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Need assistance in upgrading my video card!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 30, 2011 1:29:34 AM

Hi,
I would like to play Skyrim on my PC. My video card is not up to par. I know nothing about which video card fits my motherboard. Can I have some assistance? Here are my stats:

P4 Dual Core @3.0 Ghz
Asus PN5 Pro Motherboard (P5Q)
600 watt cooler master power supply
ATI Radeon x600 series video card
2GB Ram with cooper fin coolers
monitor resolution 1280X1024
Hard Drive storage: 186 GB

Any suggestions would help. :) 


a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 1:39:27 AM

You REALLY need to upgrade the processor as well if you are still using a Pentium D. Fortunately your motherboard can use Core 2 processors. If you want to go cheap then I would get something like this and overclock it up to 3.5ghz;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
For the video card something like an HD6770 could handle that resolution very well.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 2:06:45 AM

you don't have enough ram in your rig either.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 2:13:07 AM

RAM, Motherboard, GPU, and Processor Upgrade recommended.
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December 30, 2011 2:13:27 AM

1. Overclock your cpu 2. Defragment your hard disk 3. Update your all drivers. 4. If u using windows 7 turn off aero theme. 5. Download and use gamebooster 6. Remove all virus spyware 7. Set ur virtual memory to 1gb. Good luck
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December 30, 2011 10:08:45 AM

WOW - Thank you for all the replies. I thought my system was set with a new video card. Refillable tells me I need a whole new rig! :)  My power supply seems to be the only part he didn't recommend me to upgrade! The HIS Radeon HD6870 sounds like a good deal! Keep the suggestions coming!
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 10:15:45 AM

Yes, a whole new computer(including PSU actually) would be a good idea. Do NOT get the HD6870 without doing so. It would just be a pointless waste of money.
If you want recommendations about what you should be looking at we need a budget of some sort first.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 10:27:34 AM

Also PSU, and monitor I forget that :lol: 

Can you give me a budget so that we can give you easy suggestion?
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December 30, 2011 10:52:58 AM

I was hoping for less then two hundred. Then I could play Skyrim. What is a PSU?

Is there ANYWAY to upgrade the RAM and POP in a new video card and play SKYRIM at low graphics? That is really all I am going for! I didn't think my system was this far off. :( 
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December 30, 2011 10:58:22 AM

Grab another (identical spec) 2Gb Ram Chip, and an ATI radeon 6670 card - $130 total? - should do you fine. I played Skyrim on an integrated Intel 3000 chip until I got cards, fine on medium detail at a low resolution.

The PSU is your power supply unit. If 650W is correct, it's got headroom for a bigger gfx card.

You can spend more, and certainly up to your $200 budget, but I would try to scrape by and save the rest, as you really need to go for a bigger upgrade in the future. Getting the above will get you through 6 months of skyrim ;) 
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December 30, 2011 11:02:35 AM

Additional- No point going for anything more powerful than a 6670 unless you buy a new monitor. Check the December GFX cards guide, a 6670 should provide "exceptional 1650x1050" performance in most games, and you don't even get close to that. Skyrim would be great on a 6670, but may get a bit CPU bottlenecked. If so, you could always get the upgraded CPU jyjjy mentioned in the first reply, taking you to aprox $200 total spend for an upgraded CPU, 2Gb more Ram and a 1Gb Radeon 6670 - this should be perfectly fine for nigh on any game at 1280x1024
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December 30, 2011 11:09:55 AM

AWESOME! That's what I was hoping to hear! :) 

Is there an HD Radeon card my motherboard could handle? The one you listed is not on the recommended video card list for the game: (not that this list is the be-all)

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:System_Requirements

How do I get more details on my RAM chip? Again, thanks for your help! I really need it! :) 

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December 30, 2011 11:37:56 AM

It's all tied in to your motherboard. Get the exact link for what model it is, and it will tell you what memory type it is (eg DDR2 or DDR3), and what PCI slots is has.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
a c 135 V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 12:05:22 PM

stuffe said:
Additional- No point going for anything more powerful than a 6670 unless you buy a new monitor. Check the December GFX cards guide, a 6670 should provide "exceptional 1650x1050" performance in most games, and you don't even get close to that. Skyrim would be great on a 6670, but may get a bit CPU bottlenecked. If so, you could always get the upgraded CPU jyjjy mentioned in the first reply, taking you to aprox $200 total spend for an upgraded CPU, 2Gb more Ram and a 1Gb Radeon 6670 - this should be perfectly fine for nigh on any game at 1280x1024

Exactly. Your existing "600W" Coolermaster PSU is overrated and inefficient but should still be good for 450W, which is more than enough for a HD6670.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-eX...
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a c 191 U Graphics card
a c 135 V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 12:12:26 PM

tesoro72 said:
AWESOME! That's what I was hoping to hear! :) 

Is there an HD Radeon card my motherboard could handle? The one you listed is not on the recommended video card list for the game: (not that this list is the be-all)

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:System_Requirements
...

The charts at http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-... show that a HD6670 can handle high settings at your resolution without any trouble at all. That card isn't on the charts, but would be higher than a GT240 and lower than a HD5770, which are.
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December 30, 2011 1:11:06 PM

the 6870 can be carried over to a new motherboard cpu latter down the road
and play games smoothly thats a good card free game
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 1:46:04 PM

marco324 said:
the 6870 can be carried over to a new motherboard cpu latter down the road
and play games smoothly thats a good card free game

+1

Can't beat the price/performance on a 6870 right now.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 1:52:53 PM

Well if you upgrade all parts you will not worry to upgrade anything...
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December 30, 2011 2:21:26 PM

I cannot find any information on my motherboard: Asus PN5 Pro Motherboard (P5Q) . What the heck? Help?
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December 30, 2011 2:25:10 PM

I had a look on the Asus site, I could not work out which one you had either. Time to take the side off the machine, and get a proper model number direct from the pcb.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
December 30, 2011 11:58:57 PM

CPU-Z should be able to identify your motherboard, among other things like what RAM you are running so you can by more of the same speed;
http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
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January 9, 2012 11:20:54 PM

Thanks for everyone's help. I ended up purchasing a used NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT. My system is up to par and running Skyrim just fine! $75.00! Yahoo! I love the game! Thanks again!
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January 9, 2012 11:21:37 PM

Best answer selected by tesoro72.
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!