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Budget GPU that could run Starcraft 2 at medium graphics.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 21, 2013 8:24:22 PM

I'm looking to improve my performance in the game, and i'm noticing that most of the time my losses are due to me not being able to micro units around due to the low fps the game runs at for me. So i want to get a good GPU that would be able to increase the performance but wont break the bank. i was thinking something around the $50-60 range but if nothing around that price I'll take the next lowest thing.
March 21, 2013 8:31:34 PM

An HD 6670 DDR3 will cost you around $60 -- better than that you can get an HD 7750 for about $90

Mind that for any of these cards you need at least a 400 Watt power supply.

March 21, 2013 8:31:55 PM

At your price range, chances are the best we'd find is the Radeon 6670 DDR3. If you don't mind uping the budget to say $80 or even better, $90 to $100, you could get quite literally exponentially more performance for the money and greater power efficiency, but the Radeon 6670 DDR3 isn't a horrible card. IDK if it'll do what you want, but it should AFAIK. I don't think that SC2 is really an intensive game and medium settings are fairly light.

However, we don't know what will be better than what you already have without knowing what you already have. Current specs would be helpful in that.

EDIT: The above post is wrong about PSU needs. Seasonic's 300W PSU would be plenty for these cards unless you've got a monstrous CPU or otherwise ridiculously high power consumption computer. The PSU recommendations by AMD are far from accurate because they take into consideration crappy PSUs that lie about their power delivery as well as old PSUs that can't do the job of a new PSU with similar wattage rating for one reason or another.
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March 21, 2013 8:32:06 PM

current system specs? hard to help unless we know what you have.
March 21, 2013 8:39:10 PM

@blazorthon what is AFAIK?

@atomicWAR AMD Sempron Processor LE-1300 ~2.3 GHz
2GB RAM
GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 integrated
anything else that would help?
March 21, 2013 8:40:08 PM

BTW sorry for not including specs in OP, kinda new to this.
March 21, 2013 8:41:56 PM

AFAIK is As Far As I Know.

Your CPU is going to hold back any graphics upgrade. That whole system might be best replaced. SC2 is a pretty CPU intensive game from my experience and what I've read and I don't trust an old AM2 Sempron to handle it regardless of the graphics.
March 21, 2013 8:43:45 PM

Dang, thought that might be a problem. Any suggestion on CPU?
March 21, 2013 8:45:10 PM

blazorthon said:
AFAIK is As Far As I Know.

Your CPU is going to hold back any graphics upgrade. That whole system might be best replaced. SC2 is a pretty CPU intensive game from my experience and what I've read and I don't trust an old Sempron to handle it regardless of the graphics.



he's right its about time to rebuild. your CPU is a huge bottle neck. that said if you can't no matter what...then i would go for something in the amd 7770 range or nvidia gtx 650 . about $100ish
March 21, 2013 8:47:26 PM

Broseph Stalin said:
Dang, thought that might be a problem. Any suggestion on CPU?


Tell us your mobo model if you can. If it's one of the nice boards that supports up to the AM3 CPUs, then we can easily recommend a decent Phenom II CPU upgrade to go along with a cheap graphics card such as a Radeon 6670, GT 640, or Radeon 7750. If it only supports AM2 (maybe also AM2+), then the board will also need replacement as will the RAM.
March 21, 2013 8:48:14 PM

if that's an am3 socket as i suspect you could find an athlon x4 in the 3ghz range that might help a lot. other wise am2 cpus are tough to come by but you may find one on ebay or craigslist.
March 21, 2013 8:50:03 PM

and need to know the resolution of the monitor
March 21, 2013 8:52:02 PM

atomicWAR said:
if that's an am3 socket as i suspect you could find an athlon x4 in the 3ghz range that might help a lot. other wise am2 cpus are tough to come by but you may find one on ebay or craigslist.


