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New Graphics Card or RAM?


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#1 Falhalterra

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 09:42 PM

I'm usually quite good in understanding the graphics card department, but this time...I'm not so sure if this is a graphics problem or a RAM problem.
Recently, I bought a new computer online (made sure it was good and all before I bought it) in order to get away from the most messed up computer I've had since 2007 (dad and Uncle Tony made it and I've ruined the thing almost).
Here's the Amazon.com page for it if you need additional information: http://www.amazon.com/Acer-AX1301-U1302-De...ref=pd_sim_pc_4

Now, the issue I want to bring up is the fact I want to play Grand Theft Auto IV. I've heard it needs insane graphic card recommendations for it because it's really high-definition/high resolution. And I'll admit, it runs kinda slow although I've turned down ALL the graphics for that game. It shows you in the menu how much (MB?) is being used while playing and mine usually stays green when I have it waaayyy down. I'm concerned if this is either because of my DDR2 RAM or NVIDIA GeForce 9200 graphics card. The previous computer I used wasn't a Dual-Core and had a ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card and things did work well enough with it, while only having DDR2 RAM. Even if I try to turn up my graphics in the game, when I go outside the road and parts of the background have these black lines that move when I move and trees look very frail and low-resolution. Even while walking, it runs very slow.

Kinda angry now that my bf has a PS3 and his works fine. lol I've realized I'll need more things in order to make this game work up to par.

And one other small question: I have a 64-bit computer and my Acer LCD monitor only gets it in 32-bit. Should I consider getting a different monitor in order to receive the 64-bit colors?

I would really appreciate some help on this issue and if there are any questions, I'll happily answer back. Thanks guys.

Edited by Falhalterra, 08 March 2010 - 09:43 PM.

Acer AX1301-U1302 2.7MHz, AMD Athlon II X2 215 Processor (Dual-Core), 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz RAM, Acer WMCP78M Motherboard, 750GB Seagate IDE, Home Network DSL (Local Area Connection), MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Firefox/Opera; No email client, McAfee Security Center (trial) and ClamWin Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 11:55 PM

There are a few issues with this question, so I will answer them separately. First off, GTA IV is a beast of a game for the PC. I have it and with a quad core CPU, 8GB of RAM, and two GeForce 9800 GTX cards in SLI, the game still slows down and some higher-end graphics features are unavailable to me. The game was designed to scale with graphics card technology for a few years to come and on medium settings, the game runs at about the same level of detail as the PS3 version. Actually, the Radeon 4850 you had in your old PC is far better than the GeForce 9200 in your current PC. Second, if memory serves me correctly, in the in-game menu where it shows your memory usage, I think it is referring to the memory on your graphics card. Third, a 64-bit computer refers to CPU technology that can address 4GB or more of RAM with a 64-bit operating system installed. This does not refer to the color depth of your monitor, which is 32-bit. Almost all consumer grade monitors operate at 32-bit and this is not related in any way to your operating system. Finally, I assume in your signature that it is the computer you are using. It is pretty low end, but that is expected. However, you are using three security programs on your PC which may be causing some severe slowdowns. For me, I use Microsoft Security Essentials (Free from Microsoft) along with the firewall built into Windows and nothing else.

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#3 Falhalterra

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 05:07 PM

Alright then, thanks for the reply. I knew I was kicking my own butt somewhere in the process. lol I'll have to kinda look under the chassis in order to see what I might be able to do about the graphics card. Maybe I'll get a PS3 myself...that would be the better option and they are getting more and more cheaper now.

And I feel like a ditz because I didn't know most computer monitors stream 32-bit. >.< lol Thanks again.
Acer AX1301-U1302 2.7MHz, AMD Athlon II X2 215 Processor (Dual-Core), 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz RAM, Acer WMCP78M Motherboard, 750GB Seagate IDE, Home Network DSL (Local Area Connection), MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Firefox/Opera; No email client, McAfee Security Center (trial) and ClamWin Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.

#4 Falhalterra

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 12:12 PM

And just one more quick question: I was looking into getting a NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT I think it is, so is that good enough for what I want to do on my computer or should I reconsider and think about getting something completely different. Thanks if anyone can help out one last time on this subject.
Acer AX1301-U1302 2.7MHz, AMD Athlon II X2 215 Processor (Dual-Core), 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz RAM, Acer WMCP78M Motherboard, 750GB Seagate IDE, Home Network DSL (Local Area Connection), MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Firefox/Opera; No email client, McAfee Security Center (trial) and ClamWin Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.

