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Video Card for SC2

Hi :)
I am looking for a budget video card that I can use for my computer to run SC2.
I have a shitty desktop computer (Dell Optiplex GX280) that obviously isn't meant for gaming, and I'm not a big gamer, but I really love SC and want to play it.
It has a Pent4 3.40GHz processor (2CPUs), 1GB of RAM and only has onboard graphics. The power supply is 260 or 280W I think.

I am willing to upgrade the power supply and RAM, but I need help with choosing a graphics card, because I know barely anything about them :/
I don't want to spend the money to buy a new computer.

Thanks in advance! :)
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  1. Best answer
    Ouch. :( Not a great setup.

    Limiting Factors:
    Pentium 4 CPU is old.
    1GB of RAM
    280W PSU is VERY WEAK

    What version of Windows do you run? If you're using an older Windows XP (I presume you likely are) you really want to have at least 2GB of RAM if you want to play any games at all. You'll also need a better power supply.

    Depending on your motherboard, we may need to see if it uses AGP or PCI-E for video cards. That's going to be a huge game changer. :) The GX280... is it a slim line PC? If so, you're probably out of luck completely.

    The slimline ones will require a special power supply, and may only accept "slim" GPUs, which quite frankly are not intended for gaming.

    Even if it's the "mini-tower" version of the Dell's, there's a possibility it might not be a standard ATX type power supply.
  2. Dell shows a 3D rendering of the GX280 here:
    http://www.dell.com/html/us/products/optiplex/GX280_3d_model.html

    Looks like it may be an ATX style PSU. And it may have a PCI-E expansion slot (this is with the GX280 SMT model).

    There's also a GX280 SD &SFF (slim, no PSU or video upgrades).

    Hate to say it, but if you don't have the SMT model, you probably just need to buy a new PC. And quite frankly, you probably need to do so anyhow.
  3. Hello,
    i am on the same situation
    i have a dell gx280 250w psu.
    Small Mini-Tower full-height cards supported

    PCI Express connector
    one x1 and one x16

    PSU Outpost max250w
    It is written +12v -> 16a
    +3.3 -> 18a
    +5v -> 22a
    (full details here: http://support.dell.com/support/ed [...] ecs02.htm)

    I have 2 hard drives: 1 hitachi 40g, 1 WD Caviar green 1.5t and Ram 3g ddr2
    Pentium 4 2.8ghz
    1cdrw and 1floppy
    maybe i can unplug the floppy and the hitachi hdd.

    would you recommend a hd 4650? ddr2 or ddr3?
    is there any higher card that you will recommend?
    thanks for the information
  4. Hi,
    I just recently build a PC to play SC2 because my old one couldn't handle it.
    Anyways, I agree with Jerreece. You'll need to buy or build a new one. You should anyways. :)

    If you're on a tight budget, check out this $550 gaming rig:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-gpu-overclock,2659.html

    My recommendation: Don't get the Asus Radeon HD 5770 CuCore Graphics card. I got it and regret it endlessly. The Radeon HD 5770 cards are great, but from painful experience I've got to say Asus didn't make a great graphics card this time around. You can try to HD 4850 for around $100, it's gotten great reviews on this site. However, I really don't think you have the motherboard to support it. So, back to what Jerreece said: You'll have to get a new one.
  5. jerreece said:
    Ouch. :( Not a great setup.

    Limiting Factors:
    Pentium 4 CPU is old.
    1GB of RAM
    280W PSU is VERY WEAK

    What version of Windows do you run? If you're using an older Windows XP (I presume you likely are) you really want to have at least 2GB of RAM if you want to play any games at all. You'll also need a better power supply.

    Depending on your motherboard, we may need to see if it uses AGP or PCI-E for video cards. That's going to be a huge game changer. :) The GX280... is it a slim line PC? If so, you're probably out of luck completely.

    The slimline ones will require a special power supply, and may only accept "slim" GPUs, which quite frankly are not intended for gaming.

    Even if it's the "mini-tower" version of the Dell's, there's a possibility it might not be a standard ATX type power supply.



    Heh yeah I know. I'm running XP SP2, and it uses PCI-E (sorry I forgot to include all these details in the OP).

    Hmm. It's not the "mini-tower" version of that computer (it doesn't seem to be any of those as shown in that model guide, but I THINK that it is an older version of the SMT). I'm pretty sure it can take a standard ATX power supply.
    However, I believe that it requires half-height video cards. So yeah, ones not for gaming as you said.

    BUT...I've installed the game (without any upgrades) and it JUST manages to play (a little laggy-ly) on lowest settings with nothing else running :P

    And yeah I know I need to buy a new PC, but I can't really afford it atm :P
  6. blixt do you confirm you managed to play (laggy and low setting) stracraft 2
    with your Pent4 3.40GHz processor (2CPUs), 1GB of RAM and only onboard graphics. with the 280w

    Well, i guess after all. i willl give a try to the hd4650 or hd4850 (i am going to check on that)

    and blixt, please if you buy a card let me know wich one you have hehe, i am on the same situation.. and no much money atm
  7. Calireel said:
    blixt do you confirm you managed to play (laggy and low setting) stracraft 2
    with your Pent4 3.40GHz processor (2CPUs), 1GB of RAM and only onboard graphics. with the 280w

    Well, i guess after all. i willl give a try to the hd4650 or hd4850 (i am going to check on that)

    and blixt, please if you buy a card let me know wich one you have hehe, i am on the same situation.. and no much money atm


    Yep I managed to play it lol. But being laggy, it's not as enjoyable as it could be. BTW, ignore the 2 CPUs bit because it doesn't have two processors...I am not sure why it says that.

    Okay, let me know how yours go :)

    I don't want something fancy, just something that will relieve the lag a bit.
  8. I am back with some info.
    Finally i bought a
    Sapphire Radeon™ HD 4650 512 Mo DDRII

    Starcraft 2 runs ok.
    Small lagg in medim, but you can disable some options.
    in low ok

    GG, HF!
  9. Best answer selected by blixt.
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