Need help picking out a Viedo Card

OK I'm new to the forum and to building my own PC this is the first major thing i've done. Current specs are:

AMD athlon XP 64 x2 dual @ 2.5GhZ
430w PSU
2GB (2x1gb) DDR2 ram (i believe PC2-6500)
Foxconn M2A-VM Motherboard
Nvidia 8400GS 512Mb card

I am pretty sure I'll need a better power supply and am thinking of getting this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182030

and for the video card I am torn between:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127426
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150330

I do most of my gaming on my XBox 360 but there are a few games that are PC only I would like to play better. Right now the biggest games i play are The Witcher and Silent Hunter 4.

So what I am asking for help is 1. for thoes cards do i need the new PSU? and 2. witch one is better in your opinion or do you know of a better one in the 200$ range?

I'd prefer to stick to Nvidia but if you can show me an ATI that totally blows Nvidia out of the water I'll consider it.

Thank you in advance for any help :D
21 answers Last reply
More about need picking viedo card
  1. Damnit....whats you screen resolution :pfff:
  2. Oh my bad >.> I dont exactly know what the max resolution of my moniter is but the highest with my current card will run @ is 1366x768

    EDIT: The max resolution is 1440x900 and i plan on using HDMI to connect to my tv/moniter
  3. 1. The link to the first video card went to the PSU
    2. A GTX 260 is overkill for that resolution.
    3. What size screen is your tv/monitor?
  4. this is easy. keep your psu, get a 4770, if u can find one. they use 80 watts and have some balls.

    *edit* really, if you are going to get a brand spanking new psu, and videocard, you may as well get a new mobo, processor, ram and tower as well... and have two computers. =P so really, just upgrade the videocard, because you are feeling the constraints of your old one (and your processor, its kinda junky) and call that computer done. your next upgrade, should be a whole new computer. (then you can use your old one as a server, or HTPC or something.)

    *edit again* just to put this in perspective, for you buying a gtx 260 for you athlon. I put my gtx 285 on my athlonx2 4850e and then i ran counterstrike source. it wasnt even as smooth as my core2duo e6750 with a 8800 gts 640 meg on it. it was jittery. with a gtx 285. it was jittery. all because of the processor. if you want something as fancy as a gtx 260, you are DEFINATELY going to want something stronger than an athlon.

    so i repeat, top off your athlon with a 4770. and save up for your next build in a year, or whatever.
  5. Fixed the link thanks for pointing that out.

    My current tv/moniter is a Polaroid TLA-01911C 19" LCD TV. i know a 260 is over kill but i plan on getting a bigger tv in >1yr. besides with the overkill it means i can run what i want max quality and keep max FPS?

    And i just messed around with my display settings making sure what my max res. is and from what it had listed the highest it would go is 1680x1050 with out messing up (the next higher resolution it showed was 1920x1080 but the pic scrolled up.)
  6. go for the xfx lifetime warranty and 2 good free games
  7. I would have to agree with previous posters...the 260 is way too powerful for ur current rig...get a cheap 4770 and youll be set...that video card was made for retail desktops (like dell, hp, etc...) that dont pack a lot of juice in the psu department
  8. Your PSU is actually fine if you don't get ultra-high end cards such as the GTX275, GTX280/285, or GTX295
  9. ahslan said:
    I would have to agree with previous posters...the 260 is way too powerful for ur current rig...get a cheap 4770 and youll be set...that video card was made for retail desktops (like dell, hp, etc...) that dont pack a lot of juice in the psu department



    My PC was custom built by a local PC store so its not brand name. what will i gain or lose from having an over powered GPU?
  10. your fps in games will be limited by the cpu. you gpu will not be working as hard as it could, essentially, its just wasted dollars.
  11. neon neophyte said:
    your fps in games will be limited by the cpu. you gpu will not be working as hard as it could, essentially, its just wasted dollars.



