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Need feeback for graphics card upgrade..

By gbelous
Apr 6, 2011
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  1. I have a Dell XPS 410 that I recently just upgraded the memory in to 4 GB and the graphics card to ATI Radeon HD 5450 1 GB. It has a 375W power source, runs Windows XP and has a dual core 2.13 ghz processor.

    I haven't even tried the 5450 yet with games, but just from research it seems that it's on the lower end. I plan on playing The Sims 3 and Starcraft 2 mainly, so I was hoping to get something that would be perfect for those games, but not require any power upgrades.

    I am fairly clueless when it comes to figuring out what hardware will be compatible so I was hoping for some help. I would like to stay in the $100-150 range if possible. IDEALLY, buy off Dell because I have an acct there, but not a necessity.

    I've searched a little and have seen a few come up that are recommended for the 410, but no one ever says HOW they run after, just that they would be good. So I wanted to confirm.

    Some of them are:
    Radeon HD 4670
    Radeon HD 4850
    Radeon HD 5770
    Radeon HD 5750

    Not sure about any GeForce, but anything will do as long as it's compatible.
    I also only have a monitor that has the VGA cable. Although I thought with the adapter, it could read the DVI, but I couldn't get anything on the screen.

    Sorry it's a lot and if I missed anything please let me know....and thanks for any help!
     
  2. RyuSageri

    RyuSageri TS Rookie Posts: 16

    The Radeon 4*** class is obsolete and outdated 4850 would give a better performance but you would lose DX11 support. The 5770 would be the choice from my point of view.

    If you don't mind waiting for a bit, I would recommend the new AMD Radeon 6790 that just came out. I roughly has the same power draw and you would really see the difference. Retail price is 150$. Just try to find one with a custom cooler, not a reference one. The Sapphire has a good cooler.

    Intel Core i7-990X
    Gigabyte X58A-UD7
    3x 4GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
    Sapphire Radeon 6790 1GB
    Total system power draw at load - 246W
     
  3. gbelous

    gbelous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, good to know. Only issue with these cards is I would have to upgrade my monitor, it only has the VGA connection. I do like the 5770 though. I mainly just have to make sure the Sims 3 works...playing that was the whole point of the upgrade to begin with lol

    What would be better...1 gig vs 512MB or 256-bit vs 128-bit or does it all depend on what I want to spend?

    (Should have done more research before I ran out and bought the 5450)


    ** And I've read a lot about how the minimum power isn't really the minimum. So does this mean that a card that says 450W min would be fine on my 375W power?
     
  4. RyuSageri

    RyuSageri TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Well more is always better. However more also costs more :) . The difference between 5770 and 6790 is about 6 to 15 fps depending on the game. Total system power draw also indicates this as there is only about 24W difference between the two. So it doesn't really matter which you are going to buy.

    Load power draw only for 6790 card itself is at 150W. And 246W being the full system load. So if you would get a card that has 450W draw at load you would fry your PSU in seconds as the full system then would take about 550W or more.

    Here are some reviews for you to check on these two cards:
    5770: http://www.techspot.com/review/209-ati-radeon-hd-5770/page3.html
    6790: http://www.hardwareheaven.com/revie...d-6790-graphics-card-review-introduction.html
     
  5. gbelous

    gbelous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    okay...things are making a little more sense now. so you think regardless of which i go with, either would be a huge improvement from the 5450?

    It also seems that every time I look up the cards they appear different, like have an outer shell that is designed different. Is this just a logo thing or is there actual performance differences too? Is there any specific brand that is better? I've seen a lot from Sapphire, and newegg has the 5770 from XFX...but again, I know nothing about this area.
     
  6. RyuSageri

    RyuSageri TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Yes, you would definitely fell a performance boost. That outer shell as you call it are the cooler designs by the companies that make them. As every card has a different one so do differ the cooling performances. However they do not really differ in gaming performance. As for 5770 I would suggest trying to find a Sapphire model with ether a "Flex" edition or a "Vapor X" edition of the card as they give an amazing cooling performance and very quiet coolers.
     
