Just bought a second hand Dell Optiplex 755 with the following specs:
CPU: E6750 at 2.66 Ghz
RAM: 4 gb DDR2
OS: Windows 7 pro
Power: 305 watts
PCI e: v 1.0 at 4.376 x 6.6 inches of clearance
Current video card: ATI Radeon 2400 Pro (256 mb)
I'm looking to get a card that would go hand in hand with my current set-up and I'm willing to spend $150 (and a PSU change if needed). Main reasons for upgrading are playing Starcraft 2 (with the best possible quality) and watching HD videos.
A 305w from Dell should have no problems handling an HD5750 and I've seen more than one person use one with and HD5770.
Like Don said above you would be best off getting an PCI-E 2.0 version of whatever card you end up with.
Before I was worried that I won't be maximizing the reasonable potential of a $150 PCI-e ver 2.0 on PCI-e slot ver 1.0 As such, that I would be better off buying a lower priced card.
Based on your suggestions, HD5700 series will give me the most the benefit in a ver 1.0 card . Is it safe to assume that if I get a series above/pricier card then there will be no visible increase in performance?
Assuming my set-up remains the same, but I upgrade my PSU (becoz its the most inexpensive hardware to upgrade) - how far can my video card upgrade go?
If you are saying it's the most inexpensive hardware to upgrade because you are thinking of using an extremely cheap PSU I highly recommend against it. The power supply is just about the last component where you want to go cheap.
If you are willing to upgrade the PSU then you need to tell us the resolution you plan on using. Is SC2 really the only game you care about? How much are you willing to spend in total? This will help us tell you the right level of card for your situation and what kind of PSU you should get to be able to run it.
And the reason for all of this upgrade is to play SC2 (for now) at the highest quality (i.e. 1920 x 1080) and I'd like to hook this PC to my Sony LCD TV and hopefully watch some decent HD movies (i.e. Bluray).
Again, thanks for all the advice. I'm so far removed from PC assembly. My last and only built was back in 2003 ( back in the Athlon 64 days)