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Graphics card upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 14, 2011 10:11:45 PM

Hi guys I have a Dell Inspiron 530 which is about 4 years old.
The specs are;
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 @ 2.66 Ghz
4GB Ram
Nvidea Geforce 8600GT
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Dell E228WFP 22 inch monitor running @ 1680x1050

I am planning on upgrading the graphics card and also the PSU to suit. Here are the options:
Radeon HD 4870
Radeon HD 5770
Radeon HD 6850
GTX 460

Can someone tell me will these cards fit in my tower? (NOT the slim tower)


I am not planning on upgrading anything else, will these cards work well with my system? I know these cards can handle games like Crysis and GTA IV on high settings, but these cards, paired with my setup, will they be able to run games like Crysis and GTA IV on full @ 1680x1050?

Which one will fit in my system and work best and be most cost effective? I want to spend least money as possible but not necessarily the crapest card, if you know what I mean, best value for money I guess. It has to be future proof aswell. Also please recommend me a cheap but decent branded PSU to match. p.s. the less noise the better for the card, I hate fan noises!

More about : graphics card upgrade

a c 214 U Graphics card
April 14, 2011 11:02:03 PM

Can't really find anything with specifications on that case.

Based on this img of a Dell 530 and a 9800gtx+ i would assume you can fit a 6850.
http://contrvlr.no-ip.org:12300/ussdirect/cb/IMG_4256.j...

The 6850 is the best out of all of those cards but the GTX460 would most likely fit better as it's a couple inches shorter than the 6850.

What PSU were you thinking of getting?
April 15, 2011 10:01:37 AM

Well to be honest I want a branded PSU, not a generic one as I do not want it to fail in a couple of years, doesnt have to be a beast, a decent one with not too much unnecessary power at a reasonable cost.

So are you saying the dimensions of a 6850 is the same as a 9800gtx+ ?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 10:09:52 AM

The 9800GTX+ is a full length card at around 12 inches.The 6850 is around 10 inches.The GTX460 is around 8 inches.I reccomend the GTX460 because it's the smallest but still offers very good performance.Technically the 6850 would fit but I wouldn't try to put a card like the 6850 in a Dell case like that.From the looks of that picture it's really cramped and that will lead to really poor airflow causing unwanted high temps.

The GTX460 is more than plenty for gaming at 1680x1050.You should be able to max out almost any game.Just be sure to get the 1G version.

Whats your budget for the PSU?
April 15, 2011 10:15:28 AM

purple stank said:
The 9800GTX+ is a full length card at around 12 inches.The 6850 is around 10 inches.The GTX460 is around 8 inches.I reccomend the GTX460 because it's the smallest but still offers very good performance.Technically the 6850 would fit but I wouldn't try to put a card like the 6850 in a Dell case like that.From the looks of that picture it's really cramped and that will lead to really poor airflow causing unwanted high temps.

The GTX460 is more than plenty for gaming at 1680x1050.You should be able to max out almost any game.Just be sure to get the 1G version.

Whats your budget for the PSU?


I read somewhere that the GTX gives out more heat and uses more power than the 6850, is this true?
Also I thought for dual slot cards, they dont really rely on the space around it and divert the air outside or something like that? Only the single slot ones create a lot of heat..?

And what is the 1G version of the GTX?

I dont really know how much a PSU costs, I would say as less as possible really, but still a decent one.
a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 10:42:30 AM

yes 460 consumes more power than 6850, temps and noise are same, if you go with 6850 it'll save you around 10$ yearly on electricity bills, 1GB version is usually more expensive than 768MB or SE, SE is so called 'Smart' Edition, but it has reduced clocks, OCs worse etc, i don't recommend getting it... for 6850 you'd need at least 450W PSU and for 460 500W without OCing...
April 15, 2011 10:51:41 AM

So say I purchased the 460, what wattage PSU would be minimal if I were thinking of overclocking in the future? If I got a higher wattage doesnt necesseraly mean its using all those extra watts does it unless the card is clocked and using more obviously?

And What brand is good..? XFX, Gigabyte, EVGA etc

Also what is a good budget brand for the PSU
a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 11:20:04 AM

if you go with 460 OC or will OC by yourself you should get 550W PSU at least it will need more watts in load not in idle, most of brands are good, just don't get one, which has central fan, SE or Palit, they are very noisy and unpractical, EVGA usually makes cards with central fan, but it's a nice manufacturer, imo good are : ASUS, MSI, XFX, Powercolor, GIGABYTE, EVGA, ZOTAC, PNY and many others...
April 15, 2011 11:23:07 AM

shrkbay said:
if you go with 460 OC or will OC by yourself you should get 550W PSU at least it will need more watts in load not in idle, most of brands are good, just don't get one, which has central fan, SE or Palit, they are very noisy and unpractical, EVGA usually makes cards with central fan, but it's a nice manufacturer, imo good are : ASUS, MSI, XFX, Powercolor, GIGABYTE, EVGA, ZOTAC, PNY and many others...


Thanks for that, what about a good PSU brand?
a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 11:36:16 AM

Antec, OCZ, Corsair - best
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 11:42:31 AM

The problem with putting such a large card in a small case is the airflow.If you can see on that picture the 9800gtx+ is prolly about 1/3 of an inch away fro mthe bottom.That means it's getting very little air and prolly getting really hot.Also with such a large card in a small case it will raise the temps of everything else within it.Yes some cards do exhaust out the back but they get air within the case but that doesn't exempt the card from emitting natual heat fro mthe PCB.
Like i was saying the 6850 is overall a better card than the GTX460 but i feel that the 6850 is just to big for your case and will cause problems in the long run.

