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1GB is uneccessary for my card?

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September 17, 2009 11:02:11 PM

So i recently Decided to upgrade my computer and im trying to keep it relatively cheap. All i expect from my cards is to be able to play games such as WoW/Fallout3/Oblivion/The Witcher at Max settings, at a screen Resolution of 1680x1050 (my native resolution) while maintaining MAXIMUM FPS at all times.

The card I chose: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
The PSU I chose: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

These 2 would fit perfectly into my case and all would work well, ive done the math on that thus far. i am going to list my concerns off in a numbered bulliten format because i have many.

1. Will this card I have chosen be able to obtain Max FPS at all Times with Max settings on the games I have aformentioned (WoW/Fallout3/Oblivion/The Witcher) at a Screen Resolution of 1680x1050?

2. If the answer to question 1 was "no" can you perhaps mention a card (nVidia please) that would suffice for the task mentioned in question 1?

3. I hear this around everywhere and I was wondering if someone could give me a little more insight on the subject. Remember I am interested in LEARNING, Not being TOLD what to buy, so use please use Details... Question is: Is it true that more Memory (I.E, 1024MB of DDR3 vs. 512MB of DDR3) isnt neccesarily better on Graphics cards such as the GTS 250 as most games wont make use of it?

4. Regardless of the answer to number 3, How would more Onboard Memory on your graphics card (I.E, 1024MB of DDR3 vs. 512MB of DDR3) Affect you and how your computer runs?

5. Someone once told me that the Total memory your Motherboard can support INCLUDES your Graphics Cards memory (I.E, if your Mobo supports 4GB, you may then use 3GB of RAM sticks and a 1GB Graphics card thus equaling 4GB, the Max supported by your Mobo.) is this True, or is the MAX GB supported by your Mobo only reffering to system RAM (RAM Sticks)?

I appreciate your help once again TomsHardware Forums, its always a pleasure and i look forward to some responses :) 

More about : 1gb uneccessary card

September 18, 2009 12:01:07 AM

Hello!

I started to reply to this then realized you are using .ca newegg!

To answer your 4th question first. Ideally, your GPU would use more RAM the higher you go in resolution. With your listed 1680x1050, a 1gig card would be nice, though the speed of the card itself is more of where you want to focus.

Looking at the card you listed, the GTS250 is by no means a bad card, however there are other cards for roughly the same price which would give you better performance. I know you mentioned Nvidia, however if you have an open mind and just want the best part for the money, you could consider this,

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

the 4870 would perform better than the GTS250, and while they do both have 1gig of ram, the GTS250 uses DDR3 where as the 4870 uses DDR5.

I personally use a GTS250 1gig (BFG) card, and I can play Fallout, WoW and the Witcher on max settings with no problem. (Note, WoW tends to become more CPU dependent rather than GPU dependent as you go up in parts).

The combination you have there, GTS250 1gig and that Corsair PSU is a nice choice. Though for only a little more, you could be getting better performing parts.

That particular PSU you listed is from a superb brand and there isn't a whole lot that could match it in quality. That being said though, the wattage, while fine for a GTS250, would not leave you much headroom in the future. It also does not have 2x6 pin power connectors. Again, 1x6 is fine for a GTS250, but if you ever upgrade, you will need another connector.

I will not going to say your current parts are bad, because they are not. They should work just fine. But what i am saying is if you spend a little bit more, and care more about getting the best parts for the price, then there is another road you could go down which would get you better performance.

Your choice
GPU: 168.99 (before 20 MIR)
PSU: 74.99
Total: 243.98 (no MIR)

My Suggestion:
GPU: 154.99 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

PSU: 88.99 (before 25$ MIR) http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Total: 243.98 (no MIR)


You know, i wrote this out before putting down the totals. I think the suggestion i gave would actually be cheaper.

Anyway, before you make any decisions, please wait to get more input. More input is always better ; )

Best of luck
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September 18, 2009 12:03:46 AM

Sorry i didn't answer Q5.

If you are using a 32bit OS, the most memory it will use is 4gig, which includes computer RAM plus the GPU (give or take a bit).

