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Conflicting info. on upgrading video card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 9, 2010 6:39:03 AM

Hi, can someone please explain this. I want to upgrade a nvidia geforce 8500gt vga dvi video card (256mb DDR2 pci express). I have a gateway gt5628 quadcore (intel 2 quad processor Q6600), 3gb ddr2 dual channel memory,400watt, using a 19" screen. I found a Geforce gt220 ssc 1024mb GDDR3 pci-e (at mwave). My conflict is the online tech said this video card would work but than more online research stated I could not update to a DDR3 if I have a DDR2 due to different slots? Please someone tell me what is correct? Could you point me to another nvidia evga Geforce that would work? thnx
a b U Graphics card
July 9, 2010 6:46:44 AM

that ddr2 is your system RAM, it has nothing to do with video RAM...
you can have ddr5 vram and ddr2 system ram in your pc..its not at all related...
gt220 with 1gb is a waste of ram its not goin to use that 1gb in it...
if you tell us your budget then we can guide you to a better card for money :) 
Related resources
a b Î Nvidia
a c 164 U Graphics card
July 9, 2010 6:55:01 AM

Don't bother buying the GT220 as stated above. Its not really any better then the card you have now. I seriously doubt you'd say any improvement.

Why do you want the new card? Are you trying to play games?
July 9, 2010 6:55:16 AM

I thought it was the ram, but wasnt sure? I was looking to keep it under $100, not into heavy games but, want the graphics still. Like the evga, because it seems to be quiet, if there's something else just as quiet let me know.
July 9, 2010 6:57:08 AM

I actually need a new a card because it broke/burned, fan looked warped.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 164 U Graphics card
July 9, 2010 7:00:03 AM

GT240, 5570 or 5670 would be better cards. I'd go for one of the 5xxx cards.
July 9, 2010 7:44:33 AM

What is the difference between the radeon and evga? And is the gt240 better than like the 9600gt series, how do you tell? Does the 512mb or a 1gb really matter? I'm referring to the ones listed here:

http://www.mwave.com/mwave/ViewProductGrid.asp?Manu=EVG...

Thanks for all the info. & opinions
July 9, 2010 7:51:01 AM

^totally agree. The GT220 would be a waste of money, you wouldn't get a big performace increase. minimum a GT240, but thats the equivalant of an 8800GT so that would be an ok boost but still not incredible. What is your budget?
a b U Graphics card
July 9, 2010 9:50:26 AM

blugrl said:
What is the difference between the radeon and evga? And is the gt240 better than like the 9600gt series, how do you tell? Does the 512mb or a 1gb really matter? I'm referring to the ones listed here:

http://www.mwave.com/mwave/ViewProductGrid.asp?Manu=EVG...

Thanks for all the info. & opinions

radeon is ATI GPU like Geforce of Nvidia
evga is just a card manufacturer like xfx and many others who either use Nvidia GPU or ATI gpu to make the card...
for such low power cards 1gb is of no use...just a waste of ram, and money..
for that money you can go for a better gpu
like the one which i showed you.
5670 is a good card for that price range of less than 100$ and you get latest technology also (directx 11) and performs far better than gt240 and 8800gt
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
this one is really good, cool and silent
July 9, 2010 9:03:11 PM

Wow, what you get for the money doesn't compare. I only have 400 watt of power will this still work, 5670 specs state 400 watts or greater? Will there be compatibility issues installing or using a different brand since I can't uninstall the geforce?
a b Î Nvidia
a c 236 U Graphics card
July 9, 2010 9:22:57 PM

There may be multiple considerations for you to upgrade your card from a 8500GT.

