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Graphics cards for a dumbarse....


pedro111
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Right, 1999 was the last time I had a computer capable of running the 'latest' PC games.

 

Recently games like Medieval Total War and many others have got me wanting to get back into the PC game thing. Problem is I have the worst possible graphics card you can imagine, its that bad I dont even know what it is, thats how shit it is.

 

Problem is I am totally puzzled as to what graphics card to get, there seem to be a million!

 

I want one that will be able to play the top games for at least the next 2 years can this be done for under £100?? and how hard are they to fit and to get up and running?, Ive heard its easy but I can see myself with very limited knowledge completely f**kin it up and wrecking my PC!  :uglystupid2:

 

Any whizkids out there with and decent advice?

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Other thing to remember is that Vista includes the new version of DirectX, so any you buy now isn't going to last two years imo unless you plan to get Vista and you buy a card that can do DX10.

 

End of the day though, everything depends on what ports you have in your PC.

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Right, 1999 was the last time I had a computer capable of running the 'latest' PC games.

 

Recently games like Medieval Total War and many others have got me wanting to get back into the PC game thing. Problem is I have the worst possible graphics card you can imagine, its that bad I dont even know what it is, thats how shit it is.

 

Problem is I am totally puzzled as to what graphics card to get, there seem to be a million!

 

I want one that will be able to play the top games for at least the next 2 years can this be done for under £100?? and how hard are they to fit and to get up and running?, Ive heard its easy but I can see myself with very limited knowledge completely f**kin it up and wrecking my PC!  :uglystupid2:

 

Any whizkids out there with and decent advice?

 

PCI-E has really only been about for the last 3ish years (dont hold me to that) so unless you bought your motherboard in that time you'll more than likely be running an AGP GFX card.

 

There are still plenty of fast AGP cards out there, and the cost less as people dont want them.

 

You could buy a cheap PCI-E mobo, but then your halfway to an upgrade so it might be worth thinking about a new CPU/MOBO/GFX/MEM upgrade.

 

Best thing you could do is give as much info on your computer as possible, and we'll be able to give you your options.

 

What CPU is it? What socket?

 

What memory speed? how much MB's?

 

What motherboard do you have (Get the model number and we can then suss out your upgrade path completly)

 

Most important is what mobo and model number it is, we can work the rest out from there.

 

 

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Cheers for the help lads but....... eh, Im not technical at all when it comes to the workings of a PC.

 

My PC is about 2 years old (won it in a raffle ha ha!) My specs to the best of my knowledge are:

 

AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3400+

2.21GHz

960mb Ram.

 

Thats about as far as I go lads, Ive no idea how to check what motherboard I have tbh!  :blush:

 

 

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The first A64 PCI express motherboards came out in december 2004, so it could be anything.

 

Must of been a half decent raffle to have a PCI-E mobo & GFX card 2 years ago though!

 

Cant he check in the BIOS for the motherboard model number?

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Can't imagine it will have PCI-E so that will leave you with AGP mate and my advice would be buy ATI.. :D

 

BFG GeForce 7600 GS OC 512MB DDR2 HDTV/DVI (AGP) - Retail

 

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-031-BG&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=411

 

Can be had for £100 + del.

 

About the best AGP card you'll get for £100 mark. BFG come with a lifetime warranty and hold a high resale value because of that.

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Cheers lads for the info.

 

I have also just found out that I have a ASRock K8 Motherboard with 8x AGP slot on Motherboard and an integrated 256mb Graphics, UniChrome Pro 3D......whatever the hell that means.

 

ASRock are a good cheap make, a sister company of ASUS IIRC.

 

It means you do not have a PCI-E slot (16X) and your current graphics are handled by the board by taking memory from your system memory (sharing, and up to 256mb)

 

Basically any GFX card (AGP like the one above) should bring the computer to life.

 

 

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You also have a choice of replacing the mobo.

 

I'm guessing its a 939 socket, if so then 939 mobo's with PCI-E these days can be had dirt cheap.

 

It just means when you spend £100 on your GFX card, its going to last a while longer being PCI-E than AGP, and AGP are being phased out.

 

I'd say £30 could get you another ASRock mobo at the very most.

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I think I am going to go for the BFG GeForce 7600 GS OC 512MB  as reccomended on here.

