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Looking for Advice on an upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 7, 2012 1:25:32 AM

Hello,

I've been trying to read up on the latest graphics cards but I find myself stymied. I just don't understand the what the numbers are supposed to mean. I would assume higher is better but it doesn't seem like that really applies. I'm not sure it's even my graphics card I should consider upgrading.

My goal is to play Guild Wars 2 at a playable level. During the beta weekends I was getting down to 4 FPS, sometimes even 1 FPS whenever there was a battle that involved more that about 10 characters. Not really playable.

My system is currently a
Windows XP Home SP3
Pentium Dual-core CPU E5200 2.5GHz
4GB Ram DDR2
NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT (Evga)
450W power supply

I have two monitors, 1440x900 19" and a 1280x960 17".

I've thought that maybe not hooking up the 17" monitor might improve performance, or perhaps a new graphics card. I don't need the second monitor but it's nice to have.

Anyone have any advice on upgrading?

More about : advice upgrade

a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2012 9:18:42 AM

Depends on your budget. How much can you spend? A 6770 or a 550ti would be a huge upgrade and they're not very expensive but if you give us a budget to work with we could suggest something better
August 7, 2012 9:39:23 AM

it depends on your budget to buy new gpu
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August 7, 2012 12:30:28 PM

Thank you akxpckwb and zaxevil,

my budget would be up too $125.

I'm interested in knowing why a 6770 or a 550ti would be better than a 7800 GT. As I said before I'm confused by the numbers because they don't mean anything to me.


Also, not directly related to Graphics cards but some questions I have:
Will having dual monitors significantly impact performance of the main monitor running a game like GW2? Typically it's just empty desktop or firefox running on the second monitor.

Will a game run better in fullscreen mode over a windowed mode or is that product specific rather than graphics card specific?

Thanks

Best solution

August 7, 2012 12:44:05 PM
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Those numbers are the actual name of the card so higher isn't better :D  The GT 640 is a surprisingly great card for 100$! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Using multiple monitors does have some impact but at such low resolution I don't think it would be noticeable (with a newer card that is).
August 8, 2012 12:26:16 PM

thank you iamcacao,

I'm looking at the GT 640 now, as well as some others that I've found in articles that are "comparable" such as the Radeon HD 7750 and Radeon HD 6670. Some people worry about the DDR3 RAM instead of DDR5 on the GT 640. (not that I really know what that means).

I've also seen that the GTX 460 is mentioned as being faster, but I"m worried about the power consumption there against my poor 450W power supply.
August 8, 2012 2:28:09 PM

finebone said:
thank you iamcacao,

I'm looking at the GT 640 now, as well as some others that I've found in articles that are "comparable" such as the Radeon HD 7750 and Radeon HD 6670. Some people worry about the DDR3 RAM instead of DDR5 on the GT 640. (not that I really know what that means).

I've also seen that the GTX 460 is mentioned as being faster, but I"m worried about the power consumption there against my poor 450W power supply.


In my opinion you should definitely get a latest generation card! The 460 is outdated and I really wouldn't see the point in buying one now. Even if the core specs are better, the newer ones are built better, have better technology, better cooling and better power consumption. The reason it's DDR3 is because they wanted to keep that 2gb of VRAM just like all the other 600 series cards. I think they did a pretty good job, it's one of the only 2gb cards at the 100$ price range. Plus since you're using dual monitors that extra RAM could come in handy ;) 
a b U Graphics card
August 8, 2012 6:58:51 PM

I think you can get a 7770 for that price. It uses little power (90 or so watts at full load),can run on dual monitor, is pretty fast and the one made by Sapphire one looks awesome
August 11, 2012 6:47:12 PM

Thank you everyone for your help.

I was considering the GT 640 and Radeon 7750 and 6670.

I ended up going with a Radeon 6670. Newegg has/had it for $65 with a 15 rebate so that made it an easy choice for me, as if all goes to plan I'll be upgrading to an entirely new computer in a year. I'm satisfied with a smooth performance on low graphics settings.

I don't play a lot of New games, the only two i've bought recently are Armada 2526 and Guild Wars 2. (although my brother-in-law got me Bloodbowl and Starcraft 2, which are both new)
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2012 9:47:12 PM

Glad we could help. Seeing as you will do a full upgrade in a year then that cheap 6670 will serve you well. Have fun
August 19, 2012 3:50:41 PM

Best answer selected by finebone.
August 19, 2012 3:52:53 PM

I thank you all for the help. I selected iamcacao as best answer because he started me lookning at the GT 640, which got me looking at that card and cards of comparable quality.
!