-3D Modeling (Sketchup, Earth, 3DS usually running at same time)
-Minor Games (Sims, Roller Coaster Tycoon, etc.)
-Photography Software (Lightroom, Photoshop, Picassa, etc.)
I'm also looking for any recommendations for cards under $100. I don't want a 'decent' card, I want a good card which will allow me to run various 3D modeling programs at once and let me watch fullscreen movies without any issues. I'm not a hardcore gamer so I don't wanna spend too much but just in case I ever decide to buy more games I don't wanna have issues with whatever card I end up buying.
Also, I'm wondering if my computer will need extra fans to run the Radeon 8450. I read that it's a bit hotter and uses more power.
Any thoughts on which card would be best? Recommendations?
the 4850 is good value, but you have to check you're power supply first. look for the wattage and/or the amps on the 12v rail. most likely if it's the stock hp psu you won't be able to power a 4850. the next step after that would be a 5670, which consumes a lot less power and and isn't really a step down from the 4850 except for in games.
It were me I would probably go with the 5750. It would be an extra few dollars compared to the 5670 option(which is a good choice by the way) but will also give you more Omph for your dollar. I will be better for your movies and will do some light gaming if you decide to expand your horizons to some basic games like Civilization or the like. It is a quite energy efficient card as well.
300 watts might power a coffee grinder... I have a Dell, and it came with a 305 stock. Had to upgrade to put a 9600GT in (Had a 7300LE). The companies don't want you upgrading, they want you buying new.
Don't need to read further than its 300W. Plus they are using LITEON...
PSU's aren't my specialty so... Feel free to murder my answer .
For your needs, a 5670 is more than enough.It consumes only slightly more power than a 8400 GS.Since your PSU runs a quad core CPU pretty well, it must be quite capable, though with low power rating.19 A for a 240 W PSU is pretty good.