Hi, I'm building a computer for a friend who is planning to use it mainly for word processing and web browsing, with some low-key gaming. I had been planning on using the onboard video (nVIDIA GeForce 6100) on the motherboard I'm getting. I'm getting him a gig of RAM so I thought going with the onboard video would be fine for his purposes. Then I talked to him today and he said that he'd like to get "as far ahead of the curve as possible." I think that means he just wants this computer to work well for awhile. So, do you think I should get a video card so that he'll be able to play the games he wants to in a few years? He doesn't play many graphics-heavy games, mostly real-time strategy. Any thoughts would be great.
Don't go onboard....that really suck. Really.
Eventually your friend will want to play something and he should go for a mid-end card such like 6600....those are really cheap now and they perform so much better. ( For less than 100 bucks. )
Go onboard, it is absolutely fine for a casual gamer. By the time your friend is interested in playing games in a few years, any card you get today will "SUCK" (just wait a couple years and ask all these guys that say the onboard sucks whether that card is still any good).
There is always the option since you have the onboard, let him use that and if it's not good enough get a discrete card. It would be the same price, or maybe cheaper, if you have to get a card, and if you don't then you save him the $100.
theboomboomcars is right here. Unless you plan on changing to a cheaper board without the onboard graphics to justify the cost of the video card, I say stick with the onboard. If he uses it and has no problems with it, then there's no need to spend any extra money now. If he uses it and says he wants better graphics, THEN spend the money on a stand alone card.
yeah that a good suggestion just have him use On-board for now then he can upgrade to a better card if he is not happy with his performance. However you should make sure the MB also has a PCI-E slot (which I would expect all boards do now anyway even the cheaps one) I just remember a long time ago some cheap MB had "AGP" on board video cards but did have a sperate AGP slot so you couldn't upgrade them (well I guess you could have gotten a PCI card).
Also if you are buying the MB with the On-board is much more costly then one with out you may want to bring that up with your friend. I.e. if your paying 15$ extra for the one with video you maybe just want to buy that $100 video card which is realy only costing 85$. Also remeber if that on board card will use system memory so if its 64megs that means you have lost 64m from your 1 gig on memory.
To be fair, not all Integrated Graphics suck. The aforementioned 6100 performs relatively well, and the top-of-the-line 6150 features 4 pipelines(?), not to mention SM 3.0. There was even a Mobo with an integrated 9600PRO a while back.
Intergraded video is extremely CPU and ram dependent. Your computer will run faster with a video card. Also there is a big differents in clarity between my X1300 and my 9800GTX+, the print, pictures, and games are now much sharper and easier to see. So if video quality and computer speed are not important to you , go cheep and stick with Intergraded video.
What about for HTPC use? I have an ASUS M3A78-EM with ATI Radeon HD 3200 onboard graphics. The pc is used for watching video, ripping and encoding video, and nothing else. If I put a PCIE card in there, would that unload some serious work off the CPU? The CPU is an Athlon 64 X2 3.1GHZ (OC'd) processor with 8GB of DDR2 800mhz of ram