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Best Garphics Card for 400w PSU?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 4, 2011 6:05:24 AM

Hi. I want to add a graphics card to my current system. I know it is old but I want to be able to use it for a while until I save up for a new system. Nothing fancy but should be at least a DirectX 9 compatible video card: NVidia(r) GeForce(tm) 6800,
ATI(r) X850, or better with at least 256 MB of texture memory . My system specs are:
Intel pentium 4, 3.0 ghz
Gigabyte GA8I915 Motherboard- on board VGA.
Samsung 120 gb HDD
LG dvd writer
Creative- CD-R
400W PSU

I am not sure when I will be ready to buy a new system so I want to be able to use this one till the end. Any recommendations?

More about : garphics card 400w psu

a c 376 U Graphics card
April 4, 2011 9:45:02 AM

All 400w PSUs are not created equal so ordinarily we would need more info. However with your processor it doesn't matter all that much. Something like an HD5670 would be a good choice and about the best you should bother with on an old single core processor. Even a poor 400w PSU should be able to handle it so don't worry about that. Just avoid the PCI-E 2.1 versions of the card as 2.1 sometimes has issues with older motherboards like yours.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
April 4, 2011 4:17:51 PM

Even a 88009800GT would be bottlenecked by that cpu. A 7600/7800GT would be a good match for your cpu. Don't waste your money on anything better than a 8800/9800GT unless your going to put it into a new system.

I'm talking about finding used cards of course, don't buy any of those new you'll get ripped off. You should be able to find a 8800GT for about $40.
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April 5, 2011 7:12:24 AM

So what about the 5670? Would that bottleneck the CPU?
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April 5, 2011 7:12:29 AM

How can I find a used 8800GT or a 7800GT? what are the new prices for these cards?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 10:43:21 AM

Those cards aren't sold new any more so you would have to buy them used. I would just get the HD5670. It is similar in performance to the 8800GT but is DX11, supports 3 monitors and has more current A/V features.
It is your CPU that will bottleneck the card, not the other way around. This means that the card could perform better in some situations if used with a better processor. Whether or not such will be the case depends on the game, settings, resolution and even what is happening in the game at any given moment. Your processor will indeed limit the HD5670 in certain games/situations but I wouldn't worry about it. If that card is out of your price range then this HD4650 is reasonable and an alright card for low resolutions and modest settings;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 10:53:32 AM

dai_katana said:
So what about the 5670? Would that bottleneck the CPU?

YES.
Your CPU would be heavily bottlenecked by anthing better than a ATI 4650.
I would go for a geforce 9600 or an ATI 4650. Something used and cheap.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 11:40:23 AM

Dominaz1 said:
YES.
Your CPU would be heavily bottlenecked by anthing better than a ATI 4650.
I would go for a geforce 9600 or an ATI 4650. Something used and cheap.

Once again it is the CPU bottlenecking the card not the other way around. The HD5670 is only about 10% faster than the 9600GT. If the processor will "heavily bottleneck" one it will do so to the other as well although as I said earlier whether there is a bottleneck and to what degree will depend highly on the game/settings/resolution used in any case.
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a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 12:04:20 PM

jyjjy said:
Once again it is the CPU bottlenecking the card not the other way around. The HD5670 is only about 10% faster than the 9600GT. If the processor will "heavily bottleneck" one it will do so to the other as well although as I said earlier whether there is a bottleneck and to what degree will depend highly on the game/settings/resolution used in any case.

I second the idea of getting a 5670, the card itself has low power requirements while also being faster then it's previous model. The card itself can manage crysis where a 9600 would normally struggle, the only thing you may miss out on is the poor CUDA performance with the mid end 9000 series.
Another option is to wait for the performance/power charts on a 6790, but it may be bottlenecked to a point where it wouldn't be worth it.
EDIT: Oh look, their up already. Anyway, the 6790 isn't as good of an option as it may demand too much from your psu and bottleneck the card greatly due to the cpu.
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a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 1:26:55 PM

jyjjy said:
Once again it is the CPU bottlenecking the card not the other way around. The HD5670 is only about 10% faster than the 9600GT. If the processor will "heavily bottleneck" one it will do so to the other as well although as I said earlier whether there is a bottleneck and to what degree will depend highly on the game/settings/resolution used in any case.


Yeap, I donĀ“t know what I was thinking when I wrote that....
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April 5, 2011 2:10:01 PM

Ok, so is it a 4650 or 5670? Also, I came up on some articles suggesting an HD 5550 and 5570's? Are these any good? I can get the SAPPHIRE HD5670 GDDR3 1GB for $100, SAPPHIRE HD4650 1 gb GDDR2 for $65, 5550 2 gb ddr3 for $110 and a 5570 1 gb ddr3 for $125.... the pricing sees to indicate the 5570 is better? or is this deceptive marketing?
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April 5, 2011 2:10:07 PM

