Graphics card upgrade

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Helena
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Graphics card upgrade

Postby Helena » 22 Sep 2011, 17:27

I think my old GeForce 8600GT just died (sigh). I'm using the computer's onboard card at the moment, but it won't run Morrowind. It's time I got a new card anyway (actually it's time I got a new computer, but I can't afford it), so can anyone recommend a similar but somewhat better card that isn't too expensive?

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Tarius » 22 Sep 2011, 18:58

Helena wrote:I think my old GeForce 8600GT just died (sigh). I'm using the computer's onboard card at the moment, but it won't run Morrowind. It's time I got a new card anyway (actually it's time I got a new computer, but I can't afford it), so can anyone recommend a similar but somewhat better card that isn't too expensive?

Wow, ew, 8600GT, those things werent known for being that great. They were supposed to not have been designed very well. I actually made sure to specifically avoid them when I looked for a computer.
That said, you should have no trouble finding a better card nowadays. It doesnt really matter what you get as cards advance pretty fast and yours was a couple years old. I cant tell you what kind to get though, only that any newer ones will most certainly be better.
Tarius: I have now conquered the galaxy twice and am working on a third. Once thats out of me, I will be back to work.
TDF: Which game is that(I assume its a game and not real life)
The Khan: If it was real life, we would know about it. And I dont think he means this Galaxy.
Tarius: Yes, I really lead a secret double life where I am a galactic overlord.

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Praedator
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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Praedator » 22 Sep 2011, 19:11

depends a bit on what kind of system you have, like:
Processor, Motherboard, RAM, and Power Supply
and on how much you want to spend

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Tarius » 22 Sep 2011, 19:22

Praedator wrote:depends a bit on what kind of system you have, like:
Processor, Motherboard, RAM, and Power Supply
and on how much you want to spend

No, this is not right. The only two possible things you have to worry about is if your computer motherboard is too old to work with any of the newer stuff or the power supply itself. I am not sure on the power requirements, but usually you dont have to worry about that if you are simply replacing a card rather than adding one to a system which originally didnt have one. Considering she had an 8600, its somewhat unlikely that the motherboard is too old as the 8600s themselves are only a few years old at most.
Tarius: I have now conquered the galaxy twice and am working on a third. Once thats out of me, I will be back to work.
TDF: Which game is that(I assume its a game and not real life)
The Khan: If it was real life, we would know about it. And I dont think he means this Galaxy.
Tarius: Yes, I really lead a secret double life where I am a galactic overlord.

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Helena
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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Helena » 22 Sep 2011, 19:37

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core, 2.51 Ghz
Motherboard: MSI K9N6PGM-FI
RAM: 2GB
Power supply: unsure without opening up the computer
Budget: probably not more than £50-£60

Tarius: It's a fairly old computer (around 4 years), but the card has always worked OK up to now. Perhaps not great, but OK. I think it's just reached the end of its natural life.

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Praedator » 22 Sep 2011, 19:53

for that money you can get a fairly decent card, compared to GForce, ATI tends to have more value for money cards, try to get a 256bit card with 1048MB memory.
Asus is good, also Sapphire makes good cards

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Tarius » 22 Sep 2011, 22:31

Tarius: It's a fairly old computer (around 4 years), but the card has always worked OK up to now. Perhaps not great, but OK. I think it's just reached the end of its natural life.

With age, usually anything up to 4-5 years is ok, beyond that and its not really certain. Newer stuff will always be made so it will work with not too ancient systems. The worst thing I could think of here would be you happen to have windows XP and that for some reason the card wouldnt work with it, but I find that somewhat doubtful; XP is rapidly becoming outdated, but people still use it. Its always good just to check for yourself.

Praedator wrote:for that money you can get a fairly decent card, compared to GForce, ATI tends to have more value for money cards, try to get a 256bit card with 1048MB memory.
Asus is good, also Sapphire makes good cards

Both brands have their flaws. What I have heard recently is that Nvidia's quality has been dropping lately but I havent looked into it myself. Usually, its best just to see how individual cards are with stuff because while one card in a series might suck, another might do pretty well.
Yea, I have heard too that sapphire makes pretty good ones as well, but havent looked at them as they arnt as big as ATI or Nvidia
Tarius: I have now conquered the galaxy twice and am working on a third. Once thats out of me, I will be back to work.
TDF: Which game is that(I assume its a game and not real life)
The Khan: If it was real life, we would know about it. And I dont think he means this Galaxy.
Tarius: Yes, I really lead a secret double life where I am a galactic overlord.

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Scamp » 23 Sep 2011, 13:03

Tarius wrote:
Praedator wrote:depends a bit on what kind of system you have, like:
Processor, Motherboard, RAM, and Power Supply
and on how much you want to spend

No, this is not right.


No, this is not right. (Means that Praedator is right). If you have an incredibly fast graphics card and an older CPU it will slow down your card which won't be able to take the full advantage of its power.
For example, the only way to use the full power of a 6990 is to overclock a good i7. Anything else would not be able to hold up with the card (the card is really overkill anyway, just to demonstrate my point).
That said, you should watch out that your system is at least somewhat balanced.
Of course, RAM does not affect the graphics card. CPU does.
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Helena
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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Helena » 23 Sep 2011, 14:11

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Tarius » 23 Sep 2011, 19:34

Scamp wrote:
Tarius wrote:
Praedator wrote:depends a bit on what kind of system you have, like:
Processor, Motherboard, RAM, and Power Supply
and on how much you want to spend

No, this is not right.


