Single slot graphics

Hello,

I have an ageing Dell Dimension 5150 which has a BTX or micro-ATX motherboard.

Current specs are:
Intel Pentium D 920 2.8 GHz 4MB L2
1GB RAM
7600GT 256MB

I play a lot of old game in addition to COD4 and MW2. Even though my computer is obviously very out of date, I have had no problems playing MW2 at 1680x1050 and don't feel that I am at a significant disadvantage.

Recently I bought a 1080p monitor now so naturally I want to be able to drive it at its native resolution.

The case only supports a single-slot graphics card and I think the power supply is fairly rubbish (probably only about 350w?).

Would it be worth me upgrading the graphics card to something like a single slot 260 or 9800GT? Would upgrading the graphics make much of a difference or is it the RAM and processor that is holding it back?

I can't really justify replacing the whole computer when I don't really game very often - my computer for general use is a 21.5" iMac.
9 answers Last reply
More about single slot graphics
  1. Hello!

    I would advise on getting another gig of ram at least first. The additional memory should help out more IMO. Most cards now a days should be put on at least a 500 watt PSU (I overcompensate, they could probably be OK on a 400 or 450, but I HATE the idea of underpowering my parts).

    Even though you don't game very often, building a cheap gaming rig isn't a bad idea, especially if you buy one part at a time over a few months. Should only run you like 4-5 hundred and you'll be set for another 2 years.
  2. borisof007 said:
    Hello!

    I would advise on getting another gig of ram at least first. The additional memory should help out more IMO. Most cards now a days should be put on at least a 500 watt PSU (I overcompensate, they could probably be OK on a 400 or 450, but I HATE the idea of underpowering my parts).

    Even though you don't game very often, building a cheap gaming rig isn't a bad idea, especially if you buy one part at a time over a few months. Should only run you like 4-5 hundred and you'll be set for another 2 years.


    Thanks for the reply :)

    I think if I were to build my own gaming rig I would end up spending too much money - a little bit extra here, something a little better there.

    I play quite a few old strategy games like Age of Empires 2 and a few old FPS games like AVP2. MW2 is the exception really. I kind of think that maybe I should just wait until a game comes along that I really like the look of and then just go all out and build a decent rig.

    Still though, if there were a single slot graphics card with HDMI not too expensive, better than my 7600GT and suitable with my PSU then that would be cool. I'm not entirely averse to replacing my PSU if it comes to it, but do you think upgrading the RAM would make a bigger difference?
  3. There is a single-slot HD5670 which would provide a very nice upgrade to your graphics, and doesn't need a power connector, so your existing PSU could handle it.
    I also agree with borisof007 that adding another GB of RAM would do a lot for your overall performance. Check your existing configuration first though; you probably have two RAM slots, both currently filled. You'd need to buy a 2x1GB kit, most likely DDR2-800 or DDR2-667.
  4. Perhaps something like this GT240 with HDMI, single slot, 300w power supply, $55 after rebate.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130529

    Also another option is the 5670 $120
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150467

    Graphic card hierarchy chart so you can compare to your existing 7600GT

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card-radeon-hd-5870-geforce-gtx-480,2621-6.html

    Current game benchmarks with the GT240
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gt-240,2475-7.html

    5670 benchmarks
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5670,2533.html
  5. That's the one (the hd5670 he linked).
  6. Onus said:
    There is a single-slot HD5670 which would provide a very nice upgrade to your graphics, and doesn't need a power connector, so your existing PSU could handle it.
    I also agree with borisof007 that adding another GB of RAM would do a lot for your overall performance. Check your existing configuration first though; you probably have two RAM slots, both currently filled. You'd need to buy a 2x1GB kit, most likely DDR2-800 or DDR2-667.


    Anonymous said:
    Perhaps something like this GT240 with HDMI, single slot, 300w power supply, $55 after rebate.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130529

    Also another option is the 5670 $120
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150467

    Graphic card hierarchy chart so you can compare to your existing 7600GT

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card-radeon-hd-5870-geforce-gtx-480,2621-6.html

    Current game benchmarks with the GT240
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gt-240,2475-7.html

    5670 benchmarks
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5670,2533.html


    Thanks for all the info! That 5670 seems like an excellent bargain! From the benchmarks it seems much better than the 7600GT i've got at the moment. I will be sure to upgrade the RAM as well. I have 4 slots (2x512MB in there at the minute) so I'll get another 2GB to go in there I think. Not to keen on passing the 3GB threshold as I'm on WinXP 32bit. Should I upgrade to 7 with the 5670 or not bother?
  7. You can install 4GB with 32bit WinXP; you'll only get to use ~3.25GB of it, but it won't cause any problems.
    Unless you have a specific reason, you needn't feel compelled to upgrade to Win7 yet. If you ever get a SSD though, your reason would be that Win7 supports the TRIM command, which would keep that SSD running near its new peak.
  8. Onus said:
    You can install 4GB with 32bit WinXP; you'll only get to use ~3.25GB of it, but it won't cause any problems.
    Unless you have a specific reason, you needn't feel compelled to upgrade to Win7 yet. If you ever get a SSD though, your reason would be that Win7 supports the TRIM command, which would keep that SSD running near its new peak.


    Many thanks.

    One last question, with regard to graphics cards, how do I know whether it requires an additional connection from the PSU? I installed an aftermarket Zalman fan to my 7600GT that required a connector but I'm not sure if the card itself does.

    Once again, thanks guys for all your help.
  9. There will be a 6-pin connector on it (or an 8-pin for more power-hungry cards, or TWO 6-pin connectors). Look at some pics of cards on Newegg. Almost always, if a graphics card needs auxiliary power and you don't connect it, a piezo buzzer on the card will scream at you; you won't be able to miss it.
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