How do I replace my graphics card?

Hey, I want to replace my graphics card so I can run Minecraft, Masseffect 3, and Battlefield 3 on my computer swiftly. So, I'm asking for a graphics card that will run those three games on my computer without lag. My budget is about $100 and I do have an intermediate knowledge of computers and soldering. My computer is a SLIMLINE PC with 320GB hard drive and 3GB of system memory. Currently, my graphics card is an Intel(R) G33/G31 Express Chipset Family. My CPU is a Pentium Dual-Core E5200 @ 2.50GHZ. If you need any more tech-specs, just comment and ask for it.

PS: I'm guessing that I'll need a G-Force graphics card, if so, I need it to be at least Direct X 11 or newer.

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Willard2.04 years ago
First you need to open up the side panel and find out if you have an open PCIEx16 slot to use.  It looks like you have onboard video right now, so you should have a slot open.

Next, you will have to find a slimline (low profile) video card which really limits what you can have.  Here are 2 that I could find on the Newegg.com site that fit the bill around the $100 mark

Radeon 7750. Slightly over the $100 budget, but one of the best low profile cards out there.

Radeon 6670.  Well under the $100 limit, but not nearly as powerful as the 7750.

Another 6670 option, a little cheaper, but the fans could be louder.

Nvidia doesn't really produce any low profile cards with any kind of gaming power. 

Cooling is another thing to consider.  Those low profile towers usually don't have sufficient cooling for a dedicated video card.  See if you can add a fan to the case before considering upgrading the video cards.

Actually replacing the card is very easy, just slide the card into the slot and update the drivers with the new ones.
knexpert1700 (author)  Willard2.04 years ago
Thanks, but do they run DirectX11? If not, would the GeForce GT 610 or the GeForce GT 520 work? I'm only looking to run Battlefield3, Halo2, MassEffect3, and Minecraft with minimal lag.
Both of the cards I listed do support DX11.  The 'lag' depends on what graphics setting you want to play on.  I have a 610 in my system driving a 4th monitor and it does NOT run any games.  It will playback HD video and run minecraft, but not much more.

With a 6670, I don't think you would be able to play BF3 on ultra, but you should get decent FPS on medium or high.
Halo2 is older, and doesn't take very much to run.  I think a 610 would just barely run it on high, not ultra

Keep in mind that your processor will also plays a role in how well a game performs on a certain video card.
knexpert1700 (author)  Willard2.04 years ago
Thanks, I would have probably bought the GeForce610 without your help. :)
knexpert1700 (author) 4 years ago
Thanks everyone! I've bought the Radeon 7750. The installation was fast and easy, works great and have almost no lagging on any of my games. It fit perfectly and had no issues adapting to my computer and makes very little sound. Thanks for the help
bwrussell4 years ago
Check out PassMark to see a graphical representation of how well various cards work vs. each other. Try putting in the various cards you are considering. They also have some value charts. nVidia is probably better if you want to spend the big bucks but Willard2.0 is right, Radeon is better bang for buck right now. Watch the memory interface, don't trade a lower interface like

Are you running a 64- or 32-bit version of windows? If you have a 64-bit version then you should consider adding some RAM. At least 6 Gb but an even 8 is probably perfect. At the very least move up to 4, dual channel.
knexpert1700 (author)  bwrussell4 years ago
Because of the other comments, I've just bought the Radeon 7750 for $100. I have a 32-bit, but forgot to consider that, though it didn't say if it runs on a 32 or 64 bit. :3
The OS interface doesn't matter for the graphics card just for the ram. You can't have more than 4 gb on a 32bit system. If you have the extra money getting 4gb of dual channel ram will give you a marginal boost.
When you build or buy a new system consider going 64bit cpu and OS.