Cheap good graphics card

  Rhuddlan 18:23 01 Nov 2005

My friend's son has moved his PC into his grandma's house as he stays there most nights, he hasn't got an internet connection as he users the comp for homework and playing games. He needs a new graphics card though, at the mo his card is only 32Mb the comp is a three year old e machines which has win xp home sp2 and is pretty fast for it's age. I personally think he should get a 64 or even 128Mb card?, not sure about the make or model though? Their budget is limited and I don't want to the comp to get too hot if it's a new card in a farily old comp?! Hope someone can advise? Thanks in advance.

  Rhuddlan 19:35 01 Nov 2005

Sorry to be so impatient, but ideally we would like to get the card ASAP! as crimbo will soon be here, thanks in advance.

  Cybermaxx 20:32 01 Nov 2005

Well, what sort of card are you after? PCI or AGP? What sort of budget do you have? How good is the power supply in this PC?

Assuming it's AGP, and he wants to play the very latest games, and his psu is good enough, and your budget isn't huge (a lot of assumptions there!)......

Either a nVidia 6600, 6600GT, 6800 (not the LE model!), ATI X700 (this is the least powerful card I would buy nowadays), X700 Pro, X800GT, X800XL.

128MB, or possibly 256MB if the difference in price is minimal.

Some more info. would be useful!

  Cybermaxx 20:46 01 Nov 2005

okay, I'll use Overclockers to illustrate my post. It isn't the cheapest place to buy from, but it's clearly set out.

The third one down (X700 128MB, £58) is the least powerful card I would consider buying

click here

The first card on this page (6800 128MB) would be a good buy for the price

click here

  Rhuddlan 21:12 01 Nov 2005

Don't know much about graphics cards, what's the difference between PCI & AGP? Haven't got a clue what the power supply is like, how would I find that out? Not sure about the budget, yet! He is only 11 yrs old and wants to play very recent games, fighting and racing car ones to be more precise, thanks in advance.

  Cybermaxx 21:31 01 Nov 2005

If your motherboard doesn't have an AGP (accelerated graphics port) slot, you'll be limited to PCI video cards, which aren't very good (with one possible exception). AGP is currently being phased out in favour of PCI Express, but your three year old computer won't have that, so we'll forget about it!

Power supply? Only way to find that out is to open the case and have a look at the label on the unit itself.

Which video card do you have fitted now, btw?

  Rhuddlan 21:37 01 Nov 2005

I'm not quite sure, will know more tomz when I go and check, think it is a ATI I know it's only 32Mb anyway, will report back tomz, and many thanks for the help so far.

  Cybermaxx 21:40 01 Nov 2005

Hopefully, others will contribute to this topic!

Btw, be wary of PC World when buying video cards, because their prices are absolutely sky high.

  Rhuddlan 21:44 01 Nov 2005

I know, we intend to buy off the net, I hate PC World with a passion, cheers mate!

  GaT7 22:45 01 Nov 2005

Rhuddlan, as Cybermaxx was enquiring, you guys first need to determine the spec of the PC - mainly the motherboard (to determine if it'll take an AGP or PCI-based card), CPU, amount of memory already installed & power supply (PSU) wattage.

You'll need to download, install & run the free Everest (click here) on his PC if he/you haven't a clue.

Based on the *spec*, *budget* & the *games* he intends playing (please tell us *these*), we could then suggest suitable graphics card(s) that could be used in the system to get the best performance. If you guys will consider a secondhand card off eBay we may be able to get a better spec card for the budget.

If he can tell us the e-Machines model number or provide a link, that would be a start...

The more info you provide the better we'll be able to advise you. G

  Rhuddlan 20:08 02 Nov 2005

Hi Guys thanks, managed to get some more info tonight, but not anything on the power supply. It's an e machines 750, the BIOS is an Award Modular v 6.00PG. The processor is an Intel Pentimun 4 1.70Ghz and has 256Mb RAM. Direct X 9.0b is currentley installed as the card doesn't support 9.0c, the current card is a SiS 650_740 with 32Mb. Will download that progam run it on the comp and get back to u all tomz nite at around this time as I work all day so don't have time to get in front of the comp until 8ish. Thanks again and take care all.

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