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[Solved] First Graphics Card, Need Help

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics Cards
July 30, 2012 5:47:52 PM

Hello forums, this is my first post and I am in need of help in deciding on a gaming graphics card. This would be my first time buying a graphics card, and I can't for the life of me figure out if my computer is even capable of handling the cards that i'm looking at.

Currently, i'm looking at the 6870 and 6950 cards,
more specifically
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

If there are better choices however, please suggest them :p 
I should also mention that I don't plan to purchase a new card immediately, I will likely be waiting about a month or so (GW2 release, need to earn money and such)

I will most likely not be ordering online, and if possible will pickup from Canada Computers instead.

This is my computer in its current form

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02...

My monitor resolution is 1920 x 1080

Apparently I only have a 300W PSU, and I need a 500W PSU I think. I'm looking at this one currently

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?&item_i...


I don't know much about overclocking, and I may want to Crossfire cards later, but I am also clueless as to whether the 500W power supply, mobo, etc are capable of these.

Some things that I've been wondering are if my motherboard can even support the cards (slots, size, version), and if the card will fit in my case. I might sound silly worrying about these things, but I pretty much have no idea what i'm doing.

I'm looking for cards that are around the price range of $160 - $200. I would spend more, but I also have to buy a new PSU :sweat: 

Any and all help is appreciated.

More about : solved graphics card

a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 5:55:06 PM

The only challange i see with your computer is that the powersupply only puts out 300 watts. That is pretty small when you start looking at modern video cards that can draw 150-250 watts alone. If you over draw a PSU it will normally burn out.

I would go with the AMD HD 7770. Any thing bigger will need a new PSU..

That 6950 you linked is a great card but it can draw up to 200 watts. That would only leave the CPU and the rest of the computer 100 watts. Chances are the power supply would burn out.

I think the 6950 and the PSU you listed would make a good fit and should work well in your computer.
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July 30, 2012 5:57:39 PM

bucknutty said:
The only challange i see with your computer is that the powersupply only puts out 300 watts. That is pretty small when you start looking at modern video cards that can draw 150-250 watts alone. If you over draw a PSU it will normally burn out.

I would go with the AMD HD 7770. Any thing bigger will need a new PSU..

That 6950 you linked is a great card but it can draw up to 200 watts. That would only leave the CPU and the rest of the computer 100 watts. Chances are the power supply would burn out.


Yea, I've realized that i'd need a new PSU, and I definitely want a card more capable than a 7770, so I will be purchasing a new PSU (probably 500W). Thanks for your input though :) 
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 6:01:44 PM

You can get used 6950 for much less $160-180.
For PSU just get 650W. It is better to have your PSU work less so get at least 650W
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 6:03:12 PM

Okay, your computer looks enough.

if you are willing to spend more, i suggest you get that PSU Corsair, it is a good brand and makes reliable PSU.

I would suggest to get something like http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Newer tech, it is faster, it runs cooler and also draws less power. You will spend about $300 in PSU and GPU, thats okay, because you have a capable processor for some time to come and enough ram.

For overclocking, well thats its actually for custom build PC, your motherboard wont allow you to overclock your processor, and for the GPU you wont need it in most cases.

If you are really thinking about overclocking, you can experiment in the bios of you mobo chaning memory ram frecuency, setting it a little higher than 1033 or 1333mhz .. but dont change too many things withtot knowing waht your doing, you can damage your system...
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July 30, 2012 6:08:42 PM

uhhh i think you made a typo about a "9850" card. Did you mean 6850 or 7850?

if you're looking at 6870 and 7850, it would be this comparison:
http://www.hwcompare.com/12078/radeon-hd-6870-vs-radeon...

if its 6870 and 6850
http://www.hwcompare.com/5999/radeon-hd-6850-vs-radeon-...

about your PSU, it will suffice your needs if you have one card but I doubt it can accommodate a crossfire setup. You might max it out which would be bad. Get a higher PSU if you plan to crossfire your gpus later.
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July 30, 2012 6:09:46 PM

@maxinexus I don't think that i'll be getting a used card, especially since I plan to buy instore. Also, do you have any suggestions for PSU?

horaciopz said:
Okay, your computer looks enough.

if you are willing to spend more, i suggest you get that PSU Corsair, it is a good brand and makes reliable PSU.

I would suggest to get something like http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Newer tech, it is faster, it runs cooler and also draws less power. You will spend about $300 in PSU and GPU, thats okay, because you have a capable processor for some time to come and enough ram.

For overclocking, well thats its actually for custom build PC, your motherboard wont allow you to overclock your processor, and for the GPU you wont need it in most cases.

If you are really thinking about overclocking, you can experiment in the bios of you mobo chaning memory ram frecuency, setting it a little higher than 1033 or 1333mhz .. but dont change too many things withtot knowing waht your doing, you can damage your system...


