Graphics help

Hey, before I start, please bear with me. I've got little to no technical knowledge of how computers work, and it's a bit frustrating.

In any case, I'm interested in playing games on a new computer. The general purpose for buying it wasn't intended for games, so the computer wasn't all that expensive and seems basic. But for what it's worth, I'd be interested in playing on it if at all possible (and by that, I mean with fairly recent titles and not my age old, Age of Empires games :na:)

My problem is, I'm not sure what kind of games I'm expecting I'll be able to get out of it, or what I should need to or what I could upgrade to "better it".

I'm not really spec savvy, but what I do know is that it's a Vista HP, Intel Dual [Core?] 1.60 GHZ. From what I'm reading it has a 2038 MB RAM, with a intergrated Intel graphics card (256mb) (which I can already guess wouldn't be up to scratch). Now I've never done any computer hardware, so I'm not really sure what much of it means, or if buying hardware to upgrade the computer is really worth it for more "modern" games to work.

Basically, can somebody help me out with advice? The jump from XP to Vista is confusing enough already, and my lack of knowledge isn't helping. :kaola:

Thanks in advance,
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  1. What would probably be best is if you give us the make and model number of th ecomputer and where you got it (just incase there is any model differance between suppliers).
    Then we can look up th efull system specifications and go from there.
    Mactronix :)
  2. Thanks

    Is this what you're after?

    Manufacturer: Compaq-Presario
    System Model: SR5228UK
  3. Acording to your spec you have :
    PCI Express x16 One (One available slot)
    I recommend you to go at least with mainstrem cards:

    Mainstream good cards could be ati hd2600xt or gforce 8600gt

    depending of your budget you could go higher end....

    ati hd3850 or gforce 8800gts

    and then sky is the limit...

    These are all good cards in their class check prices and go what fits your budget : )
  4. It won't be enough to run games as it is (because of the integrated video), however, with a good graphics card it will be good to go.
    The processor is the lowest-end desktop C2D available, but still a very capable CPU that shouldn't hold you back in most games.
  5. Bash007 is right it is worthy of the upgrade.
    I second that !
  6. An HD 3850 is the best card under $200 AFAIK, and more than that is probably overkill here.

    That card will probably require a more powerful power supply than the usual weak junk delivered with HPs. I couldn't find any details about your PSU (power supply unit) on the Web. Can you look at the back of the computer and see if you can tell us about it? Is there anything like "12V : 17A" there for example?

    I managed to fit an OCZ StealthXStream 600 in my Dad's HP box. No guarantees that it fits in yours too, but I'm 90% sure it would work. It's cheap and pretty good, and it can handle the HD 3850.

    Edit: what E2140/HD 3850 can do in modern games: it would stink in Flight Simulator X (CPU too slow) and in Crysis (video card too slow) but it would be pretty good everywhere else.
  7. Not sure if it'll be any help, but I checked the back of the PC and it didn't really have all that information. It just said "230 V"

    Is that what you were looking for?
  8. Not really, sorry. That just means you live in a country where the power outlets work at 230V (in North America it's 115V).

    For some reason HP is trying very hard NOT to say what power supply they got there. This page is supposed to list all the parts of your PC, and it even lists buttons and pipes, but no PSU. Either they are ashamed of that PSU, or they're very incompetent, or they're using advanced Klingon technology that doesn't need a PSU. I'm guessing it's a 380W or less, based on what they sell at that online store, and that's not enough for a serious video card.

    I think you need to open the PC case and see what's written on the back of the power supply. That is, it should have something similar to this somewhere:

    Assuming you find those numbers, the interesting ones are under +12V1 and +12V2 and so on.

    Also measure the PSU (height, width, length). You need this to make sure than any replacement PSU (if one is needed, of course) fits in there.
  9. Also a lot of times the PSU will not have any extra rails… might be an easy way to know if the PSU won’t cut it even if it did have enough juice.

    When you open the PC is there any extra cords hanging from the CPU?
  10. Assuming it's using the PSU you described, is it neccessary to buy a new PSU to work in tandem with the graphics cards that were suggested earlier?

    I'm not realistically expecting to get much out of this computer, so wouldn't intend on buying the best available cards, or attempt the most recent releases. But I wouldn't mind playing something "newer" either. I'm not really bothered about playing on maximum settings, etc..just playing something would do me right now. ;)

    I'll see if I can open it all up in a few days or so when I get some proper time to take a look at the PSU. Was just wondering on the neccessity of buying a new one though, if it isn't up to scratch.

  11. I should probably be more specific by what I mean about "newer" games actually. They probably aren't that "new" to you, heh. :p

    I was thinking along the lines of getting Medieval 2 Total War to run. On my old computer that wasn't possible. Assuming the PSU you described is fitted, would you think that adequate, in addition to one of the graphics cards?
  12. Well, if the PSU doesn't have enough juice you'll probably have a shutdown after a very short time in the game. There's also a risk of damaging the video card. We'll see, maybe you do have a good PSU there.
  13. I can't find benchmarks for Medieval 2, but I think the HD 3850 can handle it. It is faster than the 7950GX2, and there's a guy here who gets 40fps with the 7950GX2:;6000436;/fileinfo.html

    I've been looking forward to this game for a while and even factored it into my thinking when I bought a new Velocity Micro PC. Even with a Core Duo 6600 running Dual Core at 2.4Ghz with an nVidia 7950 1GB single card, the game chugged for me. FRAPs showed I was playing at most around 40 FPS with enough bells and whistles turned on to keep me happy.

    Your CPU is slower than an E6600, but I don't think that will matter too much, if at all. Most games are limited by the video card, not the CPU.
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