Upgrades on a budget...

By Bluflash
Jun 27, 2007
  1. Howdy!

    Currently I'm running a Nvidia 6800 on a dell XPS 400 (Making my own next time) with 1 meg RAM and a Pentium D 3Ghz.

    I know I need another 1G in RAM, and I was thinking of updating to a Nvidia 8600 card.

    I'm on a rather limited budget, and could use some suggestions! Note none of my stuff is OC'd. I'm new to tweaking, don't know how, and cant afford to replace toasted parts just yet.

    Do I need a new processor/mobo? (AKA: Scrap and salvage the unit I have into a new box?)
    Is the 6800 crap, or am I not running it right?
    Whats the consensus on the new 8600's?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Get a new system. You will need a new power supply to add the 8600 card.
    You will get little benefit, and substantial risk, if you overclock that board.
    The 6800 is not crap. But it is not a gamer video card either.
  3. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    The 8600 doesnt require much power at all.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    The question is not what the 8600 requires... the issue is what does the Dell XPS 400 require for that power supply to be stable.
  5. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 462

    I think the 8600 uses less power than the 6800 (GT?), but it's not much faster either.
  6. Bluflash

    Bluflash TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Then perhaps a X1650Pro or a 7600GT is in order? I know they aren't DX10, but they both seem to do better than the 8600 in the tests I've seen.

    Would someone compare the Pentium D 3Ghz to whats avalable on the market now? Is it mostly outdated, or still useful?
  7. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    Before you upgrade any video cards, ensure your PSU is a quality one and cn handle it. Too many times, newbs and even oldsters skimp on their PSUs resulting in disaster. The PSU is the heart of the system. Many are cheap no-name brands. Get yourself a quality PSU of the right size. Google PSU calculators to determine wattage. Go to and read their 2006 torture test of PSUs.
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