Cheap interim graphics card


Jul 20, 2007
Good evening all,

I just need a quick spot of advice. A couple of months ago my HD 4850 1gb card died on me, so I had to slap my old X1950 back in the system. Unfortunately it doesn't let me do the things I bought the 4850 for (mainly games of the GTAIV requirements).

My system is ageing now and does need replacing, but money being tight I can't really stretch to that. So I'm hoping to get a cheap second hand card to get me back to "good enough" for a few months. Obviously I could just go get another 4850, they're selling for about 30quid on ebay uk. But thought I'd ask what people suggest.

The rest of my system is no doubt going to be the limiting factor (no point buying a card that outstrips the cpu by too much), it is:
Core 2 Duo e6750 @ 2.66ghz
2 gb ddr2 ram
abit ip35 mobo
485w psu

Since I'm only keeping it going for a while I don't want to spend a huge amount, no more than £40 or so. Which rules out brand new cards that are comparable even to my five year old x1950.

For gaming, is the gfx ram more important than the speed. So for the same price as a 1gb 4850 I could get a 512mb 4870. It's so long since I did the research for buying that card (christmas 2008!) I can't remember the differences.

The tricky addendum, I'd also love to run Skyrim, even on pretty basic settings (@1680x1050). I know it needs 3gb of ram so I could up that, and the graphics card I had is above min spec. I'm sure the cpu will be the main hole in the premise, but I'd appreciate thoughts on whether you think it'd be doable.

Thanks for any suggestions people can give,
For gaming, the graphics card is much more important than the cpu. Your E6750 may do better than you think.

The amount of gfx ram the card has is largely irrelevant.

I do not much favor interim solutions. See if you can't buy a card you want to keep for a while.
Yes, your cpu will be a limiting factor in some games, but the stronger your graphics card, the better you will do.

A 485w psu will run nvidia cards up to a GTX560, that is about like a 5850 which wants 500w.

Look at tom's heirarchy chart to which is at the end of this article.,3042.html

Ram is relatively cheap, 4gb would serve you well.
The best way to go obviously would be to get a new card but sometimes if you really do want a temp solution you could try e-bay for a used card or even Amazon which does have used cards as well , and that way it would give you more time to save for a complete overhaul that you could afford.
+1^ from inzone.

If you buy a used card from a seller with good feedback, you can do very well.

When I upgrade to a new card, I sell the old one on e-bay, and the buyers usually do very well, certainly better than buying the same card new.


Jul 20, 2007
Thanks for the advice folks. I too am pretty against interim fixes, I'd much rather buy something near the top end that'll last a few years.

PCIe 2.1 cards will run happily in my pcie1 slot won't they? I presume they just degrade to the lowest speed like old mixed ram used to? If so I could bang in a reasonable card and keep the rest of the system for now.

Of course we're passed the point where ddr3 is cheaper than ddr2, so spending 40quid for 4gig of outmoded ram chafes a little too.

I should go check down the back of the sofa, another couple of hundred pound would make this all a lot simpler..

Cheers again,
pci is forward and backward compatible across all iterations. No problem there.

The fastest graphics cards out today hardly push the limits of X8 pci-e slots, never mind X16.

The difference, if any is detected only by benchmarks. Not a real issue.