well this forum came along with seredipitous timing. my PSU really started dying this weekend. i'd always problems with it, but never like this. this weekend my computer started crashing repeadedly, and the diagnostic light indicates the PSU load is exceeding its supply (i've had this problem in rare instances since i got the computer, and tech support had me doing hours upon hours worth of diagnostics; i just found a diagnostics manual online that in very clear language told me exactly what the problem is - gotta love Dell).
hope it's not rude to ask about my own problem in your forum, particlewave; i'm hoping i can get some advice.
i'm surprised the PSU ever worked; i checked the specs and it's only a 255 watt. it's a Dell XPS 200, which i haven't upgraded since purchasing, came with a 1.4 (i think) Pentium D, 1GB of RAM, a Radeon X600. i want to make sure my new PSU will power a better GPU; i'm pretty sure a 400W supply should definately take care of me.
i might just go ahead and get the new GPU now, i'm just not exactly sure what to get. because my long-term goal is for this system to be primarily a media center, gaming power isn't necessarily my first concern (but i won't be able to afford a new system for some time, so it's still up there). it's also a low profile system, so i'm somewhat constrained in my choice of GPU upgrades.
here's my basic quandry. in another couple years i'm going to buy a nice new LCD TV. i'll purchase a model that can support 1080p since it's the next broadcast standard on the horizon, and it'll still produce quite nice computer graphics when i'm not using it as a TV (i run at WUXGA now).
if i've done my homework right, i'll probably need to get a DVI-HDMI converter, but i'm not sure if there's something i should know about it. the wikipedia article on DVI says DVI "is partially compatible with the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard in digital mode (DVI-D)." i'm not exactly sure what that means - what part is not compatible? is it that the HDMI has wires for audio? because AFAIK the specs should allow even a DVI-I to convert to HDMI without loss. i dunno, any thoughts?
anyway, these seem to be the two best low profile cards from nVidia and ATI respectively; the ATI supports DVI-D but the nVidia seems to have more onboard RAM and a higher core clock speed.http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133016
and this is the only low profile X1600 i could findhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161040
i'd appriciate any advice or input, especially keeping in mind my eventual plan to change to an HDTV as my monitor (while keeping the surround sound speakers i currently have - though it'd be really nice to be able to use the TV's speakers to upgrade to 7.1 - any ideas on that?).