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Radeon 6770, GEForce 650, or Third Option?

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 25, 2012 6:34:51 PM

Hey folks. Looking for some advice, thanks in advance for your help. My computer is 6 or 7 years old, have replaced the hard drive, RAM (2GB from 512MB) and monitor (19in from 17) in the past. Money is tight and I'm trying to avoid buying a new desktop, so I am thinking of upgrading my video card, which will probably also require an upgraded PSU. Hoping to get at least another year or two out of this unit, and save up to buy a new laptop or tablet instead.

So the question is, what video card should I get? Looking to get one within a month, obviously the cheapest option with the best performance. I am looking to play some PC games (most of my gaming is on the Xbox 360, but I'd like the option to play something like Star Wars: Old Republic MMO, maybe the odd game like Portal), plus watching HD video files, etc.

Dell Dimension 4700
Pentium 4 CPU 3.00Ghz
2 GB RAM
Windows XP
Current Video Card: Radeon X300
Original Power Supply

I really can't justify spending more than $100 on a GPU, especially considering I will probably need a new power supply as well. The computer makes A LOT of noise these days, so it is needed. I would love to spend $100 tops on both, but this is unlikely. Initially I was interested in going dirt-cheap, something like the Radeon 5450 or 6450, or GEForce 210, but from what I've read these can't handle even basic video game function.

I am also asking because it would be pointless to buy a high-end graphics card if the computer will just get bottlenecked somewhere else anyway. Would also like to know how much of a difference a new video card would make on overall system function, and what choices would be compatible with this desktop.

The sheer number of options out there is overwhelming, but I I'm looking at either the Radeon 6770 or GEForce 650, both around $99. Unless somebody has a better suggestion. Thoughts?


More about : radeon 6770 geforce 650 option

December 25, 2012 6:45:30 PM

If you want to buy a new gpu , you probably have to change AT LEAST the 6-7 year old psu , if not the motherboard ..
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December 25, 2012 6:46:09 PM

Ahh, the Prescott 3Ghz Pentium 4, hyper threading enabled. I was using one until the end of 2011. It's a piece of crap, obviously, but the reason your computer is making so much noise is probably the stock CPU fan. Mine was noisy as hell too. If you're not going to upgrade the CPU within the next 1.5 years, do yourself a favor and buy a new CPU heatsink+fan.

The Radeon 6770 is the old series. The 7770 is current series, though I'm not sure if your CPU will be able to match it. You may be better off going for a 7750.

Buy more memory if you can too.

Edit: your motherboard should be fine for the GPU as long as it supports PCIe and not AGP.

Forgot to mention, my old PSU was also very noisy, and almost as loud as my CPU fan. Thankfully my computer is now fairly quiet.
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December 25, 2012 6:49:24 PM

Hoping to keep the motherboard going for another year or two, but I am willing to buy a new PSU. So if we settle on the right GSU and somebody can suggest a cheap but acceptable power supply, I will get both.
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 6:51:41 PM

Radeon 7750/7770 is what you want for that money.
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December 25, 2012 6:56:32 PM

Pherule said:
Ahh, the Prescott 3Ghz Pentium 4, hyper threading enabled. I was using one until the end of 2011. It's a piece of crap, obviously, but the reason your computer is making so much noise is probably the stock CPU fan. Mine was noisy as hell too. If you're not going to upgrade the CPU within the next 1.5 years, do yourself a favor and buy a new CPU heatsink+fan.

The Radeon 6770 is the old series. The 7770 is current series, though I'm not sure if your CPU will be able to match it. You may be better off going for a 7750.

Buy more memory if you can too.


Yeah, I keep debating myself in a circle. Ideally I should just buy a new desktop, but I can't really afford to do so right now and also really need a laptop, so I'd rather save up and buy one of those. I figure that even if I do get a nice souped-up laptop in a couple of months, I'd still need to keep the desktop running as long as I can. It is crappy and old but has served me well. Since I already bought a new hard drive (about a year ago), RAM and monitor (and don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to building computers, haha) I am hoping to keep it rolling. I don't mind getting a somewhat outdated video card since it would still obviously be an improvement over the X300.

And yes, I should definitely consider a new CPU fan and a couple more GB of RAM. The problem is that the more money I sink into it, the less sense it makes to do so. Tough call, wish I had more cash flow at the moment but it is a problem.
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December 25, 2012 7:01:12 PM

Quote:
Edit: your motherboard should be fine for the GPU as long as it supports PCIe and not AGP.


