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Best graphics card for playing HD content on an LCD monitor at a resonable price

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 13, 2010 7:19:41 PM

Hey, guys. I have been looking around the internet for a decent graphics card because I bought a new computer in the beginning of May and it came with a 20" LCD monitor, but was paired with a NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 graphics card that doesn't have HDMI output capabilities. Here are my system specs:
http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/5800/zossystem.jpg

I'd like to be able to have HD playback with my LCD monitor and I'd also like to be able to run my Playstation emulator on higher graphics settings without slowdown. I am not a PC gamer by any means, I have a PS3 and enjoy using it over PC games, but I do enjoy using my Playstation one/Playstation 2 emulators and watching movies and videos in HD on my computer. I also do a lot of computer graphics in Photoshop and great image quality will be a huge plus.

I checked around some of the other threads and I saw a lot of suggestions for the ATI 5850 or 5870 and, while they sound like great cards, they are just not a possibility for me at around $400 new. I would really like to try and find a decent card for my needs anywhere in the $100-$250 price range. Also, if you know of a nice HDMI cable that I can buy, I'd appreciate that as well.

I really appreciate any comments or suggestions, so thanks in advance.


EDIT: I just noticed the "How to post" sticky (I used the quick post panel on the right when I was looking through other Googled threads)

-My screen resolution is 1600x900
-I plan to buy it within the next week or two
-I just noticed that the XFX Radeon HD 5750 starts at around $130. That sounds like the best option at this point and the one I am leaning toward. Does this sound like a good choice considering my needs?

I think I covered most of the other points (the ones I understood, lol). Thanks again.
a c 1401 U Graphics card
June 13, 2010 7:39:09 PM

HD5570 would meet all your requirements
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a c 130 U Graphics card
June 13, 2010 7:42:42 PM

Might as well get an HD5670. There's a rather big perf gap between the 5570 and 5670, and since the 5670 can be found for $85, it's a nice card. Requires no external power source. Will run your emulators just fine.
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June 13, 2010 7:48:57 PM

rolli59 said:
HD5570 would meet all your requirements


Cool. I was expecting to have to pay the full $250 for a decent card. I have never upgraded a computer (this is my first computer that is not a family computer). I was reading and found out that the current graphics card is integrated into the motherboard. Will I just leave that there and put in the new one or how does that work?

EDIT:
shadow187 said:
Might as well get an HD5670. There's a rather big perf gap between the 5570 and 5670, and since the 5670 can be found for $85, it's a nice card. Requires no external power source. Will run your emulators just fine.


Not sure what you mean by "perf gap," sorry. If the 5770 is better than the 5670, I'm not adverse to paying the extra money. On one site they offer to bundle the graphics card with a AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor for $290. Would that be an advisable purchase? Quite a few reviews said they were topping 4.0 Ghz whereas my processor only does 2.7. Do I need the extra processing power at all for my emulators? I know that the PS2 emulator is known for slowdown and choppy play.
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Best solution

a c 130 U Graphics card
June 13, 2010 8:24:46 PM

As long as your power supply is up to scratch, a phenom II x4 will be a huge upgrade over your athlon ii. The 5770 will also be more than enough.

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June 13, 2010 8:42:37 PM

shadow187 said:
As long as your power supply is up to scratch, a phenom II x4 will be a huge upgrade over your athlon ii. The 5770 will also be more than enough.


Awesome. So is there anything special I need to know? Like I said, I haven't ever opened up a computer to add things to it. Will I be replacing the old components or am I just buying the processor and graphics card and popping them in?
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a c 130 U Graphics card
June 13, 2010 8:55:25 PM

You'll add the graphics and replace the CPU. Check your motherboard's website for compatibility on the phenom (both are the same sockets, concerned about BIOS updates though), and tell us more about your power supply.
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June 13, 2010 9:43:05 PM

shadow187 said:
You'll add the graphics and replace the CPU. Check your motherboard's website for compatibility on the phenom (both are the same sockets, concerned about BIOS updates though), and tell us more about your power supply.


Here is the complete page for my computer on HP's site:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&dlc=e...

It says the power supply is 250W. After searching a bit I found this page on my motherboard on HP's site:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

If I am reading that correctly, the Phenom II X4 will work with it, though I am not sure about BIOS updates (I am very new to all of this, as you can tell). EDIT: In doing a bit more research I have come to the understanding that any supported processors on that list will not require a BIOS update. Is that correct?

I also read that the power supply required for the HD 5770 is 450 watts. My computer has only 250. Can you suggest a good and affordable power supply that I can add to my system as well (and also the amount of wattage I should be looking for).

Thanks again for your help.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
June 13, 2010 10:46:27 PM

Yep, you're perfectly fine on the processor side. The bad part is that you WILL need to upgrade your power supply unit to accommodate an HD5770. Otherwise you will be forced to use an HD5670, which is considerably underpowered compared to a 5770.

The PSU linked below is a rock-solid A-grade PSU. It will be fine for your needs;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 13, 2010 10:51:30 PM

shadow187 said:
Yep, you're perfectly fine on the processor side. The bad part is that you WILL need to upgrade your power supply unit to accommodate an HD5770. Otherwise you will be forced to use an HD5670, which is considerably underpowered compared to a 5770.

The PSU linked below is a rock-solid A-grade PSU. It will be fine for your needs;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Ah, thank you for the reply. So does this power supply simply add to the 250 I already have or will I be replacing it setting up with 400 watts? The HD 5770 says it needs 450 watts minimum, so will that work with the CMPSU-400CX PSU?
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a c 130 U Graphics card
June 13, 2010 10:53:35 PM

You will be replacing your current PSU, which takes around 20 minutes.

The 400Watts from the Corsair PSU will be more than enough to power the HD5770. ATI overrates what the card needs so that people can not sue them when they come with their burnt-out 200Watt PSUs. In actuality, the card really only needs 80watts of power.
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June 13, 2010 11:06:01 PM

shadow187 said:
You will be replacing your current PSU, which takes around 20 minutes.

The 400Watts from the Corsair PSU will be more than enough to power the HD5770. ATI overrates what the card needs so that people can not sue them when they come with their burnt-out 200Watt PSUs. In actuality, the card really only needs 80watts of power.


Oh, lol. That makes sense. Thank you so much for your help. I'll probably end up ordering all three items by the end of next week and then I may come here for assistance in installing them. Thanks again.
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a c 362 U Graphics card
June 13, 2010 11:45:59 PM

The HD 5670 should fit your needs.

If you were not to play any games then the HD 5570 will suffice.
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July 2, 2010 12:14:40 AM

Thanks again, everyone! I'm giving "Best Answer" to shadow as he also helped with my CPU and PSU selection.
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July 2, 2010 12:17:24 AM

Best answer selected by zack_of_steel.
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