Forums - PC Discussion - Graphics card for a Gateway PC?

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I'm a console gamer, but I've been thinking about testing the PC gaming waters. I was wondering if anybody on here could suggest a decent Graphics card for me. I have a Gateway DX4780 with an Intel HD graphics card, so I wanted to upgrade to something that would allow me to play PC games at moderate settings.

If I like the experience, I'll probably buy a gaming PC or build my own next year. I was looking at this GTX 660, but any suggestioons would be greatly appreciated.

My PC Specs

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Specifications

Specs: Details: Description:
Warranty Terms - Parts 1 year limited  
Warranty Terms - Labor 1 year limited  
Height 14.9 inches  
Width 7.1 inches  
Depth 15.8 inches  
Weight 23.0 pounds  
Processor Brand Intel®  
Processor Intel® 2nd Generation Core™ i5 (Also known as the CPU). The part of the computer that interprets and executes instructions. Think of it as the brain of the computer.
Processor Speed 3.0GHz (3.3GHz with Turbo Boost) How fast a computer processor carries out instructions. In general, faster is better, but processor speeds across brands may not be equivalent (i.e., a 3.0GHz AMD processor may not be the same speed as a 3.0GHz Intel processor).
Cache Memory 6MB A small segment of memory that stores frequently used information for fast access by the processor, improving response time.
System Memory (RAM) 8GB The memory a computer uses to run its operating system, applications and active data files. Greater amounts of RAM improve speed and enable more applications to run at once.
System Memory (RAM) Expandable To 16GB Maximum amount of memory a computer can support (as opposed to the amount that comes preinstalled).
Type of Memory (RAM) DDR3  
Hard Drive Type SATA (7200 rpm) Hard drives are classified based on the interface they use to connect to a computer. Common interfaces for internal hard drives include EIDE, PATA (also known as, ATA and IDE), SATA and SCSI. Common interfaces for external hard drives include USB 2.0, FireWire and eSATA.
Hard Drive Size 1TB Capacity for storing programs, photos, video, music and other electronic information. Hard drive capacities range from a few gigabytes to several hundred.
Graphics Intel® HD Type of graphics (video) adapter (usually built into the motherboard), identified by manufacturer and model.
Video Memory Shared Manages display functions, including screen refresh rates, resolution and color. The more video memory a computer has, the better graphics and video will look.
Audio High-definition with 5.1-channel surround sound support  
Speakers None  
Network Card Built-in 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector) Allows a computer to connect to a network either by using cables (Ethernet) or wireless technology (IEEE 802.11).
Wireless Networking Built-in 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN  
Recordable DVD Drive Yes, double-layer DVD±RW/CD-RW Drive that can read CDs and DVDs, as well as write and rewrite CDs and various types of DVDs.
Recordable DVD Drive Speeds 8x DVD+R DL; 8x DVD-R DL; 16x8x16 DVD+RW; 16x6x16 DVD-RW; 5x DVD-RAM; 48x32x40 CD-RW Maximum write (DVD±R), rewrite (DVD±RW) and read (DVD-ROM) speeds of the DVD±RW drive.
Direct-Disc Labeling No  
Digital Media Reader or Slots Yes, digital media card reader  
Available Expansion Slots 1 PCI Express x16, 2 PCI Express x1 For digital cameras and digital audio players: Slots that allow the addition of a removable memory card, such as Secure Digital or CompactFlash, to increase storage capacity.

For computers: Slots on the motherboard that accept sound cards, video cards, memory and other upgrade cards.

USB 2.0 Ports 2 USB 3.0 (rear); 6 USB 2.0 (2 front, 4 rear) Ports that allow high-speed (up to 480 Mbps) data transfer between compatible devices.
Keyboard Description Multimedia Indicates design, functionality or connection features. Some keyboards offer special buttons for gaming or multimedia use, while other keyboards include features such as illumination or wireless connectivity.
Other Control Devices (mouse, etc.) Optical mouse  
Operating System Platform Windows  
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium The master software that controls hardware functions and provides a platform on top of which any software applications will run. Commonly used systems include Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X for computers and Palm OS and Microsoft Windows Mobile for PDAs.
System Version 64-bit The terms "32-bit" and "64-bit" refer to the way a computer's processor (CPU) handles information. A 64-bit operating system handles large amounts of system memory (RAM) more effectively than a 32-bit system.