#5 Monty007

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 03:59 PM

The 4850 is a better card.
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#6 the_patriot11

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 04:54 PM

I agree that 4850 is a beast of a card, the 9xxx series video cards were basically just slightly souped up 8xxx series cards. still excellent cards, but nowhere near the performance gain needed to outperform a 4850. that 9xxx series was mainly designed to hold people off till NVIDIA could perfect and release the 2xx series card. the 9xxx series came out about the same time as ATIs 3xxx series, and it would likely perform closer to the ATI 3870.

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#7 Falhalterra

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:44 PM

So, it would be preferable to just take the card out of my old computer (4850) and replace it with the NVIDIA I got? Guess my grandma is just going to have to buy herself another one. That's why I am wondering if there is another card better than that?
Acer AX1301-U1302 2.7MHz, AMD Athlon II X2 215 Processor (Dual-Core), 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz RAM, Acer WMCP78M Motherboard, 750GB Seagate IDE, Home Network DSL (Local Area Connection), MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Firefox/Opera; No email client, McAfee Security Center (trial) and ClamWin Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.

#8 ReviverSoft

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 08:49 PM

Err...Just had a look at the PC Case and I don't think you are going to have too many options, as far the GFX card goes.
You'll most certainly need a low-profile/low-profile ready GFX card and want to replace the paltry 220W PSU.

Faster dual-channel memory may help, although not by much.

Just my 2 cents.
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#9 Falhalterra

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:17 PM

220W PSU? Can I ask what that means? I feel like a dunce for asking, but it's always good to ask questions when confused.

I'm hoping to get a job soon and maybe make something more of this computer. Since this computer tower is kinda small, I'd imagine to stick with the NVIDIA 200 stuff right? Or just look into what I mentioned earlier aka NVIDIA 9800? I know the Radeon won't fit in this computer...lol
Acer AX1301-U1302 2.7MHz, AMD Athlon II X2 215 Processor (Dual-Core), 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz RAM, Acer WMCP78M Motherboard, 750GB Seagate IDE, Home Network DSL (Local Area Connection), MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Firefox/Opera; No email client, McAfee Security Center (trial) and ClamWin Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.

#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 05:47 PM

220W means that you have a 220 watt power supply. Wattage refers to the amount of power the power supply can provide. At 220W, there is no decent graphics card that will run GTA IV. The lowest Radeon 5 series card runs at 400W. The GTS 250 (Which is really just a rebranded 9800 GTX) requires 450W and the Geforce 210 requires a 300W. The point is, you will not be getting a new graphics card without first buying a new power supply.

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#11 bigalexe

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:55 PM

In my experience going to the maximum RAM is a good all-around upgrade and that includes gaming. However I do not see a video card listed and I see the word "Integratged" meaning you have a graphics chipset and not a card, in that case any card is better than what you have. Looking at the fact that the pc has an HDMI port it looks to me like your computer was designed to be more of a media/movie/audio station than it was designed to render game
I would buy a video card and take some of the load off the mainboard. I would aim for 1GB of RAM on the graphics card and at least the ATI 4X00 series or equivalent Nvidia. You are probably going to want an HD series because by putting in a card you will probably lose the ability to use your current HDMI port which admittedly is a major bummer if you're into movies.

Verdict: Buy a video card,
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#12 ReviverSoft

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 07:40 PM

@Falhalterra

Sorry for not being clearer.

As 'DJBPace07' pointed out, PSU refers to the power supply unit in your PC case. In yours, you have a 'non-conventional' PSU with a maximum rated output of 220 Watts.

This should clears things out...

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^ Not a lot of space to work with, eh?

Edited by ReviverSoft, 12 March 2010 - 07:42 PM.

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#13 Falhalterra

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 12:20 PM

Well...hmmm.

Thinking of calling up my Uncle Tony, who makes computers himself. Idk, maybe in time he can make another for me once I get a job.

Until then, I'll just get a PS3, maybe get Grand Theft Auto IV on there...or just plan to get another monitor, like I was wanting earlier.
Acer AX1301-U1302 2.7MHz, AMD Athlon II X2 215 Processor (Dual-Core), 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz RAM, Acer WMCP78M Motherboard, 750GB Seagate IDE, Home Network DSL (Local Area Connection), MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Firefox/Opera; No email client, McAfee Security Center (trial) and ClamWin Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware.




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