Adding a card

Disclaimer: I'm generally new to computer hardware overall, so correct me if I say something nonsensical.


Within one or two weeks.


$130 at most. (I'm aware this isn't much, I'm hoping that after figuring out what kind of card I need I'll scout around good deals. I don't shop for a lot of computer hardware, so let me know if this is unreasonable ).


Gaming, playing new games such as Battlefield 3, Skyrim, etc. at medium/low settings without a low frame rate or lower resolution. I want to get the most I can out of my budget, but I'm not sure how reasonable it is or isn't exactly.


I currently have an integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200. I want to upgrade it, so I want to plug a new video card into an available PCIe 2.0 slot I have. I have an available 6-pin PCIe Power Connector for this. Click on this for info on my PSU's power in watts.


I have a Studio XPS 7100. My CPU is a 64-bit AMD Athlon II X4 630. The motherboard is Dell Inc. 0NWWY0. I currently have 3 GBs of RAM. If you'd like specific info on about my case, just ask and I'll provide, but I've already looked around inside and pretty much anything that isn't humongous looks like it will fit.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: My only preference about websites is that they have good prices. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

OVERCLOCKING: I don't care. I don't have any plans to be overclocking. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Slight chance, but I looked into it a little and I don't believe that my Radeon HD 4200 and my motherboard would work for this. However, if by some chance I could actually still make use of my crappy graphics card in addition to the new one, I'm interested.



Like I said, I'm new to this. I'm really just looking for the best advice you all have to offer. I am more than willing to pull up more information on any of my current hardware if needed, please don't hesitate to ask. Thank you all in advance.
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More about adding card
  1. Dell model number?
  2. Are you asking for a code written on my machine... I'm not sure I follow the question. I believe it's Studio XPS, but you might have been asking something else.
  3. Studio XPS gives me the info I need to look it up! 8100, 8300? Important bits are like PSU power in watts!
  4. Oh, there we go. I figured it out. It's Studio XPS 7100. I'll be back with PSU info in a moment... After I crack open my computer and look at the sticker, because from what I've read there aren't any other easy ways to find out.


    So I opened it up, and it appears that the max output power is 460W, but I took a photo so you can have all the details. ;)
  5. Okay, I've streamlined the original post, removing all of the dumb questions and confusion that I've learned the answer to already in the last hour.

    I've added information regarding the fact that I have two 6-pin PCIe power connectors available. I don't have any that are 8-pin. I've also made note that my PCIe slot is version 2.0. So I guess that means that I can't use any video cards built to interface with version 2.1?
  6. Based on what you can find in your budget HD5770< HD6770< HD6790< HD6850 will run on your PSU. If you can deal with MIR then the HD6850 is the best
  7. Thanks, I'll look into it. However, the MIR expires in two days, and I don't believe I'll be making my purchase this quickly.

    I also noticed that this card is for PCIe 2.1, while my system only has a PCIe 2.0. Like I asked previously, would a card for 2.1 work in a 2.0 slot?

    Thanks for the suggestion.
  8. 2.1 no problem in 2.0 slot at all. Just look for another card at the time of purchase there is usually some cards around that price after MIR.
  9. Okay, I'll do that. Thanks for clearing that up, too.

    At this point, I'm still kind of fretting in confusion over whether my PSU can actually handle some of these cards. :P

    So the image I linked earlier says my max output power is 460 watts... And both HD 6790 and 6850 say on AMD's website that they need 500 watts or greater power recommended. Considering that this is a maximum of 460 watts for the entire machine... Wouldn't that mean I'd need a video card that requires power significantly less than that?

    Or am I just reading the label completely wrong? Or does that mean 460 watts per separate power connector cord... I'm just kind of confused. So I popped open my case again, and I took a look at my available 6-pin PCIe power connectors... And I uploaded these images so I could get a confirmation that indeed that is what they are, because I'm paranoid.
  10. Your Dell 460 is equal or better than many generic 500watts that the manufacturers recommendation refer to. Here is a Tom's build using a 430watt and HD6870,3032.html
  11. Thank you very much for clearing that up too. :)
  12. Okay, this is what I'm looking at:

    It's about the same thing that you recommended to me, but it's got a rebate that expires later, and it has free shipping to make up for that extra $5.

    The only thing left for me to worry about is whether or not it fits into my machine, so I guess I'll pop it open and find out.
  13. Good choice. Just over 9" long should fit your minitower.
  14. Yeah, it looks like it fits. I might have to rearrange a few cords, but it'll be all good.

    Thank you so much for replying to all of my questions, and helping me out here.
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