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ATI Graphics Card for SC2 with 460 W

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August 15, 2010 11:39:33 PM

Hi,

I have a fairly new Dell Studio XPS 7100 and I was thinking about getting a new graphics card as I've been told by a local company store that it is bottle-necking my system. My primary interest for the graphics card is gaming--particularly starcraft 2. I can run the game on medium but I find it is optimal on low. I believe I have a 460 W power supply as googling my comp. model showed most XPS computers with that spec. I have an AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8 GHz processor and I've been told that ATI cards will perform better with this rig.

With that provided, what would be an ideal graphics card under $150 that I could buy which would allow me to run SC2 in high or maybe even ultra graphics under current wattage and have it be safe? Is it essential to update the power supply with the graphics card? The computer is using the stock graphics card currently, which is an ATI Radeon HD 4200. Obviously Dell advertised this as excellent but I don't think it's that good and an upgrade might help.

Best,

Mo

a c 235 U Graphics card
August 16, 2010 12:01:36 AM

you got a lot of bad advise and i would just toss it all out the window

SC2 only uses two CPU cores so basically you are playing it with dual core @ 2.8ghz
the HD4200 is not a graphics card but rather an integrated chip. I'm shocked you managed to play the game at medium settings. its a credit to blizzard making the game scalable.

SC2 prefers Nvidia cards and Intel processors but any ATI/Nvidia will both work just as well in your machine (it really depends on the card itself). here is basic hardware info on the game.
http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan...

i would do three things with your current rig.
1) OC your CPU to 3.2ghz+. The athlon II run cool and OC very well
2) get an ATI 5770 ($150 on newegg). The Nvidia GTS250 ($110) is a budget alternative. Both play SC2 about the same but the ATI 5770 is an over-all better card. Either card will work fine with your PSU.
3) avoid the local company store. they are there to help themselves clear out their own stock to make a profit, they are not their to help you out.


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August 16, 2010 2:30:50 AM

Thank you for the reply. As you may have guessed, I'm a noob at these things.

A few quick questions:

1) What is OC and how do I do it?

2)Will either of the aforementioned graphics card require me to get other equipment to ensure it doesn't overheat or can they just go in by themselves?

3) The reason I was given to lean towards ATI was that AMD had purchased them or something along those lines. Even given that, will an Nvidia card work just as well?

Thanks a lot in advance.
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a c 171 U Graphics card
August 16, 2010 2:49:30 AM

dont worry about OC (overclocking) your CPU, its not really needed, and not advised if you have never done it before (it will cause problems if you dont know what your doing, do a lot of research before you do this). the ATI 5770 is the best choice, lower power consumption and less heat than the GTS250, and is overall faster, and supports DX11. Its always a good idea to have 1 case exhaust fan, if it doesn't already have one. a Nvidia card will work just as well, but they offer nothing to compete with the ATI 5770 in its price range.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
August 16, 2010 3:18:18 AM

holyschemp said:
Thank you for the reply. As you may have guessed, I'm a noob at these things.

A few quick questions:

1) What is OC and how do I do it?

2)Will either of the aforementioned graphics card require me to get other equipment to ensure it doesn't overheat or can they just go in by themselves?

3) The reason I was given to lean towards ATI was that AMD had purchased them or something along those lines. Even given that, will an Nvidia card work just as well?

Thanks a lot in advance.


don't worry about being a noob, you already know more then iamthecroweloser

1) OC is overclocking, making your CPU perform at a faster level. See this videos for info on using AMD's ap and going through BIOS. there are also plenty of helpful people in toms OC forum who can show you how go through your BIOS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p7HB9OMJSs&feature=rela...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a7AxZJ7tWc&feature=rela...

2) both should be fine in terms of temps as neither is really a hot card.

3) it really depends on the performance of the card but I have used Nvidia video cards with AMD processors for years. They work just fine.
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August 17, 2010 4:07:15 AM

One more quick question--Before investing in a graphics card (it's my first time...a little nervous ;)  ), I decided to check out some general compatibility things. Unfortunately, I ran into this thread:

http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=260&th...

