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Need advice on obtaining greater graphics capability

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 11, 2010 3:37:14 AM

Hello all - I have a relatively new PC and am trying to install a game for my son. I get an error message stating that the game cannot run given my graphics card. The box says that it must be 128MB with Shader Model 2.0 capability. I have read in other posts that this is a relatively old standard so I am surprised that my card is insufficient given that the PC is less than a year old. Below are the system specs. Can I download a new driver that will meet the game requirements or must I buy a new graphics card? Thank you for reading my post, any friendly advice would be much appreciated.

Processor Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E5200 @ 2.50GHz
Memory (RAM) 3.00 GB
Graphics Intel(R) G33/G31 Express Chipset Family
Gaming graphics 256 MB Total available graphics memory
Primary hard disk 237GB Free (286GB Total)
Windows 7 Home Premium

System
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Manufacturer HP-Pavilion
Model VT493AA-ABA s5212y
Total amount of system memory 3.00 GB RAM
System type 64-bit operating system
Number of processor cores 2

Storage
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Total size of hard disk(s) 298 GB
Disk partition (C:)  237 GB Free (286 GB Total)
Disk partition (D:)  2 GB Free (12 GB Total)
Media drive (E:)  CD/DVD

Graphics
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Display adapter type Intel(R) G33/G31 Express Chipset Family
Total available graphics memory 256 MB
Dedicated graphics memory 0 MB
Dedicated system memory 64 MB
Shared system memory 192 MB
Display adapter driver version 8.15.10.1825
Primary monitor resolution 1366x768
DirectX version DirectX 9.0 or better
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 6:55:21 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums :) 
Well Intel's cards are low-end cards for gaming,so i would recommend you to upgrade it to get a good gaming experience.
What's your Power supply and what resolution do you play at ?
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a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 8:49:21 AM

While your machine may not be very old, it is using its integrated card which is not really a card for gaming. A lot of PCs you can buy for a good price come without a dedicated graphics card - that is why they area low price. You have to buy and install an ATI or Nvidia card
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a c 199 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 3:44:51 PM

The Intel Graphics Decelerator is worthless for games.
My search on the model number turned up a slim case. You have a PCI Express x16 graphics slot, but will be limited to a low-profile card. That pretty much means the best you'll be able to do is a HD5570. Considering the standard power supply is also weak, anything stronger probably could not be used anyway. You can find a HD5570 online for about $70: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 11, 2010 8:25:23 PM

Thank you all for the warm welcome and quick responses. Maziar - my power supply is a 3-prong plug that goes into the wall outlet :lol:  Obviously this has not been upgraded from what came standard with the system. The only games my kids have ever played are on the internet (such as miniclip.com), Lego StarWars is the first one we have purchased. Thus I have no frame of reference for your question about resolution. jtt - I appreciate the product suggestion and I have no problem spending $70 since the amount of games that the kids will play will only increase over time. Will that HDD5570 card meet the Shader 2.0 requirement? I did not see anything mentioned in the specs on the Newegg site.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 8:46:29 PM

Yes, that card will be usable; it supports Shader Model 5. At your relatively low resolution, it should be able to play any games you are likely to select for your kids for quite some time.
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a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 8:55:17 PM

Yes at 1366x768 and given the games your kids are likely to play, your computer with the 5570 should last until you get a new computer in the future. At that point you may want to ask for advice in the Homebuilt forum to get good advice on value/performance builds
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a c 176 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 9:01:31 PM

Before he buys the 5570, does anyone know if the 4650 is faster? I would say the 4670, but newegg didn't have any half height cards.

They did have this gem if he wants to spend ~$117.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

9600GT will help the kids game a lot longer then the 5570/4650. Doesn't need a 6 pin connector, and its $88 after rebate.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 9:11:48 PM

No, the HD4650 is slower, especially since the only low-profile ones seem to be GDDR2.
That 9600GT doesn't look bad, but is it possible some of the HD5000-series features like audio over HDMI may make the HP a viable HTPC when its gaming days are over?
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a c 1411 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 9:23:32 PM

4745454b said:
Before he buys the 5570, does anyone know if the 4650 is faster? I would say the 4670, but newegg didn't have any half height cards.

They did have this gem if he wants to spend ~$117.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

9600GT will help the kids game a lot longer then the 5570/4650. Doesn't need a 6 pin connector, and its $88 after rebate.

The HD5570 and its closest competition are benchmarked in this article http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5570,2552...
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a c 176 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 9:30:53 PM

Thanks for the link rolli. I didn't realize that the 5570 was faster then the 4670. Have to remember that.

The 9600GT is faster still, and while I agree that the 5570 would be a better HTPC card not everyone needs those advanced features. I would love to have my 5750 plugged into my tv, but I have no need for bit streaming, or high end audio options at this point. Depending on the OPs HTPC needs the 9600GT might be good, or if he does have a "serious" HTPC setup he should go with the 5570.
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June 11, 2010 9:36:17 PM

Thank you all for your assistance - have a great weekend!
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a c 199 U Graphics card
June 11, 2010 10:58:50 PM

yw. You too.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
June 12, 2010 12:57:03 PM

scotso said:
Thank you all for the warm welcome and quick responses. Maziar - my power supply is a 3-prong plug that goes into the wall outlet :lol:  Obviously this has not been upgraded from what came standard with the system. The only games my kids have ever played are on the internet (such as miniclip.com), Lego StarWars is the first one we have purchased. Thus I have no frame of reference for your question about resolution. jtt - I appreciate the product suggestion and I have no problem spending $70 since the amount of games that the kids will play will only increase over time. Will that HDD5570 card meet the Shader 2.0 requirement? I did not see anything mentioned in the specs on the Newegg site.

Well for those games,like other said, cards like 5570 would be good
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!