Moving up from a 9400 GT

So I decided that my GeForce 9400GT (1 gig) wasn't upto the mark after investing time and money on a new rig. The rig config is:

Core 2 Quad@2.33
Intel G41 Chipset
PSU 450w
Graphics Card nVidia GeForce 9400GT (1GB)
2*2GB DDR2RAM (80 FSB)
15" Dell Monitor

Only thing I'm looking to ditch is the PSU, moving it up to a Coolermaster 500W and the graphics card.

After reading what seems like the entire literature on graphics cards, I've decided to zero in on the nVidia GEForce 250 GTS (1 gig), mainly coz I don't wanna spend as much to buy the GTX 285/295, nor invest in something in the range of the 9600 GT (which, respectfully, IS a good card!)

So my question is: given the fact that I'm not looking at getting a bigger monitor sometime soon, is the GTS 250 (1 GB) a good choice? Is it better than the 9600 GT/ 9800 GTX+/ 9800 GX2?

As always, all suggestions are appreciated.
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about moving 9400
  1. 1. If you havent bought the PSU yet you should know that the most reliable PSU brands are PC Power and cooling (American made!), Corsair, and Antec. (coolermaster isnt bad, its just not the best) Ironically, a 400w corsair like the one I have could run any of the cards you are looking at since its much better quality than most generic brands. ($39 after MIR)

    Now to the card:

    2. For a monitor that size you really do not need 1 GB on the card--the memory is really only used for really big/multiple monitors.

    3. The GTS 250 is a good deal and is the strongest card in the $115-130 price range. It is virtually the same card as a 9800GTX--the GTX is an older model performance card that has been made more power efficient and rebranded as a mainstream GTS card.

    Since I dont really know what your usage is-- intense gaming or just video and stuff? All I can do right now is point you to toms "best cards for the money" article--which is very helpful.,2491.html

    4. ... So I have to ask--why are you still using that old monitor? (im pretty sure its old because noone sells 15" anymore)You can get really nice 21-23" LCD monitors for ~$130. I never thought it mattered until I upgraded mine and realized that many games and websites had colors and textures that I never knew existed... If you are willing to spend money a graphics card--don't you want to be able to see the difference? You should at least go to a store and look at them--the difference is astounding.
    (btw any of these cards would let you run 2 monitors..)

    5. If you want more advice you will have to list what you really want the card to be capable of, and how much you would prefer to spend.
  2. Deadlock:

    Dude, I agree with you a hundred percent on the monitor! :) I've been meaning to get myself a bigger screen for a while now......19" preferably! But somehow, I keep giving priority to the card coz if I have the right card, I guess I can always upgrade to a better screen later. But definitely, will be upgrading the screen soon.

    The PSU: Corsair and Antec are definitely the good boys. The 500W Coolermaster is coming at a good price (abt $30), that's why I thought of it.

    As for the card itself, I'm mainly looking at gaming. Just want to be able to play the high end games. Crysis, far cry 2, Cod, (HL:Ep3 when it DOES come out!) etc. Right now, I'm on Cod Modern Warfare 2 and prototype. The funny thing is that Cod MW2 runs quite nicely on the 9400, no lag, nothing. But when I play prototype, it starts lagging big time! Haven't tried crysis yet. Far Cry 2, FEAR 2 are running just about okay, but not the ultra high performance. The difference here (India) between the 9800GT and the GTS 250 is about $15, which is what made me think what the heck! But the real dilemma came when I shortlisted and started comparing these 4 models:

    9800 GTX+
    GTS 250
    GTX 285

    Obviously, the GTX 285 is a winner hands down, but slightly out of the range. Plus, I'm not a Radeon fan (probably because of nVidia's Physx technology) else I believe there's a load of option when compared with the GTS 250.

    To sum it up, I basically want the card to be able to handle high end games at high settings. Suggestions??
  3. You really need to decide what your monitor plans are before you can know what video cards you should be looking at. For your current monitor HD4670/9600GT/9800GT would be very good. If your new monitor will be 1920x1080+ then the minimum should really be HD5770/GTX260. If it's between those then the GTS 250/HD4770/HD5750 are appropriate.
  4. Best answer
    Oh ok--I judged you wrongly in assuming that you were strapped for cash. My argument had been that you should get a cheaper card and a new monitor--but if you are getting both you should get the better card.

