Need GPU Advice

Okay, so my GPU has died (Yes, I am sure it was my GPU and not a bad PSU or anything of that nature) and am wondering what my best option would be for replacing it. My max budget is $200. I will mainly be using this card for gaming, mostly things like Skyrim, Diablo 3, Hearthstone, Borderlands, and Assassins Creed. Aside from gaming all I really need it for is some college work like writing essays and stuff like that. I will not be doing any video editing or anything of that nature. Also, I am planning on getting a second monitor so I can run games and also have youtube open on the second monitor. I currently have 8GB of ram, will that be enough? Or will an extra 8GB help? 

Thanks, Mike.

Also, this is my first time, so im sorry if this isnt in the right spot. (pun very much intended)


For 200$ you are in a little bit of an odd zone you would get awfully close to a 280x or a 285 but that isn't really where you want to be for games like Skyrim or the newer Assassins Creeds. If you can swing it and your PSU is able to handle it spring for a 290 the larger Vram buffer along with its high performance will allow you to really max out gaming at 1080p and its good amount of ports and sheer horsepower will let you add more monitors without issue. If you don't want to spend the extra 50$ or so which is understandable a GTX 760, or a R9 285 is where you are at price wise. The green team doesn't really compete all that well at this level as the 760 isn't as good as the 285 which sadly really doesn't offer anything over the 280 or the 280x in fact it has less Vram which is bad for games like Skyrim. depending on your PSU (you will need 600 Watt+ depending on what you have in the system); I would fully endorse finding a way to the 290 level of graphic card. If not try and find a deal on a 280x, I had one and found it can max out most games at 1080p and is really a solid card. 

As for your Dram 8GBs is fine for gaming, for the most part you won't use it. If you are concerned about it DDR3 ram is fairly cheap right now with a good set of duel channel 2x8GB Dimms going for about 120$ Given that you have more then what you need for pure gaming I wouldn't waste the money. 

Bottom line start eating ramen noodles and "forget" to buy a book or something, get some extra moneys and get a slightly higher end card your eyeballs and Skyrim will thank you for it. Also keep in mind you can get lots of these cards used, open box, or factory refurbished for a solid discount. Scan Newegg, Ebay, and Amazon; it's really amazing what you can find if you look a little harder.

Hey thanks! I think I might go with the 290. In my system right now I have an ASRock z68 Extreme3 Gen3 and an intel i5 2400, 8gb ram, and 2 SSD's. Will my 550w PSU support the 290?

It will be a little close but so long as you don't overclock the graphics card it should be alright; though, it will likely shorten the life of that PSU possible damaging parts when it goes. What is the make and model of the PSU? Sometimes they are rated much more conservatively then what they actually deliver.

I don't think is a bad PSU by any stretch, rather it seems high quality. I've owned a few Antec's myself and like the brand. On this unit the main 12V rail is a little weak; but PCpartspicker says its ok to go with the 290 and this PSU. The main rail can deliver something like 380 watts peak, while for the 290 AMD states a system minimum of 750 watt PSU, that is horseshit. At maximum load a 290 will pull somewhere around 385 watts plus or minus some depending on the card, more if overclocked. For you that is a scary place to be. I would be as bold as saying a 290 would kill your current PSU. A better PSU that could handle the extra load would be around 60-70$ which puts the upgrades cost up from 250 to around 320$. Given that is way past your budget a 280/280x might be a cleaner safer cheaper way to go. Or if you are feeling up to it, a 970 which has much lower power consumption and would be plug and play for the same or better performance, but, costs right around 330$  

I think Im going to go with:

Ill have to save a little longer but it will last much longer. Is there a higher quality PSU i should look at? Really want this thing to last...

That would be a killer setup the Tri-X is a awesome cooler and it's quiet; EVGA's mid to high end PSU's are really solid and cost effective. Just make sure you shop around, these days a high end 290 costs the same as a mid grade 290x and so on. If you want to compare pricing easier will help.

That should work for you.

You could save ~20 and get this PSU instead. I use the non-modular version of it and it works well. I have only used Corsair thus far, so I cannot vouch for a different PSU company. The RMA process is nearly hassle free (or was for me).

Corsair is one of the best brands for PSUs, the RMA process is really good and the support is decent. It's a better product for less money, Win Win?