New graphic card worth the trouble?

  FreddyNoFriends 00:13 09 Nov 2007

Hello all.
I have an AMD athalon 64 x2 cpu, an Asus A8N SLI deluxe mobo, a couple of gigs of RAM, and currently have an Nvidia GeForce 7800GT graphics card installed.

I've noticed on some of the more recent games that the graphics card struggles when cranked up to higher resolutions and am wondering if I can fix it on the cheap by adding a second graphics card in SLI config.

I know the purists out there would suggest I save up and buy a better card, but I saw some fairly good deals on cards such as the nVidia GeForce 8400GS 256MB PCi-e Graphics Card DirectX 10 at about £30, and was wondering whether one (or maybe even 2) of those in SLI configuration would do the trick.

I dont know a lot about the spec of graphics cards, but I'm assuming that in the couple of years I've had this computer, things have moved on somewhat and a cheap card like the 8400GS will now outperform the old 7800GT.
In fact, I'm not even sure my current card will support Direct X10...

Any thoughts or advice on this would be most welcome!!


  jakimo 00:29 09 Nov 2007

Your problem running new games may not only be down to your graphics card,to scan your system for answeres...

click here

  FreddyNoFriends 01:07 09 Nov 2007

Thanks for the link - I've run the analysis and it seems my computer exceeds the minimum spec for all the latest games I have.

I'm still wondering if things would be better with an 8400GS card. Is the 8 series card better than the 7 series?

  Gandalph 01:16 09 Nov 2007

Have you been on the Nvidia website and checked for new forceware drivers for your graphics card. I was on the other night a downloaded new drivers for mine that were released in July this year. Previous drivers were dates 2005 so it may be worth you having a look. There is a noticeable difference in operation on my machine with the new drivers installed.

  FreddyNoFriends 01:38 09 Nov 2007

Thanks Gandalph!

Excuse my ignorance, but I take it forceware is different to a plain old updated driver, and overclocks the graphic card in some way?

I've updated my video drivers in the last couple of weeks, though not considered tweaking the graphic card.

I dont have any really major problems yet - just a few fractionally slow frames now and then when running Bioshock or similar - and was hoping the addition of a cheap and cheerful 8400GS would do the trick. But if a second Graphics card wouldnt make that much difference - as the responses I've had so far seem to be hinting at - I guess I wont bother...

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Everyones advice is gratefully received.

  jh1885 13:00 09 Nov 2007

Hi Fred
Your spec looks adequate enough.
Just a thought but is HDD nearly full.
Also norton is very bloaty and is renown for slowing apps. up
good luck
ps Confusious say, "There is never a wrong time for the latest grahics card"

  keef66 13:20 09 Nov 2007

Forceware is just Nvidia's name for their unified driver package. No overclocking involved. I downloaded and installed the latest version last night, version 163.75 release date 5th Nov 2007. the Nvidia control panel looks nicer, but apart from that I haven't noticed a difference in performance. Then again, I have a lowly 6600 vanilla card.

Adding a cheap card like the 8400GS in SLI, even if you could get it to work, isn't going to help. Beg, borrow or steal £170 and get one of the recently released 8800GT cards. Sell the old one on Ebay. You won't regret a penny

  keef66 13:27 09 Nov 2007

Re your first post; according to Tom's hardware charts, your 7800GT is about 3 times faster than an 8500gt. They obviously don't consider the 8400 to be a graphics card worth testing.

Your card doesn't support DirectX 10, you need an Nvidia 8xxx or an ATI 2xxx series card and Windows Vista for that

  Totally-braindead 13:32 09 Nov 2007

I couldn't find a review of the 8400GS all I found out is that it is a budget chip.
To be honest with you it seems to me that it is more than likely a step back, a 8600GT might not even be a step forward a 8800GT would be a step forward, even in SLI mode I think 2 x 8400GS would be poor. Either save up and get a 8800GTS or try another 7800GT in SLI mode. That would be cheap.
Actually just found a 8400GS listed on Novatech less than £40 it'll be rubbish and even 2 rubbishy cards will not outperform what you already have.
Example of a 7800GT click here

  donki 14:07 09 Nov 2007

Ummm the 8400 is the entry level for the 8 series of GFX cards and IMO a waste of time for a gamer. I used to have a 7800GT and was very happy with it and it will out perform the 8400 all day long. The benifits of DX10 wont even come into it as the 8400 isnt a stong enough card to disply games on full settingseven in SLI and you need Vista for DX10.

I have a 8800GTS 640 which will cost you between 190 - 220 quid, or you can go for a better perfoming card in the 8800GT which is cheaper, around 160 - 200 but our of stock EVERYWHERE.

What games are you trying to play that you are having difficulty with and we could better advise you what suits you best. What clock is ur processor?

  citadel 20:24 09 Nov 2007

8400 is only good enough for a media centre. there is a rush for 8800gt after good reviews.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) review

The art of 'British' pulp fiction

Best password managers for Mac

TV & streaming : comment regarder le Tournoi des Six Nations 2018 ?