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Card recommendations for small case

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 25, 2011 5:58:58 PM

I own an HP 210y desktop pc and I am looking to upgrade the gpu and probably the power supply. I will primarily use the card for gaming. Specs are as follows (I am relatively new to pc upgrades so please let me know if I have left any relevant info out):

Case: Mid-Size ATX
Motherboard: Foxconn H-R8800-uAtx
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0ghz
Memory: 8gb 10600 mb/sec (can increase to 16, and I am completely open to doing this)
HDD: 1TB 5400rpm
PSU: 300W
GPU: Radeon HD5450

Currently I am playing Skyrim and would like to at least approach Ultra settings with 40+ fps. Also would like to get BF3 and hopefully run at a high level at 45-60 fps. Maybe wishful thinking given my processor and space constraints.

I only have one PCI Express slot (occupied by the 5450) so I don't think I have the option of SLI or Crossfire.

I currently am playing Skyrim on a 42 inch tv with resolution set at 1336 x 768. And would probably play BF3 the same way. But, would like the (if possible) to play at higher res on a pc monitor.

So, I have been researching cards and I've got the consent of the wife to spend up to $400 on gpu and psu. But I don't know what will fit in the slot after I take the 5450 out. I am honestly willing to get the absolute best i can within that price range, but I'm worried about the size factor. And I don't know at what point a card will become overkill with the limits of my processor. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Below are the cards I've been considering.

GTX 560 ti 1gb PNY xlr8 - currently PNY has a deal for the card, 2x4gb ddr3 ram, mini hdmi cable, and Batman: Arkham City for $249. I've been leaning the most toward this card because I think (hope) the size of it would work.

Sapphire 6950 2gb plus Battlefield 3 - this is $280 on amazon. I've read this is one of the best cards I could get, but looking at unboxing videos...it seems huge.

Diamond 5970 - $300 on newegg, but also looks gigantic

Powercolor slim design 6850 1gb - $270!!! on amazon. That price makes me want to throw up since the normal 6850s are all $145-$170. but it is by far the smallest mid-high quality card I've found.

Are there cards I'm missing? Am I over thinking the size issue? I will post pics of the space inside the case tonight.


a c 125 U Graphics card
November 25, 2011 6:20:29 PM

Hi

A picture of the inside of the case would be a great help, just going off the info that the case supports ATX size motherboards the GTX560 Ti should fit, however the HD6950 will over-hang an ATX motherboard by about an inch.

That HD6850 is a rip off so forget about that, the HD5970 is the best performer but is 12.5 inches long!

The GTX560 seems like a good deal, although the extra RAM really isn't needed unless you do alot of high quality rendering/3D work.
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November 25, 2011 6:34:27 PM

Thanks for the quick reply -- a couple of questions:
1. Is it a problem for the card to overhang? I ask because I actually have quite a bit of extra space as far as length goes. There is there is nothing directly behind the 5450 currently. I'm most worried about the "depth" of the card as there is no free slot adjacent to it. But maybe I should be worried about overhang too?

2. Is the 6850 poor quality? I've seen a review on kitguru.com that seemed to be positive, although I don't know how reputable that website is. They gave it 8/10 stars.

3. Based on the HP website, I could use the extra ram in the PNY deal to boost to 12gb total. So, is 8gb the max that is useful for gaming?

Thanks again for the help.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
November 25, 2011 6:47:00 PM

mbettik said:
Thanks for the quick reply -- a couple of questions:
1. Is it a problem for the card to overhang? I ask because I actually have quite a bit of extra space as far as length goes. There is there is nothing directly behind the 5450 currently. I'm most worried about the "depth" of the card as there is no free slot adjacent to it. But maybe I should be worried about overhang too?

2. Is the 6850 poor quality? I've seen a review on kitguru.com that seemed to be positive, although I don't know how reputable that website is. They gave it 8/10 stars.

3. Based on the HP website, I could use the extra ram in the PNY deal to boost to 12gb total. So, is 8gb the max that is useful for gaming?

Thanks again for the help.


Not a problem at all if the graphics card over hangs, was just saying before that if your atx motherboard only just fits then obviously a graphics card that is longer than the length of the motherboard the graphics card wouldn't fit.



As you can see my HD6950's overhang the ATX motherboard by roughly an inch.

Nothing wrong with the HD6850 in general, just that $270 is ridiculous

I've gone from 4GB to 8GB of RAM and not noticed a difference in gaming at all, in fact whilst gaming my PC only uses 3-4GB... no need for 12GB unless you do lots of photoshop/rendering/3D CAD ETC....
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November 25, 2011 7:09:50 PM

Thanks for the info. I thought the $270 for that card was insane as well. Boy I wish I had that much real estate inside my case. Just saw a post on slick deals for the non-slim Powercolor HD6850 for $100...ugh
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a c 260 U Graphics card
November 25, 2011 7:09:59 PM

1) Your psu is inadequate for any strong discrete card.
Here is what EVGA recommends for their graphics cards:

GTX550ti needs 400w with 24a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX560 needs 450w with 24a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX560Ti needs 500w with 30a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX570 needs 550w with 38a on the 12v rails plus two 6-pin PCI-E power leads.

GTX580 needs 600w with 42a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI-E power lead.

GTX590 needs 700w with 50a on the 12v rails plus two 8-pin PCI-E power leads or 4 6-pin power leads.

My short list of quality psu's would include Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, XFX, and PC P&C.
You should be able to get a 650w psu for about $50-70. That leaves you $330 -$350 for which can get you a very good card.
Here is an Antec HCG 620W unit for $50 after rebate with free shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) Length can overhang, that is not a problem. If it is close, check if the 6 pin power connectors are on top of the card or on the end.
Measure your space. Then look at the vendor's spec sheet for that card. you should get the length.

3) As to which, I like cards with double slot direct exhaust coolers. Here is a EVGA GTX570 for $340:
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Mini-HDMI-Lifetime-Warranty-...
The length is 10.5"
A smaller card would be the GTX560ti superclocked which is 9" long for $230 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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a c 125 U Graphics card
November 25, 2011 7:24:07 PM

OP has $400 to spend for GPU and PSU so should be plenty for a quality 500W+ and mid range GPU.
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November 25, 2011 7:58:27 PM

Wow, thanks for all of the psu info. I will definitely be upgrading it. I'm really upset with myself now, as I see that I really should have put more thought into selecting a of with more room for expansion.

Also, here is a shot of the motherboard. My worry is that I'll get a card home and it will be too wide to fit between the other components. Will post pics of actual unit later this evening.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

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a c 260 U Graphics card
November 25, 2011 8:10:35 PM

mbettik said:
Wow, thanks for all of the psu info. I will definitely be upgrading it. I'm really upset with myself now, as I see that I really should have put more thought into selecting a of with more room for expansion.

Also, here is a shot of the motherboard. My worry is that I'll get a card home and it will be too wide to fit between the other components. Will post pics of actual unit later this evening.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...


Not to worry. makers are well aware of these issues.

Most high end graphics cards will be double slot. That means that the first X1 slot will get covered, but the other two will still be usable.
Other than that , no problem unless the case is a low profile case. A normal case will allow cards that are about 4 1/2 " tall. Low profile cases will be 3" or so tall. Just measure the height of the slots in the back to make certain.
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