Help with buying a new computer

I have a brand new dell 570 inspiron sitting in my living room and cant make up my mind if i should keep it or send it back and i dont have much more time to decide before the due date of return. (the unit has not been used as if you plug it in you have bought it-)

the specs are as follows
amd athlon 11x2 245 2.90ghz
4gb ram
ati hd 4350 512 mb video card

i was sold this computer under the premise that it would play sims 3 and expansion packs and watch on line movies easily. ( i have a hanns G 19 ins monitor and i think the screen resolution I like to watch is 1024x768 4.3 well thats what it said the last time i was able to play sims 3 on my laptop before it died.

during the time between ordering and waiting for this product to arrive i have completed hours of as much research that my head can possibly take and it seems that this pc may not play the sims 3 too well or be great at movies according to some websites.

I tried to get some advice from a local computer shop re being able to upgrade the video card at least to a 5770 which seemed to have reasonable reviews but he stated it depended on how many pci-e slots the unit has and I dont know what they look like so can anyone tell me if this computer has the 2 slots required that he is talking about and what the best video card is that will run good with my processor and ram if i keep this computer.

unfortunatly this was around my budget of 450 pounds and i thought at the time at least its not an integrated video card and upgrade later when i can afford it but if it wont even play my games etc to begin with then i think i would rather do without for now.

any advice would be so gratefully recieved.

regards Dawn

so could anyone tell me if i just use this computer for now if i will be able to play the sims okay and watch movies an
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  1. Kind of depends on what you paid for it. You didn't get this from Dell directly? Dell's website has much better 570's for £348. Movies will be fine. Sim3 won't be any worse than your laptop unless you had a really expensive one with dedicated graphics. I think you will be fairly happy with a 5670 or if you can hold out until they're released a 6670. 5770 requires an auxiliary 6 pin power connector which could be what the computer shop was talking about.
  2. Im not sure about playing sims but I know it has 1 PCIe X16 slot and 1 PCIe slot. There is a difference. The only downside I see with your video card, as far as I can tell is that It has Direct X 10.1. It would be better if It had Direct X 11. If you wanted to upgrade you could buy a starter pack at They are kits that include most of what you need, for a pretty decent price. They are also really easy to put together. Its up to you.

    The only downside from buying from is you still have to buy an OS. Dell comes with it.
  3. Wow, where to start.

    You have more to worry about than the PCI Express x16 slots. First of all, it does have an x16 even if that computer does have an integrated card. I don't know of any retail desktop that doesn't have at least one nowadays. If you wanted to put a 5770 though, you'll need a bigger power supply. Most likely it has 300w or lower, and thats not enough to power a 5770.

    At this point, its a matter of what your budget is. I can't recommend anything without knowing that first. Let us know.

    In terms of the Sims 3, I've had customers run that off the new Intel HD integrated cards in FULL settings, so thats a nonissue in my eyes. BUT, if you plan on playing any other games let me know. Be careful though, because even some dedicated low end cards can perform worse than the Intel HD according to benchmarks.

    Heres something to start with: SKU 1677209. Dell for $499.99. In my eyes, still a good starting point if you want to upgrade to a dedicated card (and in turn, upgrading the power supply also). If you are not comfortable installing a new graphics card and power supply, you an get the $99.99 1 year tech support plan, which gives you tech support and free labor (other than data backup) on most of their services for 3 computers you own for 1 year. Thus, you can then get on Newegg, buy a power supply and a graphics card, then have them install it for you. You can buy power supplies and graphics cards at Best Buy, but they tend to be heavily priced. Thats up to you though if you want to just buy it there for convenience.
  4. Pounds is mentioned so it's UK. Tax structure is different there also.
  5. I just checked the graphics card, it DOES rate worse than the integrated Intel HD card on i3, i5, and i7 processing computers. So I still stand by that other Dell I showed ya. I also checked on the desktop you ordered, $349.99 I assume?

