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need advice on updating graphic card 2 run new games

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January 23, 2007 8:02:24 PM

hi,
i would like advice on updating the current graphics card in my kid's comp.
specs are:
Abit IS7
P4ht 2.8cghz 800mhzFSB
2 x Corsair DDRAM PC3500c2 512mb
ATI 9600 Pro Radeon AGP 128mb

want to run BF2142 better, the new expansion pack for it, and C+C 3.

what are my options?
thanks
suzy
January 23, 2007 8:47:30 PM

Big thing for both of those games are the memory. So 2 more sticks of 512mb and a new vid card. I don't know the budget but either a 7600 gt which I can find for $150 or all the way for a x1950 pro for $270.
January 23, 2007 8:57:23 PM

You have a number of choices that depends completely on your budget.
You could find an older 6600 or 6800, though I don't recommend it unless you can find it REAL cheap. THese are still contenders for modern games, especially BF2142 though again, if you're going to buy new and spend a little cake, don't bother. Or, better yet an x850xt
Although these are only inexpensive alternatives, like maybe you can find them used or somethin' Keep in mind some of these need extra power so think of the possibility of a PSU upgrade, if needed.

Best, Otherwise, in order: x1950pro $219 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Great, The 7800GS have dropped sharply in price, $159 after rebate...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Very Good, 7600gt $179
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Related resources
January 23, 2007 10:18:20 PM

hi, thanks!!!
sorry, i left out the power supply:
fortron 350w fsp350-60BN

yes, i need to add more ram. need advice on it. i do believe i can put up to 4 gig in. ?

budget. well, it started out at 100.00 just for the graphics card. the ram is a must buy! :)  now we just want a couple of ideas and whatever we can get a deal on, or even better, whatever will take this computer til we build the next one (quad core or 64 bit) (next OS will be a 64bit, so then if we can wait???) you know kids and these games.

so if i have to spend more money to get this computer to get to that 64bit step, then i will. i would like some options on varying degrees tho, from the most expensive down.

thanks
suzy
January 24, 2007 12:35:46 AM

2gb of memory would be fine, and I wouldn't worry too much about 64bit, unless you are planning on actually using a 64bit OS any time soon.

This card is as low as I would go then and it's closer to your $100
for $119 after rebate 7600gs
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

You could find a bit cheaper but, I prefer eVGA for the brand.
January 24, 2007 2:46:30 AM

I can recommend the x1800 gto i think i saw it recently at around 130 dollars.

i have this card and i upgraded from a 9800 .

let me just say that you wont be disappointed , it will run almost everything at good setting up til a resolution of 1280 x 1024

and it is faster than the 7600 series . 8)
January 24, 2007 8:18:04 AM

My honest opinion would be to look into a complete new build if we neglect budget as a contraint.

I don't see why do a minor upgrade now, and then in a few months again. Somewhere, you will have to go PCIx in order to have access to a larger and better supported interface. AGP is alive, but for how long?

64bit you shouldn't worry about now though - with your next big upgrade, you'll have 64bit capable hardware, and the software will then be the activator.

I would recommend:

Intel
965 mobo that supports quad core
2 gig ddr 2 533 or higher
E6300 or E4300 CPU
BIG PSU (well known 600W or higher) - will cover alot of upgrades
ATi or Nvidia DX10 card - but wait a while (month or so) for a broader range
160gig SATA2 (can be omited)

It will cost a few dollars, but then you have an upgradable platform for the next 18-24 months (short - I know but it's the PC industry after all).
January 24, 2007 1:07:45 PM

hi,
actually, we started talking about pulling the motherboard out and putting a new one in last night. of course, this idea originated from the guys in my family, and i am the one who would be doing all the work! :) 
i agree with putting the money towards new guts of the comp and not updating, since the original idea of just updating the graphics card eventually lead to more updating.
i would have to research just what i could keep.
thanks for the info on what to start with, i always appreciate the help on what combinations work. i will have to start reading what you all are building in the forums to see the best motherboard to pair up with the intel processor. oh, then that will bring me into a heated discussion with my oldest, he wants amd and i refuse to build it with it, just like last time. it will be a gaming comp tho and he still doesn't budge from amd being the best at that.
thanks
suzy
January 24, 2007 1:16:04 PM

hi,
about the 2 gig being enough--
may i ask why i am reading a lot about 3 gig and 4 gig comp's you all have built?

i always thought the more ram the better.
i know the processor must be near the fastest one out. and a really good graphics card. i guess those were the 3 things i tried not to cheat on.

so 3 or 4 gig of ram is really not necessary for all the games coming out?
another ? tho, what about photoshop cs?

