Hi. New member here. I noticed alot of my google searches ended up taking me here so I finally decided on making an account.
Anyways, a while back I made the mistake of getting a Dell Inspiron 530s (slimcase) without a video card. That left me with a 250w psu and pretty much no room for upgrading. I didn't really plan on buying a new case/psu just to fit a gpu since I don't really do any gaming but, I recently, I've been really interested in running dual monitors.
I already bought the first LCD about a week ago. I assumed it'd be a while before I get the 2nd one but today Staples had a great deal on an Acer x213Hbid 21.5" which came upto $120 flat so I went for it. The same deal appeared at TigerDirect about 2 days ago but I missed out.
Both monitors will be coming within the week but I'll only be able to use one till I get a vid card (using onboard now), which means I'll also need a new case and psu. Here's the stuff I'm looking at:
How does all that look? When I shop from Newegg, I usually sort by reviews then go down from there based on price and what I need.
One thing I was wondering about the gpu is that there's one with the same exact specs, except the only difference is that it has 512mb instead of 1gb. What exacly does that affect? I'm not really much of a gamer, but I don't mind playing some old'ish ones. The thing I use most is a program for music production, and that's what's gonna benefit most from running dual monitors as I find myself extremely cramped when using it.
So before I order, is there anything I should know? Any other items I should look at first? The part I'm dreading most is transferring all the parts from this case to the new one...
For you any amount of ram will be fine. In modern gaming, 1GB is still only better in some games. For you, it will be more than sufficient. That card looks good. I personally like the radeon 4650 but that is opinion and not based on much.
Before you buy make sure your motherboard supports the card (ie, for that card it must have a pci express 2.0 slot). If you could give us your system specs using a program called CPU-z, or link us to your exact computer model online, we could help you make sure of that. If your computer does not support pci-e, you may need to look into an AGP card or a pci card
I would take the 500W PSU. It has more Amps on the +12V rails and it's cheaper. However, power supplies of a generic brand are often no good. I don't know anything about that brand.
The general rule of thumb is a high quality 500 to 550 watt power supply with sufficient current (amps) on the 12 volt rail(s) can easily power a system with any single video card made. A high quality 700 to 750 watt power supply with sufficient current (amps) on the 12 volt rail(s) can power a system with two video cards operating in dual mode. There are a few exceptions like the new ATI Radeon HD 5000 series cards which use less power due to their energy efficiency.
A high quality 500 to 550 watt psu will have a +12 volt rail rated at 40 amps. A high quality 700 to 750 watt psu will have a +12 volt rail rated at 60 amps.
Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, and Seasonic are some of the brands that have a reputation for high quality power supplies that consistently earn high marks in technical reviews. They are reliable, stable, and come with a 5 year warranty. Some of the newer models come with a 7 year warranty. Lately we've been seeing a few other brands offering some high quality units. An example would be the Antec Earthwatts series which is an improvement over Antec’s older series psu’s.