    OK i understand that, but what if i upgrade my CPU?
    I suck at saving up $ so i'm kinda working on building a new PC out of my current PC one part at a time upgrading what i think will be best. the reason i want to upgrade my GPU is i think my 8400GS is going out on me. the longer i play my current games the more they seem to lag and frequently my PC resets itself and an error message that i cant remember what it says (i think it was something about a looping or stuck thread) but i do remember the MS knowledge base tells me to turn off hardware acceleration.

    As I said in my first post I'm new to PC building so I do appreciate all the help from you guys and am considering everything you all tell me. with that said what do you suggest i get for $200-250?
  12. well, a quality psu and a gtx 260 will put you well over the 200 mark.

    next gen cards are around the corner. directX 11. these cards should utterly destroy the current offerings of videocards. they should be out within 2 months. you can imagine what will happen to the prices of older cards like the gtx. if you arent capitalizing on the full capabilities of your gpu, you are wasting money. i think you would be far better served topping off your current system, with a 4770, for 100 bucks. save that other 150 for the future, for when you can afford to buy everything you need for a whole new build. if you get a gtx 260 now, (and not use it properly) then upgrade your other parts later... you will be stuck with a gtx 260 (in a year, a 260 will seem way overpriced for what it costs now, but you are wanting to pay for one now, without the benefit of using that extra gpu horsepower.)

    its like buying a 2009 car, but not driving it until 2010. (when you could get that very same car, for much less.)
  13. pc restarting might be powersupply related what model psu do you have and is that an asus motherboard
    maybe a psu + ati 4770 4850 and up nvidia 9800gt and up GeForce GTS 250
    might be a good start upgrade cpu later phenom2 intel core2 good gaming cpu's
  14. oh, and i agree with marco. your description of being able to game, and then things progressively getting worse coincides with a psu that cant put out the wattage you need for too long. it might be able to at first, but after doing it for 15 minutes (or whatever) the psu gets "tired."

    could also be heat related, have you checked you temps?
  15. marco324 said:
    pc restarting might be powersupply related what model psu do you have and is that an asus motherboard
    maybe a psu + ati 4770 4850 and up nvidia 9800gt and up GeForce GTS 250
    might be a good start upgrade cpu later phenom2 intel core2 good gaming cpu's



    the PSU is AGI and the model is hp-d4802rwb2. looking at it again it says its combined power is 430w but the peak is 480w. yes the motherboard is ASUS.

    and to neophyte and everyone else: I'm starting to agree with saving up for a new PC, with that in mind now what is the best i can get for my current specs so i can play with less/no FPS issues?

    And hopefully this wont start a debate i know happens all the time but what is the main difference between ATI and nvidia cards?

    and about my PSU, i have had 2 replaced because the fan's died out i havent done much gaming on my newest PSU but thats also because i'm getting annoyed at the low frame rates. I dont know what my old PSU's were they were under warranty and replaced for free so i dont know if i was getting jipped or not
    EDIT: i do know that this one is a different model than my other 2, in looks at least.

    whats the best way to check my temps?
    EDIT: all i have on my system right now that moniters temps is NVMoniter witch only shows my GPU (witch is running @ 118 F
  16. download ASUS PC ProbeII scroll down enter your operating system
    http://www.asus.com/Product.aspx?P_ID=St3pWpym8xXpROQS&content=specifications
  17. heres your power supply its a hipro doesnt seem to bad 26a on the 12v max 16a on each line should be about 160 watts ati cards usually use less power less heat
    http://www.newpowersupply.com/product-pr-801.html
    this card dosn't need an external power connector it looks like
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133279
  18. ok so using PC probe II right now my CPU temp is 31C and MB (im assuming it's the MoBo) temp is 36C i'll run some stress tests to see how much it changes
  19. your temps are fine. tho you should also check them under load.

    do you have access to another videocard so you can test your system with a different card? if it still does the weird slowdown thing, its the psu.

    if it doesnt, then all u need is a new card.

    and ive said it before, i suggest the 4770. i really really suggest the 4770.

    its atis new 40nm. super efficient. built on the same gpu (more or less) as the 4800 series. its a knock out winner.
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