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, discrete 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 videos, 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

 
 

ATI Radeon™
HD 5450
1GB DDR3 

ATI Radeon
HD 5670
1GB GDDR5 

ATI Radeon
HD 5770
1024MB GDDR5 

ATI Radeon
HD 5870
1GB GDDR5 

Discrete Memory 

1024MB DDR3 

1024MB DDR5 

1024MB DDR5 

1024MB DDR5 

Controller Speed 

650MHz 

775MHz 

775MHz 

850MHz 

On-board Memory Speed 

800MHz 

1.0GHz 

1.0GHz 

1.0GHz 

On-board Memory Data Width 

128-bit

256-bit 

256-bit 

256-bit 

API Supported 

DirectX® 11
OpenGL® 3.2 

DirectX 11
OpenGL 3.2 

DirectX 11
OpenGL 3.2     

DirectX 11
OpenGL 3.2 

Slot Requirements 

2.0 Gen PClex16 

2.0 Gen PClex16 

 2.0 Gen PClex16

2.0 Gen PClex16 

Maximum Resolution 

1920x1200 HDMI™
2560x1600 DVI
2048x1536 VGA 

2048x1536 VGA
1920x1200 HDMI
2560x1600 DVI 

2048x1536 VGA
1920x1200 HDMI
2560x1600 DVI 

2048x1536 VGA
1920x1200 HDMI
2560x1600 DVI

DVI Support 

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

Dual-link DVI for Dell 3008WFP 

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

Dual-display Capable 

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

HDMI Support 

 Yes
1080p

 Yes
1080p

 Yes
1080p

 Yes
1080p

HDCP Support 

 Yes

Yes 

 Yes

 Yes

Blu-ray Disc™ Capability 

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes

 Yes


Important Information:
Graphics and system memory: GB means 1 billion bytes and TB equals 1 trillion bytes; significant system memory may be used to support graphics, depending on system memory size and other factors.