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GPU for Dell Vostro 260 (I3-2120)

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January 31, 2013 1:50:32 AM

Hi everyone,

I would like to max out the graphics power for the dell vostro 260 without causing bottlenecking in my system.

I need help selecting a GPU. I saw a reccomendation for the AMD Radeon™ HD 6450 1GB DDR3 on the dell support forums. I was ready to get the MSI R6450-MD1GD3/LP Radeon HD 6450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card , but I'm not sure if that is the best my system can handle. I want to play more demanding games than flight simulator (i.e. wow, borderlands 2, skyrim, battlefield 2, etc.)

I have two old GPU's. The first one is the ZOTAC ZT-98GES5P-FDL GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card and the second one is the SAPPHIRE 100287VGAL Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 512MB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card


  • Are there any articles to help me learn how to choose a GPU that won't cause bottlenecking in my system?

  • Do I need to upgrade my RAM considering I have (1) 2gb stick (factory RAM) or will the GPU upgrade be enough to run the games I mentioned earlier?
    January 31, 2013 2:18:41 AM

    DaleNobody said:
    Hi everyone,

    I would like to max out the graphics power for the dell vostro 260 without causing bottlenecking in my system.

    I need help selecting a GPU. I saw a reccomendation for the AMD Radeon™ HD 6450 1GB DDR3 on the dell support forums. I was ready to get the MSI R6450-MD1GD3/LP Radeon HD 6450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card , but I'm not sure if that is the best my system can handle. I want to play more demanding games than flight simulator (i.e. wow, borderlands 2, skyrim, battlefield 2, etc.)

    I have two old GPU's. The first one is the ZOTAC ZT-98GES5P-FDL GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card and the second one is the SAPPHIRE 100287VGAL Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 512MB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

  • Can I get something better than the AMD Radeon HD 6450 1GB DDR3?
  • Are there any articles to help me learn how to choose a GPU that won't cause bottlenecking in my system?
  • Do I need to upgrade my RAM considering I have (1) 2gb stick (factory RAM) or will the GPU upgrade be enough to run the games I mentioned earlier?


  • 1. http://www.hwcompare.com/10150/radeon-hd-5670-vs-radeon...
    A 6450 is MOST DEFINITELY not an upgrade from the 5670.

    2. Do you mean Battlefield 3, not battlefield 2? All three cards mentioned will suck on BF3. The 9800 GT might actually
    be your best choice out of all of them.

    3. An i3-2120 is not a crappy CPU. You can pair it with a HD 7850/ GTX 660 and run BF3 on high/ultra.

    4. O.O 2GB of RAM?? Can you upgrade that? Your CNET link says that max RAM size is 8GB, so why not...
    Anyways, it's DDR3-1333 so it's not that bad, but 2GB? ...

    Edit: You should tell us about your budget, and if possible the rest of your system.
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    January 31, 2013 3:35:06 AM

    Thanks for the fast reply Tabascosauz

    Quote:
    1. http://www.hwcompare.com/10150/rad [...] -6450-oem/
    A 6450 is not an upgrade from the 5670.
    Thanks for the link, I will bookmark it for later reference.

    Quote:
    2. Do you mean Battlefield 3, not battlefield 2? All three cards mentioned will suck on BF3. The 9800 GT might actually
    be your best choice out of all of them.
    Yes, I do mean BF3. I made a typo.

    Quote:
    3. An i3-2120 is not a crappy CPU. You can pair it with a HD 7850/ GTX 660 and run BF3 on high/ultra.
    I'd like to have something like that, but I'm worried about the 300w PSU being a problem.

    Quote:
    4. O.O 2GB of RAM?? Can you upgrade that?
    I have the funds available, I read somewhere that GPU memory supplements the RAM power. Is that true, or should I upgrade the RAM as well as the GPU?

    Quote:
    Edit: You should tell us about your budget...
    I have enough money to put a new build together, but I would rather use the Vostro 260 with a few upgrades. I can put $300 - $400 into the vostro, but I dont want to install something that needs more than 300w.

    Quote:
    ...and if possible the rest of your system.

    I linked to the Vostro 260 system specs in the first sentence. So far, the only aftermarket component I have installed is the D-Link DWA-556 Xtreme Desktop Adapter that I had laying around.


    Thanks for all your help Tobascosauz. If there is anything else that I need to include, then I will try to repond as quickly as possible.


    [Edit] - Do I need to be worried about heat produced by the GPU? I dont think this PSU has any supplemental power cables for PCIEx16 Cards...
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    a b U Graphics card
    January 31, 2013 6:04:39 AM

    Get a hd7770 ghz for about $100-$140 card.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $115
    This card sports good cooling and also has good performance.
    You cannot go for any high end card as your PSU won't be able to deliver power to those cards. If you want to go for hd7850 I'd say first get atleast a 350-400watts PSU.
    This is the cheapest hd7850 1GB card on newegg
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    Cheapest hd7850 2GB card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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    January 31, 2013 3:58:32 PM

    OK, well those are good choices, but the biggest problem is in his 300w PSU and 2GB of RAM.

    I think he should get a HD 7770 or GTX 660 while upping the PSU to 450w and maybe a RAM upgrade.

    EDIT: nevermind, a 250w is sufficient for 7850.

    EDIT: About the heat... does the vostro 260 have a good case fan? I'm not familiar with midtower cases.
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    a b U Graphics card
    January 31, 2013 11:12:09 PM

    tabascosauz said:
    OK, well those are good choices, but the biggest problem is in his 300w PSU and 2GB of RAM.

