Ok, here we go. Specs based off Speccy and some of what I already know:
HP Pavillion a6500f (with a replaced hard drive, the old one went bad). Vista Home Premium 64 bit (up to date on everything), Intel Pentium E2220 @ 2.4 GHz (2 cores), 4gig ddr2 RAM, Foxconn Napa MOBO with NVIDIA GeForce 7100 chipset, Phoenix Technologies BIOS (on version 5.13; should I update that?) One PCIe x16 slot (not being used), GeForce 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 630i graphics (integrated), 150GB Samsung SP1604N hard drive (I may change out hard drives for a bigger one if I can find one sometime) CD/DVD read/write drive, Realtek High Definition Audio, NVIDIA nForce 10/100 Mbps Ethernet.
My case is 6.5 inches wide. I have a 250W PSU, but I have an older computer that isn't being used that has a 450W PSU I could probably switch out for if I needed to. Does a bigger PSU have a risk of frying my MOBO or anything? Or do MOBOs just take however much power they need so it's not an issue?
Did I say 8600 GT? I meant 8800 GT.
Basically, I'm looking for a card that will let me play something like Space Marine on low-medium graphics without stuttering. If that's too much to ask for a card under $50, then maybe same thing for Dawn of War 2 instead, or Assasin's Creed.
As a side note, when I go to Can You Run It?
on my laptop it almost always tells me that my video card isn't good enough, but then always shows that I have more than enough video RAM, 3D support, Hardware T&L, Pixel Shader version, and Vertex Shader version for minimum and recommended specs for my video card (which is just my integrated chipset). But then I have to play new games on all low settings for it to run without issue, and even then sometimes it doesn't work. But when I go there on this other desktop, it tells me the video card passed, even though it has lower specs than it says my laptop has. And in actually playing games, my laptop handles them slightly better than the desktop. So what's the deal with that?
Thanks for taking the time to help me with all this. I know it's a lot