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Graphics card upgrade from ATI 4600 / 300W system

I'd like to get a few more years of life out of my PC for gaming. If there is a path to inexpensively ($100-200) upgrade the graphics card (and power supply if need be) I'd love to do it.

The two big things I do not understand are:
- How can I tell if I need to upgrade my power supply?
- I can look at the stats on a 5800 series card, but how can I tell if it will actually show in game improvements?


BUDGET RANGE: USD $150-250 Before / After Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: MMO Gaming including new games like FFIV. Would like to play at max settings if possible.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: ATI Radeon HD 4650 and default Dell Inspiron 300W supply

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Dell Inspiron, Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 / 2.53 GHz, 4GB DDR2 SDRAM, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com is the only one I've used but don't much care

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None.

OVERCLOCKING: No - it terrifies me :)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Just want to get a visible upgrade in gameplay. I am not sure if I can get anything signifigant out of the current system with just upgrades, but I'd love to be able to move MMO games up to higher graphics levels and keep my FPS in the 40-50 range. Note: I only play MMOs. I never play Crisys or any of the other heavy graphics shooters.

Thanks for any advice to someone who is lost in this maze...
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about graphics card upgrade 4600 300w system
  1. This is a good combo:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.492784
    That's should enough to play any games with decent setting.

    Or if you can stretch a little bit then get this one:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.492783
  2. oops, yes, i missed that, thanks, ct1615... ;)
  3. You guys rule - thank for helping me navigate this :)
  4. Ok - not to be cheap - and it is certainly NOT like my wife said over $100 on my 'silly games' is a waste of money - but, um, is it possible to get an FPS upgrade for under $100? Or is the effect negligible enough that I should just wait a year and do a major upgrade later?

    Thanks again :)
  5. For under $100 you would not see enough of a performance increase to justify the upgrade. You need a good PSU and GPU soon IMO, you will benefit from it greatly in gaming and in the future when you may want to upgrade your graphics again.

    Keeping in mind once you go past the 5770's/460 stage I'd be leaning towards getting you to buy a nice i5-750+ or i7-920+ series cpu.
  6. maybe you could try going for a the HD5670 which works off the pci-e power and should work off the 300w power supply. you can get it for $79.99 or $64.99 with mail in rebate.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102871&cm_re=5670-_-14-102-871-_-Product

    we would recommend investing in a better power supply and getting a better graphics card though, so if you can spend a bit more get this power supply.

    Antec BP550 Plus 550W power supply-$49.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016

    with that power supply you could use a variety of graphics cards like the ones linked above.
  7. Best answer
    for $100 you can get the ATI 5670. it will run on your PSU and still be a solid upgrade from your 4650, see the chart

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102870&cm_re=ati_5670-_-14-102-870-_-Product

  8. Thank you! So maybe a compromise is I get the 5670 now, that helps me avoid a divorce and buys me a year or so of better gaming, then in 2012 I can plan to build a new PC from the ground up with a better power supply (now that I've learned that the power is the biggest bottleneck when buying a Dell and then trying to upgrade it :)

    Thanks all - I've learned a lot.
  9. Best answer selected by Mashugana.
  10. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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