  7. gbelous

    gbelous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the help. and one last question just as a selling point to my wife...the 450w min power needed by the 5770 is really 108w? So unless we are doing crazy gaming, there would be no threat of going over the 375w total for the computer?

    and do these need additional connections to the power source or is just plugging into the PCIe enough?
     
  8. RyuSageri

    RyuSageri TS Rookie Posts: 16

    This 450W requirement is for the whole system. TechSpot system consumes 284W on load and it is far more power hungry than yours. In worst case scenario your total power draw should not go over 330W as I did a rough calculation, but that is if you have a lot of stuff connected to it. An average system with the card should draw about 270W.

    If you want I can calculate more accurate numbers for you tomorrow, but than I need your exact system specs and other devices that are connected to your pc that don't have a power supply of their own.

    Edit: Yes, they need additional power from your PSU. You will get the extensions needed with the card.
     
  9. gbelous

    gbelous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you very much...whenever you get a chance...This is really all I know.
    Right now we just have the monitor, mouse and keyboard hooked up to it.

    1 JX142 Processor, 6400, 2.13, 2M, Core Duo-conroe, Burn 2
    1 NJ131 INSTRUCTION..., DEVIATE CHAS L6 TO L5.5
    1 P8016 Assembly, Heatsink, Shroud, Tank
    1 DH108 ASSEMBLY..., CHASSIS..., DIMENSION..., 9200/410, PWA
    INTEGRATED...
    1 DJ301 Kit, Mouse, Universal Serial Bus, 2BTN, Optical, Lead Free Black
    1 DK315 ATI Radeon HD 5450 1 GB Low Profile PCIe Graphics Card
    with Displayport
    2 U8622 2 GB (2 x 1 GB) 240-pin Replacement DIMM DDR II Memory
    Module - total 4 GB
    1 GR343 Kit, Software, Overpack, Windows Xp, MCE05U, Digital Video Disk
    Drive, English
    1 DY654 Kit, Software, Works, 8.5, Office TRIAL, English
    1 WH625 Modem, V.92, Data Fax, Internal SON4, Lead Free, Dell Americas
    Organization
    1 RG894 KIT..., Software, Application Sonic Solutions, Cineplayer
    1 U8468 Hard Drive, 250GB, S2, 7.2K, 16M Lead Free, SGT-T
    1 UF650 Kit, Software, Trend Micro, 12 English, Dell Americas Organization
    0 149DF INFORMATION..., PREPARATION MATERIAL..., DEVIATION...,
    PRECISION WORKSTATION..., INCREASE..., #2
    1 CJ281 DISPLAY..., FLAT PANEL DISPLAY..., 19, E196FPB, MIDNIGHT
    GRAY..., DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION..., FLAT PANNEL IN
    BOX...
    1 RH659 Keyboard, 104, UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS..., UNITED STATES...,
    Black, DARFON ELECTRONICS, CORP...
    1 UH852 Kit, Speaker, 120V, Black AS501PA, Ship In Box
    1 JH300 Assembly, Dvd+/-rw, 16, Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology
    Serial Ata, Black
    1 YH251 GUIDE..., OWNER..., DIMENSION..., EXTREME PERFORMANCE
    SYSTEM..., 410, ENGLAND/ENGLISH...
    1 P6712 Guide, Users Guide, Windows XP MCE2, Dimension/Inspiron
    1 KJ293 Assembly, Panel, Filler, Floppy Drive, TANK, Precision Workstation
    1 TH659 PLACEMAT..., GETTING STARTED..., DIMENSION..., EXTREME
    PERFORMANCE SYSTEM..., 410
     
  10. RyuSageri

    RyuSageri TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Power draw

    No problem, glad to help.

    At this point your system at load should draw about 218W give or take 10W. When you upgrade to 5770 your power draw should be about 279W again with about 10W margin. So I should say you are well within the limitations of your PSU.
     

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