need help picking out second video card

By tha17 ยท 33 replies
Apr 30, 2007
  1. hey everyone i am thinking about buying this computer right here:

    it allready has a NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE Graphics with TurboCache with 128MB dedicated graphics memory on it and it still has room for another video card. i want to play games like BATTLEFIELD2 and i want to play it on max settings no skip. so i was wondering if i sould save my money because it dosent need another video card or if i should spend money and get a second video card to help the proformance and what video card i should get (less than $100 would be great!)

    any advise would be great!

    thx a lot

  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Your second card doesn't help with the performance.

    It just takes over.

    Which is still a good thing, because just about any graphics card you can get will outperform the on board 6150. Even if you bought another 6150.

    The specs on that link claim to have an PCIe x16, so any PCIe graphics card will work with it.

    As far as performance goes, you definately can't go max settings on BF2 on that onboard chip. You probably need something closer to the 7600gt or a little higher.

    For less than 100, I think this is the best card you will be able to get. It will push about 20fps in BF2142 (which may be a little more demanding than BF2), max quality with some AA and AF thrown in at 1280x1024.

    Edit: This might be a better deal with the rebate thrown in, would be <100.
  3. tha17

    tha17 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 45

  4. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    look at the link he gave u that was a low end card that would give u what u were asking for and if u go less u get less....
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    The first link I mentioned would be the better card. X1650XT outperforms all the other forms of X1650, if I'm right.

    I still have doubts that the X1650XT will play BF2 at max settings without lagging a little. I'd be much happier with a card at the 150 dollar range. Such as this one, which I believe is the exact same card I'm using at the moment. Except mine's overclocked by about 10%, this card just doesn't do overclocks very well.... I can guarantee that it'll play BF2 on max settings without a problem at stock speeds :D

    But its gonna cost you 50% more than the other card....
  6. tha17

    tha17 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 45

    ok 2 ? are you saying that if i get this computer and put this video card in it than i would get MAX settings with just an upgraded video card???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    and another ? do you overclock????
  7. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Okay, forget what I said.

    You need a new computer basically, right? And you're going to want to play semi-recent games on max settings.

    I'm going to assume you are happy to spend 100 dollars more than what that system you mentioned will cost.

    C2D E6320
    Coresair Value Select 1gb PC5300
    Leadtek 7900GS which should perform equally well as the X1950Pro. This one seems like a bargain.
    Raidmax Sagitta ATX with 450W PSU
    Seagate 250Gb SATA
    Liteon 20X DVDrw PATA

    Total comes up to 630.94 including rebates, excluding shipping.

    You'll need to pick up any keyboard and mouse.

    Also, I'm working to fit all this into your budget, so if someone comes up and say "for XXX dollars more, you can get this and this" and you think its a good deal, I recommend you state THE VERY MAXIMUM you will fork out for this system, and I will change some items. Even then, there will be that "for XXX dollars more, you can get this and this"....

    I'll state first that I'm not happy with the RAM choice, or the PSU, and I'd rather have the durability version of the motherboard. But even with all this factored in, its still a much much better PC than the one you mentioned (even if you spent that 100 dollars on a new graphics card).
  8. tha17

    tha17 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 45

    wow! so i am guesing that this can play it...haha

    best info anyones ever given me on this forum!
    so now all i need is mouse keyboard and montior?:)
  9. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,482   +44

    yup, all you need are periferals(/dictionary, lol) He put together a good system too. You should be fine with whatever you want to play right now except that supreme commando game that recommends a physics card, ha
  10. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

  11. tha17

    tha17 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Also, I'm working to fit all this into your budget, so if someone comes up and say "for XXX dollars more, you can get this and this" and you think its a good deal, I recommend you state THE VERY MAXIMUM you will fork out for this system, and I will change some items. Even then, there will be that "for XXX dollars more, you can get this and this"....

    the VERY MAXIMUM i am willing to give is $900 and my maximum i mean MAXIMUM...hehe and that is with tax included

    the maximum i will spend is 900 and that is with tax and everything! like monitor keyboard and mouse
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Okay, changes.

    C2D E6320
    Gskill 2gb DDR2 800mhz 5-5-5-15
    Leadtek 7900GS
    Antec Sonata II ATX with 450W PSU
    Seagate 250Gb SATA
    Liteon 20X DVDrw PATA

    Total comes up to 780.94. I suppose now's a good time to hear what upgrades can be done to this configuration. My suggestion is that you might want a bigger hard disk drive. Maybe a bigger graphics card if you want to play more recent games. The 7900gs should be good enough to play BF2 on max settings, but if you want to be really really sure, or you might want to try out some newer games later, this card (249.99) should do the trick. Might also want to pick up the E6420 instead, which is just 22 dollars dollars more, although I don't think you'll see much difference in performance there.

