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My first graphics card! (n00b)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 2, 2011 10:27:23 AM

Hi, I've never actually bought a graphics card before and wondered if you could help, here's my current setup:-



PACKARD BELL - iXtreme I5622UK
Running Windows 7 - 64bit Home Premium @ Screen Res: 1680x1050

Intel® Core™ i3-530 Processor
- 2.93 GHz
- 2.5 GT/s DMI
- 4 MB L3 Cache

8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM

Kingston 128GB SSDNow V100 2.5" SATAII Read=250MB/sec, Write=230MB/s

With these slots):-
1x PCI Express 16X
1x PCI Express 4X
2x PCI Express 1X

250w psu!



What I would like is a graphics card that can run with the 250w power supply and play something like Skyrim if at all possible?!

I have no idea if this is either achievable or laughable with this setup!

I'm not worried about playing on the highest or ultra settings, ideally something similar to a 360/PS3 would be ideal but don't know if this is possible?!

Any help would be much appreciated!!

if it really isn't possible with my psu, i'm not sure what size in watts i'd need to buy or size!!
if it isn't possible with my cpu can I swap that?
ideally though it would be great if i could use my current cpu and psu :) 


oO and around £100 would be a nice price, but I'm not too bothered about it going up or down if i could achieve this with just a graphics card and nothing else..

:) 

More about : graphics card n00b

a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 10:50:57 AM

you psu is extremely low for a good video card if you can increase the wattage then you are able to fit a decent card like hd 5850 or nvidia gt520.
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 10:54:14 AM

Since when is a gt520 a decent card ?
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a c 175 U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 11:02:54 AM

gt520 is decent since yesterday, but becomes indecent after one day.
Original Poster: Your PSU is too low for skyrim. You might replace it with Corsair CX500. Then I might suggest you some cards.
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 11:10:39 AM

+1 ; get a better psu.

Btw : I was indecent yesterday, am today and will be tomorrow.
a c 175 U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 11:45:25 AM

How do you know your tomorrow? Did you guess?
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 11:49:19 AM

I know myself . . . And i've got this nice little orb. Always use that when people ask what is the best card they can use without giving their specs. Never been wrong.
a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 11:51:33 AM

GreenDutchAlien said:
Since when is a gt520 a decent card ?

according to his system i would say gt520 is a decent card for his specs.:) 
December 2, 2011 11:54:52 AM

Forget the GT 520 get a GT 430, it is the same price and a faster card.
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 11:55:45 AM

I would say a 520 is good enough for my old Donky Kong handhold game console. :kaola: 

Which one is ( way ) better ; 520 or 5850 ? Euh, tough one.
December 2, 2011 11:57:35 AM

modular powersupply then upgrade graphics then you will be fine for awhile
December 2, 2011 11:58:07 AM

Do you mean a Radeon 5850? If so yes it is way better.
a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 11:59:09 AM

I'd say a GTX 460 for $160 is a good card, a 560 is an overpriced 460 and a 560Ti would be a good choice at ~$225. Don't know if PB is still using proprietary connectors on their PSU's or MB's though.
OP said he wanted to PLAY Skyrim, not watch it flicker past him at 24FPS.
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 12:03:06 PM

nnorton44 said:
Do you mean a Radeon 5850? If so yes it is way better.


Is there any other ?
a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 12:04:18 PM

DelroyMonjo said:
I'd say a GTX 460 for $160 is a good card, a 560 is an overpriced 460 and a 560Ti would be a good choice at ~$225. Don't know if PB is still using proprietary connectors on their PSU's or MB's though.

well, his cpu can bottleneck the gtx460 even it's not an sandy bridge.
December 2, 2011 12:04:44 PM

DelroyMonjo said:
I'd say a GTX 460 for $160 is a good card, a 560 is an overpriced 460 and a 560Ti would be a good choice at ~$225. Don't know if PB is still using proprietary connectors on their PSU's or MB's though.

You can also get a Radeon 6870 for around $160.
a b U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 12:06:22 PM

you people know his pci-e version.
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 2, 2011 12:19:15 PM

Good qustion, but i would be surpriced if such a new pc has 1.0. Still, it's PB, so everything is possible . . .
December 3, 2011 8:22:11 AM

Hi thanks, for all your help, I've downloaded PC Wizard 2010 to try and find out what PCIe slot i've got, here's a paste from the PCI section:-


Bus PCI-Express :
Device : 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset Family PCIe Port 1
Version : 2.0
Port : 1
Physical Slot : #16
Slot Populated : No
Link Width : max. x1
Link Speed : 2.5GB/s
(this is repeated a few times)

it also says that this is my mobo: Packard Bell H57M01

Do you think I have pcie 1, or 2?
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 3, 2011 9:31:05 AM

2.0, so you're fine.
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 3, 2011 10:28:15 AM

That the pci-e slot on his mobo is a 2.0 version.

Important to know if you wanne use a 2.1 graphic card.
a b U Graphics card
December 3, 2011 12:59:06 PM

it's ok you have pci-e 2.0.
December 3, 2011 5:14:23 PM

thanks guys, all good on the PCIe front then :) 

I've also been checking out the PSU which i've measured at around 85mm x 150mm x 140mm which seems to be the same size as those corsair cx ones mentioned...

I've also taken a couple of photos inside my case to see if the connections on the motherboard are ok and if there's enough space for certain graphics cards...

here's a couple of photos of the leads i can see going from the PSU to the motherboard:-




(to see if I can use something like a CX 500?)

and here's a couple of shots to try and show how much space there is, and how close a card might be to the RAM:-




ps I can take out the card that's in one of the slots as it's just a wifi card i don't use...

does it look likely I can use a CX 500 or similar and put a decent card in to go with my i3 and 8gb?
Thanks again for all your help!!! :) 
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 3, 2011 5:57:21 PM

Good photo's, almost sexy.

As far as i can see you're ok to go, but wait for more reply's, maybe i'm missing something. ( except from good looks )

The gpu will be going under the ram strips btw if reaching them at all, the gpu casing takes the space of two slots, but downwards from the slot.
December 4, 2011 11:05:04 AM

thanks :)  and ok will do :) 

I guess first thing then is for me to buy a PSU, fit it successfully and then come back for graphics card/bottleneck advice!

Will I be ok buying a CX 500w or should i future proof and get a 600 or 650w?

a Corsair 600W CX Series V2 PSU - 6x SATA 2x PCI-E is £52 here:
http://www.ebuyer.com/269259-corsair-600w-cx-series-v2-...

would this fit my motherboard or do I need adapters?
a c 104 U Graphics card
December 4, 2011 12:12:36 PM

Well, if your planning on a top high end card or heavy oc'ing the 600W would be better.

The new cards coming out promise to be more power efficient so a 500W with a mid high end card is ok.
!