1) Will the new card fit in your case? Video cards will all fit in the pci-e slot, but come in varying lengths. In general, the stronger and more expensive the card, the longer it is. Measure the length of your current card, and then see how much room you might have for a longer card. Also, some cards have a double slot cooling system which I really like. However, you need to be certain that you can give up the adjacent slot on your motherboard for it to fit. Cards with bigger coolers may also be a problem if you do not have room.
2) Is your power supply adequate to power a stronger card? Your current 8500GT does not require any additional power past what the motherboard supplies to the pcie-x16 slot. Stronger cards may require a separate 6 pin pci-e power connector lead from the psu. Stronger cards may require two such connectors, or even a 8 pin connector. Unless you are prepared to invest in a stronger psu, your choices will be limited to midrange cards.
3) How strong a card do you want or need? Read toms current best gaming psu's for the money article. Look at what results you can generally expect from each level of card at the monitor resolution you want to use. Something like the GT240 can be expected to give great performance at 1680 x 1050. but at 1920 x 1200 you will need to lower the graphic details. Almost any modern card will be a good improvement over your 8500GT. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-radeon-hd-ge...
4) Are you prepared to change out drivers? If you stick with a Nvidia based card, you can just drop it in. If you change to a ATI radeon based card, you will have to clean out the old nvidia drivers and programs and install the ati equivalents. Graphics cards are competitive between nvidia and ati, so I suggest sticking with nvidia.
5) If you are willing to send in a rebate, the EVGA GT240 superclocked for $60/ar looks like a good deal to me.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... The superclocked means that the factory has tweaked the original card to perform better in a factory warranted manner. It does not require any extra pci-e power connectors.
6) Oh, yes. The DDRx ram is not an issue. The ram used in the graphics card has NO relation to the ram used in the pc.
July 9, 2010 10:29:43 PM

geofelt said:
There may be multiple considerations for you to upgrade your card from a 8500GT.

1) Will the new card fit in your case? Video cards will all fit in the pci-e slot, but come in varying lengths. In general, the stronger and more expensive the card, the longer it is. Measure the length of your current card, and then see how much room you might have for a longer card. Also, some cards have a double slot cooling system which I really like. However, you need to be certain that you can give up the adjacent slot on your motherboard for it to fit. Cards with bigger coolers may also be a problem if you do not have room.
2) Is your power supply adequate to power a stronger card? Your current 8500GT does not require any additional power past what the motherboard supplies to the pcie-x16 slot. Stronger cards may require a separate 6 pin pci-e power connector lead from the psu. Stronger cards may require two such connectors, or even a 8 pin connector. Unless you are prepared to invest in a stronger psu, your choices will be limited to midrange cards.
3) How strong a card do you want or need? Read toms current best gaming psu's for the money article. Look at what results you can generally expect from each level of card at the monitor resolution you want to use. Something like the GT240 can be expected to give great performance at 1680 x 1050. but at 1920 x 1200 you will need to lower the graphic details. Almost any modern card will be a good improvement over your 8500GT. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-radeon-hd-ge...
4) Are you prepared to change out drivers? If you stick with a Nvidia based card, you can just drop it in. If you change to a ATI radeon based card, you will have to clean out the old nvidia drivers and programs and install the ati equivalents. Graphics cards are competitive between nvidia and ati, so I suggest sticking with nvidia.
5) If you are willing to send in a rebate, the EVGA GT240 superclocked for $60/ar looks like a good deal to me.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... The superclocked means that the factory has tweaked the original card to perform better in a factory warranted manner. It does not require any extra pci-e power connectors.
6) Oh, yes. The DDRx ram is not an issue. The ram used in the graphics card has NO relation to the ram used in the pc.

..Thanks so much for being so thorough. I was having anxiety wondering about how easy a switch would be, even though; the radeon performs better for the money, not sure if it is something I'm willling to do on my own? And since my pc does absolutely nothing now that the card broke I didn't understand how reinstalling something new would be possible since I can't uninstall or use the old video card? I was hoping installing the same brand but an upgrade would take care of that issue?. I would of thought the 9000 series card was better than the 200 series, little did I know....If I was willing to spend a little more money, can you recommend something higher than the 240 too? Thanks again.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 236 U Graphics card
July 10, 2010 12:18:45 AM

Graphics cards have the ability to do basic output without needing drivers. So if you have uninstalled the old software, you can still see output, although it will be a much lower resolution and performance. Changing drivers should not be a big problem, here is my
Procedure to clean install a new driver:

1) Download driversweeper to your desktop, or wherever you can find it easily.
http://downloads.guru3d.com/Guru3D---Driver-Sweeper-(Setup)-download-1655.html

2) Download your new driver to the same place.
3) In add/remove programs, uninstall any Nvidia or ATI vga drivers and programs.
4) Boot into safe mode. Press F8 repeatedly while booting to enter safe mode. Your display resolution may be minimal.
5) Run driversweeper. Check the selection boxes for the removal of all nvidia vga drivers and ati drivers.
6) Rerun driversweeper. All such components should be gone.
7) Install the new driver from the desktop or saved location.

With the dual restrictions of a 400w psu, and no pci-e 6 pin power connectors, then the best Nvidia card would be the superclocked GT240 I mentioned earlier. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The ati radeon 5670 is a notch better, depending on game and resolution, but you would be hard pressed to tell the difference in real life. I do like the HIS 5670 referenced earlier because of the dual slot cooler. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but, it costs But--- it costs $94 vs. $66 after rebate and shipping.

