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Graphics Card for graphics, games and work

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 26, 2012 11:54:28 PM

Hello community,

I was wondering, for a person with a budget of around 50-60 dollars for a graphics card, what kind of graphics card would run Skyrim at medium at most? I have a 350W Output Powerman Power supply, 2.00 GB of RAM installed (no more slots on PC board), and a P5L-MX Asus motherboard with an Intel silver box thingy (this, if you don't know what I mean :p ), and finally, a 500GB hardrive with a HPw1707 monitor.

I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars, because I can't afford it, and I don't mind if its not best or mega quality. As long as it doesn't lag so much that I can't or won't want to play, I am fine.

I also work with Photoshop CS5 and GIMP frequently, and right now with absolutely no graphics card, Photoshop CS5 works pretty well, with some slight slowing and some scripts not working. For GIMP, it opens and works great, unless I hope more than 3 images that are around 1000x2000. And I use Office A LOT, as I love to write and am a student.

I was thinking this graphics card:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

Or these:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...


And this, if I had to push, desperately, for a card:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

But I need suggestions and help from the masters. So, any and all help would be greatly appreciated. :) 

Thanks!

Notes; some stuff I use currently.

Microsoft Office 2010
Photoshop CS5/GIMP
RM Game Maker XP/VX/2003
Zune
Paint SAI Tool
Video programs such as VLC and DivX player
Digimon Masters Online & Digimon Battle*
Dragon Nest*

* = runs, but have to have on lowest settings and can't run anything else with it. Most of the above runs great, I would just like to be able to retain the ability to use them.

Stuff I wish to emulate at all or better:

Dragon Nest, online games (not expecting anything really, really amazing to run)
Skyrim
Photoshop CS5
a c 153 U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 12:00:13 AM

I don't think any of those will play Skyrim at medium settings, maybe low settings at 1440x900, the resolution of your monitor.

What is the CPU.
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April 27, 2012 12:05:54 AM

Resolution? The lowest possible, for everything I play. I do not like stretched or full screen gaming; it hurts my eyes and head. Whatever Skyrim's smallest setting, I will play on it.

My PC says for PCU: Intel (R) Pentium (R) 4 CPU 3.00 GHz 3.00GHz

If none of those will work for Skyrim, are there any that I could get that could also work for my other programs? :) 

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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 12:08:12 AM

I'd invest in a new computer. The Pentium 4 is really old and slow, you have way too little RAM, your PSU is too small to support a decent graphics card, and any GPU in your price range wouldn't run Skyrim at the settings you want at a reasonable resolution. Not to mention it will vastly speed up your Photoshop work.
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April 27, 2012 12:20:57 AM

I cannot afford a new PC at the moment; Most of them are over 350$, and 400 dollar PCs are our of my range by a lot. :(  Are there any computers available that I could buy that isn't over 350? I doubt it, but its worth asking...

So Skyrim is out. So is it impossible to find a graphics card that will, at least, speed up some of the other programs I have?
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a c 153 U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 12:22:42 AM

There are graphics cards that will just "help you", but if you want my advice I'd save my money from investing in that computer and maybe purchase yourself something cheap in the future?
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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 12:29:06 AM

This is a bit above the $350 budget but it will absolutely blow your current system out of the water in everything. You'll also need a GPU though for a better gaming experience although the HD 2000 will do better than what you have now.

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

We could spec out a computer (probably Llano-based) that would come in around the price point you're looking for but we'd have to really skimp on parts.
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April 27, 2012 12:54:34 AM

@Helltech:

That is what I want to do, but I'm afraid I wouldn't know what would be enough and what I could get that would do just what I needed, and not overspend. :( 

@Aicom:

Yes, that is out of my price range, but I could try and save for it. I buy from Tigerdirect though.

Would it be cheaper to buy the parts separately, or to just save up and buy a PC with it?

How about this, would this work if I just had to update parts?

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
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April 27, 2012 1:19:08 AM

So the link aicom post is basically the cheapest and best option available for me? What setting of Skyrim could it run? And would it suit my other programs well? I guess if all I had to do was buy a GPU or something like that, I could do it. Saving will be tough though.
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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 1:24:51 AM

The one that i posted would run the game better and everything else for that matter since its a i5 quadcore sandybridge.
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April 27, 2012 1:29:51 AM

I did not see your link. That is weird. :( 

The link does not work for me; it has a whole bunch of other URLs in it, it seems.
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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 1:31:44 AM

Mightymaxio found a great deal, better than what I found on newegg.
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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 1:35:07 AM

Tiny url: http://tinyurl.com/bska5fd
Big url: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Granted you will need to buy ram but fortunately that is cheap atm. You will have the barebones CPU to handle games but you would still need to buy a 100-150$ graphics card to run skyrim on medium/high. With the built in hd 2000 you could probably run skyrim on low settings at least it won't be bottlenecked by your processor anymore.
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April 27, 2012 1:51:13 AM

Alright then, I will try and save up for that one. Here is hoping.

