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Solved: can you recommend a decent gaming video card

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by viper1791, Jun 27, 2010.

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  1. viper1791

    viper1791 Thread Starter

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    I have a dell dimension e521 with the following

    AMD Athlon 64X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+ 2.00GHz
    2.00 GB Ram
    XP Media Center ver 2002 SP 3
    NVidia GeForce 7300 LE

    Looking to Upgrade my video card so that I can play games like GTA IV.
    Price wise below or around $150 us

    Dell recommends this card - retails from dell Canada at $99.95 Canadian dollars
    Radeon HD 4550 512 MB GDDR3 PCI Express Graphics Card

    just wondering what those of you in know think of this card and any other recommendations you might have.

    I will give more detailed info on my system if you need it.

    thanks
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Rob
    Its not a great gamings card, but it'll likely work with the Dell power supply.

    Here's a review of the card: http://www.guru3d.com/article/ati-radeon-hd-4550-512mb-review/1
    Definitely not considered a gaming hard, and GTA IV is really demanding.

    To get a decent graphics card you need to replace the power supply as well; the stock Dell 305 watt power supply just won't handle any decent gaming card.

    Sadly but unsurprisingly you can buy a Radeon 4550 at other places for $41.99: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102896
    Got love Dell and the rest of the big companies, sell you a cheap machine and then charge you way to much for upgrades and limit your upgrades as well.
     
  3. viper1791

    viper1791 Thread Starter

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    so does the name of the card matter such as Sapphire or Dell or ASUS, or is it just the Radeon name that matters?

    and can anyone recommend a good place to start researching to better understand what's good and what's not?

    thank again
     
  4. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    So if you were to buy a quality power supply then you need one like this: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008 Thats gonna cost you $51.99 plus taxes and shipping, but there is as rebate on it. its a very good power supply, not the cheap junk that most places sell, this unit is mad with quality parts and has a 30 Amp +12 volt rail.

    So you have about $100 left for the video card card, which isn't a lot, I',m not going to factor in taxes or shipping otherwise you won't get a decent card at all.

    So I'd recommend a Geforce 9800GT, Geforce GTS 250, Radeon HD 5760, or a Radeon HD 4850 - in order of least to best not just for performance but features and age of initial design.
    Radeon HD 4850: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161297 Has a rebate to bring it under $100.
     
  5. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    They're just brands. Dell doesn't really make their their own video cards anyway. eVGA, BFG, Sapphire, XFX are some of th better rands, but there are plenty of others. In the Power supply business it a lot more important, Corsair, Antec, OCZ, Seasonic, Enermax, Thermaltake are the better brands.

    Radeon is ATI/AMD"s line, Geforce is NVidia line of GPU's. Then other companies buy the GPU and build a card around it using the guidelines from those companies.

    As for how cards perform, you pretty much need to look at benchmarks and charts. Numbers and specs on a card alone mean little.

    Tom's Hardware VGA charts: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2010-gaming-graphics-charts-high-quality/benchmarks,107.html
    Tom's Hardware Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card-geforce-radeon,2646-7.html
     
  6. viper1791

    viper1791 Thread Starter

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    ok thanks for the info, i will take a look at those sites, i appreciate the help.
     
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