I have a 2009 Dell Inspiron 537s with an INtel Core 2 Duo E8400, 3.00 GHz, 4.00 GB of RAM, and Direct X 11. Here's the problem: I love gaming. It's hard for me to believe that in just 3 years, my "modern" computer can not play new games like Skyrim, Assassin's Creed Revelations. Heck, it won't even accept Call of Cthulhu. It'll play older games (Pathologic, Penumbra), but none of the cooler games with unbelievable graphics. And here's why: The Inspiron comes with a very crappy and outdated ATI Radeon HD 4350 graphics adapter, and a 250 Watt power supply.
So what to do?
Here are my options as I see them:
1) Looks like I could buy a PS3 and hook it up to my Dell 16:9 SX2210 monitor. I don't have a TV.
2) I could buy a new graphics card (I was thinking Radeon HD 6670), and 300 Watt power supply and build it myself...or
3) See if I can just buy a new tower compatible with the monitor that already has components to play Skyrim at least at High settings.
well unfortunately three years is alot of time in the tech world...seeing as this wasnt a top of the line pc in 2009 and it was a preconfigured one by dell i am not surprised that it is struggling to play new games.....if you have the money to build a whole new rig I wouldn't dump any more cash into this pc because it is getting nearer its end of life as a gaming pc...but if you dont want to spend the money all at once then you could upgrade and get a 6670 but I would recommend getting a bigger psu...ati says it has a min requirement of 400watts so I would getting something in that range....350 min....but you need to make sure that the new psu would fit dell makes a habit out of using irregularly shaped parts
Just to be sure, I did some research. According to my sources (Google), there is no PSU made to be compatible with the Inspiron that's over 300W. However, that same source says that the 6670 will run just fine and play Skyrim at Medium-High.
Yeah, it comes down to money. School teacher here. I just want to spend my 2 months Skyrimming, but still have enough to go fishing.
Does Nvidia make a good graphics card that'll run on 300W?
And Recon, if the PS3 option's the cheapest...it is possible to hook it up to my monitor, right? I checked it out online, and there's 1-2 hits that say I gotta go buy some cord or another. Sounds more complicated, and possibly more risky, than installing card and power. But, that's why I'm asking ya all. I have more confidence in the suggestions and replies on this site/forum than from some post on Google.
Well, from what I got so far, I reckon it's the PS3 if it'll work with the monitor without doing anything irreperable. Cuz why buy a poor graphics card just because Dell never intended for the PSU to go over 300W; thus, forcing their un-tech-savvy consumers to have to purchase a whole new computer in 3 years.
A simple PSU and GPU upgrade, or just a 6670 like jessterman pointed out, would be a very nice upgrade and not expensive. It would allow you to play pretty much any game out there, though not on high settings of course.
For a new build, you might start with a new case and a nice PSU (like a decent 450-550W unit) and a GPU (maybe a 7770 or an older GTX 460). Right there would be a massive upgrade. After that, it would pretty much require a new mobo, CPU, and RAM, but then you're good to go. A new HDD would probably be useful too, but that can come later.
EDIT: About the PSU, it's probably an m-ITX form factor, but you'll want to figure it out for sure if you just want to upgrade within the same PC case...