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Need New Card Suggestion Please

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 29, 2010 10:10:57 PM

Hi, everybody. I bought a new computer recently that just has on-board graphics ( :sarcastic:  ) and I'm looking for a graphics card. I don't really want to spend a huge amount here (say $100 max?) but I'd like to be able to run Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (on low settings, I'm sure).

Here's the specs (copied and pasted from Amazon):

Product Features and Technical Details
Product Features
AMD Phenom II X4 810 Processor (2.6 GHz, 2MB L2 Cache + 4MB Shared L3 Cache, 4000MHz System Bus)
8 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM memory (4x2048 for ultimate performance); Expandable to 16GB
750GB (7200RPM) Serial ATA hard drive; SuperMulti DVD Burner with LightScribe Technology
ATI RadeonTM HD 4200 Graphics with 256MB integrated shared graphics memory. Up to 3 GB Total Available Graphics Memory as allocated by Windows 7
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Processor, Memory, and Motherboard

Hardware Platform: PC
Processor: 2.6 GHz Phenom Quad-Core
Number of Processors: 1
RAM: 8 GB
RAM Type: SDRAM
Hard Drive

Size: 750 GB
Manufacturer: 750GB 7200RPM Serial ATA hard drive
Type: Serial ATA
Speed: 7200.0 rpm
Graphics and Display

Graphics RAM: 256 MB
Ports and Connectivity

Modem: None
Cases and Expandability

Size (LWH): 16.85 inches, 6.97 inches, 15.32 inches
Weight: 9.75 pounds
Wireless

Wireless Type: 802.11abg


Nothing fancy, but it was a good price, even though I knew I'd need to buy a card.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

More about : card suggestion

a b U Graphics card
March 29, 2010 10:53:34 PM

We definitely need to know what your PSU is. For ~$100, you might be able to find a deal on a 57xx card (either 5750 or 5770) with 512mb RAM, which would be your best shot at playing BC2. Otherwise, the 4850 is the next best and you can get that for under $100 (though it doesn't support DX11 and needs more power). you may or may not be able to run these cards without a new PSU though.
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Related resources
March 29, 2010 10:58:12 PM

BC2 is a demanding game.

Consider raising tht budget a tad.
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a b U Graphics card
March 29, 2010 11:10:22 PM
March 29, 2010 11:12:11 PM

I would get the GTS 250 with free game
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 29, 2010 11:49:39 PM

What is your monitor's native resolution?
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a c 235 U Graphics card
March 29, 2010 11:53:06 PM

builderbobftw said:
I would get the GTS 250 with free game


the linked gigabyte GTS 250 does not come with a free game
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 12:42:37 AM

Eh, the initial cost of that thing is a full $42 more than the HD4850 and the final price assuming the rebate comes through is $22 more. Dark Void isn't something anyone should want to buy, RE5 is $27 on newegg and SF IV is $15.
Just get the HD4850 and then you don't have to deal with the hassle and wait of rebates.
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March 30, 2010 12:44:51 AM

Ah, I like RE5, I would get it.

And why is everyone so skeptical of Rebates?

I've never had a problem with them.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 1:23:40 AM

builderbobftw said:


And why is everyone so skeptical of Rebates?

I've never had a problem with them.


Most of mine go through, although some take 3 months for a check to come back. I have had them lose some too so its no gimme.
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 7:47:11 AM

You have all the information you need from the budget point of view (written by those before me).
I am emphesizing it once more since it has been written before :
We need the specs of your PSU and perhaps the specs of your monitor too.
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a c 197 U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 3:41:15 PM

Your PSU specs will be important. Chances are, it's a unit that was chosen to run your system as configured, with minimal headroom. If that is the case, you have two choices. You can plan to upgrade your PSU also. Even a $40 380W Antec Earthwatts will give you plenty of choices on the GPU you can power, although you might need to spend $70-$80 for a good 500W PSU to run just about anything.
Your other choice is to limit your GPU selection to a HD5670, HD4670, or HD4650 (in descending order of power needed, AND performance). If your resolution is "only" 1440x900, or 1280x1024, you may be quite happy with the performance of a HD4670 in most games, especially if you are willing to turn down some settings.
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March 30, 2010 7:01:10 PM

