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[Graphics Cards] Upgrading ATI Radeon 2600 XT

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
December 17, 2010 6:08:49 AM

Howdy. I've got a computer that's a little more than 2 yrs old and starting to show its age. A couple of my friends who are more hardware-savvy than I took a look at my specs and told me that my graphics card is my likely bottleneck. I'm trying to figure out if it's worth replacing just the card or the whole system.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Exploratory BUDGET RANGE: Less than $250 USD if possible, it probably has a little wiggle room.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Starcraft 2, maybe Cata) & the occassional dvd/Netflix stream

256MB ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT
I'm guessing on the power supply; it's a dell inspiron 530. I did some looking on google, and that seems to make it either 250W or 300. I'm kind of a hardware novice, so I'm not sure exactly how to find out.

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Dell Inspiron 530, 2.40 Ghz Intel Core2 processor Q6600 quad core, 3GB DDR2 RAM, all other parts are Dell stock.



OVERCLOCKING: probably not SLI OR CROSSFIRE: probably not

MONITOR RESOLUTION: one at 1440x900, one at 1680x1050 both are DVI

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd like to be able to run SC2 at either High or maybe even Ultra. Cata as well.

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2010 6:22:14 AM
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2010 9:07:31 AM

With your power supply the best options are GT 240 or HD 5670. You should get a better PSU if you want a better GPU.
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a c 164 U Graphics card
December 17, 2010 12:26:38 PM

Great deal on that card, but if he has the $$$ I wouldn't get that PSU. Grab a quality 500W or 520-600W PSU. It will be another $20-50, but it won't put him over budget. He'll also likely have enough power for the foreseeable future.
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2010 10:45:31 AM

^That PSU is a cheap but very good one if he does not want to spend too much on the PSU.
a c 164 U Graphics card
December 18, 2010 12:01:56 PM

I didn't say it was a bad PSU. But if you have $200 to $250 to spend, why stop at only $150? The only issue I see with that PSU is that if he should want to upgrade to an even bigger card later, he'll have to upgrade the PSU again. If you buy a 500-600W PSU now, you can upgrade to the 6950 later and not worry about needing an new PSU.
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2010 12:05:20 PM

I think that he should be spending some of that amount on a new stick of RAM as well.
However he can go for a more powerful PSU if he wishes to do so.
December 18, 2010 7:14:29 PM

Hmm.. Thanks for the tips.

I've ordered the new card, I'm just weighing my options on the power supply now.
December 18, 2010 7:15:59 PM

Best answer selected by Achillius.
a c 271 U Graphics card
December 18, 2010 7:25:04 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey