1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Guide to video card upgrades/questions

By cfitzarl · 214 replies
Dec 29, 2006
  1. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    If you can afford it, upgrade everything, since it'd also give you a much wider range of options to choose from and give you an overall better performing PC as well. If your budget won't allow for it, then just get the video card.

    Give me a PM and tell me your budget and exact location, and whether or not you'd be willing to buy online. I'll suggest a suitable build for you based on that. It would be offtopic in here and would just serve to confuse people as to the purpose of this thread.
  2. dnme

    dnme TS Rookie

    Ah okay. I tried sending a PM but it said i have only 3 posts, i need atleast 15 post to send PMs..lol
  3. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    then dnme, my suggestion would be to open a thread, in the title state just what u need or want, then u can explain more in u're first post.
  4. JaredN

    JaredN TS Rookie

    Hi there,

    1. Main use would be as a media center...find HD playback to be a bit jerky right now. Would play medieval total war 2 if it wasn't so slow.
    2. About £50 ($100)
    3. PSU - 180W 10A from FSP group But it's a micro ATX form factor and I've found it near impossible to find a replacement.
    4. MB - 915P-M3
    CPU - P4 3.2Ghz 640
    Memory - 2gb DDR
    Graphics - PCI-express, got a Radeon x550 in right now
    5. From the UK

    Whats the best graphics card I can get without upgrading my PSU?


  5. Kerry234

    Kerry234 TS Rookie

    Hi, im from england. i only play the sims 2, with all expansion packs. im looking for a new graphics card, but i haven't got a clue what to buy. im looking to spend £50 to £120

    AMD Athlon 64 3400+
    Speed 2411.5 mhz
    DDR Single
    1024 mbytes
    Nvidia Geforce 6200

    the pc is a compaq presario running xp
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    @JaredN, you cannot get a new video card better than your current one without a new PSU, except maybe a low-profile 8500GT. And that's a maybe.

    @Kerry234, it'd help more if you posted the model number of your PC.
  7. Kerry234

    Kerry234 TS Rookie

    sorry its a SR1000
  8. bobert5696

    bobert5696 TS Rookie

    hi, i'm looking to upgrade me video card and have some questions. to start, i built this computer maybe 1.5 - 2 years ago, so its not the greatest, but its not too bad, but i think my biggest problem right now is my graphics card.
    i mainly play WoW, but i would like to be at 30-50 fps rather then 12-20
    my budget is up to about $200

    my hardware:
    intel pentium D 2.8 OC to 3.0
    1 gig ram (getting another gig when i get my new video card)
    Video Card: google n82e16814102078 and look at the google cache on newegg

    Power Supply: google: psu hiper hpu 4m480 and look at the newegg google cache of it

    i have pci express on my mobo (not 2.0)

    and i'm from the USA

    thanks for the help
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Get this video card and this PSU and you'll be good to go.
  10. z0k!

    z0k! TS Rookie Posts: 61

    1. keen on playing crysis,assassins creed and world in conflict
    2. $100-$200
    3. PSU - cooler master 460w http://www.coolermaster.com/products/product.php?language=en&act=detail&tbcate=22&id=3728
    4. Mobo - xfx nforce 630i/integrated geforce 7100
    CPU - Intel core2duo e6550 @2.33ghz 4mb cache
    Memory - 2x1 gb corsair xms2/dhx
    Graphics - PCI-express 1.0 integrated geforce 7100
    5. Pakistan

    i originally wanted to get 9800gtx+ or hd4850 but after seeing the crysis recommended specs i suppose that 9800gt might be pretty adequate.is there any incentive to go above 9800gt?plus is it all good if i choose 4850 for my nforce mobo.

    would love to hear your recommendations here

  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    You will be pushing your PSU to the breaking point with a 9800GT or an HD 4850. AcBel's lower-end PSUs aren't really designed for that kind of load, so I'd recommend either getting a new PSU or getting a 9600GT instead. Check out Galaxy.pk for some ideas on what to buy. I would recommend the Corsair 520HX they have for Rs.8k and the Inno3D 9800GT for Rs.14500 if you can spend that much.
  12. z0k!

    z0k! TS Rookie Posts: 61

    you got the store bang on target where i got my pc from.
    did i say acbel ,i have a cooler master 460watts

    plus i saw newegg recommending 450w psu for a 9800gtx+.check the specs tab
  13. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    that is for minimal power supply, and that being an excellent one the Corsair 520HX is an excellent power supply. and would do u're system well. here is another good one that is cheaper if u would to look at it CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    AcBel are the OEM maker for some Cooler Master's PSUs, including yours. Sorry if that wasn't clear before.

    As for the Newegg link, it doesn't specify the amps needed from the +12V rail by a system running the card. It would probably be around 26A for yours, which is the minimum amount needed for the card. So you will be on the verge of overloading your PSU, which will have unpleasant results.
  15. z0k!

    z0k! TS Rookie Posts: 61

    the thing is that it only been a few months since i bought the system,and the vendor recommended the 460w psu because i told him i'd be adding a graphic card for gaming later.isnt there a card that can give me good gaming performance under the current config?

    ooh! i guess then i have no option than to substitue my psu.whats the recommended amperage for 12v railings.the cooler maser site says its 300w something

    btw still what options do i have with my current psu?
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    You can go with a 9600GT. It doesn't require as much power.

    And for a new PSU, look for one with at least 30A on the +12V rails combined. This means that the combined wattage rating for the +12V rails should be at least 360W. You can usually find this info on the PSU sticker or in a manual on the manufacturer's website. For example, your PSU sticker states a total +12V wattage rating of 312W, which translates to 312/12=26A. The Corsair PSU I recommended before has a +12V rating of around 40A, which is more than enough for any single-card setup.
  17. z0k!

    z0k! TS Rookie Posts: 61

    thank you guys for your valuable feedback,saved me from an irrational purchase.

    btw is 8800gts better than 9600gt? if so would it fit under my limited psu output
  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Yes, the 8800GTS is far better than the 9600GT. But sadly, no, you can't run it without changing your PSU. :(
  19. Chudnab

    Chudnab TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Great thread. Until recently I based my PSU purchases on wattage alone. I never knew to thoroughly examine the additional specs. Thanks!
  20. KurtM

    KurtM TS Rookie

    Replace AGP Card

    My ATI Radeon 9800 XT Card has partially failed (no longer can play games, but rest works), and I would like to replace it with a similar or better perfoming card.

    - Spore at 1680x1050
    - $300
    - Specs
    Dell Computer Corp 0M2035
    AGP 3.0 8x
    Intel P4 3.2GHz
    2G DDR Dual Channel
    DEll 250W 16A PS
    - USA

    I tried to research this myself and got lost. Please help, thanks.
  21. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    You will need a new PSU for your new card. I'd recommend this PSU and this card.
  22. Revelation 23

    Revelation 23 TS Rookie

    Okay, first post here. Hopefully someone might be able to give me a clear answer.

    I built this computer at the end of summer last year. ECS nForce 570 SLIT-A, Celeron D 356 with Mascool heatsink/fan, 2 GB OCZ DDR2 @ 667MHz, EVGA GeForce 8400 GS, 60 GB and 80 GB hard drives. 350 Watt PSU, but underpowered on the 12V rail, which I knew beforehand - and never got around to replacing (stuff comes up!). Added a 320 GB Seagate SATA a few months ago. Currently connected to a Acer X243 Widescreen via DVI. Nothing overclocked. Windows XP Pro, SP3.

    Not the best system around, but I just needed something that worked to replace the HP that was fried in early 2007. I play a lot of games (shooters and RPG's, mostly), but I'm not obsessed with getting the highest resolutions, ridiculous frame rates or such. If I can max settings in a game, great. If not, playable and decent looking works for me. And it works fine with the 3D stuff (modelling, texturing, rendering).

    A while back, my desktop started to look funny and seemed to be getting worse. I powered down and opened the case to see if there was any major buildup of dust (which is one problem I do have with the computer). Nothing noticable, so I put the panel back on and restarted. Ugly green screen. Shut down. Restart. Nothing, so I hooked the monitor up via VGA instead of DVI. Worked, but darker and not as sharp. Rebooting didn't cause problems, but a cold boot required me to hook up a CRT first, then after I was in Windows, I could hook up the Acer.

    This got old quick, so I borrowed a bit of money to get a different card (thinking that was the problem, and I wanted a better card anyway) and get a better PSU. Finally selected an 650 Watt from Ultra (with 38A on the 12V rail) and an XFX 8600 GT XXX (with the Zalman fan/heatsink). Other than triggering Windows activation, install went fine. Had one crash in Bioshock after starting a new game. Didn't bother with any other games at the time, had other stuff to try to get done instead.

    I ran some of the nVidia demos, just to see what they were showing off - and before I had the 8400, the best I had was a PCI FX 5200, which I believe was KIA when the HP it was in fried. Nalu crashed after a while and the Toys demo didn't fare any better. And lo and behold, my display started to get a bit garbled. I wasn't happy. After my system froze, I shut down and waited a few minutes before booting up again. Garbled display, 640X480 resolution, 4 colors. Not quite what I had before (1920X1200). Getting less happy.

    Put the 8400 GS back in. Things seem fine.

    I don't have another mobo with PCIE to see if the 8600 GT is borked or not. And I'm wondering if I really needed the card, if the 8400 is working now without a problem.

    Sorry for being long winded. Just thought it best to mention what I've got and what I've gone through over the past couple weeks.

    Would an underpowered PSU have done this, and the new Ultra was all I needed to get my computer back under control? Or could the fact that the GT is a PCIE 2.0 card and my mobo only supports 1.0 be why it stopped working? I've seen conflicting answers about the backwards compatability - some say a PCIE 2.0 card will work fine in a 1.0 slot (just not as fast); some say it works in a 1.1 but not a 1.0.

    Any ideas?
  23. KurtM

    KurtM TS Rookie

    Thank you for your recommendations. Do you think a X1300 Pro 256MB card will preform as well as my old Radeon 9800 XT?
  24. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    No, it's a far more inferior card.

    @Revelation 23, the 8600GT is not a PCI-E 2.0 card. I recommend using RivaTuner to log the GPU's temperature in the background while you play a game for 5-10 minutes and checking to see if it's overheating. Also, make sure you have the latest Forceware drivers installed.
  25. Revelation 23

    Revelation 23 TS Rookie

    Oops, I should clarify what I've got. The XFX card is a [ame=http://www.amazon.com/XFX-PVT84JUSD4-GeForce-Express-S-Video/dp/B000ZPJ79A]Geforce 8600 GT XXX[/ame]. I didn't alter any setting on it, including the factory overclock. I was wrong about it being a PCIE 2.0 card though. Not sure where I was getting that from. Still, I'm not happy about the situation.

    I can get into Windows on that card, but can't really do anything. 640X480 in 4 colors is not very pretty. I did manage to get online and do a bit of research ebfore deciding to drop the 8400 GS back in, which wasn't too hard, despite the resolution and 4 color display. But anything that had Flash on it caused IE to puke, and not simply because it's IE.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...