    Now, assuming The Sims 3 is all you wanted to play, you could use this Dell as a base, then definitely upgrade the power supply and graphics card though: 1677193, Dell with Pentium Processor: $369.99. Even when compared to the $349.99 Dell ya ordered, processor is much better.

    Graphics Card: GTS 250 for $94.99.

    Power Supply: 430w power supply $44.99
  6. OMG you guys are so knowlegable! thank you so much for your replies as someone mentioned i said pounds and i am in the uk but joined this forum because every time i search for information and computer parts all roads of good information tend to to lead back to this website.

    Firstly let me say it took me ages to choose this 570 computer because i honestly was advised that any dedicated graphics card as opposed to integrated was superior so i started my seraches with that in mind until i found one within my present budget.

    my laptop whilst a good one in its day was an integrated card and the graphics were fine but i thought they would be even better if a card was dedicated, i suspect the demise of my laptop was my constant playing of sims 3. so anything that said intel ans/or appeared to say integrated i stayed away from thinking it was no good because of shared Ram.

    i checked the computers you pointed out on budget on bestbuy and am trying to find similar in the uk. please bear in mind that i can only shop at certain outlets here because anything more reasonable I find will have to be purchased with a deposit of what i can afford and the rest on finance so I am a little more limited in my choice of outlets to purchase from.

    I found this 570 with these specs

    # AMD Athlon II x 4 630 processor
    # 4GB RAM and 1TB hard drive
    # USB optical mouse and keyboard included
    # DVD+RW drive
    # Single ATI 5450 1x1GB graphics card

    Maybe i could upgrade the computer i have got to a ati 5450 video card then? would that make the computer i have better for sims 3 playing? but also some reviews dont seem to rate that card either???

    I found the following 580

    * Intel Core i3-550 processor
    * 6GB RAM and 1TB hard drive
    * USB optical mouse and keyboard included
    * DVD+RW drive
    * 1GB ATI Radeon graphics card
    * Ethernet
    * Monitor not included
    * Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
    * Model: Dell Inspiron 580 desktop PC base unit

    I ignored this before because I thought it was integrated graphics and i presume its the 5450 card again. Also i dont know if you can upgrade integrated graphics to a dedicated card??

    I found an HP but it does not seem to mention a video card and i searched for ages trying to find the model no provided but could not find any further details.

    # AMD Athlon II X3 445 processor 3.1GHz
    # 4GB RAM and 500GB SATA hard drive
    # Mouse and keyboard included
    # DVD Dual Layer drive with LightScribe
    # Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g/n
    # Ethernet 10/100BT network interface
    # 6-in-1 card reader; 6 x USB ports
    # High Definition Audio 5.1
    # Monitor not included
    # Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
    # HP S Series desktop PC base unit S5720UK

    next hp

    # Intel Pentium Dual Core E5500 2.8GHz processor
    # 4GB RAM and 500GB hard drive
    # Mouse and keyboard included
    # DVD+-R/RW drive
    # Monitor not included
    # Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
    # Model: HP G Series desktop PC base unit G5XXXUK

    both types of hp mention gaming okay and the cases look pretty slim so I am not sure about upgardes in the future etc.

    I also found this acrer

    ntel Core i3-2100 processor. 4GB RAM. 500GB Hard Drive. 20 inch display. DVD-RW. Intel HD Graphics. Multi-in-1 card reader. Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium

    but i am not sure what the graphics means or if it can be upgraded. I did a search on the model number and found that again diffrent outlets had diffrent specs on this model.

    2nd acer model

    # Intel Core i5-650 processor
    # 4GB RAM and 1TB hard drive
    # Mouse and keyboard included
    # DVD+-R/RW drive
    # Monitor not included
    # 5 USB ports (front), 4 USB ports (rear)
    # Multi in 1 card reader
    # Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
    # Model: Acer X3950 desktop PC base unit

    again i did a search on this model but found differing specs on the same model.

    and lastly (I hear you saying thank god lol) i found this unit that i could afford and upgarde in the future?

