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Windows 7: New Desktop. Why get a graphics card?

04 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7
 
 
New Desktop. Why get a graphics card?

With a limited budget in mind. No gaming.

With many of the retail stores offering brand name desktop computers for good prices I notice that none have a dedicated graphics card - all are integrated.

Is a dedicated graphics card needed and why or why not?


This one is $445.00 at St*ples.

HP Pavilion p6610f Desktop PC
  • AMD Athlon™ II 635 Quad-Core Processor (2.9GHz)
  • 4GB installed memory
  • 750GB hard drive


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jan 2011   #2

Win 7 Ultimate (64-bit), Win 8 (64-bit)
 
 

If the intended use is just for surfing the web, email, word processing, etc... then a computer with built-in video is all that is needed. If you think you may want to do gaming in the future you could add a dedicated graphics card then, provided the rest of the computer is up to it. If you check the mfr specs you'll see that there are PCIE slots available for a dedicated graphics card to be added.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3
 
 

Just to ADD a little to the above you should also make sure you know the wattage of the power supply, more importantly the voltage on the +12 rail(s) and also if it has preferably a 6 pin power cable. I say preferably since most dedicated cards that require one come with a dual Molex to 6 pin adapter but having a dedicated one is much better.

You can probably ask the sales person but my bet is he won't know and you would have to contact the manufactuer.
Since the only other way is to open the case and in all most every case (no pun intended) this means you would void the warranty.
Fabe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I don't think you void the warranty of a manufactured computer by opening the computer case. You can install more RAM and such without voiding the warranty.

A dedicated graphics card is not needed if you don't game.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2011   #5

Win 7 Ultimate (64-bit), Win 8 (64-bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by thefabe View Post
... Since the only other way is to open the case and in all most every case (no pun intended) this means you would void the warranty.
Fabe
I have only ever seen 1 brand of computer that the warranty was voided if you opened the case. It was some eMachines computers I saw at Best Buy a few years ago that actually had a seal applied that indicated that the warranty would be voided if the seal was broken. That is reason enough for me to never consider buying one of those. I can see that on a laptop, for instance, but not for a desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

A dedicated graphics card isn't needed, but it helps with overall system performance from watching HD video, the Aero interface, etc. It also doesn't tie up shared system memory. I've seen some 4000 series ATI radeons on sale for around $20 before, and even one of these would be a huge step up from the onboard video. You will need to make sure that the power supply has enough headroom to run the card though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 New Desktop. Why get a graphics card?





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