Disclaimer: I'm generally new to computer hardware overall, so correct me if I say something nonsensical.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
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 ).
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
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.
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY:
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.
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
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.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.