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Old 12-03-2010, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Upgrading Graphics Card

So I'll be needing an upgrade for my current graphics 'card' on the computer I just bought. Right now I have a ATI Radeon HD 4200, which I've heard isn't so much of a graphics card since its still integrated onto the motherboard(?). I'm currently playing World of Warcraft at the lowest possible resolution and lowest settings, pumping out a maximum of ~30 FPS; have yet to test it in a more graphical stressed environment other major cities in the game. Frankly, this is depressing to me because my wife's computer is pumping out about 30-40 FPS with settings on high or ultra (she has a Nvidia GeForce GT 120 - old but works efficiently)

Heres the specs on the computer I just bought:AMD Phenom™ II
If you could also share your opinions on this PC as well, thank you!
----------------------------------------------------------------
Product Depth
15.3"

Processor
AMD Phenom™ II

Processor Speed
2.8GHz

System Bus
4000MHz

Cache Memory
2MB on die Level 2 and 6MB shared on die Level 3

System Memory (RAM)
8GB

Type of Memory (RAM)
DDR3 SDRAM

Hard Drive Type
SATA (7200 rpm)

Hard Drive Size
1TB

Graphics
ATI Radeon HD 4200

Video Memory
Up to 256MB (shared)

Available Expansion Bays
External: 1 (3.5"), 1 (5.25"); Internal: 1 (3.5")

Available Expansion Slots
3 PCI Express x1, 1 PCI Express x16

USB 2.0 Ports

6 (2 front, 4 rear); 2 USB 1.1 (rear)

Operating System

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Graphics Chip
ATI

Processor Platform
VISION Premium

Drive Capacity
1TB


The Point - While I know my weighs around a computer, I'm definitely not a techno pro. I have done a sizable amount of research on graphics card though, but all the searching I have done has been very un-bias; basically just telling me of the parts, how they function and the numerous amounts of graphics cards out there. So while I get the basic jist of it, I'm still completely lost. I need some help picking out a graphics card that is: Compatible with PC, preferably able to run WoW on top settings, maintains performance when raiding, kind to my banking account.

Budget: ~100$ (Preferable within the range of 80 - 120)

That being said, here is a card I've been eyeing over with my newbie-tech self. Please feel free to reprimand me if this would be a horrible choice!

Palit GeForce GT 240
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

We need to know the Wattage of the power supply. And it's Manufacturer, if possible.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

I just opened up my case to look. Unfortunately, its only 250; that is if i checked it right. D= Will this be detrimental? (Now at work, forgot to check manufacturer)

However, I did find this while doing more research? I'm sure everyone able to respond already knows this, but I thought I'd post it anyhow.

Palit GeForce GT 240 Sonic 1 GB Review - Page 28/34 | techPowerUp
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

The wattage pulled may be less than the recommended PSU wattage for the card, but I doubt you have the amps for it. The minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 18 amps.
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

Hm, would this be true with most graphic cards that would suit what I need? If so, could anyone provide information on how easy/difficult upgrading to a new power source would be? Also, if anyone could suggest what to look for when purchasing a new power source, or give possible options to choose from (keeping in the mindset of a low budget)

Thought I would still -really- prefer just upgrading to an efficient graphics card at this point of time, and upgrading the power source later.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

You will have difficulty getting any decent graphics card to work well with the PSU you currently have. Probably be best to figure out a budget for the 2 items - then go from there. Even if it means replacing the PSU first and then waiting for more cash to build up before buying a new GPU. However, if you find a "combo deal" at Newegg for a decent PSU and a decent GPU you may be able to get a great deal with in your budget and afford both at the same time. Many of these guys on this site are really super at finding those combo deals. So just post your budget and see what they come up with.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

After having looked over some of the PSUs at new egg, I think I might have been looking at the wrong numbers. I might have possibly been looking at the voltage number instead of the wats (which is what I was suppose to be looking at, correct?) This could very much be wishful thinking though, and I will certainly double check this as well as add a picture of the label alongside the PSU.

If the case is that I have to buy a new PSU in order to obtain the level of game performance I desire, then my combination budget would have to be around 160-200$ AFTER rebates. So the original price can be mildly higher then that, but I have to try my best to maintain a total spending of around the price field.

... I hate this... After looking more and more into all the parts of a computer, it really makes me wish I would have built my own computer before having bought this one, lmao.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

This is $174.98 after rebates.
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

This is only $74.99 after rebates
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

This is $124.98 after a rebate
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

This is $159.99 after rebates
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

If it was me I would go with one 1st combo.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

if you got the first combo with the Phenom II you have it would be a very good system. IT should play games without trouble -unless you are using ultra settings on a large screen. I need to learn how to search and find combos on new egg - I tried and failed to find any that Slaymate did. .
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading Graphics Card

The first one is $194, not $174. And yeah, that is a killer deal. With that, you will be able to play wow on absolute maximum settings with a framerate through the roof. In a lot of areas it should be over 100 unless the game has become a lot more demanding with past updates.
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