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Two Questions

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Okay, I got two unrelated questions about my computer's hardware.

Question One:

I think my computer says I have a duo core processor. The dxdiag says so and I believe my Device Manager does too. But I don't see it in my computer. I may be completely ignorant of what a duo core processor looks like, but I'll provide you a screenshot of my specs as well as a picture I found on the internet.

My Specs-
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What the inside of my computer looks like-
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If this is duo core I'll be really happy. That means I won't be needing to get a new motherboard for a couple more years (i7 seems to be unnecessarily overpowered for my needs and todays games).

Question Two:

I'm going to go to micro center and bestbuy to browse for video cards. I currently have NVidia GeForce 6200se video card. Old yes, but suits my purposes. I can play some sorta recent games on their lowest settings (even oblivion, which surprises me).

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I have found some comparitively decent graphics cards for $60, but I don't know as much about graphics cards as I do other hardware. I know $60 is really cheap for a graphics card but I'm not looking for the best. I'm just looking for something that is the most bang for MY buck. And I only have $90 with I need to have enough gas money to get to school and back :) (Really hard to find jobs these days. Which is irrelevant. I just don't want to be judged by people I don't know ><). Also I think I have "standard PCI slots" so I'm guessing that's some how different from PCIe? Which would really suck because I think I found a really nice cheap graphics card but it says "PCIe" :)
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Here is the card I'm looking at. I don't know if it's in stores but here it is.

So what should I be looking for in a graphics card. Is there more to it then just video memory? Because from the looks of it this has 1gig of video memory while mine only have 256mb, so I would think this is 4 times better then my current. Please inform me!
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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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Answer 1. The dual cores are on one die, mounted in one package, and plugged into one CPU socket. Same with Quads (although some quads are actually a pair of duals in one package, one socket).

Answer 2. That card is PCI Express, the same as PCIe, and no they will not work in a PCI slot for they are totally different, despite the similar names. If you only have "standard" PCI slots, then you need a PCI card. There are many to choose from, but none will match a good PCIe, which is 2 generations newer (with AGP in the middle). Generally with graphics cards, more money means better performance. But of course there are always exceptions so I recommend you find one you like, enter the model number and the word "review" in google, and see what others say. Just remember happy people don't complain so most "user" reviews will be negative. Look for common issues or complaints.

Question 3. Can your power supply handle the increased demands of a new graphics card? Some of those Dells only come with 230W or less PSUs, and come from the factory with little to no headroom for added hardware, especially power hungry graphics cards. Here's my canned text on calculating your PSU needs for the next few years:

Use the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite to determine your power supply unit (PSU) requirements. Plug in all the hardware you think you might have in 2 or 3 years (extra drives, bigger or 2nd video card, more RAM, etc.). Be sure to read and heed the notes at the bottom of the page. I recommend setting Capacitor Aging to 30%, and if you participate in distributive computing projects (e.g. BOINC or [email protected]), I recommend setting TDP to 100%. Research your video card and pay particular attention to the power supply requirements for your card listed on your video card maker's website. If not listed, check a comparable card (same graphics engine and RAM) from a different maker. The key specifications, in order of importance are:
  • Current (amperage or amps) on the +12V rail,
  • Efficiency,
  • Total wattage.
Then look for power supply brands listed under the "Good" column of PC Mechanic's PSU Reference List. Ensure the supplied amperage on the +12V rails of your chosen PSU meets the requirements of your video card. Don't try to save a few dollars by getting a cheap supply. Digital electronics, including CPUs, RAM, and today's advanced graphics cards, need clean, stable power. A good, well chosen supply will provide years of service and upgrade wiggle room. I strongly recommend you pick a supply with an efficiency rating equal to, or greater than 80%. Look for the 80 Plus - EnergyStar Compliant label. And don't forget to budget for a good UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulation).
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Use cpuz for your processor, motherboard, RAM information

cpuz : http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php

Use gpuz for vga card information

gpuz : http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/

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If your screenshot reports correctly, its a Pentium 4 3.0 GHz.. There's no such thing as Pentium 4 Dual Core (or Core Duo).. If its a dual core, it will read as either Pentium D, or Core Duo..

Its actually Hyper Threading.. To know more about Hyper Threading, visit below link :)


Edited by fenzodahl512, 15 August 2009 - 02:19 PM.

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