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

Upgrading GFX card

By Zurles ยท 28 replies
Dec 13, 2006
  1. i'm pretty noob at comps, wanna upgrade gfx card so i can play new games with higher FPS, can i just buy a good decent one and stick it in my computer, or do i need to make sure my motherboard can take it etc. >.<

    i dont know how to check what my motherboard is or else id post it
  2. Grafficks

    Grafficks TS Rookie Posts: 287

    Yes, you certainly need to find the correct graphics card that is compatible with your system. Most computers generally meet the "minimum requirements" listed by the video card manufacturer, so that's ok. The only thing left to consider is the correct slot interface.

    You need to find out what type of port your motherboard has. It's either AGP, PCI-Express, or just PCI.

    The obvious way of finding out would be to open up your computer and read the small fine print indicating the motherboard name or type of graphics card slot.

    But an easier way (and to an extent, a more logical way) would be to download Belarc Advisor HERE and it will tell the info on every part in your computer. Just look under the motherboard section ("Main Circuit Board") after you've installed it, and tell us the name of your motherboard.

    As for selection of a good graphics card, you need to tell us the games you are expecting to get good performance in, and explain what your expectations are in terms of frame rate.

    Good luck :)
  3. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,224

    Yes, tell us what Bus slot you have ( PCI-e, PCI, AGP ) then tell us what games you want to play

    If you are limited to PCI the only card that is a good choice would be the nVidia 6200

    If AGP then get a nVidia 7800GT

    If PCI-e get a nVidia 7900GT ( or if you have the money get a 8800 for about $600 and could run EVERY game you want and could run the newer games coming out like Crysis )

    Once you find out and give us the information we will pick out parts for your computer ( RAM, PSU, or something ) because if you want to run the next generation games you'll need to upgrade your whole system or build, I recommend building though because you'll save alot more money then any company built computer ;)
  4. Zurles

    Zurles TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
    BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 2.0Z 09/08/2002, you tell me >.<
  5. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,224

  6. Zurles

    Zurles TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 92

    theres 1 brown slot with my actualy graphics card in, it has a little pushy white button to 1 side of it and is about 8-9 cm across, then below it there are 4 white ones similar in size but look slightly different both 8-9 across aswell, i cant freaking tell which it is

    the one that my gfc card is in looks the pci-e one, it has that little clip in thingy, but it doesnt have smaller ones below it like tha tpicutre shows, it has large ones below itlike the agp picture, and its also brown

    pretty sure its agp
  7. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,224

    Lol just take a picture and i'll tell you ;)
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    Your chipset supports AGP4x. This doesn't necessarily mean you have an AGP slot, but in your case as you say you currently have a graphics card installed, I think it is safe to assume you have an AGP4x slot.

    To be sure, download and run CPUz (you can download it HERE)

    Click on the "mainboard" tab and tell us what it says for "graphics interface".
  9. Zurles

    Zurles TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 92

    AGP version 3.0
    transfer rate: 4x
    max supported: 4x
    side band : enabled

    i guess so, and as for the card i want, i really want the best performance : price ratio card that will be able to play new high graphic games i.e everquest 2, vanguard, that type of high graphics crap, dont want the fps dropping below 20 all the time like my card now, its hard *** stuff to play when its like that
  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    Well, I won't say that is going to be impossible yet, but we need to know a lot more about your system before we can suggest a card to you.

    The graphics card is the most important component of the system for gaming, but if you have an outdated CPU and low ram, then that is where your bottleneck will be and it won't matter how powerful of a graphics card you get, you are still going to have low performance.

    Using that same program you used above to get the "graphics interface" information (CPUz) use it again and tell us:

    Processor name:
    Clock core speed:

    Next click on "mainboard" and tell us:

    Next click on the "memory" tab and tell us what it says under:

    Next, open up your case and look at the PSU. There will be a sticker on the side. Tell us what it says for the Watts, and also look at the chart and tell us how many amps it puts out on the +12v rail.

    And finally, please tell us your budget.
  11. Zurles

    Zurles TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Cpu Name: Intel Pentium 4
    Clock core speed : 2488.6 mhz

    Model : SIS650 1.0

    type : DDR
    Size : 1024MBs
    channel/frequency : doesn't say anything

    ac input = 115/230v
    max output power - 250 watts
    is that all you need, what table?

    budget : got around $1000 but i dont wanna spend more than a few hundred, so id say $300
  12. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,224

    A $1000 budget!

    Why dont you just buy a new Mobo / RAM / CPU for like $400-500 and a videocard like a 7900GT for about $200?

    Or completely build a new computer ( I can give a build of a AM2 gaming system for $800 and can run F.E.A.R / Oblivion smoothly )

    ac input = 115/230v
    max output power - 250 watts
    is that all you need, what table?