Asus DirectCU GTX460 1G $210=$180 after MIR + Free Shiping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus DirectCU 6850 1G $175=$155 after MIR +$8 Shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 550watt(Modular) $65=$50 after MIR + Free Shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I know i've been suggesting the GTX460 over the 6850 but a recent look at the prices for the GTX460 and they've seem to gone up.The Asus 6850 is a full 2 inches shorter than the 9800GTX+ so it wont fit as tight but it will still be tight.It's really up to you and what your comfortable with in terms of space and heat but i would get the 6850 based on the prices's.It's really strange that the prices are so high for the GTX460.$35 less for a card that outperforms if just wierd marketing but i guess it's good.
a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 12:12:36 PM

^GTX 560 non-Ti is coming out and it'll be same as 460 on new chip, that's probably the reason of high prices, which seems unlogical to me... 6850 will probably fit fine, it's longer than 460, but not that much
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 12:15:53 PM

I know it will fit it's just the airflow that bothers me.

Isn't the GTX560 going to be faster than the GTX460 and more efficient?Why would the price be higher for a card thats from an older generation?
April 15, 2011 2:41:24 PM

First thing, I am in the UK, I have been looking around and I can find both cards starting from about £130 from a decent rated website. I'm just stuck at which one...ARGHHH!

One minor thing though with the GTX 460, it has a mini-hdmi port which i'm not too keen on, whereas the 6850 has a full sized one. However, even that can't steer me in one direction, according to youtube videos it seems that more often the GTX has a few more FPS but on various forums people say the 6850 is faster. At the same time the 6850 is bigger and may have more airflow problems in the long run as opposed to the GTX but then it consumes less power !!!
April 15, 2011 2:43:35 PM

What about connectivity, will they both connect easily to standard PSU connectors?
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 3:02:25 PM

It really depends which game the benchmarks were done with.Technically by numbers/stats the 6850 should be a little faster.One thing to think about is the 6850 is a brand new technology so it will become better and better as more drivers are released and more games that are released that can use it's full abilites.

That GTX460 that has a mini-display port is for blu-ray 1.3a or 1.4a which is used to output 3D(to a TV or something).With that card should come a mini-display port to regular HDMI adapter so you don't have to worry if you choose that.
I mainly suggested the GTX460 earilier because it's smaller and i thought it would be cheaper but since both cards are priced the same then i would suggest going with the 6850.In time you can always upgrade your case if you need to.Prolly when you get/build a new computer.
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 3:03:09 PM

The PSU i provided has all the conectors needed to power a single high end card.You will have to upgrade to a bigger PSU to crossfire/sli.
a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 3:05:31 PM

if the prices are same go with 6850, it'll save you 10$ yearly on electricity and give you more performance, i think it's also a bit better quality, i think there won't be any big problems with the airflow if you have like 2 inch space free...
April 15, 2011 3:07:13 PM

just to mix things up a bit, I was also considering a 6870, but apparantly that is bigger than the 6850 and the power connector is in a place which wont allow it to be connected in my case, so I read somewhere anyway, the price is not much different.
Would the two cards in question allow outputting to my 40inch tv at 1080p resolution and run games like crysis and gta iv in full..?
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 3:21:57 PM

You might get away with GTAIV but not Crysis.Really depends whats playable FPS for you.If you can stand playing in the 30's then yes you could.

It's not the length wise where you get airflow which is where the 2 inches are from.It will be from the bottom, which is my concern because theirs only about 1/3 of an inch to spare between the fan and the bottom of the case if you case looks like the one in that picture with the 9800GTX+.It will be the same scenario width wise but not length.Do you know if you can mount a case fan in the front?

Totatlly forgot to mention,sorry to tell you this now,these GPU's will get bottlenecked by your CPU.I believe it will tax it anywhere from 30% to 50%.
April 15, 2011 6:34:12 PM

What do you mean it will bottleneck my CPU? I wiill try to upload some pics of my tower, I think there may be some more space underneath than in that pic you posted, not sure though.
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 15, 2011 7:12:33 PM

I mean your CPU isn't powerful enough to let the 6850/GTX460 run at it's maximum potential.CPU plays a large roll in gaming just as much as the GPU does.When the CPU is slow enough it will start to bog down the GPU as a side affect.
a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2011 9:59:01 AM

if he OCs his CPU to 3.5-4Ghz he will minimize the bottleneck
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 16, 2011 3:59:09 PM

Yes,O.C.ing will help releave the bottleneck
April 16, 2011 6:23:09 PM

How can I safely overclock my CPU?
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 16, 2011 7:04:06 PM

I'm not familair with the old Core2Duo's from Intel.Your gonna go have to post in the Overclocking section and ready some stickys.You will get all the help you need.
And your going to need an Aftermarket cooler to acheieve a high O.C.
April 16, 2011 7:56:00 PM

purple stank said:
I'm not familair with the old Core2Duo's from Intel.Your gonna go have to post in the Overclocking section and ready some stickys.You will get all the help you need.
And your going to need an Aftermarket cooler to acheieve a high O.C.

Well to be honest i'm not looking to install things like coolers, and even overclocking I'm not too sure on as you can get overheating issues etc. So are you saying its not worth having these cards in there as they wont perform as they should, what do I do then?
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 16, 2011 8:38:21 PM

I mean you can still run those cards and they will still provide a huge improvement over your 8600GT but they could perform better with a faster CPU.Just know that with your current CPU/speed you are limiting them but you can still game with them.
April 16, 2011 9:00:27 PM

purple stank said:
I mean you can still run those cards and they will still provide a huge improvement over your 8600GT but they could perform better with a faster CPU.Just know that with your current CPU/speed you are limiting them but you can still game with them.

oh right, so how can I find out how much the CPU would reduce the performance of these cards?
!