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Need a graphics card that won't bottleneck my computer

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
October 28, 2012 2:46:28 PM

I have a pretty crappy pc, and want to reinvigorate its gaming performance with a graphics card. It currently has nvidia geforce 6150se nforce 430 integrated graphics, 256 mb. I hate it. It gets 10 fps average for portal 2, 5 fps when under heavy load, it gets 10-15 fps in counter strike source, max settings, in tf2 it gets 3-5, and in torchlight 2 gets only 20 fps lowest settings. I'd like to change this. My pc is an hp slimline with 220 watt psu, AMD athlon x2 250 dual core cpu, with 4 gb ram. I'd like to pick out a low profile video card that won't completely bottleneck my pc, will work on the psu, and play the games mentioned pretty well. Also, i'd like some room to grow, as in, be able to play some other games as well. I really need an answer, as indecisive me has been searching for 3 months. Thanks for any helpful response.

PS some graphics cards I've looked at include:
-ati radeon sapphire hd 6670
-ati radeon hd 6570
-nvidia geforce gt 430
-ati radeon hd 5450 (probably not this one, because its gaming performance doesn't look so good)

The games I'd like it to run smoothly, med to high settings:
-portal 2
-torchlight 2
-team fortress 2
-counter strike source
-left 4 dead 2
-garry's mod
-half life 2
a b U Graphics card
October 28, 2012 2:57:56 PM

AMD says you need 400w minimum and usually nvidia is higher.
October 28, 2012 3:06:41 PM

Right now most retailers are clearance out most of the windows 7 pc's. Should get one then upgrade from there.
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a b U Graphics card
October 28, 2012 3:11:56 PM

Given your situation it makes no sense to upgrade just the video card. Besides the fact that your psu will blow up any day now, prices for desktops are cheaper than ever. And youll get a system 10x faster.
October 28, 2012 4:43:20 PM

Okay, I get the point. My computer is crap, and I need a new one. So after taking your suggestions, I've looked up some pcs, and didn't find many retail ones. ): (maybe a link?) However, i found a used one that looked pretty nice. 8 gb ram, dual core intel 3 ghz processor, 500 watt psu. What do you guys think? Its 300. Worth it?
October 28, 2012 5:08:52 PM

Could you let us know the motherboard and psu models. We need this to let you know what gfx card and cpu/etc upgradability it will offer you.

After a while older motherboard technology prevents us from upgrading, or, the cost of finding and paying for those limited upgrades becomes very's the motherboard (technology) that dictates, amongst other things, how long any system will favourably compare against newer emerging or established tech. So, particularly for gamers, the minimum recommended graphics card notification on new games will tell us when to upgrade the card or motherboard (normally forcing a cpu+memory change also).
October 28, 2012 7:16:11 PM

seriousgamer said:
Get this desktop, it will literally blow you out of the water

I forgot to add that cyberpowerpc is having a promotion.
You can upgrade lots of items for free like from 1t to 2tb harddrive. Its absolutely the best deal on gaming desktops ive seen

Hi, I took your advice and checked out this site. Im not a gamer , but want a smooth desktop. Any more suggestions for this configuration? graphics okay? motherboard okay? memory okay? I'm really unsure of which graphics card to choose. Yes I want two cd drives. This seems like an incredible deal.

•*BASE_PRICE: [+359]

