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Old 10-20-2012, 10:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upgrading question

Hey, all.

I'm not sure exactly what needs to be upgraded in my system, here's my situation:

I'm running an AMD Phenom II dual-core processor at around 3.2 GHz, and my motherboard has a built-in ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics card, which has 256 MB of DDR2 RAM, runs DirectX 10.1, has an "Ideal" (don't know what else to call it, 'theoretical', maybe?) speed of 500 MHz, with an "idea" memory clock speed of 667 MHz.

I play a lot of RTS games, so graphics are rarely a problem for me on defualt or auto-adjusted settings because most RTS games do not focus on visuals, but other games I'd like to play do not run well.
For example: I tried to play Skyrim on my computer, and while it would run, it had an incredibly low framerate, making it unplayable.

I think the problem is my low memory on the graphics card, and so higher RAM (in the neighborhood of 1 GB) is what I've been looking for, but I want to be sure before I buy.


Can anyone give me any advice, confirm my suspicion, or debunk it, and if so, try to advise me on what upgrade I should be looking for?
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading question

That IGP is total junk and is basically made to only provide a cheap solution of temporary graphics before you buy a dedicated card.

What is your PSU and your budget?
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading question

I have a Bestec ATX-250-12Z.

The sticker on the PSU says 250W max, followed by this diagram of voltages and amperages, which I can post a picture of if you'd like.

My budget is in the $50-75 range.


I can shop for myself, I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to computers, I'm just looking for some confirmation on what strengths I should be looking for the correct this problem (i.e, more VRAM or a faster GPU, et cetera)


Thanks
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading question

Next question(s)..

Is this a pre-built computer? If so, what is the make and model? If not, what is the make and model of the motherboard?

The answers to these questions will help us better determine what will work with what you have.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading question

It is custom built, but I didn't build it.

The motherboard is a Foxconn 2AB1, it has a PCI Express x16 2.0 connection for the graphics card.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading question

Well the problem is getting anything will require a new PSU which will eat your budget. Most of the lower end cards need at the minimum a 300-400w PSU.

As for GPUs, GPU horsepower isn't measured by the model number or how much VRAM it has. I can tell you now, anything worth your while will be in the 100+ dollar range.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading question

Okay, thanks for that.
I have no problem saving up, I was just hoping I could find a solution relatively quick and with the money I already have.

I've been shopping mainly on Newegg.com, and I can't seem to be able to tell how much power a video card will use; none of them include this information.
Should I just assume that I'll need more power, or is there a way to find this out that I'm missing?

thanks
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upgrading question

Google the model to find the exact specs off the Nvidia or AMD site.

This is the cheapest card that would be worth any kind of money, and on that note it sucks bad too.

Newegg.com - Galaxy 64TGF8HX6FTZ GeForce GT 640 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

Requires a minimum of 350w PSU and already caps your budget card alone.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Awesome, you gave me just about everything I needed, thanks a ton, man.
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