Please help me pick the best GPU & PSU upgrade-before my head explodes

Hey everybody. I could really use some help, my head is spinning! :pt1cable: I want to upgrade the HD Intel integrated graphics card in my i620 computer.

Using the;
1. Cards from Best Graphics Cards For The Money: February 2012

2. My $250.00 ish budget (including a new PSU)

3. And whatever you know about PSUs, specific recommendations appreciated, (I have not even been able to make it to this part of the research, what with my brain leaking out of my ear and all), what are my best options for getting more pow for my graphics buck?


Playing LOTRO on medium-high graphics and having it look super sweet, or mostly sweet, and still be smooth. The integrated card is not terrible, but I know a dedicated card will be better.

300watt generic PSU that came installed with the Dell i620 desktop.

I have a Dell i620, i3-2100 3.1 ghz 3MB cache, 6 gigs RAM, Windows 7, 64 bit home premium. I could not find any information about the motherboard. We just bought the system in January.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: No preference, other than best price.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference. I leave that to you guys.

OVERCLOCKING: Card doesn't have to be able to be overclocked, but I am not opposed to having one that can be overclocked.

23 inch 1920 x 1080 @ 60hz
VGA, DVD-D and HDMI outputs

Thanks in advance for your help! :hello: Let me know if you need any more information.
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More about please pick upgrade before head explodes
  1. Either keep your current PSU and get a 7750 that will easily run on a 300W PSU (total investment ~ 120$ including shipping) :

    or get a good 500W PSU and a 6870 (total investment ~ 230$) :

    Those are 2 good cards for the price. Good luck ;)
  2. Thanks so much for the help diec4st.

    I was looking at the 6870, is that considered a high profile card, or average size? Is 'high profile' even the right term to describe how much space the card takes up, from the board to the fan?

    Now I need to get in the tower and make sure that will fit in the space I have. If I found out what kind of mother board I have, would that give me dimensions, to help make sure that card would fit? And, how to I find out what kind of mobo I have? Sorry if the answers to my question may be obvious, I just didn't want to take any chances getting the wrong parts.
  3. The card takes exactly 2 slots from the board to the end of the fan. I also wouldn't consider it a very long card, it (this exact model of card) easily fitted in my friend's cheap micro atx case which is this one :

    Unless you have a slimline type of case, I think you'll be fine. If you want a card that only takes one slot (low profile), your best bet is either a 7750 (no PSU upgrade) or a 6770 (would require a new PSU), but that would mean a significant drop in performance.

    EDIT : I also found this, but it's 40$ more expensive than a 6870 and also less powerful
  4. So I found a photo of the inside of the tower,

    And now I have a few questions;

    1 Can I put the HD 6870 GPU in upside down, with the fan on the bottom? Since the mobo's PCIe slot is on what would be the left side of the card, in relation to the outputs. If I were to plug in the graphics card with the fan on top, the outputs would be to the right of the PCIe slot and end up inside the tower.

    2 If yes to #1, can I move the wireless LAN card down to the bottom slot, since I need the top 2 for the graphics card.

    3 For the PSU you posted, I saw that it is rated 100-240 volt, but didn't see a toggle switch to change the input like my current PSU has. Does it automatically work, like the power cord on my laptop, and it regulates that volatage automatically? So then, I would just need to use the plug adapter. We are stationed overseas and I didn't want the PSU to explode.

    Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it.
  5. Almost all PSUs are auto-switch now.

    GPU in upside down? I can't wrap my mind around this question.
  6. Yeah, I went back and re-read it and it warped my mind, and I wrote it. I meant to say, can I plug the card in with the fan facing down? Otherwise the outputs won't line up with the outside of the case. I went back and reworded the other post.
  7. Like this? (random google picture)

    If so, yes. Actually, I never had a video card fan face the top of the case, ever.
  8. Holy cracker jack, look at all the stuff going on inside that case. Yes that is how I meant. It looks like I have about 10.5 inches of clearance from left side of the tower to the hard disk chassis. I am trying to find the exact measurements on that Sapphire card.
  9. From Sapphire's website lenght would be 250mm which is 9.84251968505 inches. You're good to go ;)
  10. Thanks for the measurements. I am so glad I double checked the space in the tower. The 6870 would have been fine length wise, but there is not enough height space. Better to find out now, than once I had the product shipped over to me. The cable for the power button, attaches to the mobo, to the right of the PCIe, and there is not 40 mm of clearance. So now back to the research, and finding the most powerful single slot, less than 250 long card I can. Or a dual slot card that is shorter than 203 mm.

    The Dell site recommends HD 6450. Since it would work with the current PSU. But I am still open to upgrading the PSU if I can get a better card. The Sapphire site, lists 8 versions of that card If that card is my only option, of those 6450 cards, is it better to have 1 GB RAM and DDR3, or OC 512 GB RAM and DDR5?

    Again thanks for the help.
  11. This would offer decent performance, probably fit (slightly bigger than a totally low profile card) plus it's real short and most of all, would NOT require a PSU upgrade (has a TDP of 55W). Total investment : ~115$. Considering your size restrictions, I think that would be the best option. By the way, 7750 is WAY more powerful than a 6450.

    EDIT : I also found this (low profile 6850) but it is 80$ more expensive than regular 6850's (not worth it IMO) and you would need to get a new PSU (the Corsair CX500 I linked in my first post would be fine) which would bring the total investment to ~265$

    If I were you I would go with the 7750 ;)
  12. Seriously, This forum has been a life saver. Thanks again diec4st! So the whole DDR3 DDR5 thing? I assume DDR5 is better but not really sure why....
  13. GDDR5 is much better than DDR3. I've heard it's like twice the performance for gaming.
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