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Want a better card, no idea what I'm doing.

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January 3, 2012 2:13:59 AM

So.

I bought a decent Dell computer ~2 years ago. It's still fine for my uses, except the graphics card - it simply cant keep up with games anymore.

It's a Dell XPS 435MT with an i7 920, 12 GB DDR3 RAM (no idea about the speed), and currently a Radeon 4670 with 512MB video memory.

I'd like an upgrade and am looking for cards in the $150-200 range.

Thanks.

More about : card idea

a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 2:20:15 AM

I'd wait until the ATI7000 series comes out.

Not only will the 6xxx series drop in price, but Nvidia cards too and you'll get to see what the 7xxx have.
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a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 2:36:49 AM

Hey got some questions for you.

What games are you planning on playing and what is your screen resolution?

I googled your computer and it looks like you have a 350 watt power supply. Do you know if this is the case?

Based on the information given, I would probably suggest something with a power requirement of 300 watts, just to be on the safe side. Dell PSUs aren't great.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 3, 2012 2:40:28 AM

For your price range some video cards may require a higher output power supply. You may want to check your power supply and post its wattage, 12v amps, and or model.

You may want to set aside about $50 for a new power supply.

I suggest the XFX double D 6850 for 169.99
As for the PSU a Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D for $44.99

I know the prices are high but bobusboy points out these prices should go down when the 7xxx series launches. The 7800's should launch around the first of February.
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a c 559 U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 3:39:42 AM

If you're going to be keeping/reusing your existing Delta Electronics 360 Watt power supply the following cards will work within that power supply's capabilities of a combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 25 Amps and one 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connector:

GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Radeon HD 6850

The Radeon HD 6850 would be the preferred choice since it has more graphics processing power than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
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a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 3:59:54 AM

ko888 said:
If you're going to be keeping/reusing your existing Delta Electronics 360 Watt power supply the following cards will work within that power supply's capabilities of a combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 25 Amps and one 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connector:

GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Radeon HD 6850

The Radeon HD 6850 would be the preferred choice since it has more graphics processing power than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...



...And I wouldn't put an HD6850 on that power supply. I would consider it unreliable for gaming loads. I like the suggestion of the Earthwatts PSU, but for me if you plan on having this power supply power your PC for next couple of years and through some upgrades I'd recommend a 500W PSU. This is gonna be a sweet spot for many of your mid-range gaming cards and so 500W is pretty standard for gaming systems that have one video card.

I'll list a couple that you should consider for a graphics upgrade:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Modular, highly recommended:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 4:13:33 AM

Call me silly, but why would anyone need a modular 500W PSU? I can understand a modular 1000W PSU with multiple rails and all the cables.
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a c 230 U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 4:17:35 AM

With $200....

$65 XFX Core Edition 650 .... tough to find anything else w/ a jonnyguru 9.5 performance rating at $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$145 Saphire 6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Free Dirt 2 Game
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a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 4:40:42 AM

DelroyMonjo said:
Call me silly, but why would anyone need a modular 500W PSU? I can understand a modular 1000W PSU with multiple rails and all the cables.


If your a modder or just have a windowed case. The less cables the better.
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a c 90 U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 4:44:26 AM

spent money for ANTEC psu

then wait for upcoming AMD radeon HD 7970
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January 3, 2012 4:50:35 AM

DelroyMonjo said:
Call me silly, but why would anyone need a modular 500W PSU? I can understand a modular 1000W PSU with multiple rails and all the cables.


HTPC cases need as few stray cords as possible too, just to point out. Probably not needed in this case, but prebuilt boxes can be small.
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January 3, 2012 11:46:16 AM

spagalicious said:
Hey got some questions for you.

What games are you planning on playing and what is your screen resolution?

I googled your computer and it looks like you have a 350 watt power supply. Do you know if this is the case?

Based on the information given, I would probably suggest something with a power requirement of 300 watts, just to be on the safe side. Dell PSUs aren't great.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


BF3, 1920x1200.

No idea about the power supply.
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January 3, 2012 12:03:03 PM

so you must consider the 12volt rail or the wattage of ur psu before upgrading ur card, almost of the midrange cards has high power consumption 110watts+ something like that so you need to spent another $50-80 for the psu
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January 3, 2012 12:24:26 PM

for BF3, on 1920x1200, ULTRA with 4x MSAA and HBAO
even a GTX580 provides a little less than the sweet spot 60fps

if you want to play it seriously on 60fps then I'd suggest
PSU - Corsair TX850V2
GPU - GTX570 in Sli or a GTX560Ti(Twin Frozr II or better) in Sli

But in your budget a GTX560 or a 6870 is only possible, call me crazy but I'd go with nVidia for their 32x CSAA which I do use.
The 5870 is slightly better but consumes more power.
Either way for a 150-200$ you'd want a better power supply unit.
A Coolermaster GX-450 would suffice your consumption, unless if you want to upgrade in the future and require a better PSU for Multiple Cards, Overclocking etc.
Something like above 800W should you have any future plans for dual cards, but its going to cost a fortune(the motherboard, then another card,etc).
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a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 12:37:58 PM

I did the same thing - bought a Dell and then decided to try PC gaming. Been using an HD 5670 til recently. Bought an Antec Earthwatts 500 and an HD 6870. The PSU is easy to swap out as long as you pay attention to where the connections go on your mobo.

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/435MT/en/...

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/435MT/en/...

Looks like we have very similar cases - just make sure that you have enough room for a long (10+ inches) card. I had to expand a bit into my second hard drive bay, but I don't use it, so it's fine. Also make sure you get a card with a good cooler - preferably one that exhausts a lot of heat out the back. It can get hot in minitowers like ours.
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a b U Graphics card
January 4, 2012 1:49:11 AM

Yeah I agree with what everyone else is saying. With your current setup, it isn't possible to achieve playable fps with just a graphics upgrade. If you really want to be able to play BF3 on medium or maybe high, you'll have to upgrade your PSU and graphics card. Maybe something in the 500-550 watt range for PSU and pick something up like a 6870 for a little over $225. And to get more performance, consider getting a cooler and overclocking that 920 to a good 3.2 ghz. You'll probably end up with playable rates with a mixed medium to high settings with no AA and maybe a little anisotropic. If you want ultra performance, you would have to consider many more upgrades, including cpu, psu, and graphics. Hope we helped in someway. :) 
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a b U Graphics card
January 4, 2012 1:04:50 PM

spagalicious said:
And to get more performance, consider getting a cooler and overclocking that 920 to a good 3.2 ghz. You'll probably end up with playable rates with a mixed medium to high settings with no AA and maybe a little anisotropic.

Only if OP wants an average of 60fps... The 6870 should play BF3 at ultra w/ no MSAA at that res @ 40fps or so. Also the CPU doesn't matter for that game. And my cousin tells me overclocking last-gen i7s is a nightmare.
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a b U Graphics card
January 4, 2012 8:04:37 PM

I had a 920. Its not that hard to get to a stable 3.2ghz on aftermarket coolers. It was just a suggestion. He may get 40 fps on some levels but once looking around on large levels, probably going to run into some pretty heavy fps drops. I know I do.
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January 4, 2012 9:51:18 PM

AMD Radeon said:
spent money for ANTEC psu

then wait for upcoming AMD radeon HD 7970


I was told that hd 7970 is over $350. It may way over budget. Better try somether like hd 6790 which is rather inexpensive and no need to upgrade psu.
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January 8, 2012 11:56:00 PM

I ran into what I think is an issue. I haven't ordered anything yet so I figured I would open up my computer and check things out.

The 6870 looks ~2x thicker than my current 4670 in pictures, and 2x thicker would essentially push the 6870's fan up against the very bottom of my case. The 4670's fan is already close to the bottom of the case.

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a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:20:11 AM

jwl12345 said:
I ran into what I think is an issue. I haven't ordered anything yet so I figured I would open up my computer and check things out.

The 6870 looks ~2x thicker than my current 4670 in pictures, and 2x thicker would essentially push the 6870's fan up against the very bottom of my case. The 4670's fan is already close to the bottom of the case.

http://i.imgur.com/mIz0i.jpg


Did you buy a new power supply also? I would not trust a 6870 on that PSU.

Maybe if you have a friend that has a dual slot card? They could come to see. The card may reach to the very edge of that case. Make sure you remove the expansion PCI slot metal slide below your current card if you get a dual card.

I would get something smaller/cheaper/lesser power requirements. The card requires a 450 watt psu. If the PSU goes, you risk damaging other parts in your computer. Just something to think about.

EDIT(Something to add): On this website you can see that a 6870 uses 247 watts on full load. I would definitely not consider gaming with that PSU and a 6870.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2010/10/22/at...
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a c 559 U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:31:17 AM

This is a picture of someones Dell Studio XPS 435MT with a GeForce GTX 280 graphics card which is a double slot-width card and it fits and works without problems. You can see that they even replaced the power supply unit to handle that 236 Watt card.

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a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 12:42:29 AM

ko888 said:
This is a picture of someones Dell Studio XPS 435MT with a GeForce GTX 280 graphics card which is a double slot-width card and it fits and works without problems. You can see that they even replaced the power supply unit to handle that 236 Watt card.

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/7113/img2359mo5.jpg


+1 to that.

So now you know you can fit a dual slot card. Just don't try and run on your current PSU
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January 9, 2012 1:38:59 AM

asye288 said:
I was told that hd 7970 is over $350. It may way over budget. Better try somether like hd 6790 which is rather inexpensive and no need to upgrade psu.


6790 takes as much power as a 6870 and would still require a new PSU.

ko888 said:
This is a picture of someones Dell Studio XPS 435MT with a GeForce GTX 280 graphics card which is a double slot-width card and it fits and works without problems. You can see that they even replaced the power supply unit to handle that 236 Watt card.

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/7113/img2359mo5.jpg


Not the best idea, pointing the fan of something that needs a good amount of cooling straight into a wall so all the heated air being blown away gets pushed right back up.
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a c 559 U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 1:49:44 AM

kinggraves said:
6790 takes as much power as a 6870 and would still require a new PSU.



Not the best idea, pointing the fan of something that needs a good amount of cooling straight into a wall so all the heated air being blown away gets pushed right back up.

That's why the choice of graphics card is important. The idea is to get a model, like the AMD reference design, that vents all of its warm exhaust air out of the case and not dump it back into the case.
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January 9, 2012 1:56:03 AM

Um...the picture posted looks like it has one sliding metal thing above the card, while if I put in the 6870 it would have two above it and be very close to the bottom.

Also, I'm planning on replacing the power supply too.
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a c 559 U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 2:02:39 AM

jwl12345 said:
Um...the picture posted looks like it has one sliding metal thing above the card, while if I put in the 6870 it would have two above it and be very close to the bottom.

Also, I'm planning on replacing the power supply too.

That's just an unfastened slot cover plate next to the graphics card. There is another slot located above it and can be determined just by looking at the two unused PCIe x1 slots on the motherboard above the PCIe x16 slot used by the graphics card.
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January 9, 2012 9:13:45 PM

So I should buy what Jack suggested?
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a c 559 U Graphics card
January 9, 2012 9:57:22 PM

jwl12345 said:
So I should buy what Jack suggested?

You can if you're willing to spend at least $254.98 + $13.55 shipping for it up front and then apply and wait for the $25 rebate for the power supply unit and $20 rebate for the graphics card.

If that's within your budget range then, sure, go ahead and take the plunge.
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a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2012 2:33:53 PM

jwl12345 said:
So I should buy what Jack suggested?

Yep - those parts are great for the price. And he's the expert :-)
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January 12, 2012 5:59:16 PM

Seeing as I might have some issues, I was thinking about buying from my local micro center.

What do you think about

OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular ATX Power Supply OR Cooler Master GX Series 650W ATX Power Supply
And either an XFX, Gigabyte, or Diamond 6870 (all similar prices)
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January 13, 2012 7:13:16 PM

jwl12345 said:
Seeing as I might have some issues, I was thinking about buying from my local micro center.

What do you think about

OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular ATX Power Supply OR Cooler Master GX Series 650W ATX Power Supply
And either an XFX, Gigabyte, or Diamond 6870 (all similar prices)

I suggest a 650 antec earthwatt and a Sapphire 6870. Those are the best of the best for the price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suggest you skip all the PSU you posted and the XFX is only quality AMD video card maker in your list. For the most part XFX and Sapphire are the 2 top makers of AMD video cards. In the PSU its Seasonic and Antec Earthwatt lines. Technically its only Seasonic as they manufacture Antec's Earthwatt line. The only problem with Seasonic is price but for quality they are worth that price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-power-supply-manufa...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
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a c 559 U Graphics card
January 13, 2012 8:05:35 PM

elbert said:
I suggest a 650 antec earthwatt and a Sapphire 6870. Those are the best of the best for the price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I suggest you skip all the PSU you posted and the XFX is only quality AMD video card maker in your list. For the most part XFX and Sapphire are the 2 top makers of AMD video cards. In the PSU its Seasonic and Antec Earthwatt lines. Technically its only Seasonic as they manufacture Antec's Earthwatt line. The only problem with Seasonic is price but for quality they are worth that price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-power-supply-manufa...
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

All of the Seasonic made Antec EarthWatt Series models have been discontinued.

Antec EartWatts Series

OEM: Delta Electronics
EA-350 Green (New!!!)
EA-380D Green
EA-430D Green
EA-430 Green (New!!!)
EA-500D
EA-500 Green (New!!!)
EA-650
EA-650 Green
EA-750
EA-750 Green
EA-900 Green (New!!!)

OEM: Seasonic
EA-380 Discontinued
EA-430 Discontinued
EA-500 Discontinued
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January 14, 2012 1:56:19 PM

ko888 said:
All of the Seasonic made Antec EarthWatt Series models have been discontinued.

Antec EartWatts Series

OEM: Delta Electronics
EA-350 Green (New!!!)
EA-380D Green
EA-430D Green
EA-430 Green (New!!!)
EA-500D
EA-500 Green (New!!!)
EA-650
EA-650 Green
EA-750
EA-750 Green
EA-900 Green (New!!!)

OEM: Seasonic
EA-380 Discontinued
EA-430 Discontinued
EA-500 Discontinued

Guess it doesn't matter much as its Antec's design and requirements. Delta Electric is much higher on ranked PSU makers with cooler master only 2 spots higher. Given their top ratings on newegg they still have the best PSU's. The EA-650 green on newegg has a 71% 5 egg rating, the cooler master gx 650 has 67%, and the OCZ modXStream has the lowest with 62%.
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January 16, 2012 6:47:29 PM

Best answer selected by jwl12345.
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