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Graphics card upgrade options

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 11, 2012 10:57:49 PM

Hello, looks like this same questions gets asked a lot here, but I've searched and havn't found a matching question for my board.

My specs are:

board: ASUS P5VDC-x
CiProcessor Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.06GHz, 3059 Mhz, 1 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
System Type x64-based PC
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 3.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 3.00 GB
Available Physical Memory 0.99 GB
Total Virtual Memory 6.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 3.58 GB


I've just tried to install Dawn of War II, but it fails on not finding hardware to support rendering. Min specs are:

Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War

Recommended

* Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista SP1
* AMD Athlon 64×2 4400+ or any Intel Core 2 Duo
* 2 GB RAM (XP and Vista)
* A 256MB Video Card (Shader Model 3) – Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT / ATI X1900, or equivalent

this is a fairly old game, and I'm likely to next buy warhammer space marine:


Recommended Specs:
OS – Windows 7
Processor – Any Quad-core AMD or Intel Processor
RAM – 1GB (XP), 2GB (Vista), 2GB (Windows 7)
Hard Drive – 20 GB space free (10 GB free after install)
Video Card – 512MB Video Card using Shader Model 3 (Performance equivalent to an AMD Radeon 5750 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260)

so, can I upgrade to support these games, and if so how do I find out if the graphics card is beyond the reccomended AMD or NVIDIA ones?

Hopefully, this will be fairly inexpensive!

Many thanks for any help / suggestions.
a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 12:50:06 AM

Your system is rather old... i suppose adding a gpu would let you run dawn of war, but space marine will be pushing it.
Before making any solid recommendations i need to know a few things:

what psu are you using? i need a model name or something that will give me a google search result.

what resolution is your monitor?

What's your budget/money situation and how opposed are you to buying a completely new system? I'd say around $500 would get you an entry level gaming machine(but way better than what you have). That's 500 before screen and peripherals. Suppose you could go slightly cheaper, if you had too.

If you got a graphics card instead, the best you could get (your cpu is a serious bottleneck) would be a 5670 or 6670 (5670 if you can find one). it'd run you around $70. Depends on your psu though.
A 5670 would play most modern games passably at low to medium detail settings with that cpu. Most people here would find it hard to recommend less than around 30-40fps on a decent resolution monitor, and your setup is considerably less.

That said, i have friends playing League of Legends (a very low requirement game) at 10fps on a laptop and they still have fun. So whatever works for you.
February 12, 2012 10:10:50 AM

Thanks for replying Slicedtoad.

Unless there is another way of finding out, I'll take the machine apart to have a look this evening (I'm on GMT).

I don't have the budget to start from scratch - this computer was free when my father in law upgraded his, and I'll have to skrimp to save for the graphics board. My monitor is I assume pretty poor and set to 1080 x 1024.

To be honest, I don't need to have games play at their most impressive, as long as I can play these games with graphics set low and the gameplay is smooth, I don't mind if I cant render every dust cloud - it's still fun blowing stuff up!

you say 5670 or 6670 - but better a 5670 - as that is a lower number, intuitivety it is an older/worse option?

I have found these (in the UK)

Sapphire RADEON HD 6670 Graphics card - 1 GB - DDR3 SDRAM ( fficial&client=firefox-a&q=6670&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=8821385556416865353&sa=X&ei=r6o3T5uUH8HU8gP4zPTaAg&ved=0CDgQ8wIwAg" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?oe=utf-8&rls=o...)

Sapphire RADEON HD 6670 Graphics card - 1 GB - GDDR5 SDRAM ( fficial&client=firefox-a&q=6670&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=17580376161042549633&sa=X&ei=r6o3T5uUH8HU8gP4zPTaAg&ved=0CDwQ8wIwAw" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?oe=utf-8&rls=o...)

and this

ASUS EAH5670/DI/1GD5 Graphics card - 1 GB - GDDR5 SDRAM (http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&q=5670&p...)

they are all about the same price - £60 - 70, which is what I'm looking at spending. There are also 500 mb versions, but if the CPU can handle the 1GB, then I'll go with these.

Thanks, Jo

Related resources
a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 6:25:51 PM

Quote:
you say 5670 or 6670 - but better a 5670 - as that is a lower number, intuitivety it is an older/worse option?
That would make sense wouldn't it? But no, amd and nvidia are more content confusing people with their numbers (and prices sometimes).

a 6670 gddr3 is the same card as a 5670 but with a slightly faster clock and a reduced memory bandwidth. the 6670 gddr5 on the other hand has the same memory bandwidth with the higher clock rate. Get whichever is cheapest, the difference is not much. Read here for more info.

About total memory, it doesn't matter. 512mb is more than enough for the resolution you're playing at. Even at higher resolutions, that gpu runs out of steam before it runs out of vram (unless you're doing an eyefinity setup). A 500mb gddr5 version is better than a 1gb gddr3 version.
February 12, 2012 8:49:40 PM

erm, I think we can assume I'm not 'doing an eyefinity setup', unless it is the sort of thing one could do accidently!.. ah just googled it, no just the one screen.

Ok, I've opened it up, plucked an horredous amount of dust out and the PSU is: 520 W LPK12-30 SATA.

Would this cope with what you've suggested so far?

thanks, Jo
a b U Graphics card
February 12, 2012 9:11:22 PM

that's a bit expensive. I actually have this exact card lol. Mine gave me problems but most should be fine. I paid ~$70 for mine though.

Are your prices normally that different from north america?

A note about sapphire. They make great quality products but often skimp on QA, so be sure to test your card as soon as you get it. if you have to always try to rma to the store and not through the sapphire process.
February 13, 2012 8:18:25 AM

Oh, seem to have lost my last post, maybe I didn't submit.

I don't know about the price diff bewteen here and the States, we pay 20% tax on most things, which could make the difference.

I've found this for cheaper, it is second hand but the seller claims it is under 12 months old:

Sapphire radeon HD5670 1GB GDDR 5 ultimate hdmi/dvi

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150756929635?_trksid=p5197.c0...

I think I'll go for this if I can get it for £45 + P&P
a b U Graphics card
February 13, 2012 9:53:15 PM

slightly better performance but worse performance/price. It's new though, so it's a fine choice.
btw, if you remember to could you pm how it performs with that cpu on space marine? it'd be interesting to find out.
February 14, 2012 7:37:07 AM

slicedtoad said:
slightly better performance but worse performance/price. It's new though, so it's a fine choice.
btw, if you remember to could you pm how it performs with that cpu on space marine? it'd be interesting to find out.


Got to get cash together first- but yes I'll try and post back with what I ended up with and how it copes. Thanks for your help Slicedtoad.
!