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Windows 7: decent (preferably Nvidia) graphics card for <80?

28 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
decent (preferably Nvidia) graphics card for <80?

think the title says it all.... i need a betetr graphics card, but i know almost nothing about them, only requirements are it must be PCI express, and must support advanced pixel shading 2.0 (or something like that im sure you guys who know what your on about will know what i mean) and id like it to be nvidia because i have an nvidia chgipset and iv got it in my head (probably wrongly) that it will work better if its an nvidia card on an nvidia chipset....

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7

I noticed you were in the UK so I took the liberty to check a UK site for you.

Palit GeForce 9800GT 1GB 79.89 inc VAT
Gigabyte GeForce GT 240 512MB 72.85 inc VAT

Here are a couple to start you off....The 9800GT is a better card (Clockspeed and RAM) and for that price you really can't go wrong. With either card you're going to need to make sure your PSU (Power Supply) can handle it. With the 9800GT you'll need at least a 400W. With the 240 at least a 450W. If you can find a GTS 250 at a reasonable price, I'd go for that as it's a repackaged 9800GTX (Even better than the GT). To put things into perspective the 240 is basically a repackaging of the 9600.

It really depends on what you're planning to use it for of course. Is there a specific game you're aiming to play with this card? Either way, you're going to want to go with the best bang for your buck and at the moment in your price range, this is it.

Here's a little lesson for nVidia cards:

The second number in the series (8x00, 9x00, 2x0) is the most important. The first number is basically the generation. The second number tells you whether the card is a low end, mid-grade or high end card. You don't want anything below a 6 (ie. 8200, 9400, 230). They are low end cards. There are of course exceptions to the rule because nVidia stupidly rebranded using a different number scheme. For instance, the 250 is a mid-range card even though it has a number below 6. The mid-grade cards are ok for people on a budget. Some really do offer fantastic performance for their price range. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1

I'm not familiar with UK prices, but nekkidtruth's recommendation looks like a good one, from the point of view of performance. The 9800 GT has a 256 bit memory bus, rather than the GT 240's 128 bit one. (That may not matter hugely at 1280X768.)

He obviously knows a great deal more than I do about the nVidia product line, but I don't understand his PSU recommendations. The GT240 gets all its power through the PCI-E slot. EVGA ( recommends a 300W supply, with 18A available at +12V. The 9800GT uses an auxiliary 6 pin PCI-E power connection, and EVGA recommends a 400W supply (26A at +12v.) The GT250, though, wants a 450W supply, and some models new two 6 pin PCI-E auxiliary power connectors. That's rather a different creature than the DT240.

If you don't want to buy a new PSU, the GT240 is likelier work for you. You probably don't need to follow EVGA's recommendation, as that may provide margins for a system that uses more power than yours. (Your Celeron E1400, for example, is rated at a TDP of 65W.)

Are you doing this for gaming? I can't offer advice from practical experience there, but I'm not sure that the card would be a wortwhile upgrade, for a weakish system. You may be mostly CPU limited at 1280X768.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

ok thank you for that, yes i am aware that its not exactly a brilliant system for gaming, basically the problem is my girlfriend bought the sims 3, and although my system can handle it (even though the "minimum" cpu is 2.1Ghz something to do with dual core i would guess) the graphics card is... well to put it politely, it cant cope, the problem as i see it, is it needs this thing called advanced pixel shading 2.0? now i have a vuage idea what that is, but as i said graphics cards are really not my area of expertise,

so yeah the graphics card needs to be able to hand sims 3, to keep the missus happy lol, from what little i do know about graphics cards, it looks like that 9800GT is probably the right card for me, just one question, it says the memory on it is DDR3, my Ram is DDR2 will that make a difference?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by severedsolo View Post
it says the memory on it is DDR3, my Ram is DDR2 will that make a difference?
Not at all. The graphics card has it's own RAM. That's what it's referring to.

As for the Sims 3, you may see some nicer graphics but I wouldn't expect a huge boost to performance. With the 9800 graphics card your new bottleneck will be your CPU.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

well worst case scenario im buying a new pc in 6 months anyway... so the new graphics card can be ported over to that, thank you so much both of you for all your help, i have tipped both your scales

actually looking at them it will have to be the GT240... i need VGA for now, thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 7

No problem at all. Glad to help
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 decent (preferably Nvidia) graphics card for <80?

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