Hi there, I have an Inspiron 580 w/i3 processor. I've been trying to find a card to install for some light gaming & movies, but all the info I've found has my head spinning...for example:
1. Is a "low-profile" card the only kind I can use? What defines a card as "low-profile"?
2. Can I only use DDR3 or will DDR2 work also?
3. Does the interface have to be 2.0, not 2.1?
Any help you could give this noob would be greatly appreciated. Thanx!
JoMama471. Is a "low-profile" card the only kind I can use? What defines a card as "low-profile"?
You only need low profile cards if you have a slim model defined as the 580s. If you have a Mini Tower, then you can use full size cards.
JoMama472. Can I only use DDR3 or will DDR2 work also?
You can use DDR2, DDR3 or the best is DDR5.
JoMama473. Does the interface have to be 2.0, not 2.1?
It can be either one. Nvidia cards are 2.0 and AMD cards are 2.1.
The best card you can get for the mini tower with the 300 watt power supply is the AMD HD 6670.
there is a new "best card" for a 300 watt power system and it is the AMD HD 7750 ... pcper.com test shows at peak load the entire computer system drew 202 watts. The HD 6670 has good performance but the HD 7750 is a lot better ... if $109 is too much for the new card the HD 6670 is a good choice at around $80 at newegg.com... if you are even more budget conscious the HD 6570 can handle light gaming and video pretty good too.
I must admit that the HD 7750 is a very nice card and does come in under the HD 6670 for power consumption. AMD has been coming out with a lot of nice mid-range cards that offer really good performance for the dollar which is why I made the switch from Nvidia.
Thanx everyone...you guys are awesome!
I checked newegg for the 7750 & found four manufacturers' models at $109. Since I'm not a savvy person, I compared them & came up w/very minute differences...the Gigabyte model's core clock is at 880MGhz (other 3 are 800) and the HIS model's memory clock is 5.5Gbps (others are 4.5Gbps).
I'm assuming these differences are miniscule for me, since we're only doing some light gaming & an occasional movie. Am I right?
Thanks again everyone!
Those are the only differences I see so an overclocked card probably would not do you much good, but they are the same cost so it really does not matter. Some people are just brand loyal so the choice is yours. In this situation, I tend to look at which card might have the best cooling and noise levels. Also, look at the connectors on the cards for what you might need. I see the Gigabyte is the only one with VGA. If you are still using VGA, you would have to use the adapter on the others. I can tell you that Sapphire is AMD's number one brand. I would tend not to choose the PowerColor from the list and look at the other three.