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PC Upgrade - Graphics Card


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#1 rms4evr

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:30 AM

I want to upgarde my desktop computer; however, I have a limited budget, and very specific needs. So, here is my challenge - Find me a graphics card that:
  • Is under $80
  • Works with a 300 watt power supply
  • Fits in a PCI - Express x16 slot
  • Will run Fallout 3
Notes:
  • I don't care if the card is new/used/refurbished
  • I already plan to upgrade my ram from 1 gig to 2 gigs
  • I don't need the game to run at max settings; medium settings will do
  • If I need an extra fan, then no dice (unless you can provide idiot-simple instructions on installing it)
  • My computer specs are here (click "Specifications")
  • My current graphics card (in the PCI x16 slot) is this one (click "GPU Specifications;" its the 256mb one)
Happy hunting, and thanks in advance.

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 02:04 AM

wow hard to find a decent card that runs on that low of a power supply, but here are a couple that should technically run on your system, however both will run it to the max, I would recomend upgrading your PSU before you do a video card upgrade. If you want ati:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102819
if you want Nvidia:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814130389
but again, even with these I strongly recomend either an older card or a newer PSU unit, preferably a higher powered PSU would be best.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#3 DJBPace07

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 05:02 PM

After looking over your system specs in your BC User Profile, I've come to the conclusion that almost any graphics card you install will be bottlenecked and Fallout will run slowly. The CPU, if it is a Pentium, will not be able to feed information to the GPU fast enough to make a difference beyond a certain point. The suggested cards will run, but the ATI card is fanless which requires a good amount of airflow inside the case to prevent overheating. I suggest getting the cheapest video card you can and saving your money for a new PC, or at least a new CPU, motherboard, and RAM.

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#4 dpunisher

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:25 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814121289

Best out there for under $80 IMHO. Going to be a stretch with that power supply, and your CPU will still be a major bottleneck.

DJBPace07 is right, save money for a new system instead of putting bandaids on your current stuff.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

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#5 rms4evr

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 12:04 AM

Aaaannnddd...this is why I hate PC games!!!!! My computer is only three years old!!!!! I've read tons of stuff online, about how "its not THAT bad to keep the system upgraded." WRONG! I don't have the time or budget to keep up with this crap.

This is why I like consoles better. You put the game in, and it runs. Period.

I wanted to play Fallout 3 on my PC, because the company is not releasing the downloadable content for the Playstation 3. Well, they can just forget it, because it looks like my choices are to either spend $500-$1000 on a new PC, plus the game, (I don't have the cash), or to buy a unfinished game, because the game company decided to :thumbsup: over PC users. So, I'm choosing option C, not giving them my money.

Sorry for the rant. I know its not you guys' fault; I'm just mad and frustrated at this whole situation. Posted Image :huh:

#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 12:19 AM

There, there...it'll be okay.......

I'm the opposite, I prefer PC gaming. Also, if you get a powerful PC to begin with, it will be far easier to upgrade and use in the future. If you're aiming for powerful PC's, eMachines is not the way to go. Using a boutique builder will allow for higher quality parts and better service. I bought a PC four years ago with better specs than the one you listed and the only thing I've updated is the graphics card. It can play Fallout 3 just fine. You don't need to spend $500 on a vastly powerful PC. I'm overhauling my parents PC, the one I mentioned earlier, for about $350. I could shave another $50 if I went for a dual core or 4GB of memory, but the budget for the upgrade was $400 so I'm going to use it all.

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#7 rms4evr

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 12:47 AM

See, here was my plan:
  • Get $200 from my tax refund.
  • Buy new 3d card
  • Buy more ram
  • Buy game
  • Be happy
  • Not spend more than that to buy other parts and replace everything that was potentially "outdated," and then try to take apart my PC and replace everything, and since I would have no clue what I'm doing, inevitably breaking something, causing me to spend more money to have a professional try and fix what I broke, thereby exceeding the price of a new PC
I would not be able to build my own PC. I would have no freaking clue what I was doing, and nothing would work. I would have to buy the parts, then pay someone to put it together. So, any cost estimate would have to include labor, as well as additional critical parts that I would inevitably forget to buy.

I can open the case and replace/add graphics cards and ram; that's it. Anything more complicated, and I'll need either a "guy," or a "Computer building for total idiots" guide, emphasis on the "idiot" part.

Once again, its not you; its my lack of cash and know-how.