No, this is not right. (Means that Praedator is right). If you have an incredibly fast graphics card and an older CPU it will slow down your card which won't be able to take the full advantage of its power.
For example, the only way to use the full power of a 6990 is to overclock a good i7. Anything else would not be able to hold up with the card (the card is really overkill anyway, just to demonstrate my point).
That said, you should watch out that your system is at least somewhat balanced.
Of course, RAM does not affect the graphics card. CPU does.


I was assuming in this case that she wasnt trying to get an overkill card.
Tarius: I have now conquered the galaxy twice and am working on a third. Once thats out of me, I will be back to work.
TDF: Which game is that(I assume its a game and not real life)
The Khan: If it was real life, we would know about it. And I dont think he means this Galaxy.
Tarius: Yes, I really lead a secret double life where I am a galactic overlord.

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Scamp
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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Scamp » 23 Sep 2011, 21:00

Alright.
Anyway, let's just say we talk again about what card she should get, yes? No need for disgusting discussions leading to no point.
If you are looking for value and want to pay less money, I'd say go with Ati/AMD/whatever you want to call it. Praedator suggested a card with a 256 bit interface and 1 gig of ram, which is in your case probably too expensive.
Anyway, regarding Sapphire: They make graphics cards, but they use the ATI chips. I can only recommend the Sapphire cards, I use the Sapphire 5870 and it's pretty amazing.
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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Praedator » 24 Sep 2011, 05:49

yes I thought later of it 256bit/1mb might be too expensive, but then again a good strive, a 128bit/1MB will probably do just as well.
And I have a Sapphire HD6950, great card.

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Helena
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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Helena » 24 Sep 2011, 10:05

What do you think about the Radeon 5570?

Edit: found a slightly cheaper version. I'm not entirely sure what the difference is - maybe just the multiple screens thing?

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Praedator » 24 Sep 2011, 10:33

5570 is not bad at all, but try to get the sapphire version, both I and Scamp use the expensive versions of that brand too, with no problems whatsoever.

don't go for the cheapest, I cannot recommend it, like any other computer part.

Some brands have proven to have quality over time, and price/quality Sapphire scores very high.

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Praedator » 24 Sep 2011, 10:37

Helena wrote:What do you think about the Radeon 5570?

Edit: found a slightly cheaper version. I'm not entirely sure what the difference is - maybe just the multiple screens thing?


As long as you do not want 3 monitors or more, the multiple screens thing is not an issue, so a vc with only one port is more than enough. Expensive cards have it standard, as well as SLI (two cards joint) which is also optional if you want more monitors.
Instead try to get best chipset and all the ATI 'xx70' or higher versions (5570-5590) as they are a bit better than the lower ones.

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Helena
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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Helena » 24 Sep 2011, 10:39

They're both Sapphire, I think? As I said, the only differences I can find are that one uses multi-screen technology and the other doesn't, and that one is 'HDMI', whatever that means. I don't need multiple screens so I think I might go for the cheaper one.

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Praedator » 24 Sep 2011, 11:01

Helena wrote:They're both Sapphire, I think? As I said, the only differences I can find are that one uses multi-screen technology and the other doesn't, and that one is 'HDMI', whatever that means. I don't need multiple screens so I think I might go for the cheaper one.


Sounds fine :) HDMI is high definition image and sound btw and my experience is that DVI is better :)

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Scamp » 24 Sep 2011, 12:38

For that money, the 5570 is probably one of the best cards you can get. I don't think it matters in this case which one you buy as they are the same cards, same chip, and I highly doubt you want to use more than 2 monitors as that's a bit demanding for such a card and you need to buy a special adapter as well which will cost you additional money.

Praedator wrote:Sounds fine :) HDMI is high definition image and sound btw and my experience is that DVI is better :)


DVI is not particularly better, however in my opinion HDMI does not bring the advantages that it promises. I don't really see a difference or anything, however if you should ever think about connecting your card to a large TV or something like this HDMI is always a good thing to have.

Praedator wrote:SLI (two cards joint) which is also optional if you want more monitors.


Keep in mind though, Praedator, that SLI is the technology that NVidia uses. It works a lot different than Crossfire and originally comes from the old Voodoo 2 cards, great fun.
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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Praedator » 24 Sep 2011, 12:41

Praedator wrote:SLI (two cards joint) which is also optional if you want more monitors.


Keep in mind though, Praedator, that SLI is the technology that NVidia uses. It works a lot different than Crossfire and originally comes from the old Voodoo 2 cards, great fun.[/quote]

I keep mixing them up even though I have a crossfirecard lol. As for HDMI I had serious trouble with the pixels blurring and a black band around my screen.

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Re: Graphics card upgrade

Postby Scamp » 24 Sep 2011, 15:30

Praedator wrote:As for HDMI I had serious trouble with the pixels blurring and a black band around my screen.


Oh! That problem. Yeah, I had that too. Apparently your monitor is set to default TV, you need to change it to PC in your monitor menu. After that, you have to go to the AMD vision engine Control Center to the scaling options and overscan until the black stuff disappears.
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