Upgrade questions

im currently using

AMD phenom x4 9850(black edition i think)
ati radeon hd 5670
hec orion psu
4 gb of ddr2 ram

iv been thinking about upgrading my graphics card to a gtx 260 or gts 250 or 5770 which ever one is cheapest. i also plan to buy a new psu since everyone seems to agree that no name psus suck or are more likely to fail now for my questions

1. if i upgrade to one of the graphics cards i mentioned would i have to also upgrade my processor?

2. would someone help me in picking out a psu besides name i have no idea what to look for and all that info stuff is confusing?

3. if i buy a new psu is there a chance that it wont fit in my computer tower?

4. does the brand of graphic card really matter?
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  1. Best answer
    1. Probably not

    2. Depends on the GPU chosen. You probably want to get, at minimum, a QUALITY 500+ watt PSU. This would mean getting a Corsair, OCZ, Thermaltake, PC Power and Cooling (made by OCZ), or other brand name power supply.

    The main thing you're going to want to make sure of is the amperage delivered across the 12v rails (or rail in the case of PC Power and Cooling, they use a single rail design for stability) to make sure it meets the minimum requirements of the GPU.

    3. Yes, make sure you look up the dimensions first and measure inside your case.

    4. Yes/No. Some people have preferred brands, some have better warranties, some come with really good aftermarket coolers, etc. It's a preference thing.

    that says its got 2 12v rails and for output it says 12v1@18a so does that mean it would give a total of 36 amps
  3. 1) Probably not, but to help clarify your options, run these two tests:

    a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
    If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

    b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
    If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

    It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

    2) The 5770 requires a 450w psu with a 6 pin pci-e connector.
    The others should be similar.

    3) A standard ATX psu is 150mm wide, 85mm tall, and variable depth. 150 to 180mm typically.
    Measure your psu and it's depth.

    4) There can be differences in coolers, warranties, overclocks customer support, etc. But, by and large it does not matter much.
    I think EVGA for Nvidia, and XFX for amd is a reasonable choice.

    -----------------some of my thoughts:-----------------

    The 5770 is a fine card, and a good value. But it is not that great of a jump over your current 5670. You run the risk of disappointment if the jump is not big enough.
    Can you manage a GTX560ti, 5850 or 6950?

    The OCZ psu you linked to has some strange specs. It is not correct to say that 18a + 18a gives you 36a. On the label, it gives the combined 3.3,5, and 12v watts as
    481.5 That would translate to 40a(481.5/12) if all the wattage went to the 12v rails. But it also says up to 152w for 3.3 and 5v. If we subtract that from the 481.5 it gives us 333w on the 12v rails, or 28a.

    Look on the label of your psu and tell us what it says. If it has been working for you, and if it has sufficient power, keep it. If it comes with at least one 6 pin pci-e connector, it is probably OK.

    My short list of quality psu's would include Antec, XFX, Seasonic, PC P&C, and Corsair.
    Here is an Antec 500w earthwatts unit for $60:
    Look at the label, and you will see 444w, or 37a. That is continuous, and not peak like cheap units will advertise.

    thats my power supply i would prefer to keep it since its worked perfectly fine but like i said people keep telling me to get rid of it for a better one and since i planned on upgrading my graphics card i figure id upgrade the psu as well

    as for your graphics card suggestions they are to expensive i only wanted to spend 100$ at most for a new card and 50 for a power supply

    i should also mention i play games at 1600X900 and i dont really care about maxing settings out right now the most demanding game i play is starcraft 2 which runs fine a high settings but the only games i plan i getting in the future is the witcher 2 diablo 3 and guild wars 2. as far as the witcher 2 goes i know its very demanding but if i can play the game on medium settings id be perfectly happy with that a mix of low and medium would be fine also
  5. Best answer selected by stabito.
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