thanks
suzy
January 24, 2007 10:11:48 PM

Over 2GB is so far pretty irrelevant for games.
Useful in some circumstances for other things you might do that require that much. Though, if you know what those are then you know you already need more memory ;) .
It's like 64bit OS, it's irrelevant for common use, especially gaming, but I have no idea the entirety of what you are using your system for.
Either way, keep in mind, even if you do upgrade the guts of your system, you will have to upgrade the video card, since I doubt you are upgrading to another AGP platform, so factor that into the cost.
January 24, 2007 10:53:41 PM

hi,
when i am talking about ram, i am talking about my stuff. i have about 3 hobbies, one hobby is photos. i have photo impact, jascs paint shop pro, coral paint shop pro (all older versions) and will add photoshop cs2. now, when i have these prog's all up and running, plus a folder of pictures, plus another folder that i use to bring in graphics, i have ram problems. so i want 3 gig and eventually 4 gig.
my other hobby, which is totally girlish, so i won't bother with details. :)  when i first bought the software, it wouldn't run. that's when i learned about needing a good graphics card and its not gaming! i used photo impact with this hobby also.
getting back to my kid's comp. i still want to upgrade it to 2 gig or 3. yep, i understand that i will be updating the gutt of that comp and graphics.
thanks so much!
suzy
January 24, 2007 11:04:44 PM

Suzy.... video games will ruin your kid's life.... they almost ruined mine... they are addictive... not to be a forum a$$hole or anything, I guess I am. Well, it must be said. :?
-cm
January 24, 2007 11:10:12 PM

Anyways, I'll make a good post now. Umm...

If your budget is $100 for a graphics card, try to get a DirectX 9.0b or 9.0c card. Those are still plenty powerful, and relatively inexpensive. I'm baised, but my X850XTPE might fit the nob here and can be eBayed for around $100. I own BF2142 and the X850 played it just fine at a resolution of 1440x900 on medium settings. You can get X1800's cheap too, now though.

And yes, get 2 gigs of value RAM, there's not a whole lot of point to go crazy with DDR2-8000 or anything psycho like that.
Good luck, and make sure your kid gets the Voss Rifle as his first gun unlock if he can. :p 
-cm
January 24, 2007 11:22:31 PM

hi,
in comment to your first post :) 
my kids are not allowed comp time, til certain chores and of course homework is done. and to show how strict i am, only on fri, sat and sun and 1 hour.

re:Good luck, and make sure your kid gets the Voss Rifle as his first gun unlock if he can'
my one sons answer is: doesnt like the voss rifle and he is a camper.
now that is not the older kid i have been talking about, this son, is my electronic wiz at games. he has beaten most games before his older brother. but he knows zilch about comp's except how to turn it on! :) 

suzy
January 24, 2007 11:25:51 PM

About the first part of your last post:
Good.

About the second:
I'm afraid I must destroy your son. [/joking]
Camping = fun in summer with ladies, lame in BF2142.
-cm
January 24, 2007 11:26:09 PM

hi,
when i built the kids comp, i had a chance to buy a better power supply unit, and i didn't. i should of. another lesson learned: put the best you can in! it would of been not much more $$ either, if i recall.

about your suggestion for the graphics card:
"If your budget is $100 for a graphics card, try to get a DirectX 9.0b or 9.0c card. Those are still plenty powerful, and relatively inexpensive. I'm baised, but my X850XTPE might fit the nob here and can be eBayed for around $100. I own BF2142 and the X850 played it just fine at a resolution of 1440x900 on medium settings. You can get X1800's cheap too, now though"'

will i need to upgrade the power unit?

thanks
suzy
January 24, 2007 11:30:37 PM

I would.
You can get a decent 500Watt PSU for very little money these days, and you shouldn't need a whole lot more than that. The terawatt PSUs are really pretty useless and wasteful unless you have two brand new 8 series video cards. Those things are more power hungry than Chairman Mao. :p 
-cm
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2007 11:42:07 PM

Quote:
hi,
i would like advice on updating the current graphics card in my kid's comp.
specs are:
Abit IS7
P4ht 2.8cghz 800mhzFSB
2 x Corsair DDRAM PC3500c2 512mb
ATI 9600 Pro Radeon AGP 128mb

want to run BF2142 better, the new expansion pack for it, and C+C 3.

what are my options?
thanks
suzy


the 9600 will work but its getting old.
and 1 gig will work but more is better.

as for video cards an ati x800 or x850 is good.
so is a 6600gt or 6800gt, if you could find one.
but for a newer card something like a 76gt would work great.
the x1950 cards mentioned are around 200$ or more.
and if you could get a 7800gs, for around 150$ after rebate
then that would be your best bet. or a 76gt for the same price.

if you have a 350watt power supply it would be reccomended
to upgrade.

something like this will work fine.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2007 11:48:27 PM

Quote:
the ram is a must buy!


not exactly :lol: 

one gig still works fine, but as said before 2 is better.
the video card will make the biggest difference for gaming that is.
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2007 11:51:07 PM

how many memory slots does your mobo have 2,3, or 4?
January 25, 2007 12:03:03 AM

hi,
re: "About the second:
I'm afraid I must destroy your son. [/joking]
Camping = fun in summer with ladies, lame in BF2142. "

gee, here he said he wanted to kill you and of course i would not type that. i would tell him what you said, but he is on the game now playing, and of course, mom asking for him to come here, well, he can't hear me! :) 

suzy
there are advantages to getting kids to do stuff when their comp time is involved!!! (also, older brother is gone, so he has the comp all to himself)
a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2007 12:08:22 AM

Quote:
Anyways, I'll make a good post now. Umm...

