help choosing vid card

April 21, 2011 at 07:23:37
Specs: Windows 7, 6gb ddr2
choose the best vid card for my Dell xps420 running Win7 64bit w/ 6 gb ddr2 ram? looking for best possible bang for the buck? stock ps is 375, but that could be changed if needed.


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April 21, 2011 at 08:58:22

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April 21, 2011 at 10:14:29
good reading... but since I am tech "un-informed" walk me through a couple basics...

1. Does it do me any good to run a card with "better" ram than the DDR2 that's in my machine??

2. worth upgrading power supply to get a better card??

3. I had narrowed in on a XFX Radeon HD 5570 DDR2 at $75 or GeForce 9600 GSO DDR2 also at $75..... but the GeForce GTX550 Ti is $129 - is that worth the increase in $??

Thanks for any guidance.

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April 21, 2011 at 13:04:05
Video ram has nothing to do with your system ram. Depends what you're trying to accomplish. Your stock psu really limits your choices. If you want to play games, you'll probably have to upgrade your psu too. Look for a psu that only has a single 12 volt rail like the Corsair line. Don't be fooled by watts, it the amps on the 12 volt rail that's important. A good psu will cost you at least $50.00.

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April 21, 2011 at 20:27:40
You'll find plenty of different types of memory used on graphics. The most common (in order of performance) are: DDR2, GDDR2, DDR3, GDDR3, DDR5, GDDR5. You also need to consider the memory buswidth: 64-bit, 128-bit, 192-bit, 256-bit, etc. Then there's memory speed, which can vary widely depending on the type RAM used. You also have to consider which GPU is used on the card, the core clock speed, & number of stream processors.

The HD 5570 shouldn't even be on your shopping list. The HD 5670 is a better choice. The 9600 GSO uses about 30W more than the HD 5670 so it's very possible your power supply won't be able to handle it. The HD 5670 is a better card anyway. And as the article states, it's the fastest card you can buy that doesn't require an aux power connection. The GTX 550 Ti is an even better card, but it uses more than twice as much power as the HD 5670 (140W vs 60W), so you will definitely need to upgrade the power supply if that's the card you want. It's your money & your choice - about $60 for an HD 5670 or about $175 +/- for a GTX 550 Ti & a new power supply.

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