graphics card or not?

  hcir 19:49 08 Jul 2006


I have a dell dimension5150 with an intel pent 4 3ghz and 1gb ddr2 of ram. I have had it for about 6 months and have been very pleased with it.

I want to start playing some games on it now so i think i need a graphics card as i believe the comuter doesnt have one at present. The thing is i have no idea when it comes to these cards. It seems to be a complete minefield!!! What i dont want to do is spend my hard earned cash on a load of games and then find they wont work!!

There are no games in particular that i would like to play but looking at most recent games they require 3D cards.

My question is which card/cards are the better to purchase and im looking at around the £100 mark to spend on one.

Any advice on this subject will be much appreciated

many thanks

  keef66 20:06 08 Jul 2006

First find out if your motherboard has an AGP graphics slot or a PCI-express one to fit the graphics card in to.

For £100 youre looking at a 6600GT (Nvidia) card
or an X800GTO (ATI) card

  Jackcoms 20:19 08 Jul 2006

"i need a graphics card as i believe the comuter doesnt have one at present."

According to this, it has a card click here Which did you choose when you bought the PC?

  GaT7 20:57 08 Jul 2006

It could be integrated graphics too:

"...Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 or PCI Express video cards..." - from Jackcoms link. The former is integrated, & the motherboard has a PCI-E slot.

I would open the case & have a look to see what's in there. Make sure to disconnect the power cord from the PC before doing so. G

  hcir 07:25 09 Jul 2006

think it is only a pci express card accepted.

The computer was a gift. looking at the back of the computer there is no graphics card there in a pci slot. must have been an option when it was purchased and standard now

Have found some information on graphics on the has intel graphics media accelerator driver it says maximum graphics memory 224mb!!!
anybody know if this is any good or not????

  keef66 11:09 10 Jul 2006

You have onboarg graphics which use up to 224mb system ram. Not good for games.

You do need a graphics card, in PCI-express flavour which gives you a wider choice.

I looked on the Ebuyer website
click here
clicked on graphics cards, and searched by price.

Around your budget I'd recommend:

6600GT from £75
X800GTO from £95
7600GS from £95
7600GT from £130
X1800GTO from £130

If I had your pc I'd steal the extra cash and get the 7600GT

  keef66 11:10 10 Jul 2006

onboarg? onboard.

  Totally-braindead 12:45 10 Jul 2006

For value for money the GeForce 6600 GT is good value. It really depends how much you want to spend. As an example the 6600 GT will play most games no problem at medium settings. Naturally the more you spend the better you get. The 7600 cards are of course a bit newer and better.

  hcir 17:54 10 Jul 2006

Been looking at the 7600 GT that keef66 recommended. There are many types in this catagory such as gigabyte, asustek, gainward, MSI to name a few. They also vary in price but also slightly in spec. they also have budget ranges too which are cheaper still. Is it worth paying a bit more or save the money and get the budget choice????

  Totally-braindead 18:11 10 Jul 2006

As you say there is a slight difference in things like clock speeds. But the difference is slight. Personally I like branded cards as I consider them to be made of better quality components. I have had a lot of bother with graphics cards but all with non branded cheaper ones. I would buy something like MSI or any of the others you mention. I have a 7600GS at the moment. I bought it because the 6600GT I had failed and they didn't have the replacement in stock. This is the one I bought click here It is meant to be the replacement for the 6600GT and is a tiny bit faster. One thing I did have a problem with was the temperature in my case due to this having no fan. The card ran at upto 85 degrees and the manufacturer said that was a bit hot considering I hadn't used the overclocking facilities. I put in a better case fan and now it runs at about the 65 degree mark, much better.
I haven't needed to use the overclocking facilities and have no intention of doing so. The reason I bought this card was it was only £15 dearer than the stock card. Ran faster and I thought that due to it being designed to overclock the components might be better quality.
I may be wrong on the quality of the components they may be exactly the same but that is what I was thinking.
In practise the card runs at least as well as the 6600GT it replaced, I honestly think you would only notice a difference in a benchmark program. All I can say is its a good card but as I said I had to replace the case fan as it was getting a bit hot. If you are concerned about this just get a graphics card with a fan rather than a passive heatsink.

  keef66 23:46 10 Jul 2006

don't go for the cheaper own brand cards eg Dabs value etc. Go for a known brand like MSI or the others you mention

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