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Good Graphics Card for Under $100?

Hi there! I'm going to be upgrading my power supply unit soon and was looking for a good replacement for my current GPU. My current computer specs are as following:
CPU: AMD Phenom II x6 1035T
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5750 1024 MB
RAM: 8GB DDR3 Memory
PSU: 300W
I will be upgrading my PSU to either 500W or 600W and the Power Supply Unit manufacturer will be EVGA. I want a decent graphics card that can play games such as Assassin's Creed or Battlefield on medium-high settings with over 30 frames per second. And as the title says, I'd prefer it to be in the price range of under $100. However I can go up to $150. I'm perfectly okay with AMD Radeon or Nvidia GPU's. Thank you for all your recommendations! I really appreciate it :)
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  1. If you don't mind the price, this is one of the better cards for that price range: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%204017%20600007852%20600286742%20600007855%20600473899%20600451269&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=20
    The R7-260X or GTX 750 Ti. And, if you can find it, the R7-265.
    What resolution is your monitor?
  2. Agreed, I would lean on the side of the 265 if your after more performance.
  3. My monitor's resolution is 1365x768. And I'll check those cards out, thanks! How many watts would you recommend for the PSU, 500w or 600w?
  4. GTX 650 < R7-250 < GTX 750 < R7-250x < R7-260 < GTX 650ti < R7-260x < GTX 750ti < R7-265 < GTX 660 < r9-270

    those are the cards that you'll plausibly find in your price range (depending on timing and where you look); ranked in order of strength, weakest to strongest.

    I would suggest you not go any lower then the r7-260; and do your damnest to find a r7-265, GTX 660, or r9-270 in your price range... as all three are very nice cards that should do what you're asking.

    as for your 1366x768 resolution monitor... you'll find your cpu will bottleneck you more at that resolution then your gpu will... the r7-250x will be enough card at that resolution for most purposes.
  5. Best answer
    At 720p resolution, you can easily get by with the R7-260X/265 or the GTX 750 Ti and play at max/near max settings in most games. The GTX 750 Ti will only require a 300W PSU (for the cards that do not require a 6 pin PCIe cable*). The R7-260x/265 will require a bit more to be safe. Maybe go 400W for those. All good quality PSUs, of course... no junk.

    * the GTX 750 Ti comes in various versions. Some require a 6 pin power cable, some do not. The fastest GTX 750 Ti that requires no PCIe 6 pin connection is this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487024
    I have used that card in one of my 300W builds and it performed... beyond of my expectations. So, your existing PSU would be enough unless it is of poor quality.
  6. Alright thanks clutchc and ingtar33! I appreciate your help. I've decided that I'll first invest into a new CPU as a friend of mine told me that it's quite underpowered as well. After I've upgraded my CPU I will look into a new graphics card from the list both of you have suggested. Thanks once again! I really appreciate it!
  7. Your current CPU will be fine with either of the cards I mentioned.
  8. NuklearMau5 said:
    Alright thanks clutchc and ingtar33! I appreciate your help. I've decided that I'll first invest into a new CPU as a friend of mine told me that it's quite underpowered as well. After I've upgraded my CPU I will look into a new graphics card from the list both of you have suggested. Thanks once again! I really appreciate it!



    listen... you can get "enough" out of that old thuban cpu... you just have to overclock it a bit. bring the clock speed up to 4ghz... or atleast 3.8ghz and you'll be fine for a while. i was speaking mostly along the lines of your old cpu being a bottleneck at STOCK settings.
  9. @ ingtar33
    Kinda hard to get that kind of OC out of a processor with a locked multiplier, isn't it? He'll only few-megahertz bump in BCLK frequency.
  10. clutchc said:
    @ ingtar33
    Kinda hard to get that kind of OC out of a processor with a locked multiplier, isn't it? He'll only few-megahertz bump in BCLK frequency.


    haha... no... this isn't an intel Core I.

    those old thubans had a front side bus/cpu frequency that overclocked quite extraordinarily. getting them up to 250~ or so is certainly possible... that chip has a locked multiplier of x13... 13x250=3.3ghz... which would be nice... if he has a real wild overclocker he might be able to get more out of the fsb. you never know till you try. personally i had a lot of fun back in the day overclocking locked thubans. most of them prior to the 1100T sorta capped out around 3.6-4.0ghz... so it might be unreasonable to expect him to get much more then 250 out of that fsb... but a few rare ones could push it further.
  11. I forgot to add the motherboard I have. All my parts are stock ever since I bought the PC and my motherboard is the AMD 880G. My PC is the Gateway DX4320-19. I posted another thread about a new CPU and some did not recommend overclocking with my current motherboard. My PC also gets temperatures of 65C to 80C when gaming or using resource-intense software such as Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, and Cinema 4D. If I overclock I may need to buy a new cooler system for my PC just because of the temperatures but I'd just rather upgrade my CPU instead. What are your thoughts?
  12. The AMD 880G isn't the motherboard, it is the motherboard chipset. What is the make/model of the board? Usually it is predominately displayed near the center of the board.
    If the board has an AM3 socket, you are going to be limited to what few Phenom II X4s and X6s are still out there used (Ebay). If the board has the AM3+ socket, your options are much greater.

