Is this graphic card compatiable with my computer?

Hey guys, I have a really old computer and I want to slightly upgrade it to play an online game. I know very little about computers and was refered to this site from a friend for some tech savy advice.

So anyways, the game I want to play recommends that my graphics card be a Radeon HD 3870 and I was wondering if that part is compatiable with my old computer or if I can buy any other equivilant type of graphics card that would be just as good.

I'm not really sure how to post the specs of my computer, but here is the info I got just from looking up the properties of "My Computer:"

Radeon x600 256 hyperMemory
Radeon x600 256 hyperMemory secondary

Dell Dimension dm051 Intel (R)
Pentium (R) D CPU 3.00 GHz
2.99 GHz, 3.00 GB of RAM
25 answers Last reply
More about graphic card compatiable computer
  1. What game is it you're trying to play? If it's anything that came out within the last 3 year, you will probably have trouble playing it unless you are able to upgrade your CPU somehow, which might not be easy to do since you have a Dell.
  2. swilczak said:
    What game is it you're trying to play? If it's anything that came out within the last 3 year, you will probably have trouble playing it unless you are able to upgrade your CPU somehow, which might not be easy to do since you have a Dell.


    The game in question is called "Tera." I believe that I meet the minimum requirements to run it except that my graphics card is too outdated so I thought I might as well get a new one. I understand that I probably won't be able to run a lot of recent games, but for now, I'd be content if my computer could handle running a game that is about as demanding as "Tera."

    So in short, is the computer that I currently have compatiable with the new graphics card that I'm trying to install and also, will it run the game smoothly afterwards?
  3. Is your Pentium D a dual core? The minimum requirement for that game is a dual core AMD or Intel CPU. The Nvidia gt 630 is a card equivalent to the 3870 that's newer and uses much less power, plus you can purchase it new from a retailer unlike the 3870 which you would have to buy used. You will have to open your computer case and see if you have a PCI express x16 slot, look at the photo on the link I provided to see if you have one. I think the game might run smoothly if you are running it at low resolutions and low graphical settings. Also look at the side of your computers power supply to see how many Watts it is. If you have 300 watts you should be okay otherwise you may damage your system by adding the graphics card.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express
  4. swilczak said:
    Is your Pentium D a dual core? The minimum requirement for that game is a dual core AMD or Intel CPU. The Nvidia gt 630 is a card equivalent to the 3870 that's newer and uses much less power, plus you can purchase it new from a retailer unlike the 3870 which you would have to buy used. You will have to open your computer case and see if you have a PCI express x16 slot, look at the photo on the link I provided to see if you have one. I think the game might run smoothly if you are running it at low resolutions and low graphical settings. Also look at the side of your computers power supply to see how many Watts it is. If you have 300 watts you should be okay otherwise you may damage your system by adding the graphics card.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express


    How do I know if it's dual core? I believe it is since when I check under the display settings for hardware it lists the information twice.

    Ok, it looks like I have a PCI express x16 slot. I don't know for sure because I see three slots and I don't know they're occupied with components and I'm not sure which one is for the graphics card. I assume the one that is supposed to be the graphics card is the one that has a slot outside for the computer monitor to hook up to it, right?

    As for my watts, I'm not too sure, but I think it is 305 watts. On the sticker, there's a part that says, "MAX OUTPUT POWER: 305W" so that means it is 305 watts, right?

    Finally, does it matter if I get a used graphics card? I plan to buy them on ebay from people that have nearly 100% positive review. Is there something I should be extra cautious about when it comes to buying a used graphics card?

    Thanks for trying to help me out with my problem!
  5. I recommend this should be the last upgrade for this computer, it's outdated.

    For your needs, I think you should get this since you're buying from eBay anyways, and the 5670 is better than a 630 GT/3850. This is as high end you can get with your 305W OEM PSU, pushing it a little even. (Used video cards are alright, in the end, it does the same thing! :) )

    You should be happy with the results from the 5670 at $53. If you're not, you're going to want to build a new computer. Also, I did find your motherboard does have a PCI-E x16 slot, so it'll work. It doesn't need an extra connecter.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/XFX-ATI-Radeon-HD-5670-HD-567X-ZNL3-V4-2-1-GB-PCIe-Video-Card-HDMI-Tested-Works-/321085183828?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards
  6. I think you do have a dual core. Yes the graphics card would be the slot where the video cable hooks into. Your power supply should be okay if it's 305 watts. I don't think it really matters if you get a used card as long as it works, but don't buy anything like the 3870 because your power supply will probably blow out. That was a high end card back in the day that uses a lot of power so you should go with the GT 630, gt 530 or the Radeon 5570 so you have a low power card.
  7. Thanks for the answers, I think I'll probably end up buying either the 5670 or the 630 depending on which one I can afford. Yes, this will be my last update for this computer before I buy a completely new one, hopefully, one day building my own custom one that comes with all the bells and whistles, but for now, this will have to do. Thanks guys!
  8. thymanbearpig said:
    I recommend this should be the last upgrade for this computer, it's outdated.

