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Is a new graphics card enough for this machine to be a gaming pc?

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December 22, 2013 4:46:40 AM

I've recently inherited a Dell Precision T3500 for free. It's got an Intel Xeon W3503 2.4Ghz processor and a Nvidia Quadro FX 580 card.

I know the card is a workstation card and isn't all that good for gaming (although I think it's better than the ATI Mobility 4500/5100 in my laptop, right?), so it'll need replacing at some stage.

So my question is can I just replace the graphics card (I'm thinking an ATI 7790 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti due to budget constraints) and this will turn into a half-decent gaming PC? i.e. is the Xeon chip going to limit it or is there something else I've overlooked as an important factor?

Many thanks in advance.
December 22, 2013 5:14:07 AM

try it first with a game and then see how you go you will probable find it will play games and do some research on it your self
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December 22, 2013 5:20:13 AM

Oh I know, I've done my research and that's why I'm thinking of picking those cards I mentioned.

But it's not worth me buying a graphics card if it's going to be throttled by a crappy motherboard and/or CPU. That was my question. I was trying to show I'd done my research and searched in the forums before posting (which I have).
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a b 4 Gaming
December 22, 2013 5:20:34 AM

Psynaptik said:
I've recently inherited a Dell Precision T3500 for free. It's got an Intel Xeon W3503 2.4Ghz processor and a Nvidia Quadro FX 580 card.

I know the card is a workstation card and isn't all that good for gaming (although I think it's better than the ATI Mobility 4500/5100 in my laptop, right?), so it'll need replacing at some stage.

So my question is can I just replace the graphics card (I'm thinking an ATI 7790 or GeForce GTX 650 Ti due to budget constraints) and this will turn into a half-decent gaming PC? i.e. is the Xeon chip going to limit it or is there something else I've overlooked as an important factor?

Many thanks in advance.


Chances are, that CPU is going to hinder any mid-range card at least a little bit. Those cards aren't very strong to begin with, and even a small bottleneck from the CPU will likely make modern games rough to play at reasonable settings. Also, you would have to make sure your PSU is strong enough to run a better GPU, you would need at least a 400w from a GOOD brand. I emphasize "good" because not all PSUs are a like. A cheap 400w PSU will output less power than a reputable 400w PSU. 450w would be a better idea if it's within your budget. The problem here is that your whole PC is going to be somewhat dated, and just throwing in an alright GPU isn't going to make it great. Will you be able to play games? Yes. Will it be a gaming machine? No.
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December 22, 2013 5:41:23 AM

Fair enough. I'm just testing out some things now. It kind of helps that I tend to do all my triple-A gaming on my PS3 and indie games on my PC (or at least that's the general thing).

Since this is a workstation PC I would imagine that the power source is pretty good, but haven't got round to checking yet. Cheers for the reminder about that.

So I'm better off saving my money until I can build a new one from scratch then?

In any case, I hope it'll be an upgrade from my 2.2ghz Core 2 Duo laptop with ATI Mobility 4500, and I got that for free!

Thanks for the answers so far.

Would it be possible to overclock that CPU? I don't really have much to lose...
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a b 4 Gaming
December 22, 2013 5:50:38 AM

Psynaptik said:
Fair enough. I'm just testing out some things now. It kind of helps that I tend to do all my triple-A gaming on my PS3 and indie games on my PC (or at least that's the general thing).

Since this is a workstation PC I would imagine that the power source is pretty good, but haven't got round to checking yet. Cheers for the reminder about that.

So I'm better off saving my money until I can build a new one from scratch then?

In any case, I hope it'll be an upgrade from my 2.2ghz Core 2 Duo laptop with ATI Mobility 4500, and I got that for free!

Thanks for the answers so far.

Would it be possible to overclock that CPU? I don't really have much to lose...


Even if you could OC it, it just wouldn't be worth it. I would heavily suggest just building a new PC. That CPU just isn't meant for gaming. As you said, this is a workstation build, not a gaming rig. You can often build entry level gaming rigs for around $600 these days.
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