EDIT

taken from another forum for someone trying to do the same as you

"It should run fine, the biggest problem is going to be hooking up the motherboard to the case. Dell motherboard use a proprietary plug for the power switch/front light/hd light, etc that doesn't conform to the standard pins normal cases use.

You can get around this by take then pins out of the motherboard connectors and by trial and error, figure out what pins do what."

this could be an issue for you

Further Edit

Upon further investigation a GTX770 should actually fit. you should try it

#32 Posted by bhlaab (155 posts) -

You'll know if your motherboard is incompatible with your gpu if you try to plug in the gpu and the hole is completely the wrong shape. You're upgrading from a gtx460 so you probably have a pci express port which is basically the standard and has been since, like, 2006? The bigger problem might be that the card doesn't fit in your case, but 460s are already pretty huge so you might not have to worry.

If your power supply doesn't have enough wattage your computer will still work, it'll just be really choppy and a little thing will pop up that says "Hey you don't have enough power!" Once I installed a gpu and completely forgot to plug the fucking thing in entirely and this was pretty much the result. If this happens I guess reinstall your 460 to hold you over until you can go buy a new power supply.

You don't have to worry about hurting yourself or your computer during gpu installation. Just don't rub your feet on the carpet and then zap the motherboard with static electricity like a jerk and you'll be fine. It's insert-tab-A-into-slot-B.

#33 Posted by howardee (19 posts) -
@atlas said:

Man, this would all be so much simpler if there was a good UK equivalent of Newegg. I've searched for ages but haven't found a good one.

I'd recommend checking out scan.co.uk, ebuyer.com and overclockers.co.uk. I built my system fairly recently and I picked up all the parts from those three sites. Scan's generally the cheapest but ebuyer and overclockers do some pretty good special offers every now and again. I don't really have much more advice for you that hasn't been mentioned already, I'd look into picking up a 600-750 watt power supply. I've always used Corsair PSUs and I've never had any issues with any of them. As far as cases go, just go for something that you like the look of but check that your motherboard and graphics card will fit first.

#34 Posted by Slaegar (737 posts) -

Alright since you said it was a Dell PC this is going to be pretty important


My last prebuilt computer was a Dell XPS 630i gaming computer. It would be a few years older than yours, but it came with a non-standard sized power supply. If you buy a power supply from Seasonic/Corsair/EVGA or some other totally reliable brand that I can't remember (there's a bunch of them) it may be too small to fit in the slot your current power supply currently sits.

You should be able to buy a power supply directly from Dell at some goofy mark up. I'm not sure if Dell still does this, so if they stopped a while ago go ahead and tell me I'm an idiot. I learned this the hard way when I tried to use the old 750W power supply from it to build a new computer only to find out the dell power supply was wider and deeper than normal ATX power supplies. Luckily I had a spare power supply I was able to snatch up.

#35 Edited by OurSin_360 (942 posts) -

Start googling, hit up Newegg and build yourself a custom pc. If it's dell your PSU probably sucks balls, and without knowing all the components you could end up getting bottle-necked buy bs parts they threw in your dell to save money. Also, i'm not sure how much heat your old card puts out but you may need a new case with better airflow. (I don't really know much about nvidia cards so take that with a grain of salt).

Power supply is probably the second most important thing in your system, make sure it's at least bronze certified and for a high end card you'd probably need between 500-750 to be on the safe side.

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