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I need help- I'm looking to upgrade video card

By Jps332
Dec 3, 2006
  1. Hey I'm new to the forum(I know Cfitzarl from school) and need some help uprgading my pc to play games like farcry and BF2142

    System Model: Sony PCV-RZ44G
    Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80 GHz(2 cpus)
    Memory: 512MB RAM
    Card: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (For new card it needs to be AGP, not sure what it means but that's what I've been told)
    and I also need a new PSU because the current wouldn't be able to handle it
    I have been recommended this
    I would really like some help on finding the best video card for me and the up's and down's of each. I would also like to know if it would be a waste to buy it now or just wait until the direct x 10 cards are realesed.

    I've got about a $300 spending limit on this also. All help is apperciated
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Personally, I would NOT recommend blowing the full $300 on a card with your system at this time. The DX10 boom is going to be a major leap for games. HUGE. The hardware is already starting to trickle out, now we are waiting for the games.

    The DX10 games not only require a DX10 graphics card, but in order to really crank up the settings, you need a powerful CPU. At this point, if you have a DX10 card you need a core 2 duo in order to be able to fully utilize all the power of the graphics card. Your current system (for one) only has AGP so DX10 cards will not fit in there. Also your cpu/ram etc are not fast enough to really let the DX10 graphics cards fly.

    If I were you, I'd get the X1650pro (actually I'd get a 7600GS for about the same price, but a (very small) performance increase) and upgrade yourself to a gig of ram.

    As for the PSU, something like this should do you well:
  3. Jps332

    Jps332 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    So do you think I should just wait for the DX10 cards, but even then I would also have to do a lot of upgrading right?
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    It's all a question of budget and preferences really. I personally have a socket 939 board, and my system also will not be enough for the DX10 games once they start coming down through the pipes.

    However, currently my system is great at the games that are out now, and I love it. I am looking at upgrading my system for DX10 probably in the summer of 2007, but it is going to cost me a couple thousand dollars.

    If you think you will be in a position to get yourself upgraded for DX10 in the summer (basically a completely new computer from the one you have now), then start saving your money and do what you can with the system you have.

    Your current card is the FX5200. Using $150 to upgrade your card and $40 or so on a new PSU is going to make a HUGE difference in your gaming. You'll notice it right away.

    Also about $60 should get you two more sticks of 256mb PC2700 ram putting you up to 1Gb. If you are limited in funds, go for the graphics card/psu first, then if you have cash left over upgrade your ram.
  5. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 544

    To answer your question, YES.! You'll need a new mobo (either Core 2 Duo or AM2 compatible), DDR2 RAM, a psu that is also SLI compatible (different 4 pin leads), and the kicker is the DX10 cards. Right now, the price is double what you want to spend for the card. NVIDIA is the first out the gate with those cards (8800 GTX and 8800 GTS). You can find the 8800 GTX about $629 (about the cheapest) and the 8800 GTS (around $450). I jumped early and ordered my parts late last Thursday and they are scheduled to arrive this Tuesday. If you can hold off, the prices may drop a bit, but (my opinion only) is that since DX10 can only be taken advantage of through Vista, the prices may not come down for a while.
    ATI hasn't put it's card on the market yet, but I don't expect the prices to be far off of NVIDIA's.
    It all comes down to how much you want to spend and how soon you want to spend it. This was the first time that I upgraded "out of the gate", so to speak. I would usually wait about 6 months, but I had a few extra pesos laying around this Christmas and decided to give myself an early present.
    What you should keep in mind is that the way technology in computers is (new hardware every few months), you really can't stay ahead of the curve. What you should strive for is to make sure that when you DO upgrade, you leave yourself some room to purchase the hardware that will be able to keep up with the next jump in technology and don't have to purchase a new motherboard again, just upgrade the cpu, graphics card, and/or add memory.
  6. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 1,088

    Just curious but which performs better, laptop or your desktop :D
  7. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Both are almost identical in performance. My notebook has a faster GPU (7800GTX vs 7800GT) but my desktop has a faster CPU (Athlon64 3700+ overclocked to 2.75Ghz vs PentiumM 760 @ 2.0Ghz).
  8. Jps332

    Jps332 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Hmm so say summer 07 rolls around and vista is out and DX10 is out. What would you say would be better:
    A- Spending the money(I assume it's alot) to upgrade my current to vista + DX10
    B - Spending the money to buy the parts and basically start all over
  9. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    The thing is, according to the early reports, the DX10 cards perform MUCH better with faster CPUs. A DX10 card with the fastest AM2 verses a DX10 card with the fastest Core 2 Duo is a noticable performance difference. The Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs are just that much faster.