    I'm sorry, but the 8500gt is the biggest load of crap. The only Geforce8 series worth talking about is the 8800 series. The 3 reasons for choosing that one over this 7900gs isn't even real reasons. Let me try it.

    3 reasons why you should choose the 7900 gs.
    1. Because its nVidia
    2. Because its Leadtek
    3. Because its Dx9

    Feels good giving reasons like that, I should try it more often, instead of:
    The 7900GS is one of the best value for money cards out there. It runs most games quite well on medium-high resolutions, which are commonly found on 17, 19, maybe 22" LCD panels. The only reason why I chose this particular brand was because it has a rebate, and would cost much less than the X1950Pro 256mb GDDR3, which is just a tad faster. It has also shown potential to overclock over 20%, with significant gains in performance if you're willing to do so.

    That took much more time.

    Don't take it personally, I had a crap day.

    Whoops, didn't see that part about monitor. $120 for a monitor means you might have to settle for a 17" LCD, or we could scale the stuff down a little to fit a 19" LCD, which seems to be the standard these days. There are 3 19" LCDs which cost 159.99 on newegg, sceptre, hanns-g, and acer.

    That'll push you about 30 dollars off budget. Easily brought back to budget by switching to the motherboard in the first list. Brings us less than 5 dollars over budget... hmm.... go without lunch for a day? :D
  13. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +64

    Don't forget to include the price of the operating system. Unless you have a Windows CD (not a backup CD) you will need to purchase a new operating system. I assume you want Windows Vista because the computer you were going to buy came with Vista Home Premium. You can get it here:

    There also is the 32-bit version for about 8$ cheaper or you can get XP here:

    I can't agree with CHM on the video card however. The 7900 gs is getting to be a pretty old card now. Sure it will play Battlefield 2 and similar games pretty well, but I'm afraid it doesn't have very good longevity. Personally I'd wait untill Ati releases their new HD series cards to compete with Nvidia's 8 series cards, and then buy the best (performance/price ratio) midrange card. Right now, the 8600 gt is probably the best midrange card out there as it performs on par with the 7900 gs running only a few frames lower, plus it is directx 10 compatible. So, you will be able to play games like Crysis. You can get an 8600 gt here:

    or a 7900 gs with rebates here:

    Here is a link to some benchmarks of the 8600s if you want to see for yourself:

    One final thing. You should also take into account how many computers you've built. I'll take a wild guess and say that you haven't built any, so do your reasearch before taking on the challenge. You can always post here at TechSpot if you need help! Good luck!
  14. tha17

    tha17 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 45

    ok... is there tax included in this price cause if it isent that would be like $50 more :-/ or is there no tax when you buy online?
  15. tha17

    tha17 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 45 i need a sound card?
  16. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +64

    You don't really need a sound card unless you have a killer sound system and want the best. You also don't pay tax on items bought on the Internet, but the tradeoff is that you have to pay shipping. I totaled up the price of the computer CMH put together with the Acer 19" moitor and it comes to $963.29 including shipping. If you got a different motherboard, you could bring the price down a bit. The motherboard CMH was recommending is a little pricey for a non-SLI mobo. This is the system I would recommend:

    CPU: Core 2 Duo E6320
    Motherboard: abit IB9 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard
    RAM: G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
    Video card: MSI GeForce 8600 gt 265Mb 128 bit
    Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda 250 Gb 7200 rpm
    Case: RAIDMAX Scorpio ATX-868WBP
    Power supply: Included with case
    CD/DVD drive: SONY Black 18X DVD+R
    Monitor: Hans-G 19"
    Operating system: Windows Vista Home Premium

    The total comes to $913.41 with shipping included. Without the operating system the total is $788.43 and without the monitor it is $644.47. Keep in mind that these prices are after rebates. It wouldn't be worth it to buy a keyboard and mouse online. Just pick them up at a electronics store. Hope this was helpful!
  17. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    hmm... yeah, I agree I picked a motherboard which may be a little too high end...

