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Best Video Card for My System?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
December 5, 2007 4:31:15 AM

Computer Specs

CPU: AMD Athlon x64 x2 Dual-Core 4100+
MoBo: ASUS A8M2N-LA (NodusM3)
RAM: 1024 MB DDR2 533 Dual-Channel (512x2)
Video: Integrated Nvidia GeForce 6150 LE (128mb shared)
PSU: 300W Hipro HP-D3057F3R Standard ATX
Hard Drive: Seagate 320GB SATA
OS: Windows Vista Premium 32-bit
3 PCI Slots (2 open)
1 PCI-Express x16 (open)

What is the best video card I can run in my system, as is.

More about : video card system

December 5, 2007 4:47:20 AM

nothing great until you get a new/better PSU. Maybe a 76xxx or 86xx if your lucky.
December 5, 2007 5:06:43 AM

Yep, that's a terrible PSU. Wouldn't put more than an 2400 XT or 8500 GT on that, and it still might crap out.

Get a nice quality PSU though, and the sky's the limit. Geforce 8800's or radeon 38870's will even play nice on that CPU, at high resolutions.

Assuming you want to play games, that is...if you don't want to game, the 2400 or 8500 will be fine.
Related resources
December 5, 2007 5:14:04 AM

Raven is correct.Purchase a new power supply as well as a video card.The best way to determine what power supply to buy is to look up the PSU requirments for your new video card.As for a video card,well being that you have a PCI-E X16 slot,I would say pretty much any video card up to an 8600GTS,or 2600XT.I don't recommend anything faster simply because your CPU will become a bottleneck,and hamper the performance of anything faster.For some reason,you have a mobile turion chip in a desktop PC.You should be able to oc the cpu a fair bit.But I still wouldn't get anything extreme until you can upgrade your cpu.Was your system bought as a whole,or did you build it yourself???Let me know.Goodluck.


X2 5600+ STOCK (2.8GHZ)
EVGA 7950 GX2 550/1350
ACER 22IN WS LCD 1680X1050
3DMARK 05 13,685
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2007 5:47:17 AM

bsecksmonster said:
Computer Specs

CPU: AMD Athlon x64 x2 Dual-Core 4100+
MoBo: ASUS A8M2N-LA (NodusM3)
RAM: 1024 MB DDR2 533 Dual-Channel (512x2)
Video: Integrated Nvidia GeForce 6150 LE (128mb shared)
PSU: 300W Hipro HP-D3057F3R Standard ATX
Hard Drive: Seagate 320GB SATA
OS: Windows Vista Premium 32-bit
3 PCI Slots (2 open)
1 PCI-Express x16 (open)

What is the best video card I can run in my system, as is.

How much do you have to spend? You'll need to upgrade your PSU if your going to get a better GPU solution.
December 5, 2007 9:08:50 PM

I'm looking to spend between $100-$150.
I am not going to install a new PSU though, due to my Dad said I can't... He bought the computer for me and is even hesitant about letting me buy a video card.
Reason why is because my last computer crapped out on me, well actually the RAM fried in the slot and may have fried the slot too, several days after I had put new Ethernet modem in and assumed it was all my fault.
December 5, 2007 9:39:50 PM

Man the PSU is not very expensive, you should try and talk to your father.
December 5, 2007 9:40:33 PM

I have found several NVidia 8600GT that only require a minimum of a 300W PSU.

XFX PVT84JUDF3 GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

XFX PVT84JUDD3 GeForce 8600GT XXX 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

eVGA GeForce 8600 GT Video Card
(256MB, PCI Express x16, Dual DVI - MPN: 256P2N751TR)

PNY GeForce 8600 GT Video Card
(256MB, PCI Express x16, Dual DVI - MPN: VCG8600GXPB)

PNY VCG86512GXPB-OC GeForce 8600GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

Leadtek PX8600GT 256MB Standard GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2007 9:40:37 PM

okay first, tell you dad that you weren't the problem for the memory frying. Second I'd put in a 2600xt or 8600gt. You can get this for $120 shipped and has 512mb of DDR3!
SAPPHIRE 100218L Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

That should be more than enough for your $.
December 5, 2007 9:44:30 PM

I've heard a lot better things about the Nvidia's GeForce 8600GT than the ATi Radeon's Directx10 2400's & 2600's

