Not sure what graphics card I need

By inversionce ยท 5 replies
May 20, 2010
  1. I dont know much about graphics cards or things like that, but I was going through some post on here and downloaded SiSoftware Sandra and not very sure on what to do next. Because I'm thinking of buying a new card next week.
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Does your motherboard support AGP or PCI-E ?
    What do you want the new card to do ? Gaming ? If so, what is your monitor resolution and what game titles do you intend playing ?
    Budget ?
    Location ?
    Access to etail ?

    You may also have to consider your power supply in the equation - adequate connectivity, voltage/amperage, age and brand could all have a bearing depending upon what class of card you want to upgrade to.
    If the forum is better informed of your requirements then the advice you receive will be better tailored to your needs.
  3. inversionce

    inversionce TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Not sure about AGP or PCI-E.
    I want the card to be able to run starcraft 2 and diablo 3( i know theres no specs yet, but want to be prepared) i can run WoW now but it gets laggy at times.
    Budget- $200ish
    Location - Canada, BC
    i have a future shop across town.

    Comp Specs:
    Model: Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.06 GHz
    Mainboard: Intel D915GAV
    Bus(es): X-Bus PCI PCIe IMB USB i2c/SMBus
    Multi-processor (MP) Support : No
    Multi - Processor Advanced PIC (APIC) : Yes
    Total Memory : 2.12 GB DIMM DDR

    Windows Vista Home 6.00.6002 (service pack 2)
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Future Shop ? Is that a chain store or a store that hasn't been built yet ?

    You're CPU is going to bottleneck performance before you really extend a $200 cards' graphics ability.
    I'm not a SC player, but judging by the system requirements it doesn't seem hugely demanding at first glance. Maybe a Starcraft playing forum member can weigh in with their thoughts.
    Using NCIX as a guide (I'm not in Canada) I'd say that this PowerColor HD 5770 for $140 looks a very nice deal. Other manufacturers (Gigabyte, Sapphire, Asus) also seem available for around $165 - 190.
    This card would be a quantum leap above the suggested/recommended cards for WoW and Starcraft, and is also frugal with power usage- which brings us to your power supply...
    The card requires a PCIe 6 pin for power. Not a big issue as most of these cards include an adapter that coverts two 4-pin Molex (peripheral) power to a PCIe 6 pin, but to give unequivocal support for the card change I'd need to know that your power supply is up to the task-especially if your current card uses no power connections (i.e. gets it's power through the motherboard slot) or the current card that is installed is malfunctioning.

    ***EDIT*** Here's a review of Starcraft 2 Beta graphics performance The review covers a number of graphical levels-you can navigate through the drop-down menu on the page
  5. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Exactly what I think.

    Maybe you're better off saving up some more and assembling a new system from scratch. However, if you're in a hurry and what immediate performance improvement I suggest the XFX HD 4770.

    Undoubtedly the HD 5770 is a better GPU but I feel that for your current system the 4770 is a better bet in terms of cost.
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Especially since Diablo 3's release date hasn't even been finalized, it might be hard to figure out what their requirements would be.

    However, that comp you've got there has seen a good number of years. At the very least, you should also be looking at a new CPU. They are still producing LGA775 boards, so it might be possible to just buy one and plug it in. This would save you a few dollars. Bear in mind that you'd probably save about US$200 not buying a motherboard and RAM to go with it.

    However, buying a good GPU now, and plugging it into a new system in the foreseeable future (end of year?) is something you can do. Knowing the CPU is a bottleneck, you can still enjoy your games, and if its slowing down, you know what you'd need to upgrade.
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