What Video Card to buy on a budget?

  LK1234 19:39 04 Aug 2009


Basically want some advice on buying a different video card for my PC, I'm not a hard-core gamer but want to play things like Age of Empires 3 and Civilisation 4, you know the strategy/war games! I have run one of those 'can I run it' diagnostics and for those games the system seems to be more than adequate but I don't have a good enough graphics card, so can you help me? I don't really want to spend much more than £50-60. Will it need a new power supply, fan, anything like that? (sorry I'm a novice when it comes to computer hardware)

Please ask me if you need more info!


  GaT7 20:17 04 Aug 2009

What's your motherboard make & model number?

Or, if it's a pre-built PC, the exact make & model number.

Use SIW (standalone version) click here if you have to determine which motherboard. Run it & look under Hardware > Motherboard. It will also some in handy if we ask for the rest of your PC's spec. G

  LK1234 20:09 05 Aug 2009


I ran SIW and these are the details for the motherboard:

Manufacturer Foxconn
Model 945 7MC Series

North Bridge Intel i945GZ Revision A2
South Bridge Intel 82801GB (ICH7/R) Revision A2

CPU Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 3.00GHz
Cpu Socket Socket 775 LGA

System Slots 4 PCI

Maximum Capacity 2048 MBytes
Max Mem Module Size 1024 MBytes
Memory Slots 2
Error Correction None

Thanks for responding, let me know if there is more info you need!

  GaT7 21:06 05 Aug 2009

Well this seems to be the closest match I could find - a Foxconn 945GZ7MC-KS2H click here.

If your case is a standard height one (i.e. not a slim-type one), & your PSU is rated at least 350-400W, a HD 4670 may be best suited as it does not require a 6pin PCI-E power connector. Consider this one for under £55 with the free delivery option: HIS HD 4670 IceQ Edition 1GB DDR3 OEM click here.

However, as you can see the cooler is huge, so you'll want to check for the necessary space available in your case. In addition, this card is 'OEM', so will not come with any bundled 'extras'. If this bothers you, buy a full retail 512Mb card instead, e.g. click here - make sure to buy a 4670 (not a 4650), & choose the free delivery option at checkout to keep the price down. G

  GaT7 21:11 05 Aug 2009

More 4670s at CCLonline click here. The Sapphire card looks good on account of its smaller single-slot cooler, but be aware they aren't always accurate with the photos! G

  LK1234 21:59 05 Aug 2009

Thanks very much, I see what you mean about the size of the cooler on some of them! The case is standard height, just a couple more questions though: What is the PSU and how do I find out its rating? Also what is 'OEM' and what are the 'extras' you referred too?

Thanks very much again!

  GaT7 22:12 05 Aug 2009

PSU = power supply unit, where you plug your power cord in, the box-like contraption which supplies the PC & it's components with power.

OEM, in this instance, basically means only the card is included in a plain box. A retail-boxed item is likely to include a nice colourful printed box, with goodies included: adapters, cables, disks (incl a free game if specified), a manual, etc. So, the latter's probably worth it! G

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