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Help chose budget card at Microcenter

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 16, 2010 1:43:04 PM

I have an ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe, and I am looking to get a better graphics card. My current is a plain generic Geforce 7300 that is more than sufficient for running text mode Linux. I am going to be using this board now for Windows 7, and am looking to purchase something that is both cheap, and provides a decent quality for games/media. I am looking at Microcenter, which has a decent range of cards:

GeForce 8400GS
GeForce 9500GT
GeForce 210
GeForce GT 220

Radeon HD 4350
Radeon HD5450


I am looking to spend between $25-50. I know that is not a lot, but then again I am not looking for bleeding edge top of the line, I just do not need it. The Zotac GeForce GT 220 512MB DDR2 looks very promising. My understanding of the Radeon HD5450 is that this is best meant for HTPCs. The GeForce 8400GS are pretty cheap, so I wonder how much would I gain with the Zotac GT 220 over the 8400.

Power Supply: None purchased yet, will buy a new one if needed that is compatible. Current is 400w ATX standard.

Overclocking: None
Monitor Resolution: Primarily 1280x720 (50" HDTV) or rare occasion 1280x1024 21".

Usage: I am not much of a gamer at the moment, however I would like a card that at least displays quality graphics. For games it is pretty much MS Flight Sim 11, Call of Duty (1 to Modern Combat 2), and Diablo 3 (whenever that comes out).

I don't have a Blue-Ray player, and don't intend to upgrade my library. My current system that has a AMD 2000+ works just fine for standard def video and DVDs. Occasionally there is a video that is done in HD (i.e. Hulu/Netflix) that I can not play. But that is rare, and I really do not like watching videos online so if I need to I watch on my laptop. I think whatever card I would get should be powerful enough to play any HD that I need.

Lastly, I am assuming that a PCI Express 2.0 x16 card is backwards compatible to v1.0 which is what I believe is on this board. Thanks in advance for any advice.
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2010 1:56:05 PM

Modern Combat 2, Flight Sim, Diablo 3?!?!
GT 220 would probably be the best card, although every card you mentioned is low-end. At 1280x720, which is weird on a 50" HDTV you'll be seeing some steady fps on game settings put on med, perhaps high with no AA/AF.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
November 16, 2010 2:03:35 PM

Can't you save a little bit?
At least get GT240 or HD5670 minimum for playing games with "playable" framerate, all cards that you've mentioned above are not gaming card...
And yes, 2.0 card is backward compatible with 1.0 pcie slot.
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