If you want anything stronger, you are looking at a psu replacement.
July 10, 2010 5:16:04 AM

I haven't uninstalled anything. When the fan quit, my screen went black, tried to reboot and it was the same. The video card got removed to check things out. The fan itself was messed up. That's where I'm at now, I can't put the old video card in to uninstall because I can't see anything. Do I install a new video card and than go back in and uninstall the old software?
a b Î Nvidia
a c 236 U Graphics card
July 10, 2010 7:22:47 PM

blugrl said:
I haven't uninstalled anything. When the fan quit, my screen went black, tried to reboot and it was the same. The video card got removed to check things out. The fan itself was messed up. That's where I'm at now, I can't put the old video card in to uninstall because I can't see anything. Do I install a new video card and than go back in and uninstall the old software?


Yes, you can't see anything without a video card.
Physically install your new video card. Then :

If it is a Nvidia card like your old one, you should not have to do anything when you boot up.
If your old driver was not up to date, just install the latest driver which you download from the nvidia web site.

If your new card is ati, boot up in safe mode, and go through the driver removal and reinstallation proces mentioned earlier. In this case, you can install the driver that comes on a cd with your new card.
It would be good to later update with the latest catalyst driver package dowhload from ati.
July 29, 2010 11:13:11 PM

geofelt said:
Yes, you can't see anything without a video card.
Physically install your new video card. Then :

If it is a Nvidia card like your old one, you should not have to do anything when you boot up.
If your old driver was not up to date, just install the latest driver which you download from the nvidia web site.

If your new card is ati, boot up in safe mode, and go through the driver removal and reinstallation proces mentioned earlier. In this case, you can install the driver that comes on a cd with your new card.
It would be good to later update with the latest catalyst driver package dowhload from ati.



thanks for the help and info., i went out of town came back ordered new card. It arrived today, and is a tight fit. I hooked everything back up and turned the power all lights are on. Monitor screen showed Gateway logo, than red, gree, blue, block (as usual) and went back to a black screen? Any suggestions, help please. I put in the software cd, tried to come on than nothing.......really irritated don't know what to do :pt1cable: 
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 12:06:21 AM

baracubra said:
^totally agree. The GT220 would be a waste of money, you wouldn't get a big performace increase. minimum a GT240, but thats the equivalant of an 8800GT so that would be an ok boost but still not incredible. What is your budget?

No it isn't, the GT240 is a direct replacement for the 9600GT and performs similarly which puts it below the 8800GT.
blugrl said:
thanks for the help and info., i went out of town came back ordered new card. It arrived today, and is a tight fit. I hooked everything back up and turned the power all lights are on. Monitor screen showed Gateway logo, than red, gree, blue, block (as usual) and went back to a black screen? Any suggestions, help please. I put in the software cd, tried to come on than nothing.......really irritated don't know what to do :pt1cable: 


Have you tried hitting f8 whilst booting up to see whether windows will go into safe mode?
July 30, 2010 12:20:38 AM

yes tried it, fan gets louder as i hit f8, screen only shows gateway logo than red green blue blocks than back to a black screen?
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 12:23:02 AM

Did you uninstall the old drivers before installing the new card?
July 30, 2010 12:31:44 AM

I wasn't able to, when the old one quit, or the fan (looked warped) the screen went black and it wouldn't come on at all.
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 12:38:28 AM

Your mobo uses the G33 chipset, do you not have onboard vga?
July 30, 2010 12:47:23 AM

Don't know the chipset? i do have both dvi and vga (monitor & card), gateway only provdied the chord for the vga though.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 164 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 12:55:32 AM

Monkey wanted to know if you had any video outputs where your USB, sound, etc ports are.

Can you get into the bios? What happens when you press Del (or F2) when you see the logo?
July 30, 2010 1:02:32 AM

video card has 3 outputs, vga, dvi, and another smaller one. I can't get into bios, nothing happens, screen goes black and than monitor light goes from blue to yellow.....this pc has given me hell since i got it, grrrr!
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 1:23:30 AM

Thanks 4745454b but let's try this ;) 
@OP, Take the new graphic card out and put it to one side, now is there a vga connector still available on the back of the PC?
July 30, 2010 1:56:03 AM

hmm no.
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 2:01:32 AM

What about BIOS? can you get into that?
July 30, 2010 2:03:07 AM

have repeatedly tried, no success.
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 2:05:48 AM

