Can I upgrade my GPU?

Hello all,
I have a Gateway® FX6800-01e that's just over a year old now, and I'm just wondering if it would be possible to upgrade my graphics card to an HD 5850 1 GB. Here are my specs (I haven't upgraded or changed anything since I purchased it):

CPU: 2.67GHz Intel Core i7 920
Motherboard chipset:Intel X58
Memory:3GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics:512MB ATI Radeon HD 4850
Hard drives:750GB, 7,200 rpm
Optical drive:dual-layer DVD burner
Operating system:Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 (64-bit)

I'm pretty sure the current power supply is a 500 watt, but I'm not sure what brand/kind it is. Thanks for any help you can give.
13 answers Last reply
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  1. you'd need to find out what PSU you have.

    really, you need a good brand 550w or higher PSU to run a 5850.

    thats the only thing that would stop the upgrade at this point. if you can take a look inside the case and find out some more info on your PSU, we can tell you for sure if a 5850 will be compatible with it.
  2. It's most likely an OEM PSU. I'd recommend a Corsair 550Watt.
  3. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-graphics-card,2544-7.html

    I don’t recommend upgrading your graphics card unless the replacement card is at least three tiers higher. Otherwise, the upgrade is somewhat parallel and you may not notice a worthwhile difference in performance.

    1st Tier Up - 9800 GX2, GTX 260, GTX 275 HD 4870, HD 4890, HD 5770
    2nd Tier Up - GTX 280, GTX 285 HD 4850 X2, HD 5850
    3rd tier Up - GTX 295 HD 4870 X2, HD 5870
    4th Tier Up - HD 5970

    Is your MoBo capable of handling a 2nd 4850 (95 additional watts) ? That would be most bang for the buck.

    Does PSU have capacity ? Read the label. Check here to see what size you need:
    http://www.antec.outervision.com/PSUEngine

    Does PSU have another connector /

    http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-radeon-hd-4000/hd-4850/Pages/ati-radeon-hd-4850-system-requirements.aspx

    AMD says 550 watts minimum but a good quality 500 watter might be good enough.

    As to other cards and how useful they might be requires that you tell us monitor resolution.
  4. Jacknaylor....no....just...no...putting the 9800GX2 in the same chart as the GTX260/275/HD4870/HD5770/HD4890?
  5. Don't complain to me, not my chart..... tell THG :)

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-graphics-card,2544-7.html
  6. shadow187 said:
    Jacknaylor....no....just...no...putting the 9800GX2 in the same chart as the GTX260/275/HD4870/HD5770/HD4890?

    Did you not recently recommend a 9800GX2 over a GTX260?
  7. I think you take that chart a bit too literally. The difference between tiers is marginal in some cases and huge in others, the 3 tier suggestion certainly should not be taken as a rule. The HD5850 is approximately twice as powerful as an HD4850 and easily a worthy upgrade.
  8. JackNaylorPE said:

    Is your MoBo capable of handling a 2nd 4850 (95 additional watts) ? That would be most bang for the buck.


    while i don't exactly agree with the chart, I also think that a second 4850 would be a worthy choice, given that your mobo and psu can support it. 2 4850s in crossfire will definately outperform a 5850 (much cheaper, too). if you don't have a crossfire-ready mobo, you should really start answering these replies and tell us your psu so that we can say whether you can up grade to a 5850.
  9. peyman_tp said:
    2 4850s in crossfire will definately outperform a 5850 (much cheaper, too). if you don't have a crossfire-ready mobo, you should really start answering these replies and tell us your psu so that we can say whether you can up grade to a 5850.

    Crossfired HD4850s do not outperform a single HD5850, their performance is roughly equal. And that's at stock, the HD5850 OCs exceedingly well. An HD5850 also uses almost exactly the same power as an HD4850 so we don't need to know more about his PSU to know he can use one. We would need to know more to tell him if he can crossfire HD4850s however.
  10. Mousemonkey said:
    Did you not recently recommend a 9800GX2 over a GTX260?


    Not me , did shadow ?

    I quoted the THG chart and echoed the recommendation that one go three tiers up. Since that was $400 territory, I recommended a second 4850 in Xfire.
  11. JackNaylorPE said:
    No , did you ?

    I quoted the THG chart and echoed the recommendation that one go three tiers up. Since that was $400 territory, I recommended a second 4850 in Xfire.

    The question was directed at shadow187 which is why I quoted him and not you.
  12. Er... But why do you want to upgrade in the first place? Get DX11 or Eyefinity? More FPS'es? Changed your monitor to a bigger one?

    If you game on 1280x1024 or 1680x1050, the 4850 is still a very capable card IMO. A side upgrade for new features would be a 5770 (and some extra FPS'es) and a full upgrade would be a 5870 wich might require another PSU, since the 4850 uses a 6pin (75w ~ 6.1A on a +12V rail) connector and the 5870 uses 2x6pins connectors (150w).

    Cheers!
  13. JackNaylorPE said:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-graphics-card,2544-7.html

    I don’t recommend upgrading your graphics card unless the replacement card is at least three tiers higher. Otherwise, the upgrade is somewhat parallel and you may not notice a worthwhile difference in performance.

    1st Tier Up - 9800 GX2, GTX 260, GTX 275 HD 4870, HD 4890, HD 5770
    2nd Tier Up - GTX 280, GTX 285 HD 4850 X2, HD 5850
    3rd tier Up - GTX 295 HD 4870 X2, HD 5870
    4th Tier Up - HD 5970

    Is your MoBo capable of handling a 2nd 4850 (95 additional watts) ? That would be most bang for the buck.

    Does PSU have capacity ? Read the label. Check here to see what size you need:
    http://www.antec.outervision.com/PSUEngine

    Does PSU have another connector /

    http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-radeon-hd-4000/hd-4850/Pages/ati-radeon-hd-4850-system-requirements.aspx

    AMD says 550 watts minimum but a good quality 500 watter might be good enough.

    As to other cards and how useful they might be requires that you tell us monitor resolution.


    Do some analyzing, the upper tiers have much more distance than lower tiers because lower ones have older high-ends, medium middle-ranges, and new lower-ends saturating the tiers.
    The jump from a 5750 to 5850 (2 tiers) is obviously bigger than 3470 -> 3650(DDR2) (3 tiers).
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