Help Me Choose: Video Card

Whether you’re gaming, watching DVDs or editing video on your Dell™ XPS™ desktop, the quality of the graphics you experience is only as good as your video card.  




Along with the display, the video card affects the number of colors available, contrast, resolution and overall performance.

How Video Cards Work
Discrete video cards can provide better performance, as compared to integrated video cards. Discrete video cards are separate from the motherboard and include a specialized graphics processing unit (GPU). Because of their onboard GPU, discreet video cards don’t have to share the CPU with other programs.

Discrete video cards include memory of their own, measured in gigabytes (GB). Graphics memory is used by the GPU to accelerate graphics performance, store textures using game graphics, and make gaming, movies and other entertainment intensely realistic. High-performance graphics cards require a significant amount of graphics memory.

Integrated video cards are built into the system motherboard and use the system’s processor (CPU) and memory to create graphics. Integrated video cards are fine for applications such as word processing and email and for the internet, but not great for gaming or other graphics-intensive applications.

While integrated video cards can process some complex graphics such as 3D images, they have to share the CPU and memory with other programs. If the CPU and memory are overloaded or busy processing other information, it can really slow down the graphics.

 

The system you are configuring may or may not include all of the options listed here.

If you want ...Choose ...
To tackle complex graphics, applications and gaming, a discrete video card can handle all the applications an integrated card can handle, plus:
  • Complex presentations
  • Graphics design
  • Financial analysis
  • High-resolution video
  • Videoconferences
  • Dual monitor setup
A single discrete video card
An entry-level solution for typical office productivity applications, Internet use, relatively small digital images, low-resolution video, simple games and other relatively undemanding applications, integrated video cards are generally acceptable for:
  • Word processing
  • Instant messaging
  • Small presentations
  • Spreadsheets
An integrated video card


 

 
NVIDIA® GeForce® 310

NVIDIA GT 420
1GB DDR3 card

NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450

NVIDIA  GeForce GT530

ATI Radeon™ HD 5670

AMD Radeon HD 6450

AMD Radeon HD 6770

AMD Radeon 
HD 6870

Available Model 

XPS 9100

XPS 8300

XPS 9100

XPS 8300

XPS 8300
XPS 9100

XPS 8300
XPS 9100 

XPS 8300
XPS 9100

XPS 8300
XPS 9100

Discrete Memory* 

512MB

1024MB

1.5GB DDR3

1024MB DDR3

1024MB

1024MB DDR3

1024MB DDR5

1024MB GDDR5

Controller Speed 

 589MHz

Up to 700MHz

790MHz

700MHz

775MHz

Up to 750MHz

775MHz

900MHz

On-board Memory Speed* 

790MHz

Up to 800MHz

1804MHz

790MHz

1.0GHz

Up to 800MHz

1.0Ghz

1050MHz

On-board Memory Data Width*

64-bit

128-bit

192-bit

128-bit

128-bit

64-bit

128-bit

128-bit

API Supported 

DirectX® 10.1
OpenGL 2.0

DirectX 11
OpenGL 4.1

DirectX 11
OpenGL 4.1

DirectX 11
OpenGL 4.1

DirectX 11
OpenGL3.2

DirectX 11
OpenGL 4.1

DirectX 11
OpenGL 4.1

DirectX 11
OpenGL 4.1

Slot Requirements 

1PCIex16

PCIe 2.0x16

2.1 Gen  PCIex16

2.0 Gen PClex16

PCI Express® 2.1x16bus interface

PCI Express 2.1x16bus interface

 PCI Express 2.1x16bus interface

Maximum Resolution 

1920x1200 HDMI®
2560x1600 DVI
1920x1200 VGA

1920x1200 HDMI
2560X1600 DVI
1920x1200 VGA

1920x1200 HDMI
2560x1600 DVI
 2048x1536 VGA 

1920x1200 HDMI
2560x1600 DVI
2048x1536 VGA

1920x1200 HDMI 2560x1600 DVI
2048x1536 VGA

1920x1200 HDMI
2560x1600 DVI
2048x1536 VGA

1920x1200 HDMI
2560x1600 DVI
2048x1536 VGA 

1920x1200 HDMI 
2560x1600 DVI
2048x1536 VGA

DVI Support 

YesYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual-display Capable Yes
(dongle/cable
 may be required)
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
HDMI Support YesYes
1080p
 Yes
1080p
 Yes
1080p
 Yes
1080p
 Yes
1080p
 Yes
  1080p
 Yes
  1080p
HDCP Support YesYes YesYes  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blu-ray Disc™ Capability* YesYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes