Graphics card recommendations

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by penfold27, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. penfold27

    penfold27
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    I have just bought a new PC which was cheap in the PC World sale. It is a good spec for my needs:

    Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz
    4GB RAM
    640GB HD
    BluRay player/DVD burner
    HDMI out

    Except.... it only has NVIDIA GeForce 7100 integrated graphics :thumbsdow

    I bought it knowing I would need a new card immediately. I dont play many games myself but the kids have a few like Lego Star Wars. What would people recommend?

    I would ideally only like to spend £50 tops, so have been considering something like a GeForce 9500GT (£45 on ebuyer). Would I be able to get away with something cheaper though? Or should I stretch my budget further?

    Any advice gratefully received :)
     
  2. Clunk

    Clunk
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    At that price level, go for the HD 4650 instead:
    PowerColor HD 4650 512MB DDR2 Dual DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card - Ebuyer
    It's a much more capable card for the money.

    If you were able to stretch up to £63 (including free delivery), then the HD 4670
    ASUS HD 4670 512MB GDDR3 VGA DVI HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card - Ebuyer
    is a much better card again and will have more longevity, as requirements get more demanding.

    Both are low power cards, so should sit happily in your machine, and will play HD movies nicely :thumbsup:
     
  3. penfold27

    penfold27
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    Thanks Clunk. I will look at those.

    Daft question but will there be any issues having an ATI card with my existing NVIDIA graphics onboard?

    I will definitely need a new PSU too as mine is only 250 watts I have just discovered! The card will probably take up at least half that on its own wont it?!
     
  4. Clunk

    Clunk
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    There will be no issues with your onboard graphics, as that needs to be disabled (and the drivers should be uninstalled) when you add a new graphics card anyway. :)

    As far as the PSU goes, yes you have one with just enough juice to run your system comfortably as it is. That's not to say the cards won't run, as there may be enough headroom if it's a good brand PSU (such as an FSP made one), but it will certainly be a bit close for comfort, and cause an unstable system.

    If you're looking at a new PSU, make sure it's a decent brand one - a cheap generic PSU claiming to be a 400 or 500W will often be no better than the 250W unit you have at the moment!

    The minimum spend on a PSU I usually recommend is the Hiper 4S425, which is a 425W rated PSU (maximum output of 495W), which has plenty of power for what you're running, a HD 4670, and a few added drives, etc without trouble. Hiper 425W PSU - 120mm Fan, 20+4pin, 1x 6pin PCI-E, 2x SATA, 6x Molex - Ebuyer

    If you think you may add a more powerful graphics card later on, or might be overclocking your CPU (probably not, but covering my bases here ;)), then look at something beefier like an Antec, Corsair or OCZ PSU over 500W, but these all start at over £45.
     
  5. penfold27

    penfold27
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    Thanks again. Really helpful advice - just what I needed :smashin:
     
  6. penfold27

    penfold27
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    Hi again Clunk

    Am ready to buy a HD4670 and new PSU following your helpful advice. I think that will suit my needs perfectly.

    However, 2 more questions have occurred to me:

    1. Having disabled my old graphics drivers and installed a new card, will my on-board HDMI port still work?

    2. My motherboard PCI-E slot is ver 1.0a. I have read about some issues with cards that are ver 2.0 compliant (which most new ones seem to be). It sounds like there are rarely any problems as PCI-E is supposed to be backwards compliant but just thought I would ask your view on this.

    I am probably thinking about this far too much but would appreciate your thoughts anyway (or anyone elses!) :)
     
  7. penfold27

    penfold27
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    I think I have answered my own questions with a bit more googling.

    1. The HDMI port will be disabled when I put the new card in. Not a huge issue for me, I suspect I will never use HDMI anyway on this PC.

    2. I don't think the PCI-E version will be a problem from what I am reading.

    Have I got that right? Anything else I need to consider? Or should I just give up asking questions and get the card?!
     
  8. Clunk

    Clunk
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    Hi Penfold - good choice with the HD 4670. You're quite right in that the onboard HDMI will be disabled when your onboard graphics are. However, the ATI HD4*** series cards usually come with an official ATI DVI-HDMI adapter, so you'll still be okay with the new card, and can also carry up to 7.1 surround through the HDMI if you use this adapter :thumbsup: - haven't done this myself though, so you may need a quick flick through the manual (sacrilege!) to get that going.

    You shouldn't have any problems with backward compatiblity re: PCI-E 2.0 and 1.0a, as it's a problem limited to certain motherboards (and even then, with certain graphics cards in conjunction with those motherboards). Do you know your motherboard model? The manufacturer's website will often have a list of any known incompatibilities, or confirmed compatible cards, which may put your mind at ease.
     
  9. penfold27

    penfold27
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    Thanks again Clunk.

    Funny you should mention the motherboard :rolleyes:... I have had no end of trouble finding out what it is. I got no manual with the PC as it was ex-display, so am having to do some detective work....

    Using Belarc, it said the board is an ACER MCP73PV. Not much information to be found on the net about this though.

    Some people say it is a PALIT N73PV, others say it is a
    MSI P6NGM and some say it is a board designed purely for ACER and not commercially available. When I looked inside, the board has no model no. but does say Micro-Star on it. So maybe it is the P6NGM but not at all sure :confused:.

    I guess I could contact Acer or PC World, where I bought it from.
     
  10. Dragy2k

    Dragy2k
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    since u have not stated what sound card u have im gonna assume its onboard....the hdmi output on the 4800 cards is great but if you have an issue it will most likely be the sound card.....since your using onboard it should be ok ...but post back how you got on.......took me ages to sort my sound (M-audio revolution 5.1)...hopefuly yours should be straight forward.
     

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