That CPU is an AM2 CPU, so unless OP gave the wrong model number, it must be an AM2 socket. It might support AM3 CPUs anyway, but that's still a distinction that must be made ;) 
March 21, 2013 8:52:47 PM

ARICH5 said:
and need to know the resolution of the monitor


Eh, that's not so important IMO. OP's low budget kinda makes it irrelevant.
March 21, 2013 8:54:19 PM

blazorthon said:
Broseph Stalin said:
Dang, thought that might be a problem. Any suggestion on CPU?


Tell us your mobo model if you can. If it's one of the nice boards that supports up to the AM3 CPUs, then we can easily recommend a decent Phenom II CPU upgrade to go along with a cheap graphics card such as a Radeon 6670, GT 640, or Radeon 7750. If it only supports AM2 (maybe also AM2+), then the board will also need replacement as will the RAM.


Not sure what mobo it has. Anyway i could check, other than the obvious opening up my computer?
March 21, 2013 8:56:50 PM

Broseph Stalin said:
blazorthon said:
Broseph Stalin said:
Dang, thought that might be a problem. Any suggestion on CPU?


Tell us your mobo model if you can. If it's one of the nice boards that supports up to the AM3 CPUs, then we can easily recommend a decent Phenom II CPU upgrade to go along with a cheap graphics card such as a Radeon 6670, GT 640, or Radeon 7750. If it only supports AM2 (maybe also AM2+), then the board will also need replacement as will the RAM.


Not sure what mobo it has. Anyway i could check, other than the obvious opening up my computer?


That probably depends on whether the system is OEM or uses a retail motherboard. If the system is OEM, then you can give the computer's model number (which should be on the exterior of the case). If it's not OEM or for some reason has a retail motherboard, then the motherboard's model number would only be printed on the motherboard itself. You might be able to check with a program such as CPU-Z/CPUID, but I'm not sure about that.
March 21, 2013 8:57:41 PM

ARICH5 said:
and need to know the resolution of the monitor


native res is 1440x900, if it helps/
March 21, 2013 8:57:43 PM

Broseph Stalin said:
blazorthon said:
Broseph Stalin said:
Dang, thought that might be a problem. Any suggestion on CPU?


Tell us your mobo model if you can. If it's one of the nice boards that supports up to the AM3 CPUs, then we can easily recommend a decent Phenom II CPU upgrade to go along with a cheap graphics card such as a Radeon 6670, GT 640, or Radeon 7750. If it only supports AM2 (maybe also AM2+), then the board will also need replacement as will the RAM.


Not sure what mobo it has. Anyway i could check, other than the obvious opening up my computer?



yep very easy. get CPUID...just below you processor near the top it will tell you which socket you have.
March 21, 2013 9:05:16 PM

blazorthon said:
Broseph Stalin said:
blazorthon said:
Broseph Stalin said:
Dang, thought that might be a problem. Any suggestion on CPU?


Tell us your mobo model if you can. If it's one of the nice boards that supports up to the AM3 CPUs, then we can easily recommend a decent Phenom II CPU upgrade to go along with a cheap graphics card such as a Radeon 6670, GT 640, or Radeon 7750. If it only supports AM2 (maybe also AM2+), then the board will also need replacement as will the RAM.


Not sure what mobo it has. Anyway i could check, other than the obvious opening up my computer?


That probably depends on whether the system is OEM or uses a retail motherboard. If the system is OEM, then you can give the computer's model number (which should be on the exterior of the case). If it's not OEM or for some reason has a retail motherboard, then the motherboard's model number would only be printed on the motherboard itself. You might be able to check with a program such as CPU-Z/CPUID, but I'm not sure about that.


I found a sticker on the side of the case that has a bar code on it and says "model: TS - 0004QC - AMDS401" is this what you mean?
March 21, 2013 9:12:43 PM

make sure you update your mobo's bios as old mobo has some compaibilty issues with pci 2.1 and 3.0gpu.
March 21, 2013 9:14:22 PM

ASHISH65 said:
make sure you update your mobo's bios as old mobo has some compaibilty issues with pci 2.1 and 3.0gpu.