 

Now I am debating whether to try and fit it myself or take it to a shop to do it.

 

The bit I am worried about is not the actual fitting of the card its when I turn my PC on again what will happen?

 

Having no experience fitting graphics cards before, I am worried that it may not work and I will be left with a blank screen.  :undecided:

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I think I am going to go for the BFG GeForce 7600 GS OC 512MB  as reccomended on here.

 

Now I am debating whether to try and fit it myself or take it to a shop to do it.

 

The bit I am worried about is not the actual fitting of the card its when I turn my PC on again what will happen?

 

Having no experience fitting graphics cards before, I am worried that it may not work and I will be left with a blank screen.  :undecided:

 

Its a very simple job to do mate.

 

I'm confident you can do it.

 

But, for the sake of a £10 (no more though) take it to a local computer shop (independent, not PC world) and ask them to do it. It will take them 5 mins to put in, and another 5mins to install.

 

One other thing i'd check, the size of your PSU (power supply) the newish GFX card are power hungry fukers, you will deffo need over 300w to run it, but to be safe 350w PSU would be my guess, but i might be playing it mega safe.

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Its just like installing a soundcard, or a network card, line it up, drop it in, place the screw in, but then you'll need to connect it to the PSU.

 

These bigger cards do not run off the mobo anymore, but direct from the PSU. There should be a little adapter supplied with the card which will change one of the cables you plug into a HD, floppy disk into a littler version to fit on the card.

 

Plug your monitor in and if it boots up, everything is fine, if it doesn't take it to the shop.

 

Afterall, the BFG comes with lifetime warranty, and you cannot go too far wrong on installation to break it beyond warranty tbh.

 

Any advice come here, prepare well, know what your doing. While on order, look for 'how to install a GFX card' and so many place will show you how to do it correctly.

 

Print that off, especially troubleshooting and have a bash yourself.

 

you'll feel so much better knowing you did it.

 

 

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Cheers TT you are giving me some dutch courage lol!

 

I just found a bit of paper that came with the PC and it reckons I have the latest Zorro case with 450W Silent PSU

 

Is that good???  :crazy2:

 

Well, it will mean it will do the job, what standard the PSU will be i do not know.

 

It sounds like a cheap rig (won in a raffle) but good stuff is the ASRock board. It would only be used by someone who wanted to build a cheap solid rig, so no worries there tbh.

 

Really, the computer itself sounds canny, apart from the GFX, which for £100, and with it being your only note spent on it is fantastic news.

 

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3118_7-5023982-1.html

 

Honestly its that easy.

 

More software problems than anything else.

 

Just delete all your old display drivers, then install card, boot up, and Windows will detect your new card.

 

Read your manual first, some say do not let it install from there, and ask you to cancel the plug & play, and do a manual install from the CD.

 

Whatever, its simple, its as easy an installing a game.

 

One thing to note though, make sure (if it has it) the your mobo has the GFX controller turned off (at the moment its doing the GFX bit, you dont want it to anymore) you'll find it if its there. It happens with on board sound, and installing a new card, it might be the same for a GFX card, all depends really, but worth checking.

 

Really apart from everything i've listed, this isn't a difficult job, and am positive you'll manage just fine.

 

Its all just big electrical lego, dont think of it any other way  O0

 

Tbh, another way of looking at it and a way am sure you'll appreciate (and am sure some will argue) for £100 you'll have turned you computer into anything the 360 or PS3 can produce, a certain if you slotted in another 1GB or ram.

 

 

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Other thing to remember is that Vista includes the new version of DirectX, so any you buy now isn't going to last two years imo unless you plan to get Vista and you buy a card that can do DX10.

 

End of the day though, everything depends on what ports you have in your PC.

 

 

Like he said. I wouldn't buy now unless it was dx10 compatible. What you bought won't last you 2 years. Bottom line is you've got to spend a lot more to play the top games

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If he's got 960MB RAM that most likely means he's got intergrated gfx card doesn't it?

 

Aye,

 

Cheers lads for the info.

 

I have also just found out that I have a ASRock K8 Motherboard with 8x AGP slot on Motherboard and an integrated 256mb Graphics, UniChrome Pro 3D......whatever the hell that means.

 

 

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