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What is the best graphics card without having a bottleneck?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
February 18, 2009 2:46:26 AM

i have a dell optiplex gx620 p4 3.2ghz with 2gb of ddr2 ram and have 1 pcie X16 slot. I would like to upgrade my graphics card but i have no idea what card to buy. I would like to get a card that can play the orange box etc on highest and play some of the newer games as well on as high graphics as possible (new games i mean like CoD 4, Crysis, bioshock etc). I'm not sure about my psu and it's specs but it was what came with the dell so should be stock. thanks in advance!
a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2009 11:04:12 AM

You probably have a horrible 350 Watt PSU then, and have an obsolete CPU. Try a 4350/4370, but I doubt your CPU is powerful enough to drive even that...

Your at the point where a CPU upgrade should take priority.
February 18, 2009 8:52:52 PM

i'm not all that clued up when it comes to specifications of some parts of the computer so be patient :p  but what's wrong with my cpu? It's a pentium 4 processor that is capable of hyperthreading.... not sure about the psu though. If this psu is really that bad i've got another one which is over 400W that i could replace it with
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February 18, 2009 9:06:02 PM

just looked at the psu. it's 280W :(  but i do have a 400W that i could possibly replace it with. It looks like it will fit. Well i used to play HL2, Counter strike etc on a 2.8Ghz pentium 4 with an geforce 5200 AGP card so anything better than that is an upgrade for me :D 
a c 86 U Graphics card
February 18, 2009 9:14:37 PM

HD4670 (or 4650) would be a good choice, it uses so little power it doesn't need any extra pcie-power connectors and should still run those games (except crysis) at decent frames, maybe not maxed but with some eye-candy. And your cpu shouldn't hold it back too much to be noticeable...

I think gamerk316 went bit too extreme on the cpu bottlenecking, your cpu is old and outdated yes, but it ain't that bad :) 
February 18, 2009 9:18:45 PM

if i upgraded the psu to the 400W would i be able to go for something a bit heavier on power still without getting bottlenecked or would the HD4670 be my limit?
February 18, 2009 9:20:33 PM

Your cpu is like 4 years old, thats a lifetime in computer hardware.
I'd upgrade both cpu and gpu if I were you. Crysis on Pentium 4 is close to impossible.

I'd get something like 4850 depending on budget and the E5200 intel cpu(make sure you actually have a LGA 775 socket of course) and overclock the cpu.

Btw. you can't spell hyperthreading without hype.
a c 190 U Graphics card
February 18, 2009 9:21:29 PM

+1 KARI.
We`re seeing quite a few Dell owners looking for exactly this type of upgrade and either the 4650 or the faster 4670 will run on your system with its existing psu.
That setup should run all Source games well enough, Bioshock will run but I`m not
sure about Crysis!
February 18, 2009 9:21:44 PM

Brendy said:
if i upgraded the psu to the 400W would i be able to go for something a bit heavier on power still without getting bottlenecked or would the HD4670 be my limit?

Depends on the PSU. Dell PSUs are quite good.
February 18, 2009 9:23:01 PM

yea i thought it was a gimmick. budget is rather tight at the moment. i'm also stuck with a crt monitor so crysis is probably out of the picture all together then. i can't afford a dual core cpu unfortunately because they go for about $250+ AUD
February 18, 2009 9:25:12 PM

Brendy said:
i'm also stuck with a crt monitor so crysis is probably out of the picture all together then.

Crysis will work on a CRT...
February 18, 2009 9:29:13 PM

but unfortunately probably not with my current setup. i'm sure i could run it on 800X600 :p 
February 18, 2009 10:21:26 PM

Your PSU is junk, and so is your CPU. Your system FSB is slooooooooooooow.
February 18, 2009 10:28:28 PM

haha not as slow as my last computer which i had up until a few days ago. pentium 4 2.8GHz, 1gb SD ram. geforce fx5200 gfx card. THAT was slow. but i do accept donations.....
a c 270 U Graphics card
February 18, 2009 11:01:50 PM

A simple way to find out what you can do is to look at your psu specs. They should be on a label on the unit. Look for the 12v+ amp rating. Also look for how many pci-e 6 pin connectors it has.
If there are none, a card like the 4670 is about as good as you can do, powered only by the pci-e slot.
If there is one 6-pin connector, you could probably use a 4850.

Any card will do much better than integrated graphics. I assume you have no card now.
A P4 @3.2 should run any of the above just fine.
If a game is particularly demanding like crysis, you can turn off some of the eye candy, or run it at a lower resolution.

A cheap performance upgrade is to increase ram to 3 or 4 gb.
February 18, 2009 11:28:34 PM

there is a six pin connector. would i get bottle necked if i use a 4850? Ram would probably be something i could afford to upgrade. thanks for the help everyone!
a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2009 11:41:36 PM

4670 would be the way to go. You can play crysis at med settings.
February 18, 2009 11:46:05 PM

ok looks like a 4670 it is! thanks guys:D