TechSpot

Best possible video card upgrade for an HP a1230n

By joshockey
Aug 6, 2011
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  1. hi guys im new but not new to computers and ive been doing alot of searching for a video card for this system. it is completely stock. i have plans to upgrade the psu and memory at the same time of the video card i just cant seem to make up my mind. my budget is basically $100-$200 for the card itself. im not trying to make it a gaming pc i have another unit for now this is to get me by. the games ill normally will be plaing is unreal tournament 3 doom3, quake 4 etc and just want something that isnt going to lag severely and give compatibility issues with my processor and board.

    couple of cards ive been looking at on amazon

    XFX ATI Radeon HD 5670 1 GB DDR5 DVI/HDMI/DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card HD567XZNF3

    HIS Radeon HD 4670 IceQ 1 GB (128bit) DDR3 HDMI Dual DL-DVI (HDCP) PCI Express 2.0 X16 Video Card Retail (RoHS) H467QR1GH

    EVGA nVidia GeForce 9500GT 1 GB 2DVI PCI-Express Video Card, 01G-P3-N959-TR


    system specs
    Base processor
    Athlon 64 3700+ 2.2 GHz

    2000 MT/s (Mega Transfers/second)
    Socket 939

    Chipset
    ATI Radeon XPress 200
    Motherboard

    Manufacturer: ASUS
    Motherboard Name: A8AE-LE

    Memory
    Component Attributes
    Memory Installed 1 GB (2 x 512)
    Maximum allowed 4 GB* (4 x 1 GB) requires the replacement of the installed 512 MB DIMMs

    Speed supported PC3200 MB/sec
    Type 184 pin, DDR SDRAM
     
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +99

    I'd go with the HD5670... And a 450W PSU will provide more than ample power for it.

    You'll struggle to use the full power of it though I think, as its an old setup, and the max you can use is DDR-400.
     
  3. joshockey

    joshockey TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i was leaning towards that one as well it is an old setup its very sad my expensive rig just lost her processor so i just figured to get this one setup for now.
     
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +99

    Er, just buy a new CPU for your other rig.. Thats the better option.
     
  5. joshockey

    joshockey TS Rookie Topic Starter

    that would be a great option and rather the cheapest beleive me. i made the the mistake of letting my cousin take it to put a processor but because of the military hes been overseas havent been able to get ahold of him easily so its no big deal i can wait.
     
  6. rockyjohns

    rockyjohns TS Rookie Posts: 82

    The 4670 or 5670 would be good choices, depending on pricing and whether or not you want the latest card.

    You might also want to look at this list of recommended low end video cards for comparison and deciding if it is worth the extra cost:

    http://www.upgradevideocards.com/nongaming.html

    Note these are listed as "non-gaming" but the site explains what gaming capabilities they have. The 5670 is their top choice on this low power page. Other pages might interest you for additional information about upgrading.

    This TechSpot review shows a benchmark system with the 5670 using only 243w at peak load.
    You might be able to get away without an upgrade to the PSU, depending on what you have. What is the make and model of your PSU? If you have any questions about finding that info, you might look at this page of the above site:

    http://www.upgradevideocards.com/criteria.html

    While it would be nice if you can avoid having to upgrade the PSU, this is once place you don't want to test the limits, especially if you do not have a good brand of PSU.

    If you do need to upgrade the PSU, this Corsair 500w would be an excellent choice, and with the rebate it costs only $40, less than a lot of smaller ones:

    CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027
     
  7. joshockey

    joshockey TS Rookie Topic Starter

    sorry i forgot to mention the psu it is a bestec 300 watt max. your right it isnt worth risking. still going to make upgrades to the ram as well. most people would not give this unit the time of day but it wasent used much still had all the software and trial stuff(never used) so i basically got a new pc for free
     


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