Graphics cards help?

dannyfiveo

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Wondered if there's anybody with a good knowledge of PC graphics cards..

Just got a Dell Inspiron 530 on the cheap and I'm thinking of putting a decent graphics card in and giving it my nephew ... http://www.euro.dell.com/uk/en/dfh/Desktops/inspndt_530/pd.aspx?refid=inspndt_530&cs=ukdfh1&s=dfh

It says PCI-E x16 graphics card and to be honest that means nothing to me...
Just wondered if there's someone who can recommend a number of compatible graphics cards at varied prices, I've looked around youtube and places and there's a number of PCI-E graphics cards that are capable of handling the newer games like GTA IV and so on

I've also looked at this card Nvidia GEFORCE 8400GS 1GB PCI-Express and I'm clueless when it comes to cards.. so any help or suggestions would be great thanks


 

Jak

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got some bad news for you dannyfiveo. I was looking over the specifications of the machine you linked and that power supply won't be able to handle a new graphics card. it only has 300w which will barely be enough to power that pc anyway, let alone with a new power hungry graphics card. That is the downside of buying a pre built computer. The makers always try to save money by putting in a cheap power supply which means you can't really upgrade anything.
 

dannyfiveo

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Thanks for the info guys... Yeah some guy off eBay did mention the power supply but said it should be fine if I bought one of his graphics cards (the link in the original post).. so I think he was just trying for a sale... How complicated is it installing a new power supply?
 

Jak

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Thanks for the info guys... Yeah some guy off eBay did mention the power supply but said it should be fine if I bought one of his graphics cards (the link in the original post).. so I think he was just trying for a sale... How complicated is it installing a new power supply?
would highly recommend not buying computer components on ebay. It is quite complicated in the fact you basically have to totally disassemble your pc and then put it back together, also hoping your power supply is roughly the same size so you can fit it in the same place in your computer.
 

Anthony

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Jak

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I would have to disagree with what Anthony said. A key thing when buying a power supply is its very important to pick a good reliable model from a good brand. Cheap generic PSUs (Power supply units) often don't output what they say they do, and have a higher chance of blowing up and taking out the rest of the system. these are a few good brands Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, Tagan, Hiper, Silverstone, OCZ, Enermax, and Coolermaster. I would recommend this power supply
As for a graphics card, again I would disagree with Anthony. The 9800 is now quite an old model and you can get better graphics cards for a better price. Depending on your budget I would highly recommend this graphics card. Quite expensive but definetly worth it. It is arguably the best money to performance graphics card money can buy.

But I agree with what Anthony has said regarding measuring your case to make sure everything will fit in.

This is cheaper but still a good card.
 
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Anthony

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I wouldnt put over 200 quid into a dell inspiron Jak.
The whole point of my post was to minimise spend and get a good return.

I could have recommended 'brands' but I don't believe the core motherboard/ram and hd warrant spending any more.
I have installed 3 CIT power supplies in systems over the years and none have failed yet (custom built unit for my sister is 3 years old and still running without issues).
Both posts are valid, just different reasoning behind them.
 

dannyfiveo

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Thanks Anthony and Jak for your suggestions, I'll keep looking into it but after you're suggestions probably sounds best if I find a PC with a much more powerful supply for my nephew..
I was just a bit naive to be honest when seeing the price and just assumed If I put a decent/good graphics card in, it could work straight away with no problems, didn't take into consideration the power supply...
 

Jak

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I wouldnt put over 200 quid into a dell inspiron Jak.
The whole point of my post was to minimise spend and get a good return.

I could have recommended 'brands' but I don't believe the core motherboard/ram and hd warrant spending any more.
I have installed 3 CIT power supplies in systems over the years and none have failed yet (custom built unit for my sister is 3 years old and still running without issues).
Both posts are valid, just different reasoning behind them.
Fair enough Anthony. It's just many people (including myself) think that buying a cheap power supply is a good way to save money on a computer and it can be quite a fatal mistake. But I see your point.
 

dannyfiveo

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Jak or Anthony
The graphics card I was looking at from the original post - Nvidia GEFORCE 8400GS 1GB PCI-Express
The company has got back in touch about it saying...

''The only concern is the power supply, however this card uses the power via the mainboard so it should be fine''

What does it mean ?
 

Jak

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My initial reaction to this danny is that it sounds quite suspicious. I have never heard of a graphics card being able to run off the motherboard before. The person could just be trying to take advantage of you and trying to make a sale. However I'm not fully sure. Anthony may be able to tell you but also I have made a post on a computer forum I use which is full people much more knowledgeable than me so I will let you know what they say when I find out.
 

dannyfiveo

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My initial reaction to this danny is that it sounds quite suspicious. I have never heard of a graphics card being able to run off the motherboard before. The person could just be trying to take advantage of you and trying to make a sale. However I'm not fully sure. Anthony may be able to tell you but also I have made a post on a computer forum I use which is full people much more knowledgeable than me so I will let you know what they say when I find out.
Thanks Jak I appreciate it, if you could let us know what you find out that would be awesome thanks
 

gunny19

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can anyone help me?, anytime i type in a players name and search for them an error message comes up and the screen goes wide with chubby stretched letters
 

Jak

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I got a reply Danny from arguably the cleverest guy on the site ;)


Graphics card were powered via the slots for a long time, before they got the point where the slot couldn't provide enough power, so the separate connectors were added. Still, many lower-end cards even nowadays don't require any extra power directly from the PSU. For example, the PCI-E slot can deliver up to 75 W.

