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Graphics cards

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June 18, 2009 12:19:31 AM

Hi everyone im a first time user trying to soup up my computer a little. Im also a little new with the technical terms for a computer so if you could spell it out as if your talking to a caveman that would be nice. I have an Emachienes ET1161 with a DCI express port I want to put a low power graphics card in it that functions well and enables 3-D games and screen savers i dont care if it has a fan. Any suggestions?

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a c 165 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 6:02:55 PM

@ Greymatter: The processor is a single core unit and will be very weak for games.
I would suggest the less powerful HD4650 as the upgrade.
Do not expect to play heavy titles like Crysis, Crysis Warhead or GTA IV at anything more than low settings, sorry, but that's the way it is, mate:( 
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June 19, 2009 12:12:32 AM

yes i did mean PCI express slot thanks for the correction. Also i figured it didnt have alot of power in the gaming area but thanks for the help. this is alot faster than stumbuling blindly through the internet!
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 12:29:27 AM

i agree with coozie, a single slot 4650 will help out and give you some basic gaming capabilities.
June 19, 2009 12:32:39 AM

wat do you think about the Radeon HD 4670 that festerovic suggested?
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 12:55:18 AM

assuming both 1X PCI Express slots are not used, it will fit in there. The ET1161 comes with various CPUs so we would need to know which one you have.

Also, my dad owned two emachines and both times the PSU died on them. From my own research on replacing them, emachines is not known for having great power supplies.
June 19, 2009 12:58:24 AM

yes ive heard about the power problems is there a way to fix that without replacing the motherboard?
June 19, 2009 1:11:26 AM

is that a hard thing to do?
June 19, 2009 1:12:08 AM

remember im new at this
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 1:25:27 AM

i hate telling people what is hard and what is not because everyone has their own level of difficulty. At best I can say, if you are willing to do it its not very difficult. There are many videos and instruction on the web to help out. If you label the connectors on the PSU and motherboard it also makes it very easy (I used small dot stickers, just remember to take them off).

I also like the "if it aint broke don't fix it" mentality and I know the 4650 will push your PSU less then the 4670. Plus with your CPU, i dont think you will see a big difference.
June 19, 2009 1:40:51 AM

so it wouldnt matter if i put one in or not my computer would still basically suck unless i replaced the motherboard with something better?
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 1:49:10 AM

correct on the video cards
the motherboard is the least of your issues for gaming, the following items would need to be improved for you to play the latest games at high settings

PSU
Video Card
CPU

at which point you fall into "buy/build a new PC"

with a 4650 in your set up you can still play great games like Half-life 2, FEAR, Diablo 2, World of Warcraft, on medium - high settings. For newer games you can play them but on low settings
June 19, 2009 1:52:31 AM

sounds kool thanks

also this is just the computer i use for things like word documents and stuff building one would be an interesting summer project
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 1:59:03 AM

building a computer is not as hard as it sounds and can save you a lot of money for a gaming PC. There are plenty of articles on this sight to help you out plus check out the "home-built systems" forum. There are a lot of people on it willing to help you get the right parts and step by step instructions.
June 19, 2009 2:00:55 AM

nice and yes i have seen the thousand or thre thousand dollar alienwares and i dont have that kind of money
June 19, 2009 2:14:00 AM

interesting this might be something worth saving for
a c 165 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 11:38:31 AM

@ greymattr: Building your own can save a great deal of cash and although it's not really hard as such, can be daunting for the first time...Mine was, but then the first time is always a little frought;)
A complete new system may not be needed, though.
For example, is the case able to accept a new motherboard and PSU? If so you've saved 40-80 dollars there. Do you really need a new DVD/CD drive or hard drive/s? Again, by reusing more can be saved there. Need the OS? Get the 'system builders' version, it's the same product but a fraction of the retail price. Will you overclock? No? Then there's no need for a high performance CPU cooler. Memory should be bought, though, most likely yours is a slower type and will hold a faster CPU back, particularly the newer AMD chips.
Such a core upgrade could be done for about $250-$300 (CPU/MB/RAM/PSU and a HD4670 or HD4870 card.
June 19, 2009 10:28:26 PM

sounds interesting coozie i was going to buy the system ct1615 suggested but by taking your idea i could save about three hundred dollars! do you have any suggestions on what would be the best parts? space realy isnt a problem if you have seen the computer it is pretty bare.
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 11:01:31 PM

hey grey
before we choose parts we would need to know the following things from you
1. what size monitor do you plan to use and its resolution
2. do you want to play games at solid (high) settings or do you want to max them out (set everything to its very highest detail).
3. a ballpark budget figure

You can probably carry over the case, hard-drive (you either have the 250gb or 320gb), CD/DVD - drive, and ram (i believe you have 3GBs of 800mhz).
You would need to upgrade the
PSU
Video Card
CPU
motherboard
June 19, 2009 11:17:27 PM

well i have a 18.5 inch moniter with a 1366*768 resolution
maxing things out would be good
i cant really go over 450 dollars
June 20, 2009 12:47:07 AM

any suggestions?
June 20, 2009 1:22:51 AM

nice wat will this be able to do in the way of games
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 20, 2009 1:39:41 AM

on your current screen and using XP, max out 90% of games out there
a c 165 U Graphics card
June 20, 2009 1:48:56 PM

@ greymattr: The core upgrade idea is one I have used for some time and it's a handy way to keep the system fresh without having to buy a whole new box every couple of years.

If you decide on the more complete upgrade rather than just a card or card/PSU then do some reading first. Building a system is not that hard, but there are mistakes that can be made, particularly when installing a new motherboard.
It may not be possible to use the preloaded Windows or recovery disc (if present) with a new configuration in which case you'll need a new OS which will add to the cost and time needed. Either way it would be wise to back up your data, fully reformat the hard drive/s and reinstall from scratch if you do the full upgrade.

For now, I would suggest you replace the card and PSU to start with and see how things pan out. If that upgrade is enough, then that's fine, if you need the CPU/MB upgrade, well, you were going to get the PSU/card anyway, were n't you;)
June 20, 2009 3:23:37 PM

do you think the psu that ct1615 suggested would be fine then. I mean it looks good to me but then again i havnt learned all this computer stuff yet
a c 165 U Graphics card
June 20, 2009 4:14:35 PM

^It's fine, nice choice for the other components ct1615 suggested.
June 21, 2009 1:32:13 AM

well yeah but i cant buy them all at the same time so do you think if i bought that first it wouldnt like fry my mother board?
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 21, 2009 1:36:28 AM

get the PSU and the video card first, both will work with current rig with no issues.

you can always upgrade the other parts at a later date.
June 21, 2009 2:05:07 AM

sounds cool thanks
June 21, 2009 2:27:41 AM

so to instal it i would just point the big fan down towards the bottom of the case?
June 21, 2009 3:27:57 AM

thank you after i buy it ill probably have alot more questions so stay tuned
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 21, 2009 4:13:16 AM

dont forget the power supply too
June 21, 2009 8:33:09 PM

well thats what i was talking about, it has i big fan on top i figured you just point it down so the fan isnt facing the top of the case
a c 235 U Graphics card
June 21, 2009 8:35:45 PM

no I mean dont forget to upgrade your power supply if you are getting the 4850, the card can only fit one way on your motherboard.
June 21, 2009 8:40:21 PM

yeah thats what i was going to do first so i didnt fry my mother board with the 4850 i was going to use the OCZ ModXStream Pro that you suggested earlier
!