I understand it has an abysmal video card (Radeon HD 4350) and was looking to upgrade. I want to be able to play the new games with a pretty good frame rate. Does not have to be a high resolution, but run smoothly medium/high graphics. I chatted with Dell and understand that my 300 watt PSU is holding me back. The card they offered was a 4650, but upon further research it seems the 4670 series is much better. So this leads me to two questions.
Would I be able to run a Radeon 5670 or 6670 without upgrading the PSU? If not, are there any suggestions for other mid level video cards I would be able to run?
Should I invest in a PSU and get an even higher end video card?
Budget around $150-200
I am fairly new at upgrading hardware, but understand my processor is fairly good... I think. Here are some of the relevant specs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
300 watt stock PSU that came with Dell
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.5 ghz
I also do have a PCI Express slot
You should be able to use any card that doesn't require an external PCIe power connector. i.e one that gets all its power from the PCIe slot. (The slot is designed to provide 75W of power to the card.)
Yes, you can install a HD 6670 without having to upgrade the PSU.
However, your motherboard has a PCI-e 1.0/1.1 slot. The HD 5670 and HD 6670 are PCI-e 2.1 cards. There have been some incompatibility issues with PCI-e 2.1 cards inserted into PCI-e 1.0/1.1 slots. The incidences are rare, but it has been known to occur. Therefore, you may run into such an issue.
The Radeon HD 7750 is currently the most powerful video card that can be installed in a PC with a 300w PSU. It's roughly close to a Radeon HD 6770 and it uses less power than a HD 6670; 43w maximum. However, this is a newer generation card based on the PCI-e 3.0 standard. Technically speaking, it should be compatible with a PCI-e 1.0/1.1 slot, but in actuality there may be some compatibility issues just like with PCI-e 2.1 cards.
It's up to you if you want to install a Radeon HD 6670 or a Radeon HD 7750 in your PC. As stated, the risk of a HD 6670 being incompatible is low, and regarding the HD 7750 the risk is unknown since most people nowadays has a motherboard with a PCI-e 2.0 slot.