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looking to buy a graphics card

ali2487

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#1
hi all

been a while since iv been here....well i need ur guys advice once more :)

i want to buy a graphics card.....a budget 1 at that i have around 50-60£ to spend i cud go higher maybe if the card had siginificant gains...anyways i need a card that doesnt require external power and one that will give best performance for money...

any suggestions?
 
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#3
Go for a Ati video card there better priced and better performance in the low end market for your money, And why cant you uses external power?
 

ali2487

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#4
cos my crappy dell PSU wudnt power an x800gto2....
 
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#5
what watts PSU do you have?
 

ali2487

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#6
350 dell PSU which means 150 prolly (in the real world) lol
 
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#7
yer low end video cards dont need much power 350w sould be fine for like a ATI Radeon 2600XT
 
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#8
the biggest improvement you could make would be to get you 2x512mb sticks of ram to replace the 4x256mb you got now. that will give you the biggest improvement for $ spent.

even though motherboards have 4 slots it is never a good thing to use all of them because it works the ram bus really hard controlling all 4 so if you ran only 2 you would see a dramatic increase in performance even if you stayed with just 1gb total ram.

as for your question, i think your card you have now is good for now because you would really need at least a 8600gts to move up otherwise it would not be any noticable change IMOP except to your pocketbook.

i suggest you upgrade your ram first to a 2 stick set of matching good quality ram, this is within your price you gave and after you sell your old ram you can save up and get a video card later if you still feel the need.

EDIT: since it is a dell, i have had 3 dells and they all had SLOW hard drives with small cache, check the specs on the drive model number you have and see if your external isnt faster, i'll bet that it is. then swap them out to increase performance a little.
 
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#9
even though motherboards have 4 slots it is never a good thing to use all of them because it works the ram bus really hard controlling all 4 so if you ran only 2 you would see a dramatic increase in performance even if you stayed with just 1gb total ram.
Dunno why you think 4 DIMMs would be slower, that's utter BS. Intel memory controllers are (usually) fixed to 2T command rate. This means module amount doesn't matter. At all.
Infact, 4 DIMM configs are usually faster than 2 DIMMs due to higher level interleaving.
i suggest you upgrade your ram first to a 2 stick set of matching good quality ram, this is within your price you gave and after you sell your old ram you can save up and get a video card later if you still feel the need.
Upgrading the RAM to so called "high quality" low latency/high speed modules would yield a 2-5% gain...
VGA upgrade (like X800GT -> HD2600XT) would certainly bump frame rates upto 100%.
And you recommend upgrading the ram? :eek:
(...) see if your external isnt faster, i'll bet that it is. then swap them out to increase performance a little.
USB2.0 continuous transfer rate is max. 35MB/s. Even old IDE HDDs do better than this.
 
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#10
Dunno why you think 4 DIMMs would be slower, that's utter BS. Intel memory controllers are (usually) fixed to 2T command rate. This means module amount doesn't matter. At all.
Infact, 4 DIMM configs are usually faster than 2 DIMMs due to higher level interleaving. Upgrading the RAM to so called "high quality" low latency/high speed modules would yield a 2-5% gain...
my reply:

The recommendation against using four memory modules comes from the fact that a lot of people who buy certain CPUs are going to overclock them, and using more than two memory modules makes that harder to do. Some older Athlon 64 and Opteron processors, which have an on-board memory controller, actually ran the memory bus slower if you installed more than a couple of modules. No such issues exist with current Intel chips, but memory modules still use a chunk of the motherboard's regulator capacity, which can start running low when you're overclocking a quad core chip.

This applies particularly strongly to bus-speed overclocking, the only kind you can perform on a non-Extreme-Edition Core 2 Quad. Increasing the processor bus speed increases the speed of things other than the CPU, and also makes perfect timing more important; you often need to bump up CPU and RAM voltage to get higher speeds to work, and that increases power draw too.

