Bought a new PC. Looking for advice for an LCD monitor and graphics card.. - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 

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Old 2009-01-03, 07:10 PM   #1
Zoo
 
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Location: Guelph, Ontario
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Default Bought a new PC. Looking for advice for an LCD monitor and graphics card..

Hi all,

Happy New Year BTW!

We bought a new system from Dell and it is replacing a P4 2.4 Ghz system where the motherboard got pooched.

We are presently using our 17" CRT monitor and would like to upgrade to a 22"-24" widescreen LCD monitor. What is a good choice in the $300-$500 range?

I would also like to get a graphics card in the coming month to upgrade the system. Presently the system is using the onboard graphics on the motherboard which is obviously not ideal. I am looking for a card in the $180-$300 range.

The system is a Intel E5200 dual core with 4 gigs of ram and a 620 Gig hard drive. A nice graphics card should make this system decent for current games.

Any guidance and advice on a monitor and graphics card would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 2009-01-03, 09:26 PM   #2
jean luc picard
 
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sammy t240.

i'd need to know what kind of power supply before recommending a gc.
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Old 2009-01-03, 11:58 PM   #3
135iAndy
 
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don't know where you are located, but Canada Computers has a nice Asus EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M ATI Radeon HD 4850 Chipset (680MHz ) with rebates just over 200$ and a Samsung T240, 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor, 1920 x 1200 for just over 300$ both are very good and a hard to beat price.

Just check that the power supply has an extra connector for a video card, as almost all the new cards need power.

FS/BB both had some 22" monitors on sale during Boxing day Sale, so you may dig up a boxing week flyer and negotiate with one of those sales people there.
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Old 2009-01-04, 12:18 AM   #4
jean luc picard
 
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Quote:
Radeon HD 4850
not without a 450 W ps.
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Old 2009-01-04, 05:26 PM   #5
Zoo
 
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Just cracked open the case on my Dell 530. Sigh... 300 watts for the power supply.

I am open to upgrading the power supply if need be.

I read some nice reviews of the BFG GeForce 8600 GTS and EVGA 8600 GTS cards. These seem to be close to $200. Could these be handled by my 300 W PS or do I need to make an upgrade there?
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Old 2009-01-04, 05:32 PM   #6
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I just checked the prices for power supplies and video cards on a certain on-line site with a wild cat in the name. I could snag a new power supply rated for over 400 watts and a nice card for under $300.

Should I do this upgrade myself (I haven't built a system since 1999) or should I get a local computer shop to handle the swap?

Any recommeded power supplies? It sounds like 300 watts is just not going to cut it.
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Old 2009-01-04, 06:25 PM   #7
jean luc picard
 
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8600's are older low end cards. geforce 9800 or 4800 is where you want to be. any corsair or ocz power supp will do, 500 W or greater (for future video upgrade).
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Old 2009-01-05, 01:01 AM   #8
cyclo
 
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Hardware Canucks has a nice review of mid-range video cards (from AMD/ATI and nVidia) that should be fine for gaming on a 22" monitor (1680 x 1050 resolution). Check it out here:

The Games of Christmas '08: GPU Performance Part II

A 400-450 Watt PSU should be able to handle these mid-range cards. Corsair has a simple PSU calculator on their site, check it out here: Corsair PSU Calculator

Transplanting a PSU might actually be more difficult than building a PC from the ground up. If you haven't built a computer in years, it might be wiser to let the shop do it for you. The connectors on those SATA drives are easier to break than those on the old IDE drives. Just make sure that the PSU you are replacing has standard connectors and comes in a standard size so you could swap a 3rd party PSU to upgrade it. There was a time when Dell was using proprietary connectors on its PSU.

Also, compare the prices at newegg.ca, ncix.com, to those at tigerdirect.ca... sometimes you get better deals from the others depending on what is on sale for the day. Finally, when it comes to PSUs, the best are usually made by Seasonic, Corsair (especially those models made for them by Seasonic such as the 400CX, 450VX, 550VX, 520HX and 620HX), PC Power and Cooling, Enermax, and Antec.
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Old 2009-01-06, 10:55 PM   #9
Noya
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Quote:
We are presently using our 17" CRT monitor and would like to upgrade to a 22"-24" widescreen LCD monitor. What is a good choice in the $300-$500 range?

I would also like to get a graphics card in the coming month to upgrade the system. Presently the system is using the onboard graphics on the motherboard which is obviously not ideal. I am looking for a card in the $180-$300 range.
On the low-end of your proposed budget, a 22" LCD has a 1680x1050 resolution and the cheapest video cards worth buying for it are the ATi 4850 or the Nvidia 9800gtx+.

Moving up to the mid-high level of your budget is a 24" LCD that has a res of 1920x1200 (more than 1080p). It also requires a more powerful graphics card to get playable framerates with new games. The lowest I would go here is the ATi 4870 1gb or Nvidia gtx260 core 216.

My preference is to the Nvidia cards as they perform better and have more driver updates (probably why they perform better). The only killer card ATi has is the $450+ 4870x2, and Nvidia will release a gtx295 soon to compete with it.



More bad news though is that your Dell PSU will not power any of these cards reliably. I'm in the US, and a 550w Corsair that could power any of these cards is only $70, so I suggest you look around. Make sure the +12v on the PSU has at least 35amps.

Another gremlin is that (I'm almost certain) none of these cards will fit in the Dell case, except maybe the 4850 which is the slowest card of them all.

Honestly, if you want to play some games...take back or sell the Dell and build a PC. For what you payed for the Dell and your budgets for the new monitor and video card, you could have built a really nice system with no shortfalls like the Dell has (power supply, case size, locked BIOS = no overclocking...yet Intel chips are made for overclocking, etc.).
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