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HD 5850 Upgrade

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a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2010 5:24:12 PM

I've got a Dell XPS 420 with these components:

Core 2 Duo Q6600 CPU
4 GB RAM
ATI HD 2600 XT 512 MB GPU
Dell's Standard 375 W (ugh!) PSU

Most of my PC gaming is World of Warcraft and I've been having some performance issues and serious FPS slowdowns when turning up most settings- my bottleneck right now seems to be my GPU.

I'm going to replace it with an XFX HD 5850, while replacing the PSU with a 650 watt Corsair unit.

Has anyone completed a similar upgrade? Any glaring compatibility issues I may be missing?

More about : 5850 upgrade

a c 125 U Graphics card
January 25, 2010 5:31:15 PM

Nope should be peachy with that PSU, Make sure your Case has good ventilation, and also make sure the 5850 will fit in your case (Should be fine)
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January 25, 2010 5:35:21 PM

I have not made this upgrade but I can make some suggestions...

Make sure your motherboard has PCI-Express 2.0 lanes, because a quick search showed that most HD 2600's are AGP which is not compatible. As long as you have PCI-express slots, you should not have any issues. That said, when installing the new card, I would recommend getting rid of all previous drivers before installing the new card.

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January 25, 2010 5:48:09 PM

Save yourself some money...unless you plan on playing much more demanding games that WoW, all you need is a 4670 (for the most power efficient) or a 4850 (for the most powerful card your system can support) Those only cost $70 - $100 and more than enough to max out WoW.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
January 25, 2010 5:52:35 PM

The dell 375W PSU has 30A on the 12V rail. You could run a 4850/GTS250 just fine with this. You could probably run the 4870/GTX260 as well. (the 5770/5750 is also ok.) What resolution are you playing at?
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January 25, 2010 5:54:07 PM

Let me be clear about the above post (sorry for the double post).
4670...no need to change your power supply
4850...can probably get by with the 375w power supply, depending on its quality and age. The 2.4ghz quad isn't going to be able to get the potential out of a 5850, and you don't need that much power for WoW. If you play other more demanding games often enough, go with the 4850 and hold off buying the new psu until you are sure you need it. Otherwise, just get the 4670 and save yourself $300
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a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2010 6:39:18 PM

@ belial2k, check my sig, i cannot play WOW @ full settings and i have my Q6600 to 3.6 stable with my 4850 OC'd a little. Try not to lead others in a direction that you have never seen.

@ Beltzy, the Q6600 will definately support the 5850, hands down. Now, @ 2.4 ghz, it will work, but if you could overclock (which Dell usually disables) to 3.0 or higher, the 5850 would benefit more. Also, as others have mentioned, make sure that the 5850 will fit into your case and make sure the new PSU will fit into the case as well, Dell is known for making proprietary hardware so it'll only fit in a dell case.

In the end, if you ran the Q6600 @ stock 2.4 ghz and got the 4850, you would see a huge improvement, you would almost be able to hit complete max settings, but not quite. With the 5850 you will no doubt be able to hit max settings with the Q6600 @ 2.4 ghz.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 25, 2010 8:32:11 PM



Before the last expansion, you could say that, but even with my monster machine, there are places were FPS drop to 40ish. I have 5870's in Crossfire. From those in my guild, who also have fairly decent machines, tell me that they get 1 fps in the same areas with max settings.

I'm told that if you want high FPS, you just about have to disable shadows in WoW since the Liche King expansion.
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January 25, 2010 8:46:25 PM

The thing about shadows might be true...Most people I know don't set those at the highest. From what I've seen your average FPS is going to depend on things such as internet connection, server, and how many other people are in your area in the game just as much as it does your video card. That is why there are no definitive benchmarks on WoW which allow arguments like this to continue and everyone's anecdotal evidence is going to be subjective. What might be smooth gameplay to someone might be unplayable to someone else.
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January 25, 2010 9:00:07 PM

I went with a Corsair 650 HX specifically because the 750 HX was a larger unit and I was interested in the smaller size. That said... my PSU is MORE than enough for my single 5850 GPU. It's a quiet PSU.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 2:58:35 AM

I don't run this game but I did a google search and found out some stuff about the game as years pass. There was a patch that really put a hurt on cards that increased the shadow effects for one. The best information I found was MORE memory, a fast non-single core processor and believe it or not, a GTX280 with 2gigs of ram were the best combos for "slaying" that game. ( these were higher res benchies )
For you, the option of the 5850 and the new power supply would greatly enhance playability for you..... even with the goodies cranked up some..... shadows and draw distance. Good Choices. Let us know how it works out.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 7:27:43 PM

I was not being a dickhead about anything, just stating the facts. My machine does NOT choke one bit in fact, i am very happy with what i've got and what i use it for. I was simply stating the fact that WOW cannot be maxxed (shaders included) with the setup.

