OK, I've got a Dell XPS 410 (also called Dimension 9200) desktop that I'd love to replace with a homebuilt system but I just dont have the cash at the moment.
These are the specs:
Core2 Duo E6400 @ 2.13GHz
2 x 1GB of (slow) DDR2 RAM
Nvidia Geforce 7900 GS
RAID0 2 x 160 HD
-Running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
As I can't afford a whole new system I thought I'd bump up the GPU and perhaps add a bit more RAM.
My uses are light gaming (I would like to be able to run MW2 on medium settings) and 3d modelling (mainly using sketchup)
I was thinking about a Ati 5670. Is this a good choice? I know you can get 4850 and 4870 cards for similar money but I'm not keen on this for 2 reasons:
-my GPU is only 350 Watts so these cards would probably overload it.
-I would like a recent card which has Directx 11 and low power consumption and HDMI that I might use in the future on a new PC build.
What do you think? Is the 5670 a good card? I also consider a 4770 but they are quite hard to come by these days.
Your CPU speed is a little slow, and that is going to inhibit what kind of videocard power you can actually utilize. That said, the 5670 might be the upper limit on performance return on investment.
I would second your choice of 5670, depending on the resolution you want to use while gaming. If you want to run 1920x1080 or higher, a bump up to a 5770 would be useful, but your willingness to turn down the settings could make a 5670 very usable for you. There is also the concern that the 5770 would be too limited by the CPU to justify the expense, and overtax the PSU.
You might see an improvement, you might not. Planning for a 4gb kit upgrade is probably a good idea, if your motherboard supports it, but ddr2 prices are climbing with the common adoption of DDR3 in the market, so the cost of upgrading that much might be prohibitive compared to saving for a new build.
It's not on the chart linked above but falls a little short of the HD4670.
More RAM comes in handy if you multitask. If you can afford it I'd say go for a 2x2Gb setup unless you can exactly match what is currently installed for a 4x1Gb setup, not every motherboard likes to have all its slots populated and some can be picky about mixing memory speeds/type/layout.
Thanks coozie, i must have been misreading the charts and recommendations for the 7900gs, and probably knew it, thus why I called out for a correction, hah. I based it mostly off the recommended psu, which is higher than the 5750, but that was a long time ago in a different world of PC components.