Looking for advice - Graphics Card Upgrade - $100-125 budget

Seeking advice on a graphics upgrade. The card I currently have is starting to show its age in newer games.

My budget is about $100 - $125. Intend to buy this weekend or early next week.

Games I play with highest graphics demand:
Starcraft II
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:
ATI Radeon HD 3450
Unsure about PSU, assume 400w. Dell - built system.
(How can I find this out without opening the case?)

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
CPU - Pentium Dual-Core E5200 @ 2.50 GHz
Memory - 2 x 1 GB DDR2 @ 800 MHz
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Olympia, WA USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer ATI due to typically better onboard cooling.

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No - not supported by motherboard

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
Running with a single-monitor setup. I play all games fullscreen at monitor's native resolution of 1440x900
Would like to be able to push game graphic settings to High or even Ultra if possible.
10 answers Last reply
More about looking advice graphics card upgrade budget
  1. After searching through the Dell support forums, it appears the stock PSU for my model is 350w
  2. You can't tell the PSU without opening the case. The good thing about Dells is that their PSU's happen to be of better quality. A 400W PSU would probably drive an HD5750, maybe an HD5770. We'd need to know how many amps (A) is on the +12v rail (EG: +12v @ 22a)

    Also, you'd see a major increase in FPS from WoW from OC'ing your CPU (if possible).
  3. A Radeon, 5670
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102871

    &

    600 Watt PSU
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817170017

    &

    1gb Ddr2 ram if your pc supports it
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145525&cm_re=Ddr2_ram-_-20-145-525-_-Product

    Should be 100$ wo ram and 120 with

    You need a new power supply because I think you need a pcie power connector and 350 watt is to low anyways.
  4. That's a terrible PSU..
  5. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121363

    129.95 with a 20 dollar rebate a 5770 would ba all you need to match your system and it should run well on your existing psu

    if you cna fit it throwing another 2 gigs in there would be helpful as well

    if you are willing to go there nvidia cards do better in blizzard titles, and a gts450 might be a better option and would work fine with your psu as well

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121393

    120 and 100 after rebate with free shipping

    both these cards should overclock pretty well both good quality boards

    ^^ lawl.. i wouldn't trust that psu to power my toothbrush >_< its logic sys so its probably actually a 250-300 watt psu max with some stickers on it
    look at those specs

    +3.3V@38A, +5V@40A, +12V@25A, -12V@0.8A, +5VSB@2.0A


    its a joke 38 amps on the 3.3
  6. A Dell 350w can easily handle an HD5750 and probably a GTS 450 or HD5770 as well.
  7. Thanks everyone for the info.

    I will crack open the case in the next day or two to figure out the exact specs of my PSU.

    A couple of you suggested more RAM, that is another planned upgrade in a few months. Since I'm running a 32-bit OS 4 gig is the max, which is the rated max the mobo supports anyway.
  8. I think the newer Dells are now using 80+ bronze PSUs, so they'd be decent.
    Compared to your current HD3450, even a HD5670 would be a howling difference; you could get that even if you have one of the older PSUs. For a stronger GPU, the trouble is that even if your Dell PSU is strong enough, you may or may not have a PCIE power connector, and may or may not have a spare Molex to attach an adapter. In that case, get a $45 380W Antec Earthwatts. It will handle a HD5770 or HD5750 without difficulty. On a $100 budget though, I'd just get the HD5670 and be done with it.
  9. At the very least the HD5750 should work and it is within the stated budget so there's no need to scale back to a significantly weaker card like the HD5670. I've seen multiple people on here use one on even the Dell 305w PSUs.
  10. If his PSU is strong enough AND has the required connector(s), a HD5750 for $120 ($110 if you win the rebate game) would work. If not, the HD5670 is still much better than what he has.
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