So if you are running XP and you had the above setup, it would say you have something like 3.2x available.

Not sure about Vista, but in Win7 it will say 4 gig recognized, 3.2 available. Don't worry about any kind of performance hit, it is nothing to be worried about.
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September 18, 2009 12:18:18 AM

I didnt mention this earlier but I dont think i have room to fit anything longer than a 9" Graphics card in there, so if that card you mentioned is bigger than 9" it wont fit. also the speeds arent really BETTER on that card, just different really... i mean the shader and memory clock are less than HALF that of the GTS 250, and the core clocks are very similar. and frankly i just have bad impressions from the past with ATI cards(mostly pertaining to my friend having installed a fresh card, it blowing up, sending it back, getting a new one for a replacement and having that card just plain not even work out of the box. then when he finaly gets the third replacement card, and he has driver issues. i had to litteraly stop him from taking a wood-cutting ax to his computer.)

Another thing i didnt mention is that I have absolutely, not even the SLIGHTLEST intent on upgrading this Rig any mroe than a new GPU/PSU. EVERYTHING is so severely outdated that to upgrade it into a decent rig would cost more then buying brand new. All i want is to play Fallout3/Oblivion/The Witcher at MAX with MAX FPS (WoW was just sorta a benchmark, i dont really like WoW xD). Ill show you my comp right now:

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/en/ho/WF06b/12132708-...

Yes having actualy paid money for that system back when i was a LOT less educated about computers, i DO indeed want to scoop my eyes out with a melon-baller. Oh and i have 3GB of DDR2 400mhz RAM onboard so do you believe getting a 1GB card will bottleneck my computer? (The computer says it supports 4GB but like you said, there is a little room of Give-and-take)
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September 18, 2009 9:56:43 AM

I didnt mention this earlier but I dont think i have room to fit anything longer than a 9" Graphics card in there, so if that card you mentioned is bigger than 9" it wont fit. also the speeds arent really BETTER on that card, just different really... i mean the shader and memory clock are less than HALF that of the GTS 250, and the core clocks are very similar. and frankly i just have bad impressions from the past with ATI cards(mostly pertaining to my friend having installed a fresh card, it blowing up, sending it back, getting a new one for a replacement and having that card just plain not even work out of the box. then when he finaly gets the third replacement card, and he has driver issues. i had to litteraly stop him from taking a wood-cutting ax to his computer.)

Another thing i didnt mention is that I have absolutely, not even the SLIGHTLEST intent on upgrading this Rig any mroe than a new GPU/PSU. EVERYTHING is so severely outdated that to upgrade it into a decent rig would cost more then buying brand new. All i want is to play Fallout3/Oblivion/The Witcher at MAX with MAX FPS (WoW was just sorta a benchmark, i dont really like WoW xD). Ill show you my comp right now:

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/ [...] 79614.html

Yes having actualy paid money for that system back when i was a LOT less educated about computers, i DO indeed want to scoop my eyes out with a melon-baller. Oh and i have 3GB of DDR2 400mhz RAM onboard so do you believe getting a 1GB card will bottleneck my computer? (The computer says it supports 4GB but like you said, there is a little room of Give-and-take)
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September 18, 2009 10:26:53 AM

You can't measure graphics card's capabilities by simply comparing its specs with the other. 4870 is way better than gts 250. Even a 4870 512mb is still way better than that. If you really are an Nvidia fan, go with a gtx 260 which is priced higher than 4870.
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September 18, 2009 1:32:25 PM

