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Need to upgrade Graphics Card. Getting myself confused..

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 10, 2010 8:49:15 PM

I need to upgrade my Nividia 7300 LE, its a crappy card to begin with but came with the PC. Iv been doing research on what could replace it and work with my system without causing my computer to melt.. again.. *coughs* basically looking to play WoW off of "min" settings, and a few newer games coming out such as the new Star wars.

Computer Spec's:

Power supply: 375watt
Processor: Intel Core 2 CPU 2.13GHz
Ram: 2Gigs ((Upgradeable to 4 gigs, buying 2 more sticks next month))
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium 32bit

I know alot of newer cards ask for a 400 watt power supply, so if I upgraded, what cards are there that would still be supported by my processor and such? Any-who any serious suggestions are helpful as I research this..

I think I get really confused with my Processor then again im not a computer tech.. the computer itself is my Dell XPS 410.. Iv gone over pages of Graphics cards but cant seem to figure out what works and whats better than the one I have.. :heink: 

Thanks!
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 10, 2010 9:07:00 PM

If your case is the "slim" version then you will need a low profile video card. In that case an HD5570 would be a good choice, if it is full size then I'd go for an HD5670. Either will be more than fine on your current power supply.
Your processor isn't very good to be honest. It can actually overclock to be semi-respectable but I doubt you can do so on a Dell. You can replace it but the card will help a lot already because the 7300LE is simply terrible for gaming.
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October 11, 2010 1:37:21 AM

yea I don't overclock.. because I never understood it.. I just want a card that will Run games like World of Warcraft, with graphical effects turned on and not lag me up horridly.. Shove it in the computer, install upgrades and leave it alone from there. Im sure eventually ill get curious of this overclocking, I tried to learn it once a few years ago and gave up just as fast.

PC's not a slim its a full size desk top, lots of open space. Iv had it 3 years or so now and built it on there site.

Every card type I try and look up all say I need a 400 watt power supply. If i were to upgrade the power supply to a 400 is there anything I need to be careful of?

Also I was suggested by someone to just step up once from the 7300 to a Geforce 8600 GT. Would that be a noticeable improvement?

Lots of people alo suggest a 9600 ESO? but when I try to read about it say I need 400 watt min..

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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 11, 2010 1:50:55 AM

You don't need to replace your power supply. Basically any card that couldn't run on what you currently have would be pointless with that processor.
The manufacturers suggestions for power supplies have very little to do with reality and are rough estimates at best. Your power supply can easily handle the HD5670. The HD5670 does not use an external power connector which means it is limited to receiving power from the PCIe port. The PCIe port only delivers 75w and this card actually uses less, around 60w max and would run fine on an average 300w power supply. The 400w number is essentially entirely made up based on a theoretical worst case scenario for the quality of the power supply and the power needs of the rest of the system.
Dell also uses decent power supplies and rates them for continuous usage rather than peak like most power supplies. Your 375w PSU could easily handle better cards than the HD5670 actually. I've seen people on here talking about running an HD5770 on those PSUs.
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October 11, 2010 1:56:54 AM

I was going to add this to my last one:

My Power Supply Sticker: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v44/Kitani/Random%20C...

The guts of my Compy: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v44/Kitani/Random%20C...

I think im scared because last time I tried to do a graphics card and ram I melted my motherboard and processor.. So I REALLLY cant do that again, I only got a new PC because of Home insurance or something my mother told them we had a power surge.. *coughs* Living alone I cannot afford a new one LOL
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 11, 2010 2:06:18 AM

Yeah, that should do fine. As it says you have 360w available on the +12v rails which is more important than the actual overall power rating. If you look around you'll find a lot of supposed 500w power supplies that don't have that much on the +12v. Like I said the card uses about 60w and the rest of your system probably won't ever get over 200w.
This would be a good choice;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 11, 2010 3:19:07 AM

You have been extremely helpful thank you very much, I had one other question, is there a way to test my system to try and get an estimate on how much power it pulls?
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October 11, 2010 5:21:46 AM

I found a new question.. I read alot of people buying cards that are PCI-E 2.0 when they are 1.1? How do you know? Im trying to look it up via Google and yahoo but so far.. not helping lol
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 11, 2010 5:27:45 AM

PCIE 2.0 video cards are backwards compatible with 1.0 or 1.1 slots. PCIE 2.1 cards can sometimes have issues with slots older than 2.0 so make sure to get one that is 2.0 like the card I linked above.
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a c 359 U Graphics card
October 11, 2010 5:30:58 AM

The cards are generally backwards compatible and unless you are using really high end video cards, you will not need to worry about bottlenecks. I might have read about people having issues with a PCI-e 2.1 card in a PCI-e 1.0 slot of some motherboards.

My recommendation is basically the HD 5670.
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