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Video card upgrade help!

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October 17, 2007 10:31:37 PM

I have a Dell xps 400, with a 375w psu. I would like to upgrade my card to play COD4. Any suggestions without upgrading my psu?

More about : video card upgrade

October 18, 2007 9:44:41 PM

The biggest problem is that that unit only has 18amps on the +12v rail. That almost instantly limits the cards you can put into your system. What card is currently in that box of yours? COD4 doesn't seem to be all that demanding so you may be able to play it better than you think.

At best you could probably squeeze an 8600GTS into that system. A 7900GS would be next on the list, but they recommend 20 amps, so that might be stretching it a bit.
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October 18, 2007 11:25:37 PM

If you have the 375w Dell is has 30amps. The 305w Dell has 22amps. See link in my signature, 305w (old psu)
October 18, 2007 11:47:33 PM

Hmmmm, every image I saw showed a single +12v rail with only 18amps. Maybe the ones I saw were older models. If it is indeed 30 amps (no reason it wouldn't be) then you could get just about any card on the market for your system. I knew the 305 had 22 amps, I have one of those in my Dimension 4700. That kinda made me wonder about the numbers I was seeing.
October 18, 2007 11:51:24 PM

The ATI cards on 65nm would be a lot more suitable, a lot less power consumption there.

2600xt should be fine on that PSU.
October 18, 2007 11:59:06 PM

I stand corrected. I went digging through the Dell forums after what kpo said and it looks like it has dual +12v rails w/ 18amps instead of the single that I had seen.
October 19, 2007 12:17:11 AM

You got probs .... This is why many of us here do not recommend Dells, Compaqs, HPs, Emachines or any of the such... They are TOO proprietary and one way or another limit your ability to upgrade ... These machines were made for Dick or Jane to buy and plug in and play, Don't even think about opening the case ... In 3 years or so, spring for another whole PC.... If you want future proofing, build your own....Anything less than 450-550 W PSU these days limits you terribly... Not trying to be harsh here, but with what you have, It is what it is...... an open the box and plug and play machine ..
October 19, 2007 5:21:41 AM

MAgrippa said:
You got probs .... This is why many of us here do not recommend Dells, Compaqs, HPs, Emachines or any of the such... They are TOO proprietary and one way or another limit your ability to upgrade ... These machines were made for Dick or Jane to buy and plug in and play, Don't even think about opening the case ... In 3 years or so, spring for another whole PC.... If you want future proofing, build your own....Anything less than 450-550 W PSU these days limits you terribly... Not trying to be harsh here, but with what you have, It is what it is...... an open the box and plug and play machine ..

I know what I have, and what it is (and isn't).
There are many Dell models that can use a regular ATX psu, but you knew that, correct?
Plug and Play machine? I'm glad I don't listen to people that make blanket statements.
BTW: How to you become one of "us" with 13 posts and hide behind the "stranger" designation profile?
Things I've upgraded on my propriety box:
ram, gpu, cpu, psu, cd-r/dvd drive, sound card
Not trying to be harsh here, but deemed an appropriate response to your post, whoever you are (one of us?)
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 6:11:39 AM

kpo6969 said:
I know what I have, and what it is (and isn't).
There are many Dell models that can use a regular ATX psu, but you knew that, correct?
Plug and Play machine? I'm glad I don't listen to people that make blanket statements.
BTW: How to you become one of "us" with 13 posts and hide behind the "stranger" designation profile?
Things I've upgraded on my propriety box:
ram, gpu, cpu, psu, cd-r/dvd drive, sound card
Not trying to be harsh here, but deemed an appropriate response to your post, whoever you are (one of us?)

Hey you only have the mobo, case, keyboard, mouse, etc. left. Your almost there!!
a c 171 U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 6:12:32 AM

With 30A on the 12V rail, you should be good to go with just about anything out there, excluding SLI/CF setups. You will probably run into problems if you pick an 8800 or 2900, but thats due to the size of the card, not power requirements. Measure where your PCIe slot is, and see if it can take a good 12 inches. (sorry, couldn't figure out how to word that so it wasn't naughty...) If you've got 10inches, I believe you are good for the 8800GTS/2900. If you've got 12, then you can run the 8800GTX/ultra. (or the OEM version of the 2900.)

Whats your budget like, and what resolution will you be playing at? (if you aren't in the US, what video cards are available to you?)
October 19, 2007 7:07:19 AM

lunyone said:
Hey you only have the mobo, case, keyboard, mouse, etc. left. Your almost there!!

I wouldn't be so sarcastic considering your set-up.
I bought a base system and changed-out or added those components. 19" FP, mouse, keyboard, and warranty included with system. All upgrade items under warranty also. If something goes wrong with system just put old parts back in and it's covered.
7300LE to 8600GT (for now)
1GB ram to 3GB
added optical drive (had 1 already)
added X-Fi Xtreme Music card for $45 brand new (also connected to front panel btw)
64x2 3800+ to 5000+
changed psu to 470w for a 8800GT (when released)

So flame me all you want, I'm not a kid. I remember playing Asteroids on my Atari 2600
I do the best with my limited budget
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 7:12:35 AM

Wasn't flaming on you, was just kidding around. I love that you and others have changed things out of the stock ones. I wasn't in any way trying to make fun of you or your situation. I think alot of people can learn from what you and others have done. I was just trying to point out that you had almost changed everything out, in a humorous way. Sorry if this offended you, I wasn't trying to do that.
October 19, 2007 7:18:28 AM

lunyone said:
Wasn't flaming on you, was just kidding around. I love that you and others have changed things out of the stock ones. I wasn't in any way trying to make fun of you or your situation. I think alot of people can learn from what you and others have done. I was just trying to point out that you had almost changed everything out, in a humorous way. Sorry if this offended you, I wasn't trying to do that.

