Need new video card for my Dell to play Skyrim

By gchfamily ยท 9 replies
Nov 16, 2011
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  1. Here is what i have, right now i play Skyrim on Medium and want closer to Ultra as i can.

    Figured i might need a bigger powersupply but clueless how to find one that will fit my dell case.

    Figured my 2.40GHZ Quad core might be a bottle neck but have no clue.
    I play mostly rpg games like Skyrim and WoW.
    Looking for spend around $200.

    Dell 420 XPS
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40 GHZ
    Dell Motherboard OTP406
    4 gig of Ram
    Windows 7 32bit
    Nvidia Geforce 9800GT (video card) PCI Express

    Power supply 375

    Monitor is 1680 x 1050
  2. DKRON

    DKRON TS Guru Posts: 569   +25

    You have many problems with upgrading for a graphics card,
    1. you have to find a low profile card
    2. your power supply is very low and most new cards would be too powerful for it
    3. you most likely will end any agreement you have for a warranty with dell
  3. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    1.the XPS 420 is a BTX mid-tower so why would he need a low profile card.
    2. A 375w PSU is not going to run a super high end card however if it ran a geForce 9800GT it should run any current mid-range card without issue and the PSU can be upgraded if necessary since most standard ATX PSUs will fit (although most will have a gap around the edges since Dell PSUs of this era were slightly oversized but this is not a major issue since the screw pattern is standard they will still fit).
    3. Given that that system is 3-5 years old warranty is likely a non-issue.
  4. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    A Radeon HD6770 is about the max you could go without upgrading your PSU (It draws less than the old 9800GT although you are just about maxed out so I would still recommend a PSU upgrade). With a PSU upgrade you should be able to get a Radeon HD6850 and a decent PSU for less than $200.

    Here are some examples:
    SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 = $145 ($130 after rebate)
    Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W = $55 ($50 after rebate)

    I'm not sure if you can get to ultra (never played skyrim myself) but you should definitely be able to get very close with that config.
  5. f111

    f111 TS Rookie Posts: 23

  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Actually judging from that review it seems that the CPU has a significant effect on the frame rates, a 1Ghz difference in clock speed equates to over 12fps! But I think your Q6600 should be fine though, maybe you could try overclocking it to ~3Ghz to see if you get any improvement in frame rates.

    The 6850 is a good choice for the price range.
  7. gchfamily

    gchfamily TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Have no clue how to overclock though.

    Will be checking out the 6850 and getting a bigger power supply.

    From my 9800GT to this Radeon HD 6850, is that a big leap?

    Will a 500w powersuppy be big enough? The Antec one is sold out (figures)
  8. tweakboy

    tweakboy TS Guru Posts: 467

    That 2.4Ghz is no good. See if you can OC your CPU to 3.2Ghz and get a 460 1GB . evga all the way!
  9. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    500W should be enough to run your planned upgrade, however if you want to futureproof your PC or are thinking of upgrading again in the next few years you might want to consider a 600-700W one. Just make sure you get a branded one not a generic "600W" PSU, you pretty much get what you pay for.

    Some mild overclocking is actually quite easy, it just involves changing a couple of numbers in your BIOS. There's plenty of guides out there. But I wouldn't advise changing your CPU voltage if you're totally new though.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I would be surprised if the BIOS in a Dell allows overclocking.

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