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Help me choose a graphics card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 10, 2013 9:46:08 AM

My setup currently is:
Lenovo H330

Motherboard: CIH61C (Not sure, but PCIe as far as I can tell?)
Graphics Card: Intel HD 2000
Power Supply: Not sure, I'll attach a pic.
CPU: Intel Core i5 2320 @ 3.00Ghz (Quad)
RAM: 8GB DDR3
OS: Win 7 Home-Premium 64-bit
HDD: 400GB


Notes: The power supply is minimal (picture here: http://postimg.org/image/e7orrwogz/ ) and the space inside the casing is so limited that almost no graphics cards can fit.


I plan on upgrading my power supply and case, perhaps with this: http://www.ebuyer.com/389854-coolermaster-haf-xm-gx-lit... , though I haven't really compared other casings and power supplies...

Ideally, I'd like to be able to play games with a decent, stable framerate. For example; a heavily modded & near-maxed out visuals minecraft client, Skyrim with decent visuals, or Black ops 2 with better than minimal visuals, though anything better than this would obviously be welcomed. (Is this possible on my budget?)


I'm a bit clueless when it comes to actual hardware however. Is the above PSU and casing good value for money? Other than space, cost and power limitations, what else limits my choice in graphics cards? On a budget of £300, what would be the ideal graphics for my situation, and what would be the best value-for-money card?


I'm sorry for the amount of info and questions I've put here, thank you for taking the time to read it/them. Any replies would be greatly appreciated!

~ Ben

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a c 128 ) Power supply
a b å Intel
a c 148 V Motherboard
a c 199 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 10:01:32 AM

A quality 450W PSU will run a GTX660 or GTX650Ti Boost; 500W will run a HD7870. Select one made by Seasonic (their own, XFX, some PC Power & Cooling), FSP (their own, some Antec), Delta (some Antec), Enermax/LEPA (their own), or Super Flower (Rosewill Capstone, new Kingwin).
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a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 10:49:07 AM

Onus said:
A quality 450W PSU will run a GTX660 or GTX650Ti Boost; 500W will run a HD7870. Select one made by Seasonic (their own, XFX, some PC Power & Cooling), FSP (their own, some Antec), Delta (some Antec), Enermax/LEPA (their own), or Super Flower (Rosewill Capstone, new Kingwin).


Cooler Master isn't actually that bad... Two or three of my friends have CM PSU's, and they've never had problems with them. However, I agree that they are suboptimal.
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June 10, 2013 10:55:29 AM

It seems like it's a good job I asked!
Do you have any thoughts on this particular product? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
First off, I really don't know what I'm looking at to be honest, other than I need a 450-500+W (I don't mind it being a bit over, providing it causes no problems?), I'm not sure if it's compatible with my motherboard?

Also, you mention the HD7870. Is this particular card compatible with the above power supply, and (I assume so) motherboard? (http://www.ebuyer.com/392961-sapphire-hd-7870-flex-ghz-... http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...)

I'm sorry, as I said, I'm rather clueless with hardware...

Edit: The power supply mentioned isn't available in any stores that deliver to the UK it seems, so perhaps this product in its place? http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...
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a c 128 ) Power supply
a b å Intel
a c 148 V Motherboard
a c 199 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 12:37:48 PM

The Antec PSU would be an excellent choice (the Super Flower-built Rosewill Capstone is good too). It would have no problem with that HD7870.
There are a few exceptions, but the rest of them indicate a level of dishonesty going beyond mere exaggeration, and does not allow me to ethically recommend any CM product, regardless of quality.
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June 10, 2013 2:47:49 PM

Thank you so much for all your help!

If I could ask one final qestion: I've been looking into the Antec PSU, the manual states that " the EA-550 Platinum PSU are all compatible with ATX12V v2.32 and EPS12V v2.92 specifications." All I can gather about my motherboard is that it is 'ATX'... Is there any way to find out what version of ATX it is in order to make sure it's compatible? Or will it simply be compatible regardless?

Manual: http://www.antec.com/pdf/manuals/antec_ea-550_platinum_...
Sales spec stating it's 'ATX': http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Computer-access...
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a c 128 ) Power supply
a b å Intel
a c 148 V Motherboard
a c 199 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 3:11:28 PM

It is compatible.
The ATX specification deals with the tolerances on the outputs, and the limits that should exist on those outputs. For example, technically most "single rail" PSUs violate the spec by providing more than 20A (240W) on a single rail. This does not make them incompatible.
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June 10, 2013 3:37:08 PM

Jeeze, the knowledge barrier for motherboards and PSUs, etc, is really rather high...

Providing I don't screw something up whilst changing everything out, I should have just what I from my PC, so thank you once again for all your help, I really appreciate it!
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a c 128 ) Power supply
a b å Intel
a c 148 V Motherboard
a c 199 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 5:17:33 PM

Glad to help. Be aware that unless you've got a Retail copy of Windows, replacing the motherboard will require you to get a new Windows license.
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June 10, 2013 5:54:50 PM

Onus said:
Glad to help. Be aware that unless you've got a Retail copy of Windows, replacing the motherboard will require you to get a new Windows license.


Yes, I'm aware of this, though replacing the motherboard will have to wait for some time due to my budget anyway.

On another note, I was just about to hit 'buy now' when I noticed the Antec platinum models only have a 24 pin connector, and not a 20+4 pin, and my motherboard only supports 20 pin connectors it seems.

I think I've found a suitable replacement with the Antec 620W High Current Gamer PSU , though I was just wondering if you'd come across any issues with this particular PSU?

It seems to have all the connectors I need... A 20+4 pin, 3 6+2 pins (the HD 7870 requires 2?), 6 x SATAs (I think my HDD is a SATA) and 1 x 4+4 Pin ATX which I can only assume is compatible with my model, seen as it's ATX...
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a c 128 ) Power supply
a b å Intel
a c 148 V Motherboard
a c 199 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 7:12:20 PM

Unless the space is physically blocked, a 24-pin connector can be placed with the last four pins overhanging (they just provide extra amperage, which your older motherboard would not need). If you would feel more comfortable using just 20 pins, the HCG is also a good PSU.
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