    I would upgrade that too because 250w could barley hold any card out there
  13. Zurles

    Zurles TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 92

    just because i have the money doesnt mean i want to spend it, i want to upgrade the cheapest way i can, and i want to upgrade, always wanted to learn
  14. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,224

    Since you dont want to spend money you'll have to stick with AGP x4 and play only a few games because newer games = Newer parts I would build a new system, I know a guide that can give you a SLI system for only $600 and can run F.E.A.R with AA x4 with about 30FPS
  15. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,364

    Lol, what the hell is the point of playing FEAR at 30FPS? Thats a slideshow. You'd never be able to aim properly. I cant even aim properly at 45FPS! but thats just me and my crazy-ness.
  16. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 593

    I can only play at 60 FPS lol double standard 30FPS and low end SLI is plain out retarted, and a 775 based system would be way better and cost the same.
  17. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,224

    Eh but then again he doesnt want to spend his $1000 budget so I guess his only choice would be a $600 build :haha:
  18. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 5,746   +14

    with his system and budget, it would not make sense for him to add any more to his outdated system. If he still wants to keep his system, an FX-5500 is a good card for him as it is backwards compatible.
    The problem is he has an AGP 4X slot which is very outdated. You can forget about SLI. He does not have PCI-express. He also cannot upgrade to an 7800GS (top of the line AGP) because he does not have an AGP 8X slot.

    So he is quite limited with his current system. In addition his PSU is quite weak. It would not make sense for him to purchase all these extra parts. $ would be far better spent on a new system and recycle some of the old parts like the hard disk, floppy drive, and case....
  19. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,892   +9

    Wouldn't a 6600(..) or a 6800(..) be backwards compatible?
  20. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    Not true. His board (Sis650) has a universal AGP slot. It will support 1x, 2x or 4x cards. The 7800GS is easily 4x compatible (it WILL run at 1.5v) so no problem there either.

    The 4X slot has half the bandwidth of 8x, but the truth is, even 4x is enough bandwidth for graphics cards until you get up to about the x1950 card range. The 4x bandwidth will be fine for almost any AGP card out, so no bottleneck there.

    He has a 2.4Ghz P4 and one gig of ram. Sure, that is a dated system, but an AGP upgrade would give a noticable performance increase. Original poster must decide whether to spend $300 on a new graphics card/PSU, or save his money for a new system. If it were me, I'd save my money, but everyone has different financial situations. If $300 is all he wants to spend, and that won't be changing for at least a year, then I say go for it and upgrade the graphics and PSU. A graphics card update would plug some new life into the current system. The CPU is a little slow, but not a dinosaur.

    Out of curiousity, what is the graphics card you have in there now?
  21. Zurles

    Zurles TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 92

    hmm, maybe il sell this, count my money, and buy a completly new one, let me see how much money i can get, il be back to you and i live in the uk btw.. probly only means i buy from different stores though.

    ok i've got 1,800 dollars

    i want the best computer i can get for 1,800 dollars, already have mouse/moniter/speakers, will need a new case and everything inside from scratch, and i have no knowledge of building computers atall.

    i wanna run newest game max graphics high fps!!!!"!!!! or something near to that

    actualy, getting it to 1,400 would be very useful as i wont have the other 400 for a while and i want the comp asap

    so right now i need help as for what to get, and i basicly need every little detail down the the connection wires etc. i dont know much atall
  22. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,224

    Well Crappy motherboard, case, powersupply isnt very helpful, actualy give us the names, watts and other stuff.

    The graphics card itself isnt worth very much, If you plan on selling this you'll need to upgrade most of the parts to up-to-date items like a nVidia 6800+ ( a 7800 prefered because most games cant run with a 6800 or they will but with minimal performance )

    Hope I helped :D
  23. Zurles

    Zurles TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 92

    selling it for 400 dollars got a buyer and hes a friend anyway so if its under i dont care same if its over which it probably is, read my post i edited that out since you replied, and also my powersupply and stuff was earlier posted by me anyway 8D

    have you got ventrilo?
  24. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,224

    Yes, I got ventrillo ;)

    So you want to build a $1,400 computer eh? Well you asked in the right place! :D

    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M sharing L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail


    eVGA 122-CK-NF68-AR Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard


    CORSAIR XMS2 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) x2

    Video Card

    XFX PV-T71G-UCF7 GeForce 7900GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail

    Hard Disk Drive

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    Power Supply

    OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply - Retail

    DVD Burner


    Sound Card

    DIAMOND XtremeSound XS71DDL 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail


    Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum/Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

    Total: $1564 with shipping

    Only about $100 above budget but you do have $1800 so it's not a problem :D
  25. Zurles

    Zurles TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 92

    bliss.typefrag.com 21560, come chat please!, it might be hurtful to ur postcount but its a lot faster 8D
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Add your comment to this article

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