+1 on all that^ That 4870 is a more powerful card than the nVidia 250. In fact, if you are preffering to stay with nVidia, stop looking at the 250, it's really not much of a card for the money, even the 260 is a far, far better value.
But if it has to be between the 4870 and the 250, man go with the 4870.
nVidia and ATI go about getting performance out of their cards in different ways.
You cannot compare an ATI card and an nVida card by looking at the numbers, not even close. You can only do this buy comparing ATI to ATI, and nVidia to nVidia.
To get the true performance results between the 2 brands, you must consult benchmarks, or ask people who simply know better :) 
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September 18, 2009 4:20:40 PM

jitpublisher said:
+1 on all that^ That 4870 is a more powerful card than the nVidia 250. In fact, if you are preffering to stay with nVidia, stop looking at the 250, it's really not much of a card for the money, even the 260 is a far, far better value.
But if it has to be between the 4870 and the 250, man go with the 4870.
nVidia and ATI go about getting performance out of their cards in different ways.
You cannot compare an ATI card and an nVida card by looking at the numbers, not even close. You can only do this buy comparing ATI to ATI, and nVidia to nVidia.
To get the true performance results between the 2 brands, you must consult benchmarks, or ask people who simply know better :) 


I looked at the latest charts posted here and the GTX 275 seems to be up there for a relatively cheap card (and by relatively i mean compared to the GTX 295)

According to almost every FPS benchmark states on the newest charts it gains over a 50% performance boost in comparison to both the 4870 and thr GTS 250. Only problem with that is i might not be able to fit that beast in my case =/. The card i use now is a 8500 GT, about 7 inches long. after that 7 inches there is a SATA drive shell that hovers about 1cm above the Card (if my card were to extend that far) so im not sure how safe putting the card under that would be, nor if the cables would all fit in that setup, Being as the GTX 275 is 10.5 inches long.




If i CAN fit a card under that without changing the case im just gonna get the GTX 275 and pay the extra money. I may be wrong but not including SLI, as far as SINGLE cards go, GTX 275 is supposed to be pretty high up there right now, and should fufill my needs rather easily...as long as it fits -.-

Maybe i could remove that drive shell as i will never use that slot for a drive. Any opinions or help would be appreciated.

(my crappy comp once again incase you need any info: http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/en/ho/WF06b/12132708-...)
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September 18, 2009 5:21:02 PM

Hey Jeremy,

I'm not sure as to the actual length of the card, though i believe the 4870 and the GTS250 are roughly the same. You may want to do some google research on that. I would be more than happy to measure my GTS250, but i won't be home for a few days to see.

As far as GTS250 compared to the 4870... i want to reiterate the fact that i own a GTS250 1gig and i like it a lot, it does everything i ask out of it and more BUT, the 4870 in every way stomps the GTS250. I'm not an Nvidia or ATI fanboi either way, facts are facts, the 4870 is the better performing card. The reason i went with the GTS250 over the 4870 is because my PSU, which i didn't want to upgrade, did not have the right plugs.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

Personally given the rest of your system specs i think the GTX275 would be way overkill. If you want to step up from a GTS250 then the GTX260 would be a good choice but keep in mind the GTX260 (and 275) would require a second 6 pin, so you would want to change that Corsair PSU around.

+1 to everyone else. When you are comparing Nvidia to other Nvidia cards within the same chip, like if you were to compare an XFX 9800gt to a BFG 9800gt, then by all means look at the shaders and the clock speed, etc. However when looking cross brand (ATi vs Nvidia) or even cross chip, BFG GTX275 vs XFX GTX 260, you cannot look at the numbers. It would be like comparing CPU's from different "era's" like a Pentium 4 at 3.0ghz vs a ... Phenom2 @ 2.7ghz. It just doesn't work.

I would make good use of the charts on toms here. The link i posted above was the "sum of all FPS for 1680x1050". The reason i picked that one is occasionally you will have a game which is coded to handle Nvidia cards better, or ATi, getting the sum of all FPS smooths this out, that way you can see which is really the better performer across several tests.

If you aren't using that empty drive case, i would make sure it does not add any structural support to the rest of the case, and check to see if it removes easy. If you have to take a dremel to it or anything then it isn't worth it.

If you are truly limited by space (which looks might be the case 8( ) you could look at these solutions. Sadly, they won't perform as well as the GTS250 but, they would be relatively close.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

again, i emphasis that these will not perform as well as the GTS250 (or the 4870) but would be close-ish.

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September 18, 2009 5:29:20 PM

Kithzaru said:
Hey Jeremy,

I'm not sure as to the actual length of the card, though i believe the 4870 and the GTS250 are roughly the same. You may want to do some google research on that. I would be more than happy to measure my GTS250, but i won't be home for a few days to see.