    ...and yes, you don't want to OC with the stock cooler. Your CPU temps are too high already. Changed the thermal paste lately?
  13. Well, it seems like I got quite a bit of work to do lol. Nope, I haven't changed the thermal paste yet but I will do that when I get my upgrades done. I've stopped using my PC soon after I realized the high temperatures and I've unplugged it. I've been using my laptop.

    I'm not sure about the model of the motherboard but I will open it up and check, however I am sure that the socket is an AM3, not AM3+.
  14. NuklearMau5 said:
    Well, it seems like I got quite a bit of work to do lol. Nope, I haven't changed the thermal paste yet but I will do that when I get my upgrades done. I've stopped using my PC soon after I realized the high temperatures and I've unplugged it. I've been using my laptop.

    I'm not sure about the model of the motherboard but I will open it up and check, however I am sure that the socket is an AM3, not AM3+.


    If it's an AM3 socket, then keep your eye out for a good quality Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition or faster processor for an upgrade to what you have now... for gaming: 955BE, 965BE, 970BE, 975BE, 980BE.
  15. the PhII x6 1100T was sorta the king of the AM3 chipset and in a lot of ways, when properly overclocked is close to the fastest chip amd ever made... depends on the bench... but in single threaded performance a 4.4ghz 1100T will challenge a 5.0+ghz FX cpu in many benches. Again it depends a bit on what bench you run.

    You won't get 4.2ghz out of that PhIIx6 1035T, but if you can get it close to 3.8ghz it will do what you need it to do.

    the 880 chipset was the best motherboard chipset made for the AM3 platform... it wasn't until intel's z77 chipset intel had anything that would match it really. that said it does matter what motherboard you have. some of them won't be able to handle a significant overclock on that Thuban. Furthermore your temps are far too high... so high i actually doubt those are your temps. PhenomII cpus simply stop working around 65C... frankly 62C was hot enough to crash most of them. That said PhII temp reporting could be off by as much as 20C plus or minus. so if we assume your's is reporting 20C too hot your temps fall a lot more in line with what i'd expect from a PhIIx6 thuban cpu using the stock cooler.

    So yes... even if you have a solid overclocking motherboard you'll need a solid cpu heatsink.
  16. I got those temperature readings from the AMD Control Center that came installed with my PC, and I'm not sure how accurate that would be. I did some reading and people recommended trying a different software called Everest to measure the CPU temperatures so I'll do that when I get home tonight (at my uncle's house for the weekend). I'll see what Everest measures and I'll let you guys know.

    Thank you guys for all the help you've been giving me! I really appreciate it because I'm kinda new to how PC hardware works lol.
  17. Hey guys! So I got home and I opened up my PC and I checked the motherboard, it didn't have a model/manufacturer on it. I can confirm that the socket was an AM3 however. Also, when I went to remove my CPU heatsink, I noticed that some of the pins underneath the heatsink that attach to the CPU (not sure if I'm saying this properly) were bent. Could this be why I'm seeing some high temperatures?

    About 4 months ago my dad opened up my PC to install a new Blu-Ray drive, in the process he decided to clean up all the parts as well. I'm going to assume that perhaps he may have placed the CPU heatsink improperly and have messed up the pins.
  18. Heat sinks don't have 'pins'. Are you talking about the metal radiator fins?
  19. Yup, I think that's it. It's under the heatsink and it's supposed to lock in place on top of the CPU, but they are bent and aren't locking in.
  20. NuklearMau5 said:
    Yup, I think that's it. It's under the heatsink and it's supposed to lock in place on top of the CPU, but they are bent and aren't locking in.


    I'm thinking you're not talking about the radiator fins from that description. They are above the heat sink base. Are you talking about the mtg. clamp?
    Look at this pic and tell me what is bent:
  21. It's this, except they are bent:
  22. bent pins on your cpu? no... that won't make it run hot... but it will break something permanently. on the bright side you can straighten them if you're careful. i've used knives, pens, even mechanical pencils to straighten those pins. they don't have to be perfectly straight but they do need to fit back into their holes in the socket.
  23. I'm really sorry but I just realized that I meant the pins on my CPU, not heatsink! It was attached to the heatsink so I thought it was part of it, I'm really sorry.

