First of all, I’d like to emphasize a remarkable fact: the new graphics cards from ATI, based on the RADEON X800 Pro and X800 XT Platinum Edition, have practically the same power consumption and heat dissipation in the Burn mode as the top-end products of the previous generation. At that, the performance of the new cards is of course incomparable with that of the RADEON 9800 XT/Pro.
Thus, if you’ve got a RADEON 9800 XT/Pro graphics card and want to replace it with a RADEON X800 XT/Pro, you will have no power-related problems whatever. Moreover, thanks to the lower power consumption and heat dissipation of the new cards in the Idle mode, the thermal environment will even improve in those cases when you have no “heavy” 3D applications running.
If you’re an owner of a weak graphics card and plan to replace it with a RADEON 9800 or X800, make sure you have a high-quality PSU. Cheap 300W units from obscure manufacturers are not the best choice for such a system, especially if you also use a powerful CPU.
I have no comments about the RADEON 9600 XT/Pro: these graphics cards are no threat even to the least powerful PSUs – their power consumption properties shouldn’t bother you at all.