    Brand new custom built AMD Athlon II X2 Dual Core 250 PC base unit (2 x 3.0Ghz Cores) complete with 1 x ATI HD5570 -1GB graphics card, 4GB of DDR3 1333Mhz Memory, 22x CD & DVD re-writer drive and 500GB SATA 2 hard drive.

    All our base units are built using brand new high quality components with full warranties. As this is a custom built item, we can change any item including the case, so the PC is built to your exact specifications.

    With the pc market changing constantly, this unit is fully upgradable in the future too.

    so to recap, could i change the graphics card to the 5450 on the dell 570 i have now? would this make the sims more playable and despite the negative reviews about this card would it do the job?

    other than that I have one more day until i have to send this 570 back to the retailer and my other choices at the moment appear to be limited to the computers i have mentioned above but i still have no clue on which one would be best with regards future possible upgrades.

    thank you UniqueName, Unas and cpatel1987 are any of my further searches and information of any of the computers you were thinking of?

    depending on your answers today I will have to decide what i am going to have to do with
    A, keeping or sending the 570 back and B, deciding on another computer.

    thank you all so much for the time you have taken and your input in this matter it is truly appreciated.

    Warm Regards

  7. hi guys sorry to be a pain i found this computer that i can afford could you please tell me what you think.

    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Motherboard: Asus M4N68T-M
    Memory: 4GB DDR3 1333mhz (2x 2GB)
    Hard Drives: 500GB S-ATAII 3.0Gb/s
    Optical Drive: 22x DVD±RW DL S-ATA
    Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB
    Sound card: Onboard 7.1 Audio
    Case: Xigmatek Asgard
    PSU: NEW! 400W Xigmatek
    Warranty: 3 Year Bronze Warranty

    price 399 in sale

    i keep looking lol


  8. sorry forgot to add the processor -)
    AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition

    regards dawn
  9. The custom one is ok and essentially the same as the Dell 570 you currently have with a HD5570 added. You will be perfectly happy with it or you could just add it yourself to the Dell. The last custom one you listed would be fine also although probably more powerful than you really need. There's nothing wrong with that if you're happy with the price.

    I think what you need is this
    Intel dual core with hyperthreading(i3 or greater)
    AMD tri core(Althon II X3 or greater)
    300W Power Supply or greater
    AMD 5570 or greater
    nVidia GT240 or greater

    Full size Dell's almost always come with at least a 300W power supply. HP sometimes only has a 250W. You probably want at least a 325W power supply to run a 5750 or greater.
  10. hi UniqueName,
    thanks for the reply i think i may go with the last one i listed as its actually cheaper than the dell 570 which was 100 more than the one at 399, granted the 399 spec is 100 off in this weeks sale but seems a lot better for the money than the 570.

    it also comes with tech support, 1 year full warranty, 2 further years parts paid labour free, available future upgrades if required, and they actually answered the phone within 2 mins the 3 times that i called which is outsatanding compared to some of my recent experiences. lol

    i understand what you are advising with the specs you provide but trying to find somwhere that will answer my requests and some specs has been a nightmare.

    i found 1 other pc that looked ok but its ebay uk and despite the seller being a registered company and 99.9 good feedback and a top rated seller etc i am very wary about spending that much money on ebay.


    This PC offers the performance needed for home and business use at a low price.
    The AMD 640 3.0 QUAD CORE combined with 4GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM, offers a quick and easy multitasking experience.

    this is 425 and no operating system and no mention of quarantees

    System Specification


    - Case: Micro ATX case - Black

    - Power Supply: 500W PSU

    - CPU: AMD 3.0 QUAD CORE

    - RAM: 4GB DDR3

    - Hard Drive: 1000GB

    - Graphics Card: HD 5670 1GB


    - Sound: On Board Sound

    - Optical Drive: SATA ReWriter

    i am going to e-mail the seller with your specs and see what he comes up with.

    thanks for your help yet again

    warm regards

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