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[Advice] Expert advice on a graphics card.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 29, 2012 7:12:31 PM

Hello good people of Toms hardware,

I just build a pc and i need advice on a graphics card, my budget is about $200 bucks and this is the build of my computer as we speak rite now.

CPU : Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.33Ghz(stock)
Motherboard : Gigabyte G41MT-S2PT
Ram : PNY 4 GB DDR3 PC3-10666 x 2 slots for a total of 8GB (stock was 1066 i overclocked it to 1333)
PSU : XCLIO 650W X14 ATX 12v PSU
Graphics Card : Geforce 210(stock) on a PCI-e X16 slot single slot on this motherboard im not looking to SLI or CF

So thats this build and im looking for something good i've been looking at EVGA 550TI and the Radeon HD 6950 2GB and some other cards but im sure im over looking something so i thought i'd ask for some advice here before i buy anything cause i know the community is good here so :D  let me know thank you in advance.

any other info you need just ask.
October 29, 2012 8:08:22 PM

21 view and noone has any input...come on guys...
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October 29, 2012 8:27:42 PM

Go for an amd radeon hd 7850 less power then a 6950, comes with a free game, and runs a little bit faster then the 6950. Look for the other recommendation threads and those should also give good information.

btw I run a amd radeon hd 7870, gigabyte version and its a great card. newegg has some good sales with rebates on them for less then 200
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October 29, 2012 8:30:54 PM

Thank you very much for your response impaledface i will look into that immediately. anyone else have any input?
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October 29, 2012 8:33:04 PM

I just looked at newegg and i saw all the cards say PCI-E 3.0 im not sure if my board will run at full potential with this card...anyone have any experience with this? my board just says PCI-E X16 i kno i can use 2.1 and 2.0 i dont know about PCI-E 3.0.
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October 29, 2012 8:38:58 PM

RanT476 said:
Hello good people of Toms hardware,

I just build a pc and i need advice on a graphics card, my budget is about $200 bucks and this is the build of my computer as we speak rite now.

CPU : Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.33Ghz(stock)
Motherboard : Gigabyte G41MT-S2PT
Ram : PNY 4 GB DDR3 PC3-10666 x 2 slots for a total of 8GB (stock was 1066 i overclocked it to 1333)
PSU : XCLIO 650W X14 ATX 12v PSU
Graphics Card : Geforce 210(stock) on a PCI-e X16 slot single slot on this motherboard im not looking to SLI or CF

So thats this build and im looking for something good i've been looking at EVGA 550TI and the Radeon HD 6950 2GB and some other cards but im sure im over looking something so i thought i'd ask for some advice here before i buy anything cause i know the community is good here so :D  let me know thank you in advance.

any other info you need just ask.


The VERY first thing that strikes me is your CPU and motherboard. Your Core 2 Duo and G41 chipset are both about 4 years old. It's very possible that these old components could cause a bottleneck in modern day gaming. I have to ask then, is it gaming that you're interested in doing??

I agree with Impaledface that the Radeon HD 7850 is a good middle end card. It's power consumption and performance are both in the middle of today's video card spectrum. I think Nvidia's GeForce 660 is in the same ballpark also, if you prefer those cards.

You should definitely reconsider the ramifications of using an old dual core processor though.
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a c 144 U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 8:40:15 PM

For $200 I'd go with either the Radeon 7870 Ghz edition or the Geforce 660 (non ti). both are just barely over $200 but many have rebates that knock them back to $200 or less.
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a c 133 U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 8:49:28 PM

AgentLozen said:
The VERY first thing that strikes me is your CPU and motherboard. Your Core 2 Duo and G41 chipset are both about 4 years old. It's very possible that these old components could cause a bottleneck in modern day gaming. I have to ask then, is it gaming that you're interested in doing??

I agree with Impaledface that the Radeon HD 7850 is a good middle end card. It's power consumption and performance are both in the middle of today's video card spectrum. I think Nvidia's GeForce 660 is in the same ballpark also, if you prefer those cards.

You should definitely reconsider the ramifications of using an old dual core processor though.