I am running no background apps, i do a fresh install of my OS every 9 months as well as cleaning any dust from within my case.



Ps. My resolution is 1650 x 1250 on a 22-inch monitor.
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January 26, 2010 8:21:49 PM

yeah, cpu's make no difference at all. So go ahead and get an old single core pentium to run that 5850. LOL....wow. You are the only person I've ever seen that thinks a 5850 will run the same on a 6600 as it would on an i5 or i7. Just look at the CPU charts to see the difference CPUs can make on gaming.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...
And you seem to take my original comments out of context. He had a desire to "turn up most settings". Since he obviously was playing with the video card he has, the 4850 will increase frame rates by approximately 5x over what he has now.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...
So based on that, I used the euphemism that he could "max out" the game with a 4850. I was trying to do the guy a favor and save him some money, but if you want him to go out and waste $300 more (between graphics and PSU) to get basically the same performance or a very slight gain, go ahead and stick with that advice. You would have him spend 4x as much to get a MAYBE 10% increase in performance.
I get most of customers who come to me after having dealt with people like you that would have them spend several times what they need to accomplish what they want.
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January 26, 2010 8:35:55 PM

Quote from jonpaul37 "i cannot play WOW @ full settings "
Quote from jonpaul37 "My machine does NOT choke one bit"

So who is being contradictory? I used the term "maxed out" in reference to the OPs question and desire to "turn up most settings". Not to mean literally running shadows, AA, AF, ect at the absolute max settings. In a later post I clarified exactly what I meant, and went on to list several other things that can affect Fps in a MMO.
I have had several customers over the past few months who have a Q6600 (it is a very common processor in OEMs) and wanted a video card they could run WoW with "maxed out" (once again the euphemism, not 100% literal) I've installed a 4850 or 4670 in almost every one. Not ONE person has had any complaints with the setup.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 9:44:17 PM

I still would never say maxed out. Heck, I actually can max out the game but don't. At 1920x1200, with maxed shadows, AA and ultra everything else, I still get dips in performance in areas.

Most would apreciate the honesty if you said they could max out all but shadows and AA.
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a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2010 1:34:42 PM

belial2k said:
yeah, cpu's make no difference at all. So go ahead and get an old single core pentium to run that 5850. LOL....wow. You are the only person I've ever seen that thinks a 5850 will run the same on a 6600 as it would on an i5 or i7. Just look at the CPU charts to see the difference CPUs can make on gaming.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...
And you seem to take my original comments out of context. He had a desire to "turn up most settings". Since he obviously was playing with the video card he has, the 4850 will increase frame rates by approximately 5x over what he has now.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...
So based on that, I used the euphemism that he could "max out" the game with a 4850. I was trying to do the guy a favor and save him some money, but if you want him to go out and waste $300 more (between graphics and PSU) to get basically the same performance or a very slight gain, go ahead and stick with that advice. You would have him spend 4x as much to get a MAYBE 10% increase in performance.
I get most of customers who come to me after having dealt with people like you that would have them spend several times what they need to accomplish what they want.


So here we go again, as you said above:

"wow. You are the only person I've ever seen that thinks a 5850 will run the same on a 6600 as it would on an i5 or i7. Just look at the CPU charts to see the difference CPUs can make on gaming."

I'm not sure, maybe others can assist in helping with this one, but, when did i every say that??? I was simply stating that the Q6600 can handle a 5850 no problem as it would! I have even taken the liberty of posting my post below explaining: (Underlined)

"@ Beltzy, the Q6600 will definately support the 5850, hands down. Now, @ 2.4 ghz, it will work, but if you could overclock (which Dell usually disables) to 3.0 or higher, the 5850 would benefit more. Also, as others have mentioned, make sure that the 5850 will fit into your case and make sure the new PSU will fit into the case as well, Dell is known for making proprietary hardware so it'll only fit in a dell case.

In the end, if you ran the Q6600 @ stock 2.4 ghz and got the 4850, you would see a huge improvement, you would almost be able to hit complete max settings, but not quite. With the 5850 you will no doubt be able to hit max settings with the Q6600 @ 2.4 ghz."


