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Help me pick a graphics card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 7, 2011 12:22:37 PM

I'm looking for help picking out a new graphics card for my pc. Here are the specs of the pc support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/1009103/1009103sp2.shtml . I installed a Nvidia 7300GT card a few years ago but it isn't really cutting it anymore. I play rts games fairly competitively so I need to be able to run Starcraft2 without frame rate slowdown. I would also like to be able to run games like Mass Effect 2/3. I don't overly care about running games on max settings (even low is fine if there is good frame rate and no slowdown. That said I would like to get the most out of this pc so I would like a card that I will keep up for as long as possible.

I am concerned about the 300W power source and picking a card that will fit into the slots available. Any help would be appreciated.

More about : pick graphics card

a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 12:50:38 PM

First of all, we need a budget.
October 7, 2011 12:53:22 PM

under $200 would be good. |Closer to $100 would be better.
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a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 2:47:55 PM

hmmm that is honestly not saying too much. There is a HUGE range between $200 and $100. Not to mention the fact that any card above around $120 will require an update in PSU which means a total invesment of around $200 anyways.

Also keep in mind that at this price range, "I would like a card that I will keep up for as long as possible" isn't going to be much of an option considering you will be getting a low end card.

I would suggest these:

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can downgrade from there if you want to spend less money, use this as a guide to the getting less powerful cards and their pricing elsewhere: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-performance-...
October 7, 2011 3:03:42 PM

Thanks for your help so far. Will that card work with my current PSU? I am trying to get a feel for which cards can work with what I have.

Also how hard is it to replace a PSU if I go that route?
a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 3:10:09 PM

its extremely easy to replace the psu. bolt it in and hook it up.
the items phishy recommended is a great setup for the price range you are in.
If you are wanting to game on a card that will run on a 300w psu, then you will be very sad.
October 7, 2011 8:22:42 PM

That is sort of what i was expecting. When I am picking out a psu what should I look for other than the watts?
a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 8:46:04 PM

triumvir01 said:
That is sort of what i was expecting. When I am picking out a psu what should I look for other than the watts?

brand. Antech, seasonic, and corsair are the best/most popular brands out of the community. srsly, that setup phishy linked is very very good for your price range.
October 7, 2011 8:51:52 PM

Your cpu, mobo, and ram are all limiting factors. Even if you get mid to high end video cards, you're still severely bottle-necked by old components. If I were you, stick with your system for now until you can come up with $500 to build a completely new system that will play modern games great.
a c 104 U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 8:56:09 PM

phatbuddha79 said:
Your cpu, mobo, and ram are all limiting factors. Even if you get mid to high end video cards, you're still severely bottle-necked by old components. If I were you, stick with your system for now until you can come up with $500 to build a completely new system that will play modern games great.


+1. Waist of money upgrading this system.
a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 9:21:10 PM

buying a newer card, with a new psu is a step forwad to upgrading this system that will give an immediate gain. He will not see the FULL gain he could be getting with a full upgrade, but if he cant afford the rest atm as his budget is quite low, then i would be doing the same thing.
OP, dont expect a world changing gain form this upgrade, and the other posters have made very valid points; but you will see enough gain to play games though at reduced settings, until you can get the rest of your new system built
a c 104 U Graphics card
October 7, 2011 9:43:13 PM

Also +1 for Flint. :lol:  Thought of that after i posted mine, he could invest now in those components and put them later on in a better system.
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 12:43:06 AM

Yeah definitely you want to upgrade stuff as you go along. There is no point in spending a lump sump at one point and enjoying your system then over upgrading it piece by piece and enjoying those upgrades individually as you see your computer take form.

Seriously I think you should spend what you can now and go from there.
a c 172 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 1:28:54 AM

Well I am buying a few cards right now so I can offer a little help. A 5570 will run on your system as for the cpu well you can upgrade rather cheaply.
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 3:09:57 AM

nforce4max said:
Well I am buying a few cards right now so I can offer a little help. A 5570 will run on your system as for the cpu well you can upgrade rather cheaply.

if OP wants to upgrade for something balanced, then yes, that's a good card for his system he can upgrade cheaply. If he wants to upgrade his entire system piece by piece I would still stick with my original assessment of doing something worthwhile and getting a new mobo cpu and ram in a few months when he can afford the rest and in a sense save the 50 or 60 bux he would have spent already having to replace the new card he bought.
OP, all of these options will work for you. Are you planning on upgrading your entire rig eventually? If not and money is truly tight then maybe a solution with your current psu and a new gpu and cpu as nforce recommended
a c 106 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 4:40:36 AM

The ol 7300GT was a good little card in it's day with it's 8 pipelines, but I can't believe you're still trying to game with it :o . I'd say the best match is a 5570 or 5670 (might be pushing it on the PSU side). I think that's a BTX form factor board so it's not like you can fit in a dual slot cooler card anyway or have an easy upgrade path.
a c 172 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 4:41:50 PM

Single slot gts 450 or 5670/5750/5770 if you are able to upgrade that unit.
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 6:39:54 PM

jessterman21 said:
For what you need, an HD 6670 will do the trick. Well within your 300w, and great for medium gaming up to 1080p. Make sure you get one with GDDR5.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

there we go, good choice; it is pretty well balanced for your current system and when you upgrade you wont have to be changing your GPU right away
November 11, 2011 12:13:24 AM

I decided to go with the 6670. Installed it today and there is a noticeable boost in performance. Thanks for the help everyone.
!