Looking for gpu recommendations

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by wrettcaughn, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. wrettcaughn
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    Not a PC gamer yet I have like 40 games on Steam thanks to the humble bundles and some compulsive steam sale purchases...

    I've stumbled across a PC with an AMD Athlon II x2 250 processor and 2GB of DDR3 which I can probably bump up to 4GB by pulling memory out of one of the other PCs I have here. I'm wondering if it'd be worth it to grab a gpu (and which one) for some low-medium setting gaming.

    Not looking to make too big an investment as any AAA games will get played on my 360...and the PC was free. Just want to be able to play some of these humble bundle games (THQ, Alan Wake, and Deep Silver bundles) and maybe some Left 4 Dead.
     
  2. Kirito-kun

    Kirito-kun Disciple of GabeN

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    The Nvidia GT 640 for $90 to $100 should be a good enough card for you. The AMD equivalent is the Radeon HD 7750 for about $110 to $120. Yes, you really should upgrade that 2GB of RAM to 4GB. That's the bare minimum for modern PC gaming.

    Expect low to medium settings. The CPU is rather low-end. You should also overclock your CPU if your chipset supports it. Turning down the resolution will also help.
     
  3. wrettcaughn
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm not looking to play anything newer than 2009 or so, don't know if that counts as "modern gaming" :P I was actually just looking at the HD 5550 figuring it would cover me for medium-low settings for games around that "era" and costs about half as much. What do you think?

    The HD 7750 and GT 640 would get bottlenecked by that CPU wouldn't they?
     
  4. Kirito-kun

    Kirito-kun Disciple of GabeN

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    CPU bottlenecking is dependent on the specific game, but its often over-exaggerated. You might encounter a bit of bottlenecking, but it's always better to have a better GPU than a worse GPU.

    Besides, you CPU isn't terrible. It's a dual-core 3.0 GHz chip, despite it being of an older architecture. It'll still play modern games if it's paired with a decent GPU. Chances are, it's probably more powerful than the CPU in the Xbox 360. Don't worry about bottlenecking unless you're getting a $200+ card.

    Now, the HD 5550, I don't recommend unless you want to play at 720p. It's not a terrible card, but it's not designed for gaming. The lowest I would go is a GT 630 ($70). Below that, you're simply not within gaming territory. And even the GT 630 is kinda stretching it.

    I made the mistake of cheaping out on a graphics card one. Bought a GT 430 (about 30% more powerful than a HD 5550) to go in my Phenom II quad-core PC. I liked it at first (as it was better than when I had integrated graphics) but soon it started to showcase it's lack of power as I dove into PC gaming. A year later, I sold the card and bought a GTS 450 (about 30% more powerful than GT 640). The difference is huge. I could actually get my games to run at medium to high setting smoothly.

    And make sure to upgrade RAM to 4GB. 2GB of RAM might also bottleneck your system.

    Summary:

    HD 5550 = Not for gaming
    GT 630 = Borderline acceptable, will look at least as good as Xbox 360
    GT 640 or HD 7750 = Good for medium settings modern gaming (recommended)

    Welcome to PC gaming.
     
  5. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Make sure to check out MAME on your new PC :)

    Higan for Nintendo stuff, Kega Fusion for Sega stuff, Magic Engine for TG-16, and well all the others you will probably find on your own :)

    My recommendation for hardware after you get a GPU, get a nice Logitec USB controller. I have an old what looks to be a PS2 controller knock off (no rumble) and it works fantastic for emulation of most systems :)
     
  6. wrettcaughn
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    I remember most of those emulators from a few years back ;)

    I have a corded 360 controller I was planning to use along with my old wireless keyboard and mouse. The goal is to just hook the PC up to the living room TV via HDMI (I don't have speakers...) and use it for streaming and a few older games.
     
  7. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    That sounds awesome! Movies, Games, Internet, all in one box, whats not to like about it :)

    I am jelly.... lol
     
  8. wrettcaughn
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    I see an HD 7770 on sale for $100 with a $30 rebate @ newegg. That do me?

    edit: nvm... I see the 7770 would need a different psu...
     
  9. PityOnU

    PityOnU GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I had a Athlon dual core with a 5770 setup. Played most games up to about 2009 no problem at 1080p.

    I think the 7770 is more powerful (others can comment if not), so I can guarantee you'll be just fine and dandy.

    EDIT: Yes, it is.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html
     
  10. wrettcaughn
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    Yeah, I'm just not looking to spend a whole lot though and I highly doubt the psu i have will handle adding the 7770. The fewer parts I need to buy the better. My ultimate goal would be a low wattage gpu and at least 4GB ddr3 ram for <$100...
     
  11. Kirito-kun

    Kirito-kun Disciple of GabeN

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    What's the exact wattage of your PSU? Or is it the fact that your PSU doesn't have a PCIE power connector?

    If it's just wattage, please note that the "recommended" PSU wattage is actually somewhat more than what's actually required to get by. For example, I run an overclocked GTS 450 in my system. The recommended wattage is 400W. I've gotten by with running it on a 350W PSU. It's a high quality Antec PSU though. The quality can made a significant difference. Not all PSUs of the same wattage are the same.

    If you're looking for low-wattage, than there's no option better than the GT 640. Maybe the GT 545 if you can find one, but those have been discontinued.
     
  12. wrettcaughn
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    It's a LiteOn 300W...
    I have a few other towers floating around here and will check out those psus when I get a chance...
     
  13. marcus134

    marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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  14. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    40? I have 243...

    How much do you want to spend? Any AMD card in your price range should be good value for money.
     
  15. exangel

    exangel executioner angel

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    If you are uncertain about the wattage of a particular card, I suggest using www.hwcompare.com
    It was useful for me in figuring out what low-power card to get for my computer in Texas. I wound up with an eVGA nVidia GT640 2GB, and it's the nicest card I've ever had that didn't require additional power from the PSU. Borderlands 2 and GW2 ran on low/mediumish 1080p at good framerates, which is all I expected.
     
  16. PityOnU

    PityOnU GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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  17. wrettcaughn
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    wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

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    Sold out before I could get to it... Appreciate the thought though
    My funds now must go elsewhere, but I'll be in the market again around black friday. At that time, I may just build a PC


    edit:
    found an old radeon x800 XL in one of my towers. no shader 3.0 support but there are a few games on my steam account that I should be able to play with it...