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Best graphics card for around $100.00

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a c 705 U Graphics card
a c 1864 ) Power supply
November 9, 2009 11:56:35 AM

Hi, what would be the best graphics card for around $100.00? I have a 400 watt power supply.

thanks!

More about : graphics card 100

a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 9, 2009 12:13:05 PM

With a 400w PSU I'd be looking at an HD4770.
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November 9, 2009 12:20:01 PM

Hmm you can easily get away with a HD 4850... or HD 4870... both excellent deals in price/performance right now. HD 4770 is overpriced for what it is. If you want to go down the HD 4770 I recommend you purchase a HD 5700 series card... for that extra price premium over the HD 48xx series you get Dx11, 40nm and Eyefinity.

Any new $100 level card will run on your PSU.
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November 9, 2009 12:20:15 PM

with a 400W a the Nvidia 9800 GT will good........
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a c 147 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 9, 2009 12:45:33 PM

I would first ask what brand/model 400W PSU you have. Because a 400w PSU is not the same as a 400w PSU is not the same as a 400w PSU. Assuming it is a quality unit with a single 6pin PCI-E connector, I would suggest a 4850 or 4770. The 4850 sucks a little more power than the 4770 and is a little more powerful. However, the 4770 draws a little less power and performs just under it.
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 9, 2009 1:26:58 PM

$100 GPU, 400w PSU. Like stated before check the quality:

% efficient, hopefully it's 80+ otherwise it's fine you will just have to replace it after a year~
Amps on 12v Rail (at least 20a+ needed if you dont want to run underperformed on an HD 4850), if it allows for multiple V12 rails, make sure 12v2 rails do 30a MINIMUM. 30a on two V12 rails will be enough to power lower end GPUs in SLI or Crossfire. (3870x2)
Weight is also a usual dead give away, cheap PSU's have cheap parts with low quality or small heatsinks. WEIGHT SHOULD NOT BE USED AS THE SOLE METHOD OF CHECKING QUALITY.
6 pin PCI-E connector, or atleast 2x 4 pin molex to spare.
1x 120mm fan, or at least 2 80mm for cooling purposes. If it's 2x 80mm, there better be an exhaust 80mm and intake 80mm. Exhausting out of the case, and intaking from the inside. It doesn't do very good for your PSU in terms of cooling, but it does do good in terms of cooling for your system.


Hands down the HD 4850 will be the better choice, the HD 4870 is also a strong contender however it is not in the $100 GPU, unless your willing to shell out another $50 for a vented (blower style fan=recommended) version (1gb also) or $25 for a GPu that vents air inside the case= not recomended..
You may also run into PSU issues with HD 4870 since it requires 2x 6 pin PCI-E connectors, or 4x 4 pin molex connectors (if GPU includes 6 pin to 4 pin adapters) If you have to use 4 molex connectors, just forget it. Your psu is either too old, or too cheap or both.

The HD5700s are usually sold out or worth above $140. If your willing to spend this, a 5770 would be the better choice since it uses less power, and is more powerful than the HD 4850, but less then the HD 4870 (although people expect new enhanced drivers to push the performance higher then the HD 4870)
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November 9, 2009 1:43:58 PM

I would opt for the 4850, but as others have stated, you may have PSU issues. A lot depends on what else you have to power. For example, some CPU's use 50 watts, some use 150 watts.
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November 9, 2009 2:09:40 PM

Try one of the following web sites for a calculation of your power needs, you'll need to list all your components then tweak the graphics card section up and down the range to see what you can do with your 400 watts:

http://www.antec.outervision.com/

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

As people have said in previous posts though, if it's a good power supply then it will handle up to near its peak load, if it's a poor one (if it cost $10 then it's probably rubbish) then I wouldn't load it up too much and you'll probably need a new one soon anyway... in fact if it's a poor one then I'd recommend upgrading that first, a blown PSU can take out your other components when it goes and is not worth scrimping on.

I have a 400w Corsair PSU that was about £50 and I'm running the following:

AMD Phenom X2 550; 4Gb DDR3; Radeon HD 4870 and 3 HDDs

I'm close to the limit with my 400w so will be upgrading that soon, however my system runs just fine and has been for about 6 months. Bear in mind that systems based on DDR2 (AM2 for AMD, core2 for Intel) do use more power though.