    I still wouldn't recommend the 8600 series though. You're paying a premium for the DX10 support. I'd rather go with the X1950Pro, which is supposedly more powerful, but loses the DX10 support, which I believe isn't going to be a crucial problem.
  18. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +64

    the MSI 8600 gt is only $137. How is that a premium when a 7600 gt can still be bought at that price? The cheapest X1950PRO can be bought for $158, and the 8600 can be overclocked to nearly match its performance PLUS it's directx 10 compatible. I don't know; I just really have a hard time suggesting old hardware when someone is "upgrading."
  19. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9


    I didn't check the price, but as you can see, tha17 probably won't be messing around with overclocking. And overclocking to nearly match the performance of another part that 21 dollars more, in other words, its stock performance is far off the X1950Pro.... thats considered a premium.

    Not worth it IMO, but if tha17 thinks that its worth it, then I suppose go for it. DX10 is just a marketing gimmick at this point in time to me...
  20. tha17

    tha17 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 45

  21. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +64

    At stock performance the 8600 gt is about 13-14% behind the X1950PRO, but the X1950PRO is also 13.29% more expensive. They have the same price/performance ratio and therefore there is no premium. MSIs 8600 gt comes factory OCd already, and if tha17 is going to be building his computer, I'm pretty sure someday he will want to know how to overclock. By the way, I like your overclocking FAQ :).

    First, ask yourself what you are going to do with your computer. Do you primarily want to play games, or do you need it for school/work etc. If you just want to play older games, then the X1950PRO is just fine, but if you want to be able to play new games w/o terrible lag, then you should get something that supports DX10. Like I said before, you should wait until later this month for Ati to release their new cards, and then pick the best midrange card between the Ati and Nvidia. DX10 is NOT a marketing gimmick! DX10 is a complete restructuring of all of the previous DXs with some additional features. This restructuring makes it WAY more efficient and faster. DX10 allows game studios to put MUCH more into their games at the same performance levels of DX9 games. If you don't beleive me, just check out Crysis or Alan Wake.
  22. tha17

    tha17 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 45

    how much is there new cards?

    and i want to play good games all this summer....then it will be only for school...and on weekends it will be for gaming...etc... so basically both...but a gaming computer can do anything a regular work computer can do...better.
  23. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +64

    You can check out the pricing of Nvidia's 8 series cards on Newegg right now, but you'll have to wait until Ati releases their new cards to find out how much they'll cost. For the first couple of weeks, I imagine they will be above MSRP, but then the price will drop just like all of the 8800s have. Oh, I just saw this:

    If you can spend $250 then get the PNY 8800 gts 320 Mb. It has been as low as $240 after rebates. Here is a benchmark that shows the 8800 gts 320 whooping an X1950xt. Please note that the 8800gts 320Mb may drop in price pending the release of Ati's cards.
  24. tha17

    tha17 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 45

    what bout this card though
    CMH recomended it to me...

    and i dont know how i am going to get sound? i dont really want to use headphones and with speekers u need a sound card but thats not that big of deal because they can be as low as 30 bucks. also i have a ? many PCI slots or were you would put the sound or video card would go how many do i have? it looks like that video card takes up 2 ?! and then would i have enough for a sound card or 2 video cards? i dont get it...i have 7 pci thingys on the case but i only see like 2 on the mainboard...
  25. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +64


    1. Like I said in the last post, the GeForce 8800 gts 320Mb beats the Radeon X1950xt and it costs about the same price. There's no reason to drop $250 on an old Directx 9 video card like the X1950xt, when there are better performing Directx 10 video cards for the same price.

    2. You don't need a sound card in order to use speakers. EVERY motherboard has an onboard audio chipset just like every motherboard (excluding the high-end ones) has an onboard video chipset like the GeForce 6150 on the computer you were thinking about buying. If you want to buy a sound card, then it would go in one of the standard PCI slots.

    3. The abit motherboard I recommended comes with 1 PCI-Express 16x slot (where your video card will go), 3 PCI-Express 1x slots, and 2 standard PCI slots, for a total of 5 slots. Both video cards take up the same room as 2 slots, but if you look at the pictures, you cans see that only 1 PCI-Express 1x slot will get blocked by the video card. That's ok because you really don't need those PCI-Express 1x slots.

    4. You wouldn't be able to put in 2 video cards because you only have 1 PCI-Express slots (another reason to get a better video card). To have 2 video cards, you would need an SLI or an Crossfire motherboard.

    5. It doesn't matter how many expansion slots your case has. Since the case and motherboard are both ATX standard, you can be sure the motherboard will fit just fine. The 2 extra expansion slots on the case will just not get used.
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