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New Graphics Card

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
I recently tried to buy the new Sim City game for my PC but sadly by PC which didn't come with the greatest GFX Card to begin with said that I needed a new one.

I have just upgraded my Ram to 4GB and I have a decent Quad Core processor so I see no reason if I get a decent card I should not be able to play decent games. I am basing my system upgrades on graphic engine that will be able to help with the MW game.

I am currently running a GeForce 8400 and am looking for something that can play the following games:

Just Cause 2
COD Modern Warfare 3
Sim City

I am also after a card that could support two monitors with the idea of having wither two 19 inch monitors or my 19 inch monitor and a 17 inch monitor. I am going to start doing some research but I wondered if anyone knew of any good ones? Back in the day AMD & Nvdia were at each others throats but I am not sure how it stands these days.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Having had the following video cards in my computer at some point in time, I feel qualified to speak on this.

IBM VGA card (this was in my first computer, it had 512kb :lol:)
GeForce 800
Radeon 7800
Radeon 9800
GeForce 6200
Radeon X800XT Pro
GeForce 8800 GT
GeForce 8800 GTX
GeForce 9400 GS
Radeon 5870HD (mobile)
GeForce GTX 560 Superclocked
Radeon 7970 GHZ (my current card, it's 12" long, takes 500w, and it's beautiful, running 3x1080p displays)

If you ever want to have the potential to drive 3 or more displays, certainly AMD is the way to go. Nvidia is a great contender for those that only want 1 or 2 displays. (AMD and Nvidia cards will have similar performance running 1 or 2 displays though. Some people do have issues with AMD drivers, I haven't had all that many, certainly not more than I had with Nvidia. I like both AMD and Nvidia so hopefully I can give you some unbiased opinions.

Need for you to answer a few questions before I can make any sort of assessment.

What is your budget for this endeavor?
What case are you using? (If you don't know, describe the air intakes and fan setup)
What is the wattage on your power supply?
How much space do you have inside your case to fit this new card?
Is HDMI/DVI availability important to you? Which setup would you prefer?
 
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sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
What is your budget for this endeavor?

I am willing to spend up to 150 pounds but I would ideally like to not spend over 100

What case are you using? (If you don't know, describe the air intakes and fan setup)

I am currently using a Midtower case

What is the wattage on your power supply?

I honestly have no idea :) However I can check if needs be

How much space do you have inside your case to fit this new card?

The last time I took my PC apart there did seem to be enough room for a bigger card without too much worry for space

Is HDMI/DVI availability important to you? Which setup would you prefer?

To be honest HDMI is not that important to me, I only just entered the world of HDMI last year when I got a new tv, before that I was using (saying in a hushed tone) a Scart Cable :lol:
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Wattage is very important. It can really damage your computer to use a card that requires more wattage than your computer can supply (this includes killing your power supply, the video card, PCIe lane (which is a real nightmare)), or if you're lucky the card just won't work. These occurrences are usually not covered by warranty.

Do you have a side air intake on your machine? (or a top exhaust?) Case cooling is another major factor in deciding on the right graphics card.

k, so that's about $150-$230 in American money (Just for my own personal reference)

It'd probably be best to open up your computer (you don't even have to turn it off) and measure exactly how much space you have. (and check the wattage while you're at it, it should just be written on the side of the power supply, maybe give me the brand as well so I have an idea of the quality). Some cards these days can get very large and it's best to be safe than sorry.
 

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
I have been able to find out the name of the PC that I am currently using so hopefully this will be of help: Acer Aspire M5100
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Just to make sure. It's this one? (Acer Aspire M5100 Review - Desktops - CNET Reviews)

I'm sorry. I'm going to have to ask for you to remove the side panel and give me a reading on that power supply. The internet is telling me anything ranging from 250 watts (which is absurdly low) to 575 watts (which will be much safer).
 

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
Thats me and it is not a problem, I will remove the side panel at some point this week and get the PSU wattage :)
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I've tracked down a few cards. Definitely a lot more where this came from.

I like this one. It's not really over the top, but it's got 2GB GDDR5 VRAM at 128-bit (though 256 bit would be better, of this there is no doubt). Certainly it should be able to handle your games far better than the 8400. GIGABYTE GV-N650OC-2GI GeForce GTX 650 2GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Newegg.com

If you're willing to spend a bit more then there's this one. It's 2GB at 256-bit. My only concern is that your case may be too small to fit it, just need to check. (it's also going to need at least a 500w power supply)
SAPPHIRE 100355L Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Newegg.com


One important question I did not ask before. Do your monitors run off of VGA or DVI?
 
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dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
The card looks ok, the Gigabyte that I posted has a similar form factor and it's actually cheaper with a much larger amount of memory.

Both cards are a 650 but the Gigabyte has a much faster clock speed.

We don't have KFA brand here in the States as far as I am aware. Is that a UK brand or something?

Anyway the Gigabyte is actually a much more powerful card for less money, if there's any way that you can get your hands on that, some products aren't available in other countries. (I'd check ebay or Amazon if anything I post isn't available where you live). Certainly there is nothing wrong with the KFA though, it looks like a good and reliable card.
 
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