Should I still stick with the ATI 5770? Or are there some other low-heat graphics cards that you could maybe name me? I did look at that SC2 performance chart but I just don't know which one of those I could run without overheating my stock power supply. I'll probably make the purchase in a couple of months.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 4:12:10 AM

A crash in SCII like that would not be caused by a TYPE of graphics card, sure that guy may have a bad or faulty graphics card, but not every 5770 is going to crash.

The 5770 will be a fine card for you.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 4:26:56 AM

if you plan to purchase a card in a couple of months, i suggest you ask your question then. graphic card market changes every few months.
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August 17, 2010 6:26:04 AM

Thank you all for being extremely helpful--I will most certainly wait the couple months as I am a student and broke :-P. It will more than likely be the ATI 5770; is there any chance of the price increasing or will it, like normal products, decrease? Thank you all in advance
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a c 153 U Graphics card
August 17, 2010 6:28:45 AM

It won't increase. (Unless you happen to be looking on one that is one sale right now or something)
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September 23, 2010 7:46:40 PM

Just thought I would add a serious issue that I am having with a specific issue of the HD 5770 (Sapphire Vapor-X) on the Dell Studio XPS 7100.

I am not completely sure if this is the issue, but Sapphire's Vapor-X is overclocked slightly to 860 Mhz (as opposed to the normal 850 Mhz). From what I have gathered, Dell's parts (particularly the MOBO) seem to have issue with this. I have had no end of troubles involving blue screens after installing this card into the Studio XPS 7100. I should mention a couple of things:

1) The computer runs perfectly fine on the onboard VGA (ATI HD 4200) and I have played SC2 on low settings for the past 2 months without issue.

2) I have RMA'ed this card to Newegg, so this is the second copy of this card. Both cards have had nearly identical issues.

3) At first I thought the crashes were random, but I have managed to rather reliably crash the system using Furmark. After approximately 5 minutes and a temperature of 80-85 C, the monitor goes dark as though it has been unplugged and the computer will either reboot or just freeze. Every .dmp files looks remarkably similar (0x124, BCP2 code: FFFFFA800...)

4) As anecdotal evidence, I have a friend who also purchased a Dell with nearly identical specs and his card works fine. He has a Diamond Radeon clocked to 850 Mhz.

To the original poster: I would recommend getting an HD 5770 clocked to 850 Mhz. Better yet, get the specific card verified by Dell: GCJ42 Radeon HD5770 P120A 1GB GDDR5.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
September 23, 2010 8:06:12 PM

it could be do the fact your Sapphire is a 2.1 card while your friends is 2.0. 2.1 cards are know to cause issues in certain mobos (especially in DELL, HP, ACER, etc., that don't update their BIOS very often)

also, 85c is warm for the cool running 5770 but well within spec. Those cards will work fine at even 100c (although I would not try it)
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September 23, 2010 8:22:00 PM

ct1615,

You may be right. I guess the moral of the story, at least if you're going to go the "buy cheap Dell computer and put expensive video card in it" route is to get the information on the models that Dell uses, then try to either get the exact same model or at least match up as many specifications as you can.
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September 23, 2010 11:19:00 PM

Hello gamer ;-) Are you gosu? ^^

From my experience SC2 like to have fast CPU and more then 2GB memory. I'd say GPU is less importand here, and if You want to save money I'd go for second hand 47xx/48xx radeon. If You want new card new 57xx series would be more then enough for sc2 if you are looking for high performence boost i'd say GTX 460 756 MB should be better value for money around 150$. To run 48xx cards or GTX 460 you need quality power supply since they consume alot of energy. Be sure to checkup what power supply You have, and if it's not a quality brand I would go for Ati 5XXX card if it was me :) 
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a c 271 U Graphics card
September 23, 2010 11:24:15 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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