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What graphics card is the best for me?

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August 23, 2011 2:52:53 AM

Hello everyone. I'm a big fan of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and FSX. I actually own both games, but I only play FS2004. Anyway, I have a Frame Rates problem, and I've established that the origin of my issue is my graphics/video card. I have my frame rates locked in at 20 FPS (frames per second), but with my current card I only get 0-10 FPS, which is really bad. So, I've decided to buy a new graphics card. I need some suggestions on what might be suitable for my current PC. Here are my specs:

2009 Dell Inspiron 537
Intel (R) Celeron (R) CPU 450 @ 2.20 GHz 2.19 GHz
RAM: 2.00 GB
64 bit operating system
Windows Vista Home Prem.
320 GB
Graphics card(current): Intel (R) G41 Express Chipset

I've also read that some antivirus programs cause the slow fps, and I do have McAfee, but there is no way I'm getting rid of it. Its for safety purposes. Of course, I think my problem is with the graphics card. I'm thinking of buying something less than $150. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance!

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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 3:03:41 AM

Actually your problem lies with your entire PC.Flight Simulator is just as much CPU demanding as it is GPU demanding.And the type of GPU you would need to max out Flight Simulator would get bottlenecked by your CPU.In order to max out Flight Simulator you would need to buy a whole new PC or upgrade the CPU and GPU.

If you just want to be able to play the game better than you do now but not max it out I would suggest a 5670/6670.But i'm sure you would need to upgrade your Power Supply.But with your budget this is definitly doable.

Here's what your gonna need...

Sapphire 5670 1G $100=$85 after MIR + Free Shipping

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

Antec 430watt $45 + Free Shipping

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

Even with a 5670 you should have a huge performance increase over the intergreated graphics that your using right now.If your looking to play more modern games your going to have to do a complete overhaul.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 3:54:42 AM

A single core celeron? Ouch! You're also using a 64-bit OS with 2GB of RAM and have McAfee running in the background.

2004 isn't as demanding as FSX. Getting a decent GPU like a 5670, though I don't know why purple stank chose a more expensive model. Also you don't need a new PSU since the rest of your system is power miserly as long as your current one is at least 300W.

SAPPHIRE 100287VGAL Radeon HD 5670 $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would use the remaining money to purchase more RAM. 2GB is fine for a light installation if you don't have many background services running, but that McAfee is a memory hog. I find Microsoft Security Essentials to be significantly lighter on memory and CPU time (even if it still annoys me). If you're motherboard has 4 slots, which I doubt, then you can get a 2x1GB kit of similar speed and it should work fine. Likely though you only have two slots and must get a 4GB (2x2GB) kit like this one.

Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $47.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want to play FSX, you had best invest in a Quad Core CPU and a better PSU as a quad core would draw more power. You need to contact Dell support though to see exactly what CPUs your board will support, after a BIOS update of course. Really though at that point LGA 775 is so outdated you are better off just building a new system.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 3:56:12 AM

And of course Quad Core LGA 775 CPUs are going for way more than they are worth. Of course, if your board supports 45nm Wolfdale CPUs then a 3.0GHz Pentium Dual core might be a decent investment, but again with all those upgrades you may as well look into a newer motherboard and CPU
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 4:18:58 AM

In those type of Simulation games you need all the VRAM you can get so it's a wise option to get a 1G model instead of the 512mb model.

I do agree with megaman a Core2Duo would be a nice upgrade but as I said before I think it would be a better investment to just a get a new PC all together.
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August 23, 2011 4:34:55 AM

A GTX 550 Ti is exactly the graphics card you're looking for. If framerates are still low, upgrade the CPU. A core 2 Duo would be a good choice for you.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 4:47:30 AM

The OP can't get a GTX550ti without being bottlenecked.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
August 23, 2011 5:30:08 AM

Tech answer:

I looked up your CPU at PassMark. It gets a score of 626.

for comparison, my old X2-4800+ is over 1300. My X2-4800+, if overclocked, could not handle any more than an HD4770 which is considered a pretty low-end card now.

If you add the fact that you'd need a new PSU likely I really don't know what advice to give you. You can likely upgrade to better than what you currently have but this would be very low end compared to other gaming systems.

My personal advice is to spend that money on a gaming console or get a completely new computer.
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August 24, 2011 2:20:32 AM

Thanks for all the replies. What new computers would you suggest?
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 24, 2011 12:37:48 PM

If your on a budget then going with a Phenom ii x4 955 would be a good idea.If you can spend more money I would suggest getting a Sandy Bridge 2500k.
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Best solution

a c 106 U Graphics card
August 24, 2011 6:07:00 PM

I'd say get a super combo from newegg like this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

then just add a decent video card and operating system. Just depends on what your budget is.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
August 24, 2011 6:23:27 PM

That's a very decent upgrade over what you have now.Almost 5 times as better.Total cost would come to around $500-$550 after you buy a good GPU which would be around $200.
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September 2, 2011 2:48:36 AM

Best answer selected by ndoynov.
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