I wanted to throw this out to the group. I have a desktop I just recently bought and fallout 3 doesn't work too well on it (I'm assuming its the graphics card) so I wanted to upgrade.
Here are the Specs:
HP Pavilion A6514F Desktop PDC 2GHz 3GB 500GB DVDRW DL
Processor Intel Pentium Dual-Core
Processor Speed 2.0GHz
System Memory (RAM) 3GB
System Memory (RAM) Expandable To 4GB
Hard Drive Type SATA (7200 rpm)
Hard Drive Size 500GB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 7100 ( I believe 128 MB)
The minimum specs for the game are 256 MBs... and I was thinking of getting at least half a gig to keep up with the times.
Does anyone have suggestions as to what make and model to buy? Is the install going to be hard? What would be involved? As far as I can tell it looks like my graphics card is integrated to my motherboard.. is this true? If so, will I have to disable it to install a better card?
The problem will be your powersupply. I assume it will be 300w - 350w. The best thing to do is to open the PC and look at the powersupply label. You should find out how many amps are available for each 12 volt rail, and what the maximum wattage on the 12 volt rail(s) is. A screenshot of the label would be great. Recommend brand names includes: XFX, EVGA, ASUSU, and BFG. Costs rougly between $120 - $160.
I would probably recommend the nVidia 9800GT since it consumes about 82w of power, or 6.8 amps. Some people may recommend the ATI 4850, but that card uses 110w of power, or 9.2 amps. That's too much for a 300w powersupply in my opinion.
Recommended brand names includes: XFX, EVGA, ASUS, and BFG. Costs rougly between $120 - $160.
Any mainstream PCI graphics card will perform light-years ahead of the integrated graphics (be shut to shut it off in the BIOS) assuming your PSU isn't the absolute worst made possible and can't run a GeForce 9800.
I actually thought the mobo would be worse, it's not tragic.
Since the processor is a Pentium Dual-Core 2.0GHz, I don't se the point of going further than a 9600GT or HD 4670, if he is willing to pay for an expensive videocard then he should consider upgrading to a better processor like an E5200 and a 9800GT or HD4850, it would really boost the performance for his computer.
It would cost him less than 200$ in newegg, and he could even OC the processor a bit with the stock cooler.
OCing that pentium dual core shouldn't be too difficult... or is it? the bios might be locked and whatnot, but the cpu itself should overclock just fine. It is based on the core architecture after all.
After the OP gets himself a card, it might be a good idea to look into it.
Easiest solution will be something like the ati 4670, no external power needed. Remember, Fallout 3 uses the Oblivion engine, so it's not *extremely* demanding by today's standards.
The gamebryo engine is very demanding, what are you talking about? It needs high shader speed, high core speed, ample local memory and a powerful mutli-core CPU all to power the long view radius, speed tree, the variety of shader elements.
You need a minimum of an 8800GTS/G92 512M to run gamebyro with HDR + FSAA and lots of scenery.