IIRC, 8400GS does not use a separate power connector.

I interpret that as it should work, as the person said.
 

winfield

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Plenty of good midrange budget cards won't need a PSU upgrade. I'd avoid an 8400gs - it's not going to able to handle much if anything at all. Have a look for an ATI 4670/4650 it's fast enough for most modern gamesat decent resolutions. And requires no additional power connection. And it is cheap enough.

According to my calcs at PEAK load with a basic inspiron 530 (e7200processor, 1hdd, 1xoptical drive, 2xsticks of ram) is around 220w total, well within the specs of your PSU. The 8400gs is far slower and uses less power so it should be around 210w total system power at peak. BUT if you have a Quad core in there (q6600, q9300, q9450) I'd be hesitant to intall a 4670 as it is cutting it way too close for comfort at peak load (260w+)


If you are buying a power suplly make sure it fits-there are certain size standards and I'm not too sure if Dell uses their own size or complies with industry standard. A good reputable PSU is key. Remember it is connected to everything if it fails it will usually take out everything it is connected to. To be blunt a good psu doesn't really cost that much more than a generic 20-30 pounds over a generic. You can have a great cset of components but if the PSU can't deliver consistent clean voltage then they're not going to work as well. If you open up a PSU (not recommended unless you know what you're doing) you can see the difference in quality, Capacitors, transformers are much much bigger in good brand names whereas most generics have piddly little capacitors and transformers.Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, Silverstone all make great PSU in the all price brackets. Buy an appropriate power PSU 500-600w is plenty for a single video card setup.

Just a word of warning-the PC version of GTAIV is a dog of a port. Most current PCs barring very high spec machines still struggle with it at high resolution. If he has a console it is far better to play it on that.
 
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dannyfiveo

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I got a reply Danny from arguably the cleverest guy on the site ;)

Graphics card were powered via the slots for a long time, before they got the point where the slot couldn't provide enough power, so the separate connectors were added. Still, many lower-end cards even nowadays don't require any extra power directly from the PSU. For example, the PCI-E slot can deliver up to 75 W.

IIRC, 8400GS does not use a separate power connector.

I interpret that as it should work, as the person said.
Thanks Jak for all your help mate.. So basically it should work on the power supply I currently have ? i suppose for the price it's worth a try if so
thanks again

---------- Post added at 01:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:57 AM ----------

Plenty of good midrange budget cards won't need a PSU upgrade. I'd avoid an 8400gs - it's not going to able to handle much if anything at all. Have a look for an ATI 4670/4650 it's fast enough for most modern gamesat decent resolutions. And requires no additional power connection. And it is cheap enough.

According to my calcs at PEAK load with a basic inspiron 530 (e7200processor, 1hdd, 1xoptical drive, 2xsticks of ram) is around 220w total, well within the specs of your PSU. The 8400gs is far slower and uses less power so it should be around 210w total system power at peak. BUT if you have a Quad core in there (q6600, q9300, q9450) I'd be hesitant to intall a 4670 as it is cutting it way too close for comfort at peak load (260w+)


Just a word of warning-the PC version of GTAIV is a dog of a port. Most current PCs barring very high spec machines still struggle with it at high resolution. If he has a console it is far better to play it on that.
Thanks Winfield... I just noticed the 8400GS on eBay and looked on youtube and there was videos of it running good games but I don't know nothing when it comes to graphics cards....

So you recommend the ATI 4670 or 4650 and that shouldn't have any problems with the system ?

It doesn't really have to be super powerful but just be able play a few decent games would be nice.. If not I'll just end up buying him a console

but thanks again


EDIT: Theres quite a few on eBay at the moment... there's a 4670 1GB HD at a decent price..
 
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Tharros

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I agree with winfield. I bought a 4670 for my brother probably a year and a half ago now. It is still going strong. As long as you don't have a very high resolution monitor it will run most of todays games with ease. He is into F1 (I'm not really) and he got F1 2010 recently and the 4670 plays it smoothly on high settings - albeit at a resolution of 1280x1024 since he only has a 19" monitor.

He plays a lot of the games I play. FM obviously, Bioware's games (Mass Effect 1/2, Dragon Age), Total War games, Battlefield games, Starcraft II, the list goes on. It will play them all nicely. :D
 
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winfield

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Out of the cards that don't need additional power out of the PCiex16 slot, the 4670 is probably the best option IMO in this case. (there is also a 5770 but it's new and a fair bit more expensive). In the real world the 4670 is roughly 2-3x faster in most games over the 8400gs. Remember if you have a Quad Core Processor in there I'd be a bit hesitant to do it though
 
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