Graphics cards in cheap PCs

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video,comp.graphics.misc (More info?)

My Dad wants a budget price PC (<£600). I am able to help him out with
most of the basic hardware requirements - ie RAM, CPU Hard disk etc,
but one of his requirements is that he may occasionally use it for
games and sometimes for simple video editing (MSMM)

When he went to PC World the one I had picked out the salesman said
wasnt suitable for games other than Windows Solitaire as they 'dont
have graphics cards' and that he would have to spend at least £800 to
get a PC that will run games.

....I just wondered what he meant by 'doesnt have a graphic card'?

I would have thought all PCs have grahics cards? I accept that a budget
card might not be suitable for the latest games, but my dad will
probably only want to run my hand-me-down games that are 4 or 5 years
old.

So I was wondering how advanced the most basic graphics cards were? Ie
is todays budget entry level PC able to run games that are a few years
old?

How do I know if one graphics card is better than another? ie with
memory etc its the megabytes etc, but graphics cards dont seem to have
a simple number for comparison?


Any help greatly appreciated.

David Bevan
http://www.davidbevan.co.uk
4 answers Last reply
More about graphics cards cheap
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video,comp.graphics.misc (More info?)

    The nicest interpretation of the sales guys comment was that there was
    no seperate graphics card. He should though have explained integrated
    graphics on the motherboard.

    The older games you have should specify requirements on the box. In the
    US a graphics card for around $50 would probably run most games 4 to 5
    years old.

    I do not know the UK market but I bought in the US a emachines system
    for around $600 with nvidia geforce 4 integrated graphics.

    You may want to add more memory to allow a bigger memory allotment to
    the onboard graphics.

    or consider shopping for a used system.
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video,comp.graphics.misc (More info?)

    junk1@davidbevan.co.uk wrote:

    > My Dad wants a budget price PC (<£600). I am able to help him out with
    > most of the basic hardware requirements - ie RAM, CPU Hard disk etc,
    > but one of his requirements is that he may occasionally use it for
    > games and sometimes for simple video editing (MSMM)
    >
    > When he went to PC World the one I had picked out the salesman said
    > wasnt suitable for games other than Windows Solitaire as they 'dont
    > have graphics cards' and that he would have to spend at least £800 to
    > get a PC that will run games.
    >
    > ...I just wondered what he meant by 'doesnt have a graphic card'?
    >
    > I would have thought all PCs have grahics cards? I accept that a budget
    > card might not be suitable for the latest games, but my dad will
    > probably only want to run my hand-me-down games that are 4 or 5 years
    > old.
    >
    > So I was wondering how advanced the most basic graphics cards were? Ie
    > is todays budget entry level PC able to run games that are a few years
    > old?
    >
    > How do I know if one graphics card is better than another? ie with
    > memory etc its the megabytes etc, but graphics cards dont seem to have
    > a simple number for comparison?

    Most entry level machines have "integrated" video, which means that the
    video is implemented as part of the chipset on the motherboard. This can
    range in performance from so-so to really dismal. For running most office
    applications it's fine, but it's at best marginal for any games requiring
    video acceleration, which is most of them. Some such machines don't even
    have AGP (or PCI Express, although you aren't likely to find that on an
    entry-level machine yet) slots--if you have one of those you have no
    upgrade path. If he's doing video editing, getting TV-OUT out of
    integrated video can be problematical--if there's no TV-out connector on
    the motherboard then you're going to end up paying the price of a halfway
    decent video board to add one, so may as well start with halfway decent
    video.

    As to a decent board, there's no way to tell if you don't know the
    numbers--an ATI board with either "VIVO" or "All-In-Wonder" in the name and
    a number 8500 or 9500 or between 9600 and 9800 inclusive or that starts
    with X and has three digits in the numerical part should be fine-with
    nvidia it's any board with either VIVO or "Personal Cinema" in the name and
    a number Ti4x00 with any digit in place of the x or with a number higher
    than 5200, not inclusive. That will get you a board that can input and
    output standard TV signals and that was the high end of the range two
    generations back or midrange or higher in the previous generation or that
    is in the current generation, and any such board will have adequate
    performance for games several years old. Find out what type of video board
    the machine takes--if there is a video slot it will be either AGP or the
    newer PCI-Express standard (very, very few machines have both) so you'll
    need a video board with the same type of connector.

