Hey I'm pretty poor at using the correct computer terminology so bear with me.
This computer was built for me by a friend of a family member. They named the computer HP Compaq 8200 CMT. It is a pretty solid machine and I don't necessarily need to upgrade its GPU or RAM but I want to for the sake of having a better desktop to use at home.
I'd mainly use this for mild gaming [LoL, Diablo III, SCII, other somewhat up-to-date games]. I don't need to have all the graphics settings turned onto full but I don't want the game to lag just because the graphics card can't keep up. Also I'd use it for some computing software and learning how to program while in school, but I doubt I'd need to upgrade the computer for that type of stuff.
Here is what I could find out about the computer:
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
RAM: 4GB (3.89GB usable)
current GPU: Intel HD Graphics Family
Processor: Intel Core I5-2400 CPU @ 3.1 GHz
My spending budget is fairly low, less than $100 for the graphics card. I'm poor and, thus, cheap. I'm most interested in knowing what would fit into this system and why that specific card would work best.
You don't have to go that specific card, that's just the cheapest 6750 that has GDDR5 (which is the only real option for VRAM if you want to game). Any other 6750 or 6770 would work, just if you get a GDDR3 version the memory bandwidth will be roughly half of the GDDR5 versions.
@VetteDude: You're probably right in saying that's the best bang-for-the-buck GPU he can afford. However, does that PSU come with a spare PCIe 6-pin connector? If not, he'll have to get a molex adapter (which I'm very wary of).
In this case, it would probably be OK since the card won't use much power from that connector, but it's still something to consider. If he doesn't have a spare 6-pin connector (or if he doesn't want to use a molex connector), I'd have to recommend a GDDR5 6670 instead, as that requires no additional power connection.
You'll take about a ~10% performance hit vs. the 6750, but since you're coming from an integrated card, I doubt it'll be too noticeable.
I'm weary of silent cards for gaming unless the case has good airflow, which being an HP I doubt it. But either one works
Very true on the lack of airflow. Hadn't thought of that. Good catch. In that case, a fan-based card is the way to go.
As far as performance hit, you're spot on. I have no idea why I thought it was only a 10% performance hit. It's closer to 20%, which is quite a bit.
Like I said, still not comfortable with the 320W PSU driving the 6750. Technically, it could do it since the highest system consumption I've seen for a 6750 is ~275W, but if it's a low-quality PSU (which I don't doubt), I'd wonder how long it would be able to do it if the OP games on any kind of regular basis.