I am looking to buy a graphics card(s) for around 300 or less. I would appreciate any help from you guys. If I am missing any information you guys need about my computer, just ask for it and how to find it on the computer. Thanks!
I was looking at the "best cards for your money thing" for September and the Two Radeon HD 4870 1GB cards in CrossFire configuration seemed the best to fit my range. I don't have a clue what a "Crossfire configuration" is though.
That board you have doesn't even support SLI or Crossfire configurations, so those are simply not an option. If you want to game you will need a new Power supply for sure as HP and Dell are well known for putting Power supplies in their systems that are not powerful enough for a decent discrete graphics card. The PC Power and Cooling that obsidian86 recommended is the best bet I think, don't get the one he linked to though, that is a replacement for a Dell version, and more expensive, get it from here:
its a bit Cheaper there, and thats the non-Dell replacement version. (The D at the end of the model number is the giveaway) subtract that amount from your budget, and get the fastest single card you can with the rest, leaving you about $230 for a video card. You could wait to see what the new Radeon 5000 series brings to the market and then buy as PsychosaysDie suggests, or you could get a single 4870 which your processor will likely bottleneck a bit anyhow, I don't recommend the X2 cards for your system, first off, the X2's will draw a lot of power, and may not even fit in the HP case. In fact it is worth looking into the dimensions of the card you are looking at and measuring the case to see if there is room or not, it would suck to get your new card and have it simply not fit. I would be wary of upgrading your processor as a prebuilt HP system might not play nice with very many upgrades that otherwise would be ok, its a good idea, but make sure to do your research before you spend the $$ on a new CPU. I hope I have helped some, good luck.
Oh, and if things don't fit well into the HP case, you could invest in a new case and move all the parts over to it. The board they have pictured looks like it ATX compatible, so it should drop right into pretty much any ATX case. A 4870 and that power supply leave you a little bit of money left to put into a case if need be.
Just go to Newegg.com and browse the computer cases. As long as it's an ATX compatible case (not micro-ATX or mini-ATX) you should be fine. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... -- great case at a decent price as an example although I'm not sure what you're budget for a case would be. If that one is too much just look around as they have nice cases at even cheaper prices. You're going to need adequate cooling and airflow with a new video card; something that stock HP cases don't tend to do very well.
All of this goes way outside of your original price range but for gaming it's all pretty necessary if you don't want your computer struggling in the process. I'd say save up a little more money and invest in a few more pieces of hardware because a simple graphics card upgrade isn't always the answer when you're lacking in other areas.
I ended up buying a 550 watt power supply and a GeForce 275 card. The problem is, the card does not fit. The RAM and some other cable connectors are in the way. Would just a new case solve this? Or what is the big chip were everything is connected needed to be upgraded? (Would that be the CPU? I am kinda confused).