As far as GTS250 compared to the 4870... i want to reiterate the fact that i own a GTS250 1gig and i like it a lot, it does everything i ask out of it and more BUT, the 4870 in every way stomps the GTS250. I'm not an Nvidia or ATI fanboi either way, facts are facts, the 4870 is the better performing card. The reason i went with the GTS250 over the 4870 is because my PSU, which i didn't want to upgrade, did not have the right plugs.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

Personally given the rest of your system specs i think the GTX275 would be way overkill. If you want to step up from a GTS250 then the GTX260 would be a good choice but keep in mind the GTX260 (and 275) would require a second 6 pin, so you would want to change that Corsair PSU around.

+1 to everyone else. When you are comparing Nvidia to other Nvidia cards within the same chip, like if you were to compare an XFX 9800gt to a BFG 9800gt, then by all means look at the shaders and the clock speed, etc. However when looking cross brand (ATi vs Nvidia) or even cross chip, BFG GTX275 vs XFX GTX 260, you cannot look at the numbers. It would be like comparing CPU's from different "era's" like a Pentium 4 at 3.0ghz vs a ... Phenom2 @ 2.7ghz. It just doesn't work.

I would make good use of the charts on toms here. The link i posted above was the "sum of all FPS for 1680x1050". The reason i picked that one is occasionally you will have a game which is coded to handle Nvidia cards better, or ATi, getting the sum of all FPS smooths this out, that way you can see which is really the better performer across several tests.

If you aren't using that empty drive case, i would make sure it does not add any structural support to the rest of the case, and check to see if it removes easy. If you have to take a dremel to it or anything then it isn't worth it.

If you are truly limited by space (which looks might be the case 8( ) you could look at these solutions. Sadly, they won't perform as well as the GTS250 but, they would be relatively close.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

again, i emphasis that these will not perform as well as the GTS250 (or the 4870) but would be close-ish.


This computer is just crap, no matter how you look at it, its outdated and handles poorly at anything i throw ar it. the sad part is its a model from 2007, and i cant even run some simple 2.5D games like Diablo2 (yes ive actualy had FPS drop on Diablo 2 =/)

it would cost me more money just to upgrade this than it would to buy brand new. i think ill just save my money, do my research, and when i got all this hardware crap figured out, ill make a more educated Buy. but ill be sure to build from scratch, i wouldnt miss out on that learning proccess.

Ill be hanging around here for a while to come, there is a lot here for me to learn, and i am by no means educated beyond that of a small child in computer hardware terms. Believe it or not im not here just to ask for a quick fix, im trying to learn as much as i can.

In fact if any of you have any links to detailed information on Hardware, id appreciate the help. Right now im studying a memory guide from the Kingston instatute of Technology, and its extremely informative.
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September 18, 2009 6:06:14 PM

I think the best way to learn is to read through the forums here, especially the new system build sections. You will see what parts are commonly recommended for specific budgets and be able to use a system you like as a starting point.
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September 18, 2009 6:09:43 PM

chedderslam1976 said:
I think the best way to learn is to read through the forums here, especially the new system build sections. You will see what parts are commonly recommended for specific budgets and be able to use a system you like as a starting point.


your misunderstood. i dont want to know what parts are best versus other parts. or how well they perform versus other parts. or how to get the most for your money. right now what im trying to learn is HOW it works. like WHAT makes one memory stick hold 512mb and another 2GB. or HOW a GPU exactly helps process graphics. or WHY a motherboard determines what kind of CPU can be installed.

I want to know Who/What/Where/When/Why and How.
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September 18, 2009 6:13:00 PM

That seems a bit odd. A phenom 1 9500 and an 8600gt should be able to handle Diablo just fine.

Your CPU isn't the best, but Diablo 2 really doesn't take much.

Sorry man 8(

You may try just updating your drivers and running virus scans and just general clean up (check disk, defrag).

