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Dell XPS 8500 gfx card upgrade advice pls

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November 27, 2012 9:26:25 AM

Hi group. I've just bought an XPS 8500, mostly for audio/music (it runs VERY quiet) but some gaming (CS:GO, Crysis 2, just got Dishonored). The machine is Core i7 with 24GB RAM and an SSD. It came with a stock Radeon 7570 but all together the system hasn't given me the leap in performance I was expecting, gaming-wise.

Can anyone recommend a sensible graphics upgrade? It doesn't need to have massive top-end gaming performance but I suspect I can get a decent improvement without breaking the bank. A web search suggested a 6870, or is that too old now? A quiet card (not passive/silent) would be preferred given the machine's primary use.

The XPS is not a huge case so I may have to measure the card first, or perhaps you can recommend a more compact card. I understand two PSU connections may be needed.

Many thanks for any suggestions.
Paul, Worthing UK.
a b 4 Gaming
November 27, 2012 10:31:19 AM

Nice basis for a system. As you surmised, the gaming performance is held back by the video card.

You have a nice 460W power supply. That will cover any reasonable card up to 225W TDP given the rest of your components.

Here is a set of video cards sorted by price. At $170 a 7850 1GB would be nice. 6870s have been seen as low at $130. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car... Use the last page of the article to compare relative gaming performance of two cards.

To double check the power draw of a video card google the card chip and TDP. For example the HD6870 has a DP of 151W. The HD7850 has a TDP of 130W. You could overclock the snot out of either card and still be inside your power budget (and therefore not need to swap in a new power supply).

November 28, 2012 8:26:56 AM

Many thanks. I have ordered a Sapphire 7850 OC (2GB) which was about 160GBP on Amazon. I will reply with how things went, in case it's useful to other XPS owners. Cheers! Paul
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a b 4 Gaming
December 2, 2012 4:10:26 PM

very nice --> "Sapphire 7850 OC (2GB) " Please do post when you install.

December 3, 2012 8:21:06 AM

Hi again, pleased to say I spent much of the weekend playing Crysis 2 on Very High settings and it looks great! Installation was a breeze, card is smaller (and quieter) than I was expecting and the Dell had the right power lead for the card already in place, so no issues. Thanks tsnor for your advice, much appreciated! :D 
!