Shopping for a new Graphics Card, help please!

Alright, so, I've got a decent PC, aside from my Card (7300 GeForce currently) and Age of Conan is coming out next month, so it's time to go shopping! I've got 200$ to spend and want the best bang for my buck.

My Motherboard is only PCI-E 1.0, and I'm very confused about the PCI-E 2.0 thing, some say that I can run a 2.0 card on my 1.0, some say I can't..

These are a few of the cards I've been looking at, but I've no idea wich is really better, or if there's one better floating around.

so, wich one would run best on my Machine, or any suggestions for a better card in my price range? Thanks guys! If you need any specifics about my machine, please tell me!
16 answers Last reply
More about shopping graphics card please
  1. this one here is your winner:

    the heatsink/fan on this card alone is worth the buy. with a rebate and a free game this is the best way to go!
  2. Awesome! But I see it's a PCI-E 2.0 card, how do I know this will run on my machine?
  3. Don't worry PCI-E 2.0 is just a marketing gimmick a motherboard with it only has 1% gains in performance than one without. Anyway PCI-E 2.0 cards are fully compatible with any PCI-E motherboard no-matter what type 1.0, 1.1 or 2.0
  4. The PCI E x16 2.0 graphic card is backwards compatible with the PCI E x16 1.0 socket so it'll work. Another concern is if you have a prebuilt system and are using a GeForce LE 7300 you may need to upgrade your power supply. The cards you listed require a 400-450 watt power supply and 24-26 amps on the 12v rail(s). That aside either the EVGA or doubletakes choice is where i would go. I've just had very good luck with EVGAs products in the past.
  5. Hmm, okay. Well, this is what the back of the box says on my power supply. (I had a power surge a while back and it fried my power supply, I had a waranty and this is what they gave me..)

    400 Watt Power Supply
    Input Voltage: 110 VAC (90-132VAC)/230VAC(180-264)

    Output Voltage: +3.3V, +5V, +12V1, +12V2, -12V, +5Vsb

    Max Load: 30A, 28A, 14A, 15A, 0.3A, 1.5A

    Min Load: 0.5A, 0.3A, 1.0A, 1.0A, 0A, 0A

    Regulation: +5% +5% +5% +5% +10% +5%

    Ripple: 50mV, 50mV, 120mV, 120mV, 120mV, 50mV

    Noise: 100mV, 100mV, 200mV, 200mV, 200mV, 100mV

    Power Good Signal: 100-500mS

    Power Fail Signal: 1mS Min.

    Hold-up Time: 16mS Min.

    Line Regulation: +1%

    Connectors: 1x PCI-Express 2x3 power connector (6 pin) 1x24-pin to 20-pin ATX power connector, 1x+12V power connector (4 pin), 1x floppy drive connector, (4 pin 3.5 inch drive), 5x peripheral power connectors (4 pin 5.25 inch drive), 4x SATA connectors.

    Specifications: Main power connector compatible with 2x12 motherboard, ATX 12V, V2.2 compatibility, SATA connector, PCI-Express ready, 4.72 inch (12cm) fan, quiet power supply, fan speed control function inside, minimum wire harness lengths, all output wires connectors = 19.68 inches (500mm), low power consumption on standby (input power less than 1W when +5VSB is 0.1A), Maximum acoustic noise goal = 4.0 BA at 50% maximum load, 109.4F(43C), short circuit, over-current, over voltage protection.

    Sorry for the wall of text, all seems very confusing to me, but any idea if that'll run

    If not, I can upgrade no worries. :) Also, really appreciate the help guys!
  6. It's borderline to the system requirements @ 400w and 29 amps, you didn't mention brand/mfc of the psu. A quality branded psu (Corsair/ PC power and cooling/Seasonic) is always a good idea, but with the info you gave i'd run it.
  7. If you've been using nVidia cards before this I strongly recommend you getting the 9600gt.
    Can worry less about the driver cleaning stuffs.
    the 8800gts 640mb consumes quite a lot of energy and it works quite the same with the 9600gt.
    So, 9600gt will be my choice dude.
    Have a nice day.
  8. mactronix said:

