Choosing graphic card


I recently bought the game Street Fighter IV for the PC and even on the lowest settings my computer seems to be having difficulty with playing (especially online).

BUDGET RANGE: Pretty much below 100$

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: I would like it to be especially good for Street Figther IV. I also play WoW and sometimes CoD MW 2.


OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel Core 2 duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00 GHz 3.00 GHz. If you need more information here, just tell me what and i'll try look it up. Because I don't know what exactly is needed.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I live in holland so most US sites won't deliver here. But I could try looking for them on other sites myself too ofcourse.

OVERCLOCKING: Don't know what this really means. Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: What!?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I have a 20 in monitor and recently i've been using 1680x1050 wich seems to be the best

Thank you

13 answers Last reply
More about choosing graphic card
  1. There's your reason. Your PSU is woefully weak and that graphics card will be able to recount what the dinosaurs looked like if you asked it nicely enough.

    $100 is hard to work with as you're not only going to need a new graphics card but a new PSU too. Your CPU looks ok for the minute but this rig must be getting old.

    Even the most basic of upgrades will most likely cost you between $200 - $250 so i think you need to get saving.

    Also, that monitor resolution is massive for the specs of your machine.

    SLI and Crossfire are Nvidias and ATI's (respecitvely) technologies for linking 2 or more graphics cards together to increase performance. So often you will get people saying "Are two 5770's in crossfire better than a single 5870?".

    Overclocking is the process of manually increasing the clock speeds on certain frequencies, for example, the CPU, GPU, RAM, GPU Memory etc. Manually upping these speeds can be dangerous and shortens the lifespan of the product unless they have been specifically designed to be overclocked in the first place. overclocking often requires the use of better coolers than the stock heatsinks/cooling systems you get with such parts. For example, an Intel Core I3 530 can overclock to just under 4GHz (from 2.93 GHz) without even needing to change the stock heatsink you get with the CPU, anything above and the heat generated from the overclock will be dangerous unless you fit a more powerful, after market heatsink.
  2. This is what i recomend you get

    Don't worry about Overclocking or Crossfire/SLI, Your CPU is plenty for the card i selected and the PSU will power both fine. You need a compatible Motherboard for Crossfire or SLI but that means buying 2 graphics cards anyway and as you are on a budget i wouldn't think its a real consideration.
    Anymore questions please just ask

    Mactronix :)
  3. Thank you for the replies.

    About the price range... I could spend a total of about 160$ ( PSU + graphic card ) but I thought it would be possible with 100 bucks.

    About the resolution, is it really too high? Because if I put it lower ( like 1280x960) it looks really bad and it's irritating my eyes. Not to mention everything looks too big.

    Linking 2 graphic cards together? Is it possible to do it with 2 different cards? Like the one I have + a new one that I'll be buying? Also how can I tell if I have SLI or Crossfire .

    Overclocking sounds risky, but speaking of heat. I've been putting this big fan ( you know the ones you see on the desks in an office or something ) next to my computer with the sidecase open to cool the graphic card. It seems to be working :ouch: but I don't know if it will hurt my computer in the future.

    @ mactronix - So if I get that graphic card, i'm certain that it will work ( or even fit in the slot ) and will play street fighter IV without much hassle? Also how long will it take before this one gets useless and I have to upgrade again?

    Even with my budget, I would appreciate other links/suggestions because maybe I could start saving or even ask a loan from my parents :sweat:

    Thanks in advance

  4. Sure enough put the res down but that can be irritating if its not the monitors native resolution.

    If you have Nvidia cards then they will go in SLI, ATI's cards go in Crossfire. SLI and Crossfire are essentially the same concept but executed differently and are proprietary to each company (SLI for Nvidia, Crossfire for ATI).

    If you're not knowledgeable of overclocking don't try it, and that fan idea is fine but your case should have a good enough airflow through it to not require the fan in the first place.

    For the purpose of budget, ill agree with Mactronix, it will play SFIV but don't expect it with best settings ok?

    In all honesty, id see if you can get a new build, perhaps a christmas present? You never know.
  5. A monitor's native resolution is usually best for viewing comfort, some monitors (like your experience) can incite eyestrain when running some non-native resolutions.

    1680x1050 isn't a HUGE resolution, as 1920x1080 has become pretty standard for new LCDs starting at 21" or so.