As far as hardware information, the articles that toms puts out tend to be really detailed and accurate. Also, they do a monthly "best gpu for the money" those are also great articles to pay attention to. Another good site is anandtech.com

You could also check out the home built sections in the forums here. See what questions other people are asking, see what kind of replys they are getting.

The way things are right now, you can build a very nice all around gaming rig for roughly 550-600 bucks (no monitor, mouse keyboard). But, if you want to go that route i would recommend waiting until the new ATI 5xxx series comes out, because it should drive down the prices of the current ATi and (hopefully) Nvidia cards.

Best advise though, just ask questions, there are tons of people on here to help ya out ^^
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September 18, 2009 6:17:01 PM

Kithzaru said:
That seems a bit odd. A phenom 1 9500 and an 8600gt should be able to handle Diablo just fine.

Your CPU isn't the best, but Diablo 2 really doesn't take much.

Sorry man 8(

You may try just updating your drivers and running virus scans and just general clean up (check disk, defrag).

As far as hardware information, the articles that toms puts out tend to be really detailed and accurate. Also, they do a monthly "best gpu for the money" those are also great articles to pay attention to. Another good site is anandtech.com

You could also check out the home built sections in the forums here. See what questions other people are asking, see what kind of replys they are getting.

The way things are right now, you can build a very nice all around gaming rig for roughly 550-600 bucks (no monitor, mouse keyboard). But, if you want to go that route i would recommend waiting until the new ATI 5xxx series comes out, because it should drive down the prices of the current ATi and (hopefully) Nvidia cards.

Best advise though, just ask questions, there are tons of people on here to help ya out ^^


Alrighty thanks for the info. Im going down to florida for christmas this year which is why im tight on cash, otherwise id build a new comp right now.

Ill continue scanning TomsHardware and the internet in general for information, and ask questions wherever neccesary. Im planning on going to college next year for Computer Technician courses. I figure that will help me out in the long run, Especialy by having what knowledge ill have learned, down on paper.
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a c 171 Î Nvidia
September 18, 2009 7:15:06 PM

Is this any good for you?
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September 18, 2009 7:19:36 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Is this any good for you?


Funny how the slogan of the site is "Uncomplicating the Complicated" when their site is more complicated than anything else XD

But thank you, im scanning the site now, im sure there is a lot of useful information there. is there any other sites you would reccomend? or perhaps Books?
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a c 171 Î Nvidia
September 18, 2009 7:33:59 PM

:)  There is some useful stuff imparted there if you know nothing about PSU's, although the one in your OP is from my favourite manufacture there are others, some good some bad, if nothing else there are some videos that are worth watching.
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September 18, 2009 7:43:42 PM

Mousemonkey said:
:)  There is some useful stuff imparted there if you know nothing about PSU's, although the one in your OP is from my favourite manufacture there are others, some good some bad, if nothing else there are some videos that are worth watching.


Anything is helpful at this point :p 

But seriously if you know any good books, dont be shy! let me know :D 
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September 18, 2009 7:54:32 PM

nvidia cards are 11.5" long ati cards are 9.5" long
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a c 171 Î Nvidia
September 18, 2009 8:05:06 PM

The main issue with books is both the availability in all areas and the speed at which things can get outdated, in all honesty the actual build of the machine is relatively easy and by trawling the popular sites you can get an idea of how the various bits of hardware stack up against each other. here's a couple of sites for you :- Anand, Legion & HotHardware there's a lot more obviously but I'm sure you get the idea.
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September 18, 2009 8:08:58 PM

Im just looking for the Basics, you know like stuff that never really gets outdated. Like how transistors work, or how the Bus speed of a computer affects its overall performance.

Or why RAM is always in multiples the way it is (128/256/512/1024/etc)

That kinda stuff
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a c 171 Î Nvidia
September 18, 2009 8:22:27 PM

Without wanting to appear condescending, that's where you are best served exercising your powers of Google-Fu my friend.
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September 18, 2009 8:28:35 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Without wanting to appear condescending, that's where you are best served exercising your powers of Google-Fu my friend.


Yes yes, google never lets us down apparently :p 

Well thank you for the information :3
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