I'm fine with not overclocking the processor, and with a strong card I probably won't overclock the GPU either. Is the 7850 better than the 9850 in terms of performance? And my motherboard is microATX, that won't be a problem will it? Thanks :pt1cable: 
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 6:12:46 PM

if you really see a 9850 still that is from 2004... I have no idea why AMD started over again with the names. I still have an AGP ATI 9800 pro 128 some where in the bottom of my closet.
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July 30, 2012 6:12:54 PM

Oops by 9850 I mean 6950..
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July 30, 2012 6:14:29 PM

As for starters pick up a NAME BRAND 650 watt PSU. As for the graphics that 6950 will max most games(my friend plays BF3 on ultra). So yep. They had a 6950 for $200 on newegg last night.
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 6:17:32 PM

One more thought. I could not find any photos or measurements of the inside of the case. It might be a good idea to take the side panel off and check the clearance with a ruler. Sometimes those proprietary cases locate the hdd or media bay right in the way of the graphics card. I have an HP7800 and it can only use single slot gpus because there is a giant bunch of capacitors in the way and the GPU wont seat.
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July 30, 2012 6:17:40 PM

Well I think I've narrowed it down to the 6950 and 7850 (thanks for the suggestion horaciopz). Are there any benefits to getting a 650W over a 500W, and would either allow Crossfiring, or does that depend on the motherboard?
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July 30, 2012 6:24:50 PM

najirion said:
found this on the site you're shopping at:

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3...

it's a good PSU for its price.

reviews on the antec PSU:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/psus/2010/02/22/600-70...

http://www.kitguru.net/components/power-supplies/zardon...

this one is also good, a little more expensive though
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3...



So as I understand it, a 650W is more reliable if I plan to Crossfire?

Is crossfiring preferred over getting a newer graphics card if I already have a card in the $190 range? If so, i'll probably buy a 650W. However, I prefer to pickup instore, and the first PSU here is out of stock. I would have to buy the more expensive one, but are there any benefits to a more expensive PSU?

And if I don't plan on crossfiring, would there be any reason to purchase a 650W over a 500W?

Sorry, I like to be sure of everything before buying.
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 6:28:16 PM

You cant cross fire in that computer. It only has 1 PCI-e slot. Take a look at the Mobo picture in the HP link.
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July 30, 2012 6:32:35 PM

bucknutty said:
You cant cross fire in that computer. It only has 1 PCI-e slot. Take a look at the Mobo picture in the HP link.



Thanks for the the confirmation. With the inability to crossfire, is there any downside to getting a 500W instead of a 650W?

As it is now, and if I understand the crossfire = more power deal, I think that i'll be either getting a 6870 or 7850 and a 500W PSU. I'm just not sure now if the extra performance is worth the extra cost.
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a c 315 U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 6:38:39 PM

@ Shuren573: No, you can't SLI/CF, the motherboard has only one PCI-E x16 slot.
Bucknutty makes a good point, the case is quite small, check any card you have in mind will fit!
With no SLI/CF or overclocking a quality 500Watt PSU will be enough- although you can go for more-sometimes they'll have good deals on older units, too. Good names: Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, OCZ, PC Power and Cooling and FSP.
Have a read here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

The chart at the end puts the 7850 one tier over the 6950 (sob) so I'd suggest that woud be the better choice.
No, I'm not going shopping for you ;)  .

EDIT: Yes, I'm also slow on the keyboard ;(
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 6:44:51 PM

The 6870 has a max draw of 151 watts.
The 7850 has a max draw of 130 watts.
The i7 cpu and board will use about 150watts max.
Anything over 350 will be more than enough and will not really give you any benefit.
Of course you get what you pay for so quality here is more important than quantity. A good 450 or 500 would be better than a cheap 600.
Using a PSU bigger than needed will not hurt anything but it won’t really help either.
Check this out. It almost the exact same computer and it has a max draw of 247 under load.
www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2010/10/22/ati-radeo...
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July 30, 2012 6:48:25 PM

Ok thanks guys, I now have all the info I need (I think).

I will probably end up getting the Corsair 500W PSU, and the 7850, as at $230, and maybe even lower in a month's time, it seems like a good deal. This forum sure is helpful =D
Especially Bucknutty :love: 
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a c 315 U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 6:50:44 PM

@ Shuren573: Good choices.
Enjoy.
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July 30, 2012 6:55:26 PM

Best answer selected by Shuren573.
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 7:06:34 PM

Wow! I was going to post some more info, but now im awarded with the best answer, thank you! Bucknutty deserves it more tham me, though...

Well, happy gaming dude :)  !
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a b U Graphics card
July 30, 2012 7:09:30 PM

nah, horaciopz suggested the 7850. It really seems to be the best fit in this budget/situation.
Any way your upgraded computer will play any game you want for years to come. Have fun.
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