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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Cheap graphics card replacement

    Folks, my girlfriend graphics card died at some point during the night and she needs a cheap replacement that will work in her system, which by now is rather dated. Just buying a new system is not an option right now, so this is a stop gap until later in the year when we can overhaul her whole system. The cost point is at most €50-70.

    - Mobo is an Asus M2N-SLI with some version of a Athlon 64 X2 in there, but I can't for the life of me remember which, possibly one of the 3600+ versions. From my understanding of it, all PCIx 16 cards are backwards compatible with previous sockets (Ie a 3 will work in a 1 socket) but this may require a BIOS update and the CPU might not support the higher PCIe slots (so say someone over at Toms).

    - Her game requirements are rather basic, if it can play WoW at
    1240x1748 then that's awesome (which I expect a calculator to be able to do at this stage). If it can do a bit more than that then that's more awesome.

    - I'm not entirely sure how video cards are used for things like Photoshop, but Photoshop and image processing is a requirement for college, so I was thinking something with a decent amount of ram (2gb) would probably be good. However, I'm not sure if the added benefit of more RAM will help at such a low cost point.

    -Silence would be very much appreciated, so small quiet fans or no fans at all are perfect.

    - Nvidia options would be preferred but AMI recommendations will be taken on board.

    I was looking at cards like the 2GB 610GTs, but I've never really looked for cheap stop gaps in such an old system.

    *EDIT*

    The old card is a 9600GT with something like 512mb.
    Last edited by Jesus_Phish; 27-02-2013 at 08:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Thing is - a decent card costs 100euros (or thereabouts) then there's a chasm down to cheaper cards which cost quite a bit less and do quite a LOT less.

    If I were you I'd buy a decent card now - it will go into any PC she buys in the future - and you'll get much better value for money overall.

    e.g. spend 100euros now - or spend 50-70euros now which you'll throw in a bin not long thereafter!?!?

    p.s. AMD will get you a LOT more bang for your buck, generally speaking.

    p.p.s. or eBay a 2nd-hand card - but prices have been stable for a while so bargains tend to be scarce.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    For a decent card she could probably stretch to 120e, but this doesn't have to be an amazing card, it just has to hold over for a while. It all depends also that a half decent card will still work in the machine she has.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    A Radeon HD 7750 might be sufficient, but a 7770 does provide more bang for the buck. Nvidia isn't very competitive in that segment, the GTX 650 is underwhelming (a GT 640 with better memory, yay) and the GTX 650 Ti is beyond your budget limit.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Found that there's no issue with using a PCIe3x16 in a PCIe1x16 slot, in terms of it just not working and I believe that the cpu will at most probably bottleneck the gpu, but it'll still work and probably still better than the 9600gt.
    Last edited by Jesus_Phish; 27-02-2013 at 09:01 AM.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Is there any truth in there being issues between PCIx3 x16 and PCIx1 x16 that you know of? I've looked around myself and the only thing I've seen people talking about is an incompatibility between CPUs and the cards, something I've never heard of before.
    I have honestly no idea - I bought a card of an older generation just to be sure.

    --

    an ATI 5670 or 6670 with GDDR5 are on par with the old 9800GT (albeit they have 1 gb of Ram, you really do not need 2 unless you plan on playing Battlefield 3 on ultra texture settings), and they are very cheap second hand, and do not require auxilary power connectors. Heck, you can still buy them retail for roughly 70 euros (Although that is not the price I personally would pay for it, you do get warrenty)

    However, if you want something faster, try the AMD ATI 5750 or 5770 (or 6 series equivalent) cards - those are older versions of the 7770 and 7750 out today, but they are not really all that less powerfull, and can be bought for cheap second hand (I got my 5770 for 60 euros and I should have haggled). They also use older PCI express interfaces. However, all those cards require a 6 pin power connector - then again, if you have a 9800GT running in there, it is pretty damn likely that you already have a lot of those.

    As for performance: My 5770 can run Battlefield 3 at 1080p on medium settings with 40 fps (which is very playable), so I am quite sure that it can run WoW at the resolution you specified. I am not sure about the 5670, however.
    Last edited by Grizzly; 27-02-2013 at 09:07 AM.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    Found that there's no issue with using a PCIe3x16 in a PCIe1x16 slot, in terms of it just not working and I believe that the cpu will at most probably bottleneck the gpu, but it'll still work and probably still better than the 9600gt.
    There can be issues in some (rare) cases, but it's not just PCIe 3.0 that would be a problem. PCIe 2.1 cards would be just as bad, and even 2.0 cards could cause issues.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Went with a Sapphire 7750 for €110, which will cover her for a good while to come.

    If she updates the pc soon, which hopefully will happen because the current one is starting to show age it'll just be part of that.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Went with a Sapphire 7750 for €110, which will cover her for a good while to come.
    .

    It will. An excellent choice.

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