No problem. I'm just a little too anxious waiting for the 8800GT. That's the last thing I can do to this before my next system. What do you think?

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 7:38:27 AM

Wow! Nice to see something, not that it will or could be the final version, but none the least. I wonder if it's going to be 256bit, or is that 128bit?
October 19, 2007 8:11:25 AM

Looks to be. It was on the Foxconn website till Nvidia had it pulled? But the Fud has it on their site again.
256bit 512mb (1st) followed by 256mb
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 12:57:44 PM

That could be a pretty nice midrange card (finally) between the 8600gts and the 8800gts. Hopefully the price will be in the $150-200 price range.
October 19, 2007 3:08:27 PM

Whatever benchmarks that were posted (correct or not) showed the card between the GTS and the GTX (8800 both). Again, no idea if that's true or not. We'll just have to do what we always do.........wait. :sarcastic: 
October 19, 2007 4:24:25 PM

lostandwandering said:
I stand corrected. I went digging through the Dell forums after what kpo said and it looks like it has dual +12v rails w/ 18amps instead of the single that I had seen.


Dual 12v rails? Heck, go for an X1950 PRO...
October 19, 2007 4:43:16 PM

wait for rv670 or g92
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 7:11:40 PM

For COD4, skip the GF7 series. Here is a look at how the higher end cards do in the demo. Note the 7900GT is clearly outmatched in COD4 by the X1950 pro despite the two being pretty on par overall. I wish the 8600's and HD2600's were tested. http://firingsquad.com/hardware/call_of_duty_4_demo_per...
October 19, 2007 7:16:33 PM

Interesting how they use the newer X1950's against the older 7900GT. I wonder why they didn't use the 7950GT.
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 7:21:13 PM

lostandwandering said:
Interesting how they use the newer X1950's against the older 7900GT. I wonder why they didn't use the 7950GT.

Too much competition?
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 9:10:44 PM

More likely they just used what they had laying around. I'm thankful they at least included a GF7 for comparison. Based on the 7900GT performance, a 7950GT would have also lost to the X1950 pro also.
October 19, 2007 9:10:47 PM

The 7950 GT isn't much of a step up from the 7900.

Still, on average I'd say the 7950 GT is a bit better card than the X1950 PRO - but thew X1950 PRO is quite a bit cheaper last time I checked.

I wouldn't bother paying notably more for a 7950 GT.
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 9:16:29 PM

Hey Cleeve, I am with ya that in general the 7950GT is a bit better than the X1950 pro, but in many newer games have you noticed it's looking like the trend is the X1950 pro is the better of the two. 3:1 architecture advantage maybe.

Unreal 3 is another example: http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=693&p=5


edit: or Anand's UT3 GPU showdown shows the X1950 pro beating not only the 7950GT, but the 7900GTX even:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3128&p=4


October 19, 2007 9:49:55 PM

Hmm I have a Dell E510 with a 305 watt psu. If I read the topic correctly, then I have dual +12v rails w/ 22amps?
Just want to make sure that I can upgrade to a 2950XT
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 9:58:34 PM

If you PSU is the same as his, then it has dual 18 amp 12 volt rails but a max combined 12v load of 264W (22 amps). 22 amps, is really too little for the X1950 series, GF8800 series, or HD2900 series out now. I'm guessing the 2950XT will be a no go for that PSU., but we will have to wait and see the specific models and their requirements. An 8600GTS, HD2600XT, or 7900GS would be about your max as of now.
October 19, 2007 10:05:01 PM

Dang thats sucks. I Don't know if I can upgrade the PSU because that voids the warranty. The 2950XT or HD3800 series should work as its on a 55nm. Don't you think so?
October 19, 2007 10:47:33 PM

personally, I'd buy an 8 series card. 8600GT would be nice.
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2007 11:18:07 PM

If you are in no rush, then wait and see. It's possible. Maybe a lower clocked model HD2950pro will be fine on your PSU. If you want an upgrade sooner, You could always do a HD2600XT with the Valve black box now for $100 and sell the card later if a better one will work in your system. ATI recommends a minimum of a 400W PSU for that card, but that means little. Some 400W PSU's have only a single 18amp 12v rail.
October 19, 2007 11:22:37 PM

HD29050's won't exsist. They announced it as HD3800 series. >.> At least that's what I was informed of. Do you know more perhaps on the new naming thing they got going on over at AMD??
October 20, 2007 1:08:23 AM

pauldh said:
If you are in no rush, then wait and see. It's possible. Maybe a lower clocked model HD2950pro will be fine on your PSU. If you want an upgrade sooner, You could always do a HD2600XT with the Valve black box now for $100 and sell the card later if a better one will work in your system. ATI recommends a minimum of a 400W PSU for that card, but that means little. Some 400W PSU's have only a single 18amp 12v rail.

But the thing about the 2600XT that its weak. I need a performance card 200-250$ that will play games like crysis well. I could have gone with the 8800GT but I like ATI so RV670XT or PRO for me.
But does it matter, how high the RV670XT is clocked, for the it not to work on the PSU?
Lets say I buy the RV670PRO and then overclock it, then will my PSU die or something?
October 20, 2007 9:57:05 PM

It's not the clock speeds that are the issue. It's the size of the dye the card is on. The RV670 is supposed to be on a 55nm(?) dye, which means that it will be more power efficient. You will have to wait until they are released.
October 21, 2007 12:26:11 AM

wait till the RV670 and see the requirements? is that what you mean?
October 21, 2007 1:26:25 AM

Yup. Just so you don't get your hopes up. It's hard to speculate on a card we know so little about.
!