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New graphics card on older PC

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June 6, 2012 3:51:20 PM

I need help in buying a new graphics card for my dell xps 7100.
Not sure what to get or what will work, budget being maximum about $300.
PCIe x16 (1) , PCIe x1 (2) , PCI (1)
AMD Athlon II x4 640 processor (4CPUs) ~2.8ghz
3072mb RAM
Directx11
Windows 7
400w power supply.

So what card can be compatible with this system? I am willing to upgrade the PSU as well for additional costs.
I read online that the length of the PSU in this PC needs to be about 5.9 inches.
Thanks.

Trying to get into higher quality gaming, im currently stuck with a real junk card

More about : graphics card older

a b U Graphics card
June 6, 2012 4:09:36 PM

Well all current graphics cards are PCIe2.0 by standard, since you only have a PCIe 1.0 slot, your going to see a small performance hit. Also, you dont want to buy a really high level card, because your power supply cant handle it and your cpu will become the limiting factor and cause what we call a "bottleneck."
So your aiming for a low/mid card. Im most worried about not overworking your PSU.
What games are you playing and at what resolution?
And what were you saying about the length of the PSU? (power supply unit) Did you mean the graphics card?
June 6, 2012 4:18:15 PM

635600 said:
I need help in buying a new graphics card for my dell xps 7100.
Not sure what to get or what will work, budget being maximum about $300.
PCIe x16 (1) , PCIe x1 (2) , PCI (1)
AMD Athlon II x4 640 processor (4CPUs) ~2.8ghz
3072mb RAM
Directx11
Windows 7
400w power supply.

So what card can be compatible with this system? I am willing to upgrade the PSU as well for additional costs.
I read online that the length of the PSU in this PC needs to be about 5.9 inches.
Thanks.

Trying to get into higher quality gaming, im currently stuck with a real junk card


Hi 635600,

What resolution does your monitor support? At which resolution do you plan to game on? What type of Case you have? I mean Mini-ATX, Mid Tower or a Full Tower.

Also, tell me your Max. budget including the PSU too.

Regards,
SmartGeek
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June 6, 2012 4:21:38 PM

Well i can always upgrade the PSU, and i was talking about the length of the PSU if that even really matters.
So am i pretty much screwed by not having a PCIe2.0?? Id really like to get the best card i can afford and not something totally low end.
June 6, 2012 4:26:58 PM

I was hoping to upgrade to a 1920x1080 monitor as well.
Id be willing to spend up to an extra $100-120 on a PSU
I believe its a full tower, first image of "dell xps 7100" on google images, im very new to all this hardware stuff
June 6, 2012 4:33:33 PM

That 400w power supply is going to be a limiting factor. A 400w OEM PSU is more like a 300w from a quality brand (Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, XFX are the big names but there are other decent supplies out there).

Having a 16x PCIe 1.0 slot is like having an 8x PCIe 2.0 slot. You'll see a small (<5%) performance drop due to the lower bandwidth on mid-level cards. This problem gets worse as the cards get more powerful because, as the cards get faster, they need more bandwidth.

Another issue to consider is your CPU is relatively weak. While I don't think it will bottleneck mid-level cards too badly, the top end is probably out and if you decide to replace the CPU, you might as well just build an entirely new system.


For this reason, I'd recommend something like a GTX 560, GTX 560ti, HD 6870 or HD 7850 (depending on your monitor resolution/budget) along with a new PSU. A 500w from one of the vendors I mentioned above should be sufficient.
a c 75 U Graphics card
June 6, 2012 4:44:49 PM

635600 said:
Well i can always upgrade the PSU, and i was talking about the length of the PSU if that even really matters.
So am i pretty much screwed by not having a PCIe2.0?? Id really like to get the best card i can afford and not something totally low end.

You're "screwed" in the sense that you can't circumvent that limitation without replacing your motherboard (and CPU). But the actual performance penalty won't necessarily be significant, and a better graphics card will still be, you know, better - just not by quite as much.

If you want to stick with your old PSU, a Radeon HD 7750 might be good. But that card will struggle a bit at 1920x1080. For stronger cards, you'll probably need a PSU upgrade, but then all the cards subasteve580 suggest would be reasonable options, along with the Radeon HD 6850.
June 6, 2012 5:32:23 PM

635600 said:
I was hoping to upgrade to a 1920x1080 monitor as well.
Id be willing to spend up to an extra $100-120 on a PSU
I believe its a full tower, first image of "dell xps 7100" on google images, im very new to all this hardware stuff


Well, as you have a 16x PCIe 1.0 slot, you'll notice a decrease in performance but that will be negligible. If you buy a new PSU and a high-end Graphics Card, you won't be able to take the most out of your PC but still, it will be way better. Your CPU will definitely bottleneck a high end Graphics Card but it will never ruin your gaming experience as most of the time you'll get around 60 FPS at HD resolution.

If you plan to upgrade your PSU and Graphics Card, then here is a perfect deal which will fit in your budget---
PowerColor HD Radeon 7850 OC Edition---($260)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(It is currently Out of Stock but it is the best deal out there.)

OCZ ZT 750w Power Supply(80+ Bronze Certified)---($110)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(This PSU will probably run for 5+ years without no problems and will get you future-proof too.)

With this configuration of about $370, you'll get amazing gaming experience even on most demanding games out there.

Regards,
SmartGeek




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