Buying a new graphics card

  roger01 14:45 25 Aug 2007

Hi, I am interested in buying a new graphics card for my PC but I dont know which one to get.

I have 2 PCI card connectors and one AGP (with a power connector). My current card is an SiS 741. I would like a new card that has high fps and can generally handle gaming on moderate to high resolutions. Does anyone have one that springs to mind (i'm prepared to spend slightly over £100)?

Also i've opened up my computer and cant see the graphics card in any slot (its location is, according to device manager, PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0). If it is therefore somehow built in, when installing a new one do I just remove the cards driver or is there a more complicated procedure?

Thanks, Roger

  brundle 15:07 25 Aug 2007

SIS741 is most likely a built-in graphics chip. Not much around for AGP these days, as I only know NVidia numbers I would suggest a Geforce 7 card of some description, though you need to be sure your power supply is up to the task, 350watts minimum. For some cards, the amperage available on the 12 volt rail is important too - you can read the details on the side of your power supply.

click here

7600GS range are fairly capable, it depends on your other hardware as to what element of your setup becomes the bottleneck, if your PC is lowish spec then a powerful graphics card won't perform at its best.

Check your PC specs; click here

  45 Mart 17:37 25 Aug 2007

If you're prepared to spend just over £100 quid, how about something like this.

click here

  roger01 20:13 25 Aug 2007

How do I check the amperage on the 12 volt rail (i'm guessing the 'rail' is the power connector on the system board)? I couldn't see any details on the side of my power supply, except for 230v above where it goes into my computer (no wattage).

Tbh i'd rather not spend £100, its just that someone told me that i'd need to spend that much to get anything decent. And although the Sapphire X1950PRO that was linked by 45 Mart (thanks for the post) looks awesome could I run games on a decent resolution/fps with this (at half the price):

click here

If so will it run on Windows XP?

  45 Mart 20:45 25 Aug 2007

I have a Radeon X1650Pro (Sapphire), and for the money, I don't think its a bad card. Slotted into the AGP port running 2 tft's using Xp SP2.

  Totally-braindead 21:42 25 Aug 2007

The best AGP card as far as I know is the one 45 Mart gave you a link to.

There will be a label on your power supply (inside the case) and it will state the wattage. I haven't seen one without the label.

If its an unbranded power supply the chances are it will need replaced.

  brundle 22:27 25 Aug 2007

420w PSU for the 1650, the same or more for the others linked to.

  roger01 00:37 26 Aug 2007

It says 400W max on the side of the power supply, does it matter if I go 20 over?

  roger01 10:34 26 Aug 2007

I also don't mind if its a PCI card, like I said in my original post I have two slots for those as well, whatever you think would be best for me.

  Totally-braindead 11:17 26 Aug 2007

Dear me, PCI cards are totally different from PCI Express and they are very poor.
You have an AGP slot so that is the card you want, not PCI not PCI Express you want an AGP card. Forget all about the PCI thing.

If it says 400 watts on your power supply then you are 20 watts under not over. If you had a 800 watt power supply it would be fine, it does not mean a 800 watt power supply gives out 800 watts all the time it means it can give out upto 800 watts if required. The power supply provides the power the bits on your computer ask for if that makes any sense.

Back to your case. You need an AGP graphics card and you have a 400 watt power supply. If the graphics card you choose needs a higher rated power supply then you will need to replace it, its as simple as that. Or you choose a graphics card thats not quite as good but will work on your 400 watt power supply. Thats your choices.

  Totally-braindead 11:43 26 Aug 2007

And I just thought of something else. You haven't actually said what speed your processor is and how much memory you have. If your computer is rather old then theres no point getting a very powerful card as the processor wouldn't be fast enough to make use of it, if you have a reasonably fast processor then that of course is entirely different.

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