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Need Help on Choosing Video Card, Pics of PC Included


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#1
pedrossi

pedrossi

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I have an HP Pavilion Desktop PC, 2.60 GHZ Pentium IV Processor, bought about 2 years ago off the HP Shopping website. It had 256 MB Ram, which I just upgraded yesterday to 768 by filling up the 2nd slot with a 512 chip. The memory works fine (for some reason, it displays it as only being 760 MB ram, and before the upgrade it displayed as 248 MB), but I'm having trouble playing the game Counter-Strike: Source.
I meet all the PC requirements for playing it, but it's extremely laggy, and the framerate is WAY too low.

I suspect that the culprit is my video card. I checked the HP website for my model (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/product?lc=en&cc=us&dlc=&product=402250) and it says it comes with an integrated video card. I did some research on google and found out that integrated is not the way to go for playing the latest 3D games.

I have a pretty good understanding of how PCs work, but video cards is an area I've never dabbled in. Can anyone recommend a card that would be compatible with my PC, affordable (I don't need the latest, $500 cards), but that will still run the latest 3D games such as CounterStrike:Source, Doom III, etc...?

Here are the pics of the inside of my PC, I have no clue if it helps or not, but here they are. Thanks!!

[img]
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e18/pedrossi/DSC02198.jpg
[/img]

[img]
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e18/pedrossi/DSC02190.jpg
[/img]

[img]
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e18/pedrossi/DSC02188.jpg
[/img]

[img]
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e18/pedrossi/DSC02187.jpg
[/img]

[img]
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e18/pedrossi/DSC02185.jpg
[/img]

[img]
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e18/pedrossi/DSC02183.jpg
[/img]

[img]
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e18/pedrossi/DSC02184.jpg
[/img]

Edited by dsenette, 20 July 2006 - 11:46 AM.

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#2
SRX660

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Unfortunately H-P decided to NOT include a AGP slot on that motherboard. So you are left with only PCI alternatives. The best you can get is either a ATI 9200-9250 or a Nvidia FX-6200 cards. Neither will be near what AGP can do. 4x/8x agp cards are just that, 4 to 8 times faster than PCI. Motherboard replacement does not look good for your case. That leaves you just one option. If you really like gaming it is time to contemplate building a new computer from parts with exactly what you need. you cn build a good game rig for around $800-1000 or shoot the moon with a new conroe system for around $2000.

SRX660
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#3
pedrossi

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Thanks for the help. Do you think I could cut down the cost of building a new PC by using parts I already have on this one? Lile the 512MB Ram I just bought yesterday, my perfectly good 19'' monitor, speakers, mouse, keyboard, CD Reader, Burner, etc...?

Thanks again :whistling:
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#4
austin_o

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Using components you already have is a great option in cutting costs for a new computer. Shop for a mother board that will support your DDR 333/266/200 DIMMS (RAM that you just bought) that has an AGP video slot. Your current motherboard is Micro-ATX form factor which may be limited by your current case. If you plan on using the same case, you need to make sure the motherboard will fit, ie the same form factor. If your case is ATX instead of micro ATX, the window of opportunity would be larger.
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#5
pedrossi

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Thanks for the great help! How could I find out info about my case (such as what size motherboard would fit, etc?
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#6
SRX660

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This is just my personal opinion. using everything you can from your old computer is a good idea. Where i would not use the old hardware is when newer fasterequipment is available at good prices.

So first thing i would check is the bus speed of the processor. If it is capable of 800fsb then use it but if it is a 533 fsb cpu i would think about replacing it. I say this because i have seen the difference in some games between the two different bus speeds. The 800 fsb made the game much nicer to play. If your memory is PC3200 memory then use it but i would prefer 2 matching 512 sticks in dual channel mode for playing games. Unfortunately, by using existing hardware you will not be able to use a PCI-E video card. They are not available for the 478 socket cpu. A good ATI 9800 or Nvidia 6800/7800 video card would work in a 8x agp slot motherboard.

So for maximum power at the best price i would choose this case.

http://www.directron.com/slk3800b.html

The reason for a slightly higher price antec case is that is already has a proven good power supply and that antec design their cases for good cooling and ease of use. By the time you bought a mid price case and then had to buy a good Power supply you would have paid the same as this anyway.

Now for a motherboard, most any good ones you can use. I like Gigabytes, MSI, Abit, DFI, and many others. You will be limited to the 865 series Mb's for the intel processor. Because i don't like ASUS MB's (too many problems with them)and some other factors this MB is what i would choose for the above case.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128232

I would choose the above MB simply because it has 4 memory slots for 2 gigs of memory and also supports 150Mb/s SATA drives.

The above would extend the life of your existing hardware to where you could look into building yourself a Conroe system a year or so from now.

SRX660
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#7
pedrossi

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Thanks!! I'll definetly look into building my own system :whistling:
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