Long time avid reader of tomshardware, first time poster. I'm looking for a new GPU for my system and would appreciate your feedback. I'm going to follow the suggested format in the forum sticky.
=== APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this month or sooner
BUDGET RANGE: USD $100-250
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming - 90% WoW, 10% other
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: NVIDIA 9600 GT 512 MB , ***Shuttle 250W PSU***
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Shuttle SG31G2, Started this as a barebone system that was supposed to be my media PC, but it became my main system for gaming. Using a Quad Core Intel CPU Not sure which one ( on my laptop atm) but it was the quad core with best price/power ratio one year ago. Newegg link to barebones systemhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856101039.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any Online, ideally not California based COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US
PARTS PREFERENCES: None
OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No Support
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Basically I intend to play WoW on a 1920-1200 with a second 1920-1200 for surfing, or some other applications. With my current set up I can choose either good fps or good quality. When I raid quality goes out the door due to the large amount of video effects during some encounters. I know my limiting factor is the XPC PSU and limited room. The chassis can fit most double slot cards, but I'm very concerned with the power capabilities. If possible I'd like to invest some money, get a more power GPU and avoid building a new system.
That should be a very nice, stable PSU/GPU combo and will definitely run what you want it to do. The GPU is a low profile card and it isn't PCI-E 2.1 which might cause problems with your PCI-E 1.1 interface (I had to look up your chipset).
Unless someone can confirm for sure that 2.1 cards work fine in 1.1 slots, I'd stay away from that. IE: Don't get a 5770 for that reason. If they DO work, then get one, and make sure it's a single slot.
So I was looking at the link you provided that lists the compatible cards. This list doesn't look like its been updated in at least a year, but it does have some cards that I remember being big power hogs. Didn't the Nvidia 7800GTX require a lot of power?
My current 9600GT has 1 of the VGA power connectors, but most of the cards I was looking at use 2 power connectors. I do have **1** 4 pin HD connector left on my PSU, and I was thinking I could use that with an adapter and theoretically power a 2 VGA power connector card.
From what I've read the Shuttle PSU's have a slightly higher capability then their rating. So though the PC only has a 250W PSU, it can prob be viewed as more like a 350W or 400W PSU. My real only upgrade option for the PSU is to a 300W PSU, which is only a small increase, and at least $100 cost...or just building a new system...
Would I see a considerable performance increase if I upgraded from a 9600GT to a HD5670?
If I bought a card that was too power hungry and tested it, would there be any significant risk of damaging my system?
Thank you so far for the answers, I appreciate your feedback!
If you do not have enough power you will know by instability first. High power cards with 2 plugs will definitely not work on your current PSU. The biggest problem though is the space looking at the list I linked to they specifically mention single slot cards on the more powerful ones. There is not a huge performance gap between the 9600GT and the HD5670. This is the most powerful single slot card I know of and it might work in your system (presuming your PSU is underrated) but is PCIe 2.1 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...