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Upgrading 8500GT, $100 budget, casual gamer

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 7, 2010 6:40:42 PM

I bought my PC in September of 2008, so I know it's getting a bit old, but I'd like to squeeze another year out of it, and to do that, I think I need to upgrade my graphics card. Here are my current specs:

Video card: NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT 512MB
Graphics Interfaces: PCI Express x16 and x1
Power Supply: 420 watt
Motherboard: ASUS P5KPL-VM Mainboard
Connections needed: DVI and HDMI

I'm a very casual gamer. I enjoy playing World of Warcraft, Dragon Age, and I'm probably going to give StarCraft II a shot. I'm not really into FPS games like Call of Duty or whatnot.

Right now, WoW and Dragon Age both work, but not very well, and I shudder to think what's going to happen when I try to play StarCraft. I know x16 and x1 are horribly outdated, but I was hoping I could do a small upgrade and squeeze another year out of the PC.

I'm willing to pay $150 for a replacement, but I'd really love to pay less than $100, if possible. Yeah, I know I'm a cheapskate, but I only play games maybe 5-10 hours a week, so I don't feel like it makes sense to spend a lot of money on it.

Plus, I plan on buying a new computer next year, and I'll bring everything up to date then. So I just need something to help me get by and enjoy my games, even if they're not anywhere close to the highest settings.

Can you recommend a card?

Oh, I'm planning to buy on Amazon or New Egg, or wherever is cheapest. Doesn't matter.

Thanks for your help!
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a b U Graphics card
June 8, 2010 10:28:58 AM

@ Dural,

What is your monitor resolution? How much you need to spend on the graphic cards depends on it...
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a b U Graphics card
June 8, 2010 11:02:53 AM

Indeed the 9800 GT is a pretty good card. Definetely a good step up from what you have, and for $90, it's a bargain.
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June 8, 2010 6:00:16 PM

Hmm, there is one other factor I didn't mention.

I'm going to be in Mexico for the next few months, so I won't be able to mail in a rebate. If it's electronic, I could have someone in the States print it out, mail it in, and then deposit the check for me. Maybe.

Would that affect your decision any over which card to choose?
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a b U Graphics card
June 8, 2010 7:04:25 PM

if it's only $10 more then I would not bother sending in the rebate, I'd just find the cheapest card without a rebate. if it's like 30$ I might bother.

EDIT: I see it's $20. Tell your friend in the US to give you $15 cash, and let him take care of the rebate. $5 win for your friend!
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September 19, 2010 11:47:04 PM

Hey, I'm just getting around to buying a new graphics card. It's been a while, and I'm wondering: are the above cards still the best picks? Or are there others?
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a c 271 U Graphics card
September 19, 2010 11:59:43 PM

The GTS450 is around now, it just depends on your budget.
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September 20, 2010 1:07:41 AM

Hmm, new egg is running a special to get it for $104:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm assuming it's better than the other cards mentioned above. Is that right?

Also, just confirming... does it work with the system described above?

If so, I'll order it today.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
September 20, 2010 1:15:45 AM

Yes and yes.
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