Upgrading Graphics Card For Under 200 With 300w Power Supply

Professor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7500 @ 2.93GHz
Installed Memory (RAM): 4.00 GB
System type: 64-bit Operating System, Windows 8 Pro
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 310


I am not very computer savvy, but this is what I have learned from doing some research on my specs.

The tower is a Vostro 230 regular size tower (not slim), which has one PCI-E x16 full-height graphics card (according to the customer support lady at dell)

I have 300w PSU with these details: 115/230 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 9.0A/4.5A.

I don't want to upgrade my power supply since I have no idea what I am doing, and would feel more comortable just upgrading my graphics card.

What is the best card for around 200$? In the future I will be upgrading all my specs, but right now just focusing on my graphics card as I feel it is the most in need of upgrading.

I don't play any crazy games, but do play counter-strike source, heroes of newerth, and am planning on picking up civilization 5. I don't need to run these at max video quality, but am just looking to get the most bang for my buck.

Again, am looking to spend 150-200$. Thanks.
16 answers Last reply
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  1. This is my system information in detail. Thanks!


    View : Original Configuration Current Configuration

    General Information
    Service tag 3NMLJM1
    Express Service Code 7959025801
    Computer Model Vostro 230
    BIOS Vendor Dell Inc.
    BIOS Version DELL - 20101209
    BIOS Date 12-09-10
    Window Version Microsoft Windows 8 Pro
    Processor
    Manufacture Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7500 @ 2.93GHz
    Clock Speed 3.0GHz
    L2 Cahce Size 3072
    Memory
    Available Memory 52.56%
    Page File Size 4096.0MB
    Available Page File 94.56%
    Virtual Memory 8190.0MB
    Available Virtual Memory 66.95%
    Memory Slot1 [DIMM_A]
    Memory Slot2 [DIMM_B]
    Network Card
    Adaptor Microsoft ISATAP Adapter
    Storage
    Drive Type Drive Size Total Available Space Used Space
    C:NTFS297.36Gb242.37Gb54.98Gb
    F:
    Hardware
    Type Description
    DVD/CD-ROM Drives CD-ROM Drive
    Disk Drives WDC WD3200AAKS-75L9A0 ATA Device
    Display Adapters NVIDIA GeForce 310 512MB
    IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers ATA Channel 0 ATA Channel 1 Intel(R) 82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller - 27C0
    Keyboards USB Input Device
    Mice and Other Pointing Devices USB Input Device
    Monitors Dell E2010H (Analog)
    Sound Devices High Definition Audio Device High Definition Audio Device High Definition Audio Device High Definition Audio Device High Definition Audio Device
    USB Controllers Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 27CC
    Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27C8
    Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27CB
    Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27C9
    Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27CA
  2. I would consider the HD 7770. It's a pretty good card with really low power requirements.
  3. Thank you for the quick reply. Could you post a link so I could make sure all the information is correct? Or will any HD 7770 work with my setup? If not please link one that will be compatible. Thanks again!
  4. The only issue I have with the 7770 is that is uses a extra pci-e power connection which may prove to be a problem for his current setup. AMD suggests a 450 watt power supply for the 7770 I would take a look at the 7750 as it only uses up the power from the slot and not a extra 75w power connection http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121633
  5. what do you mean when you say using the extra pci-e power connection may prove to be a current problem for his set-up? could you explain? i am not sure what this means, do i need the extra connection or does it just draw too much power? thanks!
  6. With a 300w power supply the best card I can recommend is the Radeon HD 7750.
  7. The Dell Customer Support person mentioned that my computer will not be able to handle the 7750, she said it would ruin my motherboard and video card if pushed to the limit (said that it requires 400w of power) I only have 300. Are there any other cards that require only the max of 300?
  8. You will be fine. Many people have Dells and HPs with only a 300w PSU and they are capable of running a Radeon HD 7750 which only only consumes 47w of power under peak conditions. That works out to just under 4 amps. That is well within the Dell's 300w PSU's capabilities as long as you do not overclock the graphics card.

    Additionally, as a tradition Dell tends to underrate their power supplies. Meaning their 300w PSU might actually be rated up to 325w. They like to be a bit conservative.

    AMD states a minimum of 400w because they do not know what is in everyone's PC since each one is different. For example, if you had an Intel Core i5-3570 CPU in your PC, then 400w would be fine with the Radeon HD 7750. If you had an AMD FX-8350, then I would probably recommend a 450w PSU, because they are very power hungry.
  9. Customer Support read from a script, don't even bother with them.

    The 7750 (as already stated) is the best you can do without upgrading your PSU. Anything higher (7770, 650 Ti) would probably burn up your PSU and components because of the strain on the 12V rail (which is very weak on "store shelf" systems).
  10. Correct, its the best you can do with what you currently have the 7750 as other have said. And they do read off a script they are told to read those things so they aren't liable for what you may do.
  11. Could someone please post a link to a few options I could have that would work? I try to look up the 7750 online and I get several different models by several different companies with numerous differences in numbers and prices. I only ask this so I can purchase one which will work for my system and not one which is different due to some different numbers in the specs. I can use newegg or amazon, and the help is greatly appreciated!
  12. Just get a PCI-E to molex adapter, it comes with some cards in the box
  13. bigshootr8 said:
    The only issue I have with the 7770 is that is uses a extra pci-e power connection which may prove to be a problem for his current setup. AMD suggests a 450 watt power supply for the 7770 I would take a look at the 7750 as it only uses up the power from the slot and not a extra 75w power connection http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121633


    Good point about the pci-e, I forgot about that. Many people are using the HD 7770 with QUALITY 300w psu's, but I don't know what brand his is. Maybe I missed that too :p
  14. I have the Asus 7750OC version and I like it. I only run at 1280x1024 but I can play BO2, FC3, at near full quality graphics with 40-60FPS.
  15. Anonymous said:
    Just get a PCI-E to molex adapter, it comes with some cards in the box


    No, not on a store shelf PSU. You're taking the chance of burning up the PSU and any component directly connected to it. Why take the chance?
  16. Never skimp on a power supply no matter how much you want to go with a better card. Get the power supply then the card but if you don't want to at this moment the 7750 is the best option.
    Your power supply is very small so chances are you would be just fine with a 7750 because it doesn't need extra power from your power supply then what its getting from the slot. However its hard to tell whether or not your power supply has quality or not. My guess its okay for what you are running like retailers do. They put enough into there system for people to be okay with them not expecting them to upgrade and then charge up the wall for upgrades through stores like best buy.
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