Wow, the 5670 would be a downgrade from the equaly priced 4850.
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 7:23:35 PM

A downgrade in performance, but an upgrade in features with DX11/eyefinity/ power consumption/heat/etc. taking power into consideration, it may not even be equally priced if you take into account the possibility of a new PSU which may be required for a 4850.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 7:25:08 PM

I've had this conversation with Bob before. He isn't quite convinced that the average computer usually has a very weak PSU.
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March 30, 2010 7:26:58 PM

I don't know, I'm using an old 3 year old HP i got second hand, with a 400W PSU, running a 4870 fine.

(Untill the dust got in the chip and it broke)
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 7:34:12 PM

The old HP that I replaced for a friend had a 250W supply. The old Dell that I fixed up for another friend had a 300W PSU. The only PC I've worked on that came from an OEM company that had anything more than a 400W PSU is the old dual CPU Workstation/server that I've got at home with a 700W PSU. I blew out the PSU in one of my previous builds (was a 450W unit that came with the case before I knew how important a good PSU was) only running a puny FX 5200 AGP card and a single core Athlon XP. :-)
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March 30, 2010 7:42:16 PM

Uh, It was a 3 thousand dollar+ Workstation in it's day, so that could explain the well, normal sized PSU.
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 7:45:11 PM

exactly:-) that was my point as to why it actually had a reasonable PSU;-)
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March 30, 2010 8:07:45 PM

Wow, lots of replies! Sorry for not getting back in here very quickly, but it's been a bit crazy at work lately.

The PSU is 300w, which, I gather may need an upgrade for a lot of these cards? Argh.

I'm not sure what the native resolution of my monitor is, but it's an NEC AccuSync ASLCD92V-BK 19" LCD.

Again, thanks so much for all the replies and help, everybody. :-)
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March 30, 2010 8:10:22 PM

Oh, 300W PSU?

Then stick to 5670.

Slow, and overpriced, but uses less power.
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 8:14:12 PM

You might be able to pull off a 5670 without a PSU upgrade, but it would make me a little nervous. anything that requires a PCI-E power connector would definitely be dangerous to run with that system.
Your display is 1280x1024, so a 5670 would probably run what you want it to at somewhat reasonable settings.
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March 30, 2010 8:15:46 PM

So to recapp either

a. Buy 100$ 5670.

b. Buy 100$ 4850, or GTS250, and a new PSU.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 8:22:57 PM

19" monitors are usually 1280x1024 or 1440x900 so the HD5670 will do pretty well for you and not require a new PSU. Alternately if you have the money you can replace the PSU and get an HD5770. That would cost you about $200 but it would definitely make a difference on the more intensive games and also serve you well when/if you upgrade that monitor.
Looking at your system specs the one thing that jumps out at me is the 8 gigs of ram. I really doubt you ever actually use more than 4 gigs unless you are someone who does some intensive applications like HD video editing, animation and such. Ram is pretty expensive these days. You could ebay 4 gigs for $150+ and probably see no performance hit at all. That could be money right there to pay for an HD5770 or a new large high resolution monitor.
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March 30, 2010 8:25:13 PM

300W. LOL.

This is why you never buy prebuilt.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 8:25:14 PM

flyinfinni said:
You might be able to pull off a 5670 without a PSU upgrade, but it would make me a little nervous. anything that requires a PCI-E power connector would definitely be dangerous to run with that system.

I wouldn't be nervous about an HD5670 on a 300w PSU. It should be fine.
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March 30, 2010 8:37:52 PM

Haha, yeah I'm not really knowledgeable, so I just buy pre-built.

