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graphics card help me plz


OSNN One Post Wonder
ok so i have a hp pavilion a465c. it is stock and has 504 mb of RAM but i need 1gig (preferable) or about 550 (mim) to play a game called THE ELDER SCROLLS IV OBLIVION.
i wanna buy a graphics card( i was thinking NVIDIA GeForce 6800 ) and i wanted to know wut i should buy that will give me enough boost to play most games and not be a pain in the butt to setup. plz help and im kinda new at this so dont use any big words plz. :yowch:
heres a lil info about my comp

intel (r)
pentium(r) 4 cpu 3.0 GHz 504MB of RAM
windows xp home edition
version 2002
service pack 1.
If you don't know what kind of graphics card slot it has post the full make and model number we can look it up. If you are not sure of the make and model number there is a free download called CPUz.exe You can gte it at www.majorgeeks.com Run the program and it will tell you what kind of Processor, MB and RAM you have.

Or, open the case and look at the MB. If the first card slot (top) is a dark brown slot that sits about an inch further in from the back of the case than the rest of the card slots that is AGP. If the first slot is only a little further from the back of the case than the other card slots that is PCIe. If the card slots are all the same distance from the back of the case then they are all PCI and the only upgrade from the on board graphics is not much of an improvement.

PCI - very little selection left. Not very good cards. This upgrade option has died of old age.

AGP - moderate selection left but it is being phased out and prices for "good"cards are going way up.

PCIe - the most recent video card socket type. Wide selection and wide price range.

Next you need to read the label on your power supply. Post the wattage, voltage and current ratings. It will look something like 400W, +3V@20A, +5V@30A, +12V@18A, (-5V and -12V are not important).

Once you know what kind of upgrade socket you have, if your Power Supply will support a graphics card, and if the CPU/MB are good enough to justify spending money on a graphics upgrade you then need to decide how much you want to spend.

Complicated isn't it.
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Mr. Bananagrabber
Political User
The only 6800 i'd recommend is the 6800gt, they dont sell it anymore, you'll have to buy used...
I had the 6800, got all things i needed done, done.
Personally, i see no difference between that and my 7900gt ko superclocked, which is a bad sign considering i paid 330 dollars for my new card, and only 8 months after i bought the 6800gt.
6800 GT is a great c ard, 6800 gs = not


The One and Only
and as i say to everyone looking to upgrade a store-bought brand name PC, which Lee also mentioned..... Power Supply wattage is the key question in the whole thing, besides for what video card slot it has. if your computer has a very low wattage power supply (which most do since they put as small of a power supply into the computer that they can find that will run the PC), it could very well kill the video card or another piece of hardware. when i put a video card in my Sony Vaio, i had to gut the vaio case, and put everything from the Vaio into a different case to put another power supply in it that would handle everything.

Shamus MacNoob

Political User
The 7800gs is a very good card for the AGP gang, be carefull with the HP like the Dell it might need some fancy work to get a good power supply into the case.
yep, that could be a problem, all right... but one I have found a solution to.

You can get an external psu and hookup a molex connector to an empty slot in the back of your comp.

is it worth it? no and you could probably get a new case for the price it's gonna run to do all this "ugly" cabling, but it does work in a pinch :p

doesn't ati have any good cards out these days? I haven't been keeping up with them, but they always proved to have the better cards in the past
Trilic -
Your MB has an AGP slot with an MX440 card so the 7800GS ($289), 6800GS ($180) , X1600 Pro ($100)would be options. The 1600 PRO would be pretty disappointing speed wise for newer games. The other 2 cards would be playable for the newer games as long as you limit resolution and texture quality.

There was nothing on HP website for the power supply rating for your PC. You'll have to check inside the case.

Techno -
Nvidia had a clear lead for a while on FPS. ATI is catching up again and is supposed to have better image quality. All the good stuff is going into PCIe versions though. AGP is about dead. Unless I missed a card model ATI just isn't interested in good gaming in AGP anymore. The 7800 GS is a pretty good card, especially for AGP.

I attached my quick reference guide. It's up to date as far as I know. If I ever get the bad taste from my last new video card purchase out of my mouth I will use it to pick a card.

Most of the cards on the chart seem to be out of production now. I keep them there for checking if an upgrade is worth it.


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OSNN Veteran Addict
Political User
The 7800GS is an awesome card. It's the best AGP card you can get, and you can get factory overclocked versions that push the graphics even further. If you're not going to get a new PC for a while, then I would only recommend getting the 7800GS. There may never be a better AGP card produced, and if you got a 6800 you may want to upgrade in 9 months' time and still end up getting a 7800GS, so you may as well get it now. It runs Oblvion fantastically on my rig.

Scott Young

Real picture of me
The 7800 gs is a dumbed down AGP version of the 7800 GT, and it performs only slighty better than a 6800 GT and costs the same as a 7900GT (here in the uk anyway).
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OSNN Veteran Addict
Political User
Read this from THG, it shows the 7800GS is consistently better than the 6800 Ultra, which itself is a much better card than the 6800GT.
The 7800GS is however only slightly cheaper than the more powerful 7800GT where I've seen them.
And this is why I keep this spreadsheet....

7800GS has 16 pipelines (same as the 6800 GT) vs 20 on the 7800 GT.
7800GS has ~20% faster memory bandwidth, but only 7% faster fill rate than the 6800 GT.
7800 uses 110 micron geometry vs .130 on the 6800 GT which makes the 7800 GS run cooler and cost less to make, yet the last time I found cards in stock the 6800GT cost $70 less than a 7800 GS. The GS is over priced for what you get.

AGP is dead. There is no point putting that much money into a video card for it.


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