How to pick a graphics card, and install it?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Aijelsop, Feb 4, 2012.

Feb 4, 2012
  1. Aijelsop
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    Newcomer Aijelsop Question Asker

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    I know nothing about graphics cards. I want a new one, one that lets me play games WITHOUT having to lower everything to the lowest setting. I don't care for the highest quality, but one that can get me smooth gameplay on games. I am looking for a card within $75-130 but it has to play games without lag. Like said, I don't want a $700 card because I don't need super high quality, just decent no lag quality.

    Here is my comp/specs: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02642273&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&product=5059059#N327

    I have some questions: (because I'm a noob)

    1. My computer has integrated graphics and on the site it says:
    Does this mean I can't install a new graphics card? (probably a dumb question)

    2. Can I even install a new graphics card on my computer?

    Does anyone have a guide (noob friendly) that teaches me how to find out everything I need to know (which slots and stuff I need, like PCI express or whatever), like which card to buy, how to install it? I know nothing about how to do any of this.

    Help appreciated.
     


  2. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    1. You can install a new graphics card on your PC, all that means is you can't use both at the same time.

    2. You will NOT be able to get a new graphics card with your current PSU. I would suggest getting a whole new case and 600w PSU along with the graphics card. You could also use any old case you find (as long as your motherboard fits in it) so then you don't have to spend as much money.

    EDIT: I myself used to have an HP Slimline PC, so I kinda know what you're going through.
     
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  3. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    PSU+Case bundles are usually "quite nasty" compared to just boxed PSU's, which would probably be a better idea. Quality > Quantity, but except that, perfect answer to both questions.
     
  4. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    Yeah, wasn't mentioning get it as a bundle just...get new ones haha.
     
  5. Berthenk

    Member Berthenk Epitome of Awesomeness

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    Getting a high end graphics card wouldn't do you any good anyway, because the CPU sucks. I've got the same one and it necks my 6950 a lot.
    I would suggest saving up more and buying/building a new PC. That way you won't have to deal with a shitty motherboard, PSU and case.
    Actually, looking at the PSU in that thing, I think adding a GPU might fry your computer.
     
  6. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Ok, I'll re-explain everything here that I mentioned in the other thread.

    You have a Slimline PC. It comes with a 220W PSU and integrated graphics. To upgrade the graphics, you need a "low profile" graphics card (it means it's much slimmer than normal graphics cards) and to upgrade your power supply in order to be able to supply enough power for an actual graphics card.

    Alternatively, you can buy a new case (e.g. Antec 100) and a new PSU (e.g. Corsair Builder 600W or Antec TruePower 650W) and then get any graphics card you can afford (doesn't need to be "low profile" because the new case can fit full-size graphics cards).
     
  7. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Uhm... what? I have II X2 240 myself and it's perfectly fine?

    The days when the CPU had any relevance in gaming are long gone - if you have a good GPU you're pretty much set.
     
  8. olleb

    Newcomer olleb Advanced Member

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    Wrong!
    if you have a quad core cpu, you should be fine, but a dual core cpu combined with a high end graphics card will will create a bottle neck. (you will not get 100% out of your graphics card because the rest of your components wont let you)

    i you would like a cheap quad core cpu i recomend a amd phenom II x4, you wou want a little more a amd phenom II x6, or if you want more than that i would recomend intel i5 2300k, if 2400k or i5 2500k. (i7 2600k is not worth the money if you ask me)
     
  9. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    The OP doesn't want to get 100% out of the graphics card, he wants to nullify lag as cheaply as possible.

    Moreover, quad cores are not 100% necessary for gaming and the CPU is the least of your worries when it comes to GPU performance, you should probably be more bothered by your mother board and how it deals with PCI-E buses.

    EDIT: I see that you recommended Intel processors aswell... which is weird, because the mother board will only accept AM2+ processors, and that would be Phenoms if he chooses to upgrade.
     
  10. olleb

    Newcomer olleb Advanced Member

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    i was reffering to what you wrote foxi :)

    if you want a example on what card to buy,
    buy a nvidia GT450, but i dont think that CPU can use 100% of the graphics card. the graphics card is not the newest, so it will pob not be that expensive.
    :)
     
  11. Majorami
    This message by Majorami has been removed from public view by a moderator, Dec 6, 2016.
    Feb 5, 2012
  12. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    In that case let me clarify.