Plenty of people are perfectly successfully getting solid overclocks out of quad-core Intel chips while using four memory modules, but if you're buying a new computer, you might as well pay the small price premium to get the same amount of memory in only two modules.
 
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#11
Upgrading the RAM to so called "high quality" low latency/high speed modules would yield a 2-5% gain...
this is what i said:

"i suggest you upgrade your ram first to a 2 stick set of matching good quality ram, this is within your price you gave and after you sell your old ram you can save up and get a video card later if you still feel the need."

only suggesting he should avoid buying "value ram" or lesser quality ram just to save money.
 
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#12
Right. Except that he's not buying a new system. Just the VGA.
And that he could easily max out the P4 3.6GHz just by using the DDR2-533 he already has (18x266=4788).

edit:
"Quality ram" is a waste of money if you're not into benchmarking.
Value ram or "lesser quality ram" - whatever that means - is the only reasonable choice for a gamer.
 
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#13
Right. Except that he's not buying a new system. Just the VGA. QUOTE]

the reason i suggested checking his hard drive is if you take the hard drive out of the external drive case and hook it up as a regular drive inside the computer (which is very easy to do) it is not limited as you said by the usb or whatever connection it is and in most cases dell always uses smaller cache drives to keep cost down so it is not unusual to find drives with only 2mb cache in a dell where his external drive might have 8 or even 16mb cache. granted it wont make any dramatic difference but it could make a noticable improvement and would cost him nothing to do it. its possible he could gain extra performance for spending no money at all by swapping out his hard drives.
 

ali2487

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#14
wow lol nice input! well i have the seagate barracuda ST3160023AS 160GB version, 7200RPM with 8mb cache (i believe)....anyhow the external drive has 8mb cache too, i already have a 512mb ram module which is just sitting there 1Rx8 PC2-5300U (667MHZ i think, correct if im wrong please) which is not in use atm....im looking for a module that matches this before i install these sets, so the RAM side has already been taken into consideration :) so i was thinking the 2600xt....
 

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#15
Upgrade your PSU first. Please!:eek:
 

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#16
2600XT is a good buy dont listen to the whole ram thing keaker has no idea what he is talking about in regards to your system if it was a AMD then 2X512 would be better than the 4x256 but for you the gfx is a much bigger improvement

all in all that seagate cuda drive is plenty fast for your system and wil cause no issues whatsoever.

if you can afford it in the future look for a better PSU and then later a Pentium D 930/925 or so will give you plenty of power along with a HD2600XT to run todays games.


edit: in response to erocker dell uses pretty good PSUs if it says 350watt it runs ~375w or so. the X800 he has is likely pulling more juice than a 2600XT ever will even with an oc
 

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#17
well i was thinkin of upgrading the CPU i have LGA socket 775....i had a look at the E6600 and it was a decent 60£ i was wondering if my mobo wud support it?
 
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#18
Radeon HD 2600XT GDDR4 or GeForce 8600GT. I think they're about equal performance-wise, so it would just be brand preference.

I'm very pleased with my 2600XT. I play BioShock at full settings, 1440x900 2xAA/8xAF, with surround sound, and have very little (if any) lag. ATI lives up to its reputation of playing games better at higher detail :).
 
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#19
I say get a ATi 2600XT. I love mine. It will make your eyes happy. :)
 
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#20
2600xt FTW... I would personally say get that card... I have one personally and just put one in a friends computer... They rock!
 

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#22

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#23
I'd say 2600XT as well. Best bang for buck for DX10 cards (IMO), unless you want to wait for the new DX10 ATI cards. If you get a new PSU though, id say to get a good DX9 card. (Unless of course, you have Vista and want to use some DX10 features.)

I dont know how you have a PSU issue though; im running almost the same system (except I have 2GB of PC3200 and a 478 P4 @ 3.2Ghz, along with 2x80GB HDD's and an X800XT PE) running on a 200W PSU :p.
 

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#24
ask urself this question....is it a dell? lmao
 

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#25
Dell gererally make good PSU's though :rolleyes:.