I have an opportunity to buy a used Dell T5400 for a very reasonable price.

 CPU: Xeon E5420
 Clock: 2500 Mhz
 Cores: 4 - Quad Core
 Disk: 250GB
 GPU: nVidia Quadro NVS DMS->2x DVI
 OS: Windows 8.1 Professional

Obviously this is a work computer. The gfx card is really not fit for gaming (I have the very same model at work, just with 20GB of RAM, tried running some games and the framerate is abysmal). Most likely I'd purchase more RAM, and moving disks from the old computer I'd have some 1.5TB of storage. But the primary decision for now is the gfx card.

My budget for the gfx card is around $250-$300. The primary use would be games, with some graphics editing, programming and home use on the side.

Which gfx card that fits that model, that would fit within the budget would provide optimal gaming performance?

  • It would be interesting to know the minimum requirements of the games you are trying to play on it and how well you expect the pc to perform.
    – Armfoot
    Sep 22, 2015 at 9:35
  • What is the wattage and voltage of your PSU? Sep 22, 2015 at 13:36
  • @Firepower0701: Wattage :875 W 80% plus efficiency Voltage : auto-sensing power supply—90 V to 264 V at 50/60 Hz
    – SF.
    Sep 22, 2015 at 13:40
  • @Armfoot: Let's say Witcher 3 on medium settings to run smoothly. From its page, "Minimum: Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz / Phenom II X4 940; GeForce GTX 660 / Radeon HD 7870", "Recommended: Core i7 3770 3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350 4 GHz GeForce GTX 770 / Radeon R9 290". So probably something in the middle gfx-wise.
    – SF.
    Sep 22, 2015 at 13:44
  • Related, but not a duplicate - hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/q/385/60
    – Cfinley
    Sep 22, 2015 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


I would recommend something in the GTX 900 series, or the R9 200 or 300 series.

If you want the most power possible, the R9 390 and the GTX 970 are both incredibly powerful cards, and just about equal in terms of performance. The only downside is they are just above your price range. (a quick search on google shopping shows most of them to be around 300-350) If you can find a good deal on one of these, that is probably your best option. It seems like the 390 is just slightly more powerful, but the 970 is more power-efficient. (I've also heard that the 970 has better overclocking, but I'm not positive on that.

If you're willing to sacrifice a little bit of performance to stay in your budget, your best option is probably the R9 290. (Which just so happens to be my current GPU) It is almost comparable to the GTX 970, but significantly cheaper. (You could probably get one for $250)

  • In my opinion, the R9 390 is the best. Similar price to the 970, better performance, more VRAM, no 3.5GB issues, etc. :)
    – Rubydesic
    Nov 12, 2015 at 1:30

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