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Upgrading Video Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
December 18, 2009 8:01:59 PM

Hello all,

I have a Acer Am5100-E5402A Desktop computer with:

System Manufacturer Acer
System Model Aspire M5100
System Type X86-based PC
Processor AMD Phenom(tm) 9500 Quad-Core Processor, 2200 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Name NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GS
PNP Device ID PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0403&SUBSYS_8090174B&REV_A1\4&19466F17&0&0010
Adapter Type GeForce 8600 GS, NVIDIA compatible
Adapter Description NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GS
Adapter RAM 512.00 MB (536,870,912 bytes)

My question is what would be a good graphics card upgrade for this PC? It has PCI Express x 16 port. I'm happy with the computer, but would like to have much better graphics. I don't have the cash to do a full upgrade ( I know this would be the better choice). I would be willing to upgrade the power supply as well if need be, but I would rather not. Any help on the subject would be helpful. Thanks!

Joe Doiron

More about : upgrading video card

a c 1362 U Graphics card
December 18, 2009 8:11:16 PM

The power supply is going to a limiting factor. The highest you can possible go is HD4650/70 or GT240 but as I said it is based on the power of the PSU.
December 18, 2009 8:40:15 PM

If I did upgrade the PSU, what would be your suggestion then?
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a c 1362 U Graphics card
December 18, 2009 8:44:23 PM

Then basically it would be based on your screen resolution.
December 18, 2009 8:53:10 PM

Screen is a 23 in 1680 x 1050 lcd.

I'm looking for best graphics for a reasonable price. I'm just not sure if the processor/ram/etc.. will cap out first. So I guess what I'm saying is what is the best graphics card that will push this system to it's limits?
a c 1362 U Graphics card
December 18, 2009 9:00:48 PM

it will match well with HD4870/90, GTX260 or HD5770 those cards are $160-200 then there are good psu´s that will run them for around $50-70

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a c 225 U Graphics card
December 18, 2009 9:11:53 PM

Looking here ....,24...

"I don’t recommend upgrading your graphics card unless the replacement card is at least three tiers higher. Otherwise, the upgrade is somewhat parallel and you may not notice a worthwhile difference in performance."

So we are talking an 8800 GTX or HD 4770 as a minimum

So taking ya budget.....and looking at this,24...

Here's the "winners" from THG's latest (December) GFX Roundup
Best Graphics Cards For The Money: December '09

$50 - HD 4650
$65 - HD 4670 / 9600 GSO
$85 - 9600 GT
$95 - 9600 GT / HD 4830
$110 - GTS 250 512 MB
$120 - GTS 250 1 GB
$155 - HD 5770 / GTX 260
$200 - HD 4890
$240 - 2 x GTS 250
$310 - No winner (HD 5850 Honorable Mention)
$330 - 2 x GTX 260 / 2 x HD 5770
$400 - 2 x HD 4890
$410 - No winner (HD 5870 Honorable Mention)
$465 - No winner (GTX 295 Honorable Mention)
$625 - No winner (HD 5970 Honorable Mention),24...

"At $110, the 512MB version of this card offers respectable performance, and nothing else in the price range can compare to it. As fast as the Radeon HD 4850 and new Radeon HD 5750 (and notably cheaper), the GeForce GTS 250 has no real competition from the rest of the sub-$150 market at this time.

Bear in mind that going this route instead of the Radeon HD 5750 will cost you DirectX 11 support and Eyefinity. But in the context of gaming, you'll need to make other quality sacrifices long before trying to enjoy either value-add in the $110 range.

For $10 more than the 512MB version, an interested gamer can get the benefit of a full gigabyte of memory. At the highest resolutions and levels of anti-aliasing, this extra memory might provide a performance boost, though it's unlikely the GeForce GTS 250 is powerful enough to run at those detail levels. Still, many buyers might find the slight $10 price increase worthwhile in something like Grand Theft Auto IV."

Once ya picked a GFX card, then check and see if your PSU can support it.
December 19, 2009 1:19:00 AM

Thanks for the replies, they will definitely help when making my choice.
December 19, 2009 1:30:47 AM

With the PC info I mentioned above, do you think I'll be able to play newer games at high resolution, high quality, with high enough frame rates if I upgrade the graphics card? I'm just afraid that the system will not be able to run the games smoothly even with a decent card. Thoughts?
a b U Graphics card
December 19, 2009 1:47:53 AM

" GeForce GTS 250 has no real competition from the rest of the sub-$150 market at this time."

I call dat statement BS. The 5750 is under $150 at newegg, the 4770 is $100. The 4850 512mb is around $130, and the cheapest 1gb ver is $150.

No competition my ass Tomshardware...