ATI Radeon Upgrade - Help

  southoftheborder 17:15 27 Oct 2007

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 2007

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 2007

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 2007

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 2007

P.S. Thinking of getting one myself.

  GaT7 20:57 27 Oct 2007

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

  southoftheborder 20:58 27 Oct 2007

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 2007

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 2007

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 2007

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 2007

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.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Fujitsu Lifebook P727 laptop review

Lightwell software lets you create mobile apps without using code

Best value Mac: Which is the best £1249 Mac to buy

Comment désactiver les programmes qui s'exécutent au démarrage de Windows 10 ?