I want to upgrade my graphics/video card

  Murdogers 21:16 09 Oct 2007

hey guys im new to pc advisor so hello!:)

Well i recently purchased The Orange Box and my computer cannot handle the graphics. i was on overclockers and seem some quite good 256mb's for about £80-90

the problem is that i don't know if they are compatible with my motherboard. anyone able to help me or can tell me what i should look for?

Bus Clock: 200 megahertz
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 080012 05/04/2005

i have been looking at theses following cards

OcUK ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB GDDR3 HDTV/DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail

HIS ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT ICEQ Turbo 512MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail

i have currently got a 128mb graphics card. whcih i am looking to go higher about 256 or 512 if possible within about the range 100, lower price would be nice.

  Armchair 22:26 09 Oct 2007

Yup, you want a PCIe card.

This is cheap enough, and is a solid choice:-

click here

£67 delivered.

  Armchair 22:26 09 Oct 2007

Hope your power supply is reasonably good, btw.

  Totally-braindead 22:37 09 Oct 2007

That is an excellent card for the money that Armchair has found you, well worth buying. He makes a valid point about the power supply though. I would look inside your PC at the power supply, there will be a label on it and you need to check the wattage. If its too low you might need to replace it as well as it might not be able to provide enough power.

  keef66 12:29 10 Oct 2007

don't go running away with the idea that a 512mb card is necessarily better than a 256mb one. What matters most is the graphics chip. Look at the VGA charts on Tom's Hardware to compare them

  Vaughn123 13:20 10 Oct 2007

I just bought two HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR4 cards and crossfired it. I am very happy with it but think the nvidia 7900GT, which I have on my other PC is a bit more vibrant/colourful. What I really like to know though is what partical difference is there between the Radeon X1950 and Radeon HD 2600?

  I am Spartacus 13:24 10 Oct 2007

The Radeon 2600 gives DirectX® 10 gaming performance support and possibly hardware processed 1080p video.

  Murdogers 15:14 10 Oct 2007

thanks guys for replying so fast! :)

the link that armchair gave me has said that it is not currently available, so should i look for that pecific card?

or am i able to go and get another one like it?

  Armchair 19:14 10 Oct 2007

It's not available because it was in their Clearance section, and they only had one card for sale! They sell fast when they're that price. Plenty more X1950 cards available, though not perhaps quite as cheap as that one was.

Which card should you buy? That really depends on how good your PC is (ie your CPU, RAM, and power supply), and how much you are prepared to spend on a graphics card.

Basically, though, for PCIe without spending a fortune:-

Radeon X2900 Pro for about £170, or nVidia 8800 GTS 320 for about £180. These DX10 cards may well be worth the extra cash, because their performance is way ahead of the rest of the field.

Radeon X1950 Pro/XT, and nVidia 7950 GT/7900 GS. Slower DX9, but if you don't want to spend so much (eg the £67 one I linked to), they could be a wise purchase. I certainly wouldn't opt for anything slower than the 7900GS, regardless of what you decide to buy.

As for the mid range DX10 cards (ie The 2600XT and 8600 GT/GTS)........ I dunno! From what I've seen of their benchmarks, they aren't any better/are worse than the older DX9 cards I list above. I can't imagine any of them been able to run DX10 games proper at any great frame rate.

Any questions, fire away! So many different cards on sale atm.........

  Murdogers 19:29 10 Oct 2007

thanks, have about £200 to spend but im wanting to spend about £100.

here is my specs:

Bus Clock: 200 megahertz
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 080012 05/04/2005

Graphics:ATI RADEON XPRESS 200 Series
processor:2.20 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache

anything else need to be known?

i'm looking for a card which would be great for games, especially modern ones, i am not looking to crossfire. i am needing an upgrades desperately as i purchased orange box and it cant see all the walls or floors or buildings.

thanks for the help so far!

  Armchair 20:01 10 Oct 2007

In that case there's no point in recommending high end cards, and you could just squeeze an 8600 GTS (with the free delivery option!):-

click here

or spend less and opt for a slower but adequate for your purposes X2600 or 8600 GT:-

click here

click here

or go for a different X1950 Pro (with a larger but better cooler than the £67 one I linked to before):-

click here

and here's the last one I linked to in a group test (AGP version, but same card):-

click here

Btw, 512MB is wasted on the above cards. It won't provide better frame rates in games. That's why I didn't bother listing any 512MB versions.

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