I have a Dell XPS 435MT. Yeah yeah, it's a Dell. But I'm getting married in 5 months and don't have money right now for a whole new rig.
Core i7 920 @ 2.67ghz
ATI HD 4850
I played the beta of BF3, and it had to run on low, and had pretty crappy FPS. I'm reading online that the processor is fine, but the video card would really need to be higher than this. Obviously I haven't researched video cards in a few years, so does this statement hold true? Will I be able to game with this for another 1-2 years (current processor)? If I need to upgrade my video card to play BF3 in 1920x1080 on high settings, what video card should I be looking at?
Since it's a dell, I haven't really looked at specs of the mobo - i know Dell mobos are generally crappy, as are their power supplies. Will I be fine with just sticking in a new video card? I'm guessing the PCI-E slot is 16x. And I know the processor can't be OC'ed at all since it's on a crappy dell mobo. I'd rather just stick with a stock speed and throw in a new card if that'll work.
It also has 6 ram slots - with 3 sticks in it (but only 4GB - so i'm guessing 2x1GB, then a 2GB stick). I'll probably get rid of those and get a 2x4GB to total 8GB of ram since it's not that expensive now.
Any suggestions? Or is it really not worth it to buy a new video card?
I heard either the 6950 or GTX 570 should be what I'm looking for.
That CPU is definitely plenty quick, yet your card will be the bottleneck in this game. There are a few things you may have to look at. The power supply will most likely have to be upgraded unless it is already close to 600 or 700W when running a 6950 or a 570. You do need some sort of credible power supply to run a i7 and a 4850.
Also, depending on the housing, the case itself may not even fit the card; my 6950 is absolutely ginormus, given it is a refrence card. My buddy's 570 I believe is shorter, but not by much and based on the dimensions of what I believe is to be your case, it might not fit based on this picture.
Also take into account the price; most of the time, the 6950 will cost lest than the 570, but the 570 will outdo the 6950, yet only by a smidge.
They are both the recommended spec for the game, NOT THE MINIMUM. The minimum requirements for the game is around the performance of an 8800GT or a similar HD3870, which is roughly the same as a 4850 ish. If you don't care about playing on the highest possible settings, maybe something dimensionally smaller would benefit you, like maybe a 550TI (not sure on that one)
One last thing to consider with the computer in the picture which I believe is similar to yours is the ventilation of the case. Some of these cards run rather warm, especially higher Radeons (probably because mine is a reference card tho) That will just require monitoring the temperatures of the system.
Congrats on getting married btw! Hope I sorta helped here. To flat out answer the question though, the 6950 or a 570 in your current system would be able to keep pace with current games for more than 2 years.
The processor should be fine but there might be a slight bottleneck without overclocking it. For BF3, you should aim for a 560TI or better on the nvidia side OR HD6950 or better on the AMD side.
What might hold you back though is the power supply, check how watts it is and voltage on the 12v rail.
You have a 1366 socket motherboard by the way which is most likely PCI-E 2.0 - any graphics card out right now will work. For best performance you should get a triple channel kit (3 sticks of ram) either 6GB(3x2GB) or 12GB(3x4GB), your decision.