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I need a recommended graphics card ($60-$100)

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November 19, 2009 7:22:03 PM

Hi guys.
I just bought the below desktop and was wondering if someone could give me recommendations on a graphics card to shoot for.

I am shooting for a computer that I can play l4d and l4d2 with. (I bought two. One for myself and one for my girlfriend. Tired of always having to go out to a PC room to play.) I will probably be playing other games as well, but I am going to be playing casually. I'm not really that great with computers, so I really wont be too hardcore into this. Just looking for something I can use for a little while at a budget price.

Oh. My old desktop fried about 3 years ago, so I will be using this as a primary home computer as well. It's not going to be exclusively for gaming, but I think the gaming is the most demanding portion of my needs in the graphics. I'll also probably play tf2, rainbow six vegas 2, overlord and games like that. I really don't think I'll ever be going near crysis..

I have also been notified that the power supply on this desktop is 300w.

http://www.pcconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm...
All input would be appreciated.
November 19, 2009 8:26:54 PM

Wow thats a really great deal for $400. Anyway, your would really have to upgrade your power supply to run any kind of decent video card. 300w really isnt enough. You might be able to get away with something like Radeon 4650 but even that says it needs minimum 350w to run it.
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November 19, 2009 8:40:56 PM

4850... You can find one at 100$ easily.
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November 19, 2009 8:46:14 PM

bige420, marco324:
Do either of you know if that shell shocker would be compatible with the desktop? I want to make sure it will be suitable for the desktop because I think it's a microtower. Either way, the price on that PS seems almost too good to pass up.

invisik:
Thanks for the recommendations. Do you know if those will fit though?
I'm concerned that I should be getting a slimmer graphics card because as stated above, the tower is a microtower, and I'm not sure of the space I will have.

radgarl:
Do you have any specific site you would recommend me to buy one from? Any specific card?


I have also been looking into the following cards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
November 19, 2009 9:26:47 PM

It should fit fine. I would go with the 9800gt.
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November 19, 2009 9:41:11 PM

The feedback I've seen on it haven't really been spectacular.
Is a GeForce better or a Radeon/
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a b U Graphics card
November 19, 2009 9:49:21 PM

In your case, 4650 < 4670 < 9800gt

4650 is the worst because it's ddr2 and the others are ddr3. And both the ATI cards are 128-bit, but the 9800 is 256-bit. You'll be far happier with that card. It probably uses a little more power than the others, but with any luck it'll fit on a 300W supply despite what the specs advise. Manufacturer specs are always way on the conservative side; they assume you're running an overclocked quad core with 6 hard drives and a walk-in fridge.

note: This does not mean that all GeForce cards are better than all Radeon cards, far from it in fact. But for the price and your wattage limitations, that's what you'll look to get the most out of.
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November 19, 2009 10:50:29 PM

thanks, guys.
especially you, capt_taco for all that technical mumbo jumbo I really don't understand too well.

How would you say the zotac brand compares to brands like evga?

Also, how would this compare in the ranking list you provided, capt?
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November 20, 2009 2:43:09 AM

I would agree that the 9800GT would have better performance than the 4670. However, with a quad core CPU, the 9800GT is really pushing a 300 watt power supply. Also the 9800 GT ( at least most of them, there is a low power 9800GT) requires a six pin connector. Make sure your power supply has one or 2 x 4 pin connectors to use with an adapter. I have an acer comp with a 300 watt power supply and it does not have either of these.

To be safe I would go with the 4670, or upgrade the power supply and go with an ever better video card such as a Radeon HD4850 or HD4870. Definitely avoid a DDR2 4650 or 4670. I had a DDR2 4650 and was very disappointed in its performance.
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November 20, 2009 2:54:29 AM

I agree with frozen, I would not push it with the 9800, it is a better card but with that powersupply I would stick with the 4670, or the 4650. The 4670 or 4650 do not need an external power power source. I love my 4670, it is a great card for casual gamers.
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November 20, 2009 3:53:13 PM

Thank you for that input, frozen. I was definitely questioning my PS with all the better cards I've been recommended. I think for now, I'd like to run the easier route. I was originally looking at the 4670, but have been told otherwise by some people, but I think if I ever need higher performance, I can always swap the PS and graphics card in the future. No big deal.

