Graphics card for an old desktop

I honestly do not know much about computer hardware. I apologize in advance if this post sounds illogical or impossible.

I have a rather old desktop, hp a6040n, in which I plan to acquire a graphics card to run some modern games. The recommended requirements of said games are shader model 3.0, 512 MB, GeForce 8800/ATI X1900. The current power supply is at 250 Watts. I understand that I probably need to get a power supply unit as well. Perhaps, a new system is a better idea, but I am not prepared to shell out for another system at the moment. Which graphics cards and power supply that are currently on the market would you recommend, if any?

Specification of HP a6040n
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/en/ho/WF06b/12132708-12133156-12133158-12133158-12133158-79732772-80128077.html?dnr=1

Motherboard Specification
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00864946&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=3377278#N31

Thanks


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week BUDGET RANGE: <$200

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, recommended requirements of said games are shader model 3.0, 512 MB, GeForce 8800/ATI X1900.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: on board / integrated video, power supply at 250 Watts

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:

Specification of HP a6040n
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/en/ho/WF06b/12132708-12133156-12133158-12133158-12133158-79732772-80128077.html?dnr=1

Motherboard Specification
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00864946&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=3377278#N31

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ncix.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: none

OVERCLOCKING: not supported SLI OR CROSSFIRE: probably not supported

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
2 answers Last reply
More about graphics card desktop
  1. Corsair 550W
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=25984&vpn=CMPSU-550VX&manufacture=Corsair&promoid=1034

    Asus GTX 640
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=73652&vpn=GT640-2GD3&manufacture=ASUS

    Should be a huge upgrade for you. I would also suggest getting a better cpu in the near future and more ram. 2 more 1Gb of DDR2 Ram should be around $40 and a better CPU around $120, you have to get a cpu for your socket which is LGA775.
    Total: $180 (Before Shipping/tax)
  2. You should be able to use an low-to-mid-level AMD Radeon HD based board without upgrading your power supply. The 7750 models are the most powerful that only draw power through the PCIe slot - no need for the 8-pin power cables.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129232

    My only concern over the 7750 model is that it specifies PCIe 3.0 - not sure if there could be some incompatibility with your older HP's 945G-based motherboard. (Per Wikipedia, should be backward compatible - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express#PCI_Express_3.0)

    Another option (which is quickly disappearing) is the Radeon 6750 models with GDDR5 memory. About the same price as the 7750, likely a little slower, but also plug into a single slot without extra power cables required.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161379

    The 6750 boards are specified as PCIe 2.1 compatible, which I suppose would be more likely to work.

    Either one will set you back a bit over $100 (US) and far exceed the specs you provided. You will probably be limited by your CPU performance rather than the video card... (is that a Core 2 or a Pentium?)

    I hope this helps!

    -- Brian
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