The finest videocard $25 can buy?

As I said in a GQ thread a couple of weeks ago, my computer’s power supply stopped working. I’m waiting for the replacement power supply to come in the mail to see if I’ll be able to fix it, or if the motherboard is dead too. As I said in the other thread, I’d planned to replace the computer in the spring, and I’m hoping that replacing the power supply will allow me to keep this computer for a few more months. I figure the odds are about 50-50…

Anyway, I investigated this weekend and the videocard is totally fried. You know those little cansiter like things (transisters?) half of them are ruptured. It wasn’t a great card to begin with, a Geforce 7600, which in a stroke of irony, I picked a long while back because it wouldn’t require…replacing the power supply. Clearly it’s dead. The computer has an intergrated card (Nvidia GeForce 6150 LE), and honestly, the 7600 card didn’t make much of a difference so far as I could tell.

So, new or used on e-bay or amazon, or whatever, what’s the best card I could buy for the princely sum of $25 (plus shipping)? I’m not willing to spend more than that for a computer I don’t plan to be using six months from now.

FTR, the replacement power supply is 400w and the computer is running Vista (which was its installed OS). The computer has both PCI and PCI express slots.

If the dying PSU took out the video card, it very likely took out the motherboard too.

I agree with pericynthion that it’s pretty much impossible for your motherboard not be fried – that surge that blew out your video card’s capacitors have to get there somehow.

But to answer your question, I checked and found this thread: a Radeon 4650 w. 512 megs for $20 from Newegg, after a mail-in rebate.

Why not use the on board graphics to see if the system starts, before you spend $25 on an add in video card?

Don’t worry, I don’t plan to buy a card before finding out if the computer works.

Just had a similar problem. Video card fried, I think it took the power supply with it. After replacing the power supply and video card, it ran great – for a few hours. Then the old mule keeled over and wouldn’t get up again.

I have a different computer now.

Hopefully that won’t happen in this case, because I’m now using the computer in question to post this given that the power supply finally arrived today.

So, the power supply, the video card, and the 2gb of ram I added to it went to the great electronic dump in the sky, but so far it seems okay except slower without that ram. Keeping Fluid’s experience in mind, I think I’m going to be backing up a few games and the songs from last month that I hadn’t yet when it keeled over three weeks ago.

They’re called capacitors, and someone skilled with a soldering iron should be able to replace them.

I’m using a Geforce 7600 in this box and it’s fine for older games. Vastly better than the 6150.

One thing you need to check is if the card is AGP or PCIe.