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GeForce 7300 GS vs. GeForce GT 240 (Old Computer)

Hello, you kind people, you :)

***Short version:
7 year old computer; Has a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GS. PCIe x16. Noticeable difference to upgrade to GeForce GT 240 512MB (GDDR5)? Or is it even possible for my system?

OS: Windows XP Pro (32 bit)
CPU: 3.0GHz Pentium IV (yikes)
RAM: 3.0GB
Video Card: 512MB GeForce 7300 GS (PCIe x16)

***Long version:
I've got an old Dell Dimension 8400. I love it to death and it hasn't given me any problems, ever. Even I have to admit it's finally nearing the end of it's useful life.

I want to play Starcraft 2 at an acceptable framerate (at lowest settings, I guess it's running at 15-20 fps atm), so I'm willing to drop ~$100 to bring it up a bit better.

I figure the Video card is the only remaining reasonable way to do this. I know the processor will bottleneck the heck out of anything I do to the comp at this point, but I'll be damned if I buy a crummy cheap new comp just to play a game. When I upgrade I'm going big, but for now, ~$100 will hopefully squeeze another year out of the machine.

The card was upgraded a few years ago but I think I can go higher now. It's a 512MB GeForce 7300 GS in my PCI-e x16 slot. Looking around, I think I like the PNY GeForce GT 240 512MB.

I'm not entirely sure it's compatible. Is a PCIe 2.0 x16 backwards compatible to an old PCIe x16?

I tried researching how big of an upgrade this card is. The 7300 and the 240 both have 512MB... but I'm sure that doesn't tell the whole story. How noticeable of a performance boost is GDDR5 memory over an equal amount of DDR2? Oh god... can my computer even handle that kind of memory? And what the heck is Pixel fillrate, is that the magic number that tells me the exact the performance. All these factors, I don't understand, so I want to be sure if it's worth putting down $75 to get the newer card.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. You would notice the difference between GDDR2 and GDDR5 of course. Also get the GT240, this is taking into consideration that your PSU is still up for it.
  2. It will be backwards compatible with your motherboard.
    I would think it would be a pretty big upgrade.

    WHat PSU do you have? I'm sorry if I missed it.
  3. Even if you get a new video card, your cpu is only a single core and SC2 will hardly work at all.

    Look at What is your SCII Experience to see other peoples systems that worked or didn't work for SCII.
  4. Best answer
    That's a fifteen tier jump on the Gaming Graphics Card chart. Even if the CPU is a bottleneck, you will no doubt see decent improvement.
  5. Helltech said:
    It will be backwards compatible with your motherboard.
    I would think it would be a pretty big upgrade.

    WHat PSU do you have? I'm sorry if I missed it.

    I'm sorry, I forgot to list my PSU. It's the stock PSU from Dell for the Dimension 8400. I believe 350 watt/28 amp. Even though it's old, I should still be okay, right?

    Thank you all for the prompt and helpful responses. Pending any answer on my PSU, I will go for it and buy that GT240.

    Again, many thanks to you all and your great, informative site!

    EDIT: I went ahead and bought it. At worst, I can recoup that money from a friend, who would buy it off me if my PSU cannot handle it. With that rebate it comes to under $50. Low risk + high reward = No brainier. Thanks everyone!
  6. Best answer selected by LiveToThink.
  7. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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