I've already told him that. There is no budging him on the matter, trying to do so more will only result in him absolutely denying me to put anything into it.
December 5, 2007 10:05:32 PM

So, which of those 8600GT's is the best for my computer?
December 5, 2007 10:26:19 PM

bsecksmonster said:
I've heard a lot better things about the Nvidia's GeForce 8600GT than the ATi Radeon's Directx10 2400's & 2600's

I disagree. I reviewed them both and from firsthand experience with both I can say the 2600 XT did notably better with AA off, and with AA on neither card really offered playable performance:
December 5, 2007 10:29:59 PM

Yes get the 2600XT 512mb.
I understand your situation with your father. I had many similiar things happen to me too.
December 5, 2007 10:34:58 PM

Just look for one with DDR3. Some of them are sold with DDR2 mem and are generally just as expensive as the DDR3 versions but run much slower. Otherwise, more memory is better but not as important as the memory speed. The brand you choose will have more influence on the warranty and support for the card than performance. I personally like EVGA, though I have used a few MSI cards in budget rigs with good results.

I know what it's like to have a Dad like that. Mine always acted like he had a giant stick up his a$$ whenever I wanted to take a screwdriver to anything. Well, actually the stick was always there, and still is. I wish I had some advice for that issue, but I feel your pain.
December 5, 2007 11:06:25 PM

I can tell you bought an HP =] tell me if im wrong?

I did the same three years ago, now i build it myself, much better/cheaper =]
December 6, 2007 2:08:59 AM

Doesn't the 2600 require a 400W PSU?
December 6, 2007 2:29:02 AM

Visiontek Radeon HD 2600 Pro 512MB PCI-Express

ATI Radeon (TM) HD 2600PRO PCIE 256MB GDDR2

Diamond Viper ATI Radeon HD 2600PRO PCIE 512MB GDDR2 Video Card

(My #1 choice)
Visiontek Radeon HD 2600 Pro 512MB PCI-Express

My Dad will probably make me buy it at Fry's or something in case something goes wrong.
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2007 2:29:17 AM

No, the HD2600 is as power mizerly as the GF8600 series.

December 6, 2007 2:40:05 AM

My Dad will most likely make me buy from Fry's because he'll have to use his Credit Card if I buy online + returns are easier.
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2007 2:57:51 AM

The only problem with FRY's is their terrible selection.

The main thing you need to decie is whether the performance is worth another couple of bucks after rebate;

HD2600 Pro vs 2600XT (note I picked the DX10 game page due to your statements above);

So if you look through that review it should give you and idea of the difference between the two.

And GDDR3 vs GDDR4;
December 6, 2007 3:45:47 AM

Those require at least 350W or 400W...
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2007 3:46:51 AM

Like I said before, go with the 2600xt models. The DDR4 model TGGA linked looks good, especially with the $30 MIR, which you Dad might like! I know that when I'm shopping for my son's computer parts (or mine) I have to look at all possiblilities available. I look for the best GPU that I can afford and then shop at several different places. Newegg has some of the best customer service around on the web for computer parts. If you inform and educate your Dad on this, you might be able to buy from them. This would be the cheapest way to get a quality and better video card than if you went to Fry's, BTW. Sometimes it takes perserverance to get what you want. If you Dad doesn't believe you, than send him this way. Many, many, many people here on this site will back me up on the good customer service that Newegg offers. Yeah your going to have a few, but that is always the case with any establishment.
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2007 3:56:40 AM

bsecksmonster said:
Those require at least 350W or 400W...

Not quite sure about that. I have a 420w Aspire (20A on the 12v rail, which Aspire isn't the best) running a x1800xt 256mb video card on it for the last 2 years, so his 2600 xt shouldn't have any problems with a 19a on the 12v rail PSU. The x1800xt by itself consummed about 103 watts at full load, conversely the 2600xt consummed 49w under full load. So that 300w PSU shouldn't have ANY issues running the 2600xt, IMHO!
Here's the link for the power consumptions:
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2007 4:27:14 AM

bsecksmonster said:
Those require at least 350W or 400W...

As was mentioned, those figures are over-inflated.

The HD2600Pro DDRII sips 30W under load, the HD2600XT and GF8600GTS both consume 48W under load, so the difference is about the same as 2 Harddrives or a few case fans. And whatever you're going to save on a GF8600GT (which consumes closer to the GTS/XT) isn't going to be much.

