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New Gfx Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 6, 2010 7:36:29 PM

Hey all,

I am pretty new here and looking to upgrade my Graphics card on an older PC I use.

Keep in mind I only do casual gaming and am in no way looking to push this to the max haha

OS Windows XP SP3
2.5 gigs RAM
AMD Athalon 2.0 Ghz
PCI-Express slot
PSU not sure but I am sure I need to upgrade it

I am not sure but will PCIE 2.0 work with previous versions ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated

More about : gfx card

a c 169 U Graphics card
December 6, 2010 7:46:42 PM

Hello and welcome to the forums
PCI-E 2.0 is backward compatible with PCI-E 1.0;however,make sure you have an adequate PSU and enough room in your case for the new card.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2010 7:51:50 PM

A 2.0 card shouldn't have issues with a 1.0 slot but I would avoid 2.1 card.
That CPU is going to have problems with most current games and will limit most video cards. Something cheap like an HD4650 would be a good choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's quite low power and there is a good chance it will be ok on your current PSU.
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December 6, 2010 8:24:33 PM

Thanks for the info guys! I don't plan to run any newer games really, mostly just to have a good time with older games especially RTS.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2010 8:44:39 PM

The card I linked would be a good choice for that. It can even handle current games at low resolutions with reasonable settings. The question will just be whether your CPU can keep up which will vary from game to game.
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December 6, 2010 9:30:12 PM

Great! I will try her out and see if I can get away without getting a new PSU.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2010 9:46:54 PM

Do you know the brand/model number of the PSU or at least the overall power rating?
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December 6, 2010 9:52:30 PM

I think its a 305 but I am sure its an off brand, its the stock unit that came with the PC
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2010 10:15:32 PM

305w? Sounds like a Dell. If so it will handle that card easily.
However if it is one of the slim cases they like to use you are going to want a low profile version of the card so let us know.
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December 6, 2010 10:57:54 PM

Haha yeah how did you guess? Its a midsize tower and I checked it out as far as space goes.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 6, 2010 11:14:44 PM

If the case isn't one of the skinny one(it should be obvious if it is) then it will fit fine. 305w is uncommon outside of a Dell. They use pretty decent PSUs btw. You could use better cards but your CPU makes anything more powerful pretty much a waste unless maybe you are going to be using a really high resolution.
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December 6, 2010 11:20:12 PM

I read that the higher the memory interface is the better obviously but that it has almost become obsolete with the newer memory types bc they are much faster.....any truth to this ?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 7, 2010 12:18:08 AM

Not obsolete you just need to adjust accordingly. The memory type/speed combines with the bus width to give a card a certain memory bandwidth. For example a card with DDR5 on a 128-bit bus will have equivalent memory bandwidth to a card with DDR3 on a 256-bit bus.
For the HD4650 in particular there are a few models with a 64-bit bus that should be avoided while most have a 128-bit bus. Most models come with DDR2 while a handful come with superior DDR3. The one I linked for you is both 128-bit and DDR3 so it is the best of both.
Memory bandwidth is just one factor that goes into how a card performs though. The kind of processor itself is always the most import factor, except in extreme situations.
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December 7, 2010 12:19:58 AM

Where do you find the processor information ?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 7, 2010 12:37:25 AM

I wouldn't particularly recommend you do so actually. Even for someone with a lot of experience with this stuff looking at raw stats of a processor can only give a ballpark estimate of actual performance and of course performance is what matters in the end. So what a normal person should be looking at is benchmarks to see how the card actually performs. Your situation is complicated in that you aren't going to find benchmarks using an old single core processor so you are kind of stuck.
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December 7, 2010 7:08:02 PM

Yeah its not a big deal, more of a curious interest is all.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 16, 2010 1:15:45 AM

It's decent but with your processor I don't know if it would make much difference over the HD4650 I linked earlier. In general for that price range this is the best card around right now;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's a very nice deal and your PSU should handle it I think but once again with your processor it wouldn't matter much. I'd just stick with the HD4650 probably and start saving up to build a new system. You can actually build something quite capable for gaming for about $300 that would be several times better than what you have now.
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December 16, 2010 1:50:52 AM

does the 512 down from the 1 gig make a difference at all ? I see the memory is double the size though.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 16, 2010 1:59:35 AM

The memory size doesn't matter at all. More than 512mb of memory on cards of this caliber is pretty much just a marketing gimmick. It's ram speed that you want to keep an eye on and avoid DDR2 if at all possible.
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December 16, 2010 2:02:25 AM

so the 256 refers to the speed i take it ?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 16, 2010 2:07:42 AM

No that's the bus width. By speed I mean DDR2 vs DDR3 vs DDR5.
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December 16, 2010 2:23:48 AM

Ohh gotcha. So then for the two cards you linked me the only difference seems to be the bud width am I correct ? How does one determine when one outweighs the other ?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 16, 2010 2:35:55 AM

That is correct. Their memory subsystems are pretty similar apart from the bus width. Twice the bus width is important but like I said earlier it is the processor that matters more. The chip in the HD4830 has twice as many stream processors running at a slightly slower clock speed compared to the HD4650.
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December 16, 2010 2:41:37 AM

What do the stream processors do exactly ? sorry if I am asking too many questions but I like learning new things : )
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a c 376 U Graphics card
December 16, 2010 3:20:32 AM

They are the basic units that do the computations required for a video card. Sort of like each core in a CPU but in GPUs they are much smaller and less complex but there are many more. They are optimized for specific calculations common in graphic processing.
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January 3, 2011 11:42:03 AM

Best answer selected by OS Outlawz.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
January 3, 2011 1:01:25 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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