Hello Tom's Hardware forum! First post, but I've been lingering for months and thank everyone here for sharing yall's knowledge.
Here's my situation - old computer died, so I decided to build for the first time ever with no technical knowledge. I play games, but currently only old one's which require minimal specs. However, someday I may want newer games so I might as well build for the future, without going overboard.
So, I purchased a "GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AMD 760 AM3+ Motherboard and AMD FX-4100 3.60 GHz Quad Core AM3+ Unlocked Processor Bundle" for $150. I added 4 gigs of 1600 mhs RAM and a new hard-drive. I hooked up everything and was shocked when it worked given my lack of knowledge. I used the old power-supply - don't ask what kind all I know is it's 470 watts and only has 4 prong hookups (had to use converter to connect harddrive and CD). I installed XP 32 bit. I know I might have to upgrade power-supply and OS to 64 bit someday for better cards/games, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Finally, I used the old graphics card which is ancient... don't know what kind - just think P.O.S.
So now I want to upgrade the video card to something that'll handle today's/tomorrow's games, but doesn't need to be the best of the best. And from what I've read that would be the Radeon HD 6670. Great, but which kind? Turns out there's 6670 cards ranging from $65 to $120.
So my question is... what's the difference in those types of cards and what do ya'll recommend for a low-end gamer like me?
Basically the differences are the cooling solution and default clocks, normally the cheapest ones have the stock cooling solution and are in factory clocks, the more expensive ones have more warranty time, better cooling solution (quieter and cooler) and probably comes with a higher overclock, some of them can have different memory sizes and memory types also, if you want silence and best performance go with the ones with better cooling and custom clock speeds. and maybe overclocking a little by yourself: GDDR5 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
but i highly recommend you going with GDDR5 models
PS: i would first check your PSU, is it really good? some generic psus can't handle half of the laballed wattage and already starts to show problems, it can easily kill graphics cards. check what brand is your PSU and some reviews on the internet if it does really handle 470watts, if you give us your power supply model we can help you find out.
Well, turns out my power supply is only 430 Watt. And according to all the reviews of it - Thermaltake XP 530, every article basically ends with the same thing... NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, DON'T BUY THIS!
Apparently, it's a very old power type and a crappy one at that. Oh well, I guess I'll be upgrading my power while I upgrade my video. Thanks for pointing that out.