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Best card for 2.66 C2D for under $50

Hi. I'm putting together a second computer that I want to do so occasional gaming on. I'm looking for recommendations about what GPUs will give best bang for buck at this time. Budget is at max $50 after rebates for the GPU.

System Specs:
2.66 Ghz Core2Duo E6700
4 Gb Corsair 800Mhz DDR2 Ram
P5BW-LA (Buckeye) MoBo:
400W Power Supply
500 Gb WD Caviar Blue

I intend to play at somewhat low resolutions. 1240 to 1680 range.
Want to run games such as Bad Company 2, Starcraft2, L4D2

Currently looking at 4650 for $33
or 5450 for $30

Saw a good deal on a GT240 for $35 a while back, but can't find that deal anymore.
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  1. The HD4650 is the best you are going to do for that kind of money most likely. It would be wise to spend more for at least an HD5670.
  2. Just checked the prices for 5670 and the cheapest one I could find on the egg is $65+. Compared to the 4650, is it worth almost double in price? I'm not familiar with the 5000s but at least with Nvidia cards, a generation newer doesn't give huge performance boots (ex, 8400 vs 9400), at least with the resolutions I'm dealing with (1240x1024 to possibly 1680x1080 in the future)

    Do you think maybe I should wait a bit? I'd like to get gaming on this machine before thanksgiving, which means no black friday deals for me =/ Any opinions on 4650 vs 5450. Guessing 4650 is roughly 1/3 better?

    Also, if I do end up getting a slim card, I might try to cram everything into a old slim case. Which means 250W power supply. Would this be possible?
  3. Best answer
    The HD5450 is not intended for gaming so forget about that. For the Nvidia 9000 series they basically rereleased the 8000 series. It is not typical.
    The HD5670 is definitely worth the extra money. It is indeed approximately twice as fast as an HD4650. The HD4650 is basically the minimum that should even be called a gaming card these days. The HD5670 is the minimum if you want to play games well at 1280x1024 with respectable settings. It's not really appropriate for 1680x1050 but if you are willing to live with rather low settings on the more intensive current games then it will do the job.
    As for the power supply I would need to know the brand/model to say anything other than 250w doesn't sound promising for a gaming system.
  4. Twice as fast? Hmm, I might need to fresh up on this stuff. I lost count after the 200 series from Nvidia. I'll look into 5670. Maybe between now there will be a nice sale. How does the 5670 compare to Nvidia cards? Does it beat a 240 or 250?

    Also, when you say intended for gaming, what did you mean by that? Assuming that its not typical for there to be little performance increase between generations, then you'd think a 5450 and a 4650 would be roughly equal.

    As for the power supply, I got around to taking a look at it and pretty much crossed it off the list as a possibility. It came with the slim case and is a Newton Power 180W (my memory served me wrong there) capable of dishing out a whopping 7A on the +5V and 11.5A on the +12V =/
  5. OK with that 180w PSU you can forget about any decent gaming graphics card. The 5670 is the lowest I would go for a GFX card, the gts250 is faster but uses much more power, which you dont have. I wouldnt run any gfx card that requires an auxillary power connector with that PSU.
  6. I'm going to stick with my 400W PSU. Think I'll bid my time for a while and see if I can get the 5670 or 240 for under $50.
  7. What is the brand/model of the 400w PSU?
  8. yeah i think those 2 cards are your best bet. Go lower and you'll only be disappointed.
  9. jyjjy said:
    What is the brand/model of the 400w PSU?

    It don't think it's really gonna matter 'cause even a crappy PSU will power his current system with a HD 5670 which only consumes 30w while gaming.
  10. Nevertheless, more information *usually* doesn't hurt. Pretty generic PSU

    Codegen 350X 400W PSU
    14A on the +12V and 40A on the +5V

    Few years old so maybe a slight power decay. Even 350W shouldn't be a problem with the kind of cards we're talking about tho.
  11. 14 amps(168w) on the +12v is impressively terrible for a 400w PSU. Are you sure there isn't more than 1 rail?
  12. dawumyster said:
    Nevertheless, more information *usually* doesn't hurt. Pretty generic PSU

    Codegen 350X 400W PSU
    14A on the +12V and 40A on the +5V

    Few years old so maybe a slight power decay. Even 350W shouldn't be a problem with the kind of cards we're talking about tho.

    Okay, I stand corrected. Codegen is even worse than crappy. I thought the 350X 400w had 16amps on the single 12v rail....

    Based on what your PSU actually is I do not recommend the HD 5670 because 30w on the 12v rail will overly stress the Codegen. A good 250w PSU will output more watts on the 12v rail than your PSU.

  13. Yeah, it's a junk PSU but it's what I had lying around :)

    14A*12V = 168W. Given that the CPU is 70W load and all that miscellaneous HDD/NIC/fan is 20W loaded, I figured I have about 60-70W of power for the graphics card. 30W shouldn't hit that line, right?

    For reference, it use to run a P4 Northwood with an OCed X800, a few fans, NIC, and 2 IDE drives just fine.

    *Edit* If I could grab a 9600 GT or GSO or an 8600 GT within my budget, would you recommend that I bite? My thinking is that the 240 is about par with the 9600 GT which is only slightly better than the 8600
  14. it does say on the bottom it is 400w MAX, not continuous. Misleading to some, but most lower end psu's are rated this way. Codegen are ok reliability wise, they wont blow up after 6 months if used properly. id say the 5670 SHOULD be ok on that psu.
  15. Hey All. Just wanted to thank you for your help. I went with a 240 GT:

    $38 after rebate and coupon code. I did a quick check on its power requirements but it's looking like my PSU should be able to supply enough juice. Lots of people are saying that the 240 is a pretty low powered card and this one draws all it's power from the PCI-E bus (no 6 pin required).

    Hopefully my CPU wont bottleneck this guy at my given resolutions either.
  16. no the cpu wont botleneck it at all.
  17. Best answer selected by dawumyster.
  18. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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