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Upgrading my graphics card

By Oz1956
May 21, 2014
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  1. I would like to upgrade my graphics card, but have no idea about how to pick out an upgrade. My system, custom built, is an AMD Athlon(tm) 64X2 Dual Core Prosessor 6000+ 2.99 GHz 2GB of Ram. My motherboard is a MSI K9A2GM-FIH. I have a 500GB Hard drive and 600W power supply. My MB will support 1 PCIe x16 and PCIe x1 slots. I have a Nvidia GeForce 8400GS graphics card, atm, but I want to upgrade to the best my system will support. Please keep in mind that I will, also, be increasing my Ram to 4GB and hope to be changing my OS to Windows 7 in the near future. I have looked online, but all the technical stuff that they write about the graphic cards goes way over my head. I, also, use this computer for gaming. New games coming out for the Windows 7 platform that won't be for Windows XP. Gotta move on up. I know some will tell me to just buy a new system, but when you live on a limited income, upgrading is the best I can do. Thanks for your time and input.
     
  2. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,473   +622

    What's your budget? USA?
     
  3. Oz1956

    Oz1956 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I'm hoping for one between $100-$200. Too cheap might not be worth the upgrade.
     
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,119   +1,523

    The GTX 750 or R7 250 is a huge improvement over an 8400.

    GeForce GTX 750 vs Radeon R7 250

    The R7 250 is less than $100 but appears to use more power than the GTX 750. I personally would not purchase anything less than the GTX 750 from nVidia. nVidia's performance takes a major hit with lessor cards without compensating a comparable price. I am an nVidia guy, but if I was to purchase a new card below 100 it would be AMD.

    The R7 250X is probably closer to swapping performance with the GTX 750. But if you are looking to save money, the R7 250's performance is not far behind.

    Side note:
     
  5. Oz1956

    Oz1956 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks for the input. I like Nvidia too. Are these the only 2 options I have? Would like to consider all options, regardless of price. Just wanna see what my system will handle.
     
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,119   +1,523

    I know you said your budget is between 100 and 200. IMO $200 is stretching it a bit with an Athlon X2. I'd only spend $200 or more, if you was planning on using it in a future system.
    No, I was giving those as a base line for reference. You can use any PCIe card, so long as you have an appropriate power supply. Though at some point performance would be held back by the rest of the system.

    Here is a Newegg search for the newest of nVidia cards between 100 and 200.

    I personally have these cards and have had no issues with them.
    1. EVGA GTS 450 (slightly outdated)
    2. MSI GTX 660 (currently using)
    To save a little money don't get the absolute newest card. Pick from the 600 series. The x50 is considered the budget gamers card. While the x60 is usually considered the sweet spot among gamers. The x70, x80, x90 are for those wanting larger/multiple monitors and higher FPS. For HD resolution on a single monitor x60 would be all you would need. Though I fear the Athlon X2 would be the bottleneck. For the Athlon X2 the x50 class card would be a better match. And if you think you want something between the x50 and x60, there is also the x50 Ti.
     
  7. Oz1956

    Oz1956 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thank you. I will be checking into a few of these. Thanx for the list.
     
  8. Oz1956

    Oz1956 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I have another question about my video card. Can my system handle the new GTX 750 ti? It uses a lot less voltage. I have upgraded to Win 7 32 bit and 4GB ram. Thinking about going to the 64 bit Win7.
     


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