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Graphics Update for Running Dragon Age 2

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 12, 2011 11:30:54 PM

:hello:  @ the Toms Hardware community! I've sought dozens of answers on these forums in the past, but tonight I finally registered and figured I would ask my question. I am going to buy Dragon Age II (loved the first one), but I need to update my graphics card first. Here's some info on my computer:

It's a Dell XPS 400...bought it several years ago, and at the time, I equipped it to play EverQuest. I stopped playing shortly afterwards though, so the current graphics card is ancient and irrelevant to today's games.

Current Graphics Card: ATI Radeon X600 Series.

Graphics Card Slot: PCI Express

System Ram: 4GB

Processor: Intel Pentium Dual CPU 2.80ghz

Power Supply: 375w

The power supply is really what has me thinking on this one. I want to buy a card that can handle Dragon Age 2 well, and I'm wondering if I should be considering upgrading my power supply. I have heard, however, that Dell underrates the XPS PSUs, which makes me wonder if I'm okay with my current setup.

Here are some cards I'm considering:

XFX ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB DDR5 2DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card HD577XZNFC

XFX ATI Radeon HD 5670 1 GB DDR5 DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card HD567XZNF3

Anyway, any help in this would be greatly appreciated! I can provide additional details if asked. Thanks!


Sidenote: Here are the Dragon Age 2 minimum requirements:

Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256 MB, NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256 MB cards

And recommended requirements:

ATI 3850 512 MB or greater (To run Direct X 11 - ATI 5850 or greater) , NVIDIA 8800GTS 512 MB or greater (To run Direct X 11 - NVidia 460 or greater)

I would rather have a fairly smooth performance, as opposed to just skimming the minimum requirements. I'd also rather buy from Amazon because I have $75 worth of gift cards...my price range (total) caps at around $150
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2011 12:38:58 AM

550w PSU + GTX 460 or 500w PSU + HD5770, nuff said :)  Just make sure you have enough space to put them inside.

If you want to go budget though, 500w + GTS 450.
March 14, 2011 11:20:09 AM

Sorry for the delayed response; I was traveling this weekend.

The HD5770 definitely seems like a good contender for me...PSUs aren't too expensive, so I'll just order one along with the card.

When I get back to my place tonight, I will be able to open up the case to get more specific details on my PSU, but this is the replacement I'm looking at on Amazon:

Diablotek 550-Watt ATX Power Supply PHD550



Think that's appropriate for the XPS 400?

Thanks for the response!


EDIT: After doing some research, it seems like some people have had problems running the 5770 with the Intel Pentium Dual CPU 2.80ghz....even with an ample power supply and ample system ram...Am I at that point where I should just build my own case if I want a semi-decent game experience? Because if I have to upgrade my processor, as well as my PSU and graphics card, then I feel like it would make more sense to just build a new machine.
Related resources
March 14, 2011 11:21:46 AM

Or, now that I'm researching a bit more, perhaps Corsair is the way to go with PSUs? Seems like they get a lot of positive feedback
a b U Graphics card
March 14, 2011 2:48:21 PM

Quote:
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual CPU 2.80ghz


Core 2, or Pentium D? Makes a HUGE difference in performance...
a b U Graphics card
March 14, 2011 3:03:28 PM

For the PSU get Antec or Corsair not a chap no name one.
March 14, 2011 4:32:34 PM

gamerk316 said:
Quote:
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual CPU 2.80ghz


Core 2, or Pentium D? Makes a HUGE difference in performance...



Sorry, I was unclear about that. It's a Pentium D.

Intel Pentium D CPU 2.80GHz 2.79GHz to be specific.

So Dual Core -- NOT Core 2.
March 17, 2011 6:36:49 AM

Celtic07 said:
Sorry, I was unclear about that. It's a Pentium D.

Intel Pentium D CPU 2.80GHz 2.79GHz to be specific.

So Dual Core -- NOT Core 2.


your going to need to get a new cpu. a Pentium D is 3 generations old, wont be able to keep up with the 5770 and you might not have a PCI-E slot on the motherboard to use the 5770.
so you might have to build a new computer or you can go to newegg to buy a already built computer for less. the a name brand
my suggestion Phenome 4x 465 black edition, ATi 6850, 550 watt power supply and corsair domination 2x4 GB ram. you will have a solid computer for at least 3 years or more
a b U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 10:48:39 AM

Quote:
Sorry, I was unclear about that. It's a Pentium D.


Intel Pentium D CPU 2.80GHz 2.79GHz to be specific.


So Dual Core -- NOT Core 2.


Be warned, that CPU WILL hold a modern GPU back. If you have a 775 mobo that can accept a C2Q, you might want to go that route first, then upgrade the GPU.
!