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video card help

By BLINGGGjuice
Nov 1, 2006
  1. I have an old Presario s3000nx with Athlon XP2000+ 1.67 with 266MHz FSB, 768 MB DDR SDRAM (I added 512 Crucial), 64mb GF4 MX440SE AGP4x and 250W power supply. I want to be able to play 2004+ games requiring shader. I realize I'll be playing at minimum settings and still slow but I'm not ready to replace pc yet as gaming is not it's primary function and I play much more low graphics games of strategy then I do bristling action games with online play rather then one player. That said I'm sitting here with gifts of Fear and Act of War unplayable, plus I'd like to get a few others. With my slower pc should I go 68mb or 128 ? 128 I could later put into a p4 3.0 or equivalent also. I'm looking into either a 64 or 128MB Radeon 9600, or I've found just in 128 MB power a few GF Ti 4000 series, or just in 128MB power a few GF 6000 series ? I can buy a 64mb 9600 for $30 including shipping. The rest are a little higher.

    Now on to my son's pc, which he's not ready to replace either just yet.....

    He's got a Dimension 4600 P4 2.66GHz with 533 FSB, 256 MB DDR 333MHz non-ECC SDRAM(2 DIMMs), integrated graphics with, from what I've read online, an AGP 4 or 8x slot available. Same question with his -68 or 128 MB video card ? He's into the Warcraft series and plays online regularly and I'd like him to be able to play some of the better games that require T&L and shader.
     
  2. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    I assume you both have Windows XP on both PCs?

    For games, especially one being as demanding as FEAR, i think 128mb video ram should be your minimum, but 256mb or more preferable.

    For your son's PC, i think you should start your upgrade path by either adding another stick of 256mb ram onto it, or replace that stick and put in 2x 512mb in it. WOW will play with the minimum 64mb video card but the more the better as i've said above if you can afford it. The only thing thats lacking or slowing down the game now is just the lack of RAM available. Unfortunately, like all Dells, you may need to find out a compatible stick of ram that you can use, being mostly proprietary....

    World of Warcraft requirements (Warcraft 3 is a bit less but about the same requirements): http://www.blizzard.com/SUPPORT/WOW/?id=aww0823p

    Now onto your old Presario. I think you should ditch your odd stick of ram (the 256mb) and put in another 512mb on it. Its optional, but just remember this when you start to run into stability problems later on.

    You'd probably know the minimum requirements for FEAR, but here it is if you want a refresher: http://fear.filefront.com/info/system

    Do note that with a video card upgrade, you may need to also upgrade your PSU as well, as usualy its not powerful enough to power it. Usualy its the 12V rail that needs about 18Amps or more on it since graphics cards are known to chew on power.

    I'm not a good follower of video cards so i'm probably not the one to ask what you need but i know the basics of these things to get me by.. i think the radeon 9600s are the bottom of the range series..

    Oh yeh.. how much are you willing to spend on the cards? and where do you live (country)?
     
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    I agree with N3051M. Up the RAM on ur son's PC to atleast 512MB or to 1GB if it's possible. Also, for both PCs a 256MB GeForce 6600 or a 128MB GeForce 6600GT would be ideal. They are much more powerful than the Radeon 9600 but still quite cheap and are easily available too. If u tell me where u live, I can recommend a good place where u can get the RAM and the graphics cards for a good price.
     
  4. BLINGGGjuice

    BLINGGGjuice TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi, thanks for all your help, yes both have xp. I live in Canton, OH (HOF !). My son (15yrs old) wants world of warcraft but currently only has W3 and since he only has integrated graphics he doesn't have T&L or shader, can't play games like Generals, WOW etc...*I'm pretty sure, since I think I remember him trying to install/play Generals with no success. I was able to with the GF4MX440se with T&L, but now I'm missing shader, so Fear won't initiate after install. With his I'll go with 128 card and if memory shortages develop I'll upgrade or add to his ram. Where as my son would love to have the best upgrades to his pc, but since I make him fund his upgrades (he even bought the PC 3 yrs ago from money earned from mowing his grandmother's lawn at refurb outlet for 430 :)....it's enough for us just to keep him in the newest game console and new games each xmas, which again this year we are thinking of doing, usually it's PS series but now were hearing xbox360 is better....hard to tell since PS3 isn't out yet and would be a bummer since we have over one hundred PS2 games)

    Keep in mind I'm not an everyday gamer, I may play a game for a week or 2 several hours a day, then not play any games for a month or two as my pc's main function is running an online business where with Broadband and my extra memory it does an ok job running ms office applications etc.

    I currently have 2 40GB HD's, 2 sticks ram....With mine I was wondering if I could get away with a 128 card with my measly 250 PSU or if without PSU upgrade to it I'd have to stick with an aftermarket 64MB video card so nothing burns up ? I was planning on buying from USA eBay as that's where I located all mentioned in previous post, the 64mb 9600 for 30 and the rest for under or around $70. Thanks for your help !
     
  5. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    This card should work just fine in your current setups: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102410

    It is a 256MB card, but for the price, it should play the games just fine (read some of the reviews).

    As for your sons computer, the same cards should work fine. But I would upgrade his RAM if possible. 256MB of Ram really isn't enough to play those games.
     
  6. BLINGGGjuice

    BLINGGGjuice TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks NICKSLICK74, that's a great price. I'll show to my son and see if he'll fork over the dough. To install in my pc (250W) I'm assuming I'd have to replace my PSU for sure ? What's my max mb card I can install with my PSU-64,128 or 256 ? Thanks again !
     
  7. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    Try going here to see if you can squeeze by with your current cpu. If not, you may need to look at a 9550 or a 9250. But, obviously, the 9600 would be better tna either of those.
     
  8. BLINGGGjuice

    BLINGGGjuice TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My psu is a Highpro HP-D2537F3R, says +3.3V-18AMP, max output- 250W. It's 4 yrs old but I shut it down every night and mainly just do ms office work on it and some graphic editing,frontpage and mainly older stratedgy, role playing games like Diablo, icewind dale etc..., so the power supply hasn't been asked much of in past I don't think. I imagine this might be a cheap unit, when I do the calculator it says no problem at 193 but when I adjust the surge compensation & cap aging to 10-20 percent ranges it varies between 249-251 required- just figures !

    I have one tiny 50mm fan(around) and one 80mm fan, so I entered 2 80mm, plus I don't know if any fan attached to the 9600 should be added.

    What do you think, can I pull it off ?
     
  9. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    I think you can pull it off. But... you can get a decent psu from newegg for for around $30 (Linky here). FSP is a good, inexpensive brand. They also have a 300watt for $23. They aren't difficult to connect, just plug in everything that was plugged in before!

    When you enter the vid card in, it takes into account the fan for it.
     
  10. BLINGGGjuice

    BLINGGGjuice TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I lucked out ! I determined that mine is one of the thunderbird varieties(family 8) and even when I put up surge percentage and cap age percentage it now stays below 250, anywhere from 217 to 246 from 10-20% settings on both. Going to get us both the 9600, for the price and 256 mb and my older system not having the processor anyway to take advantage of the better cards, I can't beat it. I'm sure we'll both notice a big difference from 64 to 256mb. Thanks for all the help.
     
  11. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    well thats good to hear :)
    Good luck with the upgrade and remember when you run into trouble, check out the RAM and the PSU first. Or post back here :D

    N30
     
  12. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Errr? Anyone explain what the above post is? Is it just that guy being an ***** or was there some sort of error?
     
  13. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    ^^probably foreign language spam that didn't write through well.. stupid them :D

    reported..
     
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Yeah. Probably Russian by the looks of it.
     
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