Also, I would be correct if i said that the 5850 would serve him well in the future as well. So, there is no harm in spending $300.00 on a 5850 that will work both now and in the future when the OP decides to upgrade to Phenom II or i5/7. Clearly a win/win here.. just saying.


Once again, WRONG!!!
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a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2010 1:54:37 PM

belial2k said:
Quote from jonpaul37 "i cannot play WOW @ full settings "
Quote from jonpaul37 "My machine does NOT choke one bit"

So who is being contradictory? I used the term "maxed out" in reference to the OPs question and desire to "turn up most settings". Not to mean literally running shadows, AA, AF, ect at the absolute max settings. In a later post I clarified exactly what I meant, and went on to list several other things that can affect Fps in a MMO.
I have had several customers over the past few months who have a Q6600 (it is a very common processor in OEMs) and wanted a video card they could run WoW with "maxed out" (once again the euphemism, not 100% literal) I've installed a 4850 or 4670 in almost every one. Not ONE person has had any complaints with the setup.



True, i cannot fully max out WOW @ full settings, i stick to my story, but i still get nice quality and have no complaints as my machine does not choke as you suggested in an earlier post. I never once said that i can play @ full settings or intended to play at full max settings as i know my video card cannot handle it. But is that the point? YOU originally said the following:

"all you need is a 4670 (for the most power efficient) or a 4850 (for the most powerful card your system can support) Those only cost $70 - $100 and more than enough to max out WoW."

I was merely stating the fact that it cannot be done. It was not until AFTER the fact that i had mentioned you were FALSE was it that you had changed your mind and stated the following: Thus contradicting yourself AFTER i called you out.

"The thing about shadows might be true...Most people I know don't set those at the highest. From what I've seen your average FPS is going to depend on things such as internet connection, server, and how many other people are in your area in the game just as much as it does your video card. That is why there are no definitive benchmarks on WoW which allow arguments like this to continue and everyone's anecdotal evidence is going to be subjective. What might be smooth game play to someone might be unplayable to someone else."


I feel bad for your customers...

As for your next post, here is my preemptive counter-post:

I'm sorry, all i heard was "Blah Blah Blah, I'm a dirty tramp!"
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a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2010 2:13:16 PM

@ Beltzy, just make sure that the 5850 & Corsair PSU will fit into the Dell XPS 420 and you will be fine. The 5850 will serve you well both now and in the future when you decide to upgrade.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 27, 2010 2:30:42 PM

Just get an HD5770 and keep your current PSU. It's several times better than your current card and will save you a boatload of money compared to HD5850.
What is your native resolution anyway? If it is under 1920x1080 I wouldn't even consider the HD5850.
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a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2010 5:22:25 PM

Thanks to everyone for the responses. I play on a 24" monitor (1920 x 1200 native res). It sounds like I could get a pretty solid increase in performance by going with a more modest card- HD 4670 all the way up to possibly a 4850 or 4870 with my current PSU (although I would be apprehensive to push for a 4850 or 4870 with the current PSU). I have decided to go ahead and go with the upgraded 650w PSU and the HD 5850. DirectX 11 support is a factor, but really I think in the long run it will the best solution should I end up OC'ing or making other upgrades. I'm looking for something that will keep me happy (i.e. not feeling the desire to upgrade again for at least a year or so) . This is within my pricerange and I'm comfortable with the amount. I appreciate the suggestions on the more value oriented approach, though.

I've done a little digging and any ATX PSU's should fit fine into the XPS 420 case, as should the 5850 (the old HD 2600 XT I've got in there now is actually longer).

I'll be installing in the next few days and will follow up with the results or any lessons learned.

** For WoW performance I'm looking more for graphics driven performance on spell details, etc in a raid setting moreso than in heavily populated areas like Dalaran. My performance now is most definitely bottlenecked by my GPU, as I get solid framerates when I turn all the sliders for graphical effects down. **
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a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2010 6:03:01 PM

Please post the results as i will be getting a 5850 or perhaps a 5870 in the next month or less.

Also, be sure to completely remove any old drivers for your current video card before installing the new ones for the 5850, best bet is to download driver sweeper from guru3d.com, then download the latest drivers for the 5850, then remove the old drivers via control panel or CCC, then boot up into safe mode to completely remove any lingering drivers for the 2900. Once you install the 5850, you can install the new drivers and you should be good to go.
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January 27, 2010 6:34:36 PM

If you have it in your budget then you will be very happy with the performance increase. You are going from a pinto to a corvette! Good luck with everything!

