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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
a c 355 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.
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
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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
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.

March 31, 2011 11:41:43 AM

Best answer selected by Xenophon13.
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