    Get the PSU Mactronix linked to (its a real gem) and instead of a 4670, step up to a 5670, or even a 5750 if it fits in your budget.
  6. Griffolion said:
    In all honesty, id see if you can get a new build, perhaps a christmas present? You never know.

    I disagree, the E8400 is a solid dual core with decent stock clocks. Any investment you do on this computer is not wasted, it will carry over to the next build, whenever that might be. Don't be panicked into thinking your box is worthless, you have a solid platform to build upon.
  7. Ok first things first you need to know what Motherboard you have. Start by downloading a free tool called CPU-Z. I did have a link but you can Google it just fine.
    Run that and along the tabs at the top will be one called main board, this will tell you the make and Model of the Motherboard.
    You can then Google that and preferably choosing the link from the Manufacturers or just going to the Manufacturer's website in the first place and choosing your model. this will give you specs of your Motherboard and tell you if you have a SLI supporting board or a Crossfire board.
    If your not sure post the make and Model and i will take a look for you.
    Once we know about the motherboard we can be sure things will fit like for instance it has PCIE Graphics slots and not AGP.
    Here is a review of the Turbo version which includes the standard version of the card i linked to. I'm not familiar with your chosen game so cant say for sure what the performance will be like.
    Its not the resolution that is the issue really its that you are using hardware that isn't really capable of outputting at that resolution.
    Your CPU is MORE than capable so a new system isn't needed you just need a better GPU and a better PSU.
    If we look slightly outside your budget we would get something like this. OR
    Here is a review of one of the aftermarket 5770's which will include both cards i listed. The Corsair PSU i linked will power either of them, Although if you think you may want another later on then we could look at a more powerfull PSU while you are upgrading and get that over with now rather than later ?

    Mactronix :)

  8. Hello,

    thank you guys for the fast replies.

    So i've downloaden CPU-Z ( thank you for that by the way ) and I tried to look the model up but didn't really find much. I did enter my servicetag on the dell page where I bought the computer but there was very limited amount of information about my computer. Definitely nothing about a motherboard.

    So I thought i'd upload some screenshots of my CPU-Z tabs and put them here: ( hope they work )

    --- Inspiron 530S ---

    1. CPU tab :

    2. Graphic tab :

    3. Mainboard tab :

    Also, about the Turbo version... what exactly does that mean? Is it just a better and more advanced version? ( Sorry if i'm asking questions that seem kinda obvious )

    I checked the site Ebuyer to see if they ship international to The Netherlands, but didn't find specific information.

    By the way I forgot to mention, I tried to play Street Fighter IV today and after changing the Graphic Options to lower and lower, my computer screen just went black after I pressed the game to actually start. I couldnt do anything ( like CTRL+ALT DELETE) and had to restart the computer with the on/off button on the case.
    Is this because of the fail graphic card or is it something else? ( These kind of things do not happen alot )


  9. As i said I'm not familiar with the game but would think the black screen means your Graphics card isn't up to the job. It looks to be below minimum spec according to the requirements i have found on the web.
    Your Motherboard is a generic Dell board with a PCIE graphics interface so we are ok with the Card i linked to. The turbo version is just clocked higher, Pre-Overclocked if you like.
    Just to be on the safe side i would open the PC before you order the card just to be sure it will fit. Dimensions should be easy to find on the web.
    I don't know about delivery either but they have a good customer support line so a quick call should get you an answer.

  10. A 5670 would be a solid upgrade and probably work on the 250W, if you don't want to spend that much or don't want the risk then a 4650 or 5570/5550 would be cheaper and put less strain on the PSU.
  11. i was recommended a 5570 for my inspiron 530s as it is a low profile machine. there are other options like the gt240 low profile and the 9600gt low profile. people have told me that dell rate their power supply on continuous output, which is 250w in the 530s.
  12. infernox_01 said:
    i was recommended a 5570 for my inspiron 530s as it is a low profile machine. there are other options like the gt240 low profile and the 9600gt low profile. people have told me that dell rate their power supply on continuous output, which is 250w in the 530s.

    are u usin that ati 5570 witout any probs with 250 watts psu
  13. well im still using the hd2400pro atm. It is overclocked and has a max power usage of 25w, the 5570 has a max power usage of 42w. I decided to buy a new case+psu combo to put the motherboard into. turns out the motherboard is just a normal mATX one, so ATX power supplies will work. they wont fit in the case though.
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