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Comparing some graphics cards for an upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 24, 2009 12:57:11 AM

I have an older Dell Dimension 8400 with a 3.0GHz Pentium 4 Prescott, with 128MB Radeon X300 connected by PCI-Express, and I prefer to shop on eBay, under $65. Looking at the different graphics cards, I am not fully sure on what I should be looking for exactly, amount of VRAM, core clock, or what?

Here are some possibilities:

http://cgi.ebay.com/1GB-nVidia-GeForce-8500GT-PCI-E-Exp...

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-1GB-nVidia-Geforce-9400GT-Pci-E...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ATI-HD-2600XT-GDDR3-512MB-PCI-Expre...

http://cgi.ebay.com/MSI-N9400GT-MD1G-nVidia-1GB-PCI-Exp...

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-ATI-HD3650-HD-3650-1GB-VIDEO-CA...

http://cgi.ebay.com/512MB-nVidia-GeForce-GF-9300GS-PCI-...

Which would give me the best bang for my buck? Will I experience bottlenecks with the speed of my processor?
As long as I have a PCI-Express interface, will all of these cards work with my computer?
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2009 1:15:40 AM

Here's a graphic cards hierarchy chart that will give you an idea of the relative strength of the different cards.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

You should also know what your power supply is and how much power each card uses.

Perhaps you can search ebay for a HD4670 card such as this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for a better price. It would outperform the other cards you had listed and uses very little power. According to one set of specs i saw on the Dell 8400 it has a 350w power supply, the HD4670 would be fine for that supply.
July 24, 2009 2:40:07 AM

it does have a 350W, and i prefer one with a vga built in,forgot to mention that, and those are all too expensive on ebay, and i'm not an extreme gamer, but i do, casually, and i am thinking that any of these would be a huge step above what i have now. what i really want to know is which of the ebay ones will give me the most bang for my buck? and will there be bottlenecks with my current setup? is there a difference between PCI-Express and PCI-Express 2.0?
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a c 235 U Graphics card
July 24, 2009 2:55:45 AM

the ATI 3650 will give you some gaming capability, although limited.

The other cards you linked are best suited for video playback and dual monitor set up. They would have a difficult time handling any current game.


*edit; they would all work with your current system
a c 106 U Graphics card
July 24, 2009 3:12:28 AM

Of the cards listed the Radeon 3650 would be best option. For under $65 though the best you can do is this card

SAPPHIRE 100255HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Which is much faster. Below this, the best options are the Radeon 4650 or the nVidia 9500GT. Either the 4650 or the 9500GT would generally be faster than the 3650 and much faster than the other cards you listed.
July 24, 2009 3:20:36 AM

well, the thing is that i would like to play the sims 2 on highest settings, then maybe the sims 3, and some racing games, im not an extreme gamer, like call of duty and stuff, so mainly casual
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2009 6:48:37 AM

It may be surprising, but often you can find better prices at newegg then you can find on ebay. It may be that you're outside of the US and can't use newegg, there may be other retailers that can offer better deals. The HD4670 is not a high speed gaming card, but it is adequate for a low powered fairly inexpensive graphic card. If the price is just too high, then the HD4650 would be a better choice then the others you had listed. Also some graphic card manufacturers will not warranty cards purchased on ebay, not even new ones, they have to come for a regular retailer. Make sure you check with whichever manufactures card you get to insure it's still covered by a warranty.

*edited for warranty info*
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2009 11:49:43 AM

4650 is a good choice for someone who wants to be able to game, and wants to spend the minimum possible.

July 24, 2009 8:48:41 PM

ok, so i think i will go with the 4670, and upgrade the RAM to 2.5GB as opposed to 1, and that should be a good upgrade for Win7 32-Bit, even though i still have a P4 >=\
!