    @ scykoh
    Ok now im not trying to be funny but you say you have a decent PC but the GPU is weak.
    The best thing would be to list your system specs so that the guys can recomend something that matches your system.
    It may turn out that you dont have a good enough CPU to run a 8800GT OC as has been sugested or you may be using a high res screen which then means the lower spec cards like the 9600GT not be so good.
    Please include
    CPU, RAM, Harddrive/s, Motherboard, OS, Monitor (size and res).
    As for the power supply its the Amps on the 12v rail/s that we need to know or the watts on the 12v rails. Watts divided by 12=Amps.
  9. CPU - DualCore Pentium D 930, 3GHZ
    RAM - 2GB DDR2
    Motherboard - Asus PSLP-LE
    OS - Windows XP Media Center Edition.
    Hardrive - 300GB (Don't know speed, sorry.)
    Monitor - 20 inch, 1400 x 1050 max resolution.
  10. dirtmountain said:
    It's borderline to the system requirements @ 400w and 29 amps, you didn't mention brand/mfc of the psu. A quality branded psu (Corsair/ PC power and cooling/Seasonic) is always a good idea, but with the info you gave i'd run it.

    Don't know for sure that it's 29A. It says 14A on one rail and 15A on the other. You don't always add up the rails to get a total amps. If you look at my example below, you will see that the Antec TP Trio has 3 12V rails of 16A on each rail. If you look at the sticker closely, you'll notice that the 12v1, 12v2, & 12v3 have a maximum of 32A combined, not the 48A (if you added up all 3 12V rails). It's possible that he has 29A on the 12V rails, but don't assume it. We need more information on the PSU to determine if it does have that much amps on the 12V rails.

  11. I don't know what else I could tell you about it to be honest, I posted everything on the box.. =X
  12. Scykoh said:
    I don't know what else I could tell you about it to be honest, I posted everything on the box.. =X

    Does it have a name on it or mak eand number so we could look it up ?
  13. It's a dynex, model - DX-400WPS
  14. Okay a quick search on Google found this:

    On page 2 it states that 3.3v & 5v rails = 120w
    If you calculate watts on the -12v & 5vsb (4w & 12.5w) = ~18w
    So if you subtract those from the 400w max, you get: 400-120-18 = ~262w left form the 12v rails.
    Then by solving for amps (watts / volts = amps) you get: 262w / 12v = ~22A. Now obviously that would probably be on the low side of things, but I wouldn't bet on too much more out of the 12v rails.
    So looking at power consumption of just the GPU, you get:
    3870 = ~81W
    9600gt = ~60W
    8800gt OC = ~86W
    8800gts (g92) = ~99W

    Now if it were me, I'd be replacing that PSU as soon as you can. It only has a 1 yr warranty and is pretty low on it's ratings. If I was to get one of the above GPU's, I'd seriously consider the 9600gt, since in consumes less watts than the other ones. Now if you replace your PSU with a better one, than you could run anyone of them with a quality PSU.

    Now here is what I'd do to try and fit in a good quality PSU and still get a better GPU:

    $50.24 shipped!!! Has 27A on the 12v rails and comes with a 3 yr warranty!
    Antec Earthwatt 380W P/Satx 12V v.2.2 80MM P/S2 Fan 80-Plus Certified - EA380
    $59 shipped! 30A on the 12v rails! Quality built and has 3 yr. warranty!
    SeaSonic SS-400ES ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V V2.91, 400W, PFC, 80+, PCI-Express (6Pin), Power Supply - OEM

    GPU - $157 shipped!! One of the better manufacturers w/limited lifetime warranty!!! Can use 90 day "Step Up" program, if you so desire.
    EVGA 512-P3-N861-AR GeForce 9600GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    Total ~$207 w/Antec 380w PSU and eVga 9600gt. That is what I'd recommend for your setup. Then later I'd upgrade your CPU, to a better one, but that would be about $70 or more to do that.

    Edit: Forgot to mention that you could get a different GPU that had a MIR, so you could offset your price a little. Don't know if you would want to wait for the MIR, but it's an option. Most 9600gt's have a $10-$30 MIR on them, so you can decide if this is an option that your considering.
    Also if you were trying to stay under the $200 mark you could get an 8800gs, which isn't as good as the 9600gt, but would allow you to be under the $200 mark.
    GPU - $140 - $30 MIR = $110!!!
    EVGA 384-P3-N853-AR GeForce 8800GS Superclocked 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
  15. Scykoh said:
    It's a dynex, model - DX-400WPS

    Dynex is pure crap. It's BestBuy's own house brand.

    Buy a Corsair VX 450. It will be more than enough to power your system. Search for it on Newegg. It can provide 33a or 396w on the 12v rail.
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