Let us know what make your PSU is.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 9, 2009 8:56:59 PM

Ug, why are so many people recommending an HD4850 to someone with a 400w PSU? I don't get it at all. Running an HD4850 on such a PSU is a sketchy idea at best and entirely unnecessary. The HD4770 is VERY close to an HD4850 in terms of performance and uses HALF the power. The card was practically invented for situations like this one. What's with the bad advice?
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a b U Graphics card
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November 9, 2009 10:28:17 PM

Why? Because I'm running an HD 4850 overclocked on a 400w psu, along with a overclocked processor. Don't fall for the PSU overkill. You can use the two websites listed above for a power supply calculator. Actually a lot of people run on HD 4850 a 400w psu. The requirements listed by GPU manufacturers are exaggerated to protect the company from any strange coincidence causing a power supply failure.

System running on a 400w PSU 12v@22a:
AMD Phenom II x2 550 BE: Overclocked to 3.6 ghz@1.375v
XFX HD 4850 (blower style fan ftw)- Overclocked from 625 ghz gpu clock, to 650 mhz clock (can't take it farther, :/  dang cheap motherboard). Memory on GPU overclocked from 1986 mhz to 2200 mhz, which Im happy with..(998mhz to 1100mhz)
2 Sata HDDS. 200 gb 5400 rpm, and a 500 gb 7200 rpm (Samsung Spinpoint F3)
DVD/CD burner.
4 usb devices: Keyboard, G7 wireless mouse, Quickcam Pro 9000, Zune 8GB Mp3.
2x1gb DDR2 Corsair C or XMS2 performance ram.
1x 120mm fan, 2x 80mm fans. (Case fans)
1x high perf 80mm fan, CPU fan.

The HD 4770 is the better value when compared to the HD 4850. I still went for the HD 4850, simply because I didnt mind paying about $10-$20 more for a 5%-10% performance increase.

The 5770 might replace my HD 4850 soon however. We'll see if they lower the prices after increasing them.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 10, 2009 3:57:11 AM

I'll bet your PSU is also a good brand though. The average person coming on here asking "Yo, what card should I get for $100" probably has a questionable psu making the HD4770 a much better recommendation. The requirements listed by manufacturers are inflated precisely for this reason. Saying that the HD4770 is "inferior" and not a nice card because you think 5-10% performance is worth the extra money plus the extra money every month on your power bill plus the money if this guy orders one then finds out he needs a new PSU to run it is just bad advice imo.
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November 10, 2009 4:38:52 AM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Hi, what would be the best graphics card for around $100.00? I have a 400 watt power supply.

thanks!


nvidia: geforce 9600/9800gt or geforce gt250

amd: radeon 4770/4830 or radeon 5770

intel: larrabee (coming soon)
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a c 225 U Graphics card
a c 134 ) Power supply
November 10, 2009 4:42:49 AM

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

The GeForce 9600 GT is a great performer, thanks, in part, to its high-end 256-bit memory interface and speedy DDR3 memory. It's a great choice on an $80 budget, even if the architecture on which it centers is showing its age. Certainly, this card's continued presence here is a testament to Nvidia's engineering work dating back almost two years ago.

With Radeon HD 4850 512 MB prices dropping to a surprisingly low $100, this card takes the price/performance crown.
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a b U Graphics card
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November 10, 2009 7:03:36 AM

jyjjy said:
I'll bet your PSU is also a good brand though. The average person coming on here asking "Yo, what card should I get for $100" probably has a questionable psu making the HD4770 a much better recommendation. The requirements listed by manufacturers are inflated precisely for this reason. Saying that the HD4770 is "inferior" and not a nice card because you think 5-10% performance is worth the extra money plus the extra money every month on your power bill plus the money if this guy orders one then finds out he needs a new PSU to run it is just bad advice imo.


Actually I have a relatively cheap PSU.
NZXT PF400 400w Power supply, good luck finding info. It's one that came with old NZXT cases.

If you really want to get technical about it, do the math.
Also the HD 4850 uses 110w max power.
HD 4770, 80w. 30 w difference when in full load.

Watt X hours used/1000x cost per kilowatt per hour=total cost per day
The average kilowatt per hour= about .147-.16 dollars per kW/hr (14-16 cents per kW/hr) we'll use 17 cents, thats above average for the whole USA.
30x24 (24 hours all day)/1000xcost per kilowatt per hour=Total cost per day.
30x24=720
720/1000= .72
.72/.12=.1224
.1224$=12 cents per day being powered on for 24 hours straight on full load.

