What PCI-Express card for me?

  cowgirl66 19:40 30 Jul 2007

Hi, this is fundamentally a Vista problem but it concerns XP as well so forgive me for posting in here!

I have a Gateway GT5042b computer and want to play Tomb Raider games, like Anniversary. I need to upgrade the graphics by getting a PCI-Express card. I've been told it must be a PCI-Express x16 card, whatever that means, and that it should be 32-bit to be compatible with this computer. I have searched for such a card but can't find one which is 32-bit and/or Vista compatible.

Please can someone help me as I have already asked Gateway and the technician could not recommend any particular make/model. For someone who is not graphics-knowledgable this is proving a very difficult task.

Waiting in hope... cowgirl66

  Technotiger 19:57 30 Jul 2007

Plenty of Cards to choose from, courtesy of Google -

click here

  Technotiger 19:59 30 Jul 2007

Or from these with Vista in mind ..

click here

  Technotiger 20:02 30 Jul 2007
  wjrt 20:09 30 Jul 2007

before you get the graphics update check out the power supply unit think you only have 300watt unit and high power cards are power hungry so you might need to upgrade that as well.

  umbongo(uk) 20:10 30 Jul 2007

ok cowgirl a quick lesson
i,ll keep it sweet n simple


the pci-e x 16 is the socket located on your motherboard for graphics card some boards have x1 etc as well these are for future cards not assotiated with graphics

x16 means bandwidth as in how much data is issued back and forth for applications(games)
all current pci-e gfx cards in the pci-e range use x16

32bit is the operating system
just like you can get 64bit operating systems.
dont worry about this too much as it is a piece of software ,usualy called a driver to run the card.
normally you get an installation disc with your gfx card and this will contain drivers for your operating system as well as other operating systems like xp ,98, etc the disc will usually install the correct driver for the card
you can also go to the cards manufacturing site and download the updated drivers ati/nvidia depending on which you go for. graphics drivers are an ongoing updating process this is to get more performance out of the cards

whats the budget your going for

and what size power supply do you have ie 300watts
this will be written on the side of the power supply
please check even tho the link below for what i believe to be your comp says 300watts

is this the computer you have
click here
just to make sure i got the correct one

now sit back n wait as a few guys/gals will start giving you some suggestions when we have the info

  Technotiger 20:23 30 Jul 2007

The one which I have said 'looks very good' needs a minimum PSU of 300w, but I would strongly advise you to upgrade PSU to at least 500w.

  cowgirl66 20:27 30 Jul 2007

Well first of all, let me say a big "thank you" for all these speedy replies. I have made a note of your links, Technotiger, and very good they look too.

Umbongo, thanks so much for explaining it to me. I'm new to all this PCI-E card business but you have helped me to understand a little bit more about them. Yes, that is the correct computer you have found, the GT5042b and yes it does have a PCI-Express slot on the motherboard. The power supply is 300 watts.

Hope this is the info you require? I am still not sure about the 32-bit thing though. Can I use a 64-bit graphics card? Is this what you're saying?

  umbongo(uk) 20:39 30 Jul 2007

the 32 and 64bits is the operating system
and has nothing to do with the physical graphics card it is a piece of software to make the hardware work with the operating system it is to be used with

hope this helps
say you have window vista 64 bit and you buy a 7600gt graphics card there will be a driver/software to make it work on the 64bit vista

now if we took the card out and put it in a system running 32bit vista the card would still work but you would load a diffrent driver for windows to see it

  cowgirl66 20:43 30 Jul 2007

Please leave all messages for me here and I will get straight back to this posting tomorrow morning. Any more information about this computer I will provide if I can. Just ask. All I want is to play the Lara game; I'm not wanting to play any other type of game really, it's just that this is a new computer and the last one I had (an XP)was able to play TombRaider AOD. Now I want to play Anniversary and need this PCI-Express card.

Thanks for all help, cowgirl66

  Totally-braindead 20:51 30 Jul 2007

I'm afraid you will, as the others have said, need to upgrade the power supply, 300 watts will not power any but the most basic cards. So you're looking at perhaps £100 for a pretty decent card and perhaps £50 for a good quality branded power supply. You could drop a bit on the graphics card and get something about the £70-80 mark but I wouldn't go much lower than that as in a few months time you might find your new card couldn't cope with another game you want.
I would say a 7600GT would be the minimum you should look for click here better still a 8600GT click here or better still X1950 click here that plus a power supply click here

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