Want to Buy Bro New Graphics Card

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My brother's birthday is coming up and I thought my mom and I could pitch in to get him a new graphics card so he can actually play games at decent settings.

Last time I ventured in to GFX cards alone, I ****ed myself in the ass, and while I am more seasoned now, I still would like opinions.

-I am looking to spend no more than $180.

-He is not a super heavy PC gamer because he has an Xbox 360, but I want him to be able to play Skyrim, Portal, Team Fortress, HL2, etc. at decent settings without horrible frame rate because he would play more games if they did not look like a PS2 on his computer.

His current specs are:

Dell Inspiron 530, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 ghz
3gb of RAM
ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro w/ 128mb of dedicated video memory
Windows Vista SP 2 32-Bit
 
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I also advice to upgrade to Windows 7, but that's me. It could be quite handy to share the PSU (Power Supply Unit) information as well just in case your brother might hit up some issues.

I also assume your brother is using a PCI-E video card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908

Do you (or does your brother) prefer NVIDIA or ATI? Or it doesn't matter to you? (him)
 
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I also advice to upgrade to Windows 7, but that's me. It could be quite handy to share the PSU (Power Supply Unit) information as well just in case your brother might hit up some issues.

I also assume your brother is using a PCI-E video card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102908

Do you (or does your brother) prefer NVIDIA or ATI? Or it doesn't matter to you?
Damn, I hope the PSU is not an issue, really will not shell out $$ for that haha. I looked it up and it says 300w provided and is AC 120/230 V

He is probably indifferent but I of late have been leaning towards ATI since that was Macs are using now. And while I can only see "PCI" on device manager, the card he has in now is PCI-e
 
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Probably need to check if the PSU has PCI-E power out. 300W is pretty low, so nothing top-end is gonna work if you can't power it.

I know you want to help your brother play the newer games, but the whole rig is pretty dated, even with an improved gfx card he'd struggle. Maybe consider contributing money to buying a brand new rig?
 
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How would I check if the PSU has PCI-e power out? Also what is considered a good PSU wattage?
 
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How would I check if the PSU has PCI-e power out? Also what is considered a good PSU wattage?
Check if you have this cable:

It's a cable connected to your power supply unit. You can't really miss it when you open the computer case :).. If you have it that is.
 
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How would I check if the PSU has PCI-e power out? Also what is considered a good PSU wattage?
What Sky said for the cable. As far as what is a good PSU wattage. My old one was 600 which would be excessive for your brothers current machine. I think you could get away with maybe 4-500? 450 should be perfect.
 
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If you don't want something special then my suggestion is to sell his old rig and buy him a new configuration which would be a lot better than what he has right now and it will run probably more than enough new games. There are pretty good pre made configurations for around 250$ in stores where I live.
 
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Damn perhaps this is true...No PCI-e power cord and I checked the actual PSU and it says 160w max....Damn son
 
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I can't comment price cause we're from different countries, but if he's willing to put in with you and your mum (that's how we spell "mom" down under) then between the three of you, it'd be better to buy a whole new rig.
 
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Yeah seems like it....Still thanks all who helped, saved me time/money/trouble from just buying featured card off of Newegg

If any of you have suggested prebuilt towers, I am all ears for links >_>
 
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Wonder if it's compatible with his mobo. I've never even heard of that GPU before xD
 
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Yeah seems like it....Still thanks all who helped, saved me time/money/trouble from just buying featured card off of Newegg

If any of you have suggested prebuilt towers, I am all ears for links >_>

Any monetary limits?
 
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Any monetary limits?
Under a $1000 would be nice. I saw some "gaming" PCs on Best Buy but I was curious if anyone had any preference here. I doubt we will get it for him but he can either save up or I can give him a bit toward the purchase.

And Synth-Oops I meant Smith- I am appalled by your link
 
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Synth? Where? >.<

Now since you are looking for pre-built, I suggest http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/. Now a lot of people are going to say CP isn't good, or getting parts from newegg is better, but after 4 months worth of research and scouring the web, I found that by using smart selection, getting PCs from CP is not only cheaper than getting parts from newegg, but your also get 3 years warranty on your entire PC.

I just ordered a PC from them, and I am completely happy with my decision. You will be able to get a good PC under $1000 with ease.

If you do intend to use CP, let me know, because there are all these little tricks and tips that would make it even cheaper, as well as certain pitfalls that your should avoid to have low grade parts. Rebates, 5% Discount, Free stuff, I say go for it.
 
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Synth? Where? >.<

Now since you are looking for pre-built, I suggest http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/. Now a lot of people are going to say CP isn't good, or getting parts from newegg is better, but after 4 months worth of research and scouring the web, I found that by using smart selection, getting PCs from CP is not only cheaper than getting parts from newegg, but your also get 3 years warranty on your entire PC.

I just ordered a PC from them, and I am completely happy with my decision. You will be able to get a good PC under $1000 with ease.

If you do intend to use CP, let me know, because there are all these little tricks and tips that would make it even cheaper, as well as certain pitfalls that your should avoid to have low grade parts. Rebates, 5% Discount, Free stuff, I say go for it.
I bought from another of newegg's partners, ibuypower, came out 400$ cheaper than buying from newegg. :) I didn't know what cyberpowerpc was until AFTER i got my PC hahahah I'll admit, they have a ton of cooler looking cases than ibuypower. But yeah OP, I agree with Z. You can easily get a PC under 1k$ that can max graphics for every single game out there. I bought mine for 1,007$ and it gets over 50FPS on Crysis all the time, and I didn't spend much on the GPU/CPU, I spent 200$ on the sound card, so imagine if I went for performance and not polished sound/looks.
 
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ibuypower and Cyberpower are owned by the same company, newegg probably just has it as its affiliate. I compared ibuypower and CP however, and I found CP to be slightly more cheaper, and yeah, has better cases, as well as a better configuration system.

So all in all, some prebuilt PC websites are unnecessarily bashed.
 
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Buy the radeon 5850 HD for 80$ and idolize it, because you won't be able to use it.
 
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Buy the radeon 5850 HD for 80$ and idolize it, because you won't be able to use it.
HAHAHAHA!!!

Well, I'm pretty sure you can get a good PC under 1000$ there, I'm buying a new one here, and it's just gonna be a case, motherboard, processor and ram, all the rest I already have, still, it's gonna be just around 1000$, and no, it's not a NASA PC.
 

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