Low profile graphics card - which one to buy?

  AbZ__ 16:12 15 Aug 2008

Here are my comp specs:

click here

PCI-E compatable, my power supply is only 280W.

Here is my current Card

click here_(256MB_SH)_PCIe_Graphics_Card_(AG392AA).jpg

(ATI Radeon x1300)

I'm willing to spend around a £100, though i know I don't have much to choose from because of my specs etc. But any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  GaT7 17:58 15 Aug 2008

Correct me if wrong, but that looks like a slim case - only low-profile (L-P) cards will fit in this. If playing the latest games is your main reason for upgrading you'll be disappointed because L-P cards available are poor for this sort of thing.

Arguably the best L-P graphics card one could get is a HD 3650 card, e.g. click here. Couldn't find one available on a UK website though, but I'll keep looking.

Others to consider are L-P models of 8600GT, 2600XT, 2600 Pro, 7600GS, HD 3450 & 2400 Pro.

Your PSU being a 'Dell' will work with any of the above, in addition to any other L-P card that does NOT require dedicated power from the PSU - none of the above do.

They say in some rare cases the newer PCI-E 2.0 cards (HD 3450/3650) may not work in a PCI-E 1.0 slot. So choose your card, & we'll help you determine if it will or not.

Related eBay search click here - some seem grossly overpriced, so check online prices thoroughly before buying. G

  Joe R 18:54 15 Aug 2008
  AbZ__ 18:55 15 Aug 2008

I wasn't planning on playing the latest games i just want to upgrade so i can play a few older games at higher graphics.

I checked the specs on the link you gave me, but that card requires a minimum of 300W power supply whilst my comp only delivers 280W.

  Joe R 19:01 15 Aug 2008


this could be the one for you, wil even play hdcp. click here

  GaT7 20:21 15 Aug 2008

As I mentioned, as it's a Dell PSU it'll be fine - Dell underrate their PSUs. A Dell 280w would be approx. equivalent to a 350-400w or greater standard PSU.

For some of the older games at higher settings, go for a 8600GT or HD 3650. G

P.S. Sorry, you did mention 'low profile' in the title - somehow missed that!

  AbZ__ 21:03 15 Aug 2008

Ah nice thanks alot you guys rock. But my computer case is in such a way that it can only fit a card with one slot on the metal railing. This is my current card:

ponent/hp/graphic_card/ATI_Radeon_X1300_(256MB_SH)_PCIe_Graphics_Card_(AG392AA).jpg&imgrefurl=click here

Can you see it only has one slot to connect to the monitor, my casing wont fit in two like those cards you guys mentioned have... And I can't remove the back casing either it's like glued on or something.

click here

From that you might be able to tell that the back casing is hard to remove.

Btw, are you sure about the 350-400W thing? I don't want my comp to explode :p

  GaT7 01:45 16 Aug 2008

Yes PSU will be fine for the cards mentioned - for confirmation click here. Apparently a L-P 9600GT will be coming out but not sure when.

I know what you mean about the bracket being the larger size for some. Easily remedied by getting a L-P bracket like click here - but only if required.

View page 61 of manual to learn how to open the case. If it hasn't been opened at all / in a long time it can feel 'glued' sometimes, but it will come loose by releasing the latch completely & by applying a few deft taps in the right places. G

  AbZ__ 15:17 16 Aug 2008

Alright thanks for the confirmation on power supply.

If i buy the correct bracket i won't need to remove the back casing so that should be fine. However i was wondering how to remove the bracket that will come with the new gfx card and how to put a new one on. Is it simple or do i need to know a few things beforehand?

Also i would to know exactly what the best card i can buy is as there have been a few listings above. Im presuming either the 8600GT or HD 3650, however what is the difference? I'm a really newbie at these sorts of stuff so if you could explain that I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

  GaT7 19:37 16 Aug 2008

To make things simpler, just get a card with a L-P bracket. You'll need to remove the side casing [only] to install the card no matter what card you get - see page 61 of the PDF manual to learn how to do this.

A guide to installing a graphics card here click here & click here. When you get it, ask for help in the thread if required, & I'll give you a step-by-step guide if necessary.

Yeah, it's probably a very close thing between the 8600GT & HD 3650 GPUs*. The latter is newer technology but not necessarily better. From reviews, the 8600GT may have a slight edge actually.

If price is about the same, look for other little perks (in order of preference) like:
1. DDR3 memory - go for this over the DDR2 card
2. Which has the better cooler?
3. Does it come bundled with extra cables/adaptors, or even a game?

If you can't decide, post links & we'll help you. G

* The GPU* (click here) of the former is made by nVidia & the latter by ATi. They're the only two GPU manufacturers you'll ever have to consider. Their GPUs are purchased by third-parties (e.g. Sapphire, Asus, Gecube, etc) who do the rest, customising them in various ways in addition & reselling them in the form we get them

  AbZ__ 20:53 16 Aug 2008

Thanks for the explanation. I found a good 8800GT click here

But it doesn't come in the L-P Bracket that would fit in my casing. I need one with just 1 DVI slot like the ATI Radeon 1300 that i currently have now.

I've searched a few other sites but all those sorts of cards seem to come in the same bracket format.

An L-P Bracket is one with just 1 DVI slot and another slot (the round shaped one) right? Btw if you could find the best 8800GT with an L-P Bracket i'd be really grateful, you don't have to find the best price because i was prepared to spend alot more on a card before this.

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