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Looking to upgrade graphics card.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 21, 2010 12:39:08 PM

Hi all, I was pointed in this direction from a friend of mine and I hope I can get some advice on what graphics card would be suitable for my PC and needs.

I've pre ordered Battlefield Bad Company 2 and I read somewhere that the minimum requirements graphics card was a Nvidia GF 7800 with 256MB.

I have a nVidia GF 7950 GT(x) with 512MB. I'm not really a hardcore gamer.....I just want to upgrade so that I am 'covered' for the foreseeable future to enjoy this and any other future games that come along.

So here are a few details to start with.

My System:

7950 GT(X) 512MB 256BIT 550/1400MHz PCI-Express
2GB (2x1024MB) DDR2-RAM PC667
Mainboard: DDR2 based Asus P5NSLI with NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI IE
Intel Pentium DCPU 3.40GHz
Windows XP

My thoughts:

It's got to be a PCIexpress nVidia DDR2 with at least 512MB but more MB would also be considered with the price in mind.
My mainboard is DDR2 and I don't really want to replace the mainboard for a DDR3 one at this time.

I'm not too keen on passive cooling, this is due the advice from a mate and I think a graphics card with a fan on board is better......maybe I'm wrong?

Price wise, I would consider paying a good price for a good card that would be compatible with my system & be worth it in the long run but I'm not really willing to start buying new mainboards and the such just to get that 'next one better' card up the series line.


So if anyone out there has any good advice on what card I should be looking for (or should I stick with what I've got?) then please let me know.

All advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance, MisterGC.

More about : upgrade graphics card

a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 12:41:24 PM

Your processor is pretty old and would be a bottleneck for the highest end cards. That being said, I recommend that you purchase a Radeon 5770 if you need graphics first, then get in there and upgrade your Processor.
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 12:47:15 PM

You are not limited to the type of memory on the videocard. It is completely isolated from your system memory, and your motherboard cannot dictate the speed of your memory on the Videocard.

For that computer, I wouldn't go past a 5670, though if you don't have windows7, a 4670 or 4770 would probably be just dandy fits that would be sizable upgrades from your current card, provided the title in question isn't CPU bound.

Your results will vary.
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February 21, 2010 1:02:39 PM

Thanks for the advice that you have posted already.

I am not very computer minded...I can insert and remove cards and the like but I haven't got a clue when people start talking about new processors.

Here's a few questions if I had to upgrade my processor:
1.How do I know what one to buy?
2.Would I have to do a reinstalation of my OS?
3.Are they expensive or would it be worth it to be able to go for a better card?

I found these details about my PC if that would help.

Intel® Pentium DualCore(945) 960 Spezial (FC-LGA4, "Presler") DualCore 64BIT 2x2MB Cache
Der Pentium® D 900er Processor "Presler" Version from Intels Dual Core Pentium


Thanks again for your help so far.

MisterGC
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 1:25:11 PM

First you must look at your Motherboard specifications, see if it can handle a Core 2 Duo, if its the P45 chipset it should be able to). Then its as simple as removing the old processor and putting the new one in, basically the same as installing a card; Only you have to mount the heatsink and fan which is relatively easy.

Neither a processor upgrade, nor a graphics card update would require an OS reinstall, a new motherboard would.

The 5770 would be the best card due to it being DirectX 11, if you plan on or already have Windows 7 it is built for it, and current technology. You can pick them up $150-160 online. If you upgraded just your graphics card to this you WOULD see an improvement, however you would be limited by your processor. If you plugged a nice Core 2 Duo E8400 or Core 2 Duo E7200 even in there you'd be in a better spot then with that Pentium D. Either way that graphics card would be fine for your machine, just expect a bottleneck.

Also for this card you need at least a 450W PSU, make sure your PSU is adequate (PSU = Power supply)
February 23, 2010 10:03:36 PM

:hello:  Thanks again for all your advice so far. I've had a look around online and I've found 4 graphic cards with prices that I would like opinions on.

Ok then, lets say I keep my processor, motherboard ect. as it is just now
(Asus P5NSLI, Intel® Pentium Dual Core 2 x 3.4MHz, 2GB RAM, Gforce 7950GT 512MB, 500Watt power supply 17" monitor at 1024 x 768)....

...which would be the best upgrade for my system? Remember, I'm not a hard core gamer so playing at the maximum settings is not a must.