    Alright thanks ingtar! I'll try straightening up the pins then.
  24. Yikes! Do it carefully or you will have a tiny doorstop.
  25. Lol I'll try my best clutch :)

    Otherwise I guess I'll just be better off upgrading my CPU and motherboard.
  26. NuklearMau5 said:
    Lol I'll try my best clutch :)

    Otherwise I guess I'll just be better off upgrading my CPU and motherboard.


    I've had to straighten pins on AMD processors recently, on 3 in fact. 2 for someone else, 1 because I was ham-handed. Always a tedious process. But as Ingtar33 says, if they can be straightened enough to allow complete re-insertion into the socket, closing the lever will usually take care of the rest of the straightening.
  27. Well, today I tried straightening the pins but I failed :( I broke off quite a bit of pins unfortunately.

    I've decided that I may just purchase a new motherboard and CPU or just buy a new computer. Do you guys know any motherboards that would be compatible with my current GPU (AMD Radeon 5750)? I believe my case could support only a Micro ATX motherboard.

    Thank you guys so much! I really appreciate all the help you both have been giving me :)
  28. the r9 270 is the best card in the 150$ price range. the thing is a freaking beast and is the best deal for the $. It is definitely better than the 750ti, but you will need a higher psu before you can use any of the amd cards. if you need a card before your psu the 750ti is only option. I would spend a couple bucks more and get the 270 as it can run just about everything at high settings. here is a link to a msi for 159$ after rebate. they also have cheaper ones on newegg from other manufacturers. If you get a r7 265 your going to spend 150$ as low as 139$ after rebate so the price difference is worth an extra 10$. The r7 260x is really good too, but you will need to turn the settings down some and some games will struggle in 1080p but still should hit 30fps on low. I had a 260x and returned for a 270x which had a massive performance increase. the 270 isn't much different than the 270x. the 270 is the lowest card available with a 256-bit bus every other card in price range uses a 128-bit. your getting so much more for the $ as you will be able to have a card that will last you a while compared to something simply getting you by for now.

    The 750ti which cost same as a 270 has 16 ROPs / 40 TAUs the r9 270 has 32 / 80... The performance increase you will get will be such a huge jump up its definitely worth the few extra $.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127769&cm_re=r9_270-_-14-127-769-_-Product
  29. NuklearMau5 said:
    Well, today I tried straightening the pins but I failed :( I broke off quite a bit of pins unfortunately.

    I've decided that I may just purchase a new motherboard and CPU or just buy a new computer. Do you guys know any motherboards that would be compatible with my current GPU (AMD Radeon 5750)? I believe my case could support only a Micro ATX motherboard.

    Thank you guys so much! I really appreciate all the help you both have been giving me :)


    Too bad about the broken pins. Straightening pins isn't a job for everybody. And depending which ones are bent (and how bad) it can be quite challenging.

    Any modern board with a PCIe X16 slot will support that card and any other. If you change MBs, you may have to "jump thru a few hoops" with M$ to get the existing Win(7?) OEM license re-activated. But it is do-able. Decide on whether you want to go Intel or AMD and we can help you choose a CPU/MB if you feel the need for assistance.
  30. Alright thanks clutchc! I've decided I'll stay with AMD. I was browsing around the web for a good Socket AM3+ CPU and I saw the AMD FX-6300 3.5 GHz 6-Core Processor. Would that be a suitable CPU for gaming? I didn't have much luck finding a motherboard since I'm not sure which one would be best, but I have 4 RAM sticks that are 2 GB each so the new MB must have 4 RAM slots. Thanks again! :)
  31. NuklearMau5 said:
    Alright thanks clutchc! I've decided I'll stay with AMD. I was browsing around the web for a good Socket AM3+ CPU and I saw the AMD FX-6300 3.5 GHz 6-Core Processor. Would that be a suitable CPU for gaming? I didn't have much luck finding a motherboard since I'm not sure which one would be best, but I have 4 RAM sticks that are 2 GB each so the new MB must have 4 RAM slots. Thanks again! :)


    as cheap as ram is don't get have your determining factor of the mb be dependent upon how many slots it has. are all the 2 gb sticks the same? just saying take a look at all mb options and get the best one. it's very possible to find a mb with only 2 slots but maybe it's just as good as one with 4 but cost less and once you get new ram the price is the same but as the same time you also ended up upgrading ram as well.
  32. t99 said:
    NuklearMau5 said:
    Alright thanks clutchc! I've decided I'll stay with AMD. I was browsing around the web for a good Socket AM3+ CPU and I saw the AMD FX-6300 3.5 GHz 6-Core Processor. Would that be a suitable CPU for gaming? I didn't have much luck finding a motherboard since I'm not sure which one would be best, but I have 4 RAM sticks that are 2 GB each so the new MB must have 4 RAM slots. Thanks again! :)


    as cheap as ram is don't get have your determining factor of the mb be dependent upon how many slots it has. are all the 2 gb sticks the same? just saying take a look at all mb options and get the best one. it's very possible to find a mb with only 2 slots but maybe it's just as good as one with 4 but cost less and once you get new ram the price is the same but as the same time you also ended up upgrading ram as well.