I'm in agreeance with this. You are using a 4 year old cpu and motherboard and a very outdated motherboard. And just because the clock speed is there there are other things that would drag you down. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a bottleneck in there. And on top of that even though it is ddr3 ram its only 200 mhz over the standard ddr2 800. Where as people are running 1600, 1866, 2000, 2133, and so on. I would consider a cpu, motherboard, and ram change before getting a medium to high level card.
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October 29, 2012 8:51:56 PM

AgentLozen said:
The VERY first thing that strikes me is your CPU and motherboard. Your Core 2 Duo and G41 chipset are both about 4 years old. It's very possible that these old components could cause a bottleneck in modern day gaming. I have to ask then, is it gaming that you're interested in doing??

I agree with Impaledface that the Radeon HD 7850 is a good middle end card. It's power consumption and performance are both in the middle of today's video card spectrum. I think Nvidia's GeForce 660 is in the same ballpark also, if you prefer those cards.

You should definitely reconsider the ramifications of using an old dual core processor though.


Yea my intrest is gaming, and i'd like to have at least 60 frames per second and im sure i can get that wit this set up seeing as i have ddr3 and not ddr2 that will push the bar pretty good. So all in all yes gaming is my aim and im looking to see what i can get without wasting my money on this build on a card that will bottleneck in the end. im sure i can use a few out there and play at high but not ultra for $200.
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October 29, 2012 8:54:14 PM

bigshootr8 said:
I'm in agreeance with this. You are using a 4 year old cpu and motherboard and a very outdated motherboard. And just because the clock speed is there there are other things that would drag you down. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a bottleneck in there. And on top of that even though it is ddr3 ram its only 200 mhz over the standard ddr2 800. Where as people are running 1600, 1866, 2000, 2133, and so on. I would consider a cpu, motherboard, and ram change before getting a medium to high level card.


I see, well im not looking for braging rights with this build or anything i dont use fraps i dont do nething crazy with it i just wanna be able to play battlefield and such and im sure i can i just need a card that can do the graphical heavy lifting if you will. but if you really think a bottleneck is in here somewhere ill just move on and get another board and CPU but if you could give me some advice on a card what would it be?
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a c 133 U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 8:55:37 PM

possibly. and yes you are using ddr3 but you are using ddr3 1066 which is only 200 mhz above the standard for ddr2 800 point was that you aren't really making a significant upgrade from ddr2 to ddr3 by getting the slowest ddr3 you can buy
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October 29, 2012 9:00:53 PM

bigshootr8 said:
possibly. and yes you are using ddr3 but you are using ddr3 1066 which is only 200 mhz above the standard for ddr2 800 point was that you aren't really making a significant upgrade from ddr2 to ddr3 by getting the slowest ddr3 you can buy


My ram is a 1333(333mhz) rite now its OCed from 1066, thats much faster lol so im not too far off or do u see that as a mediocre improvement?
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a c 133 U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 9:28:01 PM

I see it as less of one. I think it makes your memory less of an issue however your CPU remains as one.
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October 29, 2012 9:32:51 PM

bigshootr8 said:
I see it as less of one. I think it makes your memory less of an issue however your CPU remains as one.


I have a Core 2 Quad Q8200(http://ark.intel.com/products/36547/Intel-Core2-Quad-Pr...)

Not mine thou ill prolly ask my friend if he rly wants it. but i know he will give it to me if i ask him and im sure i can overclock this to 3 Ghz without uping voltage im pretty sure but ill look into that. I just think i can get a card to stay with this for now and ill swap the C2Q for my C2D and see what improvements i can get. So what do u recommend as a graphics card for me?
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a c 133 U Graphics card
October 29, 2012 10:14:31 PM

something in a price range that wouldn't get to the point where you should of made a cpu/motherboard change. so a middle card gtx660 or a 6850. And even then if those are still to powerful and you hit a ceiling you wouldn't have wasted 400 dollars on a 7950 that you'd get 75 percent performance out of.
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a b U Graphics card
October 30, 2012 12:25:00 AM

RanT476 said:
Thank you very much for your response impaledface i will look into that immediately. anyone else have any input?



Are you just trying to play bf3 single player or online as well?
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November 5, 2012 12:19:29 AM

maxalge said:
Are you just trying to play bf3 single player or online as well?


omg....the storm hit hard....lost power for days.....ALL I WANTED FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY LIGHTS TO STAY ON!!...hope it stays that way. I will be playing everything online to answer your question. sry for the very very late response the storm hit and we lost power i just got all my stuff back online.
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!