$180-$230 Graphics Card and PSU Upgrade


Aug 1, 2009
Hello all,
My friend is looking at upgrading his PSU and Graphics Card at the same time and has a budget of $180-$230 total.
His current system is as follows:

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Processor 2.80 ghz
6 GB ram
64 bit Windows 7
250w Bestec ATX-250-12Z Rev. D7R
Onboard Graphics
Monitor: 1600x900
His case can support long cards if needed (would involve using a dremmel to remove a floppy drive cage).
A quiet setup would be nice if possible.

He will use this for gaming - games he wants to play (maxed out) are as follows:
Dragon Age 2, Portal 2, TES Skyrim

I was thinking something along the lines of:
Antec BP550 Plus 550W
Galaxy 55NGH8HX4NXK GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB

Is this enough of a PSU for that card and his system? the 22A 12V rails seem like they would do fine, but I just wanted to confirm.
I would appreciate other options or feedback on this option. How would you recommend he spend his money to ensure system stability with powerful graphics? (he wants me to give him options with a top selection)

Thanks a lot,
Even a GTX 560Ti won't max out those games and that card alone takes your budget.

You can simply look up the benchmarks and see where things fall for your pricerange.

I really have to recommend the following which is above his current budget:
1) GTX 560Ti
2) 650W PSU ($80 on sale?; read reviews/comments)

This is around $300 but there's a HUGE, HUGE difference in performance on a cheaper graphics card and he's already invested a lot. I think he'd be disappointed on anything below the GTX 560Ti.


Feb 27, 2010

What? 6850 not maxing out Portal 2 and DA2 @1600*900? Maybe skyrim but the other two is completely do-able.
With a 560 his CPU is going to severely bottleneck also, diminishing any extra reyurn his extra $1000 brings.

This isnt Crysis or Metro were talking about.



at the same time that the 6850 and psu combo fits more into the OPs budget, I do totally agree with your feelings, it is a much better investment to spend 300 instead of 230 so maybe save up another paycheck then make the purchase. Just make sure you overclock that cpu if you are going to go the gtx 560ti route, don't waste your time with the 6790 though it is a fodder card, bad price/perf. and it is def not going to cut it at 1080p


Aug 1, 2009
Thanks for the responses, unfortunately he will not be able to overclock his cpu (it's an HP with a locked out bios, and he does not want to spend the money on a new mobo). Because of this I'll probably stick with this budget as anything extra would be wasted due to the cpu not being able to deliver.

Any reason for the recommendation of the 430w (corsair and antec e.w.) over the antec BP550? The BP550 is the $50 after MIR, which is the same cost as the 430w earth watts. I know the earth watts are great, but I'm just worried about being on the edge of the needed power and ending up with issues.

So at the moment I am looking at:

Radeon HD 6850 for $154 after MIR
Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D - $50
Antec BP550 - $50 after mir

Just to clarify, within this budget - stick with ATI?

Thanks again


Mar 8, 2011
^probably you'll need to stick with AMD, it brings you more for less, probably Skyrim won't be very demanding like metro or crysis, so 6850 will max it out on 1600x900

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