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GFX and PSU on a budget

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 12, 2009 12:59:25 AM

I recently picked up a used Dell to replace my ancient tank. At first I was figuring on just slapping in a new graphics card and being able to play some games. unfortunately, the stock PSU on this thing is 305w and apparently isn't good enough for anything. Hopefully the other specs wont be too much of a bottleneck with a decent GFX card

Dell Dimension E510
3ghz Pentium D 930 (dual core)
1gb ram
1 PCIe 16x port

So now I need a new GFX card and a new PSU to support it. Where to begin? I really don't have that much money to throw around, and looking around power supplies have like tripled in cost since i last built a computer. where can I get a decent deal on a PSU? and what kind to get?

how much am I looking to spend on a graphics card that can play games like Left 4 Dead or Team Fortress 2 well? (I don't need top-of-the-line but I want something that'll run current stuff with med-high settings). and again which kind? I'd prefer nvidia but even there the numbers aren't any help. all the damn GT's and SE and superclocked don't help, nor does the fact that the numbers are seemingly meaningless (such and such 8xxx is better than such and such 9xxx).

heeeelp

More about : gfx psu budget

a c 194 U Graphics card
June 12, 2009 1:05:48 AM

What resolution are you going to be playing at? Since you only have 1 PCI-E slot that means that crossfire is out of the question so you are definitely looking at a single card solution. How much are you willing to spend?
June 12, 2009 1:26:00 AM

Well I guess I'm 'willing' to spend whatever it takes but obviously I want to get out the door having spent as little as possible. I don't need huge resolutions but like I said I don't want to get something that's just going to barely squeak by with everything turned down. 1440x900 is the lowest 16:10 (my monitor's AR) res my monitor can do, but i can go lower if thats asking too much
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a c 235 U Graphics card
June 12, 2009 2:10:23 AM

1. your motherboard is not an ATX board, its a BTX board, so the linked PSU will not work for you.
2. I ran a 9800GT on that Dell 305w PSU (as do many dell owners). So you can run any of the following cards without a PSU upgrade and get good gaming performance.
Nvidia 9600GT, 9800GT, ATI 4670, 3870, 4770, 4830.
3. if you want to upgrade your PSU, you need this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


P.S. get an extra GB of ram
June 12, 2009 2:13:57 AM

^ It should be upgradable to a normal ATX PSU even though the design is BTX. On a E521 many people have upgraded their PSU. The case is somewhat similar.
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 12, 2009 2:31:58 AM

i have a E521, and I did upgrade the PSU after installing a new cpu and gpu
June 12, 2009 2:52:12 AM

Cool. That Corsair is very similar to the PCP&C so it might work fine.
June 12, 2009 2:57:16 AM


I don't think I can use this one, since the motherboard is 'backwards', and the double-tall cooler thing wouldn't fit because it'd run into the massive CPU cooler

Quote:
2. I ran a 9800GT on that Dell 305w PSU (as do many dell owners). So you can run any of the following cards without a PSU upgrade and get good gaming performance.
Nvidia 9600GT, 9800GT, ATI 4670, 3870, 4770, 4830.


links to a 9800GT that doesn't need a 6-pin connector (same with the 9600, 4830, still looking)? the PSU doesn't have one nor does it have any extra 4pins to use an adapter with.

If i can get a new, suitably powerful GFX card that will work in this system without a new PSU, i would love that, but what would be the best one this thing can handle?
a c 194 U Graphics card
June 12, 2009 3:17:09 AM

A 4670 still needs a 400 Watt power supply even though it gets all of its power out of the PCI-E slot, the lower power 9600GT only requires a 300 Watt power supply so that is your only real choice if you really dont want to upgrade your power supply.
June 12, 2009 3:22:08 AM

and how will the 9600 handle current games? the two i'm really itching to try but haven't been able to due to shitty comp are team fortress 2 and left 4 dead, although I'm hoping for something that will "last" a little while. does 'power saving' = 'lol LITE edition" with poor specs? :/ 
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 12, 2009 3:39:38 AM

hunter315 said:
A 4670 still needs a 400 Watt power supply even though it gets all of its power out of the PCI-E slot, the lower power 9600GT only requires a 300 Watt power supply so that is your only real choice if you really dont want to upgrade your power supply.


you are wrong, again, as I have stated the dell 305w power supply is under rated and can run a standard 9800GT which draws far more power then the 4670. Check the dell community forum, plenty of people use that power supply to run a 4830 & 9800GT as have I.



a c 235 U Graphics card
June 12, 2009 3:41:33 AM

Cactuschef said:
and how will the 9600 handle current games? the two i'm really itching to try but haven't been able to due to shitty comp are team fortress 2 and left 4 dead, although I'm hoping for something that will "last" a little while. does 'power saving' = 'lol LITE edition" with poor specs? :/ 


the 9600GT can run any current game on medium settings.

Valve does an excellent job of having great graphics in their games without needing the latest and greatest computer gear. So Half-Life2, team fortress2, left 4 dead, can all be played on high setting with a 9600GT or 4670.

yes the 9600GT gets clocked down some to meet the low power requirement.
June 12, 2009 3:46:59 AM

Okay, but among those cards;

1. how can I tell what kind of performance i'm going to be looking at? it's nigh impossible to find reviews that reference one of the games I'm looking for, and refer to the same version of the card i'm looking at buying.
2. which 'company' version of the card should I get? even between those two cards there's like a dozen different versions

thanks for all the help btw. Years ago when I built my previous rig i was up on all the hardware but after losing track for 5+ years I have no idea what's going on. YOU KIDS TODAY AND YOUR DUAL PROCESSORS


edit:

3.
Quote:
yes the 9600GT gets clocked down some to meet the low power requirement.


so is the 9600 a better card even after clocking down than the 4670? (it's more expensive on newegg anyway)
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 12, 2009 3:53:32 AM

it makes no difference, some come with a free game, xfx and evga have solid reputations and warranties. Asus and gigabyte make sold cards also. I linked two above.
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 12, 2009 4:01:14 AM

the energy efficient 9600GT and 4670 are equal in performance, I personally like Nvidia but ATI has made some great cards lately including the 4670. If price is the issue, get the cheaper one.
June 12, 2009 5:05:57 AM

nah personally i prefer nvidia as well, I've had good ATI cards in the past but i've had many more issues with their drivers and whatnot as well. Thanks for the assistance, I'm gonna grab ma a 9600 :D 
!