Can you help me choose a graphics card?

Kamil K July 3, 2013


I need a graphics card. I want an nVidia branded one and to spend a maximum of $50. I’m not a gamer but would like DVI output. My desktop is a HP M9510f, so please ensure it will work with existing hardware.

Other 2 associated questions:

  1. Can PCI Express 2 work if my PC says PCI Express x16?
  2. Can DDRR3 work if I have DDDR2?

Thanks :)

  1. Oron J
    July 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    DalSan and Bruce more or less covered the subject between them. Given the specs of your PC and your requirements, I'll just put in my two bits to say - don't overspend! ANY compatible graphics card with VGA ($20-30) will do the job more than well enough for your. Try to choose one with a relatively low power consumption, and make sure it's PCI-E 1.0 - 2.1 and you'll be alright. The rest of the features will make little difference (they mostly come into play in gaming or high intensity computing).

  2. Hovsep A
    July 3, 2013 at 8:26 am

    a rate of 2.5ghz for 16x and 5ghz for 16x2.0
    your PCI Express 16x2.0 will work like 16x perhaps a litlle faster but not full capabilities

  3. Bruce E
    July 3, 2013 at 6:47 am

    With the ICH9R I/O controller, your system should support PCIe 2.0 or 2.1, so you should be looking for a 16-lane PCIe 2.0 or 2.1 video card. Here's a list of NVIDIA cards (including refurbs) under $50 that will work in your x16 slot. Some have DVI while others don't.

    Associated answers:

    1a. The 2 in PCI Express 2 refers to the revision of the standard that a device or slot supports. The available revisions are 1.0a, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, and 3.0. Revision 4.0 is currently in the works. A higher revision slot can use cards of any previous revision as the standards are backward compatible although a higher rev card will not work in a lower rev slot.

    1b. The x16 in PCI Express is referring to the number of lanes the slot/card uses. An x16 slot can seat a PCIe card that is x1, x2, x4, x8, or x16. In most cases, a card with a larger number of lanes cannot be seated in the smaller slot although there are some motherboards that utilize an open-ended slot to allow a larger card to be seated in it although it will negotiate to utilize a smaller number of lanes than the card supports (with the associated drop in performance and/or efficiency).

    2. DDR3 RAM cannot be used on a motherboard that supporrts DDR2 or vice versa. The RAM must be matched to the motherboard requirements. Your motherboard only supports DDR2 PC2-5300 or PC2-6400 memory only and is limited to 4 DIMMs of up to 2GB each.

    • Kamil K
      July 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      About question 2, I meant to ask if a graphics card says DDR3, will it work since I have DDR2?

    • Bruce E
      July 4, 2013 at 6:14 am

      As Dalsan replied in this thread, the type of memory used for your system memory has nothing to do with the type of memory used on a dedicated graphics card. For GPU intensive tasks, the general rule is the faster memory on the card, the better performance you will see. If you are not doing anything required intensive GPU computations and manipulations (CAD/CAM, video processing, high-end gaming), the faster memory is not really necessary. In that case, you will probably get better overall performance with a better/faster GPU with more cores rather than faster memory.

    • Kamil K
      July 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you for the thorough explanation. So any of those cards (in the Newegg list) with DVI will work (and fit) in my PC?

    • Bruce E
      July 4, 2013 at 7:59 pm


  4. Dalsan M
    July 3, 2013 at 6:43 am

    The GPU DDR type and speed has little to do with your system DDR type and speed. The higher the DDR type, the faster and better performing the GPU should be (not always because GPU processing speed and other specifications can make a big difference over DDR type and speed). Some PCI-E 2.0 cards are backwards compatible with PCI-E 1.0 slots. This means that you can go up to an Nvidia GT610 graphics card at that price point (may cost a couple extra dollars for this card). I wouldn't go any less than an Nvidia 9800GT, though. Most Nvidia GPU cards, especially in your price point, would have DVI out, and the 350 watt power supply should be sufficient for the cards within your budget.

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