30w difference is around .12 cents per day while on for 24 hours on FULL LOAD. This is equal to $44~ per year.
If you cannot afford $44 a year (24/7/365 power on full load on your GPU), then perhaps you shouldn't be buying gaming PCs... I can think of things that cost more then $44 a year that includes: cigarettes, light bulbs in your house (25w-100w a pop depending if their CFL or incandescent), fridge, ac/ heating, your pets, your clothes etc...

@ Also needing a new PSU is not bad at all considering quality power supplies can last 2+ systems. Your thinking way to short term. I know 100% once I get a new PC, my HD 4850/DVD Drive/Hard drives/fans will be going along with my new PC. This means those hardware I listed will serve me for another system which saves me $$ from buying those parts. This also includes any future PSU purchases I make (Since my current one is kind of crappy, I will probably get an Antec PSU soon).
So honestly the purchase is justified by thinking long term.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 10, 2009 11:33:38 PM

I don't know where you are getting your numbers from but I'm going by this;
http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264
It seems very well researched with the data coming from 6 review for the HD4850 and 7 for the HD4770. It has the max power usage at 80w vs 149w.
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 11, 2009 1:21:03 AM

jyjjy said:
I don't know where you are getting your numbers from but I'm going by this;
http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264
It seems very well researched with the data coming from 6 review for the HD4850 and 7 for the HD4770. It has the max power usage at 80w vs 149w.


Not sure where you got those numbers from but the HD 4850 is at 93w max on that chart runnin@stock config, unless you want to look at the overclocked cards it, in which case even the 4770 would increase dramatically as well. Not to mention that post is bit weird, where did they get their numbers from? Do they have 100 something odd cards? Or I bet they did a poll, or gathered info off the web and compiled a chart from it. Yeah I bet that's what they did.

Also the numbers I got from ATI's specifications page. Once again ATI gives itself plenty of leeway just incase, so they set it at 110w. Do your research.

Stop arguing dude, you obviously don't know what your talking about, psh using overclocked card's power needs for comparison against a stock card.

My point still stands, for around 10%-20% extra price (about $10-$20) you get a performance of 10%. Honestly that's about as far as you'll get when it comes to GPUs. If you can't afford that, there's nothing wrong with that just don't try cherry picking charts and give misleading information just to try to justify your opinion.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 11, 2009 2:07:52 AM

What are you talking about? I just gave you the link where I got the numbers from. No, I was referring to the stock HD4850 and HD4770 on the chart and the numbers are exactly what I said. I have no idea why you are bringing up overclocking.
Seemingly you also can't even be bothered to give a cursory read through the link because they explain in detail how the chart is compiled and if you scroll down they give links to EVERY article they used for every card. Don't tell me I need to do research, tons of websites HAVE done research and someone already has painstakingly collated that information and I've linked it for you. Apparently you can't(or purposely won't) make sense of it so you'd rather just act like I don't know what I'm talking about, quote the manufacturer's website of all things and bring up some confused tangent about overclocking.
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a b U Graphics card
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November 11, 2009 2:15:36 AM

jyjjy said:
What are you talking about? I just gave you the link where I got the numbers from. No, I was referring to the stock HD4850 and HD4770 on the chart and the numbers are exactly what I said. I have no idea why you are bringing up overclocking.
Seemingly you also can't even be bothered to give a cursory read through the link because they explain in detail how the chart is compiled and if you scroll down they give links to EVERY article they used for every card. Don't tell me I need to do research, tons of websites HAVE done research and someone already has painstakingly collated that information and I've linked it for you. Apparently you can't(or purposely won't) make sense of it so you'd rather just act like I don't know what I'm talking about, quote the manufacturer's website of all things and bring up some confused tangent about overclocking.


I used the same article you linked me to. The chart shows HD 4850 @ 93w max load. And 2 HD 4850s (one shown as an overclock at 143w) and the other at 139w. Sorry mate thats an overclocked card, there's no way it's stock. Like I said you don't know what your talking about. Any one with knowledge in GPU's and PSUs can tell you 139w for an HD 4850 on stock settings is ridiculously absurd.

The proof is there, you just want to ignore it 400w psu=runs an HD 4850.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4850,1957...

Let me know if you want more setups, apart from this one and mine.
When running on load: 251w. Enjoy.
Look at the articles man, the max load on a HD 4850 is 110w by design. Most HD 4850s don't even reach 110w.

