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Upgrading Graphics for Gateway LX6200-01

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 21, 2008 7:56:58 PM

To begin, I am somewhere between a layperson and a below average techy.

After a frustrating endeavor with my last homebuilt rig, I sold out and bought a Gateway LX6200. I thought for a $800 it was a great deal. Here is a link to specs: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has an onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200, which along with the AMD Phenom X4 CPU and 8 GB of ram handles Team Fortress 2 maxed out and BioShock scaled back about 25%. I do not care what my benchmark score is or about overclocking. I am most concerned with performance of games, stability of my system and durability of my system.

So my question (sorry for long intro) is what video card should I purchase to get the most bang for the buck? I would prefer to spend under $100. I want a Vista 64 and Direct X 10.0 certified. I am limited by a relatively small power supply (400W) and a non 2.0 pci express 16 expansion slot. The Vista benchmark gives my current system a subscore of 4.0 out of 5.9, which is based on the lowest score which came from the graphics section. As said above my current system runs TF2 maxed and Bioshock at about 75% maxed. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
October 21, 2008 8:19:03 PM

Thanks for quick reply runswindows95, but I specified my motherboard does not support pci x 16 2.0. Or can a 2.0 card work in a pci x 16 non 2.0 expansion slot?
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October 21, 2008 8:38:55 PM

A PCIx x16 2.0 card will run just fine in a PCIx x16 1.1 slot you just won't have the throughput of PCIx 2.0. That being said most if all PC's/games don't even use the throughput of an 8x card. It's all marketing. I read an article where they taped the videocards connections on a standard x16 1.1 card and measured throughput and it didn't drop until they got to something like 4x. I think Tomshardware did the test bt I could be wrong.
a b U Graphics card
October 21, 2008 8:40:56 PM

All 2.0 PCIe graphic cards are backwards compatible. It will work fine, with no noticable difference at all.
October 21, 2008 8:42:18 PM

from what i read yes u can use it,it can morph into a pci-x 1,lol, but yeah u can
October 22, 2008 2:37:33 PM

Thanks for the info. I have narrowed it down to either an ATI Radeon HD 4670 or a NVIDIA 9800 GT. Here is my comparison of why to buy, correct me if I'm wrong.

HD 4670: I have an AMD CPU, ATI mobo, an ATI GPU seems logical. Very low power consumption, according to reviews 70 watts lower than 9800 GT at full load. DX 10.1. My 400 watt power supply will certainly handle this card. Overall seems to have a good mix of horsepower and low power use.

9800 GT: A much more powerful card than HD 4670, at the cost of significantly greater power consumption. NVIDIA claims a 400 watt power supply will work, but I think this card will push it too hard.

Your thoughts? Especially anyone who has a similar PC to mine (see first post) and has used either of these cards.
October 30, 2008 10:12:02 AM

If you get a Radeon 2400 or 3400, you can use the HD3200 in hybrid crossfire configuration with the 2400 or 3400, for an experience that should be quite a bit faster and smoother than with either the on-board HD 3200 or any add-on card you could get within your budget. Both the 2400 and 3400 should be available at a price well within your budget.

BTW, I bought the same PC a couple days ago and am about to cannabilize my previous PC for its Radeon 2400 Pro (Which is standard PCI, and there is an available PCI slot on the LX6200-01). Once I've moved the card, I'll be able to test this hybrid configuration described at the ATI website. If it doesn't work, I'll post again and let you know, but the ATI site seems pretty definite that the on-board will automatically detect the new board and automatically configure both cards for crossfire operation.
October 30, 2008 11:19:34 AM

don't go for a 2400 or 3400 series card.

get the ati hd 4670! performs somethimes better than 3850.

a b U Graphics card
October 31, 2008 10:18:05 AM

You're missing 2 in between cards, the HD3870 and the 9600GT, both with lower power consumption then the 9800GT, and both with btter performance than the HD4670. They are also running about $75 after rebate.
http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

as with any prebuilt computer with rather poor cooling, download a hardware monitor and keep an eye on your temps.
November 2, 2008 5:11:50 AM

The 2400 Pro did not work. I'm not sure if that's because of it being PCI, instead of PCIe. I looked at the cards recommended by dirtmountain and they do look superior to the hybrid crossfire could have been, even if it had worked.
January 9, 2009 6:43:58 PM

Watch that you get a single slot video card if you want to keep the TV tuner in the computer (else you'll have to go out and buy another TV tuner that uses the pci bus), but if you don't care about the TV tuner then it wont matter if you get a dual slot video card or not.

A dual slot video card is a video card that physically takes up the space of (in the case of the LX6200) both the pci-e and the TV tuner slot.

I am reusing my Nvidia 8800GTS video card which takes up both slots and had to spend another 100 on a PCI tv tuner which was a better deal than buying a new video card that only takes up one slot and which didn't offer me any better performance than my existing 8800.

Also you may find that a newer video card is going to make all your temperatures in your computer spike. You can try swapping out the 80mm case exhaust fan for a 120mm (they both fit the mountings) to remove more of the heat while running at a lower RPM to keep things quieter.

Good Luck,
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2009 2:39:22 PM

I second the 4670 card. Reason being, you state you've only got a 400 watt Power Supply. 9800gt may need more power than your PSU can deliver. So if you go with a 9800gt, you may get stuck upgrading the PSU as well. A 4670 should be about the same performance, maybe slightly below on some things, a 9600gt. However, it's still a powerful card and should not require you to upgrade the power supply.
January 31, 2009 9:54:01 PM

termaximus said:
Thanks for the info. I have narrowed it down to either an ATI Radeon HD 4670 or a NVIDIA 9800 GT. Here is my comparison of why to buy, correct me if I'm wrong.

HD 4670: I have an AMD CPU, ATI mobo, an ATI GPU seems logical. Very low power consumption, according to reviews 70 watts lower than 9800 GT at full load. DX 10.1. My 400 watt power supply will certainly handle this card. Overall seems to have a good mix of horsepower and low power use.

9800 GT: A much more powerful card than HD 4670, at the cost of significantly greater power consumption. NVIDIA claims a 400 watt power supply will work, but I think this card will push it too hard.

Your thoughts? Especially anyone who has a similar PC to mine (see first post) and has used either of these cards.



hey, i am having the same questions about upgrading my video card.. what did you end up buying and how is it working out for you??
February 4, 2009 7:48:47 PM

WHat about a Radeon 9600 series is it an upgrade? I have this computer on the way but I have this adapter in my current machine, I bought it with my widescreen LCD because my old adapter would not use the right size. Is it worth swapping it in or should I stick with the original adapter that comes with it?
February 5, 2009 1:46:43 PM

radeon 9600 probably 128mb version isn't really a good way to go!
a friend of mine had it, counterstrike source didn't even run on max settings, as my nvidia 7200go does without anti aliasing on 1280 resolution
July 15, 2009 4:34:04 AM

radeon 4770
I have the same computer and the 4770 is on the way
October 5, 2012 1:38:02 AM

Hi i have a similar problem to the guy who originaly posted this i have the exact same computer but heres what i did to it...
i upgreded to a GTX 570 and upgraded the power supply to 850 wats. but when i turn on the computer it gose strait to standby (only thing that happens is the power supply butonn slowly blinking). dose any one know whats going on???

BTW: im exacltly like the original guy, my knowlage on computers is prity avrage.

PS. im dumb XD i spell things wrong all the time.
!