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Desktop upgrade advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 22, 2012 6:17:13 AM

Hello everyone, I recently purchased Counter-Strike Source and it did not run as good as I expected on my system. So I was just thinking about doing a couple of upgrades to my desktop, I have listed my full specs below.

I am thinking about upgrading my video card because I would like to purchase the new Counter-Strike (Global Offensive) and I would like a video card that will be able to run that game, so I have a question


What video card do you recommend I purchase (one that will be able to run CS Source and CS Global Offensive) it doesn’t have to be the greatest and most up to date video card, just a good one that can run those games on high settings.


I realize that not every motherboard is able to run any card, I don’t know if my motherboard is PCI-E 1.0 or 2.0, also I don’t know what video card my power supply can support, I would prefer to just get one that can run both those games AND without having to change the power supply

The specs for my desktop right now after running Speccy are:


AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Dual Core Processor
3.00 GB Single-Channel DDR2 @ 244MHz (4-4-4-12) RAM
ASUSTek Computer INC. NODUSM3 (Socket AM2 ) motherboard
ATI Radeon HD 3400 Series (VISIONTEK) video card
H213H (1920x1080@60Hz) monitor
Windows 7 32-bit OS

If there are any more specs you need to know, just let me know. I am not sure how to check what my PSU is

I have the following option of video cards, please let me know which one of these is the best (and if it will work with my motherboard and power supply without changing them)

HD 6670
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/asus-asus-radeon-hd...

Radeon 7750
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/asus-asus-radeon-77...

GT 440
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/asus-asus-geforce-g...

once again, my MAIN concern is to run CS Source and CS Global Offensive (which I believe uses the same engine as Portal 2) with high FPS, and high resolution
and doing that without having to change anything but the video card
...right now my 3400 gets about 30 fps MAX on crappy resolution

please if you have any other suggestions or advice, let me know

More about : desktop upgrade advice

a b U Graphics card
June 22, 2012 6:33:53 AM

I see that you have selected graphics card that don't need PCIe connector. That is right approach. You can scrap the GT440 because its the weakest and at the same price as the 6670, makes it a non-option.

I would pick the 7750 but it seems overpriced at bestbuy. It is just $109.99 at Walmart:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/ASUS-AMD-Radeon-HD-7750-1GB-G...

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a b U Graphics card
June 22, 2012 6:41:12 AM

kcheleb said:

If there are any more specs you need to know, just let me know. I am not sure how to check what my PSU is

The PSU Information is vital. You can open up a whole new set of options if you know your PSU Specs. You can open your PC case & take picture or at least write down the Voltage & amperes rating that you can find on the PSU label.

The reason is because there are even cheaper card than the 7750 that are more powerful. The only restriction is that they need PCIe connectors. But if you PSU have this anyway, you can get better cards at cheaper price like these:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/XFX-Radeon-HD6770-1GB-DDR5-PC...
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a c 106 U Graphics card
June 22, 2012 7:10:14 AM

I can say right now that global offensive isn't a very demanding game on its own. I can confirm a last gen Macbook Pro(HD 6770m i think? not my laptop) can run CS:GO at 1680x1050 with at minimum ~40 fps with things almost maxed. So a desktop card can easily run CS:GO for sure.

edit: remember, name equivalent cards, the desktop version is far better than the laptop version so the 6770 will be significantly better than a 6770m.
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June 22, 2012 7:35:40 AM

Thanks for the replies guys, I will open up my desktop tomorrow and I will let you know what the PSU is, I'm off to bed for now
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June 22, 2012 4:17:45 PM

UPDATE Hello everyone, thanks for the replies

Okay so I opened up my computer and my PSU is
Bestec ATX-300-12Z

also, it seems like my GPU is bottlenecked, not my CPU, since I get higher framerates when I lower the resolution

meaning my AMD dual core would be able to handle a better vid card, so yea I'd rather not change the entire system or the processor

video card and PSU is another question ...

Also from what I see it appears as though there are some PCI-E connectors, I have a bunch actually they are labeled (P1, P2, P3 ... P8)

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a c 199 U Graphics card
June 22, 2012 4:28:07 PM

Ooh, a Bestec...those things can be dangerous, but if your system has survived more than a month or two, it may not be one of the worst ones that spike the system when they are turned on.
You should be able to run a HD7750 on it though. HD7750 > HD6670 > HD5670 but all of those are a lot stronger than what you have.
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June 22, 2012 4:55:25 PM

You will not need a super great graphics card. I play CCS on high graphics at 30 fps on a Geforce 9500 GT so I would go with what he said ^
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June 22, 2012 5:09:12 PM

Onus said:
Ooh, a Bestec...those things can be dangerous, but if your system has survived more than a month or two, it may not be one of the worst ones that spike the system when they are turned on.
You should be able to run a HD7750 on it though. HD7750 > HD6670 > HD5670 but all of those are a lot stronger than what you have.


Hahaha I have had this computer for about 6 years now, maybe a bit more

what is a recommended PSU brand, any how many volts or watts should it be?
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a b U Graphics card
June 22, 2012 5:15:41 PM

Some of the top PSU brands are Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and PC Power & Cooling. A system like yours (with, say a 7750) wouldn't need more than 430W (really it doesn't even need that, but for efficiency purposes you'd probably get the best mileage around that).

If you're looking to upgrade your PSU as well, a Corsair CX430-V2 is an affordable, reliable option at around $47 before rebates.

If you're looking to get more in-depth with power supplies, Tom's has some really good articles on what makes a good PSU.
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a b U Graphics card
June 22, 2012 11:17:25 PM

kcheleb said:
Hahaha I have had this computer for about 6 years now, maybe a bit more

what is a recommended PSU brand, any how many volts or watts should it be?

6 years is good time for a what I would call a no name PSU. PSU capacity degrades over time so the 300W might not be true anymore so it is indeed a great time to upgrade.
The PSU depends on your final choice for the graphics & future upgrade plan. Agree with Corsair CX430 V2 whether you go for the 7750 or even the 6770 (note that this is more powerful & cheaper) that I posted before if your budget is limited.

If you plan to go on a more single powerful card ( having 2x6PIN PCIe connector), I would suggest to go up the CX500W.
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