Need help picking a compatible cheap graphics card for a rather old computer!

i have a rather old computer, not ancient, but its running a E2140 intel pention dual core at 1.60Ghz with 1gb of ddr2 memory and while a wait about 6 months to build my own computer, i want to be able to ATLEAST be able to LOAD up minecraft because this computer wont even start it up.

i found the full specs on new egg here

i figured with a 250w power supply and 1gb of ram my choices are pretty limited. and i figure i'm going to need to increse ram to 2gb but since theres only 2 dimm slots and they are taken up already by the 2x512 mb id have to remove those first.

i have no idea where to start i figured i would pick any 20-30$ dollar card online and throw it on there but i would rather ask first, better safe than sorry. What do i do? please tell me if you need more details on the comp id be happy to open the computer up and take pictures and such.

Okay I'm looking up the things you can upgrade, you will most likely need to upgrade the GPU first, then ram, then CPU, each of these things will probably cost 30 bucks at most


Is the cpu really necessary? i wasnt looking on spending more than say 60 here. For a computer this old i just wanted to be able to play an old game or two because it wont run anything. 

yeah its pretty slow even with the new CPU I'm going to be surprised if you get a playable frame rate of 30

an e4700, e5500, e5700 or e5800 CPU will be compatible with your system, try ebay or local friends I found them less than 30 on Ebay

this GPU shouldn't be a bottleneck (in that system)

an Nvidia GT 610 or 520 should be about as fast if you can find one of those cards cheaper used

I've bought a palit GT 240 1gb GDDR5 for a friend and it doesn't require a pci-e power connector, hopefully it would work on your rig. It's  pretty much your limit, you'll have to go lower than that. I've had a 2ghz Conroe with 2gb ddr2 800 and a 9400gt 512mb that ran minecraft with no sweat over 60 fps on fullscreen, 1440x900. It's not that old, and if you would've had a better power supply you could've overclocked pretty darn high on that chip 2.2 ghz on stock cooler at least, and also access to a hd 4850, 6770/7770 or a 650 ti, any card after that you'd just get bottlenecked. 


Do not upgrade your ram or power supply, just use any video card better than a 8400gt and you'll be fine. You'll need that extra money for your proper PC.

Why would you buy a new low profile card when you can buy a second-hand placeholder. That's what your after, not a definitive one.

You seem to have just an issue with the graphics card, everything els is fine, even 1GB of ram. What you need is a gpu. There are multiple ways to go about this. In both of these methods you require a pci express x16 slot on the motherboard.

Get a cheap gpu, that fits inside the 250W power draw. You currently are using about 190 Watts at peak assuming no weird other hardware. So that leaves you with 60 watts, but I recommend less.
A 5450 seems good for this. If you want silent get this one:
When worried about temperature in your case:

Get a gpu you will use in your new computer, together with a new power supply that you will also be using in this new computer. If you like this option the please state what you want to do with it and the cost of the total system.

So i can just throw a compatible gpu for 30$ and be good to go?

You should, in theory. But only a low watt one, like those 5450's. The psu might be an issue... It is rated at 250W but might not give you that much... But the card only uses about 30W at peak, so there's some overhead there.

If it's pci-e 2.0 compatible and you're motherboard has a PCI-e 2.0 slot or 1.1 with updated bios, you can use it. No matter the lane speed (plus on such cards you won't notice a difference, only higher end cards get bandwith bottleneck)

PCI Slots (Available/Total) is what is listed on th mobo does this change anything?

(1/1) PCI Express x16 

(1/1) PCI Express x1 
(1/2) PCI v2.3

you're fine with that. I strongly reccomend you check your local sh market and get a 9400gt/gt 230/ gt 610/620/ gt 630 (maybe pushing the power supply limit) from nvidia or a hd 2400/hd 5450/hd 6450 

Thanks a lot everyone!

i concur, but highly recommend sticking with 5450 or 6450(=rebranded 5450)...

actually the 6450's have twice as many stream proccessors as the 5450s, its the 4550's that were rebranded

Minecraft is mainly CPU dependent, so you're going to have to upgrade your CPU if you want to play it. I would recommend getting at least a core 2 duo or core 2 quad, 4GB of RAM, and maybe something like an old 9800GT unless you can find something better for around the same price.

You would probably be better off just saving your money for a brand new build though.

Dude, he's already got a low end dual core, an e2140 can overclock like crazy, he just lacks the motherboard and power supply, and the will power to keep this rig cracking. Of course it's outdated, but he was asking for a short term solution.

I could barely play minecraft on a 1.7 pentium m and 512mb ddr laptop. as soon as I tried 2gb on it, it worked like a charm. Guess what video card I had? Integrated? no. A freaking Radeon 7500 32mb mobillity. Half-life 2 ran pretty well on dx7 on it.

mind telling me how he can OC on acer board? why spend money on a new board when you can just get a nativly faster CPU

minecraft on a 3770K, I'm sure that 1.6 celly is going to be just fine