If your budget is $100 for a graphics card, try to get a DirectX 9.0b or 9.0c card. Those are still plenty powerful, and relatively inexpensive. I'm baised, but my X850XTPE might fit the nob here and can be eBayed for around $100. I own BF2142 and the X850 played it just fine at a resolution of 1440x900 on medium settings. You can get X1800's cheap too, now though.

And yes, get 2 gigs of value RAM, there's not a whole lot of point to go crazy with DDR2-8000 or anything psycho like that.
Good luck, and make sure your kid gets the Voss Rifle as his first gun unlock if he can. :p 
-cm


I've been seeing PCI-e 7600GTs for less than $100 on ebay recently. Just a thought if you're looking to upgrade to PCI-e.

On a budget, give AMD a second thought. On the basis of sheer cost, Athlon64 is still a winner and when you put it in perspective, it performs pretty well. You'd be looking at socket 939 based motherboard and processor so you can use your old DDR RAM.
January 25, 2007 12:14:13 AM

hi

re: "how many memory slots does your mobo have 2,3, or 4?"

my kids comp has 4 slots for a total of 4 gig.


i found out today that my comp can run the BF game, so now they want on mine!!! no

suzy
a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2007 12:17:20 AM

oh 8O

what do you have?

bf2 will work on a 9600 gpu.
January 25, 2007 12:37:33 AM

hi,
give me some ideas of a new power supply. i don't think i ever mentioned that this computer has 2 large hard drives on it.

lets look at a price range of 50 - 100, preferably closer to 50. that will run maybe one of these graphics cards:

7600 gt which I can find for $150
7800GS have dropped sharply in price, $159 after rebate
7600gs for $119 after rebate
X1800's cheap too
7800gs, for around 150$ after rebate then that would be your best bet.
ati x800 or x850 is good

if i can spend 200 on a graphics card and power supply, the kids can pay for it. that leaves me to pay for the ram. i like that deal better.
then i can buy a new toy for me. :) 

thanks
suzy
a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2007 12:57:52 AM

Quote:
hi,
give me some ideas of a new power supply. i don't think i ever mentioned that this computer has 2 large hard drives on it.

lets look at a price range of 50 - 100, preferably closer to 50. that will run maybe one of these graphics cards:

7600 gt which I can find for $150
7800GS have dropped sharply in price, $159 after rebate
7600gs for $119 after rebate
X1800's cheap too
7800gs, for around 150$ after rebate then that would be your best bet.
ati x800 or x850 is good

if i can spend 200 on a graphics card and power supply, the kids can pay for it. that leaves me to pay for the ram. i like that deal better.
then i can buy a new toy for me. :) 

thanks
suzy


for a psu the first one i linked would do but be the minimum.
try this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

as for the gpu the 76gt is good or any 150$ gpu.
78gs if you can get it at that price.
i would go for the 76gt for 150$ if you can.

this would be a little over 200$.
and dont worry about the ram.
1 gig is fine for now. 2 is better. so i wouldnt spend the money on
2 gigs as the gpu will make the biggest difference.
a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2007 1:09:57 AM

Quote:
then i can buy a new toy for me


and what might that be :p 
January 25, 2007 1:12:50 AM

The power supply depends on whether or not you are going to keep this unit for long. If you only get a 430w now, which would suffice for any of the cards we are talking about, you would want to upgrade later anyway. So, think of a solid power supply of 600-650w at least as an investment to be re-used later.
This is a pretty solid deal after rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817371001
Otherwise if you're just really only wanting to leg it out a bit more and replace this unit entirely, go with the thermaltake someone mentioned earlier at a mere $30.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817371001

