Computer I currently have/budget- I recently purchased a Inspiron 620 and have been researching which PSU and/or GPU to upgrade to. I have a budget of 120 dollars. The purpose of this purchase is to play video games, however I am not a fanatic and don't need the best of the best. My Inspiron 620 has a i3 2100 CPU, 4GB Ram, 1TB Hard drive, 300w PSU, and integrated graphics.
I have a 1280x1024 17 inch monitor but might upgrade to a 19 to a 21 inch in the future, at no more than 1920x1080 resolution. The future meaning several months to over a year possibly.
Preferences- I am interested in games like BF3, and the Total War series, these being some of the most demanding I will play. I want my computer to be powerful enough to handle games at low resolution/settings or better for the next several years, to last me through college.
I am very reluctant to purchase a new PSU since I want the least hassle possible. I am aware GPUs, particularly those without an extra power connector required, are as easy to install as RAM is. (?) I will if it's in my best interests, however.
I would prefer to buy from a store and not over the internet, such as FRYS or Bestbuy. I have no brand preference, though I hear that Nvidia has better driver updates apparently.
Extra Info- I've heard the ATI 6670 is the best my computer will be able to handle, due to my PSU and it's lack of a extra power supply connector/6-pin connector (?), correct me if I'm using the wrong term here.
I talked to a Representative of Dell who gave me these specifics regarding the PSU:
Input Voltage 100-127 VAC/200-240VAC
Input Frequency 50/60 Hz
Input current 9A (3A)/4.5A
I'd like to know what the best GPU this computer can handle is, and for my budget whether I'd be be better buying a better PSU and not getting a GPU for now, keeping in mind I only want to do this if it's really that necessary.
I'm a little nervous about installing a PSU. Is it as simple as putting in a graphics card or slightly more difficult? What I'm concerned about is taking the wires out and not being able to put them back into the right places..=/
EDIT: The reason that simply 'saving my money and buying a good PSU now and getting a great GPU later' isn't a automatic decision for me despite how good it sounds (I'm not necessarily impatient or that computer illiterate) is simple. I'm 17 years old, about to go to college and I don't have a job, nor do I intend to get one as I need to focus on school. I get no more than 100 or so dollars a year in birthday money, etc, and I to me it'd seem unwise to put all that money into a super-powerful PC but only have enough money left to get 1 or 2 games. It makes more sense to me to save enough money so I can a actually make use of my new computer.
However, I'm not completely inflexible on this and will change my mind if I hear a good enough reason for buying a better PSU.
I'm mainly concerned that even if my current PSU IS good enough for an ATI 6670, that the GPU will eventually hurt my computer in the LONG run (3-5 years) and cut down on it's total life time. Thoughts on this?
The HD 6670 is your best choice
I own a Dell Optiplex 745 with a 280w PSU and went with a HD 5670
That is the same model of card just one generation older
The HD 6670 draws very little power
so your PSU
The HD 6670 is about 15-20 percent faster than the HD 5670
and my HD 5670 can play Crysis 2 @ 1920x1080 DX9 Hardcore setting
also plays other games at decent settings including Metro 2033,Bioshock 2
Witcher 2 etc
so a HD 6670 will fit your needs perfectly
that series of cards (HD X670) was designed with OEM units like Dell and HP
to aswer your other question
replacing PSUs is actually pretty easy
usually 4 screws in the back and two mobo connectors
and the HD and DVDrw connectors
plus the front panel
but it is hard to find a compatible PSU for OEM systems
since not all OEM PSUs are ATX designs (the standard PSU form factor)
so matching PSUs will can be tough
That's excellent news. If you don't think this will hurt my PC in the long run I'm going to go get this. Plus I can find this card in just about any FRYs or Bestbuy. =)
I don't want to unnecessarily bash other people on this site, but why is it that the enthusiasts with their super-power computers always over-exaggerate the requirements of games? Like "If you don't have an i7 quad core and 69xx card, crysis/BF3/metro 2033, etc, won't even turn on..etc, etc".
Is it just based on perspective? Would somebody with a 1500 dollar computer subconsciously consider below 40 fps as not even properly working? (ask, what I would see as below 5 fps). Because they've never experienced below 40 fps before?
Sometimes I think the industry is just out with some big conspiracy to maximize profits by making everybody think they always need the best and newest thing out there? xD
I know exactly what you mean
I find Crysis 2 with those settings playing at 20-30 FPS perfectly playable
no lag or glitches
yet the so called experts (usually guys with more money than brains
who think because they have the latest greatest hardware that makes
them a expert user)
say it has to be 40 or more
these are my list of games that I play at 1920x1080
all at higher settings
The Witcher 2 (tried it - havent had time to play)
Left 4 Dead 2
Far Cry 2
Elder Scrolls Oblivion
Need for Speed Carbon
Alice 2 The Madness Returns (love that game)
Fable the lost chapters
now some of those games are older
but they all play at 1920x1080 at higher settings
I even did a video of Metro 2033 (really hard game for computers to play)
playing at 1280x1024 DX11 Very High settings
Alot of members here will say "I guess they play if you are alright with 25-30 FPS but I am an expert and need 60 FPS or it doesnt look right"
alot members here are rich kids spending mommys money on a 2000 dollar rig
acting like big shots whose opinions matter
dont get me wrong
if my my Mom wanted to buy me a nice rig I wouldnt say no
Except I am 41 yrs old and actually have a family I support
by working in the computer repair business
so my birthday and christmas gifts are socks and underwear LOL
if you dont need every setting maxed out so you can brag to people on
forums than a HD 6670 will be fine
just be careful of size of card
with my Del the dual fan assembly of my MSI card hit the cpu fan shroud
so I had to cut the fan assembly in half with diagonal cutters
and make a custom bracket to get both fans on
in a 72F room
my temp while recording internet radion,outlook open,multiple browsers and windows media player running
is 42C with 45 max
and my CPU temp is 38cc with 52c max
you would be surprised by how much you can upgrade an OEM tower
if you KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING
that shouting was for the users on here that tell lies about OEM towers
because they dont have a clue
I'm really glad to get this reassurance, I mean that. I keep hearing OVER and OVER again, even in professional reviews, that the ATI 6670 is a "low-end" card which is to be honest a little concerning yet I'm glad to hear it's just fine.
I admit I felt extremely vulnerable buying a dell..I just heard so MUCH flak about them it felt like I was making an extremely risky decision based on greed. For the first couple days I was a little paranoid expecting something to break but it's been fine for the couple weeks I've owned it.
It's just too much of a good deal to pass up. 500 dollars for a PC able to play older games at perfectly reasonable settings, and for a one-time 100 dollar upgrade I'll be able to play any modern game out at the moment?
That's 600 dollars (including tax) for a pc that can play ANY game I want. =)
Only remaining issue is I'm concerned what brand of the ATI 6670 I should get. I suppose it doesn't really matter but I don't want anything poorly made or with a bad heating system. Advice?
I saw a video of the ATI 6670 made by Sapphire and it looked really nice, it had some new heating system that utilized cooling with oil or w/e, though I have a feeling I'll have a little trouble finding one of those ones in a FRYs or Bestbuy.
Also, it'd be an added bonus if the fans aren't TOO loud, but I'll take what I can get.