Help with ati HD 6870 and existing Mobo/Tower/PSU

I recently boutght a new video card with the hopes of playing Mass Effect 2 and 3 since I just finished 1. Mass Effect 1 was the first "modern" video game I have played in years...

The card I bought was XFX Double D HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity, found at

Now not being too familiar with modern computers, I built the following from a barebones kit a while ago, thinking I could upgrade to a good graphics card when I felt the need for one,

Case w/psu: Thermaltake VM54521N2U V2 ATX Mid Tower Case - ATX, Micro ATX, 450W PSU, 3x Ext 5.25", 1x Ext 3.5", 6x Int 3.5", 2x Front USB 2.0 Ports

Mobo: ECS A880LM-M1 AMD 760G Socket AM3 Motherboard - Micro ATX, Socket AM3, AMD 760G Chipset, DDR3 1600MHz (O.C.), SATA 3.0 Gb/s, RAID, Radeon HD 3000, 6-CH Audio, Fast Ethernet LAN

CPU: AMD HDT55TFBGRBOX Phenom II X6 1055T Processor - Six Core, 6MB L3 Cache, 3MB L2 Cache, 2.80GHz, Socket AM3, Fan, Retail

RAM: 2x Patriot PG34G1333EL Gamer 2 Desktop Memory Module - 4GB, PC3-10666, DDR3-1333MHz, 9-9-9-24 CAS Latency, Intel XMP Ready

But, once I got the card I immediately noticed 3 problems,

1) The PSU on the case doesn't have the 2x 6 pin connectors required to power the card

2) The HD 6870 is way too big for my mobo and seems like it will but into the RAM DIMMs and possibly some other silver heatsink on the mobo

3) This is the lesser of the problems, but the case might just be too small, but it seems like it would fit in without running up against the HD case, but I assume it being so close messes with the air flow...

So, my question(s) is/are

1) Is there any way I can get this card to work with my current setup?

2) If no, what components do I need to swap out? The mobo/case/PSU or all 3?

3) Given my RAM, CPU, and the HD 6870 I want to put in, any recommendations on the mobo/case/PSU I should get?

4) Is there another graphics card that will work with my current build that will be able to handle Mass Effect 2/3 and other modern games well? If so, what would you recommend?

Thanks for viewing the post and any help given, much appreciated.
10 answers Last reply
More about help 6870 existing mobo tower
  1. change the Case/PSU. the PSU looks like a generic one and will be unfortunate to power the HD 6870.
  2. What about the actual layout of the mobo?

    The hd 6870 takes up two expansion bay slots in the back of the case, so it seems like I won't be able to use the PCI Express 1x slot (which is fine), but given that the card is long as well, I fear it will run into the silver heat sink and DIMM slots that the red arrows point to.
  3. The MoBo should be fine. You'll just have to make sure you put the RAM in before the GPU, which you'd probably do that anyways. :) The GPU should clear the heatsink fine, too. A single 6870 isn't a power hog, so a 450 watt PSU should be fine. I'm running two with a 600 watt right now. You'll need to pick up a molex to 6pin adapter, though.
  4. yep the mobo is fine. just change the Case/PSU
  5. antec.
  6. both of them are good PSU. its up to you now.
  7. The PSU you have now is undoubtedly junk, and may not even be good for 400W. You don't need a monster PSU, but you do need a good one. You can get a 500W Antec Earthwatts to power your rig with a HD6870 in it.
  8. The antec is $70 and the OCZ is $55 for a 2 day promo, so I am going to go with the ocz.

    Just going to buy a big PSU in case I want to do something else in the future, and since it seems both are about the same quality, just going to go for the promo deal.

    Thanks all for your help on this matter. Going to open up the case and see if I can physically put in the card without any problems. If all goes well, then I am going to order the PSU and call it a day.
  9. Card fit in fine just like everyone said, just had to move my Hard Drives down a few bays so the cabling wouldn't press into the card and then use some twisty ties to give the GPU some breathing room.

    Now all I have to do is wait on the new PSU and then I should be up and running.

    Next thing on my list will be to install some fans of some sort.

    Thanks again all!
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