View Full Version : Computer Illiterate and I need some help...
12th Aug 2011, 06:13 PM
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
CPU: Intel HD Graphics (Core i5)
RAM: 6144 MB
GPU: Intel HD Graphics
MANUFACTURER/MODEL: Dell Inspiron 580
My birthday is coming up and I am really wanted to upgrade my computer. I want to be able to play the Sims 3 (with all expansions) at full capabilities without any lag or whatnot.
I tried going to this thread to try and figure it out on my own, but it says I do not have permission to view it.
So I really have no idea what I need. I did some searching on google about my graphics card and my processor and I've found mixed opinions so no help there. I know I meet the requirements for playing, but I want max graphics etc.
So basically, I am not sure whether to buy a graphics card or a new processor.
Any help would be appreciated.
12th Aug 2011, 06:20 PM
Actually, you currently don't meet the requirements for playing - Intel HD graphics are not supported - only Intel 3- and 4- series. You haven't actually given us the info on your processor... probably best for you to fill this out properly:
Game Help:System Specs - there's a little template you can copy-paste most of the way down the page. That Dell Inspiron 580 can apparently come with an actual graphics card, not just the Intel HD so it's possible you already have decent graphics, but we'd need to know more/correct info about your system to know for sure.
12th Aug 2011, 06:36 PM
Really? I play just fine on medium graphics. Okay, I'll try this again...
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
System Manufacturer: Dell
System Model: Inspiron 580
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 650 @ 3.20GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
Memory: 6144MB RAM
Page File: 3462MB used, 8422MB available
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Name: Intel(R) HD Graphics
Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Chip Type: Intel(R) HD Graphics (Core i5)
Approx. Total Memory: 1696 MB
Main Driver: igdumd64.dll,igd10umd64.dll,igdumdx32,igd10umd32
Driver Date: 8/25/2010
Driver Name: RTKVHD64.sys
Driver Version: 6.00.0001.6383
==Disk & DVD/CD-ROM Drives==
Free Space: 618.9 GB
Total Space: 939.7 GB
File System: NTFS
Model: ST31000528AS ATA Device
Is that everything you need? Thanks for your help.
12th Aug 2011, 07:15 PM
From the info you just posted, it seems that you don't have a dedicated graphics card. That means you don't have a graphics card doing the graphics for you. Your CPU is doing it. That's not okay for heavy video games. It's okay for movies, but not for heavy video games.
According to the tech sheet (http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/insp580/en/cs/cs_en.pdf), you have a slot for a dedicated graphics card. You also appear to have 6GB of RAM which is great. You definitely don't need more.
So if you want better graphics, you should get a new video card. I have never worked on or opened a Dell, so I wouldn't be able to help you with installing it, but I can help you choose a new video card. How much are you willing the spend? You usually get what you pay for and I wouldn't recommend buying anything worth less than say $120 if you want to play sims at max graphics.
12th Aug 2011, 08:27 PM
Okay, thank you so much. What could I get for under $150 to run the Sims at max?
12th Aug 2011, 10:38 PM
Bleh. I am running a $300 laptop that can't handle the Sims 3. I would try eBay, but computers cost money. If you want to get down and dirty, try this:
13th Aug 2011, 01:58 AM
Oh I already have my computer, I just plan on buying a graphics card and installing it myself. I just needed some suggestions on which ones to get for $150.
13th Aug 2011, 11:16 AM
Knowing the options:
There are two major companies that design video cards right now, AMD (formerly ATI) and Nvidia. For less than $150, you should be able to get an AMD HD5770 or AMD HD6770 (those two are nearly identical). But at $150, you can get an AMD 6790 or a GTX 550 Ti which are better value than the HD6770/HD5770, though more expensive. There's just a tiny catch; all of those cards will require about 20A on the +12V rail when used with your CPU.
Checking your power supply:
Power Supply Units, PSUs, are units that take power from your house, and supply that power to the rest of the components of your computer. Unfortunately not all of your computer components need power in the same way. So your PSU converts the power it takes in into usable forms for your CPU, your CPU fan, your case, case fans, GPU etc. Your CPU and modern graphics card will take power from the +12 Volt rail that comes from your PSU.
The AMD HD 6790 and the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti I have recommended will require about 20 Ampere on the +12 Volt rail. You need to unplug your computer, open the case and read the sticker on your Power Supply Unit. Your PSU looks like a rectangular box in your casing that the power cable connects to. There should be a sticker visible on it giving you all the information you need. Look for "+12V" and read how many A it provides under +12V. If its less than 20A, write back here and let me know how many A you have. You should also measure how much room you have in your computer for the video cards. The cards measure about 11-12 inches long. Find your PCI-E x16 slot, and measure from the end of the case and see if you can get 12 inches. If you're short your new card might not fit.
If you're buying from within the USA, newegg.com and tigerdirect.com are good sites to buy from. I'll be using newegg.com as a reference to recommend specific cards and prices. If you're buying from within Canada, ncix.com and tigerdirect.ca are good, I've used both without any problems. I don't know about Aus, GB or Europe.
You should also go check the physical stores near where you live.
For the AMD HD 6790 (~$150) I recommend the HD-679X-ZDFC (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150534) made by XFX or IceQ Turbo H679QNT1G2M (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161371) made by HIS.
For the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti (~$140) I recommend the ENGTX 550 Ti DC TOP/DI/1GD5 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121434) made by Asus or the SuperClocked 01G-P3-1557-KR (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130629) made by EVGA.
For the AMD HD 6770 (~$130) I recommend the Vapor-X 100328VXL (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102937) made by Sapphire or the IceQ Turbo H677QNT1GD (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161383) made by HIS.
So basically what you'll need to do is go shopping, write down all the options you have for 6770, 6790 and GTX 550 Ti near where you live or on the web and compare the prices. You should keep in mind that you may or may not need a new PSU to go along.
For PSUs I love Corsair PSUs. Antec are great as well but are not likely to have enough A for your video cards.
14th Aug 2011, 05:41 PM
You didn't really answer HP's query? Any recommendations are moot if the casing cannot fit the new card. Or if you already have switchable graphics.
Which exact model of the Inspiron 580 did you purchase? http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-580/pd
Slimline or regular casing? So you didn't "choose optional ATI or NVIDIAŽ GeForceŽ discrete graphics to get even more from your viewing experience. " ? :)
As that PC also only comes with a 250-300W power supply, you'd need to upgrade the PSU as well. If you bought the model with a discrete GPU, then you need to check if the PSU was changed or still at 300W. But if you already have a discrete GPU, I doubt you'd be shopping for a new one already. Well, unless you're looking to upgrade from an older model. But the specs only show the one.
I still don't understand how switchable thingamajig would work on Desktops. As far as I know, Nvidia's Synergy (Optimus for Desktops) is still being developed as news about it is still scarce. And AMD's technology is still concentrated on laptops. So, my point here is that if you did purchase the discrete GPU and it is not showing up, you may have to turn the IGP (the Intel HD Graphics) off in the BIOS.
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