Do you guys have any recommendations on the 4670 for me?
anarchy: what card do you use?
Brand? Site to buy from? Cost to look for?

Also, my PS will be able to handle all 4670's right? Are there differences in the requirements of the 4670's?
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a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2009 4:19:20 PM

All the 4670s carry the same requirements. As mentioned before, manufacturers recommended PSU numbers are very inflated to compensate for very low quality PSUs. Also avoid 4670s with DDR2 (crippled performance) or 1gb models (waste of money, the GPU can't really utilize 1gb of memory, marketting gimmick). A 4670 w/ 512mb DDR3 is a great performer @ 1650x1080 or lower resolutions, even before you take into account the low price. Once you compare pricing, it's a downright steal.

There is another conversation here started recently inquiring about 300w PSU + 4670 concerns:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274637-33-will-4670-3...

I would personally go for it, as a brand new 300w PSU from an Acer pre-built is probably just fine for the 4670.

Here is a pic of the PSU shipped with the unit, according to a quick google search:
http://www.nuttybuddy.net/acerpower.JPG
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November 20, 2009 5:59:48 PM

Wow. Thanks for your help, Jofa.
You have left me at a point where I'm having trouble finding more questions to ask. I'll need some time to recover from all that I've learned this week. After, if I have more questions, I definitely know which forum to rely on from here on out.

Anarchy,
Thanks for the recommendation. I think I will probably get a sapphire. My brother has a 4650 and the quality of the sapphire brand seems to be consistently high.


Edit: Sweet. I thought of a question.
What are the differences between these two?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N...
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November 20, 2009 8:40:26 PM

It hast just been brought to my attention that I might want to consider getting a Radeon 4770. Any thoughts? Would my PS be sufficient on that? Is this worth the investment? I'm still leaning towards the 4670, but if there isn't too much harm in jumping up a few steps, I wouldn't mind spending a little extra. Besides, the price does seem pretty good and I will save 5 bucks on each card if I buy two.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

thread:
http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=69273...
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a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2009 9:07:27 PM

I probably wouldn't put a 4770 on that PSU myself, but it might work out just fine. You would buy two to crossfire in the future? If so, buy a PSU, heh, it definitely wouldn't hold up to two of them. A quality 450 - 550w PSU would be a wise investment in that case.
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November 20, 2009 9:58:35 PM

Oh, sorry about the confusion. I purchased two of these computers. One for myself, one for my girlfriend, so everything I buy has to be doubled.
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a b U Graphics card
November 20, 2009 10:01:27 PM

It should be ok, but cutting it close imo. I would still personally go for the 4670s, just to be safer on the PSU side.
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November 20, 2009 10:05:21 PM

They just had an update on the other thread where a member found another thread with postings from someone who already received the desktop. I think there's an agreement that the 4770 is suitable for it, but I think I'd like your opinion on it as well, Jofa. If you have time, could you take a look? Their chatter is beyond my level of comprehension.



I also just wanted to thank all you guys for all your input and help with this. Seriously, going out of your way to help a complete stranger so extensively is really... groovy of all your guys. I'll be sure to pay it forward and let people into my lane when I'm driving home on the freeway tonight.
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November 21, 2009 3:08:46 AM

Thanks, jalek, but I think I've decided I would go for the 4670 if not the 4770. I'm waiting on the debate on techreport to make my decision. The 4770 seems appealing, but at the moment, it just seems so much more practical to play it safe and get the 4670
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a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2009 10:50:02 PM

You won't be disappointed with the DDR3 4670, I have seen it first hand in a couple systems, and it far outperformas it's bargain bin price. Again, the 4770 would be nice, and probably ok to run on your system, but the relatively small increase in performance imo, isn't worth the enhanced risk to your PSU, over the short and longterm.
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November 23, 2009 2:53:39 PM

Thanks, Jofa.
I'll be purchasing the D4670s today.
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