As far as the video card goes, yes, both BF2 and BF2142 really seem to love ram. I've found this is really only the case with the higher-resolution and deeper texture that your cpu and budget video card are going to struggle with anyway. Therefore while not ideal, the 1gb of ram will be allright. Maybe not ideal for your photoshopping but you were looking into a pc for yourself anyway (at least I presumed by your "myself a toy" euphamism). I guess I just have a hard time recommending you put more money into old-tech for a system you're probably going to upgrade sooner than you think. A $100 video card isn't going to buy so much time into the gaming future that the extra gig of ram is going to make an enormous difference I've found. Also, pairing 4 dimms of memory can be a real tremendous pain in the ever-erroring butt. Unless you find some 1gb dimms at steal of a price it may not be worth the headache.
If it were me, I'd just save as much money as you can, upgrade to the smaller psu and the GS (or a used 6800gt, x850xt if cheaper), that will buy you 6-12 months or so of "adequate" gaming. I'm not going to lie and say there will be amazing framerates but it will outdo your 9600 easily. But just hold some cash back every so often to do a complete overhaul of the PSU (unless you did it earlier) board, cpu, ram and video card. If you're anything close to a gamer figure at least $200-$250 for a solid mainstream card. If ram prices are similar you're probably going to hit at least $250 for 2GB there... I know it's not cheap but you're not going to see grand performance gains for you money if you stay in your current tech tree of 478pin cpu based, DDR1 memory and AGP video.[/i]

I'm not aware of any x1800s ever being made in AGP myself, but then again it's not like I researched it.
January 25, 2007 1:50:52 AM

I'm actually planning on building a computer myself and I've gone through a bunch of PSUs, so I'll just recommend some for you if you decide to purchase one.

Cheap:
FSP 36.99
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Hirpo 36.50
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Mid:
Antec 99.99
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Enermax 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Higher End:
FSP 129.99 ($15.00 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Mushkin 139.99 ($20.00 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
OCZ GameXStream 119.99 ($20.00 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Seasonic 139.99
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

Phew... my post didn't disappear after typing second time

They were each individually choosen(and save by me) and rated amonst the top.
a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2007 2:01:36 AM

dont forget corsairs new psu.s come with 5 year warranties.
January 25, 2007 11:25:56 AM

hi,
thanks so much for typing all that !!!

my son like the antics one listed above, so i might make him pay for it.

i am going to ask a really stupid girl question here, do i need to worry about the voltage on the rails?????

another one? these are all standard sizes right? so it will fit in the case we have?
thanks
suzy
January 25, 2007 12:42:43 PM

hi,
i really thought the kids comp we built a few yrs back would last a long time. i messed up with the power unit when i built this. but it was under 50 so i am not out a lot. i like getting a 650 watt one.

Quote:
re: both BF2 and BF2142 really seem to love ram.

for RAM: i will do some switching around sticks. i will take 1gig out of my comp and put in the kids comp to give it 2gig. that way, i can finally add up to 4 gig to mine.

Quote:
at least I presumed by your "myself a toy" euphamism

yes, i was/am looking for a new toy for myself. thats what started the "new graphics card WANT" from my oldest!!!! thus, i cancelled my order for my new expensive laptop and am now re-doing all the comp's in this house.

you are correct in saying that graphics card will not last my son, and i know he will want another, but that is part of the deal. he is paying for the graphics card, so he can't complain later. i will pay for the power supply, since its my fault i didn't put a better one in to begin with.

suzy
January 25, 2007 12:51:58 PM

Quote:
oh 8O

what do you have?

bf2 will work on a 9600 gpu.


hi, i think i missed this, sorry.
are you asking about my comp? it will run his game, but then i have no comp to use, and all my stuff is on my comp. mines newer, not a core duo 2 tho!!!

suzy
January 25, 2007 3:58:56 PM

Quote:
i am going to ask a really stupid girl question here


Ok...

Quote:
do i need to worry about the voltage on the rails?????


That is, lol, the most non girl question I think I have ever heard. I am going to go over there now <points to a corner> and laugh hysterically.
-cm
January 26, 2007 7:28:11 AM

Apparently, 1 gig was good enough with AGP standards, but somehow with the move to PCIx more memory would be needed for aperture size of PCIx, and that grand number came down to 1.3Gig. So, with 512 and 1gig being the norm, the figure came down to 2 gig.

3 gig and 4 gig is excessive in my view, and you only ever use that for servers - altough this might change is games do require larger RAM. Game don't swap out such large amounts of memory, and 2 gig should be okay for quite some time.
January 26, 2007 3:45:14 PM

Boy, I don't know. Games these days tend to load levels in the RAM as much as they can, like HL2. In this respect, as texture sizes become higher and higher resolutions more RAM will be needed. I don't know the specs for Crysis, but I bet it will benefit from those extra gigs because of the massive amounts of textures used.
-cm
February 3, 2007 2:34:22 PM

The X800XT, X850XT, and if you can get one, X850XTPE are all amazing cards and working in collaboration with good components make them very capable even for todays standards.

Check the charts on tomshardware.com. I plan to get one to last me till the DX10 cards come down to a reasonable price, which hopefully should be soon :) 
February 5, 2007 6:33:58 PM

I own one. It is good.
-cm
!