1. NVIDIA GeForce 9600GT G94 Chip! €90.00

# Palit/Point of View
# PCI Express x16
# 1024 MB DDR3
# Max.power usage ca. 95 Watt (at maximum usage)
# Core-Taktfrequenz (MHz): 700
# Memory-Taktfrequency DDR3 (MHz): 2000 (2x 1000MHz)
# 256 Bit
# Memory bandwidth (GB/s): 57,6
# Texture-Fullrate (Mil. Pixel/Sek.): 20,8
# Shader Model 4.0
# Resolution max.: 2560 x 1600
# Full Microsoft® DirectX® 10 support
# Full Microsoft® DirectX® 9 support
# Full OpenGL 2.1 support
# 16x full-screen anti-aliasing
# colours 16.7 Mio.
# Power supply: 1x 6Pin Adapterkabel
# SLI able
# HDTV Ready!
# Supports: Windows 2000, XP und Vista

2.AXLE ATI RADEON HD 4670 Grafikkarte PCI-E 1024 MB HDMI *DDR3*HDMI*Green Edition €80.00

ATI Radeon HD 4670 mit 1024 MB GDDR3 128-Bit
** DVI / VGA / HDMI **
Core-Takt: 650 MHz
Speicher-Takt: 1400 MHz
Green Edition
Open-GL 2.1

Stream-Processors: 320
* Memory: 1024 MB GDDR3
* Memorytakt (MHz): 650
* Chiptakt (MHz): 1400
* 128 bit GDDR3
* DirectX-supports: 10.1
* Stream-Processors: 320
* PCI-Express 2.0

Chip Features:

* ATI Avivo HD
* Blu-ray-Video
* Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2)
* Erweitertes Anti-Aliasing (AA) und anisotrope Filterung (AF)
* Microsoft DirectX® 10.1
* Shader-Modell 4.1



3. Nvidia GeForce GT220-1GB-VGA-DVI-HDMI €60.00

Graphic processor: Nvidia GeForce 220GT
Graphic memory: 1GB mit 400/1400 MHz DDR2 with 128 Bit
Shader frequenz: 1400 MHz
16 Streamprocessors
DirectX10 (and DirectX9 compatible)
VGA + DVI + HDMI
SLI Ready
Interface: PCI-Express 16x
Active cooler
Driver Nvidia Forceware
Supports: Windows XP, Windows 7, Vista




4.1024MB nVidia GeForce GT240 PCIe DVI/VGA/HDMI GT 240 €85.00

# Graphic Card-Bus: PCI Express x16
# Graphic chip: nVidia GeForce GT 240
# Graphic memory: 1GB/1024MB RAM
# Max res.: 2560 x 1600
# Full Microsoft® DirectX® 10.1
# Shader Model 4.1 support
# 16x full-screen anti-aliasing
# Colour: 16.7 Mio.
# Chiptakt: 550 MHz
# Shader-Clock: 1580 MHz
# Memory bandwidth (GB/s): 57,6
# Texture-Fullrate (Mrd. Pixel/Sek.): 33,6
# Memoryinterface 128Bit
# HDTV able
# Supports Blu-Ray Disc
# Supports: XP, Vista und Windows 7

I know there's alot to read but all opinions and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, MisterGC :D 

a b U Graphics card
February 24, 2010 2:05:07 AM

The GT240 would be the best performer of that bunch, with the 9600GT a close second. The 4670 is a fine card as well, but for that price, the GT240 is best option imo.
February 24, 2010 4:51:15 AM

JofaMang said:
The GT240 would be the best performer of that bunch, with the 9600GT a close second. The 4670 is a fine card as well, but for that price, the GT240 is best option imo.



Excellent answer.....that makes life alot easier for me when it comes to shopping for a card now that it's been narrowed down.

I really appreciate your help & opinion.

Thank you, MisterGC.



February 27, 2010 10:37:43 AM

OK I've got myself the GT240 1GB DDR3......and now my Battlefield 2 won't load. I get to the 'Connecting to server' screen and it just sits there for ever.

I've check my nVidia control panel and it shows DirectX 9.0c which is what the games requires.

Could it be that there an issue with my new card?
a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2010 10:48:27 AM

mistergc said:
OK I've got myself the GT240 1GB DDR3......and now my Battlefield 2 won't load. I get to the 'Connecting to server' screen and it just sits there for ever.

I've check my nVidia control panel and it shows DirectX 9.0c which is what the games requires.

Could it be that there an issue with my new card?


No, everyone is having that issue, im pretty sure the servers are down till march 2, when the game officially launches, which means you cannot play the demo now.
February 27, 2010 10:55:10 AM

Thanks for your fast reply but I mean the good old Battlefield 2 game.

I've pre-ordered the Battlefield Bad Company 2 (that's why I upgraded my card) but I wanted to carry on playing the BF2 until the new one comes....this is the gane that won't run.

Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2010 10:57:48 AM

No idea sorry then :p 
February 27, 2010 2:32:32 PM

It might be too old but it's the one I'm stuck with so it'll have to do for the time being. :D 
February 27, 2010 3:28:31 PM

Truhls said:
No idea sorry then :p 


Everything is back to normal....must have been the EA server.

BTW the new graphic card works a treat...I can actually see the enemy for a change. :bounce: 
!