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What is the best new graphics card for old games?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Games
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 12, 2012 9:28:24 PM

Can anyone tell me which modern/new graphics card would be most suited to run older games (I'm thinking games such as The Patrician II, Civ III, Imperialism, Europa Universalis II, Railroad Tycoon II, Civil War 2:Generals and Medieval: Total War era games as all are perennial favourites of mine).
Any input gratefully received!
Thanks.

More about : graphics card games

April 12, 2012 9:38:51 PM

PS: I also have Win XP. As support is ending for XP, which Windows version should I consider upgrading to, bearing in mind that my key consideration again is that it should be able to play these key 1990-2000 era-ish games? Thanks :) 
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 9:49:24 PM

Video card doesn't matter, it's up to the OS to support the games and their features. If you're just maintaining a classic gaming box, I'd say stick with XP. If you're still using XP as your primary OS, well, I'm sorry but you can't live in the past forever. Win7 really is a good OS, you're not doing yourself any favors by sticking with software that would be in middle school by now.
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a c 92 U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 9:51:59 PM

you should just keep xp and probably buy a radeon 6450 as they are cheap and should work perfectly fine for those games.
April 12, 2012 10:44:22 PM

you can run older games in a sandbox environment, so Win7 will be fine
also win7 has a compatability mode
also just because microsoft doesnt have tech support for winxp anymore doesnt mean you cant use it anymore.
For nvidia Id say dont get anything lower then a GT220, for amd dont get lower then a 4650

also, like the poster above me says, the built in graphics of sandy/ivy bridge will work just fine...might as well upgrade your whole rig :) 
April 12, 2012 10:45:52 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I can only have one PC so it also has to run the occasional new game I buy these days. My next game will be Skyrim (?) (The RPG game.) :) 

My concern is I'm pushed both ways- I need a card that will play future games whilst supporting older games. My current card is an NVidia 8800GTX that appears to be dieing since the last few patches- it will not install the old Hearts of Iron III game I've had waiting to play, or, the PC won't, but did allow another- Tortuga, another fairly old game, but then displayed the draughts/checkerboard black squares, locks up frequently and first start of each day often gives a blue-screen crash caused by the graphics card according to the Windows info, whilst within Tortuga the game often gets an Nv4 (I think) error message. It will not play Medieval Total War at all, a game I miss. A simple patch that neither CA or NVidia will supply apparently.

As support for XP is ending and I can only afford one PC, and have space for just one I was thinking that it's cheaper to upgrade Windows and get a new graphics card, rather than the average $1,500/£1,000 a new PC will cost.
I am aware that after just 5 years my tailor-made PC seems an overall basket case, but still, just, functions....lol!
So, what to do?
And thanks guys for the info, it is appreciated as I'm not a techhie!
a c 92 U Graphics card
April 12, 2012 10:51:15 PM

can you tell us what your other system specs are? In your case you'd probably be needed an upgrade to the whole system if you want to play newer games at enjoyable settings and frame rates.

The older games should work with any graphics card you put in. I would not upgrade the windows unless you get a new PC tho. There is little reason to run windows 7 other than it being new and supporting better use of new hardware.

you don't need to spend $1500 to get a new PC to run newer games, a $500 pc today would be enough to do what you'd want.
April 13, 2012 12:25:27 AM

esrever said:
can you tell us what your other system specs are? In your case you'd probably be needed an upgrade to the whole system if you want to play newer games at enjoyable settings and frame rates.

The older games should work with any graphics card you put in. I would not upgrade the windows unless you get a new PC tho. There is little reason to run windows 7 other than it being new and supporting better use of new hardware.

you don't need to spend $1500 to get a new PC to run newer games, a $500 pc today would be enough to do what you'd want.



Hi mate,
Over here in the UK our consumer electronics cost roughly $1=£1, despite our real world exchange rate of $1.50 = £1. We Brits get a raw deal as our wages are similiar.
I have a Pentium 2.4 dual core, never had a problem yet with a sound card, but do know how do a DXDIAG report if needed?

I do have a problem deleting the current unasked-for Java in order to put the latest (unasked for) patch, but Java hasn't replied yet as to why my PC cannot find it. Hey, nothing like insipid corporate monoplies you know you need but dont know why, to treat you with total distain.....

I can build you a house and/or wire it, faceless corporations that put stuff on my PC and then not even answer basic questions when it doesn't work makes me angry. Sorry, rant over!

My first 486 never had a soundcardcard issue, no PC's ever has since, so I'm guessing it's the Graphics and a conflict with XP, courtesy of the NVidea patches, but one which, non the less needs upgrading- but by an entire new PC, which leaves me shafted pretty much. I do remember that Microsoft was once praised for ME in the gaming world.

I invite them to attain similiar praise for the almost (seemingly) yearly latest version of Windows. At £400/$650 it's a no-no for most gamers who just want a bit of fun on the O/S we know we are forced to have.

I (sorry for the endless "I"'s) just seem to have hit a wall of problems with faceless US Companies, whose stuff I must have on my PC, but who are now causing endless problems. I need an "A" level course just to work out how to contact them.......It makes me weep. The saddest thing is, Is, I don't want to know how the PC works, I just want it to work.

One day hopefully we'll have a barter system in place: I wire your home, you build a PC in exchange. The Os is made by people for people. I dream.
April 13, 2012 12:40:58 AM

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a c 92 U Graphics card
April 13, 2012 12:43:28 AM

seems like if you want to run newer games you'd need a newer PC either way but if you stick to your older games you should be fine.

Your processor is quite out of date and even if you get a newer graphics card, you would probably have a hard time running games like skyrim.
April 13, 2012 1:56:32 AM

Thanks Esrerver.

I actually didn't know if my basic spec was out of date :D 
I look to the future for a game like Patrician II to give me an entire whole world "build up the towns" in the Hanseatic League, and then think, nah, It'll never be beaten. Then I see Skyrim on the X-Box of the teenage nippers of a friend and drool over the game. So glad my generation won't grow up.

I'd love to hear a report on the NVidea patches as I've read some (ok one) disturbing report on how it destroys the heart of old cards, like mine.
It would be illegal if proven, and I know mine that once sat in the background seems to now be shafted and is causing endless problems.

However, in summary, from all the input: new computer and Windows 7 would be good. So I'm shafted as it's unaffordable, full stop. Thanks all for the input, at 3am here I'm a walking Zombie and the news is bad.
:sarcastic: 
Thanks for the help: Techies like you do make a difference to the rest of us.
!