Ok, so is it a 4650 or 5670? Also, I came up on some articles suggesting an HD 5550 and 5570's? Are these any good? I can get the SAPPHIRE HD5670 GDDR3 1GB for $100, SAPPHIRE HD4650 1 gb GDDR2 for $65, 5550 2 gb ddr3 for $110 and a 5570 1 gb ddr3 for $125.... the pricing sees to indicate the 5570 is better? or is this deceptive marketing?
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a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 2:13:20 PM

What's your OS?
With Windows 7/Vista I would suggest the 5670, how 5570's are more than a 5670 is beyond me besides the smaller form factor. If you have XP then the 4670 would be more than enough as the 4670 has decent dx9 capabilities since its a dx10 card.
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April 5, 2011 5:49:39 PM

Hate to say this to you, but does your motherboard even have a PCI-E Slot? If not you're really screwed. (nvm it does have a PCI express slot, great i recommend getting the cheapest 3d card at techbargains.com, probably costs around 40-50 bucks
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a c 376 U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 8:42:25 PM

dai_katana said:
Ok, so is it a 4650 or 5670? Also, I came up on some articles suggesting an HD 5550 and 5570's? Are these any good? I can get the SAPPHIRE HD5670 GDDR3 1GB for $100, SAPPHIRE HD4650 1 gb GDDR2 for $65, 5550 2 gb ddr3 for $110 and a 5570 1 gb ddr3 for $125.... the pricing sees to indicate the 5570 is better? or is this deceptive marketing?

Yeah, the HD5550 and the HD5570 are both overpriced compared to the HD5670 which is why I didn't mention them. $100 is a bit much for the HD5670. I'd probably lean towards the HD4650 at those prices. At $20 more like in the links I posted the HD5670 would be worth it but for $35 more and on that processor I dunno... Tell us the prices you can get on these cards as well: HD4670, GT 240, GT 430, perhaps any of the 9500/9600/9800GT if they are around. BTW if you don't know already you should be ignoring the amount of memory on these cards for the most part. None of them are powerful enough to really take advantage of more than 512mb of ram. Memory speed on the other hand is important(DDR2/3/5.)
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April 6, 2011 6:00:02 AM

dalta centauri said:
What's your OS?
With Windows 7/Vista I would suggest the 5670, how 5570's are more than a 5670 is beyond me besides the smaller form factor. If you have XP then the 4670 would be more than enough as the 4670 has decent dx9 capabilities since its a dx10 card.


My System is windows xp. however, I would like to have the opportunity to remove this card from this old computer once it is dead and use it to crossfire on a new setup or something like that.. or not... I don't know would these cards 4670 or 4670/4650 be good enough to be worth crossfiring?
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April 6, 2011 12:29:46 PM

jyjjy said:
Yeah, the HD5550 and the HD5570 are both overpriced compared to the HD5670 which is why I didn't mention them. $100 is a bit much for the HD5670. I'd probably lean towards the HD4650 at those prices. At $20 more like in the links I posted the HD5670 would be worth it but for $35 more and on that processor I dunno... Tell us the prices you can get on these cards as well: HD4670, GT 240, GT 430, perhaps any of the 9500/9600/9800GT if they are around. BTW if you don't know already you should be ignoring the amount of memory on these cards for the most part. None of them are powerful enough to really take advantage of more than 512mb of ram. Memory speed on the other hand is important(DDR2/3/5.)


Ok these are the prices I can find locally:
HD4670: Sapphire DDR3 $85
GT 240: INNO3d version $90, Galaxy version $92
Gt 430: Asus Gddr3 $85, MSI version $80
9500GT: MSI N9500GT-MD1G 1GB (128 bit) DDR2 PCIE HDMI/DVI/VGA $59
9800GT: Zotac 1 GB 9800GT ECO 256bit GDDR3, PCIE DL-DVI/TV HDCP, HDTV $123

(update on prices) HD 5670: $94 Sapphire 1 GB HD5670 128bit DDR3 DVI-HDMI whereas the GDDR5 is $115
(update on prices) HD 5570: $85 1gb ddr3 or $83 for owercolor HD5570 2GB DDR3 128Bit CRT DVI HDMI or $79 for Sapphire 1/2,8GB HD5570 128bit DDR3 PCI HDMI-DVI-VGA (11167-02-20R )
(update on prices) HD 4650: Powercolor 1 GB HD 4650 DDR3 128Bit CRT DVI HDMI $60
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Best solution

a c 376 U Graphics card
April 8, 2011 8:20:54 AM

At those prices the DDR3 HD4650 looks like the best choice for the money. The DDR3 version is pretty rare these days and significantly better than the DDR2 card. It's a good match for your processor. The $79 HD5570 would probably be my second choice.
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April 8, 2011 12:55:18 PM

jyjjy said:
At those prices the DDR3 HD4650 looks like the best choice for the money. The DDR3 version is pretty rare these days and significantly better than the DDR2 card. It's a good match for your processor. The $79 HD5570 would probably be my second choice.


Thank you :)  This card would work on my 400W PSU right ?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
April 8, 2011 9:18:29 PM

Yeah, both the HD4650 and HD5570 are very low power(about 30-35w) and should be fine on even a sketchy 400w.
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April 21, 2011 1:42:30 PM

Best answer selected by dai_katana.
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