Graphics cards for dummies?

Hello,
I would like to upgrade our family computer to allow better gameplay for my teenagers. I'd love some help on what graphics card, and what else needs to be changed to support it. WOULD LIKE TO KEEP THE UPGRADE TO LESS THAN $300.

System: Intel core i5-750 2.66 processor, 2GB DDR3 1333MHZ, coolermaster elite with 420W, Asus P7H55-M Intel chipset ATX. 500 GB hardrive
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  1. what about th gtx 550ti or hd 6850 or hd 6870
  2. You should definitely upgrade your ram to at least 4gb! Your PSU might be able to handle it but upgrading that as well definitely wouldn't hurt. As for the GPU: the gtx 660ti is coming out in a few days and would be the best you can get for that price.
  3. The 660 TI is coming so wait and see for another week. In the meantime double the RAM, 4GB is the absolute minimum everyone should have with Win 7.
  4. you forgot to include the video card you have now. The monitor and resolution and what operating system.

    and yes, one thing holding you back is lack of ram.
  5. swifty_morgan said:
    you forgot to include the video card you have now. The monitor and resolution and what operating system.

    and yes, one thing holding you back is lack of ram.



    windows 7 home premium 64 bit
    monitor is old, will be looking at a new one anyway
    asus radeon HD4950 512 MB
  6. iamcacao said:
    You should definitely upgrade your ram to at least 4gb! Your PSU might be able to handle it but upgrading that as well definitely wouldn't hurt. As for the GPU: the gtx 660ti is coming out in a few days and would be the best you can get for that price.


    what do I upgrade the psu to? what do I have to look for? I already have 4 gb ram....but i should look for more right?
  7. 2 GB seems low for an i5 system. Which made me wonder if this was a lower end stock PC. Which makes me wonder if you might run into issues putting in a higher end video card due to the need for a PCI power connector on the PSU. My Dell lacked that, when I went to upgrade the video card, so I had to buy a new power supply. You might want to check that. I believe it's usuallly a 6 pin connector with a 2 pin connector if needed (hence the 6+2 desgination your might see mentioned.)
  8. caperheart said:
    what do I upgrade the psu to? what do I have to look for? I already have 4 gb ram....but i should look for more right?


    4gb is acceptable if you're on a budget, however taking it to 8 would definitely benefit you! For you PSU, look for something with 80+ efficiency, possibly a bronze rating, over 500w. Something like this would be a fine choice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027&Tpk=corsair%20500w
    Or something like this if you have a little extra to spend: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207013
  9. The video card/I have one works great.......... will be a good upgrade if you plan on going to a 22-24" 1080 HD monitor.

    The power supply. the one yopu have is very weak. think it was like 22 amps and not really a decent enough quality to run anything more than it already is....


    forgot... $270.00
    vid
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102987
    ps
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256071
  10. If I am changing up the PSU, RAM and GPU as well as looking for a new monitor, should I be upgrading or looking for a whole new outfit?

    Thoughts?
  11. not now. the reason for the "extra" ram is because you don't have enough for a modern system to run efficiently. the video and PS are explained. the rest of your system is fine for now.
  12. caperheart said:
    If I am changing up the PSU, RAM and GPU as well as looking for a new monitor, should I be upgrading or looking for a whole new outfit?

    Thoughts?


    That would be the best way to go! For around 400-500$ you can already build a pretty descent gaming machine, plus you can probably salvage some parts from your current computer. if you can tell us a price point I can give you a list for a full build!
  13. why would you discard that i5. it still plays pretty darn good. OP, if you have the mind to spend more money, upgrade to a 24" 1080 monitor. everybody will love it.


    i read through this it says 2gig of ram/up top... and then lower you say you already have 4gigs. what is it, 4 ? then that should be enough............ 2 - 2gig sticks running in dual channel mode or 1 4gig stick not ?
  14. swifty_morgan said:
    why would you discard that i5. it still plays pretty darn good. OP, if you have the mind to spend more money, upgrade to a 24" 1080 monitor. everybody will love it.


    i read through this it says 2gig of ram/up top... and then lower you say you already have 4gigs. what is it, 4 ? then that should be enough............ 2 - 2gig sticks running in dual channel mode or 1 4gig stick not ?


    2X2GB DDR3 (kingston)
  15. that's enough.
  16. iamcacao said:
    That would be the best way to go! For around 400-500$ you can already build a pretty descent gaming machine, plus you can probably salvage some parts from your current computer. if you can tell us a price point I can give you a list for a full build!



    so if I was hoping to spend max$400-$450 what could I get? A list for a build would be great.
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