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Trouble knowing what GPU is compatible with my PC

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 23, 2012 2:24:25 PM

Greetings,

I'm looking to upgrade my GPU to something I can use for gaming - not particularly max settings or anything, just better than I have right now!

The problem I'm having is knwing exactly what details to look out for when finding something that is compatible with my PC/Mobo. I *Think* the interface is the actually physical connection between the two, but aren't at all sure if memory type matters. My Mobo supports DDR2, though I don't know if that's just RAM it matters for, or if the GPU must have DDR2 memory too.

Here are some specs:

PSU: 400W

PC: Dell Dell Dimention 5150 (Dell DM051).
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Mobo: Connolly E187242 F2

Socket: LGA775
CPU: (Max Support) Intel Pentium D, Intel Pentium 4
FSB: Bus 800MHz
Chipset: 945G Express
Memory : DDR2 400/533MHz SDRAM
DIMM Slots 4 – Max Memory Support 4GB
Expansion Slots:
PCI Express: x16 x 1
PCI Express: x1 x 1
PCI: x 2
IDE: 1
SATA Ports:2
RAID: 0/1 Support
Ethernet/LAN: Intel PRO/100 VE
Audio Integrated: SIGMATEL HD Audio 5.1 Sound
Video Integrated: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
VGA Monitor Connector: 1x
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My PC currently has a Geforce 7400 le, which I can just about paly games on with everything set low. I'm looking to buy something still relatively old (cheapycheap) by today's standards, but modern by the standards of that 7300 le.

So, interface and memory type - they're what matter when looking for something compatible?

Any help would be appreciated, Steve.
April 23, 2012 2:47:54 PM

Your processor is going to be the biggest bottleneck here. Without getting an unlocked motherboard, you won't be able to squeeze much more performance out of your system.
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April 23, 2012 2:53:02 PM

It's a Pentium D duel Core (2 x 2.8Ghz). I didn't think that was too bad! I've been long under the impression it's been the RAM and GPU that have been letting me down. I had 1GB RAM, and now have 4GB in the mail. I'm looking to mainly play Warcraft on the PC, but I 'raid' on the game which brings alot of players and graphical detail all to one place.

Anywho, I'm looking at something like this as an uprgrade: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/geforce-9500GT-1gb-grahics-ca...

Yes I know it's old, but it's tons better than my current 7300 le! But still, I'm not sure if it will fit/work in my PC. so far I'm just looking for things that are also PCI-e and DDR2!
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a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 2:53:34 PM

Hey,
Your motherboard will work with any PCI-e video card under the sun. Your computer does have a smaller PSU so that will be an issue. I dont know what that case looks like, some of the larger video cards may be to big to physically fit. You might want to open it up and meashure the space around the PCI-e 16 slot.

Whats your budget? Considering your upgrading from such a low end card any thing would be a huge update. An AMD5670 starts at around $50 and would be a huge upgade. If you can swing $100 an AMD 6770 or 7750 would be a good card.

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

I would not spend more than $100 on a card because your CPU is a little dated and would prevent the more expensive cards from reaching thier full potential. In your pc a $100 card and $400 card would give you the same performance.
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a c 158 U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 2:55:08 PM

EDIT.. just saw the new posts here, do NOT get the 9500gt for gaming. Get one of the cards I listed, anything less would be a waste really. That's not really the specs of the system, just the motherboard. What CPU and RAM amount do you have? There are not a lot of upgrades that would be worth it for your system, unless you happen to have a Pentium D of about 3 gig speed and 3 gig of RAM or more.

If you can find a GDDR 5 version of the Radeon 5670 for sale at about $70, get that. If not, Radeon 6670 or GDDR 5 of the nVidia 440. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

You can probably find used versions of older gaming cards for sale, but A. they will probably need more power to run B. they are used which is tricky to buy as it may be DOA.

Even those cards will probably out-pace your CPU and RAM. If you want something you can move to a faster computer later on and can spend more, a Radeon 7750 is a good pick, it uses very little power for the price and performance and will run in your current system.
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a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 3:05:09 PM

Your CPU is pretty old but its not too bad... I had a very similar computer and with a nvidia 8400gs 512 it would get a 3dmark 06 score of like 1000. With a 4 year old 8800gt it would get a 3dmark 06 score of 7000. Thats a huge upgrade. It went from playing COD modern warefare 3 on lowest settings at like 20 fps (unplayable) to playing on the high preset AA off at like 50 FPS.

With 4 gigs of ram and a decent video card your computer will run most games at medium-ish settings at a decent resolution, 1680x1050.
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April 23, 2012 3:07:57 PM

Righto, thanks guysm, I'm taking that advice on board.

@ bucknutty, thanksfor the info, I'm glad to hear my mobo will take and pci-e card, but just want to check if that's the same as the 'PCI-e 2.0' I'm finding some places. I'm guesing my current card is just pci-e, not pci-e 2.0. Would this 2.0 version be an issue?

@ Hang the 9, thanks for the advice. My PC is a Pentium D Duel core 2.8, and I have 4 gigs of RAM in the post for it. I'm looking at something like the 9500GT just for the lowlow prices. My budget is pretty much £35(GBP) or less. I'll be buying something used and old by todays standards, but insane compared to my old hunk of junk 7300 le.

If the '2.0' isn't a problem then my finger might just click buy it now on this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BFG-GeForce-9500-GT-1GB-DDR2-...
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a c 158 U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 3:17:49 PM

A low end new video card should be barely double that (although I don't have any UK prices). Plus keep in mind, you have a decent chance of ending up with a dead card if you buy it used without testing it.

I got 3 used cards in the last several years, 2 ended up being junk.
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April 23, 2012 3:40:53 PM

So it seems the 2.0 version of the PCI-e isn't a problem at all. I'm still not sure if the memory needs to be DDR2 though, or if that only counts for the RAM my mobo takes?
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a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 3:43:33 PM

99% of all PCI-e slots and cards are backward compatible. So you can get any card you want and it will work. I would not think twice about the PCI-e 2.0 vs 1.0 vs x16, v x8 question.
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a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 3:46:48 PM

the memory of the video card does not matter because it is controlled by the video card and not by the mother board. My mother board can only use ddr2 memory but my video card has ddr5 on it.
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a c 158 U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 3:47:09 PM

SteveC86 said:
So it seems the 2.0 version of the PCI-e isn't a problem at all. I'm still not sure if the memory needs to be DDR2 though, or if that only counts for the RAM my mobo takes?


Memory on the motherboard is just that, for the motherboard. DDR2 for a video card is very slow.
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April 23, 2012 3:49:26 PM

Best answer selected by SteveC86.
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April 23, 2012 3:50:46 PM

Many thanks from a fellow human being, to those that helped me here.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
April 23, 2012 7:24:07 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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