Graphics Card Upgrade - Microsoft FSX

  Pres5290 00:41 16 Oct 2006

I own a computer with the following specifications and would like advice on a graphics card upgrade:

Computer: HP Pavillion t370
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3000MHz
Memory (RAM): 1GB
Operating System: Windows XP SP2
Monitor: Philips 170N4 17 Inch - Max 1280x1024 Pixels/75Hz
Current Video Card: Nvidia GeForce FX 5600

Due to the purchase of the new MS Flight Simulator X, and the importance of my gaming without lagging, I believe I need an upgraded graphics card? I believe my other computer specifications are ok, making just the graphics card upgrade necessary?

What type/cost/price of graphics card would be suitable for my computer/monitor and will also prevent lagging in my gaming?

Many thanks for your help!

  GaT7 01:36 16 Oct 2006

Your spec seems fine - see sys reqs at click here. Perhaps something else needs tweaking?

Try posting your query at a specialist FSX forum like click here. G

  GaT7 01:43 16 Oct 2006

If it turns out to be the g'card, this XFX 6600GT 128Mb AGP click here for under £55 delivered should do the job nicely without breaking the bank ; ) G

  Pres5290 01:49 16 Oct 2006

Cheers Crossbow - I certainly exceed all the minimum specifications!
The AGP card that you have suggested is the same 128Mb as the integrated one i have got now. So will it work much better? (Sorry - Im a novice!). It is a AGP slot I have I think?

Will increasing my RAM from 1gb to 2gb or up to 4gb make any difference as well? I have two slots left (after 2 512MB Ram in first two slots). Thanks!

  Totally-braindead 02:31 16 Oct 2006

You could upgrade the RAM I suppose but its not really necessary and I don't think it will make that much difference. The graphics card probably will as when Microsoft brought out their last sim, forgot the name for the moment, the requirements they listed were ridiculously low. I know someone who had a graphics card quite a bit above what they had down as the minimum requirements, and the rest of the computer was way above the specs too, and it didn't play worth a damn.
I'm willing to bet whats listed is the minimum and if you have a computer with the minimum it'll hardly be playable.
It really depends if it is the graphics card that is causing the lag. I suspect it is as the rest of your specs seem fine. You could check to see what programs are running in the background and shut them down, its worth a try anyway. Also defrag the hard drive.
The 6600GT is last generation and that is why its so cheap BUT its a huge improvement over the 5600 which was an excellent card in its day. I had one about 3 years ago. If you can spend a bit more and want to do so then could I suggest either a 7600GS or a 7600GT slightly newer and faster than the 6600GT but even if you go for the 6600 you should be really pleased and notice the difference.

  Pres5290 10:58 16 Oct 2006

Thanks TB! The Defrag and background has been done, so still looking at the hardware. I take your point about the new cards. Would be happy to purchase the 7600 GS or GT but some one on another forum is now saying that my CPU is too slow and that I need a new motherboard for a PCI Express card? Any ideas why anyone? This is getting all confusing!

Also, at what level AGP graphics card for my computer will cause a bottleneck? - another term on these forums!

Many thanks!

  Rigga 11:09 16 Oct 2006

There are some comments about the spec needed on page 3 of this preview.

> click here <

Also it's worth noting that a lot of the nicer effects will require DirectX 10, which no current graphics card supports.

DirectX 10 graphics cards will be released in the next few months.


  Totally-braindead 14:39 16 Oct 2006

Rigga makes a very good point. And I was reading about this sim and according to what I have read to see the best graphically you will be better with a card compatible for DirectX 10.
It might be worth waiting a couple of months and see what happens.
You have a perfectly reasonable processor well above the specs, same with your memory.
I would consider a new graphics card but which one is the problem. If you're buying now the 6600GT linked to above is well worth considering at the price. If you can get one with 256mb for a little bit more then I would go for that. The 7600GT is a better card but is also a bit more pricey. If you wait a couple of months and new cards do come out you could either get a direct X 10 compatible card or get a 7600GT at a cheaper price.
You'll really have to think about it and make your own mind up cos I can't decide what you should do as far as I'm concerned its 6 of one and a half dozen of another and whatever I decided would probably be wrong - Murphys Law.

  Pres5290 09:52 18 Oct 2006

Thank you Rigga and TB!Will have to go for a 1GB increase in RAM and more importantly - a better graphics card. Willing to pay a little more for the graphics card but not sure how long I can wait to get onto FSX!

  BigMoFoT 10:48 18 Oct 2006

Your said your graphics card is integrated? To me this would be the cause of your problem and a dedicated card would be the solution. It will also free up some system memory as integrated cards will share from the system memory. If it is integrated\on board then it is not going to be good enough for gaming. All other suggestions such as defrag etc will aid but your graphics card is the problem. All the talk about DX10 is un-necessary and will only serve to cloud the situation. Go for the card Crossbow 7 recommends.


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