Most software programs designed for a 32-bit operating system will work on the 64-bit version, with the exception of many antivirus programs. However, if a program is designed for a 64-bit operating system, it is not backwards-compatible with a 32-bit version.

Device drivers designed for a 32-bit system will not work on computers running a 64-bit operating system. Similarly, drivers designed for a 64-bit system will not work with a 32-bit version.
Software Included CyberLink PowerDVD; Nero 10 Essentials; Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and more  
ENERGY STAR Qualified No  
Best Buy PC App No  
HDMI Output Yes  
Blu-ray Player No  
Graphics Chip Intel  
Drive Capacity 1TB  


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what's your budget? your computer actually has no video card in it, just onboard graphics, so I'd pop the case to make sure that you actually have a PCIe slot you can use for it.

dahuman said:
what's your budget? your computer actually has no video card in it, just onboard graphics, so I'd pop the case to make sure that you actually have a PCIe slot you can use for it.

I believe there are 2 PCI Express slots that are free, but I can double check when I get home. Money isn't a big issue for me, but I'm not looking to spend more than $250 on a graphics card.



I am the Playstation Avenger.

   

adriane23 said:
dahuman said:
what's your budget? your computer actually has no video card in it, just onboard graphics, so I'd pop the case to make sure that you actually have a PCIe slot you can use for it.

I believe there are 2 PCI Express slots that are free, but I can double check when I get home. Money isn't a big issue for me, but I'm not looking to spend more than $250 on a graphics card.

Any preference (AMD vs NVIDIA)? You couldn't really go wrong with the 660.



                                         

I didn't find any info on what mainboard they use, so yea as dahuman suggested you should first make sure you actually have a PCIe slot.

The GTX 660 is a good choice - if you want a bit more performance for the same price you could go with the HD 7870 GHz edition aswell. The 660 consumes a bit less power and usually is more quiet (that ofc depends on which manufacturer/cooler solution you go with) though.



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He has a 300W PSU so the maximum would probably be:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102969

But you'd have to look inside your computer to make sure you have two of these available to plug something into:



But overall it would run all modern console ports at full HD.



Tease.

Consider upgrading that PSU. It's pretty low for any decent graphics card.

Squilliam said:

He has a 300W PSU so the maximum would probably be:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102969

But you'd have to look inside your computer to make sure you have two of these available to plug something into:



But overall it would run all modern console ports at full HD.

That's pretty cheap. Are their any performance differences between that AMD and a similar NVidia card? I heard that NVidia cards were better overall, but I don't keep up on that stuff.

When I opened my PC a few months ago for cleaning, I'm pretty sure I saw two (free) power cables, but I'll be checking when I get home. Thanks for the input.



I am the Playstation Avenger.

   

adriane23 said:
Squilliam said:

He has a 300W PSU so the maximum would probably be:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102969

But you'd have to look inside your computer to make sure you have two of these available to plug something into:



But overall it would run all modern console ports at full HD.

That's pretty cheap. Are their any performance differences between that AMD and a similar NVidia card? I heard that NVidia cards were better overall, but I don't keep up on that stuff.

When I opened my PC a few months ago for cleaning, I'm pretty sure I saw two power cables, but I'll be checking when I get home. Thanks for the input.

AMD currently has the design wins in the next generation consoles and their architecture is pretty great. They are about equivalent with nVidia but given the fact you have a weak PSU the better energy efficiency of AMD ought to be better because the AMD architecture hard caps the power consumption so I can be more comfortable recommending it.



Tease.

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Squilliam said:
adriane23 said:
Squilliam said:

He has a 300W PSU so the maximum would probably be:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102969

But you'd have to look inside your computer to make sure you have two of these available to plug something into:



But overall it would run all modern console ports at full HD.

That's pretty cheap. Are their any performance differences between that AMD and a similar NVidia card? I heard that NVidia cards were better overall, but I don't keep up on that stuff.

When I opened my PC a few months ago for cleaning, I'm pretty sure I saw two power cables, but I'll be checking when I get home. Thanks for the input.

AMD currently has the design wins in the next generation consoles and their architecture is pretty great. They are about equivalent with nVidia but given the fact you have a weak PSU the better energy efficiency of AMD ought to be better because the AMD architecture hard caps the power consumption so I can be more comfortable recommending it.

Thanks for the advice. I think I might just upgrade my PSU to a 500W as well, but if I don't, I'll just go with the Radeon 7750 you suggested.



I am the Playstation Avenger.