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Upgrading my Dell XPS410's graphics card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 17, 2009 11:27:18 PM

Hey all

I have a Dell XPS 410, my old graphics card is a Geforce 7900 GS 256 mb. It finally died, but I needed an excuse to buy a new video card anyways.

I really want to get an ATI Radeon HD 4890 1 GB card, but don't know if my computer is compatible. Is it?

I know for a fact there are no 6 pin PCI-e connectors (it needs two of them...) Can you convert a different kind of PCI-e connector or not?

Assuming it's not compatible, what are my options? I don't want to spend a ton of money... Thanks guys.
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 12:10:33 AM

Ok, I have several 410's at work that have been upgraded lately.... The psu that you have is 375w and its not considered reliable when you decide to upgrade the video card.

I would suggest that you upgrade the PSU if you are thinking of buying a 4890. With the stock specs of that pc, you will end up bottlenecking anything over a GTX260 as far as Nvidia goes and a 4870 (1GB) Ati.....

The RAM on the 410 maxes out at 667MHZ, meaning if you still have the stock RAM, you will be better off buying 2 sets of this before you upgrade the GPU :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Since your parents are most likely not to buy both the PSU and card at the same time, I would recommend going with a 4850 as opposed to the much more expensive 4890 for now and since you saved some cash try convincing them to get at least a 500w PSU.

This one is perfect for the 410 :

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

comes with 2 6 pin connectors..... hope this helps.......
a c 365 U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 12:15:21 AM

Your Dell XPS 410 only has a 375w PSU and it too weak to power a HD 4890.

The most powerful card I will recommend is the HD 4770 which uses roughly 55w of power compared to roughly 130w that the HD 4890 consumes. Any HD 4770 you buy should come with a molex / 6 pin adapter.
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a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 12:20:02 AM

The stock PSU comes with a 6 pin connector, just FYI.....
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 12:36:43 AM

OvrClkr said:
The psu that you have is 375w and its not considered reliable when you decide to upgrade the video card.

It's not ?
Funny, the 410 was sold with the 8800GTX as an upgrade option.
4890 on the 375w, no, but a 4850 or even 4870 wouldn't be a problem.
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 12:51:23 AM

Negative Sir, the 410 is just like all the other Dell's . When you buy one you can change (upgrade) any parts while you build it online or on the phone. Meaning if you went with a more powerfull GPU that would require a more powerfull PSU then they would ship the pc with a 450w or 550w depending on what GPU you purchased.

When I purchased a couple of 410's back in 07, the first one came with a 375w PSU and an ATi x300 video card, the second one came with another 375w and a 1600XT and the the third one came with a 450w and a 8800GTX.

a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 12:56:08 AM

delluser1 said:
It's not ?
Funny, the 410 was sold with the 8800GTX as an upgrade option.
4890 on the 375w, no, but a 4850 or even 4870 wouldn't be a problem.


I would not buy a 4870 and pair it up with a 22$ 375w el cheapo PSU. I take care of my hardware....
July 18, 2009 12:56:30 AM

Ok guys thanks for the quick responses.

Couple things.

My parents aren't buying this for me actually (dunno where you got that idea hahaha but whatever)

So... all I need to get is that new PSU and two sticks of 2 GB RAM and then the video card?

Excuse my ignorance but isn't that RAM you linked me OvrClrk still maxed at 667Mhz (and would thus still bottleneck the HD 4890)? That's what it looks like it said in the specs at least.

Also... it looks like the brand of HD 4890 I was going to go with (Sapphire) actually ships with a 6 pin and 8 pin. Is there a PSU with that config... or... even better one with 2 6s and one 8?

Dell told me my motherboard would not support that video card (because it didn't have a six pin connector). Were they just flat out wrong? Do I not need to worry about upgrading the motherboard at all in this? (I'm almost a complete hardware newb so bear with me please)

Also would you guys suggest I upgrade my processor? Would having the original processor severely limit the power of my GPU? What processor would you recommend?

Finally... I hear this card (the HD 4890) is really hot, do I need to worry about adding an extra fan or upgrading the heatsink or something?

Thanks a lot. Would love to get in the newegg order by the end of today :) .
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 12:58:27 AM

Dell only offered the 410 with the 375 watt psu, the next gen XPS420 was when they started doing psu upgrades according to the card that was chosen at the time of purchase and that was a 425 watt unit.
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 1:02:58 AM

I will not sidetrack this thread, so we will leave it at that........
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 1:04:57 AM

noxnoctum said:


Dell told me my motherboard would not support that video card (because it didn't have a six pin connector). Were they just flat out wrong? Do I do I need to worry about adding an extra fan or upgrading the heatsink or something?


Yes they were, the motherboard will support it, though it is only PCIE 1.0.
Upgrading the heatsink would take some modification.
An extra fan or 2 on the back grill will help with heat.
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 6:03:47 AM

OvrClkr said:
I would not buy a 4870 and pair it up with a 22$ 375w el cheapo PSU. I take care of my hardware....


Dell PSUs are very much underrated (other companies tend to overrate their PSUs) and they are fairly good.
Their power supply is one of the few rock solid components in a Dell computer.
a c 236 U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 6:09:10 AM

like the others have said, DELL uses solid PSU but I would not run a 4890 on your 375w. The cheapest solution would be to get a 4850 or 4870, either card would be a large improvement over your 7900GS.

If your heart is set on the 4890, then you need a new PSU.

Plus if you are gaming on a 20 inch LCD or smaller, you don't really need a 4890 or even 4870.
a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 7:25:34 PM

Ok so here is the reason I posted that in the first place.

As far as the 4870 goes, and i will take the this 4870 as an example :

SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors recommended....

Now, I will not argue as far as the wattage goes cause I know one of you are going to be tempted to pull out the PSU Calc. and keep the argument going.

The card needs dual 6 pin connectors and as it clearly states it on the manufacturers website, the Egg, TD, overclockers club, even on this website....

IMO converting a molex to a 6 pin connector is not the correct solution as far as the 4870. Of course anything under the 4870 should work fine, again this is my opinion and others might not agree.....

a b U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 8:40:03 PM

OvrClkr said:


IMO converting a molex to a 6 pin connector is not the correct solution as far as the 4870. Of course anything under the 4870 should work fine, again this is my opinion and others might not agree.....

I agree with this, but most manufacturers do provide the molex to PCIE adapter, and it's probably better than Dell's method of using a PCIE "Y" splitter ( That's how they powered the 8800GTX off of the 375)
!