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Old 09-19-2011, 07:04 PM   #1
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Default I want a video card. What should I buy

I have this oldish desktop. I hardly use it. Its about 4 years old. I do occasionally play even older video games. I recently got my hands on an old copy of microsoft flight simulator X and have been playing that. Trouble is if I crank up the video settings it slows down a fair bit and I get alot of pop up in the scenery.

I upgraded the RAM on this computer a couple of months ago and couldn't believe how cheap this has become. I only added a pair of 2gb chips but that was upgrading from 1gb total. Think I paid a little over 20 for it, New.

Working on the assumption that I am trying to play a 6 year old game on a 4 year old machine I presume a video card upgrade can be done for not much money as well? Sort of upgrade it to what was cutting edge 5 years ago?

I know nothing about this. RAM upgrades and ethernet cards are all I have ever done inside a PC so school me. Its a Dell Inspiron 530 with a 2gb processer.

Last edited by Blaize; 09-19-2011 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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Working one the assumption that I am trying to play a 6 year old game on a 4 year old machine I presume a video card upgrade can be done for not much money as well? Sort of upgrade it to what was cutting edge 5 years ago?
That's pretty close to how I've always operated. Maybe not 5 years, but 2 or 3 for certain.

Your computer has one PCI express x16 connector, at the 1.0A standard. The currently-popular standards are 2.0 and 2.1, however most (but not all) cards build to this standard will be backwards-compatible with 1.0A. The key specification to look for is PCI express x16.

That said, just about any video card available today will work in this PC. How fancy you want to get here depends mostly on how much you want to spend. Different folks have different favorite chipsets, though I expect that just about anything in the ~50 range would get you where you need to be.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:46 PM   #3
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I'd recommend:


$50-$75 range: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130609
$75-$100 range: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121442
$100-$200 range: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130566

I've actually got the gtx 460 myself, the fermi chips are a good bump in performance vs the older. Don't need to buy the superclocked versions, you can overclock it yourself with free software.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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Does it have a PCI-E slot?
If it doesnt I wouldnt even bother with it.
If it does I would look for a good used card, like perhaps an 8800 GT

No reason to get a good new GPU with an old rig like that.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:25 PM   #5
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Does it have a PCI-E slot?
Reading comprehension fail.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:29 PM   #6
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Express = E
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:58 PM   #7
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I have a 8800 GTS 320MB I could sell you in a few days when my new card gets here. Being in the UK, though, it's probably not worth the shipping.

Any of the cards flier posted should work. Personally, I'd get the newest card you can afford, that way you're not in the same predicament if a cool game you wanna play comes out later this year.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:30 AM   #8
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Reading comprehension fail.
I dont see anywhere in his post where he mentions whether or not he has one...
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:53 AM   #9
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I dont see anywhere in his post where he mentions whether or not he has one...
He said it in the last line:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaize
Its a Dell Inspiron 530
It took about 60 seconds on Google to find out that the Inspiron 530 has one PCI-Express 1.0A x16 slot. I then posted this in post #2.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
He said it in the last line:It took about 60 seconds on Google to find out that the Inspiron 530 has one PCI-Express 1.0A x16 slot. I then posted this in post #2.
pffft
Who the **** uses Google? Its all about that Bing, yo
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:02 PM   #11
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Perez you are the person I was expecting to answer this and it sounds like you seem to understand what I am looking for so I will go off searching for one.

While I can appreciate that some of you are suggesting I get the best I can afford, I am much happier to spend 50 and get "pretty good" rather than blow 200 on "the best". As I say I don't do much gaming on this thing, and what I do is always a few years out of date (that way they have all been reviewed to death and all the patches are done, so I know what to buy, and it works when I do). Not to mention, a bit of googling on the subject leads me to beleive that I would have to upgrade the Power supply as well to run a completely modern card and I have no interest in going that far.

Thanks for all the input though
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:38 PM   #12
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Perez you are the person I was expecting to answer this and it sounds like you seem to understand what I am looking for so I will go off searching for one.
Well, to be honest I know virtually nothing about fancy graphics chipsets. My own machine at home has the absolute cheapest video card in it which I could find at the time I built the machine. (I think I paid around $25 for it.) Playing Portal 2 at the highest detail levels gets quite choppy, even though the computer itself is a quad-core i5 with 8 GB of RAM.

However, bus standards are pretty easy, and we're fortunate in that things have been relatively stable for the past many years. Once PCIe x16 displaced AGP and became the de-facto universal standard for video cards, that was pretty much the end of incompatibility.

So, long story short, pretty much any PCIe x16 card will work in your system, and you can safely assume that performance will increase as a function of .


As an aside, do you know how annoying it is to type on a US keyboard? We don't have that character available. You have to hold down the Alt key and then type 0163 on the keypad. I'd like to propose that the UK (and the EU, for that matter) adopt one of the following symbols to represent their currency: ^ * # % & (those are the ones we can type easily and which aren't already in use.)

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Old 09-20-2011, 06:43 PM   #13
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I've just done something similar on my Dell E521.

Bought a ~50 gfx card and it's allowed my to play some of the latest games again. Not at full res/effects, but perfectly reasonably.

Was a nice shot in the arm for the PC
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:59 PM   #14
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UK keyboards come with both $ and . But I am an American and brought a couple of laptops over with me so I feel you pain. In fact I didn't even think to find out how to do it with the wrong keyboard and just type out the word Pounds.

Given what it takes to get the symbol, I think I will stick with my method.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:53 PM   #15
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UK keyboards come with both $ and . But I am an American and brought a couple of laptops over with me so I feel you pain.
I notice that you guys also typically get the AltGr key. I wonder why this is never present on North American keyboards? Are Canericans too dumb to grasp the concept?
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:08 AM   #16
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go big or go home! get a radeon 6990.

just know this card will be bottlenecked by your cpu though
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