I am getting a Dell Vostro 230 reloaded as a hammy down and I am hoping to be able to upgrade it enough to the point where I can play a game or two (Rome Total War 2 specifically). The processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500(2.93 GHz), and I will have 4gb of ram. I definitely have to upgrade the graphics card. Ideally, I would like to get by with the current processor and get a new graphics card that is reasonably priced.
My question is a) What graphics cards priced around or under $150 are good enough to play some of the latest games? and b) Can I get by with the new graphics card, the current processor, ram, and a 300 watt power supply?
I don't need a supercomputer, just one that is solid enough so I can play a game or two without any skipping.
If your budget is 150 I do recommend a 7770 over 6850(similar performance after driver updates but more overclocking headroom than 6850) and a
corsair cx430. I wonder about a few things tho. Will that sub 3ghz c2d be a bottleneck to a higher end card? You likely can't overclock on the dell mobo
(otherwise you could break 4ghz with a decent cooler and eliminate that concern almost entirely). Also, is there any chance that a psu swap could fry the
whole system? I know dell used to have proprietary pinouts on the 24pin mobo connector, so if you swapped mobo or psu your system got fried. Not sure
how recently it was that they switched to industry standards. You may want to stick with a cheaper 7750(still very overclockable). And a 7850 seems a bit
beyond your original budget. Even if you did get a card like that, you'd want a 2GB model, not a card with just 1GB(which is becoming a bottleneck for
certain settings in some games already). On OCing your cpu, you would need DDR2 800 or DDR3 1600(again depending on your mobo's abilities).
How the hell are you a vetrain? No the PSU can't simply can't fry the system. They didn't switch industry standards it's been on that same layout for at least the last 5 years (I'd put money on more like 10). I have an old 2004 HP that I had to replace the PSU and nothing had changed.
Most of my points are from best answers in gpu, not psu or system builds(although gpu and power supply are linked). I like how I can manage to learn
something new almost every day. Today I have learned that any dell system from 2005 onward should have standardized parts. Thanks for that.