And just to clarify a couple of things that have been posted. When I said the 4850 was the most your current system could handle I was speaking of the PSU, not your processor. Of course you can "run" pretty much any video card with almost any cpu. When I said the cpu could not take full advantage of the card I meant exactly that. You are creating a slightly imbalanced system where the video card is much stronger than your cpu. That doesn't mean you can't upgrade your cpu in the future, and the PSU and 5850 should last you a very long time before you have any urge to upgrade them again.
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a b U Graphics card
January 30, 2010 3:10:22 PM

Alright,

I finished getting both items installed last night- the PSU install was significantly more painful than the card (yay slightly oddly sized dell products). The Dell PSU was less deep but taller so the standard sized Corsair unit leaves about a 1/4 inch strip of empty space in the case below it. Additionally, getting it positioned so the screw-holes would line up was a chore specifically because of the odd size of the slot that Dell created for their own PSU. The SATA connectors are all on the same cord on the Corsair unit, which made it tricky to hit both the CD Drive at the top of the case and the hard drive at the very bottom of the case, but it barely made the stretch with some tweaking. Dell's PSU had 2 separate cables with SATA connectors to address this difficulty. I think I can safely say that I most likely will not buy another Dell system in the future because of this, and either go independent buildier (ibuypower, cyberpowerpc, etc).

I waited to get the PSU sorted out to do the card replacement. Very quick and easy install, love the cased-in design that they borrowed from Nvidia. I haven't had a whole lot of time to get into it but so far I'm happy with the results. No big problems with the graphics card and the game performance has been great so far.

**WoW was running at 1920x1200 with all setting maxed (with the exception of shadows- not a good feature). I went to Skadi the Ruthless in Utgarde Pinnacle because that encounter has one of the more graphically intensive effects (the blue glittery ice mist) and I was getting 40-45 fps. This is compared to the 1-4 I would get with my old card. **

There most likely is not a noticeable difference in performance between the 5850 that I just installed or a 4870/4890 in a game like WoW, but the features it provides sold me on going above what's needed now (may pick up another 5850 and CF them for another build in the future).







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a c 175 U Graphics card
January 30, 2010 9:57:15 PM

LOL. 1-4FPS vs 40 huh? I bet your pretty happy.
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a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2010 2:43:27 AM

beltzy said:
Alright,

I finished getting both items installed last night- the PSU install was significantly more painful than the card (yay slightly oddly sized dell products). The Dell PSU was less deep but taller so the standard sized Corsair unit leaves about a 1/4 inch strip of empty space in the case below it. Additionally, getting it positioned so the screw-holes would line up was a chore specifically because of the odd size of the slot that Dell created for their own PSU. The SATA connectors are all on the same cord on the Corsair unit, which made it tricky to hit both the CD Drive at the top of the case and the hard drive at the very bottom of the case, but it barely made the stretch with some tweaking. Dell's PSU had 2 separate cables with SATA connectors to address this difficulty. I think I can safely say that I most likely will not buy another Dell system in the future because of this, and either go independent buildier (ibuypower, cyberpowerpc, etc).

I waited to get the PSU sorted out to do the card replacement. Very quick and easy install, love the cased-in design that they borrowed from Nvidia. I haven't had a whole lot of time to get into it but so far I'm happy with the results. No big problems with the graphics card and the game performance has been great so far.

**WoW was running at 1920x1200 with all setting maxed (with the exception of shadows- not a good feature). I went to Skadi the Ruthless in Utgarde Pinnacle because that encounter has one of the more graphically intensive effects (the blue glittery ice mist) and I was getting 40-45 fps. This is compared to the 1-4 I would get with my old card. **

There most likely is not a noticeable difference in performance between the 5850 that I just installed or a 4870/4890 in a game like WoW, but the features it provides sold me on going above what's needed now (may pick up another 5850 and CF them for another build in the future).



Glad you went with the 5850, it'll be a decent card for a couple years at least.


Also glad you went with Corsair for the PSU, they make solid brands that should last a while

Also glad you're not deciding to go with dell in the future, they just blatantly disrespect the general public! While iBuyPower or CyberPower PC are good companies, i would just build your own. it is no harder than replacing the power supply, well, it is, but i figure if you know how to do that, you can build your own PC in the future... Plus, you'll get to overclock as Dell usually does not allow for it.

Ps. WOW does not really support crossfire or SLI, they claim they do, but i tried a 4870 with a 4850 and got no benefit, then later i tried 2 x 4850, still no benefit.
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