So along with price you can consider that.

And to back upt Lunyone, yeah NewEgg's got a good rep, and everyone I know who uses them returns, I just wish I could buy from them more often (as they don't ship to Canada I restrict my buying to when I'm going to the states or when friends are coming up here).

I think you've got most of the info you need to have a discussion with your dad, from here on out it's going to be up to you to weigh your options.

And I'd say regardless of which brand or model you buy, saving $50+ at NewEgg is worth it (essentially a free game, memory or harddrive, or simply more beer for dad :sol:  ).
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2007 4:34:43 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
And I'd say regardless of which brand or model you buy, saving $50+ at NewEgg is worth it (essentially a free game, memory or harddrive, or simply more beer for dad :sol:  ).

Now your talking! Thems bargaining words!!!
December 6, 2007 10:56:36 PM

I'm going to be paying for it, with either ca$h or my Debit Card, and I'm not using my Debit Card on the Internet + last time I checked, you can't pay for stuff on the Internet with ca$h lol
So which is going to be the best, for sure to work fine, and within $200 WITHOUT buying a new PSU.
December 6, 2007 11:02:05 PM

o btw
My Dad refuses to pay for ANY of my parts, even a penny, so this one is entirely out of my pocket.
$200 is the absolute ceiling for me. If at all possible below $150 or $175 is best!
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2007 11:19:26 PM

Your kinda stuck with a choice then, either the Diamond HD2600Pro or the Diamond HD2600XT.

Based on the performance you see in the links for the games you play, is the XT worth that extra $45 of your money? Unfortunately there is no GF8600 reprive because their selection and prices are equally bad, and unless you have another distributor near you that isn't Fry's then you're stuck with that choice, and since it's your money only you know if it's worth it.

As for the PSU it shouldn't be an issue, but if you're worried and want to get the XT, just be sure they will let you replace it with the HD2600Pro or GF8600GT if you have a problem with it.

Be sure to clean out your old drivers when you install any new card.
December 6, 2007 11:28:06 PM

Best Buy
Circuit City
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2007 11:39:16 PM

Well Best Buy would be better if everything weren't "Online Only";

They have a 3850 for $159;

And you can get a 2600XT for the same price;

and knowing BestBuy's return policy I'd get the HD3850, try it in your system, if it doesn't work then return it.

See what BB can do for you in store, that 'Online Only" thing is a pain.
December 6, 2007 11:42:09 PM

Looking again at it, the ATi DX10 cards are only better than the Nvidia GeForce 8600GT when HDR or HDR options are enabled + when HDR is not available or w/e, the 8600GT has much better performance.
Also, how much better is the 2600Pro than the 8500GT?
December 6, 2007 11:54:26 PM

I agree with GrapeApe try the HD 3850 first from Best Buy since it is vastly superior to any other card mentioned so far and if it doesn't work return it for the 2600XT.
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2007 11:55:41 PM

The HD2600Pro is much better than the 8500GT.

The thing to look at like Cleeve mentioned is where the games are playable. The problem with most tests is that they involve settings not suited for the card, more suited for other cards.

NONE of these cards are good for using AA in these or future titles, and what using it does is give you an unrealistic example of gameplay, because 9fps on one card versus 8 on the other sounds like a big deal, but both are unplayable, so why benchmark with 4XAA, instead of benching them with no AA and getting 30-40fps. I add the Xbit reviews to give you more ideas, and specifically to point out the DX10 component, but understand what Cleeve's review show, which was that the best situation is without AA for these cards.

Anywhoo, a GF8500GT shouldn't be a consideration, the only real options are the GF8600GT/HD2600Pro/GF8600GTS/HD2600XT, and if you can get BestBuy to sell one for the online price, I'd try poping that HD3850 into your rig, because it'll destroy the other 4 hands down with and without AA, and be more useful later when you upgrade the rest of your PC should you go to a C2D setup next.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 12:25:19 AM

Guarantee? No way, I can put a Radeon 9600 (my favourtie known entity card) into a rig with a PC Power & Cooling 1KW PSU and not 'guarantee it will work' (BTW, that's up tot the store/mfr) nor could I of any other option you'll pick ; but I can tell you this, if you're concerned about power, the HD2600Pro SIPS power at the same level as the GF8500GT and it will outperform it.
At 30W total power draw if your PC cannot handle that, then your PC cannot handle pretty much any card worth gaming on.
That's why I like return policies, if you're worried then you test from your top preference downwards until you get a perfect fit.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 12:47:45 AM

Your dad needs to read up on the importance of a power supply. They are simple to put in and a very important (but too often overlooked) part of the system.

