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Help, new at getting a graphic card

Hello, I'm sorta new to the whole graphic card thing and I'm not sure what to get.

I'm thinking of the GTX 550 Ti, HD 7750, or GTS 450. Or anything better that I could get ... Main reason why I chose those is because my power supply is 400 Watts Max (399)

And I'm not sure which one to get/kinda confused because I heard some where else that the maximum watts doesn't matter as much and 12V matters more?

Anyways here's my pc's information

12V.1 is 18.5 A Max
12v.2 is 14 A max

Dxdiag
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.120503-2030)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Gateway
System Model: DX4300
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 805 Processor (4 CPUs), ~2.5GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 7936MB RAM
Page File: 3322MB used, 12546MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11

I currently have an integrated HD 3200... yep I need an upgrade.

I believe I have 1 PCI-e slot not actually 100% sure... can't really tell... but I do have a PCI-e 6 power connector so I assume I do.


And my Max TDP is 95 W ... if that helps idk ( CPU - Z )

If you need anymore information ... I'll try to get it and thanks for your help :).

So yeah, just wondering if I could actually get a better GPU and which of those 3 is the best for my pc. Thanks again
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  1. The GTX 550ti is the best of your choices. But, I think you can do better than your selections. Your PSU's +12V rail is the most important when selecting a graphics card. A graphics card requires 75W at +12V available from the PCIex16 slot for power. Cards that need more than 75W have at least one 6 pin +12V power connector. Assuming that you meant the 12.1 and 12.2 were the +12V rails, I would recommend the HD 6850 as about the max you should go.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908

    One of the main considerations for selecting a card is the resolution of your monitor. The HD 6850 will allow you to game at high settings up to 1680x1050 and with some reduced detail up to 1920x1080.

    For slightly less money, you can opt for a HD 7770. It will be a bit less powerful, but still equal to or better than the GTX 550ti you selected above.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006662&IsNodeId=1&Description=hd%207770&bop=And&Order=RATING&PageSize=20

    Here is a graphic card hierarchy chart: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html

    Here is a Gfx card comparison: http://www.hwcompare.com/11894/geforce-gtx-550-ti-vs-radeon-hd-7770/
  2. clutchc said:
    The GTX 550ti is the best of your choices. But, I think you can do better than your selections. Your PSU's +12V rail is the most important when selecting a graphics card. A graphics card requires 75W at +12V available from the PCIex16 slot for power. Cards that need more than 75W have at least one 6 pin +12V power connector. Assuming that you meant the 12.1 and 12.2 were the +12V rails, I would recommend the HD 6850 as about the max you should go.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908

    One of the main considerations for selecting a card is the resolution of your monitor. The HD 6850 will allow you to game at high settings up to 1680x1050 and with some reduced detail up to 1920x1080.

    For slightly less money, you can opt for a HD 7770. It will be a bit less powerful, but still equal to or better than the GTX 550ti you selected above.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006662&IsNodeId=1&Description=hd%207770&bop=And&Order=RATING&PageSize=20

    Here is a graphic card hierarchy chart: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html

    Here is a Gfx card comparison: http://www.hwcompare.com/11894/geforce-gtx-550-ti-vs-radeon-hd-7770/


    Thanks, I'm happy I can get the HD 6850 :D .... but I'm not sure if I meant +12V rails or not... does that change things?

    I got that information from the sticker on the PSU so I'ma assume it is? Idk just making sure sorry >.<. Also is there a helpful guide/video for installing?

    Thanks again!
  3. Best answer
    fely1964 said:
    Thanks, I'm happy I can get the HD 6850 :D .... but I'm not sure if I meant +12V rails or not... does that change things?

    I got that information from the sticker on the PSU so I'ma assume it is? Idk just making sure sorry >.<. Also is there a helpful guide/video for installing?

    Thanks again!

    Installing a gfx card is one of the easiest upgrades to do yourself on a PC. Simply open the case, remove the 2 rear expansion slot covers where the HD 6850 card will go, set the card into the PCIex16 slot so the edge connector is fully seated, and plug in the PSU's auxillary power cable to the card. Move your monitor's video cable from the integrated port to the card's port. When you boot, the BIOS should identify the new card and direct video to it. Some older BIOS's, however, require you to make that switch manually in the BIOS setup pgm. before you swap video ports.

    Once you boot up, Windows will identify the card and install a driver for it. But for best results, then download the latest driver from the AMD website for the HD 6850, and run the installation program. If you're a gamer, you'll want to also download and install the AMD Catalyst Application Profiles. The profiles configure the driver for optimum results depending on which game you are running.
    http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/downloads.aspx


    Here is one of many online guides for you to check out.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9x097QRXeA

    You can find more simply by searching for "how to install a graphics card".
  4. Best answer selected by fely1964.
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