    The GTS 250 is the best deal of the cards you suggest because it is the newest model and is cheaper than the GTX. It is a HUGE upgrade from the 9400. I would decide on the ram depending on the size of your monitor. Depending on the exact amperage+quality of your PSU you may be able to run this without upgrading--although quality PSUs are always a good idea. (it has a 450w requirement)

    If you want to play Crysis you may want to consider bumping up to the $165-70 range for an HD 5770 or GTX 260. (there isnt anything thats much better than a GTS 250 in the $140 range)
  5. Thanks guys, for all the help! Mansged to figure out a bit through all your posts. I guess I've zeroed in on the 250GTS, particularly the one in this link:

    The PSU is a coolermaster 500W. On the basic research I've managed, I'm keen on getting a 19" screen at a resolution of 1680x1050. I checked out the Samsung 940BW and pretty much liked it. Though in all honesty, my knowledge about resolutions is very limited (Heck, I've been playing on a resolution of 1024x768 thinking it was awesome!!). Are there any suggestions on the monitor/ resolution? Would really appreciate it!
  6. While I know they dont mean a lot it does have very good reviews on newegg.

    This higher priced overclocked model you picked gives you a little power boost over some other 250s-- as long as your case is well enough ventilated for an internally venting fan.

    I dont really have monitor advice, other than to look at them in person to judge color and etc and write down the model numbers and then check prices online at newegg. Gaming monitors often have faster response times than office monitors. (5ms vs 2ms)

    Also watch some sale sites for good after xmas sales:
  7. I wouldn't spend extra on an OCed card, just do it yourself. It's cheaper, easy and you will probably get better results.
  8. @jyjjy:
    I'm kinda scared to manually OC the card! Apprehensive that I might end up deep frying the chip! :D So thought of getting one already OC'd. Plus, this one is a 1 gig.

    I tried to convince myself on the 5750, but somehow I'm an nVidia fan. Been using them ever since (first one was FX, that seems like an age now!! :) ) The one on newegg is 512 mb and I though of going in for the 1 gig since I'll be upping the monitor as well.

    Thanks for the links dude, will do some more research and will go screen hunting in person as well. Somehow, this card DID grab my attention and the guy I get my stuff from also suggested this particular model, said that a lot of people were pretty happy with it. The next step up from this would be a GTX 260+, which is not on my mind as of now.

    Still, no decisions yet! :(
  9. namelessonez said:
    I'm kinda scared to manually OC the card! Apprehensive that I might end up deep frying the chip! :D So thought of getting one already OC'd. Plus, this one is a 1 gig.

    You really shouldn't be scared. What fries chips when it comes to OCing is usually people unwisely upping the voltage too far and that really only applies to CPUs, not video cards. With rare exceptions you can't even change the voltage on a video card even if you wanted to. Basically you use a program like rivatuner to increase the clock speeds. It will also show you the temperatures and let you adjust the fan speed if necessary. If you go too high you will get some artifacts or system instability in which case you know you've gone too far and lower the settings or up the fan speed and see if that makes the problem go away. The program will only apply the OC when you specifically ask it to unless you tell it to start with windows and automatically do so.
  10. Ok, so I've decided (FINALLY!!) :)

    I'm getting the GTS250 1 gig @ $125. It isn't OC'd, but seems to be a good deal at that price. I'll work up from amateur to 'pro'(?) .....use it on stock for a while and then OC it myself. Heck, the whole world seems to be able to do it, so why not me? :)
  11. That's the spirit.
    The GTS 250 should be a good card for 1680x1050
  12. namelessonez said:
    Ok, so I've decided (FINALLY!!) :)

    I'm getting the GTS250 1 gig @ $125. It isn't OC'd, but seems to be a good deal at that price. I'll work up from amateur to 'pro'(?) .....use it on stock for a while and then OC it myself. Heck, the whole world seems to be able to do it, so why not me? :)

    Sweet-- That's a good deal. Yea--I completely agree with the "use it on stock for a while" mentality. It's a nice idea to save money now-- and overclock later when you decide that you actually need it (That's what im doing with my CPU). This way you will get longer life out of the component by not keeping overclocked for as long.
  13. First off, a happy new year to all!

    Second; a big thanks to everyone for the valuable inputs which really helped me! I've got the GTS250 1Gig and am running it on stock. The difference is simply amazing....worth the time and money invested while choosing. Even though I'm still on 1024 res, the graphics have a kick! I tried Crysis Warhead, Modern Warfare 2, bioshock, prototype and GTA 4....all were running on max settings, except GTA 4....which I guess was due to the fact that its quite poorly decoded!

    I'm gonna be trying out the 3D function of the card tonight....just to get a feeler! :)

    Once again, thanks all!
  14. BDDazza:

    LOL....dude, all this just made me realize how little I knew about cards till now! :) See, I considered my rig to be quite the 'studd' with the 9400GT! Guess had I done this bit of homework before setting it up, it would've saved me the pains of getting the 9400 in the first place, which I don't know what to do with now! :(

    I'm pretty glad people were 'kind' enough to bash the 9400!
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