I've put together a couple computers in the past, but not for a few years and I am out of the loop. I've ended up using an older Compaq CQ5110Y PC right now (specs) along with a Compaq Q1859 monitor that only displays up to 1333x768.
I need more screen. There are less out there that go up to 1900x1200, but I am considering this Hanns·G HH-281HPB Black 28" on sale for $289 at Newegg (for only about 5 more hours...)
I'm not sure if I should go for it and try to put a new video card in this PC. It only has a 300W PSU.
By the end of the year or early next year, I think I'd like to piece together a decent system but definitely don't have all the money for one now. This PC has a PCI 1.0 slot. I read that PCI 2.0/2.1 cards will will work on 1.0 and it doesn't really matter much in a 1 card setup.
Are there any cards that I can put in this thing without taxing the PSU? I have a 2nd hard drive added, on USB: wireless adapter, webcam, plus occasionally an external HD.
I could spend up to $200 on a video card, with thoughts to get a 2nd one eventually. Maybe I should just get a decent throwaway one that can run 1900x1200 until I save up, or maybe I should just wait.
300 watts will not run very many of the latest video cards (if any). I just checked, and the GT430, one of the weakest cards still requires 350 watts. The good thing, is that you can get a good power supply for not too much ~$100. Once you upgrade the power supply, then you can upgrade your video card. I would shoot for 500 - 650 watts minimum.
I was looking at monitors around $200 first, but this one seems pretty good at $289 for 28" and 1900x1200. I'm used to 1600x1200. I'm not seeing barely anything at 27"+ for less than that monitor, really most are $50+ more. That's even with less resolution.
I'm thinking to buy it even if I get no new video card because I can't stand this resolution/size to work. I haven't figured this out 100% yet but I think my integrated graphics (6150se nforce 430) can actually go up to 1900x1200. From a thread on nvidia forums:
"Maximum supported resolution is 1920 x 1440 pixels (@75 Hz) for RGB display and 1600 x 1200 pixels (@65 Hz) for DVI-D display."
This monitor says:
Input Video Compatibility Analog RGB, Digital
Connectors D-Sub, HDMI
So, it sounds like it will work.
I'm not concerned with a little lag for a few weeks. I've recently gotten into Civ5, but can live without getting back into gaming until I have a decent system.
This is mainly for work first. I rarely watch movies on the computer and AFAIK 1080p works, just letterboxed.
@Matt: That's a pretty good idea if I actually need a new video card. My main goal is to get out of this small resolution, then the rest of building a better system can come after. Since PSUs are (for the most part I believe) the same size, that and a new video card might be an intermediate step. I really need to do more research on that.
I think a 500+ PSU is the one thing that survived the freak accident that killed my computer, but I have to search for it.
I'm thinking to go with just the monitor on this order, unless someone can sway me otherwise.