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New Computer, Need a Graphics Card!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 29, 2009 9:38:43 PM

I got a new computer for Christmas (yay) but I'm looking to upgrade it in some ways.

Namely the graphics card.

Specs:
Inspiron 546 Minitower, Black Bezel
AMD Phenom II X4 945 (3.0GHz, 8MB)
8GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 4X2GB
Integrated ATI Radeon HD3200 Graphics
320GB NCQ Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM) w/ 16MB DataBurst Cache
Genuine Windows 7 Ultimate, 64bit, English
Integrated NIC card
16X DVD+/-RW Drive

I don't play many PC games, but I just bought Halo 2 Vista (and yeah I had trouble installing it on Windows 7, but I got it to work eventually), and I'm looking to buy something so I can run it at max settings with my 1680x1050 monitor.

I'm pretty sure the PSU is 300w, so basically I'm wondering if I can get a graphics card that can run Halo 2 Vista at max settings, or would I have to spend more money for a new PSU and better card?

More about : computer graphics card

December 29, 2009 10:49:54 PM

^agreed
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December 30, 2009 1:44:40 AM

Will it achieve the desired settings? =o
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a c 1410 U Graphics card
December 30, 2009 1:50:53 AM

HD4670 provides adequate gaming at 1280 x 1024 resolution after that it start hurting. I vote for a better card maybe HD5770 and a good quality 450-550watt psu.
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a c 232 U Graphics card
December 30, 2009 2:09:50 AM

The $95 - $110 category should be your sweet spot - I'd go with the 250.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...

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)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...

GeForce 9800 GT (71 watts)
Exceptional 1680x1050 performance in most games, 1920x1200 in most games with lowered detail


Radeon HD 4830 512MB (73 watts)
Exceptional 1680x1050 performance in most games, 1920x1200 in most games with lowered detail


GeForce GTS 250 512MB or 1 GB (69 watts)
Good 1920x1200 performance in most games
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December 30, 2009 2:18:01 AM

Ack, now I'm really confused.

I was about to agree with rolli59, since HD5770 was my first thought after I searched the net for good graphics cards. But then I read it needs a different power supply, and here I am on a budget, though I can probably afford to splurge this once, but on the other hand I might not need to if the HD4670 is good enough.

Now this HD4830 sounds promising. Really I just want to run Halo 2 at max settings at 1680x1050 like I said, so if this HD4830 can do that, then I'll be set. I won't have to buy a new PSU correct?
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a c 1410 U Graphics card
December 30, 2009 2:37:39 AM

I thought that the HD4830 was close to HD4850 in power consumption. It is basically a crippled HD4850. On the other hand I know that the HD4770 has lower power consumption and performs better than HD4830 both cards would need a external power which raises the PSU question. There is on the other hand a new and power efficient 9800GT out called ECO or Green version that does not need external power. That would be the highest ranked card that would possibly run on your PSU. I have not seen it confirmed in any of the threads that the new 9800GT card has come up for discussion that it runs on a Dell 300watt PSU.
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January 8, 2010 5:24:57 AM

I visited Best Buy after getting my paycheck, I wasn't going to leave the store empty handed. Most of the cards there that were within my desired price range were too weak, and the more expensive ones would need me to buy a new PSU. There was only one card that was adequate for my situation.

I bought the GeForce GT 220 by BFG Tech. It was on sale, too. Like I said it's adequate but not ideal. Running my game at 1680x1050 was more than bearable, but still could be better or perfect. So this card will hold me over until I buy something better.

I have my eye on the HD 4850 for 169.99, all I need now is advice on a good 450W or 500W PSU.

Thanks for your help guys and happy new year!
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a c 1410 U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 11:52:31 AM
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a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 12:03:00 PM

I feel you must change your PSU as it is not sufficient to handle a PHII 945 and 5770..Although 5770 consumes very little power but still its too much load for a 300w psu...You might face blackouts when both cpu and gpu are working under full stress which is not very uncommon during gaming..
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January 8, 2010 12:06:23 PM

I'd say get a GTS 250 or an HD 4850 (or 4870 if you want more power) for the settings you want, and if you need a new power supply... you can get a Corsair HX520 or HX450 PSU for next to nothing in cost.
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