    So upgrading your current board to those specs is not really an option. Sure you could probably use some of your existing parts to help save some costs, but you will still need a new motherboard, CPU and ram.

    Of course it is all a guessing game until we actually have the games in our hands to test them in our systems, but my guess is, with your current motherboard (even if you upgrade your CPU and ram) you will not be able to run next years games at high settings. You are limited in your CPU speed, ram speed, and most importantly, you only have an AGP slot for graphics. You'd need a PCI-E x16 slot to run the DX10 cards.
  10. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    The only component of your computer that is out of date is your motherboard (and obviously your video card). By replacing a motherboard you will most definately have to do a clean install of Windows :mad: , so as long as you don't plan on gaming very heavily I would suggest that you go with option "B". You will be able to sell you current computer for probably around $200, and spend it toward that, and you can upgrage EVERYTHING, although that would cost a LOT of money ($2000-3000). The current DX10 Card out is $600 itself. I do not think that they are planning on making any AGP versions of DX10 cards (otherwise I would pick option a), are they? Oh and Jps332, see you later :suspiciou !
  11. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    Ahh, but what if he doesn't plan on playing many DX10 games? I would say that the top of the line DX9 cards will last a while until Jps332 has the money to upgrade everything too.
  12. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    That means you have hyper-threading activated in your cpu. That basically means that instead of having one processor with one thread for data, you have one processor with two threads of data, otherwise "tricking" Windows into believing you have 2 Cpu's.
  13. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    ABSOLUTELY! I agree completely. Only hardcore gamers will need to be worried about the points I am bringing up.

    Who knows if there are going to be any great DX10 games? I certainly can't gaurantee it. I am simply going on a hunch. The lack of games coming down the pipes lately makes me believe that the game makers are working on developing DX10 games. For any hardcore gamer (and I know this is not everyone) the DX10 jump is a must from what I have seen so far. Crysis is one game I can't wait to get my hands on, and it's going to need a killer system. (Have a look Here)

    But regardless, cfitzarl brings up a great point. Not everyone is a game geek. I am usually very careful about suggesting thousands of dollars be spent on the latest and greatest, and I hope that my suggestions here have been useful to you jps332
  14. Jps332

    Jps332 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Hmm I guess I'm just going to have to play it by year, it seems easier at this point to just wait it out for a while. I'll be working next summer and I've already got a bunch saved up. Thanks for the help. See ya in Bio Fitz
  15. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    Whatever suits you :unch: ! Seeya in Bio :evil: !
  16. Jps332

    Jps332 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Hmm didn't see the post above me, I'm not a hardcore pc gamer,console is more my style, but yeah I'd love to be able to play games coming out in the next 2-3 years without having to upgrade(or doing too much upgrading) if I were to build a pc next year.
  17. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    I think that is a great idea. The DX10 cards are too expensive now, and there are no DX10 games out yet. I plan on doing the jump around summer time or so (after the games are out, and the prices have come down). As I suggested in my second post to you in this thread

  18. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    Hmmm, I didn't see that either (no offense DonNagual :) )
  19. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    None taken mate! :)

    Let us know what you decide, and if you want more help in upgrading your current system, keep posting here. Love to help out in any way I can.
  20. Jps332

    Jps332 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Alright now I've kind of got a new thing- I would really like to be able to play games such as Battlefield2142, and for now I would like to just have to upgrade my video card and PSU. I need an AGP card for about $150-190. hmm any suggestions?
  21. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    For now, what about an X850 AGP? That's what I was going to suggest, and it's not that expensive ( <$200) and it will last into the DX10 "Boom" and plays all DX9 games well too (Far Cry Ultra Quality, Battlefield 2142 High Quality paired with the right ram and cpu).

    Damn, I can't find one on

    There is also the GeForce 7600GT AGP.
  22. Jps332

    Jps332 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    So I need to upgrade ram and you said "paired with the right ram AND CPU" Will I have to do anything to my cpu?
  23. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    No, I just meant in general. Your cpu is fine.
  24. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Has the 7600GT made it to AGP yet? If so, that is a great card if you can find one. If not the 7600GS is no slouch either for the money.

    I realize there is a limit to everyone's budget, and there is a limit as to how much you want to invest in this current system before upgrading to a new one, so I'll mention this for your info to do with as you please. BF2142 is actually a heavy ram user (compared to most other games). You will of course be able to run the game with 512mb, but that is one of the few games out that even shows performance increases when going up to 2Gb (most games show no performance increase between 1Gb and 2Gb). That particular game LOVES ram. If you have the dough ($60 should do it), get yourself up to 1Gb.
  25. Jps332

    Jps332 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Hmm i'll have to find the 7600gt or other AGP card if anyone has suggestions
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