Speaking of ignorance. . .when I look at newegg for HD 5670, I see several different cards but I don't really know what the differences are. Any help with that?
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March 30, 2010 8:42:03 PM

Thank you, jyjjy. I'll consider your suggestion about the RAM, too. :-)
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 8:45:25 PM

I got the numbers wrong. $150+ would be what you could sell all 8 gigs for and obviously you would want to keep 4 gigs. Selling 4 could still come close to paying for that HD5670.
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 8:57:22 PM

I wouldn't be nervous running it on solid 300W, but I would with a cheap 300W. It will most likely be fine since the 5670 uses so little power, I just will always buy a solid PSU because of experiencing the hundreds of $$ the blowing of a cheapo PSU can cause (even when the PSU is rated way over what you should actually need).
Don't mind me though- I'm just a PSU snob. you should be fine:-)
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 9:08:24 PM

flyinfinni said:
I wouldn't be nervous running it on solid 300W, but I would with a cheap 300W. It will most likely be fine since the 5670 uses so little power, I just will always buy a solid PSU because of experiencing the hundreds of $$ the blowing of a cheapo PSU can cause (even when the PSU is rated way over what you should actually need).
Don't mind me though- I'm just a PSU snob. you should be fine:-)


Snob as it may be, I completely agree. I suggest getting a decent 400-500W PSU first. From there, you can expand your choices for a new graphics card. But if money is tight, HD5670 it is.
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a c 197 U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 10:37:02 PM

Supported by some as far as what GPU to choose on your current PSU, I'll stand by my original post. Spending $40 for a 380W Earthwatts shouldn't hit your budget too hard, then you can get a better GPU and be ready for when you replace your monitor.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 10:56:39 PM

Onus said:
Spending $40 for a 380W Earthwatts shouldn't hit your budget too hard

His stated budget target is $100 max so $40 will definitely hit extremely hard. That would leave enough for an HD4670 tops, which he wouldn't need a new PSU for in the first place.
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2010 11:02:17 PM

+1 jyjjy
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March 30, 2010 11:39:12 PM

Keep in mind he has some crappy prebuilt PSU, not a quailty or even decent one.

And you would never get 150$ on Ebay for 4gb of Ram that's not Gskill or OCZ but crappy dell warenty.

And things on Ebay is like 50% of Reatil, new, no one is going to buy low quailty slow used ram of ebay 4gb for 150$
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 6:11:27 AM

Try reading the whole thread before posting and your 50% estimate is far from accurate for computer components on ebay.
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a c 197 U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 10:29:53 AM

He's been posting since the beginning of the thread, but remember, this is builderbob.

But then, I missed the remark about the budget only being $100. Considering he's moving up from an IGP (even though it isn't Intel), get a HD4650 for now, and a 380W Earthwatts, which will support another upgrade later.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 10:42:06 AM

Why not just get a good card to begin with? Unless it is truly terrible quality a 300w PSU can handle the HD5670.
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a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 4:14:25 PM

It may not be good quality, but on a really tight budget, and if its from a company like Dell or whatever, a 300W PSU should handle a 5670 until the OP can save up for a replacement.
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a c 197 U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 10:11:40 PM

Ok, if it's a decent one.
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March 31, 2010 10:24:33 PM

Decent PSU and prebuilt shouldn't be in the same sentence.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 10:26:18 PM

If it was a decent brand then even a 250w would probably be fine.
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March 31, 2010 10:27:31 PM

But does a Dell 300W produce as much wattage as a Corsair 250W is the question.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 10:30:36 PM

No one ever said it was Dell, but they actually use very good PSUs.
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March 31, 2010 10:32:12 PM

Realy?

I was under the impression that a 1000W Dell/HP/Apple/Whatever PSU was leaps and bounds inferior to a HX-1000.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 10:42:28 PM

I dunno about the high end but I know they purposely underrate the low end PSUs and they are manufactured by a good brand. If I remember properly it was Enermax but that could be wrong.
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a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2010 10:44:38 PM

Thats true Bob- a corsair is very much superior to a Dell or other OEM PSU. However, Dell's seem to generally be somewhat reasonable as opposed to say an E-machines or whatever.
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