•CAS: Sigma Blitz Mid Tower Gaming Case w/ Temperature Display & Side-Panel Window
•CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
•CD2: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive [+20] (BLACK COLOR)
•CPU: AMD A8-3850 2.90 GHz Quad-Core APU w/ Integrated Radeon HD 6550D
•CS_FAN: Default case fans
•FAN: AMD Certified CPU Fan & Heatsink
•HDD: 2TB (2TBx1) SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [+0] (Single Drive)
•IUSB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
•KEYBOARD: (Keyboard & Mouse Combo) Razer Cyclosa Gaming Keyboard & Abyssus Gaming Mouse [+0]
•MEMORY: 8GB (4GBx2) DDR3/1866MHz Dual Channel Memory (Corsair XMS)
•MONITOR: 22" WideScreen 1680x1050 ASUS VW226T LCD Monitor Built-in Speakers 50000 :1 250 cd/m2 [+157]
•MOTHERBOARD: ASRock A55M-HVS A55 Chipset Socket FM1 mATX w/ UEFI, XFast technology, 5.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, HDMI, USB2.0, SATA2 RAID, 1Gen2 PCIe X16, 1 PCIe X1
•NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
•OS: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium [+0] (64-bit Edition)
•POWERSUPPLY: 430 Watts - Corsair CX430 V2 80 Plus Certified Power Supply [+14]
•SOFT1: Microsoft® Office® 2010 Home and Student (Word, Excel, PowerPoint + OneNote) [+105]
•USBX: NZXT Internal USB 6-PORT Expansion Module + USB Bluetooth 2.X EDR Dongle with Led Light Thumb Size [+29]
•VIDEO: AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card [+129] (Major Brand Powered by AMD)
•WNC: PCI Wireless 802.11n 150Mbps Network Interface Card [+19]
•_PRICE: (+832)
October 28, 2012 8:37:33 PM

Okay guys, thanks a million for the suggested pc. I cannot express how great that deal is, and MIGHT go with it.
Though, the games i want to play aren't that hard to run. Css, portal 2, half life 2, left 4 dead 2, etc are all source games, and don't require a very powerful pc to run. So i'm going to give you guys a link to my pcs full specs to see if i could get either an hd 6570 or 6670, unless this is too good to pass up:

Thanks again to the person who posted the gaming pc, which might be hooked up next week. maybe.
October 28, 2012 10:50:19 PM

Hi, Any comments about Cyberpower computers?
a c 164 U Graphics card
October 28, 2012 11:09:42 PM


The two most important pieces in a gaming system performance wise are the CPU and the GRAPHICS.

An APU actually merges the CPU and GPU elements in a way that prevents the graphics part from being disabled in favor of an addon graphics card. You can ONLY add an identical card to the APU graphics for Crossfire which is not recommended.

If you're interested in light gaming avoid APU's completely and get a CPU + addon graphics card.

*$350 may seem like an awesome deal but even if it was a regular CPU then you'd spend $100 adding better graphics and now you're up to $450. I doubt the PSU is that great too. The system seems better though if you factor that buying Windows is about $100.

**For $500 (not counting Windows) you can actually piece together a pretty good system from NCIX if you know what you are doing.
October 29, 2012 1:50:58 AM

mesab66 said:
After a while older motherboard technology prevents us from upgrading, or, the cost of finding and paying for those limited upgrades becomes very's the motherboard (technology) that dictates, amongst other things, how long any system will favourably compare against newer emerging or established tech.


As for everybody else...

first you guys say his PC is crap because it's pre-built, then suggest getting ANOTHER pre-built cyber power one? and the one you pick out is a first generation FM1 APU build? NOOOOOOOOO! Why would you spend more than 3 times the original budget if you can get the same performance from a quick little GPU upgrade? And besides that, his current system is much more upgradeable than the cyberpower one since it's AM3. Heck, he could throw a Phenom II X4 in that sucker for $90, add on the low profile HD 6670 (which is my recommendation) and leave that cyberpower in the dust. Yes yes then there's the issue of the PSU, so here ya go...

Boom....$50 for a top of the line TFX PSU that should fit nicely in your slimline.

So, you can scrap your current PC entirely and spend $360 bucks on a brand new pre-built one, or upgrade your current one for $90 (GPU) + $50 (PSU) that, for gaming, will render roughly the same performance. it's up to you.
October 29, 2012 2:12:08 AM

October 29, 2012 9:21:09 PM

As Augray37 said........your system still has some upgrade capability - you have the option of getting a new PSU + GPU (+ CPU now or later) to give your gameplay a significant boost for a lot less than the cost of a new system.