That's only the PCIe 1 motherboards and as I recall, they only tend to have issues with PCIe 2.1, not 3.0.
March 21, 2013 9:17:10 PM

Broseph Stalin said:
blazorthon said:
Broseph Stalin said:
blazorthon said:
Broseph Stalin said:
Dang, thought that might be a problem. Any suggestion on CPU?


Tell us your mobo model if you can. If it's one of the nice boards that supports up to the AM3 CPUs, then we can easily recommend a decent Phenom II CPU upgrade to go along with a cheap graphics card such as a Radeon 6670, GT 640, or Radeon 7750. If it only supports AM2 (maybe also AM2+), then the board will also need replacement as will the RAM.


Not sure what mobo it has. Anyway i could check, other than the obvious opening up my computer?


That probably depends on whether the system is OEM or uses a retail motherboard. If the system is OEM, then you can give the computer's model number (which should be on the exterior of the case). If it's not OEM or for some reason has a retail motherboard, then the motherboard's model number would only be printed on the motherboard itself. You might be able to check with a program such as CPU-Z/CPUID, but I'm not sure about that.


I found a sticker on the side of the case that has a bar code on it and says "model: TS - 0004QC - AMDS401" is this what you mean?


I just looked it up and it seems that that you have an old HP system. If that's right, then your computer is OEM and does not support AM3 CPUs. In that situation, it's best to replace pretty much the entire system because none of it is up to par nor is all of it capable of being upgraded and must instead be replaced.
March 21, 2013 9:21:44 PM

so @op has pci 1.1mobo,then it is fine
March 21, 2013 9:35:03 PM

ASHISH65 said:
so @op has pci 1.1mobo,then it is fine


Should be fine either way with PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 1.1 should be fine with PCIe 2.1 cards too, but I can't guarantee that. There was oftentimes a lot of confusion between PCIe 1.0a, PCIe 1, and PCIe 1.1 as well as any other version(s) that I may be forgetting. Regardless, simply using a PCIe 3.0 card or a PCIe 2.0 card should prevent any issues that a PCIe 2.1 card may cause.

Still, it would seem that OP will need to replace that motherboard to get any decent CPU upgrade, so it probably doesn't matter anyway since any new motherboard will have PCIe 2.0 or PCIe 3.0 and should have no compatibility issues with any of the PCIe graphics cards.
March 21, 2013 9:37:59 PM

if op has pci 1.1 then he doesnot have to worry as it is compaitable.

@choose between hd 6670 and hd 7750
March 21, 2013 9:42:30 PM

The problem now is that OP is using an old system with a single core, 2.3GHz Sempron 64 (cut-down Athlon 64, AMD's architecture from 2003) and the CPU is too slow for even SC2 with a Radeon 6670 DDR3. OP needs a new motherboard to get a decent CPU upgrade and that'll also mean new RAM along with the graphics card.
March 21, 2013 9:47:32 PM

hmmm ok yes starcraft is cpu intensive game and also loves intel cpu.

he has to get new cpu
March 21, 2013 10:40:20 PM

That Radeon 6770 is slightly worse in performance and much worse in power consumption than the similarly priced Radeon 7750 GDDR5.
March 22, 2013 5:29:04 PM

Thanks guys. All of you have been very helpful. Just right now I wouldn't be able to upgrade the entire thing (mobo cpu ram etc) so I guess I'll just wait until i can. Until then i'll have to hold off on starcraft.
March 22, 2013 6:13:08 PM

your comp is ancient but if you are kinda playing it at the already maybe you could get it slightly faster. You could try reducing all settings graphics to lowest, turning of AA, turning off reduce mouse lag, make sure shadows are off, reduce resolution to 1280, close all programs running esp anti-virus (better if you can stop them starting when windows starts, you want nothing in the bottom right of the taskbar). Maybe you could even overclock slightly through windows? Not sure about this with a HP or if its even a good idea with stock cooler!)
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