    I think he should get a HD 7770 or GTX 660 while upping the PSU to 450w and maybe a RAM upgrade.

    EDIT: nevermind, a 250w is sufficient for 7850.

    EDIT: About the heat... does the vostro 260 have a good case fan? I'm not familiar with midtower cases.

    I think 250watts for HD7850 will be well and good just to do normal tasks like watching video, etc, but as soon as it is under load the system will crash as the PSU won't be able to deliver the power needed by the computer.
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    February 1, 2013 2:09:40 PM

    A Special Thanks to Xttony & Tabascosauz for your thought out replies.

    I would like to stay with the stock 300w PSU and just add a GPU that will bring my system up to it's full potential without crashing the system due to PSU shortcomings. I also want to be mindful of creating unforeseen heat problems in Vostro's case.

    Do you think that the hd7770 would accomplish my goal or should I go with something that has a little less graphics power for reliability?

    I'm very inexperienced and I'm just trying to make sure I will be buying something that will mesh well with the stock components that I plan on keeping (i.e. Chipset, PSU, CPU, Cooling fans, and Case).

    Also I wasn't sure about posing RAM questions in this section, so I double dipped and posted my RAM upgrade question here.
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    a b U Graphics card
    February 1, 2013 3:34:12 PM

    The AMD 7000 series cards produce less heat and so it won't heat up your system, you don't need to worry about that.
    You can run hD7770 without any problems on your system with the stock PSU.
    Also since you want a cooler card I'd say get the sapphire vapor x(link on my previous post). This card runs cooler than other cards on the market without heating up your system.
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    February 2, 2013 10:13:17 PM

    Xttony said:
    The AMD 7000 series cards produce less heat and so it won't heat up your system, you don't need to worry about that.
    You can run hD7770 without any problems on your system with the stock PSU.
    Also since you want a cooler card I'd say get the sapphire vapor x(link on my previous post). This card runs cooler than other cards on the market without heating up your system.



    Thanks Xttony,

    I think the moral of this story is: Skip the pre-fab and build from the ground up. All the worthwhile GPU's have a min of 400-450 PSU reqs.

    I'm just gonna try to start a new build, or fix one of the old gaming machines donated to me over the years. They all have some problems, but maybe I can mix and match parts to make one working Gamer out of the PC graveyard in my storage. Thanks for all the help, but I'm gonna try another route.

    You and tabasco have been extremely helpful and patient with me. That goes a long way with me. Thanks to the both of you.
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    February 3, 2013 12:23:09 AM

    Nice to see you'll have some motivation to build your own PC next time! :) 

    Anyways, helping is all we do here. A nicely cooled 7770 will do nicely for most games, even with a 300w PSU.

    Good luck in the future!
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    a b U Graphics card
    February 3, 2013 1:31:06 AM

    DaleNobody said:
    Thanks Xttony,

    I think the moral of this story is: Skip the pre-fab and build from the ground up. All the worthwhile GPU's have a min of 400-450 PSU reqs.

    I'm just gonna try to start a new build, or fix one of the old gaming machines donated to me over the years. They all have some problems, but maybe I can mix and match parts to make one working Gamer out of the PC graveyard in my storage. Thanks for all the help, but I'm gonna try another route.

    You and tabasco have been extremely helpful and patient with me. That goes a long way with me. Thanks to the both of you.

    A 300watts PSU can handle a HD7770 if it is able to supply enough amps. The card needs 75watts to run so the minimum amp requirement from a 12volt rail is 6amps. Also make sure the PSU has a 6pin connector.
    When you start a new build do a background check on the components so that you won't end up with parts that are not compatible with each other.
    After you salvage the parts from your old computer make sure ask a question if you get stuck at some point.
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    February 15, 2013 2:00:30 PM

    tabascosauz said:
    Nice to see you'll have some motivation to build your own PC next time! :) 

    Anyways, helping is all we do here. A nicely cooled 7770 will do nicely for most games, even with a 300w PSU.

    Good luck in the future!



    I'll keep that in mind for the future. +Rep



    Xttony said:
    A 300watts PSU can handle a HD7770 if it is able to supply enough amps. The card needs 75watts to run so the minimum amp requirement from a 12volt rail is 6amps. Also make sure the PSU has a 6pin connector.
    When you start a new build do a background check on the components so that you won't end up with parts that are not compatible with each other.
    After you salvage the parts from your old computer make sure ask a question if you get stuck at some point.



    I will definately keep posting questions on Tom's. +Rep
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    a b U Graphics card
    February 16, 2013 2:56:50 PM

    I really hate to break the party, but as I can see OP is trying to use his installed power supply, which is only 300 watt and it DOESN'T have 6 pin power connector, actually it doesn't have any spare connectors, so in order to use 7770, OP has to install different power supply.

    DaleNobody please slow down and consider what I just said.

    If DaleNobody wants to stay with Vostro 260 power supply only 7750 will work unfortunately. In this case Sapphire 7750 is recommended

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

    2 GB is the best choice.

    Again, if DaleNobody decides to change power supply - anything can be installed, what actually fits, there is size limitation as well.



    As you can see there is hard drive cage on the way. Also, on this picture you can clearly see only 2 spare power connectors, one for DVD drive and one for one more hard drive.
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    February 25, 2013 7:05:44 AM

    Best answer selected by DaleNobody.
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