USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: On the high end, gaming. Crysis, Metro 2033, GTA IV, all at full settings. Give me that and the rest of my needs follow.
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Irrelevant. I'll ensure I'll have the necessary power requirements.
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: As stated in the subject: Dell Precision 470 with dual 3.6Ghz Xeon dual core CPU's and 4GB RAM.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Cheapest, which is usually NewEgg.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: None
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not capable. The 470 only has a single x16 PCI Express slot.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Native LCD 1280x1024
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Highest performing card in single card configuration. I also need verification of whether or not this system supports 2.0 devices. Dell's support site doesn't seem to state either way.
That PC has a 550W PSU, so you should be pretty good on power. It can probably handle everything up to a 5870 but it may not be long enough for it. You probably don't need more than a 5770 though- especially for 1280x1024.
I did some more research and I think I have discovered that the 470 utilizes a PCI Express 1.0 architecture. The reason I wasn't able to find any information from Dell manuals is the same reason people didn't call WWI by a "number". When it's the first, you don't KNOW there's going to be a "sequel". They don't call it PCI Express 1.0 in the manuals, as there was no 2.0 specification yet. I did some research on Wikipedia and learned the 2.0 specification was implemented in early 2007. Since the 470 was sold in the 2004 time frame, it is safe to assume it is PCI Express 1.0.
Given that information, would a 5770, or even the inexpensive 4850, give me any appreciable performance? What level of overall performance do I lose on strictly the extra 250MB/s (per lane) from the 1.0 spec of 250MB/s verses the 2.0 spec of 500MB/s? Does the bus clock speed increase from the 1.0 spec of 2.5Ghz verses the 2.0 spec of 5.0Ghz make a huge difference?
At the level of the 4850 or 5750/5770, you will not notice a single difference. Its like running them in a PCI-e 2.0 x8 slot instead of x16- they've not shown any significant difference in anything below the very high-end cards. No issue there;-)
Just when I think I've found all the necessary information, something contrary appears. In one of the Dell manuals for the 470, in the system specifications section, it outlines the various connector slots. In this system, 1 x PCI Express x16, 1 x PCI Express x8 (only x4 operation), 1 x PCI-X, 1 x PCI. It states "x16 slot bidirectional speed is 80Gbps", yet on the Wikipedia page it states the capacity on 16 lane slot, 2.0 spec, is 8MB/s. What the heck is Dell talking about? 80Gbps or 10MB/s isn't even a spec'd speed. Did they create some kind of proprietary capacity? The manual also states the x16 bus wattage at 150w, but I don't see any information related to that on the Wikipedia page. I guess that measurement isn't as important as those devices usually have external power connectors anyway.
I wouldn't worry about it. It will work whatever the case.It does seem a little odd (BTW- 80Gbps is 10GB/s and the PCI-E 2.0 x16 spec is 8GB/s). they might have made a typo of some sort, but it doesn't really matter. Its a PCI-E x16 slot and will work, no matter the type.
Hey guys.., so i just got precision 470... and want to get a video card with HDMI output. Been reading yours and other posts and getting completely lost.
Which interface should I be searching for PCI express 1.0, 2.0, 2.1 or x16? Or are x16 and 1.0 the same? Sorry for the primitive questions.. but the last time I built my own machine was in 2004. Thanks!!!