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Help needed choosing a graphics card, please.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 12, 2013 12:53:55 PM

Hello, some guidance would be appreciated as to the best card for my son's desktop.
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 (Dual Core) 4000 (2.1Ghz) AM2
Motherboard: Asrock AliveNF6G-VSTA
Power supply: 350W (will possibly upgrade in a few months)
Memory: 2x2GB DDR2 - will be upgraded to 8GB next week.

A couple of suggestions I have looked at:
1. RADEON HD 7750 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
2. GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP
3. NVIDIA 8800 GT
Any help and additional or replacement suggestions would be most appreciated.
When we have purchased, am I correct in thinking we download the appropriate driver (W7 64bit o/s)? If so, do we install driver first or graphics card first?
Many thanks for your help.
January 12, 2013 1:36:18 PM

bankieboy said:
Hello, some guidance would be appreciated as to the best card for my son's desktop.
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 (Dual Core) 4000 (2.1Ghz) AM2
Motherboard: Asrock AliveNF6G-VSTA
Power supply: 350W (will possibly upgrade in a few months)
Memory: 2x2GB DDR2 - will be upgraded to 8GB next week.

A couple of suggestions I have looked at:
1. RADEON HD 7750 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
2. GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP
3. NVIDIA 8800 GT
Any help and additional or replacement suggestions would be most appreciated.
When we have purchased, am I correct in thinking we download the appropriate driver (W7 64bit o/s)? If so, do we install driver first or graphics card first?
Many thanks for your help.


That system is a bit old so i won't take something too much overkill. The 7750 would be good for it, unless he wants to play very demanding games. You will need a new power supply for sure but don't take some crap.


- The Brownie
January 12, 2013 1:36:52 PM

It depends on what you want.

What is he going to do with this PC? Is it just for standard use?

I would not recommend either of the Nvidia cards you said, the only realistic choice would be the Radeon 7750 because:

- It is the latest generation and supports all the latest technology, like GDDR5 and PCI-e 3.0.

- Very low wattage requirement, and can be used with your current power supply (MOST likely.)

- Very compact, but it's still a strong card that can give impressive graphics in the 1920x1080 resolutions.

- If he ever wants to upgrade to anything else, it can be carried on.

Now inevitably, the current computer specs will bottleneck the 7750 (Most specifically the motherboard and processor.), but as recently stated, it's fine as the 7750 is very future proof, and it can always be upgraded later. (If possible, get a motherboard with pci-e 3.0 support for best results.)

Just keep in mind you will want to avoid getting 8 gigs of ram in DDR2, and it's recommended that you first get a motherboard that can support DDR3 as once again, it is the latest technology and will keep you up to date. (Not to mention the performance difference is quite large.)

Well, that's my two cents, I hope I helped!
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January 12, 2013 1:51:09 PM

First of all, ask your son: is he planning to play current title game? If he says yes:

I'd say go for Radeon 7750. The fastest PCI-X graphic card that doesn't requires additional power you could find now. Your current Power Supply probably still be able to handle this card. Otherwise, upgrade to 500W (pure) should be sufficient.

8800GT is also a nice option for a reason: it is cheaper. It's slower than 7750 and requires additional power to operate.

Finally Geforce 8400GS. I think it's a budget Graphics for making an HTPC. Current Game tittle won't work in the rig using this kind of Card.

I think you should install latest driver soon after completing install an OS (say Win7)..
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2013 1:53:12 PM

Good advice, AHelpingHand.
January 12, 2013 3:01:23 PM

Thanks for the detailed and speedy responses. He will partly use it for school stuff, documents, spreadsheets etc. Partly for editing videos from his Xbox and partly for gaming.
I think we will try for the Radeon due to its future proofing so much appreciate the advice.
I can cope with installing graphic cards and memory but must be honest and say that a new motherboard might be stretching my abilities but will investigate.
Thanks again.
:) 
!