My computer knowledge is all over the place lol, but I believe this is the answer to that question:

Bus Interface: PCI-E 1.1 x16 @ x16 1.1
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December 25, 2012 7:08:35 PM

Soda-88 said:
Radeon 7750/7770 is what you want for that money.


I decided initially to replace my card with the cheapest option available (figuring it should still perform better than the 7-year old X300), although I am not 100% sure on that point when it comes to the $30 options like the 5450 or 210. That price would be great though, considering I will probably also have to get another PSU.

Now I'm thinking it would be pointless if the upgrade isn't a real improvement, so was willing to look at the 6770 or 650 for around $99. The 7770 looks to be in the $130 and up range which is a bit high here, however I do see a couple of MSI 7750's on Tiger Direct for $84.

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Also a couple of Sapphire's for around $104.

So the 7750 looks like the leading contender at the moment. Best & cheapest power supply to go with it, anyone?
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 7:25:52 PM

Soda-88 said:
PSU: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

Don't think there are any cheaper decent brand PSUs out there.



I double this ^^^^


Getting that decent PSU and putting a low end card, HD 7750 will be plenty and also you will be able to move those parts for the new build.... do a favor for yourself, get that PSU and down the road that GPU, those will be quite enough for your needs!
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December 25, 2012 7:40:10 PM

Thanks a lot guys, an $84 video card and $37 PSU don't break the bank and would be a nice upgrade on what I have now.

Now for a dumb question, it was mentioned earlier that I should consider getting a new heatsink and fan. I'm unclear on this, should I still consider that or would it be included or covered by that PSU?

Also, I've never replaced a video card or PSU before (ie. physically removing the old and installing the new items). Is this relatively easy to do?
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 8:16:23 PM

You don't need to replace any heatsinks or fans.
As for the ease of replacing GPU, it's very easy. PSU will be slightly more complicated since you'll have to replug all the cables. Just make sure you don't forget to plug everything back in.
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December 25, 2012 8:47:02 PM

Was fooling around on Tiger Direct and it appears that I ordered the MSI 7750 and Corsair PSU (thought there was one more screen before final purchase, lol). When you consider the tax and shipping plus mail-in rebates ($84 card is actually $99 - $15 mail-in rebate, and PSU $57 minus $20 rebate), it's more money than I was planning to spend, but it should prove to be a pretty sweet upgrade.

Awesome suggestions, guys, thanks again for the help.
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January 1, 2013 9:38:45 PM

Pherule said:
If you wanted to upgrade your system further you could do a complete overhaul really cheap.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3Ghz Sandy Bridge Dual core, 8GB DDR3 memory, and motherboard. It's cooler than the Pentium 4 and will run waaaaay faster. Total cost: $178


Thanks for these suggestions, I'll seriously consider them. I installed the new PSU and GPU, unfortunately having all kinds of other problems that started the day I received them in the mail (but before they were installed). I'm trying to find out whether this problem is related to the CPU fan, processor/board, or Windows registry. That will affect whether I can move the hard drive over to the new build. Thread about it here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/359331-28-problems-bo...

In that thread, I mentioned the sound wasn't working. That has been fixed. I also ordered an additional 2GB of RAM (for a total of 4). Bottom line, money is tight and it would not be ideal to upgrade right now, I was hoping to hang on with this unit until at least the summer, but should be able to do it sooner. If the computer dies entirely I will have no choice.

A couple of dumb questions: looking at a build through ncix.ca. They have a $50 option to assemble and test the parts ordered, unless it's real easy I'd prefer that to messing around with the CPU and motherboard. Is it worth it, and does New Egg offer the same service? I'm also curious about the Hard Drive migration, and what you guys would do. It would be nice to have a brand-new unit with Windows 7 or 8, but I have a lot of stuff on this drive and it would save quite a bit of money to use it (Seagate Barracuda 7200.12)

I had been looking at this build option, how does it compare to the parts suggested above?

http://pc.ncix.com/pcbuilder/index.php?action=config&id...

Intel Core i3 3220 Dual Core Hyperthreading Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Ivy Bridge 3MB Retail Box
Gigabyte B75M-D3H mATX LGA1155 B75 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI HDMI CrossFireX SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard
Kingston 4GB Kit 2X2GB 1333MHz DDR3 240PIN DIMM Unbuffered CL9 1.5V Memory Kit
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