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Upgrading GPU on budget ($130)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 24, 2011 7:57:10 AM

Hi all. I'm looking to upgrade my PC so I can play WoW. My budget is $130 but I'm flexible if you can convince me it's worth it.

I'm running a HP Verde SE a6645f PC with the following specs:
http://www.hp.com/large/campaigns/personal_again/datash...
Vista 64bit
AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.50 GHz dual-core processor
5GB PC2-6400 DDR2 SDRAM memory
NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE Graphics Card
300-watt 100 - 240V, 5A, 50/60Hz power supply
Expansion slots:
1 PCI (one available)
2 PCI Express x1 (two available)
1 PCI Express x16 (one available)
Monitor: 1920 x 1080
Motherboard: Asus M2N68-LA (Narra3)
microATX - 24.4 cm (9.6 inches) x 24.4 cm (9.6 inches)

I should warn you that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing so please be thorough and patient with me :pt1cable: 
a b U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 8:51:31 AM

Are you only looking to upgrade GPU+power supply? Because you CPU will hold you back quite a bit. SC2 is very CPU-hungry.
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May 24, 2011 3:56:20 PM

Whatever is the best bang for my buck. Would my CPU be sufficient for WoW?
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a b U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 4:05:20 PM

save for a new build, I wouldn't spend a dime on that machine
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May 24, 2011 4:13:01 PM

I'm a pretty casual gamer so I'm not looking for anything too intense. I can deal with what I got, just looking to see what would be the wisest investment. I thought SC might be out of my reach, but I'm fine with playing WOW.

So I'm guessing I should first improve the power supply? How much could I get a good 450w for my motherboard anyway?
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May 24, 2011 4:31:01 PM

Or is there a good card that I can run with my 300w
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May 24, 2011 4:59:42 PM

The lowest I would go for a graphics card is a HD 5750 or equivalent, they are ~$100 after MIR.
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a b U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 5:29:53 PM

cronos177 said:
The lowest I would go for a graphics card is a HD 5750 or equivalent, they are ~$100 after MIR.


yeah but the OP will not be able to run a 5770 on his current psu and sounds like the OP does not want to upgrade the psu
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a c 173 U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 5:40:55 PM

jjb8675309 said:
save for a new build, I wouldn't spend a dime on that machine


+1

HP = never again
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 10:52:45 PM

No you will be fine. But start saving money for a new build. I wouldn't put any money into that machine myself.
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May 24, 2011 11:00:35 PM

Helltech said:
No you will be fine. But start saving money for a new build. I wouldn't put any money into that machine myself.


Can someone verify? Sapphire says minimum should be 400.

Also, will the PCI Express 2.1 be ok for my board or should I go with the 2.0?
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a c 153 U Graphics card
May 24, 2011 11:40:32 PM

Go with 2.0. And its because they over judge what you need for a PSU, this is to cover all their bases. Maybe you have 10 hard drives, or maybe you like to overclock, or maybe your PSU sucks. They don't want to say you can get a 300w PSU and then it not be enough.

But that card only draws power from the PCI-e slot, it litterally can't consume more then 75w of power.

You should be fine.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5670,2533...

At peak performance the system only drew 76w of power with that card and a more power hungry CPU.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
May 25, 2011 12:44:14 AM

Well I personally don't got by what the manufacturers state but by what I know of the card to actually consume then apply that to what I have learned over the years about power supplies.

At full load a 5770 can use 84w at stock and top out around the same as a 8800/9800gt through overclocking around 105w. The 5670 and gt240 are more or less the same under load. The gts 450 at stock and under load is 105w while the max is a matter of debate. Those are some very basic values for power consumption and in actual gaming use can vary greatly.

That psu is a limiting factor but you can go ahead and roll the dice. It may be able to take the load like a higher rated unit and last for years but no unit is the same. Heat at that point is something you may want to keep an eye on and be sure to keep the clean. Dust and heat are the enemy of power supplies.
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May 25, 2011 5:06:29 AM

Best answer selected by sacer.
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