Graphics vs. Power

February 2, 2010 at 14:02:22
Specs: Windows Vista
I bought my current computer a year ago when
my old system died. This computer was not
my first choice, but the only one I could afford
at the time.

Now that things are a bit more stable, I would
like to relax and play some games on it, but I
find I am severely limited by the integrated
graphics. I would like to know my options
about upgraded on a budget.

Compaq Presario SR 5410F
Intel Pentium Dual E2160 1.8 Ghz

Upgraded to 4 GB of RAM already as the way
it shipped was just ridiculous.

Running Windows Vista (bleh, I know)

The biggest obstacle I've come across in my
research so far:

Power Supply
Bestec ATX-250-12z Rev D7R
12 volts - 14amps
250 max wattage

Is there a way to upgrade just the video card
on this power supply? Or am I better off
upgrading the power, saving a little more
money, then going for a slightly more powerful

I play primarily Sims2, Ragnarok Online, and
Guild Wars. I don't need stunning graphics to
get the most of my gameplay, but the basic
game has to run without glitches, shutdowns,
and lag from trying to do more than it can

See More: Graphics vs. Power

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February 2, 2010 at 19:02:14
I strongly advise against upgrading the video card without replacing that Bestec PSU. The brand is infamous for mediocrity & their PSUs are not to be relied upon.

Windows 7 News!

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February 2, 2010 at 19:14:39
Assuming you have a PCI-e x16 slot, you can try a lower end/low power gaming card such as the Radeon HD 4650.

If you're willing to spend more, upgrade the power supply, then you can get an even better card.

Here's a 400W Corsair PSU with 30A on the +12v rail for just $40:

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February 2, 2010 at 19:20:06
That probably would not be sufficient since the required specs for
Guild Wars are: ATI Radeon 8500 or NVIDIA GeForce 3 series
video card with 64 MB of VRAM, right?

And Sims2 requires a slightly higher performance.

I'm just being very careful this time. My last computer likely
failed due to this very issue; I kept burning through power
supplies and eventually the whole thing went sour.

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Related Solutions

February 2, 2010 at 19:29:13
The ATI Radeon 8500 or NVIDIA GeForce 3 series are extremely old...they were both released in 2001. Why would you think an HD 4650, which is a modern card, wouldn't be sufficient?

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February 2, 2010 at 19:32:29
My apologies. I have been using NVidia for all of my computers.
The logical assumption was that lower numbers meant older
cards for the ATIs, I didn't realize the HD made a difference in the

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February 2, 2010 at 19:38:07

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February 2, 2010 at 19:42:01
Thank you for the hand holding, it is appreciated.

Also, I've been looking at this rather large thing, would you deem
this helpful or not?

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February 2, 2010 at 19:52:45
That table's outdated. The following is a little more current:

There's also this table from the other link I posted:

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February 2, 2010 at 21:38:13
I recommend new psu in response #2 and hd 4670 with gddr3, the card play modern games in high or medium settings.

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