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  1. #1
    Community Member Symar-FangofLloth's Avatar
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    Default Graphics Card questions.

    I know just enough about computers to be dangerous
    Well, software-wise I'm competent. Hardware I know more than the average joe, but not enough to know the answers to this.
    And I know there's people out there that are very computer-savvy, so I'm asking away!

    I have a Compaq Presario (my family has had good luck with HP so far, plus it was on sale) with an AMD Athlon X2 5400 Dual-Core processor, 3G Ram (Hmm, I saw 4 Ram cards in my computer though, I just opened it. Didn't look at them in detail, 2 must be 512s or something), and an NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE Graphics... thingy. (Running Vista 32bit if you must know; no issues with it though.)

    I discovered that my Graphics is integrated, and I've an empty PCIEx16 slot, which is used for graphics cards I'm fairly certain.

    So here's my questions:
    1) If I were to get a better, actual graphics card and put it in, how would it interact with the existing integrated graphics?

    2) Is a better graphics card the thing to get to increase the settings I can play games at? I can run DDO at Medium-ish settings; I tried playing DragonAge and it runs very slow and choppy on the lowest settings, barely playable (I did become a Grey Warden before I gave up on it though ). If so, what would you recommend, while staying cheap?

    3) If a better graphics card is NOT the answer, or if it's not enough, what else can I do/get to increase my computer's performance?

    Thanks guys.
    Former Xoriat-er. Embrace the Madness.

  2. #2
    Community Member Limey's Avatar
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    1) Its been a while since I put a graphics card in a motherboard that had one integrated but my advice is to go into BIOS where you will find a choice of which one to use once you install your new one.

    2) Yes a new card will help a lot. I haven't bought one for over a year but I use a Nvidia GTX 275 and its great. The integrated one you have is very low spec and old almost anything you put in will be much better.

    3) Other upgrades will be more expensive and probably need a new motherboard/CPU etc I would say a new card will be a great choice and it can be used in another system if you ugrade other stuff. More RAM won't help (or be seen by) 32bit Windows and 3GB is plenty for DDO.

    *Sorry forgot to put: Answers in Alpine White
    Last edited by Limey; 06-21-2010 at 05:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Community Member kamimitsu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symar-FangofLloth View Post
    I know just enough about computers to be dangerous
    Well, software-wise I'm competent. Hardware I know more than the average joe, but not enough to know the answers to this.
    And I know there's people out there that are very computer-savvy, so I'm asking away!

    I have a Compaq Presario (my family has had good luck with HP so far, plus it was on sale) with an AMD Athlon X2 5400 Dual-Core processor, 3G Ram (Hmm, I saw 4 Ram cards in my computer though, I just opened it. Didn't look at them in detail, 2 must be 512s or something), and an NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE Graphics... thingy. (Running Vista 32bit if you must know; no issues with it though.)

    I discovered that my Graphics is integrated, and I've an empty PCIEx16 slot, which is used for graphics cards I'm fairly certain.

    So here's my questions:
    1) If I were to get a better, actual graphics card and put it in, how would it interact with the existing integrated graphics?

    This can be tricky. Depending on your BIOS it might be no problem, or you may have to manually set your BIOS to disable the on-board graphics and/or use the new card.

    2) Is a better graphics card the thing to get to increase the settings I can play games at? I can run DDO at Medium-ish settings; I tried playing DragonAge and it runs very slow and choppy on the lowest settings, barely playable (I did become a Grey Warden before I gave up on it though ). If so, what would you recommend, while staying cheap?

    Graphics card is the best bang for your buck in this regard, usually. Next would be RAM, but 3 GBs isn't so bad for Vista.

    3) If a better graphics card is NOT the answer, or if it's not enough, what else can I do/get to increase my computer's performance?

    RAM is usually the 2nd choice, as I mentioned. 3rd would be processor, but I'd say it's not worth the cost to upgrade your processor. You'd only get a marginal benefit by going up. Without replacing your motherboard you can't go much further as it is, and a new motherboard/chip combo could be pricey and/or require new RAM as well.

    Thanks guys.
    Responses in steel blue. I'm not an expert, but I have pretty solid intermediate skills in this type of thing.
    Shiz -Proud Officer of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union - Ghallanda
    Shizmonkey, Shizrhino, Shizlazer, Shizpanzee, Shizlion, Shizchopper, Shiztiger, Shizopotamus, Shizphoenix, Shizquito, Shizwolf, Shizfrog
    R.O.G.U.E. Proving Grounds Redux is now defunct. Check out Part Trois

  4. #4
    Community Member t0r012's Avatar
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    for a good list of graphics card recommendations based on price range
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...deon,2646.html'

    a good place to shop for computer parts
    http://www.newegg.com/
    ----------
    ohh and you should check your power supply to see if it has an auxiliary power connector. Even most mid level GPUs require additional power and have either a 6 or an 8 pin connector. From what I can gather you want to go cheap so you would be looking for a entry level gaming card so you probably won't need a connector but check before you order/buy.
    Last edited by t0r012; 06-20-2010 at 09:41 PM. Reason: add shopping option & power connector question
    Move along , Nothing to see here

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