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Should I buy a new video card?

By gingerbill · 31 replies
Aug 18, 2009
  1. I thought about buying a new proccessor but think video card might be a better option , At the moment i have

    dual core -Intel pentuim D CPU 3.4GHz
    8800GTS 640
    2 gig RAM
    XP 32bit
    P5VD2-X motherboard
    17" monitor and i play at 1000*800 resolution

    Had this system for about 2.5 years , but now the newer more demanding games aren't running smoothly without looking awful . I need a game to run smooth to enjoy it and not get a headache.

    Do you think buying a new video card is the way to go ? the best way to get a performance boost without having to spend £700 on a decent new system ? . I Wouldnt want to go mad and spend alot on a new GPU but £100-150 i could manage if it would make a diffrence.
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    if that card with that cpu at that resolution isn't cutting it ....i would say its time for a new system. the card should easily handle that resolution on a 17" monitor. i dont think the GFX card is your problem
  3. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    your 8800GTS should performs just fine.

    It's just your cpu is getting older now and is in need for the replacement with either dual- or quad-cores cpus.

    I suggest to stick with dual-core cpus for budget gamer. Either E7xxx or E8xxx will do you just fine :)
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    The problem may lie with your drivers or other software. Your rig should blow through any game at that resolution.
  5. gingerbill

    gingerbill TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 233   +59

    i dont think its a driver or software , as most games run fine , just some games like arma2 and ETW need a powerful PC to keep a high FPS in big battles. Don't get me wrong people play these games with similiar systems but i doubt the can play them on high graphics at 35+FPS constantly no matter how big the battles.

    Sounds like i would be better saving up for a new ninja system in a few months.
  6. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    yeah i say save your coins and grab ya a new amd rig in a few months. guys he is running the 8800gts 640 not the 512 so it is a dated card since an 8800gt is faster than the 640.
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    At that low resolution, your CPU will also affect performance. I recommend upgrading to this CPU. You do not need a new system IMO.

    Upgrade the graphics card later when you can. The CPU will overclock easily to 3GHz or so with a decent air cooler (available for $30-40) and that combined with a reasonably powerful graphics card like the HD 4870 will give you enough horsepower for anything. It would surely be wasted at that resolution, but you should be able to crank up all the details without getting any slowdown.
  8. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,635   +697

    Rage_3K gives good advice. But we're at a crossroads with gaming hardware. New evolutions of both processors and cards will soon be released. Anything you buy today will immediately be outdated by new technology advancements in just a few months. Personally, I would hold off on buying a new videocard until the DirectX11 models come out later this year, and wait a few months until the pricing drops on them. Then you're good to go for quite a while video card-wise.

    In the meantime, if you're just chomping at the bit to upgrade somewhere, there are some decent bare-bone kits available for dirt cheap right that will solve your processor upgrade problem plus give you new - and more efficient - components right away. Here's one that Tiger Direct is promoting: http://www.tigerdirect.com/email/WEM2005.asp?cm_sp=Right Nav-_-email-_-wem2005

    Bottom line, if you can wait - I'd hold off until spring of next year and build a new rig with the new technology components.
  9. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Well Toms I clicked on the link, I havnt purchased a barebone pc myself, but when i see "surf the internet while playing music." as an advertisement on a cpu, I almost forget it 2009 and not 1999.

    I also think he should save up and get a new system, only for a few reasons. If he upgrades one thing, other things will hold that purchase back in terms of performance. If he spends 200 usd for a 20"+ monitor, well there goes his wishes of playing full detail with his current card. The cpu may be a pent d 3.4gh, but there are low end core 2 duo models that can perform better than that thing, and most of those are in the 75-100usd range. I'm kind of wondering why no one has asked this guy about a budget and if he'd be interested in a entry lvl intel/amd rig
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    That is almost always true though.
  11. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    Tom, isn't it going to take quite some time before DX11 has any support game wise? or are they making an effort to get out of the gate faster this time after the disastrous link between Vista and DX 10?
  12. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,635   +697

    Correct - DX11 game development is pretty much at the grass roots level now. And the cards aren't due out until later this year. BUT...the way I normally approach my upgrades, if considering upgrading when only a few months away from a new technology to be released - then I hold off until those come out. In this example, you upgrade now and in six months you'll be angry at yourself for not holding out for a DX11 card. Ultimately you'll find yourself buying that DX11 card anyway with the one you bought today tossed in the parts bin - basically an unnecessary upgrade.

