9800gt or 8800gt? Need advise!


Great Forum!!!

I'm looking to buy a new video card for my Dell XPS 400 system (Now called Dimension 9150 I believe). I know, I will build my next system :)

Currently I have the Radeon X600 (256mb) video card.
Intel Pentium D 830 (3GHz) w/Dual Core Technology
2GB DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz
256MB ATi Hyper Memory PCI-Express X16 (DVI/VGA/TV out) Radeon X600 SE

MAIN QUESTION: What is the best card that I can buy that will not be bottlenecked by my CPU?

1) I was thinking of something along the lines of 9800gt or 9800gtx2?
a) Or is that too much? 8800GT?
b) Or can I only use ATi cards?
2) Will they fit into the slot in the tower? From what I saw they should...?
3) Do I need to get more power?
IF so, I was thinking along the lines of this:
http://www.pcpower.com/products/description/Silencer_500_Dell/index.html - is that any good?
4) Would I need any kind of additional cooling/fan?

Thank you very much!

My Specs:

Intel Pentium D 830 (3GHz) w/Dual Core Technology
2GB DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz
256MB ATi Hyper Memory PCI-Express X16 (DVI/VGA/TV out) Radeon X600 SE

Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
OS Service Pack Service Pack 3
Internet Explorer 7.0.5730.11

CPU Type Unknown, 3000 MHz (3.75 x 800)
Motherboard Name Dell Inc. Dell DXP051
Motherboard Chipset Unknown
System Memory 2048 MB
BIOS Type Phoenix (01/08/07)

Video Adapter ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series Secondary (256 MB)
Video Adapter ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series (256 MB)
Monitor Plug and Play Monitor [NoDB] (T61165A4BAK6)

Audio Adapter Creative SB X-Fi [NoDB]

Video Adapter Properties
Device Description ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series Secondary
Adapter String ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series
Chip Type RADEON X600 Secondary (0x5B72)
DAC Type Internal DAC(400MHz)
Installed Drivers ati2dvag (
Memory Size 256 MB

Video Adapter Manufacturer
Company Name ATI Technologies Inc.
7 answers Last reply
More about 9800gt 8800gt advise
  1. Ps.....9800gt is a 8800gt with a few extra features.
  2. Let me give you a few tips....

    You will be upgrading fairly soon. I'm willing to bet within 6 months you'll be putting together a new system, if not sooner.

    Why not plan ahead?

    While the PC P&C 500W is an excellent power supply, it's not going to cover future needs very well. You really don't want to put good money into a quality unit only to replace it a few months later. I always buy PSUs to last through 3 builds.

    Likewise, your video card choice will be bottlenecked by your CPU, yes... but don't get one you will end up replacing.

    Corsair 750TX
    This is a very good PSU at a good price. PC P&C also has a 750W for just $10 (right now, on sale) more if you like, but the two are very similar quality.

    Sapphire 4850
    Buy one now. when you are ready to upgrade get a crossfire board. Buy a second 4850.
    The 4850 would be the next step beyond the 9800GT/8800GT, both in price and performance. So, I'm not suggesting anything too radical.
  3. Thank you Proximon, very good suggestions!

    My only concern is that I heard not all PSUs may fit into Dell systems, I have the Dell XPS 400.n Would the Corsair 750TX fit?

    Another thing, will my motherboard work with the Sapphire 4850? Dell is annoying to upgrade...
  4. If your board comes with a PCI-E slot it will run any PCI-E graphics card.

    That's a real shame on the PSU... Maybe you should give PC P&C a call or send an e-mail. Looks like the limiting factor is the length... but perhaps the screw holes are different or something.

    The Corsair, and all ATX PSUs are the same height and width.... yours just seems to be shorter than most in length.
  5. Go for 9800!!! Do yo want to know, WHY??? It has latest technology and more features and better gaming
  6. Would the PC P&C 500 be able to power the Sapphire 4850? Considering I might not be able to install any other PSUs, this might be a good choice if it is enough power for the 4850. I emailed P&C and am waiting for their reply.

    So I tried researching what I could get without acquiring a new PSU (my current is 400watt), Dell suggested this:
    VisionTEK Radeon HD 2600 PRO 512 MB DDR2 PCI Express Graphics Card

    It's complete crap from what I could gather, but would it be enough to hold me over for about a year? Would I be able to play Fallout 3 on decent settings? Or is this thing just not worth it?

    Thanks again for all the helpful tips!!
  7. I've been looking at a similar situation as you, Torkish. I have an XPS 400 with a Pentium D 2.8 CPU. I upgraded the original x300 a couple years ago with an XFX XXX 6800 GS, which is able to run Fallout fine on Medium settings on a 22 inch monitor at 1080 x 1600 with no AA and no AF. Still, I'm curious what graphics card I could upgrade to without changing anything else, including the power supply. From what I understand, Dell underrates their power supplies and the 375W that is included can easily power a 9800 or 8800 GT. I wouldn't mind being bottlenecked with a 4850 if I thought the Dell power supply could handle it, since I could always reuse it in my next system as Proximon recommends. The new 4830 is almost as good as the 4850, more on par with the 8800 GT. I'm not sure if the native power supply could run it either. It would need a 6-pin power adapter, according to what I've read. If you get PM'd with more info, or find a solution, please post it here. Good luck!
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