Operating System Windows Vista 32-bit Service Pack 2
Issue Details I need a better graphics card to play Starcraft II, but it's not clear to me that my computer, which I purchased Sept 2008, will support the latest graphics cards, nor do I need the latest graphics cards. I'm trying to figure out what graphics card I should get that will let me play Starcraft II. It doesn't have to be that great, my CPU is slightly under the recommended processor speed (it's above the required speed though).
CPU Details Pentium Dual CPU E2200 @ 2.20 GHz and 2.20 GHz
Hmm...32 bit OS, so no you don't have 4GB of RAM, you have (4GiB - 512KiB - VRAM) GB of RAM,, as well as an antique processor, an unknown motherboard, and an unknown power supply. Based on that information you've provided we cannot offer any suggestions.
Buying one of the current budget/office/HTPC cards would probably fit that computer. Not something good enough for high quality gaming, but the rest isn't either. It would run most things in low details/resolution. Something like a card from the HD 7300/7400 series.
However, if you want to play decently, you should consider replacing the whole thing. A much better CPU and video card is required for a good gaming experience. A 4-core AMD CPU and a HD 6800/7700 series card are relatively cheap and can play literally anything you throw at them.
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 3250MHz | RAM: Kingmax 2x2GB DDR2 800 @ 833MHz| MoBo: MSI K9A2 CF v1.0 (BIOS: 1.D)| GPU: Asus HD 6850 1024MB (DirectCu) @ 850/1100MHz | Display: L24FHD | PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad | OS: MS Windows 7 Pro x64
CPU: Pentium 4 Northwood S478 @ 3200MHz | RAM: 1,5GB DDR 400| MoBo: Gigabyte GA-8S661FXMP-RZ | GPU: ASUS Radeon X1650 Pro 256MB | Display: Dimarson 19" CRT | PSU: Noname 400W | OS: MS Windows XP Pro
Thanks for the comments. I really shouldn't go in for a new computer while I'm making squat in grad school. I wish things weren't so complicated, it's still not clear to me what card would even work. Maybe I will try in the Dell forums.
There's not a gaming card that will run on a stock Dell 18A peak power supply. Figure 14A continuous, that's 168W, minus 100w for CPU, motherboard, drives, and fans, that's 68w, so at best you are talking cards which require no external power connection, which are not gaming cards.