Closed Solved

Looking for Best Bang for My Buck


I am new to the forums and new to upgrading in general, so I am not very knowledgeable and have quite a few questions!

Intel i7 2600
300W PSU
ATI Radeon 6540
Pegatron Cleveland Micro-ATX motherboard
1.5 TB 5,400 hard drive

This is my current desktop, I bought it back in May from Futureshop online for $730 tax included (it was a refurb model). I was going to build my own pc but when I saw this I thought it was a good deal and would save me time. The i7 alone would be worth over half the cost, did I get a good deal?

Now onto my main question: I am looking to play BF3 on medium graphics, would that be possible in the $100-$140 range for a graphics card? Anything in that range would be an upgrade over the Radeon HD 6540 in my desktop right now. I am using a 32" 720p Samsung TV as my monitor currently. The PSU in my desktop is also very low power, being 300W, so I know I will most likely have to upgrade it as well. What is a well respected PSU brand?

When I get a new graphics card should I worry about my desktop over-heating because of the stock HP case? I am not interested in over-clocking (at least not yet), and I won't be running SLI/Crossfire because the motherboard only has one PCIe slot. And I don't really have a preference between Nvidia or ATI/AMD, I just want whatever the best card is in the $100 - $140 range.

I know I have a bunch of questions, thanks a lot for the advice!
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about looking bang buck
  1. You probably paid a little more than what the full setup was worth in may, but you prob got cheap noname ram and a cheap noname PSU. If thats the case you overpaid.
  2. For PSU Antec, Corsair and Seasonic to name few. A budget buy at the moment
    GPU in your budget range would be HD6850
  3. 720p is a fairly low resolution and resolution is quite important when picking out a video card. You need to decide if you are want a card that is appropriate for that resolution or if you want something that will do well at 1080p.
    If just the 720p is what you will be using then I would recommend you get an HD6670. It will do well at that resolution and it can also be run on your current PSU saving you some cash.
    If you want your system to handle 1080p well then you will need a significantly better card and a power supply that can handle it. The HD6850 rolli recommended above is the closest to you budget that would be appropriate for high resolutions. Alternately if you are ok with mail in rebates this card would be my choice;
    It's equivalent to the HD6850 in performance at reference speeds but this one has a healthy factory overclock and great cooling/design that will let you OC it even higher if you are willing to(it is safe and pretty easy to do.)
    For either card I would recommend this PSU instead as it is both cheaper and better than the one rolli linked;
    On a side note if that is the only hard drive in your system I highly recommend getting something faster. A 5400 RPM drive is going to slow down a system notably. You can either get a 7200 drive or an SSD for apps/OS if the 1.5tb drive is enough for you with regards to storage.
  4. Thanks for the ideas, helps a lot! I will definitely get the Antec PSU. I am thinking about getting a 1080p tv soon so I think Ill go for the 6850, reading the reviews it seems the Hawk GTX 460 requires two slots, does that mean it "covers" the second available slot due to its size? Or does it actually need two slots to physically slot in? My motherboard only has 1 PCIe slot available.

    If I got the 6850, should I be worried about overheating with my stock HP case at all?

  5. Best answer
    All decent cards are two slot at this point and that just means the cooler covers the slot below the PCI-E slot where the card is installed.
    If your case is of a normal size I don't think overheating would be an issue.
    Here is an even better price on the GTX 460;
  6. Best answer selected by Off-Kilter.
  7. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
Ask a new question

Read More

Graphics Cards Graphics Product