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  1. #1
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    I'm looking for a graphics card for my games, but I don't know where to begin. Help?

    I have an HP Pavilion desktop. Not too long ago I become interested in the gaming community when I stumbled across a copy of Left 4 Dead. Now I enjoy playing games such the Left 4 Dead games, Modern Warfare 2, Half Life, Team Fortress 2, Sims 3, etc.

    I've been running these games on crappy graphics that look sharp around the edges and on low settings, but I've never seemed to mind it because I was just playing for fun and not for the look of it. But now that I know playing games isn't some phase of mine and that buying a graphics card wouldn't be a waste of my money, I'm positive I would like to upgrade my card. My problem is that I am not computer savvy at all. I have no idea where to begin or what cards to even look at and consider.

    And no idea who to ask for advice so I've been asking around on the internet in places I hope to be reliable sources.

    Here is some informtation on my computer if this helps:

    Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2 (6002.vistasp2_gdr.090803-2339)
    Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
    System Manufacturer: HP-Pavilion
    System Model: KZ664AA-ABA a6567c
    BIOS: BIOS Date: 02/23/09 14:47:06 Ver: 5.37
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
    Memory: 4094MB RAM
    Page File: 4373MB used, 4018MB available
    Windows Dir: C:\Windows
    DirectX Version: DirectX 11
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    DxDiag Version: 7.00.6002.18107 32bit Unicode

    Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 9300 GE
    Manufacturer: NVIDIA
    Chip type: GeForce 9300 GE
    DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
    Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_06E0&SUBSYS_90041B…
    Display Memory: 2032 MB
    Dedicated Memory: 241 MB
    Shared Memory: 1791 MB
    Current Mode: 1920 x 1200 (32 bit) (60Hz)
    Monitor: HP w2408 Wide LCD Monitor

    I'm not quite sure if you need any more information than that to help me figure out what card would be best but if you do I could always supply more information if it will help you out.

    I've been told that my graphics card is probably the weakest part of my computer. I have a 24 inch widescreen monitor with 19200 x 1200 resolution, so I've also been told that it will be hard for me to find a card because I need a powerful one with 1GB.

    I've been recommended the following cards so far: ATI Radeon HD 4870, 4890 or a 5770 (although some have told me to stay away from the 5770 and 5750) or a 5850. As far as NVIDIA goes, I've been recommended to get the GTX cards such as 9800gtx, 260gtx or 280gtx. Of course this is all jibberish to me. So any input on these cards for my computer would be very helpful.

    Also I'm guessing I'm going to need to purchase a power supply as well, as everyone keeps mentioning them to me, so input in this area would be very helpful for me as well.

    Thanks everyone in advance I'm sorry this is so long but this whole graphics card scenario confuses me. I don't want to end up with one that works like crap on my computer.

  2. #2
    bammy pullmyfoot's Avatar
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    I would get the 5770, if your PSU can support it. What brand and wattage is your PSU? Open up the case to find out.


  3. #3
    I Void Warranties KarmaKiller's Avatar
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    First off, Hi and welcome to TechIMO.
    According to google your PC runs a G33 Chipset with a PCIe 16x expansion slot. So you can upgrade to just about any GPU. Now like others have said, you have to make sure your power supply can support it. So we need the info off that. Open the side of the tower and there will be a sticker on the box that the cord from the wall plugs into. We need to know the total wattage/brand if you can find one/ and how many amps are on the 12v+rail.
    More then likely your PSU is stock, and you'll have to upgrade it though. So what's your budget?
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  4. #4
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    I believe that this computer may only have 300watts sadly. I've been planning on purchasing a new power supply along with the graphics card since it's so low and I don't want to fry the computer. I think I'm willing to spend somewhere around 100$ on each, if not a little more if I have to. So in total around 200-300$ to blow on this.

    I've been taking a look at this power supply:
    Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies

    And have been thinking I may buy it, if it's good and if my computer allows it? It seems to please peoples needs.
    Last edited by xMelda; January 26th, 2010 at 10:07 AM.

  5. #5
    I Void Warranties KarmaKiller's Avatar
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    Q6600@4Ghz | i7 920@4.4Ghz |E6320@3.5Ghz
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  6. #6
    bammy pullmyfoot's Avatar
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    yup


  7. #7
    Ultimate Member thephilosophizer's Avatar
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    Other thing to consider, the 5770 has directx 11 support, not that it will make a huge difference, but it might help as newer games come out.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance does whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine

  8. #8
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    Okay so I'm looking into getting the 5770 card now since it has been recommended so much by different people. I took a look at other power supplies you listed for me, but I found this one along the way from Corsair (who I've noticed people are very fond of)

    Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies

    And was wondering if that one would be okay to use instead? What happens if somewhere down the road I decide to purchase a second card to use? Would I have to update the power supply to the 770w?

  9. #9
    Reap what you sow Aaron_8015's Avatar
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    Well if you wanted a second 5770 for xfire you would need a new motherboard, with another PCI-E slot (not to mention its an nvidia chipset so thats out of the question anyways). Also a 600-650W unit will be enough to run two of those cards.
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  10. #10
    bammy pullmyfoot's Avatar
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    I would just get the 400W one KK suggested to save money because honestly you dont need anything more, but yes I dont see why you cant get that 550W one. Leaves you some space to upgrade in the future.. too..


  11. #11
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    Okay so I slept on all of this. I don't want to purchase a card and end up feeling like I should have got something else and then end up upgrading to a new card and spending even more money than I should have.

    So say that I am willing to spend more money on this whole thing right now and I buy the 5850 instead of the 5770, what PSU do you recommend I get? Can I get away with using the 550w that I posted? Or do I need to get one with more watts?

  12. #12
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    the 550W you listed will be MORE than enough to power a single 5850.

    it has 41 Amps of power on the +12V line.


    should be enough power for a 5870 to be honest.
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  13. #13
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    Okay thanks

    And my computer can handle me getting the 5850 right? It'll work?
    just making sure..gonna try making a purchase some time this week.

  14. #14
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    just make sure you have 2 slots of space, card only needs one slot to fit in, but its 2 slots wide, and make sure you have enough length or depth in the case to fit it, since it is well over 9 inches in length.

    Radeon HD 5870 vs 5850 Length Specs Comparsion - Linus Tech Tips Blog
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  15. #15
    bammy pullmyfoot's Avatar
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    your computer can handle it, but honestly you are goning to be limited by your CPU so your graphics card will not perform to its potential (I am talking about the 5850). However its not significant enough that I dont recommend you getting it. Just so you know.


  16. #16
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    Okay, cool. I was planning on upgrading my CPU in the future some time, but I'm not sure how soon. So what PCU would you recommend for me? just so I can get a head start looking into some.

  17. #17
    bammy pullmyfoot's Avatar
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    If you are going to do that, here is what I suggest. Get the 5850 and the 550W Cossair and save up a thousand. Then buy a new i5 system and rip out the PSU and graphics card from your current one and put it in there.


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