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Windows 7: Help choosing a graphics card?

26 May 2011   #11
JaidynM

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/Windows 8 Consumer Preview x64/Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Thanks for all of the above help. And no, I'm not a hardcore gamer but I do have games such as Portal 2 and Halo which tend to lag a lot on this computer. If this graphics card is rubbish, it would be great if anyone could think of one that is decent for gaming and as cheap as possible... I dished out most of my money on the computer and a few other items over the past couple of years (I'm a teenager by the way, not some really poor guy). Als onote that I know nothing about graphics cards apart that the two most popular ones are ATI and Nvidia. The 3 reasons I looked at this particular card was because it was cheap, had 2GB memory and it was ATI.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 May 2011   #12
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JaidynM View Post
... And no, I'm not a hardcore gamer but I do have games such as Portal 2 and Halo which tend to lag a lot on this computer. If this graphics card is rubbish, it would be great if anyone could think of one that is decent for gaming and as cheap as possible.
The 5450 was never meant to run games. They're great at what they do... I have an XFX 5450 in my htpc... but if you game at all, in any way, then you'll want a much stronger GPU.

Also, you don't need to concern yourself with the amount of RAM on a card. Because you play at such a low resolution, 1280x1024, no matter how much eye candy you apply, or how high you put your game settings, no card will ever be able to take advantage of that much onboard RAM. Knowing that is going to let you see more options and find them more attractive.

How much can you spend?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2011   #13
JaidynM

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/Windows 8 Consumer Preview x64/Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

The resolution depends on the monitor right? If it does, it doesn't matter because I'm getting a new monitor within the week. And to tell you the truth, under a 100 bucks. Doesn't have to be great but if you could find the best graphics card in that price range... I'm not fussed if it's going to be worse than all of those professional gaming card thingos, I just want to find the best that I can get. By the way, thanks Fumz. I'll be giving you some Rep at the end of this thread, as will everyone in this thread that has helped me.
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26 May 2011   #14
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It does matter; what's the new monitor's resolution?
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26 May 2011   #15
JaidynM

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/Windows 8 Consumer Preview x64/Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Hm, I'm not sure. One of my relatives works at an electronics store and therefore has quite a few monitors sitting around that he gets from the company. I'll be going this Monday to pick one; my current monitor is a bit dodgy'.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2011   #16
dothackjhe

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (desktop) / x64 (laptop)
 
 

Nvidia 9500GT / 9800GT from the Nvidia 9 series is pretty good imo. I'm not sure how they cost now with dollars and I'm not sure how the generic ones differ from the authentic ones in terms of price, but I got mine at around $60 when converted to dollar. If you're not expecting to run most games at high setting but could run most games in low or medium settings just fine, then either of those cards is right for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2011   #17
JaidynM

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/Windows 8 Consumer Preview x64/Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dothackjhe View Post
Nvidia 9500GT / 9800GT from the Nvidia 9 series is pretty good imo. I'm not sure how they cost now with dollars and I'm not sure how the generic ones differ from the authentic ones in terms of price, but I got mine at around $60 when converted to dollar. If you're not expecting to run most games at high setting but could run most games in low or medium settings just fine, then either of those cards is right for you.
Hm, thanks. I'll check them out. Also, it says that my graphics card has:
Total Available Graphics Memory - 1695MB
Dedicated Video Memory - 64MB
Shared System Memory - 1631MB

In simple terms, could someone explain this? Does that mean I can only use 64MB of it and the other 1631MB is taken out of my RAM? If it is taken out of my RAM, why do my games still lag?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2011   #18
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JaidynM View Post
Also, it says that my graphics card has:
Total Available Graphics Memory - 1695MB
Dedicated Video Memory - 64MB
Shared System Memory - 1631MB

In simple terms, could someone explain this? Does that mean I can only use 64MB of it and the other 1631MB is taken out of my RAM? If it is taken out of my RAM, why do my games still lag?
Memory Mapped Input/Output, mmio, is what you're looking at. If a graphics card has 1GB of onboard RAM, Windows will take 1GB of system RAM and reserve it for that device should that device request additional RAM. If and how that reserved RAM is used takes us beyond simple. MMIO mapping occurs first. Devices get their reserved memory before Windows, so Windows has available to it what's left over. This is why you'll often hear people with 32-bit operating systems complain that they have 4GB's of RAM but Windows only shows ~ 3.2GB's.

No, you're not getting jacked. Technically, since you're using the onboard (motherboard) video, you don't have any onboard (video card) RAM, so it must take it from system RAM and treat things "as if" you did.

Games don't suck because of lack of RAM; games suck because you're using onboard video and onboard sucks for gaming.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2011   #19
JaidynM

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/Windows 8 Consumer Preview x64/Ubuntu 11.04
 
 

Cool, thanks. So having an onboard video will not effect my computer once I get a new graphics card? And if you can, can you tell me whether the above mentioned graphics card (Nvidia 9800GT) is decent? If not, can you think of any other possible cards?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2011   #20
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The 9800GT is just a re-branded (renamed) 8800GT. They were nice cards, but they're dated. It's going to struggle with modern games; however, if you want to go that route, for roughly the same price (assuming $100.00) you can get a GTX 260. The drawback is that they're both DX10 and not DX11. Relatively speaking, they also both a bit louder than what you're currently using... not that they're loud cards, it's just that any card with a fan is going to be louder than an onboard graphics chip without a fan.
Newegg.com - PNY VCGGTX260CXXB GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-N26UD-896M GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

If you're into all the sweet DX11 visual effects, then the 6670's are in your range. They may not be able to run all games at the same fps as the 9800 or the 260, but games will look a lot better:
Newegg.com - ASUS EAH6670/DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Newegg.com - XFX HD-667X-ZHF3 Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

Imho, the most attractive card in the 100.00 range is the GTS 450: Newegg.com - EVGA 01G-P3-1351-KR GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
nVidia has a driver setting called Ambient Occlusion which is disabled by default... you must enable and select a setting, performance or quality. Many games have ambient occlusions and enabling them has a really dramatic effect on lighting... it's really nice.

ATI cards do not have this feature... and a bit off topic... Modern Warfare players are all up in arms about this setting because of its effect on smoke in game. ATI guys just see a thick white wall whereas an nVidia user with ambient occlusions enabled sees more lifelike whisps of smoke. At times smoke can be seen into, and this is at the heart of the argument... it provides an unfair advantage.

These picks were all done based on the assumption that your new monitor will be 1680x1050. If you get one that's 1920 or greater, then you're going to have to bust open that piggy bank and increase the $100.00 figure.

Anyway, here's a chart of gpu performance. Take it with a grain of salt, this is only a synthetic benchmark and so real world stuff may differ vastly. Before you buy anything, read several reviews and, more importantly, customer feedback. If a ton of guys are sayin the card sucks, you don't want any part of it.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/vi...Radeon+HD+6670
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 Help choosing a graphics card?




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