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Help choosing a graphics card for gaming, Around $200 budget

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
July 30, 2011 3:54:46 AM

Hello, I'm planning to put in a new video card in my computer to replace crappy integrated graphics (got the computer from my dad, re purposing it for gaming)

I do mainly plan on using this computer for gaming at 1920x1080 resolutions. I'll be playing games like Mass Effect 2, Shogun 2, COD:Black Ops, and the Old Republic and Mass Effect 3 when they come out at mid to high settings, and maxed out if possible. I don't really have a preference when it comes to ATI or Nvidia and I don't plan on doing Crossfire/SLI, and don't plan on overclocking either


AMD Phenom x4 9650 @ 2.3 Ghz
MSI MS-7548 motherboard
650w Corsair PSU (recently put this in to replace 300w)
Windows Vista 64 bit

By budget is about $200, although I prefer to spend less than that if I can. So, basically, I'm looking for good performance for the price and any recommendations would be greatly appreciated
July 30, 2011 4:05:21 AM

Will my cpu hurt the 6850's performance a lot?

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2011 4:23:09 AM

you should be ok as long as you plan on upgrading in the near future, but for now, even with a bottleneck the 6850 will most likely perform better than the 6750, and even better when you upgrade
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July 30, 2011 4:31:44 AM

Hm, I guess I could overclock my CPU if necessary. I do plan to replace it by Christmas.

Looks like I can get the 6850 on Amazon for around $165
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 30, 2011 4:47:21 AM

Your motherboard does not allow for overclocking and those processors don't OC very well anyway. From what I'm reading you can actually upgrade to an AM3 processor on that motherboard with the latest BIOS.
It's a good idea. Phenom II x4 955s are down to around $100 lately and would be a good upgrade. Your current processor will struggle with a lot of current games and cards in your price range.
July 30, 2011 10:12:37 PM

I think I'm going to dish out the extra $120 for the 955 and get the 6850. Thanks for the input everybody!
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 30, 2011 11:30:33 PM

It's $110 on newegg right now with a promo code. The 945 is just $95 which is a great deal.
July 30, 2011 11:55:37 PM

I might just get that, since I don't plan on overclocking, so I don't really need a black edition processor. Seems like a steal for $95
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 31, 2011 12:25:14 AM

Like I said earlier you cannot overclock anyway with your current motherboard.
a b U Graphics card
July 31, 2011 1:45:20 AM

jyjjy said:
Like I said earlier you cannot overclock anyway with your current motherboard.

He may mean in the future as well.
July 31, 2011 4:13:35 AM

FlintIronStagg said:
He may mean in the future as well.

I mostly meant for now, I may look into it more when I get a new motherboard.
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 31, 2011 4:19:13 AM

It's not that hard to do and a good learning experience. Give it a try if you ever have a proper CPU/motherboard.
BTW it is even easier to OC a video card and that is also recommended. It can be done in Windows rather than the BIOS like you would need to do for the CPU. I recommend MSI Afterburner if you want to give it a try.
July 31, 2011 5:17:19 AM

Perhaps when I get the money for a new motherboard, I'll buy get an aftermarket cooler too and try my luck with overclocking.

I'm going to be getting the Sapphire 6850, so will MSI Afterburner work with that?
a c 376 U Graphics card
July 31, 2011 5:21:45 AM

Yes, it works with cards of all brands.
July 31, 2011 5:42:35 AM

Okay, cool, thanks for all the help everybody, I can't wait to get these new parts and start gaming!
August 10, 2011 1:14:15 AM

Best answer selected by gt139.