TechSpot

Video card update

By widmyer
Apr 12, 2009
  1. I have an Emachine T3256.I want to get the best gaming I can for this computer.I will pay what ever it takes.Can anyone tell me what I need to buy?
     
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    So there is no budget?
    What games do you want to play?
    An emachine will never be superior, they are after all, aimed at budget desktops, not gaming.

    If you have not upgraded anything yet (I doubt you have), you may need a new power supply.

    I looked up your computer, it looks like you have one AGPx8 slot.
    EDIT: finishing this post later D:.
     
  3. widmyer

    widmyer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    video card

    I play mostly action and war type games.The newer ones are not supported by my video acrd.I will upgrade to what ever I have to.It should still be cheaper than buying a new gaming computer
     
  4. werepossum

    werepossum TS Rookie Posts: 31

    Your emachine has an AMD XP3200+ CPU and features an AGP8X video slot. It's never going to make a good gaming machine, at least for current generation games, without gutting it. Here's the link.
    http://www.emachines.com/support/product_support.html?cat=Desktops&subcat=T Series&model=T3256

    The AMD 3850 is probably the best AGP card you can buy. Here's one for about $120.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102730
    Note that you definitely need to check your power supply - it's probably not up to 450W & especially 30 amps on the 12V line (plus you need two available 4-pin connectors to power the card.) And it would be foolish to buy a video card without maxing out your RAM.

    You're going to pay a premium for the old parts - a PCI Express 3850 is $65, your DDR RAM is similarly double the price of the current DDR2 RAM (which is in the process of becoming obsolete itself), and your CPU is going to limit you on some games - and you won't be able to buy a better CPU without changing motherboards, in which case your new video card and RAM will be worthless.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102794
    I'd look at retiring this computer and building or buying another if it were me. Hand it down to a child or to an older relative who won't be playing current cutting edge games.
     
  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,454   +227

    Yes, it's a slippery slope. You think, "I want my PC to be capable of playing some of the better game titles. I'll buy a better graphics card." As werepossum points out, it's not always that easy.
     
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    werepossum finished that for me, but the 3850 is not a good card, especially for the price, that emachine is like an antique now.

    I used to be in a similar situation *shudder*, I ended up leaving the emachine and building my computer.
     
  7. werepossum

    werepossum TS Rookie Posts: 31

    Another thing is that if you upgrade the eMachine to modern standards, you'll essentially be retaining the burner, hard drive, OS, and case, roughly $150 to $200 in parts at new prices. If you bite the bullet and buy or build new, you'll have two functional computers, one which can be passed along to someone else or used in a different place. If you have XP, you may even want to keep it for your new build and load Linux on the old machine. EDIT: Anything before XP is not worth keeping.

    Also, as hellokitty pointed out, the 3850 isn't a good card by today's standards even at $65, much less at $125. If I were dead set on upgrading, I'd look very hard for a used video card and RAM, preferably from someone you can trust, and minimize the money I'm in effect borrowing. The only problem is that people tend to value their used parts according to what they paid - not what they are actually worth. Or you could look for open box deals or check manufacturer sites for deals on refurbs.
     
  8. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +60

    If your case is 778 form factor (if not buy another case), buy a mobo (with 2x pci-e slots) for around 100$ buy a cpu for around 190$, buy a pci-e video card for 130i$sh, keep your old keyboard, monitor, dvd burner, mouse, hard drive, speakers. And poof you have a huge upgrade.

    Total 420$, youll be able to play all the latest games at max settings with good fps, if you play at really high resolution (higher than 1680x1200) you may need to spend a little more on a video card.

    mobo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16813131232R

    cpu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115057

    Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161268

    Of course you will need to make sure you have a adequate psu. Im not an expert but iv been shopping\learning around a lot recently, anyone correct me if im wrong. I dont know what your stock monitor is but if its not a lcd, get one after this and your graphics will look way better.
     
  9. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,851

    Poof?. First of all, I am not familiar with the 778 form factor. I am not sure what you mean by that. His motherboard is most likely an ATX. Any ATX motherboard will work in any ATX case. I have worked on older emachines and they normally arent too proprietary. PS treetops your links dont work.

    Secondly, emachines uses lousy PSUs in ALL of their machines. Like most OEMs do. You will almost always have to upgrade that when upgrading an OEM machine.

    I highly doubt that your emachines copy of your OS is going to install if you get a new motherboard.
     
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,370   +125

    I think maybe the thread starter gave up after learning the truth about emachines :), anyway those two posts up there are his only too posts on techspot so far.
     
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