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First timer choosing a graphics card fur under $100

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 23, 2011 11:28:30 AM

I have attempted to research an upgrade for under $100 for my old integrated card, but it's very confusing, so I could do with any help you could give me.

I have a Compaq CQ5210F PC, with 3 GB of Ram, an AMD Athlon II X2 215 DualCore processor, and Windows 7 64 bit.

I would like to be able to play Starcraft II, Napoleon: Total War, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (when it comes out). I'm not looking for mind-blowing graphics quality, but I'd like enough to be able to play them without lag and possibly at medium graphics.

I am planning on playing them with one 1366 x 768 monitor.

When I looked on Amazon I found these cards:

this one

this one

and this one

Will any of these work?

Should I go for something totally different?

Any help is appreciated.
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2011 11:51:07 AM

I would consider all those cards as non gaming cards - the performance from them will be weak at best. Any reason you are looking at amazon rather than newegg.com? You will get far better prices

I would be looking for:
4850 - only $60 with rebate!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Great performance at a bargain price, should be very good at your resolution. At that price there is no competition
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a c 359 U Graphics card
March 23, 2011 11:56:22 AM

What is your power supply rated at? 250w?

The HD 4850 will kill your system since it alone uses about 110w on the 12v rail.

The best card I can recommend is the HD 5570.
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a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2011 12:51:32 PM

A good point, forgot about the PSU. Even so, I would want to get a 4850 for its price and performance and look to getting a better PSU that can cope - depending on the PSU you get it also means you have room for further upgrades as time goes on.

For example the XFX 650w PSU is $65 after rebate (I am so jealous of American prices!!). Obviously that with the card means $25 over budget, but it is a great PSU which will last for many years and be good to put in a whole new build in the future.

But, taking PSU in to account, assuming it is very weak and upgrading is not an option, the 5570 would be the best bet.
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March 23, 2011 3:38:33 PM

How do I determine what my power supply is??
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a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2011 1:31:14 PM

Looking at the specs online it looks to be 250W and a low quality PSU at that. I would definately want to buy a new PSU if planning on putting a GPU in that machine
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March 31, 2011 11:41:32 AM

Thanks for all of your help.


I've looked into it, and I've found a PSU and GPU I plan to buy.

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March 31, 2011 11:41:43 AM

Best answer selected by Xenophon13.
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