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Need help upgrading a graphics card in an old computer

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 2, 2010 2:45:48 PM

Hey everyone,

I'm trying to upgrade an older computer for my son, but am unsure how much to spend on a graphics card, because I don't know how much the rest of the system will bottleneck performance.

Here's what's there now:
Thermaltake 430W PSU
AMD Athlon 64 3800+ CPU
2 GB PC 3200 DDR SDRAM
GeForce 6600 GPU
Windows XP

I'm think about one of these cards (after reading the latest Tom's rankings):
Radeon 4650
Radeon 4670
Radeon 4850
GeForce 9800GT

Questions:
How much performance boost will I see with each of these cards?
Which cards will be bottlenecked?

Thanks for the help!
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 2:49:08 PM

Grab an HD4670, it's the most you'd ever want to put into an older machine like that.
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a c 182 U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 3:10:18 PM

@ Creamsoda: I'd go down one leval to the HD4650, but be very careful to make sure the card has the correct connection, you may have an AGP motherboard. If you are unsure, take a look here:

http://www.playtool.com/pages/vidslots/slots.html
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April 2, 2010 3:38:41 PM

It's got a PCIe slot. The current 6600 is a PCIe.
So anything above a 4650 to 4670 is a waste of GPU then? Should I go with 512 or 1 GB?

Also, how much boost am I going to see going from the GeForce 6600 to a Radeon 4650 or 4670?
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 4:25:00 PM

You'll see more than a 100% boost probably. Grab an HD4670, and a 512Mb version.
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a c 182 U Graphics card
April 2, 2010 4:37:01 PM

There is not huge difference in prices between the two TBH, so yes, grab a cheap HD4670, but do not be afraid of the 1Gb cards, that said, do not pay more for a 1Gb card either, the HD4670 is just not fast enough to use all that memory.
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