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Upgrading from onboard, need advice.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 1, 2011 6:10:12 AM

Hello forum. I recently bought a dell inspiron 530 and I want to upgrade to a video card that will get me maxed out with +45FPS on the games I like (preferable +60FPS of course.) My current specs are listed below. I hope I got all of the relevant information needed.

Games I want to be able to play maxed out if possible:

NBA 2k11
SBK X
Arma 1-2 + addons
Half Life 2 + Counter Strike Source
BattleField Bad Company 2
Flight Sim X
..Crysis maybe?(dont laugh)

The cards in my price range im looking ($100-$150):

ATI Radeon 4850
ATI Radeon HD 4870
AIT Radeon HD 4890
ATI Radeon HD 5750
ATI Radeon HD 5770

I verified my pricing availability with a website im probably going to order from so all the cards above are fare play in aspect of cost.
My current specs are below. Thank you for your time.


CPU Type DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo E7400, 2800 MHz (10.5 x 267)
Instruction Set x86, x86-64, MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1
Physical Memory Total 2037 MB
DIMM1: Samsung M3 78T2863RZS-CF7
DIMM3: Samsung M3 78T2863RZS-CF7
Module Size 1 GB (1 rank, 8 banks)
Memory Type DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Speed DDR2-800 (400 MHz)
Module Voltage SSTL 1.8
Supported Memory Types DDR2-667, DDR2-800, DDR3-800, DDR3-1066, DDR3-1333 SDRAM
Maximum Memory Amount 8 GB
Video Adapter Properties
Adapter String Intel(R) G33/G31 Express Chipset Family
Chip Type Intel(R) GMA 3100
Memory Size 256 MB
PCI-E 1.0 x16 port #2 Empty
Award BIOS Type Phoenix - AwardBIOS
BIOS Version (713D1P50)
Monitor Name Dell E176FP
Model DELL E176FP
Monitor Type 17" LCD (SXGA)
Max. Visible Display Size 34 cm x 27 cm (17.1")
Picture Aspect Ratio 5:4
Maximum Resolution 1280 x 1024
a c 376 U Graphics card
January 1, 2011 6:44:03 AM

The inspiron 530 comes with a 300w power supply. Of the cards you listed only the HD5750 may work but to be safe I would probably stick to cards without an external power connector like the HD5670 or upgrade the power supply.
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January 1, 2011 3:49:14 PM

Thank you for the reply. Lets say I went after the HD 5670.. Should I expect to run my games maxed out with my specs in conjunction with that card (ill understand if crysis is a no go but the rest and games similar are important)?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
January 1, 2011 4:04:21 PM

The HD5670 is good but not great for low resolutions like yours. It will be able to handle a lot of current games maxed out but on the more intensive games you will need turn AA down or off and on some a few settings.
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a b U Graphics card
January 1, 2011 5:01:59 PM

jyjjy makes a good recommendation on the HD 5670. However you might be able to go with a faster card.

Can you check the label on you power supply and let us know the make and model and how may amps are provided on the 12v leg - the latter is usually written on a label on the power supply. Also confirm that you have a power cable coming off the power supply with a 6 pin connector. If you have questions about how to do this, you might check the information on this site which has pictures of the connector and label:

http://www.upgradevideocards.com/criteria.html

Here is the conumdrum. The spec sheet for both the 5750 and 5770 state that a 450w PSU is required, which is quite a bit more than you 300w system. However, if you look at reviews for those two cards, you find they consume a lot less power at full load.

You can look at this review of the 5670 to see how its performance compares to the 5750. It also reports power consumption - but note that it is the "Delta vs. Integrated 785G" which I take to mean the change with the card, not total power requirements.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5670,2533...

This second review covers the 5750 and 5770 (but does not list the 5670). Note that this review reports total system requirements under full load and that the usage was 186w and 207w respectively. This is a comfortable margin below your 300w system.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...

That review allows you to see the increased performance you get with the 5770.

Dell has a reputation for providing good PSUs as they know the importance of that component. But I would feel more comfortable if you could report the make and model.

Also, it would be helpful to know the speed and amount of memory you have. Your list above just lists the system options and includes quite a range for both.
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January 1, 2011 5:04:26 PM

I am using 5670 at your resolution it works like a charm, but at least aim for a 5670, or upwards 5750 and 5770 is noticeably faster.
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January 11, 2011 12:21:01 AM

Thanks guys.
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!