What Should I upgrade for gaming?

Hello, first time posting. I have a Dell XPS 7100 i received as a gift about one year ago I'd like to upgrade to play newer games (Star Wars TOR in particular) at higher graphics settings. I've never built/upgraded my own machine before, so I could use any and all advice. Here are my current specs:

Win 7 64 bit
Studio Phenom II X6 1035T 2.6G Hz
ATI Radeon HD5670 1GB GDDR5
6GB DDR3 SDRAM,1333MHz, 2x2GB+ 2x1GB
1TB HDD

With this, I have been able to play SWTOR and Portal 2 on low settings smoothly, but bumping the settings up to high cause it to get a bit rough and I do notice the framerate dropping fairly significantly. I need to get some FPS benchmarks, but I'm away at the moment, so I will need to update this post later.

Like I mentioned, this is one of those Dell built PC's so will that make it more difficult for me to upgrade it?

Any suggestions or thoughts? Thanks
10 answers Last reply
More about what upgrade gaming
  1. need to know your power supply/make and model/specs so a new card and /or card and power supply can be recommended.
  2. swifty_morgan said:
    need to know your power supply/make and model/specs so a new card and /or card and power supply can be recommended.


    +1

    and if it's a dell, you may also want to take a tape measure and measure from the back of the case to the hard drive cage (the spot/s where your hard drive/s sits). Reason being, I'm guessing, you may need a new case to fit some of the larger hardware. which isn't that hard or expensive to get a new case, for example:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153

    these are just to name a few.
  3. Thanks for the replies.

    The power supply looks to be a 460 watt Acbel PC9004.

    As for the back to the hard drive cage... That's 10 inches.
  4. Just from looking at that, you sould get a new graphcs card.
  5. FYI... With the specs in the op, With graphics set to High, I get 15-20 fps in SWTOR. With settings on Low, I get around 60 fps.
  6. derbal213 said:
    Thanks for the replies.

    The power supply looks to be a 460 watt Acbel PC9004.

    As for the back to the hard drive cage... That's 10 inches.



    Here's a link to a similar thread from the past:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/307638-28-upgrade-dell-studio-7100

    He went with an upgraded PSU, and I think you would also be best served to upgrade your PSU/GPU as others have said. What's your budget?
  7. phensen said:
    Here's a link to a similar thread from the past:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/307638-28-upgrade-dell-studio-7100

    He went with an upgraded PSU, and I think you would also be best served to upgrade your PSU/GPU as others have said. What's your budget?


    I'm looking at a budget of around $350-450.
  8. derbal213 said:
    I'm looking at a budget of around $350-450.


    Here's my 2 cents as far as video card and power supply:

    EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card: $210 after $20 instant promo code and $20 MIR: (It's 9" long)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130610&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-N82E16814130610-_-na-_-na&PID=3891137

    or

    XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity: $300 after MIR. This card is 11.3" long.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150517&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL122611&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL122611-_-EMC-122611-Index-_-DesktopGraphicsVideoCards-_-14150517-L07C

    This power supply will handle either card:

    XFX Core Edition PRO650W (P1-650S-NLB9) 650W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply: $60 after MIR

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207014

    Here's a thread where they discuss power supplies for a 560ti: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/319237-28-power-supply


    Completely uninstall the drivers for your 5670, prior to removing it. Then install the new video card drivers after plugging in the new card and booting .

    I think you'll love playing SWTOR with your new upgrade!

    Here's Tom's SWTOR performance article for reference, the (560ti is a bit slower than the 570):

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/star-wars-gaming-tests-review,3087.html
  9. phensen said:
    Here's my 2 cents as far as video card and power supply:

    EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card: $210 after $20 instant promo code and $20 MIR: (It's 9" long)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130610&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-N82E16814130610-_-na-_-na&PID=3891137

    or

    XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity: $300 after MIR. This card is 11.3" long.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150517&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL122611&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL122611-_-EMC-122611-Index-_-DesktopGraphicsVideoCards-_-14150517-L07C

    This power supply will handle either card:

    XFX Core Edition PRO650W (P1-650S-NLB9) 650W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply: $60 after MIR

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207014

    Here's a thread where they discuss power supplies for a 560ti: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/319237-28-power-supply


    Completely uninstall the drivers for your 5670, prior to removing it. Then install the new video card drivers after plugging in the new card and booting .

    I think you'll love playing SWTOR with your new upgrade!

    Here's Tom's SWTOR performance article for reference, the (560ti is a bit slower than the 570):

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/star-wars-gaming-tests-review,3087.html



    Thanks for the suggestions and the link. Good stuff.
  10. Purchased and installed the GTX 560 TI and new PSU. Getting 45-60 FPS in SWTOR now with settings cranked. Great stuff. Loving it. Can't wait to try some other games I was forced to play with low settings.

    Next on the list is a new case... This case is incredibly small. I could barely stuff the cords on the new PSU in it.

    Thanks for the help!
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