A few years ago I built a low-mid gaming system for my son, now it is showing its age and I was looking for low cost upgrades to make it acceptable for newer games (eg skyrim, mass effect3).
athlon 64 x2 4200+
biostar M61PB-M2S (according to cpuid anyway, it is uatx nvidia 6150)
4GB (2x2) memory
cooler master silentpro 600
750GB 7200rpm hdd
I got a 'HIS Radeon HD 6850 IceQ X Turbo' at amazon for $140 but couldn't get it to display anything - not even bios screen at boot. Made sure I plugged in the aux power connector. Switched to the on-board graphics, OK. Swapped the 7900 GS back in, OK. Repeated the un-install all drivers, re-start, shut-down, swap the new card in - nothing. Returned it (love amazons no hassle returns, I don't even pay return shipping, prices are right there with newegg lately if you can find what you want).
1. Was this likely to be a bad card, or is it not compatible with the system (mb, PS) ?
I don't have the specs on the ps handy, but I think the 6850 at start up / idle should draw less than the 7900.
2. If it was just a bad card, is the 6850 a decent choice here ?
3. Other suggestions -assuming that replacing everything with 2500K, GF680, etc is not feasible, how can I best spend a couple hundred $$ ?