Graphics card, what to buy

  Picklefactory 15:08 22 Aug 2009

Good afternoon folks. I'm trying to play Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 on my pc, but both are struggling, so it may be time for new graphics card, but having looked at Ebuyer etc, the choice is endless and I have no clue what might be a good choice for me that would be compatible with my system.
I'm running XP Pro on an MSI P6NSLI-V2 mobo, with 2Gb RAM and currently running an XFX Nvidia GeForce 7800GTX with 256Mb on board RAM. CPU is Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 (2333Mhz).
Any suggestions on what might be a good starting point? I'm not a heavy duty gamer, just occasional, so don't want to break the bank, I don't think I really want to go over £100.
Any thoughts?

  GaT7 16:03 22 Aug 2009

You have a few choices for a budget of £100.

If you game at high resolutions (1900*1080) & above try go for the >512Mb versions of these cards. Otherwise 512Mb will be sufficient. The 1st card ideally needs 2x dedicated PCI-E connectors, while the others require one.

In order of preference:

1. HD 4870 (~£90 e.g. click here)

2. GTS 250 / HD 4850 / HD 4770 (~£75-85 e.g. click here, click here & click here)

3. HD 4830 (~£65 e.g. click here)

Best 4850 for the money (£83) is this Gainward 'Golden Sample' click here, & one with arguably the best cooler, this Sapphire Vapour-X click here. But a HD 4870 will be the best if you have a sufficient PSU for it. G

  Picklefactory 01:42 23 Aug 2009

I'll check 'em out.

RE HD4870 being best if PSU is up to it, how can I find that out? Is there somewhere I that shows PSU compatibility with graphics?

  Mr Mistoffelees 07:55 23 Aug 2009

I could certainly recommend the HD 4870, based on my own experience. Bought mine more than a year ago when it cost £170! I'll be jealous of you getting one for £90!!

  GaT7 13:49 23 Aug 2009

Picklefactory, the PSU itself will have these clues.

Let us know the make & model of your PSU. Or, the total (peak) wattage & the +12V rail figures in amps (A) - these will be on the PSU's label.

Another thing to be aware about is that these cards are large - long & wide: ~10" & occupying a minimum of 2 slots. G

  Picklefactory 16:04 23 Aug 2009

The PSU I have is one of these, an EZCool PS-05 550w, might that be up to the mark?

click here

  Picklefactory 16:05 23 Aug 2009

I'll pull the panels off and check slot availability in a bit.

  GaT7 17:05 23 Aug 2009

Well, it isn't a very good PSU tbh, but it has the requisite 2x dedicated PCI-E connectors, which is the most important - confirm this just to be certain. A 36A figure on the +12V rail isn't too bad either, assuming it's true!

Official requirements mention a minimum of 500W with 2x 75W PCI-E connectors click here. It's not in the officially supported PSUs click here, but that's to be expected with an 'unknown', low-end brand. G

  Picklefactory 17:49 23 Aug 2009

Yeah, I know it's not great, my original blew and I needed one quickly, so I popped along to a local Excalibur fair late in the same day, this was the best I could find at 550w at short notice. It's stayed in purely on the 'if it's not broke, don't fix it rule' and my innate meanness too, of course. :o)

  Armchair 20:13 23 Aug 2009

There are several pre-built PCs atm with a Quad Core Core CPU and a Radeon 4850, which only have a 400w PSU fitted. You'll be fine.

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