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Graphics Card Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by crazydavid, Dec 27, 2005.

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  1. crazydavid

    crazydavid Thread Starter

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    After buying my Dell Dimension 3000, and trying to play "Black and White 2" i found that i cant play it because my graphics card doesnt have a pixel shader or something. Iv been looking into buying a new graphics card but i have no idea where to begin. Im not entirely sure but i think my computer doesnt have agp, is this a problem?. Is there a strong market for PCI graphics cards.I checked on dabs.comand found a few but i dont know where to look for the pixel shader requirments. If someone could point me in the direction to get the correct card for my system.
    DAvid
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    You'll then your kind of stuck. Still think the Dell was a great deal?

    The best you can do for PCI is a Radeon 9550 or a Geforce 5500/5700 if you can find either card unless somethign new has hit the market. PCI is a much slower bus then AGP or the new PCi-Express buses, there is no point in making high-end graphics cards for PCI becuase it will be extremely bottleneck by very slow transfer speed of PCI.

    Newegg.com has this PCI 256MB FX5500 with 256MB or memory and Direct 9.0 support: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814143032
     
  3. cheese

    cheese

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  4. crazydavid

    crazydavid Thread Starter

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    will both of those has the pixel shader and correct spec i will need for b&w2?
     
  5. cheese

    cheese

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    According to their website:

    Black&White 2 requires a 64MB video card with 1.1 Pixel Shader support. Supported video cards: NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti series, GeForce FX series, GeForce 6200 or greater; ATI Radeon 8500 or greater

    I didnt see anything on specs about shader, but appears either the FX or the Radeon listed by Triple6 and I should work.
     
  6. brite750

    brite750

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    Youre Grinching it up over here too:D your heart is 2 sizes too small;)
     
  7. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    The game only requires Pixel Shader 1.1 support, they're on version 3 now. Intel, and Dell's love for Intel, mean you don't even any pixel shader support unless you buy a newer chipset(new motherboard).

    The FX5500 supports DX9.0, the Radeon 9250 only supports DX8.0. The FX5500 has Pixel Shader 2.0 support while the Radeon only has version 1.4. That means the FX5500 should give you better performance and quality.
     
  8. crazydavid

    crazydavid Thread Starter

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    whats the difference between a 128-bit and a 128 mb??? this dont make sense at all. Does higher ram built in make for better gameplay?
     
  9. brite750

    brite750

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    Oh man not another Dell 3000, we should put a banner up on tsg "Dont Buy a Dell 3000 for a Gaming PC" this has got to be like the 20th post I've seen like this in the last 6 months.
     
  10. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    128 bit(or 64 or 256 bit) is the width of the interface. The bigger the number the more data can be moved at once over the bus. Think of it as a highway. 128 lanes versus 64 lanes - with the speed limit the same you can have double the cars driving at once.

    128MB(or 64 or 256MB) is the amount of memory on the video card. The more memory on the video card the more frames and the greater detail the video card can render and store on the card for display.

    Then you have the core/GPU speed which is how fast the processor on the video card runs. It just lie the Intel CPU in your Dell but it only does work for displaying images on your screen. The faster the GPU the more work it can do. You also have the Memory speed, thats how fast the memory on the video card operates at, the faster it runs the faster you can read and write scenes/frames/objects to and from it.
     
  11. brite750

    brite750

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    bits are bandwidth speed and mb is amount of ram, higher ram can mean better game play but so does higher bandwidth speed, you need both ideally.
     
  12. crazydavid

    crazydavid Thread Starter

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    does the pci interface limit either of these? or can i go all out and get 256 bit/mb graphics card
     
  13. brite750

    brite750

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    yes thats the problem pci slot is like a bottleneck, a 128bit, 256mb vram card with pci interface cannot hope to keep up with the same card in a agp8x or pcie16x interface. thats why if you knew this pc was going to be for gaming you should have made sure it had at least an agp slot, pci video card will be slow not matter what you do.
     
  14. brite750

    brite750

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    PCI 2.2 = 133mb/sec
    AGP 1.0 = 266mb/sec
    AGP 2x = 533 mb/sec
    AGP 4x = 1.06gb/sec
    AGP 8x = 2.1 gb/sec

    just to give you a data/rate speed comparison

    Now its funny doing googles on this subject I found some tests that were made back in 2001 when agp was a new technology, there was very little difference in performance between a pci card and an agp, that is misleading of course because that was before game developers started taking advantage of the agp slot speed increase, if you ran that same test today with current games no doubt your conclusions would be much differnet. I read similar articles with agp vs pcie16x, saying not much difference etc., however again as game developers put more and more into their games, more and more data has to travel through that slot, so no doubt now pcie16x slots are starting to show their advantage.
     
  15. crazydavid

    crazydavid Thread Starter

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    is there some sort of an adapter that would let me attach a pci-express slot onto my motherboard? or perhaps i should be looking to changing my current motherboard with a new one??
     
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