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Graphics Card Advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 12, 2010 8:49:55 PM

I'm looking to buy a new graphics card and need help as this will be the first upgrade i've done.

I have a Dell Inspiron 531 with a 128mb graphics card (PAH)

I've been looking around for a graphics card for less than £90, i'm pretty sure the slot is a PCI-E and has a power supply of 300W (max)

I basically want the graphics card for computer games, Empire Total War only didn't lag on minimum spec which looked RUBBISH so i haven't played it since i bought it.

I've been looking on this website's recommended list but don't know enough on the subject to appreciate the advice as much as i should.

However i am tempted by the GeForce GTS 250 1GB.

In summary:

-would this work in my pc?
-would it be a good choice?
-is there a better choice for the same/less/a tiny bit more price?

Thanks

More about : graphics card advice

a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2010 9:21:43 PM

Thats a really weak psu for a real graphics card. I wouldn't try running a gts 250 on that. It would be worth getting a new 450 or 500w and then a 250 would run fine. A 4850/4870 might work though. Also, what brand is your power supply?
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2010 10:02:48 PM

I hope you don't mean the 4850/4870 would work on the 300W power supply. I wouldn't try that. With the 450-500W one, yes.

Otherwise, on a 300W supply, I don't think I'd go above a 4670.
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January 13, 2010 12:25:44 AM

so whats the most powerful graphics card i'm gonna be able to get thats suitable for a 300w power supply?

seeming as it might be problem, how expensive/ easy is it to upgrade the PSU?
a c 189 U Graphics card
January 13, 2010 12:41:51 AM

agree with capt_taco, i wouldn't try running 4850/4870 on 300W power supply, for the safety, HD 4670 is max... :) 
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2010 3:28:52 PM

weeweeplopplop said:
so whats the most powerful graphics card i'm gonna be able to get thats suitable for a 300w power supply?

Wait until the end of this week, and ATI will have released its replacement for the 4670. The 5670 will offer substantially better performance for a similar power use. It will also support direct X 11.

The Nvidia option is a GTS 240--It is also more powerful than a 4670, but a little more expensive. If you were to get it the ddr5 version is faster.

See power usage compared:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gt-240,2475...

Quote:
seeming as it might be problem, how expensive/ easy is it to upgrade the PSU?

Very easy. Its a good idea to put in a high quality power supply anyway--because PSUs are the most likely component to fail in a computer--and if they do they can damage other components.

I upgraded mine to a Corsair 400cx for $39 after MIR.(newegg) It runs 82% efficient, the fan is completely silent, and it blows cool air out of my case. It also has the amperage to run most cards under $200. Corsair, Antec, OCZ, Seasonic are all quality PSU brands.
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2010 3:34:57 PM

p.s. but im not certain about euro availability -- you might have some variation in the models available and pricing.
Hopefully someone from your side of the pond can jump in here and verify...
January 21, 2010 1:14:55 PM

Update:

Luckily i found an old graphics card in my brother's desk he didn't want, is an ATI 512mb (can't remember the exact name atm) so that'll do for now. Think in the future i will definately upgrade the PSU then go for a more meaty graphics cards, i do like the sound of a silent PSU :D 

Failing that i'll look into getting the ATI 5670 if it is that highly recommended and that much better than the one i have at the moment, i'll reply again when i get hold of the name and when i start tinkering with my pc more :D 

thanks for the help
a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2010 1:40:06 PM

No problem. Do check back though--if its 6 months from now all the pricing could have changed.
!