This Christmas I would like to put a bit of extra power into my pc, mainly the graphics card and perhaps some extra memory, the memory I am competent I know what to look for however I am unsure what graphics cards I am able to look at and above all what graphics cards I am able to put into my PC.
Operating System is Windows 7 ultimate x64 (up to date)
I realise this is not exactly a gamer pc but I feel its worth spending around £150 on a new graphics card so what are my options ?
I attempted to upgrade the graphics card on a PC a few years ago and ran into AGP compatibility problems and would like to avoid this happening again.
I don't mind ATI or Nvidia, and of course want a good bang for buck ratio.
Can I please have a few recommendations that will be compatible with the hardware and operating system I currently run.
I would like to be able to play most modern games at 720p and above is possible and not have to turn every last graphics setting to low, of course I am not expecting miracles from a £150 gpu upgrade but hope to gain a good chunk of extra resolution and "eye candy".
We need to know the watts and amps on the 12 volt rail of the power supply and also at what resolution you will be playing. However, since it is an off the shelf system, I would assume it is about 300 or 350 watts for the power supply.
With the stock power supply, I would recommend a ATI HD4670. It will give decent performance at modest resolutions. You could also go with nVidia GT240 for slightly better performance, but it is more expensive and gives less performance per dollar. You could also wait until the new ATI 5670 comes out probably in January, but I would go with the 4670 and see how it works. Neither the 4670 or GT240 require an external power connector.
Any stronger cards will require an external power connector and will probably require a power supply upgrade. You could also see the article published yesterday on Tom's hardware about the best graphics cards in various price ranges. However, remember as I mentioned above, you may be limited by your power supply to something like the two cards I mentioned.
December 8, 2009 12:13:21 PM
the psu is a liteon ps 5301 08hf (300w)
basically the resolution I am expecting is around what the 360 and ps3 does, usually 1280x720 as far as I know and hopefully a bit higher if possible.
many thanks, going to have a look at the cards you mention now.
a psu upgrade is not out of the question but I would rather not if I can help it, next year around summer time I plan on building an i5 or i7 system so I don't really want to spend too much on my hp.
If you're planning on building a new system that soon, I'd say get a 5770, or better yet a 5850, and move that over to the new system when it's time. Those will still be decent cards in another 6-8 months. You'll need a bigger power supply for either of them, but you can move that to the new machine too.
I wouldn't get the 4670. Yeah, it doesn't require a new PSU, but you'd likely be wasting the capabilities of that quad core.
Honestly, the system you've got right now isn't bad at all as a gaming PC except for the lack of a good video card, and I'm surprised you want to replace it so soon. You may just find that dropping in a decent video card DOES perform miracles and you don't want to retire that machine as quickly as you thought.
December 8, 2009 7:05:08 PM
thanks for the advice
I have taken a look at the AMD store, there are loads of 5770 cards listed and all around the same price.
Can someone please take a look at this list and tell me what one is the best, hard to see any real difference personally (sorry for my noobishnes hehe)..
The cards you have linked to are all the same apart from the cooler and retail package bundle (cables, software etc).
Fear not! Your HP has an industry standard PCI-E Express slot for this type of expansion so any PCI-E card will fit the connector and work. BUT, not with the existing powersupply, the more potent cards need more power than the HP unit can provide.
At the resolution you are expecting, the HD4670 would be a good choice, just keep the AA settings low or off and you should see good gameplay.
For more performance you will need to upgrade the powersupply and for a HD5770 you should be looking at a unit of 450-500W with a single 6 pin PCI-E connector mentioned in the specs.
the specs of the 5770 cards seams to be exactly what I am looking for, not too expensive, much better than my current graphics card.
one other thing I am not sure about, the pci bus type.
what is that and how can I tell if my pci-e slot is capable ? fairly sure those specs are not listed on the HP site although I may just be blind
again, many thanks
There's not really a hell of a lot of difference between one manufacturer and the next with those cards. If the price is comparable, I'd recommend XFX because they give a lifetime warranty.
I'd also say to stay away from PowerColor. I've heard a lot of stories about people who've had driver issues with their cards, compounded by poor documentation and support. Basically the stereotype of "made in China."
Don't worry, any PCIe x16 card is going to work in any PCIe x16 slot.
I know people keep plugging the 4670 as being adequate for your monitor size, but that's really all it is: adequate. I still say the 5770 is going to give you a lot more options (should you decide to go bigger), let you keep your system longer, and generally make your system better overall.
December 8, 2009 7:43:38 PM
I am going to grab a better psu and the 5770 I think, price seams good to me.
my display is 1920x1080 @ 23inches so the closer I can get the better.
I may post a few PSU questions in a different thread tomorrow although I am fairly sure I just need to get one that's not to cheap.
There are really only two things you need to make sure of with a power supply: 1) It has at least one PCIe 6-pin power connector to run that card, and 2) It's at least 450W to be absolutely sure you can run it.
If you're planning on keeping that power supply for your next machine, you'll probably want one with 600W+ and two 6-pin connectors (many newer cards require two 6-pin connectors each, and some of the ones beyond the 5770 are real beasts in terms of power consumption. So if you buy an even newer card in the new machine, you may run into that). If you think you'll ever crossfire two cards, you may want to go with an even bigger wattage and four 6-pin connectors, although that may be looking a bit far ahead.