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Old 09-30-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Thinking of upgrading graphics card?

I'm posting this to help out a friend of mine who is thinking of upgrading his graphics card but doesn't know how to choose one. He has said, I quote, "I know my computer won't ever be the best at gaming, I just want games to look better than they do right now." He's been talking about wanting to get a better graphics card for ages and he's asked me but I'm a software person, I know jack shit about how to upgrade hardware, so I'm here asking for help on his behalf. Here are the specs that he's sent me:

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Acer Aspire X1301
BIOS: )Phoenix - Award WorkstationBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) II X3 425 Processor (3 CPUs), ~2.7GHz
Memory: 4096MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 3838MB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9200
Let me know if you need any more info and I'll ask.

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Old 09-30-2011, 03:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Thinking of upgrading graphics card?

reasonably spec everywhere else. What graphics card does he have now, or is he using onboards?

EVGA SLI Micro Z68 // Intel i5-2500k @ 4.4GHz // 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1866MHz // Overclocked ASUS GTX 660 Ti // Corsair Carbide SPEC-03 // Kingston Hyper-X 120GB // 2TB WD Green + 500GB WD Black
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Thinking of upgrading graphics card?

The system includes an integrated GeForce by default, and has one PCI Express slot, but it's low profile, so that'll cut into upgrade options. The system also only ships with a 220 watt power supply, so that also limits options, and I'm not happy with the state of upgrades for power supplies in this formfactor, so my advice is to stick with something in a low enough power envelope to make it work.

Unfortunately that severely limits the options out there, and the best thing I can find from a performance standpoint is one of these cards:
Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100291DDR3L Radeon HD 5450 512MB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card

The photos shows a full size bracket, but we buy these for the office and they come with the low profile bracket to change it into the form necessary to work in his case.
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