i recetly bought a Compaq presario SR5610F with 250W power supply and i'm not sure what video card i should get. i have never upgraded a video card before so i was just wondering what do you guys recommend for my computer.
i am mainly going to use it for digital painting and a little bit of photo editing (corel painter x, adobe photoshop cs4).
With the PSU in mind I` go for the HD4550. It will not play games but it will play High Definition disc content (HDDVD, Blu-Ray) as a bonus, and it`s cheap.
BTW, you`ll need a fair bit of memory for photo editing if you`re using large images, 2GB for XP and 4Gb for Vista.
Both use about the same power depending on model . 9500GT uses 28w to 35watts and the HD4650 uses 33watts. The 9500GT is basically a rebranded 8600GT and while it's not a bad choice, i think the HD4650 is superior. If you do decide to go with a 9500GT go with a 512MB 128-bit DDR3 model, not a 256MB 128-bit DDR2 one.
i've decided to go with the HD4650 since it has generally good reviews. i checked the ati website and it says that it needs a minimum 400W power supply. my computer is well below their minimum requirements, will this video card run okay on my computer?
It will be just fine, it only uses 33watts of power and at full load your 250w power supply will have no trouble powering it and your system. Graphic card makers almost always inflate their power recommendations to cover themselves in case the end user has a very poor quality power supply or a very old one.