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Urgent Help! (sure it is....)

I have a question I have been racking my brain about for a month and no one can help me elsewhere.

I am going to buy this computer:

background on it:

My main reason for getting it is to play a game called Empire: Total War. Info/Requirements:
Minimum System Requirements

Supported OS: Windows® XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista™ or Windows 7™
Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel® Pentium® or greater or AMD® Athlon® equivalent CPU, with SSE2 instruction
Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP,) 2 GB RAM (Vista™)
Graphics: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible hardware accelerated video card with shader version 2.0 support, 256 MB video memory
Display: Minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels
Sound: Directx9.0c compatible sound card
Hard Drive: 15 GB free hard disk space formatted as NTFS
Peripherals: Windows compatible mouse and keyboard

Recommended Requirements

Supported OS: Windows® XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista™ or Windows 7™
Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel® Core 2 Duo® or greater or AMD® Athlon64® equivalent CPU, with SSE2 instruction
Memory: 3 GB RAM (XP,) 4 GB RAM (Vista™)
Graphics: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible hardware accelerated video card with shader version 3.0 support, 512 MB video memory
Display: Minimum screen resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels
Sound: Directx9.0c compatible sound card
Hard Drive: 15 GB free hard disk space formatted as NTFS
Peripherals: Windows compatible mouse and keyboard

Getting to the point....I want to switch out the 128 MB card for a 512MB (if possible) but don't know much about video cards.

So my question is how good/what type of a video card can I get for that computer.

Thank you for your time.
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about urgent help sure
  1. Oh! For a video card: $50-$100. For a computer $100-$280/$300 maybe.
  2. That was fast! Thank you for your workable solution in such a short time. Though the reason I was even looking on eBay was because of my weakness in the wallet.

    I was torn between putting this in the CPU and Graphics card section but, honestly this question came about because I was trying to find a computer that could already do most of what the specs were.

    I do not care about great or optimal graphics, just as long as the performance didn't suffer. (lag terribly)

    So really my Main problem is just that; Looking for a moderate gaming pc that I could put a 256MB or 512MB in. (Because it seems like every pc I saw had a 128MB in it.)

    Though maybe I was too hopeful or ignorant.

    Ah! Sorry, I replied with a question to your answer.
  3. Okay your workable solution just might be within my reach.

    After looking around the internet I have found that you need more than the min. specs to play it well or decently at least.

    I may be getting a budget increase too in a day or two so I'll get back to to here tomorrow.
  4. Okay I believe I can get the $400-420 funds I needed.

    In the mean time I'm going to start a new thread in the CPU section since now my problem appears to be finding a new computer to take the internals out of for your workable solution.
  5. Best answer
    I would highly recommend building yourself one. Even if you have no idea how, it is much more cost efficient than buying a pre-made computer.

    Think of it this way. You could go out and buy a Toyota Corolla from the dealer, and go out and try to race with it. Most likely you will lose unless everyone wrecks. Now, for the price of a Corolla, you can build a purpose built track car, and take it to race and win.

    Just, building a computer is so much easier than making a track kit car. You can build a computer to FIT YOUR NEEDS. Computers from the factory are generally made for the general public. The general public does not play Empire: Total War.

    Even if you really really really really really really think you suck at building a computer by yourself, you can get what is called a "barebone kit" which basically has all the parts laid out for you already.

    This is a good example.

    The only thing you would need to finish that build is a video card (about $100 or so) and Windows ($100 for Windows 7 64-bit).

    With the right video card, something like that will have you be able to play Total War at any price, and you can brag to your friends that you built a computer yourself.

    Here is the guide I used to building my first computer, if it helps.

    It goes through step by step on what to do.
  6. Wow! Thanks for the reply Deemo 13.

    So to clarify If I had:

    1) [...] 1_B69-0483


    3)A Windows operating system. (Would Windows XP Professional work?)

    Then I could play Empire: Total War?

    (Sorry if that sounded rude but I have a history of getting my hopes up,etc....)

    And I have a friend/tech guy who could even help me build it.

    BTW that guide is very straight forward/for dummies. (Perfect for me.) hehe
  7. That does seem like it would be able to play Total War, most likely on good graphics. XP Pro would work, its really more whatever you can get cheaply. I am rather worried about the power supply in that build, it does have the output, but sometimes Diablotek does not make the greatest stuff. It should be alright though, the system itself does not require much power. Diablotek is like the top end of the low end.

    You may have to turn some things down, but not that many. It should look immaculate. Triple-core AMD chips are really underrated, and they perform well in the real world. They are the perfect bridge between dual and quad cores.

    It comes with a SSD, which only has 60GB of space. That is mainly to put Windows on, not to put games on (if you have alot that is; its more for programs and stuff). To supplement that drive, you might want a regular hard disk drive. What I suggest is since you are on a tight budget to go to your buddie's houses and see if they have old HP computers or Dells or whatever laying around. You can take the hard drives out of them, wipe everything from them, and use them for games and storage. If you (or your tech guy) does it right, you can have alot of space. Since that motherboard has 4 SATA ports (hookups, use them for hard drives and disk drives) you can add up to 3 hard drives (one is going to be used by the CD drive).

    A couple of years ago, I had myself a laptop that could play games before I had my tower. I wanted to play different and more high end games with my buddies (they were all stupid and bought their computers custom built for them). I had no clue how to build a computer, but I bought the motherboard and processor together in a pack-like thing. I wanted to make sure those worked at least. I got all my parts, stared at them, then looked at that guide (I had no computer knowledge to begin with). I built my computer and had it running the next day, and was downloading games that night.

    Now, because of it, I plan to major in computer engineering, and that's why I am on Tom's, to brush up on knowledge and use my knowledge base to help people.

    That's my first computer building experience.

    That one is $10 cheaper if you are into that kind of thing.

    EDIT: Wow its kinda surprising how high that processor is clocked. It will multitask very well.

    EDIT: You might also want to buy a few cheap 120mm fans to go in the case for cooling, they're really cheap.
  8. Ah, yes I have some spare hard drives, so that won't be a problem.
    And, uh which video card between the two is better? $10 more isn't so bad. hehe

    Wow! I'm quite shocked/surprised how well this is working out. I thought I would have no chance unless I had $1100 or something!
    Building a computer never even crossed my mind....I guess maybe it's just something you start out thinking "Oh, I could never do that..."

    And that story was very inspiring and I'm glad you shared it with me. Makes me feel more empowered and able to confront the task of computer building.
    (like computer therapy. lol)

    I could never help someone on matters like this. (I've just sort of recently been learning computer stuff.) It just seems like a whole other language but, I guess it goes back to that thing about thinking you can't do something.

    If you have anymore tips/hints on this stuff than I would be interested on hearing them. (If you have the time though.) :)

    p.s. Do multiple cores multitask better than single ones?

    Update: "Oh, the bare bones" link no longer exists. I'll try looking around for it.

    Was this like the other one?:

    Okay I think it is......"Phew"
  9. That is the other one I think. It looks the same.

    Those cards seem to be the same specs-wise. Just if you really care about actually saving $10 (most don't really care).

    And yes, they definitely do make cheaper computers that are still potent enough.

    More cores generally means better multitasking. Think of it this way. A core is a brain. The brain can only process so many things at at one time. If you have 2 of them, you can process twice the stuff. If you have 3 cores, you can process 3 times the stuff. If you have 4, etc. Yet after about 4 cores, games do not get much better, since the games are usually optimized for 2-4 cores.

    $1100 is actually what I paid for my computer at the time, yet it was mostly top of the line components (for the most part). Today, it would cost around $700. There are people who pay $1600-$3000 on their computers, yet at that point it is more of a (I have the best there is).

    Once you finish putting the computer together, you start to think "wow, that was the easiest thing I have ever done." Yet there are some precautions you should take. They are outlined in the guide, but one of the most imperative things is to get an anti-static wristband. When you gather a charge of electricity in you by, say, rubbing your feet on carpet or something, then go and touch a piece of metal, you are statically discharged. That can happen to components as well. If they get the wrong amount of power in a shock, like too much, they are fried, and cannot be recovered.

    Although without the band, you can just ground yourself on something metal (the case works great, its usually metal).

    If you ever need troubleshooting advice also, Tom's is the place to go to get it. People like me are just waiting here to answer questions and help you with stuff. Usually problems can be solved.
  10. Good....I was worried there for a second. And I think I will get that $10 cheaper one. (save as much money.)

    Oh! Okay, I always wondered what that really meant about the X2 Cores and quad cores etc...And I couldn't imagine spending that much on a computer.
    (Like a car,sort of.)
    Though I guess Mega-Ultra-Super computer would be nice to have. lol

    I'll remember the anti-static wristband too. Very important!

    If I have anymore questions I will post them.

    You and 384-BiT's assistance has persuaded/converted me to coming to this place for all my computer problems from now on.

    Thank you!

    p.s. I can't decide if your first post or second post was the "best answer."
  11. also ..what parts do you already have ? do already have a KB, mouse, OS ? ANY old PC case or Monitor ? do you plane on TV for display ? ..if you have any other PC's or parts could possibly upgrade ? or are you starting completely from scratch ..
    that Tigerdirect barebones is a good start
  12. I have a computer but It's can't run the games I'm wanting so I was starting from scratch.

    I have Windows XP Pro, keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

    I thought about upgrading my existing PC but my friend said It would be better to get a new one. (My current one was like:compac,1.8ghz, 128MB vid, 480MB RAM, etc...

    So I was going to buy one but, now I will build one instead.

    Were saying I needed more than:



    3) And Windows XP Pro?

    Or that there were other basic things I needed to already have?

    Cause I'm all ears.
  13. I think you should start a new thread over here:-
  14. Best answer selected by jackpapa.
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