What graphics card to get?

By cod500 ยท 17 replies
Dec 18, 2009
  1. I am pretty novice when in comes to computer hardware. I have a...

    HP penteum dual core E5200 2.5 GHz

    3.0 GB RAM

    284 GB memory

    Vista 64 bit

    I just have a basic NVIDIA Gforce 7100 and I want to upgrade to play games without having to put the game settings on low. What type of video card should i buy that is not too expensive. Thanks.
  2. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    First welcome to TS :wave: .

    If you provide us with a budget it'll make our job a lot easier :D . As just upgrading a GPU doesn't always work, you might need a new PSU (Power Supply) too. Depends what you want to do and how powerful of a card you want, like what games (Crysis on high is different then most games on high). I'm assuming you have a simple generic PSU as well considering its an HP so probably 300-350Watts. Let us know more and we can be of more help :) .
  3. cod500

    cod500 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I didn't open the computer to look at the watts, but on the hp site all their computers come at 220 watts. I'm am not really looking to even play games on high settings, just medium so it runs smooth and doesn't look too terrible. Nothing like Crysis, just nba2k games, Borderlands, Team Fortress ect. I am looking to go $100 and under. Thanks for the fast response.
  4. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 887   +19

  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Solid choices.
    Remember that your 220 watt power supply will degrade over time so that you will be losing a percentage of it's power as it gets older. A well made, reliable power supply is the heart of the system- without it you will be limited to barely capable cards like the 9500GT/HD4650/GT220, if even those depending on how many peripherals you have connected ( harddrive, optical, USB, number of RAM sticks and voltage etc)
  6. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Zero is right, you will be severely limited with that kind of PSU. Tell us what type of HP it is (e.g. HP Pavilion etc.). We'll be able to make sure what PSU you have and if it really is better to get an upgrade. And don't worry they are not hard to install. Even with a $100 budget you could get something like an HD4670 and a nice PSU. Especially now around Christmas sites like Newegg have great deals.

    Of course if your budget is a bit more flexible something like what Dustin suggested could give you a lot more power for a bit more. Get a little more bang for your buck especially if you want to play some other games down the road and not only on medium/low.
  7. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    I guess the HD4850 or 4770 gets my recommendation... the Thermaltake PSU mentioned about is a decent choice, so I'd just go with that if your budget can support it.
  8. cod500

    cod500 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, it is a HP Pavilion Slimline s5250t series. Thanks for all the help guys.
  9. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Well...there appears to be some good and bad news.

    First the bad.... you having a Slimline HP kills pretty much everything we all just said above.

    If I'm right this is your slim PC vs an average desktop.


    Your PC isn't normal size and not really meant for gaming. Due to its unique "slimness" which is nice to save space...it doesn't really allow for normal video card & PSU upgrades. I've personally never dealt with a slim PC so I searched around and found some people who have and did seem to find solutions but not exactly cheap. (Link)

    Now the good, reading over your PC's specs you were right it is 220 PSU. But they must have updated your model as they provide you with 3 newer more powerful video cards. Not exactly gaming cards but upgrades over what you have that should let you play medium at least 1280 x1024 max res. imo.

    GeForce G210
    Radeon HD4350
    GeForce GT220

    All of which in a low profile version should fit in your slimline. The GT220 being the best one. What I find odd though is from reviews I'm reading they should have something a bit stronger the a 220 PSU...hmm its 2:30am here so I have to be missing something :p .

    Here is a more powerful low profile card, the 9600 GT which should work nicely but you'd definitely need another PSU for that (of the slim kind).

    In any case its late and I'm about to pass out, maybe some else here can jump in and add onto anything I've missed.
  10. abimanbawa

    abimanbawa TS Rookie

    yeah one of my slim pc i make use of the GT220 it perform greatfull but there is another one name vc543i you can try it
    concerning the psu u sould go for amt 220

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  11. cod500

    cod500 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the info, If I had know it was not meant for anything more than everyday tasks and hard to upgrade i would have gotten the big one. I am not sure about the watts, I just went on the site to check, but i will open up the machine and take a look myself. So you think I can get GeForce G210, Radeon HD4350, or GeForce GT220 without a new PSU? I dont need crazy graphics, I can do medium settings.
  12. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Yes likely, though its a good idea to check.

    Wow, that was like 11 random posts in a row!
    I don't even know what your dealing with, start your own thread.
  13. Tha General

    Tha General TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,106

    You don't need to upgrade your PSU, its fine, most of the cards you are planning to use doesn't require alot of watts, i have a 250 psu, my 9500gt, or 4670 or my 9800gt works just fine with it.
    Anyways, to answer your question,

    Buy either this nvidia card:

    I bought a GT220 before , from BFG, the GT220 is a slightly faster 9500GT. Here you can check out my video of NFS carbon

    At 1280x1024 All max out, runs amazing. your system is faster then mine, i am using a single core 2.4ghz, you have a dual core, you should be able to game at 1280x1024 almost max or max with alot of games with the GT220.

    Or you could buy:


    The 4650 from my understanding is slightly faster then a 9500gt and a gt220.
  14. cod500

    cod500 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cool, thanx a lot! Two recommendations for the GT220, i will go with that one.
  15. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Good choice and good luck :D . I rather play it conservatively with PSUs so I give both sides of the story.

    Dear abimanbawa from Nigeria...make a new thread so we can help you :) . Hijacking this one with all sorts of questions just confuses us :confused: .
  16. Tha General

    Tha General TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,106

    Just keep in mind, the card will run better in XP. On my end anyways, when i had the card it runs better in xp , then win 7 or vista. Vista or win 7 requires better cards, say up to the 9800gt and higher. Just my views from what i have been using anyways. The gt220 will work just fine using win 7, but um recording games can be a pain, depending on what it is. But overall using the gt220 seems to play games alot faster over vista or win7.
  17. cod500

    cod500 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the input. I actually read many reviews on the cards The General listed above. I actually decided not to go with the GT220 after many people complained about minor things like sound and running hot. I am going with the Radeon HD 4650 instead. I read reviews about people using this with the exact same slimline computer I have and say it is great. Nothing better than other buyers with the same machine giving there own experiences.
  18. coldfire1984

    coldfire1984 TS Rookie

    hi, I would go for radeon 4650 low profile card.fast enough for average game settigs,and great for hd video decoding.low consumption also.
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