I need to replace my GPU so instead of getting another GTX645 that came together with the machine when I got it in 2014, I'm considering on upgrading it to GTX960 (www.techhypermart.com/.../msi-gtx-960-gaming-2g-graphic-card-nvidia-2gb-gddr5-pci-e-3-0-128-bits.htm.... I've read a lot of articles and saw a couple that says I would need to get the 330w PSU as well if I go for GTX960, since the one that I got with the computer was the 240w version.
This is the current specs of my x51 (don't know what else I'm supposed to put here):
Model: Alienware x51 R2
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4440 CPU @ 3.10GHz
Memory: 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600M hz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 645 with 1G B GDDR5, Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600
Question is --> Do I only need to worry about the GPU and PSU if I go for this upgrade or should I worry about the other components as well. I'd hate it if I replace the GPU and get the 330w PSU just to find out that the rest would need to be upgraded as well...
I think you will need a 330W PSU.
GTX960 power requirements: 120W - www.geforce.com/.../specifications
i5 4440 power requirements 84W - ark.intel.com/.../Intel-Core-i5-4440-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_30-GHz
That does not leave much to run anything else, if you have a spike in GPU consumption it will throttle your card
I figured I'm gonna need the 330w PSU but will I also need to upgrade my processor? Or would the i5-4440 processor works just fine with the GTX960?
It depends on what you are going to use the system for. As its an Alienware and we use them for gaming the biggest influence on your gaming performance will be your video card and not your processor (in general, some games use processor a little more.)
If you take a look at
You can see your CPU still ranks in the "high end" CPU range currently.
Its a nice Quad core CPU, and again most games only a single core to run.
Being honest it depends on your budget and what you want to get out of your upgrade.
The power supply/video card upgrade will give you an improvement in gaming performance.
Memory should be ok as most titles only require 4GB to run.
Also your CPU should be ok. also, being honest replacing the CPU to anything worth while (change wise) will probable end up with a board replacement and if you're thinking of doing that your in the realms of just looking at a new machine.
In general (and sorry for the long, around the park answer here) a graphics card upgrade can be a very cost effective way to get extra life out of a games machine.
I agree, your CPU should be good for several more years. After your GPU and power supply upgrade, you could always upgrade your RAM (it's cheap anyway), but other than that, I think you'd be good for awhile.