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Tim_Olaguna
11-10-09, 09:47 PM
When it comes to graphics hardware I'm totally a noob here so please be patient with me. I have a two year old HP Media Center PC (m8120n) I'd rather upgrade than risk the wrath of my dear wife by trying to replace. One of the weakest parts of the machine is its original graphics card, a GeForce 7350 LE. I'd like to upgrade it, but I don't know to what. Here are some of my thoughts and constraints:

+ My display is a Samsung SyncMaster 226BW.
+ I'd like to be able to play some slightly older (ok, cheaper) graphic intensive games.
+ I'd like to keep the price under $200.00. On the other hand I don't want to waste money on a poor-quality card just because it is the cheapest available.
+ My current operating systems are Ubuntu 9.10 and Windows 7, both the 32 bit versions. But if I can find reasonable pricing for RAM I also want to upgrade to 64 bit versions.
+ I do not want to upgrade the existing power supply, which I understand supplies 350 watts.

Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

bob saget
11-10-09, 11:30 PM
the power supply is the biggest problem.
I dont think I know any graphics cards whose requirements are at 350 and that will allow you to play older games like HL2 and such with decent quality.
You really need to upgrade it. spend about 100 on the power supply (provided its a good brand) and 100 on a graphics card.

krokodil
11-11-09, 05:48 AM
the power supply is the biggest problem.
I dont think I know any graphics cards whose requirements are at 350 and that will allow you to play older games like HL2 and such with decent quality.
You really need to upgrade it. spend about 100 on the power supply (provided its a good brand) and 100 on a graphics card.
Ok, I've got several Zotac GF 9600GT 1GB Eco cards that are spec'ed at 60W and come without the additional power connector you're supposed to find on new graphics cards and you could run them with older cpus or low power psus.
http://pden.zotac.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_images.tpl&product_id=181&category_id=31&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1
I am quite pleased with these cards and can only recommend them. Current price here (Germany) is around 90,- with #$%! 19% VAT and including p&p.

You might find similar offers from other brand name manufacturers (Gigabyte and Asus come to mind because I use these brands too).

Edit: Btw., I'm running W7 and Suse 11.1 without problems :)

bob saget
11-11-09, 02:09 PM
^good reply.

ragejg
11-11-09, 02:35 PM
HD3650
nv 8600 series
nv 9600 series
HD4600 series

There's my recommendations.

Tim_Olaguna
11-11-09, 03:17 PM
WOW! Thanks all for the great tips. I really appreciate your time and effort.

ragejg
11-11-09, 08:10 PM
With a C2Q and a GPU performing a bit better than a Geforce 7900 series, you should be able to enjoy games like Call of Duty 2, Quake 4, Unreal Tournament 3 and other titles that represent the pinnacle of gaming technology from about two years ago. UT3 will be the line in the sand, and starting with games like Lost Planet you'll have to start ratcheting settings down.

Your CPU will carry the gaming performance as far as the GPU can take it. Then at some point you can put down $50 on something like an XClio GoodPower 550 (the best PSU for the money IMO) and put a newer GPU in there like an HD3850 ... you'll see a tangible difference... get an HD4850/4870 instead and you'll feel a quantum leap.

http://www.tvstuffandmore.com/quantum/Full/QLScottBakula.jpg

Johnny C
11-11-09, 08:22 PM
I know you don't want to change the powersupply...but I really would...it's your limiting factor right now.

http://www.ncixus.com/products/?sku=37325&vpn=BFGR550WGSPSU&manufacture=BFG%20Technologies&promoid=1120

http://www.ncixus.com/products/42237/HD487AZWFC/XFX/

And you'll have kick ass gaming performance for pretty much everything. XFX has double lifetime warranty so the card costs a little more...other 4870 1GB's can be had for a couple bucks cheaper.

Also if you have even $25 more to spend

get this

http://www.ncixus.com/products/44932/HD577AZNFC/XFX/

Full DX11 support and similar performance to the 4870

Cheers,

JC

candle_86
11-21-09, 06:10 PM
the 8800GT EE is an option it draws less than 75W I tossed one into a friend of my moms computer running a Q6600, 4gb DDR2 800, from dell but with an 8400GS videocard, he had a 350W and we got the 8800GT EE no complaints from him yet