According to this page your PC would appear to have an onboard VGA.
July 30, 2010 2:16:06 AM

i have read. re-looked again. there is one port next to the keyboard area, it has yellow tape covering it up: ATTENTION: Connect monitor to alternate video port (see set up) That is the only other port i see, i do not know if it is for vga or dvi? and as stated previously stinken gateway only sold the vga chord with it.
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 4:49:52 AM

It's possibly the vga port that was taped over because they put a discrete card in and some people can't be bothered to look at things properly before they plug stuff in.
July 30, 2010 5:24:59 AM

Well should I untape it and try it if its another vga port? Or should I go buy a dvi chord and try that one in the video card?......what are you thinking why the screen goes black? Could something be wrong with the motherboard or is this problem between the monitor and video card? I'm so tired of the problems I have had with this, my fan use to come on super high and lound and than everything would shut off, I had to update bios and it quit and now this, eeh!
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 6:17:41 AM

Take the tape off and see if it is a 15 pin female, if it is then make sure the new card is not in the machine and plug the VGA cable into the freshly uncovered port and power the machine up to see what happens.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 236 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 2:49:51 PM

What is the new video card that you bought?

Since you see the logo on boootup, at least momentarily, you have the card installed and connected properly.

Does the new card have a place to plug in a 6-pin power connector?
If it does:
It may need to have that connected for the card to work properly.
If your psu has such a 6 pin power connector, plug it in.
If the psu does not, there may ge a 4 pin molex to 6 pin adapter in your video card package.

Since you get the problem before windows is loaded, it is not a driver issue, at least not yet.

While you may be able to get things working using the integrated video, it is your objective to get the stronger discrete card working.
At this point, we need to find out what is shutting down the new video card.

It is always possible that the new card is defective, but I suspect not, and that it is a power issue.
July 30, 2010 8:04:07 PM

I bought a new geforce gt240. I don't have the older card, the fan quit and it was warped.
I do not see a place to plug into the video card except on the outside that sticks out for evga, dvi, and another plugslot that I don't know what it is for?

I'll try taking it out like mousemonkey stated and see what happens when I power up again.
July 30, 2010 8:37:53 PM

Alright I took out the new video card, closed it back up. Than plugged in the vga cable into the plug that was covered up. I powerd up and it actually came on??

Should I take the time and uninstall the software for the old video card? If so, somene please tell me how to do this?

Can we assume that it is the new video card that does not work? Is it just the card itself that is defective? Or is the card not compatible? thnx

I will not touch anything until someone tells me what to do now.
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2010 8:45:55 PM

Go to the windows control panel, add remove programs, uninstall the Nvidia display drivers and reboot still using the onboard VGA. If all goes well then power down and install the new card and reboot with the VGA cable connected to the new card, if it still fails to boot it could be either the BIOS needs to be set to use a discrete card or the PCIe slot has been fried.
July 31, 2010 3:10:25 AM

I just logged on to my pc finally. A window opened to tell me that windows host process (Rundll32) has stopped working.........do I hit close program and continue with uninstalling the driver or close the window? Does this matter?
July 31, 2010 3:50:24 AM

And do I uninstall in add/remove programs or in device manager? I have vista if it matters.
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 31, 2010 5:02:09 PM

blugrl said:
And do I uninstall in add/remove programs or in device manager? I have vista if it matters.

Use the option in "Add/Remove Programs".
August 2, 2010 1:34:18 AM

It seems to be working now? I had a ton of updates before the rest of the software cd would install. And than had to wait for internet service after a storm, it took forever. Thank you for your input and helping me out!!!!!

Can you tell me if buying a chord for the dvi plug in's would give me a clearer screen than the this one?
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
August 2, 2010 2:05:16 AM

It might do, if you are using an LCD DVI is the way to go.
August 2, 2010 2:29:55 AM

i have an lcd, never understood why the chord didn't come with the purchase?
Where is the best place to pick one up? Is there anything special you do besides trade out the chord?
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
August 2, 2010 3:11:42 AM

blugrl said:
i have an lcd, never understood why the chord didn't come with the purchase?
Where is the best place to pick one up? Is there anything special you do besides trade out the chord?

If you are going to buy one then a DVI-D or DVI-I cable should cover all bases.
August 2, 2010 3:15:10 AM

Thank you for all your help.
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
August 2, 2010 3:16:12 AM

You're welcome.
August 2, 2010 3:20:59 AM

Wouldn't DVI-I provide the best image since it gives a full digital signal between the card and the monitor?
!