ATI Radeon Upgrade - Help

  southoftheborder 17:15 27 Oct 07

I'm looking at upgrading the Graphocs card in my PC, and have decided, after reading many reviews, that the Radeon X1950 PRO will give me the best value/performance.

I thought that once I'd made that decision, then it would just be a matter of buying one.

How wrong could I be!

First - what make? Sapphire, OcUK, HIS, Powercolor,...

Second - what size of memory? 256 or 512?

So again, by trawling through reviews and forums - a PowerColor X1950 PRO 256Mb PCI-e.

Decision made? No apparently I need to choose between the 'SCS' and the 'AC2' version. And then I read somewhere, that your PC needs a decent power supply to make it work!

So if anybody can help me work out which card is best - my demands are simple, find one that is easily capable of running the likes of Total War - Medeival II, is quiet, and ideally doesn't cost more that £100, I will be eternally grateful.

PS - Will it work in a Dell Dimension 4700 with a 305W power supply (currently running with a Radeon X300)

  citadel 17:51 27 Oct 07

any make will do as they make the cards to a reference design. they only differ in the software bundle. some are overclocked. most important is whether it has ddr3 memory.
I don't know if you can upgrade your psu on a dell but a 500w psu would be best as a450w is recommended.

  GaT7 20:31 27 Oct 07

256Mb on the GPU would be more than enough. Unless you're going to be running a large screen at high resolutions, you won't notice much difference between 256/512Mb. However, if your system RAM is only 512Mb, I'd consider upgrading to 1Gb at the very least.

I'd go for a HIS click here, but it's up to the user. Also, I think it needs to be a single-slot card in your case - all the ones here are by the looks of it. The Powercolors look good too with better(?) cooling - click here & click here, but the coolers look over-sized & may not fit? Couldn't find any info about dimensions. Tbf, I couldn't find what cooler the HIS card uses either - the website doesn't have a proper pic click here. X1950Pro eBay search: click here.

Another option would be a 7900GT but these are rare/too expensive in the shops. eBay may be a better option - a search click here. X1950Pro vs 7900GT benchmark comparison list click here.

The cheapest & 3rd option would be a 7900GS click here, without the need for a PSU upgrade - at least according to this thread click here. Taking this option would also let you increase system RAM if required, without going over budget.

"Will it work in a Dell Dimension 4700 with a 305W power supply" - probably not as citadel mentions, but best place to ask is the Dell Upgrade/Hardware forum click here. A related forum search: click here. G

  I am Spartacus 20:42 27 Oct 07

The Sapphire X1950 Pro 256MB gets an excellent Best Budget Buy recommendation in Computer Shopper. Available from Kikatek click here (never heard of them myself).

  I am Spartacus 20:44 27 Oct 07

P.S. Thinking of getting one myself.

  GaT7 20:57 27 Oct 07

Kikatek shipping is ~£7-8 (cheapest option) so may not be such a good deal compared to eBuyer. G

  southoftheborder 20:58 27 Oct 07

Crossbow7 - thanks for a very detailed response.

I had come to the conclusion that I would need to upgrade the power supply, and have spent the last 2 hours trying to find a compatible one. The best bet seems to be ebay from the States!

  I am Spartacus 21:09 27 Oct 07

As far as I can see the ebuyer Sapphire X1950 Pro's are AGP not PCI-E. Happy to be corrected.

  Stuartli 22:24 27 Oct 07

There are many, many outlets for a wide range of PSUs in the UK - no need whatsoever to consider one from across the pond...:-)

  GaT7 22:33 27 Oct 07

According to the responses at click here, a standard PSU with 24pin (or 20+4) power should work.

One of these should be suitable: click here or click here - go for something that's at least 500W & ~£25 & above (& doesn't have value/extra value in the specs). As an example checkout this one click here - one reviewer is using a X1950Pro & another replaced his Dell E520 PSU with this.

What's the spec of your current 4700? I ask because the X1950Pro's potential may be hindered by the CPU.

I am Spartacus, I was comparing it with the similar £78-82 cards eBuyer has to offer. I wouldn't pay £8 extra for something that was essentially the same thing. G

  southoftheborder 23:06 27 Oct 07

Crossbow7 - I'm getting there - just slower than you!

A new power supply doesn't seem a big problem, and as you've found out, the X1950 card just about fits.

FYI - I've got a 3GHz Processor with 1MB RAM.

I broke my own rules buying the Dell, not buying the best I could get, and I'm regretting it now. I think I'll probably go for the 7900GT in the short trem, with a view to replacing the lot next year!

Thanks again for your input Crossbow7.

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