Hardware Looking for gpu recommendations

wrettcaughn

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
3,819
Trophies
0
XP
1,492
Country
United States
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.
 

Kirito-kun

Disciple of GabeN
Banned
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
290
Trophies
0
Location
22nd Floor
XP
140
Country
Canada
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.
 

wrettcaughn

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
3,819
Trophies
0
XP
1,492
Country
United States
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.

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?
 

Kirito-kun

Disciple of GabeN
Banned
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
290
Trophies
0
Location
22nd Floor
XP
140
Country
Canada
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?


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.
 

Psionic Roshambo

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Messages
2,142
Trophies
1
Age
47
XP
2,239
Country
United States
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 :)
 

wrettcaughn

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
3,819
Trophies
0
XP
1,492
Country
United States
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 :)
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.
 

Psionic Roshambo

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Messages
2,142
Trophies
1
Age
47
XP
2,239
Country
United States
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.


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

I am jelly.... lol
 

wrettcaughn

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
3,819
Trophies
0
XP
1,492
Country
United States
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.


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...
 

PityOnU

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
1,166
Trophies
0
XP
1,478
Country
United States

wrettcaughn

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
3,819
Trophies
0
XP
1,492
Country
United States
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

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...
 

Kirito-kun

Disciple of GabeN
Banned
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
290
Trophies
0
Location
22nd Floor
XP
140
Country
Canada
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...


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.
 

wrettcaughn

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
3,819
Trophies
0
XP
1,492
Country
United States
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.
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...
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
21,250
Trophies
3
Location
Space
XP
10,057
Country
Norway
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.
40? I have 243...

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

exangel

executioner angel
Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
1,571
Trophies
0
Age
38
Location
Tucson, AZ
XP
582
Country
United States
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.
 

wrettcaughn

Well-Known Member
OP
Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
3,819
Trophies
0
XP
1,492
Country
United States
Here, $35, today only, runs off power from a PCIe slot.

http://slickdeals.net/f/6232210-MSI...o-Card-35-AR-29-50-w-V-Me-FS-Starts-at-3PM-PT

You're welcome.

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...
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    kenenthk @ kenenthk: Does anything