Asus P5E3 Deluxe (Intel X38)
Intel Core 2 Quad QX6850 (3 GHz)
Crucial 2 x 1 GB DDR3 1333 MHz 7-7-7-20
Western Digital WD5000AAKS
Asus 12x DVD player
Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850W
Windows XP, Vista, Vista SP1
ForceWare 177.39 beta (9800 GTX +)
ForceWare 177.34 beta (260 GTX and 280 GTX under Vista)
ForceWare 177.26 beta (280 GTX under XP)
ForceWare 175.16 WHQL (9800 GTX, 9800 GX2, 8800 Ultra)
Catalyst 8.22 beta (HD 4850)
Catalyst 8.6 WHQL (HD 3870)
Catalyst 8.5 WHQL (HD 3870 X2)
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 11, 2009 2:36:11 AM

You apparently can't read a chart. I'm sorry but that is apparently the truth. The guy did not make up those numbers, he tells you how he did it and gives the sources for all his information and they are all competent websites. If you have some unexplained problem with the methodology he used then mention it to him but I don't see what there is to complain about. Quite frankly I'm 100% sure that he knows a ton more about this stuff than either of us.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 11, 2009 2:43:25 AM

Also I never said you couldn't run an HD4850 on a 400w PSU. What I said is that it's a sketchy idea to do so on a random no name PSU and that's the truth. Just because you lucked out and yours was able to handle it doesn't mean it's good advice to suggest to others. Arguing against people suggesting a very slightly less powerful card that uses half the power was simply uncalled for.
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 11, 2009 3:08:53 AM

It doesnt use half the power to begin with. The power difference is near to ignorable 30w when dealing with a 400w psu.

I didnt luck out on my 400w psu, if you didn't know we've come a long way with power supplies. So unless your using a PSU that is several years old and has use to it, you should be fine. If you were you say for example, an HD 4870 on a 400w psu then yes I'd have to avoid making that advice simply because the HD 4870's difference is 60w~ is substancial towards a 400w's efficiency.

Obviously you'd rather ignore the proof in your eyes, I just showed you a setup done by Tomshardware that uses 251 watt power at load.. Even the worst of PSU's do 60% efficiency, thats 240w (from a 400w psu) and pushing it an additional 5% is not going to break down a PSU.

Once again your ignoring the chart. You can obviously tell the HD 4850 at 139w is overclocked, considering there is another version of the HD 4850 OCed at 143w. The stock version, shown by ATI Radeon HD 4850 (Serialnumbers) is at 93w max.

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

^ Work with a few setups see what you get.

Correction: HD 4850 OC was 138, the HD 4850 OCed as well is 149
The stock HD 4850= 96

Picture in case your having troubles.
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a b U Graphics card
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November 11, 2009 3:33:54 AM

amdfangirl said:
Exactly!

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4770,2281...

Just look at the test configuration, it's horribly overpowered... I'm certain that the OP doesn't have a rig like that...

Edit: Grrr stop posting so fast... hard to keep up! ;) 


Im certain a lot of people dont have a rig like that.

Can't wait till I upgrade to an i7
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November 11, 2009 5:26:41 AM

Precisely my point... that level of hardware really puts the HD 4850's power consumption far out of context.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 11, 2009 6:36:54 AM

God, do I really have to explain how to read a chart?
Right at the top they explain what the different colors mean. You need to compare THE SAME COLORS TO EACH OTHER. The chart says that the typical 3d usage of a stock HD4850 is 115w and then they have a darker red part which indicates peak power usage, the most power they could get the card to use, which is 149w. The corresponding numbers for the HD4770 are 58 and 80 watts respectively. Almost exactly half the power of the HD4850 in typical 3D usage and slightly more but close to half in peak 3D usage.
Perhaps what's confusing you is the OCed HD4850 listing. I have not mentioned it because it's irrelevant but you keep bringing it up so I'll explain. It is based on ONE review and lists the typical 3D power usage as 139 watts. It does not have the dark red part representing peak 3D usage as the review did not present that data.
Also the power listed in the Tom's review is that low precisely because they were using a high quality PSU and is not indicative of how much power the system would use with a cheap low efficiency PSU. Also power efficiency of a PSU(as well as its life span) decreases as you get closer to the limits of its output which would further compound the problem. In the review they use an 850w psu so this issue isn't represented at all in their recorded power usage. All of this also ignores that a video card uses the +12v rail exclusively to power itself and the amount of power usable on the +12v rails of a cheap PSU when compared to the total power is usually quite a bit lower than on quality units.
BTW I do know what I am talking about, I've build/upgrade/fix computers for a living and god no we haven't come a long way when it comes to PSUs. There are simply TONS of cheap terrible PSUs out there and their listed ratings are nearly meaningless. If anything that situation has gotten worse over the last few years, not better. You are very lucky that the no name 400w PSU that came with your case can handle an HD4850.
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November 11, 2009 10:44:13 AM

