Advice on graphics cards

I am getting a Dell Vostro 230 reloaded as a hammy down and I am hoping to be able to upgrade it enough to the point where I can play a game or two (Rome Total War 2 specifically). The processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500(2.93 GHz), and I will have 4gb of ram. I definitely have to upgrade the graphics card. Ideally, I would like to get by with the current processor and get a new graphics card that is reasonably priced.

My question is a) What graphics cards priced around or under $150 are good enough to play some of the latest games? and b) Can I get by with the new graphics card, the current processor, ram, and a 300 watt power supply?

I don't need a supercomputer, just one that is solid enough so I can play a game or two without any skipping.

Thanks!
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  1. If you get the Radeon HD7750, you should be able to run it with your 300W, especially since Dell actually uses halfway decent power supplies.
  2. Yep as Deemo said unless you want to factor in a new PSU (which at lowest is ~$30 for a corsair 430) and up your budget to either $175 or $225) the 7750 is the best GPU you can run. Although since it's a hand me down I bet the resolution isn't the best and the 7750 will be more than powerful enough for what games you'd like to play.
    I recommend them in this order. Only because I doubt you'll want to play around with core and memory clock.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102985
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125417
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121652
    None of them are bad just the first is slightly worse than the next two and the second is slightly worse than the last.
  3. Actually, with my e6700, I got around 40% worse framerates with my 6670 DDR3 in ALL games. After upgrading to my Phenom II, the frames are now acceptable.

    Just, don't expect to play games supremely well with that set up, even with a good GPU.
  4. Great thank you! I definitely do not mind spending a little extra on the power supply if it will make a difference, does that make a difference in your recommendations?
  5. Just a bit then I'd say get a 7770 or 6850 (possibly the 7850 but the CPU would impact performance a bit). I don't know much about that CPU but after that I believe it'd be a limitation and the added expence would have increasingly diminishing return as the CPU affects the FPS more and more.
    7770- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102967
    6850- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908
    7850- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202004

    Along with this PSU
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cmpsu430cxv2

    As a side not wow have prices of 7850 come down after the 660 launch. You can even get a 7870 now for $200. Their actually falling into the 6850 and 6870 price range (sorry just my random typing).
  6. andrewcarr said:
    Just a bit then I'd say get a 7770 or 6850 (possibly the 7850 but the CPU would impact performance a bit). I don't know much about that CPU but after that I believe it'd be a limitation and the added expence would have increasingly diminishing return as the CPU affects the FPS more and more.
    7770- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102967
    6850- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908
    7850- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202004

    Along with this PSU
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cmpsu430cxv2

    As a side not wow have prices of 7850 come down after the 660 launch. You can even get a 7870 now for $200. Their actually falling into the 6850 and 6870 price range (sorry just my random typing).

    This one comes with a great cooler and 2GB VRAM (just in case you get bit by the graphics bug and want to turn 2012 games up to Ultra.)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161405
  7. Oops I forgot to check the amount of GDDR memory. I checked that GPU out but chose the Sapphire over it due to clock speed. Either are a good option but the HIS may be better. Good catch.
  8. 7750 fits in your range!!
  9. GAURAV9822 said:
    7750 fits in your range!!

    Read the thread :pfff:
  10. If your budget is 150 I do recommend a 7770 over 6850(similar performance after driver updates but more overclocking headroom than 6850) and a
    corsair cx430. I wonder about a few things tho. Will that sub 3ghz c2d be a bottleneck to a higher end card? You likely can't overclock on the dell mobo
    (otherwise you could break 4ghz with a decent cooler and eliminate that concern almost entirely). Also, is there any chance that a psu swap could fry the
    whole system? I know dell used to have proprietary pinouts on the 24pin mobo connector, so if you swapped mobo or psu your system got fried. Not sure
    how recently it was that they switched to industry standards. You may want to stick with a cheaper 7750(still very overclockable). And a 7850 seems a bit
    beyond your original budget. Even if you did get a card like that, you'd want a 2GB model, not a card with just 1GB(which is becoming a bottleneck for
    certain settings in some games already). On OCing your cpu, you would need DDR2 800 or DDR3 1600(again depending on your mobo's abilities).
  11. How the hell are you a vetrain? No the PSU can't simply can't fry the system. They didn't switch industry standards it's been on that same layout for at least the last 5 years (I'd put money on more like 10). I have an old 2004 HP that I had to replace the PSU and nothing had changed.
  12. Most of my points are from best answers in gpu, not psu or system builds(although gpu and power supply are linked). I like how I can manage to learn
    something new almost every day. Today I have learned that any dell system from 2005 onward should have standardized parts. Thanks for that.
  13. turns out it needs to be a half height (low profile) graphics card... obviously this changes things quite a bit, any other suggestions?
  14. Deemo13 said:

    Nice find.
  15. Unless you want to spend an absurd price on a low profile 7850 ($350) then that 7750 is the best your system can fit.

    The reason for the price being so high is that it's an ASIA company and doesn't normally import to US.
  16. Great thank you everybody. In regards to the power supply, will the suggested CORSAIR unit mentioned above still be compatible with the smaller tower size?
  17. You won't need a new PSU for those low profile cards listed.
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