TechSpot

Help deciding on a videocard

By FIN546
Oct 22, 2006
  1. Hello there,
    I know almost nothing about computers. I feel that's a good way to preface my little request. I currently have a T3104 emachine (Specs: http://reviews.cnet.com/eMachines_T3104/4507-3118_7-31556256.html?tag=sub) and am looking to play a game that is about to be released (Ultimate Alliance, specifically.) I'm far from what one would concider a gamer, so odds are this is the only new game I play for the next one to two years. That said, I'm looking to spend as little as I have too... but more than the bare minimum needed to play this game. If I'm going to spend money on this, I'd prefer not to have it looking like ****. I'd say my range is in between $100-$200 dollars, hopefully ending up in the area of $150 or less.
    Any help would be quite appreciated.
     
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    I doubt very much that that pc will ever play a game like that!!!!

    You don't even have an agp slot so you will only be able to run a pci graphics card!!!!
    It's probably not possible to turn the onboard graphics off to help with performance with a new card!!!
    And the pathetic little power supply unit (psu) would almost certainly die and take the mobo out with it!!!
     
  3. FIN546

    FIN546 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It does have an AGP slot available. Hmm, I thought it listed that, my mistake.
    Also, I could replace the powersupply if need be.
     
  4. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 462

    That computer is not that bad. You do want another stick of ram. Some cheap 512mb stick of PC3200 should be fine.

    A 7800gs would be the best, but goes for over $200. Worse yet you will need a more powerfull power supply.

    I think a 6600GT AGP may be the best bet. This one is cheap. Still a new PSU may be a good idea because onboard video uses little power and OEMs save every penny they can.
     
  5. FIN546

    FIN546 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help Mirob.
    Any suggestions as far as a power supply goes?
     
  6. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 596

    Antec PSU's are good, FSP Group are below but still good. Get a 6800GS.
     
  7. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Sorry, couldn't see any info about it having an agp slot even when i googled it!!!!

    Once you have a decent psu in there things should be ok!!!!

    Any idea what speed your agp slot is????
     
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    I disagree, Fortron FSP makes high-quality PSUs that are very good for the price, as do Antec, Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Ultra, Vantec, Hipro and OCZ.
     
  9. victornjie

    victornjie TS Rookie

    hi guys, i have a similar problem. I am having trouble getting a great video card for real gaming say between 100-400$. I have a dell optiplex gx280 small desktop, p4D 2.8ghz, 512mb ram, and i believe 210w as power. I was thinking of the geforce 7950gx2 with at least 512mb ram. I have one pci ex slot(16x), but the specification says it requires a minimum of 400w as power. So i don't know if incase i go ahead and buy it, is going to work. Also pls tell me more about the ati x1600 pro or x1600xtx with 512mb. Is it a good card and can it serve as an alternative if the 7950gx2 is not possible?
     
  10. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Not meaning to hijack this thread but is it true that Ultra PSUs are good?
     
  11. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    With that 210w psu, none of those card will work very well. You will wind up in BSOD hell. To get decent gaming performace you may want to think about a new psu, a decent mid grade gpu (7600GT's can be had for around 150), and at least 512 more of ram. You could do all of that for under 400 bucks, if we knew a new psu will fit.

    EDIT:
    It looks like you have room for only 1 more stick of DDR2 400: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820161633

    If you can fit a standard ATX psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104954

    GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814143049

    Rough total without shipping = ~$210.00 USD

    Another reason I wouldn't go with one of the 7950's is that your memory speed and cpu will wind up holding it back.
     
  12. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Victornjie, with only a 210watt psu it would not be a good idea to run a graphics card as power hungry as that!!! You will need a new psu but you may not be able to use a standard psu as a lot of dell pc's use a different wiring setup and a standard psu will kill the mobo it this is the case!!!!
     
  13. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

  14. victornjie

    victornjie TS Rookie

    Thanks for the help. so you are saying i can get a 7600gt with good gaming framerates without replacing the power supply? What about a 7800 gtx with 512mb of memory? will i need a bigger psu as well? my dell pc has a completely different structure of a psu unlike the standard psu which makes getting a bigger one really difficult. I have been searching for over 2 days now still with no success. pls more help will be greatly appreciated
     
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    A 7800GTX kicks a 7600GT's *** really bad, and it's a real power-hungry beast while it's at it, so will still need a new PSU for it, and one more powerful than the one u would need for the 7600GT (say around 400-450W). So it's a no-go.
     
  16. victornjie

    victornjie TS Rookie

    thanx for all the help man, i think i will go with the 7600gt at least for now until i can upgrade my pc
     
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    But u will still need a new PSU for the 7600GT, 350W minimum. 200W won't cut it and u may end up blowing the card and/or other parts of the PC.
     
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