Hello, why can't the video card in the Emachine T2792 be upgraded. I wanted to play The Sims3 but it stated my video card does not appear to support at least shader model 2 please upgrade your card. I got the game as a gift, and would like to play.. Any help would be GREAT
I was looking at your PC.It is quite old and obsolete from the specs (2.7 Ghz Celeron)
It looks as if your motherboard only supports a PCI graphics card
This one specifically
There are some PCI graphics cards out there but their performance would be quite limited as compared to modern PCI-X graphics cards
Here is Tom's hardware Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart
You might be able to play this with a GeForce 9500GT PCI graphics card or some of the others (This one looks the best bet)
However you would also have to also upgrade your power supply so that it doesn't burn out as it specifies (Minimum 350W or greater system power supply (with a minimum 12V current rating of 18A)) for that graphics card.So it would perhaps cost you say $125 to $150 USD or so.
Some of the lower end PCI cards like the Radeon HD 4350 (which might work with Sims 3) even recommend a 300 watt power supply
In addition Emachines used low end low power power supplies and considering the age of your computer (especially the power supply too) and the limited possible upgrades it would be best overall if you got a more modern PC (even a budget one).One can get a modern low budget dual core CPU+Memory+Motherboard for around $150 to $200 if you are capable of building a system or shop around for a new name brand budget PC and make sure that it is capable of (has a slot for) a modern discrete graphics card (PCI Express 2.1 X16) in addition to checking it's power supply capabilities.
Here is a quick site that lists the Sims 3 requirements.
Don't feel bad about getting a new game that you can't play yet.
Your choices are limited to either a pricey (and obsolete graphics slot) PCI graphics card and Power Supply upgrade,building a budget custom PC or shopping around and selecting a name brand budget PC that can be easily upgraded with a discrete graphics card.
By the way another excellent forum for help for emachines owners that I've found is here in addition to Tom's Hardware.