I have a Gateway DX4300-05. It has the HD 3200 integrated graphics. I want to upgrade the card for medium range gaming. Currently, the only PC game I own is Call of Duty: WaW. While CoD: WAW is playable a low settings, it's still pretty choppy. I'm not a heavy gammer (yet), but I'll be purchasing CoD 6: MW2 when it's available. And I'm sure I will be getting some other games. I just want a video card that can make things a little smoother.
Right now I can't afford to upgrade my PSU and graphics card. I WILL update my PSU later and get a better graphics card. But, for now, I would like to know what is the best video card I can upgrade too without upgrading my current PSU. I've got a 300W stock PSU. But I know that there are a lot of variables when it comes to PSUs. So check out the pics below. They should contain all the info you need.
I know I can crossfire with an HD 3470, but I think I'd be better off getting a better card and disabling the 3200 all together.
Theres no 12v1 + 12v2 listed on that PSU, so we have to guess. There are a couple of ways we can. If the total output is 300W, and the 3.3v + 5v can use up to 130W, this leaves (300 - 130) 170W for the 12V rails. (170 / 12) - 2A for the other rails leaves you around 12A worst case. I doubt you'd ever use that much for the 3.3 and 5v rails however as this is a modern system. Looking at the rail distribution, I'd guess that the 12v1 (8A) is for the motherboard and CPU. The 12v2 (14A) is for everything else. 14A isn't a lot, more so if it has to be shared by powering drives and other things. I would stick to those cards that don't need any extra power, the best of which is the 4670. (there are some low power 9600GTs out there, but they are expensive.) I'd look for one of them first.