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Recently I bought a graphics card; a VisionTek 4650 PCIe 1GB DDR2. I installed it on a computer with a 360W power supply, which is right around what the card needs. I was assured by Dell's support team that this card would work with this setup. It did...for a bit. After a few hours the computer shut off and the display wouldn't come back on on reboot. We removed the card and it worked fine again. Worth adding that the plastic switch that "locks" the card into place broke off some time ago.

So, I assume you're all going to tell me that I need a better power supply, but what's confusing is that the card is "small" enough that I didn't even have to plug it in; it went right into the PCIe slot. How does the power distribution work here? And is there are more complicated answer to why it was suggested other than just "Dell had no idea what they were talking about"?

In short, I'm trying to figure out if I can blame the power supply, the switch, both, etc.

Thanks very much.

UPDATE: new information. When I put the new card in now, and plug the computer back in, the light on the back goes on, indicating that it has power. The SECOND I hit the button on the front to turn the computer on, the light goes off and nothing happens. No hard drive whirring up, no fan, no anything. Just the light on the back going off. If I inplug the power cord and plug it back in, same thing: back light comes on, but goes off it I try to turn it on.

Computer still runs fine with the old graphics card. Does this help narrow the problem down?

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It might also be overheating. What sort of dell? – Journeyman Geek May 22 '12 at 14:40
It also might just be DOA, you know... – Shinrai May 22 '12 at 14:41
Check if the supply is capable of 18A or more total on its 12V line(s). If so, it should be okay. If not, that's probably your issue. Not all 360W power supplies are created equal. – David Schwartz May 22 '12 at 15:28
It's a Dell Studio XPS 435MT, I believe. – Chris Bowyer May 22 '12 at 15:32
Specs for the 435mt say it has a 475watt PSU, found in the "setup guide" page – Moab May 22 '12 at 16:42

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