Video card upgrade for 650i chipset.

Hello, I am a new member to these awesome boards and had a question to all you guru's out there. I have XPS 630i I purchased from Dell a few years back.

System info:

Dell XPS 630 Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz Desktop
4GB1 Corsair® DOMINATOR® Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM
9800GT x2 SLI
750w Power supply
Windows 7 64 bit.
1680x1050 res

I am going to replace the video cards as one is no longer working. I am looking to play the game Rift, and as the PCI-E only runs at 8x on this chip I was wondering what my best options are. I was thinking of running a Nvidia 450 x2 SLI but I'm not real sure if my power supply can handle it, or if I have enough pins to run them correctly.

As you can probably guess I'm not real tech savy, any help would be very appreciated.

Also should I look at getting different/more ram? I am looking to maximize this system for as cheap as possible. $200-300 max spending.

14 answers Last reply
More about video card upgrade 650i chipset
  1. Size wise your PSU (quality unknown) would handle 2x GTS450 in SLI, it should even handle GTX460 in SLI. Your board is though x8 x8 SLI version 1.x therefore a PCIe version 2.0 card would be running comparable to x4 x4 in version 2.0 slots. Have you considered a single GTX560TI?
    Power benchmark total system load of a few of the newer cards
  2. Please list the brand and model of the PSU.

    x8/x8 will only show a noticeable performance difference compared to x16 with 5970-level cards, and even then it isn't a big deal, about 6-8% loss in performance.

    It's akways better to get a single powrful card rather than 2 weaker ones, you'll have less driver problems, heat, power consumption and some games don't even support SLI/CF at all.

    The best card at that price point is the 2gb 6950:

    It'll be more than 2x the performance of your 9800GT's.
  3. Thank you very much for both of your replies.

    My PS is the standard 750w that came with my Dell XPS 630 (sorry I do not know anymore than that). The only reason I was avoiding a single card as opposed to 2 w/ SLI is because of the 16x PCI slot that runs as a 8X PCI slot. I was informed (probably incorrectly) that running only 1 card on this board will significantly reduce my overall FPS.

    Is that incorrect? If so I would much rather purchase 1 nice card as opposed to 2 cheaper ones.

    Would it also serve me well to upgrade the ram to better quality and/or upgrade to 8gigs?

    Thanks again!

    Edit: also if I go with a nice card am I going to be bottlenecked somewhere else on my system? I can't imagine the quad 2.4ghz is very good anymore.
  4. No it is not correct your system will run a single card just fine! 2.4 GHz is slow for today's GPU´s and being a DEll you probably have issues overclocking. If you can the Q6600 holds it own clocked at 3GHz+. 4 GB ram is enough for most uses and I would not upgrade DDR2 to any more today.
  5. rolli59 said:
    No it is not correct your system will run a single card just fine! 2.4 GHz is slow for today's GPU´s and being a DEll you probably have issues overclocking. If you can the Q6600 holds it own clocked at 3GHz+. 4 GB ram is enough for most uses and I would not upgrade DDR2 to any more today.

    Great info, much appreciated!

    This site rocks, I've already learned tons today from browsing and of course the awesome replies.

  6. 1 card should be enought and the power supplies they put in the xps system i beleive are made my delta power or pc power and cooling ;)
  7. Most oem machine very rarely overclock but in order to see gains over your old cards you will need at the minimum a GT 460 or a 6850. Any thing less will likely result in lower fps in games that did take advantage of sli/crossfire but if you are getting a single card be sure that is one of those two or better and you will enjoy it over all compared to what you currently have.
  8. Hi.. i stumbled on this thread today while researching the exact same question..

    My system configuration is:

    Dell XPS-630i
    Win 7 Professional 32-Bit
    Motherboard: NVIDIA® nForce 650i SLI chipset (Never changed)
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 2.40GHz
    Clock Speed 2.5GHz (What my computer is reporting, i dont know how to overclock)
    L2 Cache Size 8192
    4 GB Ram
    500 GB HD Western Digital Black Edition
    16x DVD+/-RW/CD-RW
    Dual 512 mb ATI Radeon 3870 Crossfire
    Creative X-Fi Audio Processor
    Memory Card Reader

    1) I was told that my motherboard wouldnt take full advantage of Win 7 64 bit, and was limited to 4 gb ram, so i never purchased win 7 64 bit, and went with 32 bit. So far i am ok, and win 7 is so much better than vista.

    2) Most important for me now is replacing the video cards. At the time, the dual 512 MB Radeon 3870 was phenomenal. They still do very well, but lately i have noticed that its been hard to keep up with some games (Star Trek Online).

    I realize that with my motherboard i cant have ATI crossifire with aftermarket cards, and only NVIDIA SLI will work, but i prefer to have an ATI Radeon card, and would be happy with a single card for now. Later when i change my motherboard, i would go to crossfire configuration (Assuming the motherboard can be changed)

    The card that i am considering is: Radeon 6850

    Any issues with this card. My powersupply is original (750W?) and is more than manufacturer recommendations.
  9. ^Dell puts quality PSU's in their PC'S, it'll be fine.
  10. i have a 650i motherboard and it overclocks nicely. Im not sure about other manufacturers but my asus 650i board has a bios update that fixes a problem with new ati cards that makes it take a long time to post, i stumbled upon this when installing a 5570 in my dads PC with the same motherboard. i suggest you do this before installing a new card. Why would you get 2 gts450's? why not just a faster single card? get a gtx470, gtx560 or something, will cost less than 2 gts450's and just as fast. Just b3ecause you have had sli and have an SLI board doesnt mean you should SLI again.
  11. I ended up grabbing the MSI N460GTX CYCLONE 1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 video card. It has improved my FPS significantly when using higher video settings in game. However, I get only 5-10 more FPS when using the same video settings as previous..(only 1 9800GT as my other had died). I am still not where I want to be in regards to FPS.

    I imagine my Q6600 @ 2.4ghz is now slowing me down. Can the Dell modified Nvidia 650i mobo be overclocked? If so, what program(s) would you suggest using? I've read the Q6600 can be easily overclocked to 3.0ghz. Much appreciated!

  12. There are 99% chances that the dell BIOS is locked for OC, your only chance is to Hard-mod the dell bios into a tweaked version that'll allow for OC, with the risk of bricking the motherboard in the process.

    And yes what you describe of a big improvement when cranking up the settings is definetly a cpu bottleneck.
  13. Thanks wiini,

    I just did a bit of research and it appears it is overclock-able. One of the few Dells that are.

    I have another question for you folks. I currently have 1gigx4 DDR2-667 RAM, would I benefit going to DDR2-800, and/or upgrading to 8gigs? Seems I would be more stable when trying to OC?

    Thoughts? I am a total newb at this stuff so I appreciate all info! Thanks again.
  14. 4gb is plenty for all of today's apps, unless you do a significant amount of 3d/video editing 8gb won't make any difference at all, though if it's a higher speed (1066+) there'll be somewhat of an improvement in general performance even if it's still 4gb.

    People say higher higher speed memory is more stable for OC, which is in part true, but only with serious amounts of OC, see as you increase the FSB of the processor alot of other stuff goes up too, including memory speeds, all you have to do is to start turning down the memory multiplier as you raise the FSB and try to keep it as close as possible to stock, while increasing only the CPU frequency, higher end memory usually means they can run faster than advertised while keeping stable, but as long as you keep the FSB:DRAM ratio down( that's what it's called) it shouln't be a problem to have slower memory.

    I still recommend getting some good 1066 memory to make sure you eliminate the bottleneck completely
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