    OBVIOUSLY a high-end GPU won't lead you to gaming heaven - CPU's are constantly upgraded for a reason. What I had in mind though is that if someone is NOT interested in maximum settings on everything, is not particularily bothered by a smaller resolution and just want to switch from 40FPS to 60FPS then "just the GPU" is a good upgrade IMO.

    How does that sound?
     
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  13. olleb

    Newcomer olleb Advanced Member

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    no offence taken and i hope no given, i just wanted to clearify to some people who might not know that the cpu plays a part. it might have sounded like you said, that it did not. and when i think back, im not sure why i said wrong, it is truth in what you said. however, im off to bed too make sure i dont create anymore misunderstandings. :)
     
  14. Aijelsop
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    Newcomer Aijelsop Question Asker

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    Thanks, this is really the answer I was looking for.

    Anyway, after reading all your posts, I think I'm pretty sure I'll never get a new graphics card. Rofl.
    My next bet is to buy a new pc or build a good one. :P Time to save up.
    Thanks anyway.
     
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  15. matt1freek

    Member matt1freek GBAtemp Fan

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    I say save up about 600-700 and look in a pc magazine for a buget gaming machine build walkthrough. they run those fairly often and it would be a good way to learn how to make your own build.
    Plus you get a nice sense of accomplishment. :)
    Oh and then you can just make your old pc a emulator/media pc if you can connect it to your tv.
     
  16. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    I managed to make my own decent PC for a little under $400, if you shop around Newegg for DIY deals or just by picking and choosing various parts out you could build one for a lot cheaper than pre-built. If I were you I'd just save up a bit, around $500 and you should be good to play any new games and games to be release for a few years on high-medium settings.
     
  17. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Just saying, no gaming PC has to be quad core. In fact, certain games run better in dual core CPUs with higher clock speeds because only the more recent games are coded to take advantage of multiple cores. As an example, if you had a 16-core AMD CPU with each core clocked at 1.4Ghz and a dual core Intel CPU clocked at 3.5Ghz... Guess which would perform better in most games. The 3.5Ghz CPU.

    Also, gaming performance is largely dependant on the strength of the graphics card. The CPU does the maths in the game (e.g. Calculating damage, AI routines, scripting events, loading data into memory, etc) whilst the graphics card draws everything as fast as possible (vectors, shadings, polygons, textures, rendering, post process effects, etc) in order to get the high framerates. If the CPU is slow, objects just move slowly, but if the graphics card is slow, the entire screen gets jumpy and laggy.

    Not everything I said was accurate, but at least it gives you an idea. Btw, aside from having a power supply strong enough for a graphics card and making sure your case has the room for it, upgrading and installing graphics is easy. You just find the port. Stick it in, stick a screw or two in, and attatch any power cables required. It's almost like sticking a Nintendo game cart into a pre-GameCube console.
     
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  18. Aijelsop
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    Newcomer Aijelsop Question Asker

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    I'd do this, except I don't know how to start building one. I don't know what parts fit in and are compatible with other ones.
    :P
     
  19. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    It's pretty simple, just look for some guides around online! Although...now that you say something I might be inclined on making one myself...
     
  20. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    You explained what I had in mind in great detail. The "Quad-Core Days" are still ahead of us and even the "Bottlenecking" effect is not all that much apparent. A good motherboard coupled with a good GPU and a mediocre CPU wouldn't have results "all that worse" then if it was equipped with a quad-core simply because applications nowadays are still designed for the "maruders" that did not yet swap.

    Not entirely agreeing with the Ghz though - they don't matter all that much. What matters are the MIPS and FLOPS of a given unit. If Ghz mattered, I wouldn't have to switch from my 3,2 Ghz Pentium IV for a long, long time. It's just that the applications make use of two cores, mostly.

    It's all fun and dandy to have a quad core, but it's definatelly not a necessity yet.
     
  21. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I only put Ghz in the example to emphasise the point. What's actually important in CPUs is IPS (Instructions per Second, iirc) which is a truer measure of processing strength (e.g. comparing the IPS of Pentium D and Sandy Bridge Core i5 shows a huge improvement... the same can be seen with Intel over AMD). Ghz do matter, but not as much as marketing makes you think. For graphics cards, I think it was FLOPS that matter (I remember seeing the 4870X2 advertised for having 1.6 teraFLOPS or something).

    Also, there ARE games that run better on quad core (and I think there were some that can actually make use of hexacore or HyperThreading) but they are still rare.
     
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