    Also in this case, there are the new Intel Core i3 and i5 processors soon to be out.

    So for Gingerbill - or anyone else considering upgrades right now - I'd hold off, play your games with graphics settings turned down a bit, O/C your CPU and GPU, buy some cheap RAM - do whatever you can to maximize your current rig without dropping a bundle, and then build a new rig next spring with new technology parts. You'll be good to go for a long, long time. :)
  13. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    In addition to Tom's and maybe "instead of," just wait until the new lynnfield cpu's drop and opt for the amd/intel duo/trio core chips which would be even cheaper than now, but will still run games great.
  14. gingerbill

    gingerbill TS Addict Topic Starter Posts: 233   +59

    thanks for the advice everyone , i will start saving up and wait awhile.
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    That is what I suspected when i saw a video demo by a AMD developer who seemed to take great care in letting it be known that there was (although he could not divulge whom just yet) game companies on board. he also took great care it seemed, to make sure that DX 11 was not inexorably linked to windows. its been amazing how bad a wrap DX 10 has received because of vista. I find myself in vigorous discussions with folks who insist that there is absolutely no discernible difference between DX9 and DX 10, when in fact there is especially in shader quality and volumetrics. does seem to be alot of people that insist that DX 11 is" just more BS like DX10" in fact it appears that tessellation adds an exponential number of polygons, and with compushade increases the frame rates as well. looks like a big deal to me.
  16. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    Tessellation alone is going to be a huge deal for DX11. I'm pretty excited about it.
  17. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    IMO, screw DX11 and get what you need, because only thing like that happens in next 2-5 years, especially when it comes with Windows 7's beta DX11. It don't really put the games in perspective, if you are trying to just upgrade the system and wait for the next year or so, and upgrade it again, it would be just waste of your money.

    Edited: Remember, DX10 came out last year and we are getting closer to DX11.
  18. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    yes however DX has a history of a new version yearly since DX1, with the exception of DX 4 that was never released.
    not sure what that means Bushwhacker.
  19. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    My apology.

    I do meant about in a few yearas later, the perspective between the games and DX11, are that your system ( that you upgraded few years ago ) might be useless to play any DX11 games.

    In my point, it's just waste of your money if you are going to upgrade your system and wait for the DX11.

    Edited: Yes, you are right, the directx releases the new major version yearly, but notice this similar patterns.

    Some / most of us had to upgrade to DX10 cards to play the DX10 games on Vista. Very same with DX9 in XP. So, pretty much I believe we are wasting our money to upgrade our systems every time based on directx and games' system requirements, hence Crysis.
  20. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    ah got ya,
    well thats what im trying to figure out, if DX 11 is going to gain support in relatively short order, because the tech looks impressive, but have to have support to make use of it
  21. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Its a discussion of computer tech, and we'll be talking about the same thing a year from now. When we get the hardware, we'll feel as though we need the latest dx(X) just to find out its a little ahead of our brand new hardware.
  22. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    The question about DX11 is when we're going to see its full impact. Not too soon I presume. So all the recent games (and quite a few more to come) should do fine on any good hardware currently available. I'd think of upgrading now and wait long enough before the shift to DX11. That's just my 2 cents worth though. :)
  23. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    Right on. What's the point upgrading to E6600 when you can have E7300 or E8400 for a really good performance and price?

    Believe it or not, I think these processors i recommended should be good enough for next few more years until DX11 comes out, and THEN he can splurge for the new monster specs.
  24. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    The fact that the performance increase from doing so will be minimal, and that he will need to buy a new mobo for the new CPU, which also needs a clean install of Windows. Also, the difference between a Pentium D and any Core 2 CPU is night-and-day. Wolfdale is just a die shrink of Conroe, with faster stock clocks due to the lower power consumption and heat dissipation.

    Too much trouble and money spent for a meagre performance increase IMO. Why not just do all the aforementioned steps once (when the rest of the Intel CPUs and chipsets are released and are affordable enough, along with DDR3 RAM), and be done with it?
  25. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    Okay Rage, let me ask you something.

    Since this opinion differs from people, would you really like to burn your wallet for over $1000 on ridiculous things, like DX11 cards, Quad core cpus, and all of that **stuff**, just for GAMES?

    I thinks not.

    **LNCPapa - family friendly forum - enough with the vulgarity.
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