#8 the_patriot11

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 02:01 AM

actually keeping up with occasional upgrades works-as long as you go high end the first time around. if you buy a bottom of the line pc to start with it will cost more in the long run, but if you really go high end the first time around, and start out with the best available at the time, it means that that system will last longer and be more easily upgradable in the future, but you have to fork out the money to begin with. I had an old HP with a 1.8 ghz celeron and 256 meg of ram and an ati 9250 in it, that I ran for 3-4 years and got to run most of the modern games with a few tweaks, (not exceptional but they did run) till the motherboard gave out on me. my new system is all custom built and i spared no expense on it, and it should last me at least as long. I love PC gaming, but if u want a gaming rig to last awhile u gotta spend the initial cash in a high end system to start with. if you buy prebuilt thats next to impossible to do since when they arrive on the shelf of most computer stores their already out of date.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 05:12 PM

For $200 you can certainly upgrade that PC, but you won't get everything you wanted, at least not all at once. Don't panic about installing computer components, there are plenty of helpful guides. The upgrade that I think will help you most now and last the longest would be that of a motherboard and CPU update. Going to a recent CPU and board now would provide an effective platform to upgrade to in the future.

Motherboard: ASRock A780GXE/128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G ATX AMD Motherboard - This board supports the latest AMD processors and is upgradable, with a simple BIOS flash, to accept AM3 CPU's when they come out. Great for futureproofing. $94
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 Brisbane 2.7GHz - This is a good dual core processor. It has a fast speed and a cheap price. $59
RAM: Kingston HyperX 4GB - The new motherboard requires new memory. Since you're keeping XP 32-bit, getting more than 4GB of RAM would be a waste. $49

Total Cost: $204

Now putting it together isn't very difficult. You will have to reinstall Windows since you're replacing the motherboard. You can either put the pieces together, or you can find someone to do it for you.

How-to Guides (You're not building a PC, but you are replacing the core of an existing one so the links below will help):
Coding Horror - Building a PC
BuildaComputerGuide
PCitYourself - The Animated Guide
PCMech - The Step-by-Step Guide

Edited by DJBPace07, 06 February 2009 - 05:14 PM.

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#10 the_patriot11

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 08:57 PM

You can also do what I did to build my system-I couldnt afford it all at once so I bought one part at a time till I got what i wanted over several months. :D

picard5.jpg

 

Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#11 rms4evr

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 12:22 AM

*Lets out huge, defeated sigh* :huh:

Thanks for the suggestions, but all of this requires more money, which I do not have. So, it will have to wait until I can get a job. And in this economy, who knows how long THAT will be. Besides, my current computer works just fine right now, and I can't bear to retire it as long as it still does most of what I need it to do. While it won't run newer games, they are not really a necessity. Maybe when Windows 7 (or whatever it's called) comes out, I'll have the cash to buy a nice, new gaming rig. I also found some local stores that will build a custom machine for you; that would be a better option for me, so that way, I wouldn't break anything because I didn't know what I was doing.

I still may buy some more ram to give it a speed boost, (I can get an extra gig for $20), but anything else will just have to wait.

*Silently curses PC exclusive DLC* :thumbsup:

#12 DJBPace07

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 12:49 AM

You can certainly upgrade the RAM, which will give you a nice speed boost. You could, maybe, upgrade the processor. If I'm reading Intel's specs for the Pentium D 805 processor correctly, it uses the LGA775 socket which is still very popular. If there is a BIOS update that will allow for newer processors, you could get one. Don't get too upset over Fallout 3's Operation: Anchorage, it's only about three hours long with my level 20 character. I'm waiting for the third DLC which will increase the level cap to 30.

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#13 audioAl

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 07:19 AM

Aaaannnddd...this is why I hate PC games!!!!! My computer is only three years old!!!!! I've read tons of stuff online, about how "its not THAT bad to keep the system upgraded." WRONG! I don't have the time or budget to keep up with this crap.

This is why I like consoles better. You put the game in, and it runs. Period.

I wanted to play Fallout 3 on my PC, because the company is not releasing the downloadable content for the Playstation 3. Well, they can just forget it, because it looks like my choices are to either spend $500-$1000 on a new PC, plus the game, (I don't have the cash), or to buy a unfinished game, because the game company decided to :thumbsup: over PC users. So, I'm choosing option C, not giving them my money.

Sorry for the rant. I know its not you guys' fault; I'm just mad and frustrated at this whole situation. Posted Image :huh:

Buy a sound card, run it line in to your stereo, and enjoy music. It's more interesting than games.
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