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Tech Helproom


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What graphics card upgrade would you recommend to run newer games?


Andanotherthing

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Hi

Would a graphics card upgrade be worth it or would other parts of the system 'bottleneck' it?

Present computer specs: (Medion MD 8818) Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz MSI MS-7318 2GB RAM Nvidia Geforce 7650GS Win 7 32

I think the motherboard has a PCI express slot?

Thanks

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Ian in Northampton

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Most people will tell you, it's typically true that the more you spend on a graphics card, the better gaming experience you'll get. How much you need to spend depends on a) the games you want to play, and b) whether you have one or two screens, and the resolution of those screens, and c) what's 'acceptable' to you in terms of framerates, detail and so on.

That said: your system is a little limited in its ability to get the most out of an expensive graphics card. Many modern games can take advantage of a quad core processor, for example, and without, the graphics card doesn't reach its full potential. Only 2MB of memory won't help, either. And: don't overlook the fact that, with a more powerful graphics card, you'll also need a decent/higher wattage power supply.

If you can be more specific about what games you have in mind, what monitor(s) you plan to use at what resolution and what your tolerance is for detail/framerates, the forum can probably advise in more detail.

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Andanotherthing

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Hi- thanks for the swift reply. The game I have in mind is Sniper Elite v2 which won't run on the present card. One monitor, and current resolution is 1360x768. I suspect that you might recommend a newer entire system as the max ram is 2GB. I am not too fussy about frame rates as long as it is not too jerky. Thanks

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Ian in Northampton

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This from here:

We have been advised that these requirements are what a gamer will need in order to get a good experience of Sniper V2. The game can make use of more powerful hardware and likewise could run on a less powerful machine with some settings turned down.

OS: Microsoft® Windows® Vista (Service Pack 2) or Windows® 7 (Windows® XP is NOT supported)

CPU: Dual-core CPU with SSE3 (Intel® Pentium® D 3GHz / AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4200) or better

GPU RAM: 256 MB of memory and DirectX® 10 compatible graphics card

GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 series / ATI Radeon™ HD 3870 or better

RAM: 2GB system memory

HDD: 10GB of free drive space

AUDIO: Microsoft® DirectX® 10.0 compatible sound card or better

DX: Microsoft® DirectX® 11.0is NOT supported)

This isn't very far off what you have now. At a guess, this is graphically not as demanding a game as eg BF3, Planetside, Skyrim. Have you tried playing the game on your current setup? According to the above, it should run - but could run better. It could be that you can improve your gaming experience for not much money.

That said: depending on your budget, you may well want to think hard about buying a new system: 2GB max memory is always going to be something of a limitation.

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Ian in Northampton

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I found this on the French website for the game:

La configuration du système recommandé OS (système d'exploitation) : Windows Vista/7 Unité centrale : Intel Core i5 @ 3.0 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.3 GHz Mémoire vive : 3 Go Place sur le disque dur : 10 Go libre Mémoire graphique : 1 Go Carte graphique : nVidia GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850 Carte son : Compatible avec DirectX Réseau : Broadband Internet Connection for Online Multiplayer DirectX : 10 Clavier Souris Lecteur DVD

Not sure how good your French is... :-) Basically, the recommended configuration is an Intel Core i5 @ 3.0 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.3 GHz, 1GB memory on the graphics card, 3GB of main memory and a GT480/Radeon HD5850.

It looks like the HD5850 can be had for around £80 or so - but you'd still be limited by your processor and memory.

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Andanotherthing

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Hi Ian

I have only just seen your further responses as I did not get the usual email notification - odd.

I have tried to run it on my current set up - and I get a common error message: 'Failed to initialiase D3D11' which most forums blame on a graphics card that, specifically won't run Directx 11. This is odd as your research (even the French) suggests Direct x 10 should be OK.

Will the GT480/Radeon HD5850 you recommend: a) fit this mainboard (I think it is PCE-I but only v2? b) run Directx 11?

If so, I will give it a go.

Many thanks again for your time and expertise in giving such full replies.

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