Upgrading HP Pavilion p6210y desktop - need GPU advise

I need to upgrade (hopefully in the next day or two) the graphics card on this machine, we use it for rendering 3D architectural drawings similar to CAD, the program we actually use is Punch Pro (http://www.punchsoftware.com/p-59-home-landscape-design-professional-v17.aspx). Right now the machine has onboard nVidia GeForce 9100 which works but it's slow. It only has a 300W PSU so open to upgrading that as well, just would like to stay under $200 if possible for both the card and PSU.

Desktop specs located here: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&docname=c01859864#N96

Motherboard M2N78-LA (Violet) specs located here: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01635734&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en#N315

Would I be able to order a PCI x16 2.0 card or do I need to stick with a PCI x16 card interface?

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  1. Hello Rachel. It seems your system is pretty good really, but the onboard graphics are a bit dated. I do not know much about CAD, but in general you have two different types of graphics cards you could go for depending on what you want, which should work fine for you. First there are graphics cards specialized for CAD. They are more expensive, but from what I have heard they have specialized utilities just for doing CAD. Here are a few links:

    Your other choice is to get a regular graphics card. One not designed for CAD, but more meant for gaming and watching videos. The onboard graphics you have are not meant for CAD already so one of these will probably be fine for you. They are cheaper is their big advantage, and are used a lot for gaming which can be intensive. Here are a few more links:

    These cards are considered low end and they do not use a lot of power, so you should be fine with a 300W power supply.

    Also yes you can run PCI 2.0 cards inside of a PCI 1.0 interface.
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