Pick up one of these Antec earthwatts 430W (made by seasonic) from fry's for $60 and put the rest of your budget into a video card.

I can't give you a video card link though as their prices are horrible. Fry's has good mobo/cpu combos, good case and power supply deals, used to have good HDD deals, but rarely are competetive in graphics cards apart from short lived amzing deals(none I know of now). You'll find a HD2600XT for about half the price at newegg compared to frys. They have an 8800GT for $280 in stock, which is about their best deal yet out of your budget. $125 AR is way more for a GDDR2 pro than you can get a HD2600XT for at newegg without rebate.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2007 12:54:41 AM

What an expensive 2600pro card! I'd rather take $80 difference online and say take $20 and tell Dad to buy himself a CASE of beer or something he likes, if he'll buy the 3850 or 2600xt online!! As stated before, we can't guarantee anything. You can have the best parts in the world and not guarantee anything. I've had luck with cheap TV's that have outlasted the best Sony TV's, but that isn't always the case. Each time you buy something you are taking a chance that it'll work for your needs. So my recommendation again is 3850, 2600xt, 8600gts, 2600pro, and a 8600gt. In order of best to okay. I'd reckon that the 2600xt would be the best fit for your current system, but there is no guarantee there.
December 7, 2007 9:08:49 AM

I agree with everyone that says up the power supply. Don't even try and go the 8600GT/2600 Pro or better route with a 300W PSU. The best you can hope for is a Nvidia 7300 GS or possibly the 8400GS. Otherwise, your system will crash. I had a bad experience trying to run a 7800 GT with a 300W PSU. Could load older games but everytime I tried playing LOTR BFME2 or CandC it would lock up or crash the system. Mind the Specs.
December 7, 2007 10:09:42 AM

Have friend of yours buy what ever you want online with their cc and pay them back. Then you can get the 3850.
December 7, 2007 10:25:02 PM

Here is the PSU I'm looking at, if my Dad lets me buy one.
CoolerMaster eXtreme Power 500w ATX Power Supply
This one is the same size (dimensions) as my current one.
I've taken the dimensions (size) on my current PSU
[W x H x L]
[150 x 86 x 140mm]
[5.90" x 3.39" x 5.51"]

Can you give me links to NewEgg of the 3850, 2600xt, 8600gts, 2600pro, and a 8600gt (at least two of each if possible please)

December 7, 2007 10:54:47 PM

I might just go pick up the 8500GT or the 2400PRO
December 8, 2007 1:21:42 AM

Those are the best cards I can pick up, right?
December 8, 2007 5:42:44 PM

I have a 7600GT with a 300w power supply in my HP.. Ive had it in for almost 2 years now and have yet to have a problem. The XFX 8600GT XXX edition uses only 2 watts of power more than the 7600GT, and that's an over clocked card... meaning the 8600GT undoubtably uses less power. The reason why Mojorsing had problems with his 300w psu was because he was trying to run a 7800GT with it... that card requires about 60w of power to run as opposed to around 30 for the 8600GT.

So while I cant speak for the 8600GT i know for a FACT that a 7600GT will run fine.... and seeing as how they have very very similar power requirements i see no reason why an 8600GT wouldn't run fine.
December 9, 2007 2:37:26 AM

8500 GT or 2400 PRO = not good for gaming.

If you want to play games, get the 2600 XT or 8600 GT.

If those look too expensive for you, get a 2600 PRO at the VERY least.

December 11, 2007 10:52:58 PM

Where can I find the maximum wattage each video card uses
+ PLUS +
The wattage my computer uses.
a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2007 3:04:18 AM

The only place to find the wattage of the cards is in Xbit reviews like the ones above, they measure at the slot, others simply average a total system power draw (even if it's different MoBos), check the Xbit reviews for the draw of the actual card and not the guess of the card on a different system.