    > Any help greatly appreciated.
    >
    > David Bevan
    > http://www.davidbevan.co.uk

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video,comp.graphics.misc (More info?)

    "Cheap" computers come with what is known as onboard video, which means that
    the motherboard used in that system has a video chip installed on it,
    instead of using a separate video card. That solution to cheap video is
    fine for word processing, etc., but the onboard video chip is VERY slow, AND
    uses the computer's RAM for video RAM, thus slowing the whole system down
    further. Thus, modern games are not playable. And to make matters worse,
    these motherboards, to further save money, do not even contain an AGP video
    card slot, so you CANNOT add a video card in the future to speed things up.
    The way around this problem is to make SURE that the computer you are buying
    has a separate video card installed when you buy it, even if it's a cheap
    video card. You can always upgrade it to a faster one later.

    --
    DaveW


    <junk1@davidbevan.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:1120832347.478089.306980@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    My Dad wants a budget price PC (<£600). I am able to help him out with
    most of the basic hardware requirements - ie RAM, CPU Hard disk etc,
    but one of his requirements is that he may occasionally use it for
    games and sometimes for simple video editing (MSMM)

    When he went to PC World the one I had picked out the salesman said
    wasnt suitable for games other than Windows Solitaire as they 'dont
    have graphics cards' and that he would have to spend at least £800 to
    get a PC that will run games.

    ....I just wondered what he meant by 'doesnt have a graphic card'?

    I would have thought all PCs have grahics cards? I accept that a budget
    card might not be suitable for the latest games, but my dad will
    probably only want to run my hand-me-down games that are 4 or 5 years
    old.

    So I was wondering how advanced the most basic graphics cards were? Ie
    is todays budget entry level PC able to run games that are a few years
    old?

    How do I know if one graphics card is better than another? ie with
    memory etc its the megabytes etc, but graphics cards dont seem to have
    a simple number for comparison?


    Any help greatly appreciated.

    David Bevan
    http://www.davidbevan.co.uk
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video,comp.graphics.misc (More info?)

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc junk1@davidbevan.co.uk wrote:
    > My Dad wants a budget price PC (<£600). I am able to help him out with
    > most of the basic hardware requirements - ie RAM, CPU Hard disk etc,
    > but one of his requirements is that he may occasionally use it for
    > games and sometimes for simple video editing (MSMM)

    > When he went to PC World the one I had picked out the salesman said
    > wasnt suitable for games other than Windows Solitaire as they 'dont
    > have graphics cards' and that he would have to spend at least £800 to
    > get a PC that will run games.

    > ...I just wondered what he meant by 'doesnt have a graphic card'?

    This is BS and a strong hint towards incompetence. The "garphic card"
    may not be a card, but it is allways present, occasionally integrated
    into the mainboard and using the main memory.

    > I would have thought all PCs have grahics cards? I accept that a budget
    > card might not be suitable for the latest games, but my dad will
    > probably only want to run my hand-me-down games that are 4 or 5 years
    > old.

    Then try the 600 GBP option. If it proves too slow (unlikely with
    your requirements), you can still add a cheap current card, like
    a Radeon 9600SE or Radeon 9250 for <40 GBP.

    > So I was wondering how advanced the most basic graphics cards were? Ie
    > is todays budget entry level PC able to run games that are a few years
    > old?

    I recently had trouble with my Radeon 9600XT and switched temporarily
    to an old Radeon 9200, which was still fast enough to play World of
    Warcraft in 1024x768 smoothly, although with problems underwater
    (features missing).

    > How do I know if one graphics card is better than another? ie with
    > memory etc its the megabytes etc, but graphics cards dont seem to have
    > a simple number for comparison?

    They don't. One important thing today is DirectX 9.0 compatibility,
    leading to my old Radeon 9200 not giving me underwater visibility in
    WoW. Still, for Games several years old, allmost anything you can buy
    new should be enough.

    Here is a nice article about the subject:

    http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20050302/index.html

    Arno
Ask a new question

Read More

Graphics Cards Hardware Games Graphics