    For your needs, I think you should get this since you're buying from eBay anyways, and the 5670 is better than a 630 GT/3850. This is as high end you can get with your 305W OEM PSU, pushing it a little even. (Used video cards are alright, in the end, it does the same thing! :) )

    You should be happy with the results from the 5670 at $53. If you're not, you're going to want to build a new computer. Also, I did find your motherboard does have a PCI-E x16 slot, so it'll work. It doesn't need an extra connecter.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/XFX-ATI-Radeon-HD-5670-HD-567X-ZNL3-V4-2-1-GB-PCIe-Video-Card-HDMI-Tested-Works-/321085183828?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards


    Quick question, is there a difference between DDR3 and GDDR5? I saw another radeon hd 5670 with GDDR5 memory type and was thinking of getting it since it means it'll be faster, right? I'm just not sure if my computer can handle it with a power supply of only 305 watts or if it is compatitable with my computer...
  9. just a final thought, this site is great for seeing where you need upgrades etc. for games

    http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri
  10. A radeon 7750 will smoke a 3870 performance wise if you can afford it.
  11. smeezekitty said:
    A radeon 7750 will smoke a 3870 performance wise if you can afford it.


    I think I'll stick to the two different graphics card that was previously mentioned to me due to my budget. What I need to know now is if I need to worry about having enough watts to safely run that gddr5 version of the radeon 5670 and if it's compatiable with my computer
  12. 305w is the maximum on all rails. a bit tight with that GPU but you could likely do it without issues.
  13. smeezekitty said:
    305w is the maximum on all rails. a bit tight with that GPU but you could likely do it without issues.


    Ok, thank you. Just for future reference, is there anyway I can figure out on my own which graphics card I can upgrade based on if my psu is strong enough to run it? I don't want to buy new parts in the future just to have them not work or burn out =/
  14. As a very rough estimate you want to look for a GPU with a TDP no more than 20% of your total PSU wattage.
  15. I think you would be better off with the DDR3 version just to be safe. The DDR5 uses a bit more power and your PSU has wear and tare which means it's somewhat degraded from 305 watts. Usually ddr5 cards require a 400 watt PSU according to newegg.com. When I type in your specs on neweggs psu calculator it says you really only have enough power to run the 5570 not the 5670.
  16. swilczak said:
    I think you would be better off with the DDR3 version just to be safe. The DDR5 uses a bit more power and your PSU has wear and tare which means it's somewhat degraded from 305 watts. Usually ddr5 cards require a 400 watt PSU according to newegg.com. When I type in your specs on neweggs psu calculator it says you really only have enough power to run the 5570 not the 5670.


    I sure hope the 5670 can run, because I JUST bought it online =( Heh, I wasn't too sure if the GDDR5 would run with my psu or not so I decided to play it safe and go for the ddr3. But now you're telling me that it might not even run in the first place and that's starting to scare me =(
  17. You could either cancel your online order or just take the risk and run the 5670. It will run, but for how long is the question. It could work for a couple years or a couple days.
  18. swilczak said:
    You could either cancel your online order or just take the risk and run the 5670. It will run, but for how long is the question. It could work for a couple years or a couple days.


    I dont think I can cancel. As an alternative, can I just buy a new psu? Those don't have much issue when it come to compatibility, right? I just need to fork over some more cash and learn to install that on my own.
  19. Yeah you could do that but with Dell's you have to be careful because they aren't all standard ATX PSU's. If you install a PSU with the wrong pin setup it can start a fire. I believe you can check the pc power and cooling website to see if your Dell model will take a standard ATX psu.
  20. swilczak said:
    Yeah you could do that but with Dell's you have to be careful because they aren't all standard ATX PSU's. If you install a PSU with the wrong pin setup it can start a fire. I believe you can check the pc power and cooling website to see if your Dell model will take a standard ATX psu.


    If my google-ing skills are correct, I believe I can use any standard ATX psu for my dell computer. Right now, I'm trying to see if I can cancel my order of the 5670 and instead, opt for the 5570. If all goes well, would this model be ok for my computer?:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/XFX-Radeon-HD-5570-1GB-PCIe-DVI-VGA-Video-Card-w-HDMI-/400423822195?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item5d3b1ea373
  21. If you can just spring for a new PSU, I would.
  22. smeezekitty said:
    If you can just spring for a new PSU, I would.


    I thought about it, but I wanna keep my budget as tight as possible. Plus, I never installed a psu before and I heard it can be quite complicated. I know in the near future, I'd like to have a decked out computer that I was able to have built myself but for now, I'd like to do as little upgrade as I can with my really old computer that I use for minimal gaming.
  23. That model would be fine. PSU installation is very easy, but if you don't have the money it's not really worth buying a cheap PSU that could end up being worse than the one you have.
  24. swilczak said:
    That model would be fine. PSU installation is very easy, but if you don't have the money it's not really worth buying a cheap PSU that could end up being worse than the one you have.


    I looked online for psu installaztion and it looked difficult at a first glance, but I guess it's certainly do-able if I ever come around to the point of ever having to install it myself. However, luckily I was able to cancel my old transaction so I won't need to learn how to install a psu yet and now I'm going to buy the radeon 5570 instead! Thank you again so much for being patient and answering my questions! Your advice is greatly appreciated!
  25. YW good luck
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