In all honesty, the PNY 9800 GTX+ is probably your best bet(i know its $129.99, but with the $30 mail-in rebate it drops to $99. I am running one right now, and although it states it takes two 6-pin power connecters, it only takes one. Because of this lower power consumption due to a jump to lower nm tech, it is viable for a 400W power supply. It beats out the 4850 in a price/performance ratio and is really easily overclockable with ntune forceware (809mhz core and 1320mhz mem stable for me).
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a b U Graphics card
November 11, 2009 4:32:04 PM

More mature yields tend to keep the lower findings.
GPUs fluctuate alot, especially when first introwed
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 11, 2009 10:23:11 PM

jyjjy said:
God, do I really have to explain how to read a chart?
Right at the top they explain what the different colors mean. You need to compare THE SAME COLORS TO EACH OTHER. The chart says that the typical 3d usage of a stock HD4850 is 115w and then they have a darker red part which indicates peak power usage, the most power they could get the card to use, which is 149w. The corresponding numbers for the HD4770 are 58 and 80 watts respectively. Almost exactly half the power of the HD4850 in typical 3D usage and slightly more but close to half in peak 3D usage.
Perhaps what's confusing you is the OCed HD4850 listing. I have not mentioned it because it's irrelevant but you keep bringing it up so I'll explain. It is based on ONE review and lists the typical 3D power usage as 139 watts. It does not have the dark red part representing peak 3D usage as the review did not present that data.
Also the power listed in the Tom's review is that low precisely because they were using a high quality PSU and is not indicative of how much power the system would use with a cheap low efficiency PSU. Also power efficiency of a PSU(as well as its life span) decreases as you get closer to the limits of its output which would further compound the problem. In the review they use an 850w psu so this issue isn't represented at all in their recorded power usage. All of this also ignores that a video card uses the +12v rail exclusively to power itself and the amount of power usable on the +12v rails of a cheap PSU when compared to the total power is usually quite a bit lower than on quality units.
BTW I do know what I am talking about, I've build/upgrade/fix computers for a living and god no we haven't come a long way when it comes to PSUs. There are simply TONS of cheap terrible PSUs out there and their listed ratings are nearly meaningless. If anything that situation has gotten worse over the last few years, not better. You are very lucky that the no name 400w PSU that came with your case can handle an HD4850.


Im honestly not going to fight with you any longer. A) I dont have the time because I am running a repair shop. B) Honestly doesn't matter since you can't go past deductive reasoning.
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a c 705 U Graphics card
a c 1864 ) Power supply
November 11, 2009 11:25:08 PM

AsAnAtheist ,thanks for all the great info,i appreciate it.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
November 12, 2009 1:07:06 AM

AsAnAtheist said:
Im honestly not going to fight with you any longer. A) I dont have the time because I am running a repair shop. B) Honestly doesn't matter since you can't go past deductive reasoning.


Blah, you were arguing with me based on consistently misreading a chart and once I clear it up you have nothing to say. You are right however that continuing this isn't worth the time.
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November 12, 2009 1:39:14 AM

just get a 9500gt, your psu is too weak for these card people had mentioned above.

you can either get a decent psu or get a crappy card, it's your choice

end story!
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November 12, 2009 9:55:50 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
many different sources have different measured wattages but we certainly shouldn't be using peak gaming loads at 24/7/365. And 17 cents ????

Average cost of residential electricity is 12 cents per Kw/hr

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a...


Well, it's gonna take alot of gaming to equalize the value/dollar thingy.

Either card is still a decent buy.

Both will run comfortably on the PSU.

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a c 225 U Graphics card
a c 134 ) Power supply
November 17, 2009 12:13:22 PM

I calculated it out once and it was like 1/4th of a WoW subscription.....not much to get excited about. Less power is always better than more but if acard performed even 5% better but cost more power, I'd make the trade....it's not very different from deciding whether SLI or XFire is for you.....I doubt the power req't is part of most peeps decision making process.
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