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Upgrade Video Card Suggestions - World Of Warcraft, Media Center User

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
May 22, 2008 5:35:20 AM

System Specs (As per dxdiag)
Gateway 825GM
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.40GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2046MB RAM

Card name: ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series
Chip type: ATI Radeon Graphics Processor (0x5B60)
DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_5B60&SUBSYS_06201462&REV_00
Display Memory: 128.0 MB
Current Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: Plug and Play Monitor
Monitor Max Res: 1600,1200
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)

Using Comcast/Cable internet via Linkysys router.

Mainly looking for a bump up in FPS while playing WoW, but this system also functions as my Media Center in bedroom and streams to Xbox360 in Living room. Current monitor is only 19", but may bump up in size in the near future. Probably nothing greater than 24".

Any suggestions and Links?


More about : upgrade video card suggestions world warcraft media center user

May 22, 2008 5:46:35 AM

What's your budget?

What kind of PSU do you have? Amperage on the 12v Rail to be specific.
May 22, 2008 2:53:22 PM

Budget...whats that?

No really, I would like something cheaper. Its been a long time since I priced individual components so I'm not sure what kind of cash I should be looking to drop. I have seen cards from $40-$300. If I can see the value in a higher $$ product then I am willing to spend a little more, but if its a negligible....meh.

As far as PSU/Amperage on the 12v rail, I believe it to be just a 300w PSU. I haven't physically looked inside to double check as of yet.
Not sure of the Amperage. Any easy way to gather that info?

The other problem that may come into play is the BTX know the wind tunnel winding through there.
Related resources
May 22, 2008 3:04:12 PM

You should be able to find the amerage on a sticker on the side of the PSU. Unless that sticker isn't there because Gateway didn't care for it.
May 22, 2008 3:25:05 PM

May 22, 2008 3:38:28 PM

You should definately get some thing from the DX 10 generations because they are the only ones that can do 1080p decoding without using the CPU. I had an x600 and upgraded to a 8600 gt (about $100), I don't play WOW but it gave me a great boost in the games I play.

You also didn't tell us if you have an AGP slot or a PCIe slot.
A HD2600 is about equivilant (from benchmarks).

Make sure you get 512 MB of at least GDDR3 memory. Many cards come wth GDDR2 Memory to cut costs but it cripples the card.

This card should be more than enough for WOW and any Media center functions you can throw at it.
May 22, 2008 3:46:23 PM

Its a PCIe Card.

As brought to my attention by lucius, will the 300w PSU be enough to cover those cards suggested?
May 22, 2008 3:46:37 PM

I would first upgrade the PSU, cause 300W regardless of the 12V rail probably won't cut it. Secondly, what about the motherboard?
Is it a socket 478 P4 or LGA775? Thirdly, AGP or PCI-E?? If its AGP than you will likely need a new motherboard as well. So, I guess your looking at something like $300. For say a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L and a 9600GT.

For the psu, check out OCZ, PC Power and Cooling, Corsair, or Enermax.
May 22, 2008 3:55:31 PM

You could put something like a 2600Pro in there. It isn't a great gamer card, but it's a leap up from what you have. WoW will certainly run on it, and it will be good for video. It also doesn't need auxilliary power, and will only cost $50-$70.
May 22, 2008 3:57:19 PM

Motherboard is Socket LGA775.

Generic Link on computer info in case we need something else I left out:

Once again I'm not looking for the ulta high-end upgrade. WoW is not a real graphic intense game. Resolution and everything else is pretty good currently. I'm not really having issues to often, I occasionally get low FPS when many things are happening on-screen.

Maybe my money would be better served in another upgrade. RAM?
May 22, 2008 4:20:55 PM

8600 GT has minimum system requirements of 300w, so your psu should be fine. At $80 including rebate and a free game is this one
2GB on XP is fine
If you go with a 8600GT 512 make sure it's the DDR3 version. There are also some silent (no fan) versions of this GPU in case you want it very quiet.
May 22, 2008 4:36:19 PM

Differences between the 8600gt and this 2600pro:

Anydbody want to school me on the different chipsets as well? I see 2600Pro's listed as MSI, Saphire, etc.
May 22, 2008 5:01:08 PM

I would suggest the 3650pro 512mb as its quite and runs my system in wow at 60FPS @ 1280X1024 max settings. Think the game locks it at 60 as it never moves up or down.

Granted these arent the fastest GPU's but for $50~62 they are massive upgrade on the cheap for your system. If you want anything more powerful step all the way up to the 3850 512.
May 22, 2008 5:05:41 PM

Will my system with the 300PSU run the 3650pro ok, as well as the 8600gt and 2600 series?

I'm going to stick with something that has the DDR3...
May 22, 2008 5:41:27 PM

By the looks of the list the 3650, 8600Gt and 2600 are all in the same tier and significanly above the tier of my current card.

I guess it would all be about the cost difference between the 3 if all were 512mb, and GDDR3. Anybody else have different thougts between those 3?
May 26, 2008 11:02:48 PM

I would use a 8600GTS SSC or an overclocked card in that range, if you are planning on playing a long time. I played World of Warcraft...gosh...for 20 hours...and my 8600GTS 256mb SSC card was smoking hot. I could fry an egg on that things...literally.
May 26, 2008 11:04:17 PM

Gosh, I can't type today.....I WOULDN"T use one of those above.