Please Help With Video Card Upgrade HP6674y

I've recently been looking online for a vid card to upgrade my HP6674y to be able to play more recent games such as Amnesia and esp. Battlefield 3 at decently high settings if not max. I've realized in looking this up that I am not tech savvy at all (don't understand computer lingo and such). I sought out the help of my friend who I would consider computer savvy and I've been told that to upgrade my rig I would only need to purchase a better video card and power supply. I apologize that I don't know which are the important specs to post here so here is a link that should have all of the information

Everyone here seems very knowledgeable so I would like to please ask for some confirmation that I would not be wasting my money by upgrading. I'm someone who will look around for hours to find the best deal for my money, so my biggest fear is that I will spend $300+ and have it all be for nothing. I think it may be worth mentioning that I'm here because I'd like to switch from being a console gamer to PC but I'm just afraid I don't have the tech skills necessary to solve the various problems that may arise.

So to sum up my question, is it true that my hardware is recent enough that I will be OK to play newer games on high settings without having to upgrade anything except the graphics card and PSU? Thank you very much in advance for any help!!!
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  1. Yes your x4 will be fine for gaming for now. You won't be able to play BF3 at max on Multiplayer with it though, that is a CPU hog (some people report 100% CPU usage on a 6-core Core i7 overclocked when in MP)

    But yes, you will need a PSU and GPU. We need to know your upgrade budget before making recommendations.
  2. Ok that's great to hear thank you. I would say my budget is around $250-$300 for just the video card maximum but I was also wondering, is there a certain time of year when newer cards will be released, thus a card that I may be paying $250 for now would drop significantly in price? If this is how it works I would think the wait would be worth it.

    And thank you Vette, I don't think I'll need to run BF3 on max settings. Since I'm kind of new to mouse and keyboard as opposed to controller, I kinda suck at PC multiplayer. After downloading Counter Strike Source earlier this week I got my ass handed to me! I think I'll be sticking to mostly single player games but BF3 on PC kicks console BF3 in the teeth lol! Thanks again for helping out a noob!
  3. Well the 7000 series Radeons have started their deployment with the Upper end 7900 cards just being released in the last month (or just yesterday for the 7950) so yes, new cards are being released. The 7700 brother cards will be out the 15th of Feb, and the 7800 cards will be out in March. However, they are overpriced at launch and won't send the 6000 series cards down in price very much. The 6000 cards are already pretty low for what you get out of them, so its a decision you have to make.

    The 7000 cards use less power and have a little better performance, but they are expensive at launch for what you get out of them. I'm thinking of buying a 6850 for myself, the 7000 cards seem expensive to start IMO since the 6850 is already priced pretty low for the great performance it has.

    Counterstrike (and all Valve games) have some of the most skilled players on the face of the planet. HUGE learning curve. I don't play it BTW so take what I say with a grain of salt on that. And yeah, PC BF3 is great. I have the PS3 version, it looks decent and plays decent, but 24 people is too few for the large maps and the graphics are real blurry at a distance.

    Lets start with PSU's though :D

    My recommendations based on your $300 budget (which you can share between PSU and GPU and still get good of both):

    Those are all great supplies. If you want to spend less, you can get something a little smaller and it would probably be fine.
  4. That's great to hear I could split my budget between the two! And thank you for the info on the 7000 series, if they're overpriced at launch and one of the 6000 series cards will still give me lots of bang for my buck, that sounds like the best option.

    You sound like you really know your stuff so I'll trust these PSU's have the best value, the Antec and SeaSonic look to have the greatest reviews (and price :) ) so those are probably my best options right? My next question was "what is the minimum wattage I need" but I'm guessing that completely depends on the card I pick?

    So if I were to pick the 6850 like you recommended, what PSU would you also reccommend? Thanks again in advance!
  5. I'd suggest the 6870 and the cx500

    going any higher and your cpu would be holding your card back somewhat also the 6870 is the best price for the performance of any card right now. The CX500 is a decent cheap power supply that should be no problem powering a 6870.
  6. Thank you reverse (took me a while to figure that out). Upon looking at the 6870 I also found this

    It is only ~$40 more expensive and looks to have the exact same specs as the 6870 except for a couple of extra features like "advanced parallel processing" which I'm guessing just means I could use two cards at once? And also it has "physics processing support". If the 6870 really gives the best performance for the price I will probably stick with that but I was wondering if the extra money is worth having this "physics processing" (I probably won't be using two cards).

    Also if I stick with the 6870 would it be worth investing in a slightly more expensive power supply to guarantee no overheating?
  7. Im pretty sure the 2 cards are the same in terms of features the more expensive one comes with more stuff in the box like hdmi cables and such.
  8. Ok that kind of makes sense now. My friend is saying the extra features listed are just "fluff advertising". So just to confirm before I buy these, I would be wasting money to go with the more expensive card?
  9. well if you want an hdmi cable and a crossfire bridge the more expensive one would be ok but the cheaper one will be just as good if you have no use for that stuff.
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