    Yup, all those 2GB RAM sticks are the same. I searched around for 8GB RAM sticks and most were $75 and up, I'd rather save that money for a GPU upgrade in the future. However if there isn't a good motherboard available with 4 RAM slots I'll just go with one that has 2 RAM slots and probably sell my 4 RAM sticks.
  33. Unlike t99, I don't feel memory prices are cheap right now. 8GB of the cheap stuff will still set you back over $70. Memory is higher now than it used to be.

    So if you feel like going with a AM3+ board, I would say look for one with a 9-series chipset for best performance and better OC'ing. But you said you could only use a mATX? Double check that. Because, that means you can't go with a 9-series. I think they only come in ATX for some reason. In fact, I don't think there are any new AM3+ boards that are mATX and 4 DIMM slots.
  34. clutchc said:
    Unlike t99, I don't feel memory prices are cheap right now. 8GB of the cheap stuff will still set you back over $70. Memory is higher now than it used to be.

    So if you feel like going with a AM3+ board, I would say look for one with a 9-series chipset for best performance and better OC'ing. But you said you could only use a mATX? Double check that. Because, that means you can't go with a 9-series. I think they only come in ATX for some reason. In fact, I don't think there are any new AM3+ boards that are mATX and 4 DIMM slots.


    Just saying look at everything because you never know what deal you might see.
  35. clutchc said:
    Unlike t99, I don't feel memory prices are cheap right now. 8GB of the cheap stuff will still set you back over $70. Memory is higher now than it used to be.

    So if you feel like going with a AM3+ board, I would say look for one with a 9-series chipset for best performance and better OC'ing. But you said you could only use a mATX? Double check that. Because, that means you can't go with a 9-series. I think they only come in ATX for some reason. In fact, I don't think there are any new AM3+ boards that are mATX and 4 DIMM slots.


    Alright I see. I measured my motherboard and according to it's dimensions it is a Micro ATX board. My tower does not have space for anything larger. Would it be possible to just purchase a new tower that can support an ATX motherboard? Then I could move all my parts over to that tower.
  36. NuklearMau5 said:
    Would it be possible to just purchase a new tower that can support an ATX motherboard? Then I could move all my parts over to that tower.



    Yes, absolutely. What is your budget for a new case? What case do you have now?
  37. My PC wasn't custom built, it's the Gateway DX4320-19, so I still have the default case. I ran a few searches on Amazon for the case and the motherboard, and here is what I got:

    ATX Tower: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003YVJJ5Y/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    Motherboard:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DJ3DWFK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    CPU: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009O7YORK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    Would these be good?
  38. Sure. Good combination. The case is OK, but it doesn't have a lot of room behind the MB tray for cable management if that is an issue for you.
    Newegg has a $10 off promo on the FX-6300 right now: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113286
  39. Alright awesome! Thanks for letting me know about the promo on Newegg! So the motherboard I found will be ok right?
  40. NuklearMau5 said:
    Alright awesome! Thanks for letting me know about the promo on Newegg! So the motherboard I found will be ok right?


    Yes, absolutely. Did you have a particular worry about something?
  41. clutchc said:
    NuklearMau5 said:
    Alright awesome! Thanks for letting me know about the promo on Newegg! So the motherboard I found will be ok right?


    Yes, absolutely. Did you have a particular worry about something?


    Nope, not really. I just hope I don't bend the pins lol

    Thanks for all the help clutchc! I really appreciate it! I honestly wouldn't have been able to get much done since I don't have much experience with PC hardware. So thanks again! :)

    And thank you ingtar as well as you had helped me earlier :)
  42. Good luck. Let us know how it works for you.
  43. Alright one last question before I order all the parts. The motherboard I chose should work perfectly with an SSD drive right? I was thinking about upgrading to an SSD. The mobo does say that it is SATA III 6Gbps ready.

    Also, I was going to upgrade my PSU to an EVGA 500W and my GPU to the EVGA GTX 750 (later on though).
  44. Yes, the board is SATA III. Here is a better description of the board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128627
    And of course, the webpage for the board. You can get all the pertinent info here along with all the latest drivers, manual, etc: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4642#ov

    But be careful with EVGA PSUs. Some are poor quality. Use this hierarchy chart as a guide: https://community.newegg.com/eggxpert/computer_hardware/f/135081/t/45344.aspx?Redirected=true
  45. Alright thanks for all the help clutchc! I appreciate it! The installation went perfectly well and my computer is running better than before! :)
  46. Outstanding! Enjoy.
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