One last question before I go; I have another PC, before I took to my current one, that has a ASUS M3N78 Pro motherboard. I would like to load it with what it is capable of running, and sell it or keep it for little brothers or give to my niece. What can this PC do? My little brothers play old Fallout games and Minecraft.

The problem with that PC, though, was something we could not figure out. I think sometimes it wouldn't load into the harddrive, which I since changed, and the HDMI slot on the back was a little loose.
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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 1:54:37 AM

You would have to list the CPU/powersupply/ram/graphics card of that computer as well since there could be alot of different processors for that motherboard. But that motherboard says it supports Phenom II CPU's so if its compatible you could buy a 6 core AMD processor or a high clock speed Phenom II quadcore.
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April 27, 2012 2:01:58 AM

Well, I know there isn't any ram in it for the moment, as I took it out and put it in this PC, but it has a lot of slots and I could fill it, would be cheap too, right? And there isn't a graphics card in it, either. When I used it, I ran it off the mobo and it ran some of the games above pretty well. Is there a way to check CPU while the PC is off? I currently do not have it hooked up, and no software installed on it.

The powersupply is a Turbolink Switching Power Supply, model "LC-A420ATX 12v". There is a lot of numbers and whatnot written on the powersupply.
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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 2:06:29 AM

Unfortunately to fill those ram slots to the max you would have to pay quite a bit of money since DDR 2 prices are very high because of how old they are which is why DDR3 is so cheap atm. To check the CPU when the PC is off you would have to remove the processor clean the thermal paste off of it and look at the numbers on the processor. If you had the receipt of when you purchased it you should be able to look it up that way, otherwise if the computer is an HP or Dell for example and not home built you should be able to type in the service tag and pull up information online.

Graphics card i would recommend a 6770 or 7770 for midrange. 7870 or 560 gtx for high end. 680 gtx or 7970 for enthusiast.

I would advice upgrading that power supply since i don't recognize that brand and it might not be pushing the advertised voltages/wattage since it looks like its a cheap no name power supply. Get at least a 500-550 watt if you want a decent graphics card in there.
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April 27, 2012 2:15:23 AM

I have a lot of RAM lying around, but I'm assuming not all RAM is compatible with any board?

With those options (any of the options you gave), what could this PC do? I could list some of the stuff when selling it, because I know people would ask. A person I know is into graphic creation, and would need a PC that could run GIMP or Photoshop CS3 or CS4, so it would be good to tell him what it could and couldn't do before he considered buying it.
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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 2:24:14 AM

You could run all of that with GIMP and Photoshop, you could even use that motherboard for a basis of your original post since upgrading with a motherboard already in possession you could upgrade to a phenom II x4 or x6 that could at least get high on skyrim with a graphics card. You could basically do whatever you wanted to with that PC depending on how much you invest into it. You couldn't get it as fast as a high end i5 or i7 but it would be about 10-12x quicker than the P4 you currently have
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a c 161 U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 2:28:39 AM

http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=64214&vpn=HD657XZNFQ&m...

Your CPU will likely bottleneck any card better than this one.

"DDR2 prices are very high"
Really? I'ts $25 for 2GB and the most he can install is 4GB (and 32-bit Windows would likely use about 3GB of that).

Not sure what you've decided but my advice is either:
a) get the above or slightly better HD6xxx card AND 2x2GB of DDR2, or
b) buy a better computer

It does seem a lost cause trying to upgrade a computer this old though considering it will be barely playable (if at all) even with this upgrade.
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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 2:35:40 AM

Like i said its expensive for DDR2 ram in comparison your only paying 12$ for 4gigs of DDR3. Didn't have to be a dick about it, you could research yourself on newegg and tigerdirect. DDR2 prices are ridiculous right now because no-one is making alot of the RAM any more.
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April 27, 2012 2:42:42 AM

Alright then. It looks like the phenom II x4 is around 150, and whatever else I would need. That kind of money could just buy a new PC though, so it sounds like a really hard decision.

You have given me a lot of think about. I may end up deciding to save up for a new PC, and update as I go, if needed.

Thank you guys for answering my questions. :) 

Cael~
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a b U Graphics card
April 27, 2012 3:03:48 AM

Anytime, if you need more help answering questions just post back.
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!