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Video Card advice needed


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#1
BrianR1976

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I have an older computer. I would say 6 years. It still runs great but the monitor broke recently and I bought a new much larger one. I was thinking with the new monitor I should maybe look into a better video card. Having just PCI slot(s) I do not have much selection here. I was looking and saw that there are a couple PCI video cards that can work HD. I'm wondering if A) its worth it or B) will an old computer even be able to use a good enough video card to make it be worth spending money on?

For those who will say just buy a new computer... it wont cost all that much more. I don't want a new one. Not until this one becomes absolutely obsolete or breaks. Or atleast until I see what the system requirements Star Wars Old Republic need.
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#2
D-Berd

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You should list your specs or give the name and model# of your pc. It will make it easier. you can get PCI video cards all day long for under 100.00, there are some as low as 15.00 http://www.tigerdire...c.asp?CatId=319
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#3
Digerati

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There are many good PCI cards available. Newegg has 57. Depending on what your current graphics solution is, a new card with a decent amount of on board RAM and a good GPU will provide a significant over-all performance boost for your computer. This is because today's computing environment is very graphics intensive so the more capable the graphics solution, the more tasks the CPU can hand off to it. And it takes very little CPU horsepower to hand off tasks.

BUT! - Graphics cards are often the most power hungry devices in a computer so you need to first ensure your power supply has enough horsepower to support a new card. Also, again, depending on where you are starting from, you typically get more bang for your money when you upgrade your RAM. If you have less than 1Gb, I would upgrade that first. And the nice thing about adding RAM is it usually does not require a bigger PSU.
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#4
BrianR1976

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Sorry it was late when I wrote the question out.

I have a...

Computer:
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
OS Service Pack Service Pack 3

Motherboard:
CPU Type Intel Pentium 4, 2666 MHz (20 x 133)
Motherboard Name Dell Dimension 2400
System Memory 1024 MB (PC2700 DDR SDRAM)

Display:
Video Adapter Intel® 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller (64 MB)
3D Accelerator Intel Extreme Graphics

The monitor I have is a Hanns·G HZ201HPB Black 20"
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#5
D-Berd

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Yeah, Digerati is spot on about the PSU unit. Not only do you want to make sure you have enough power, but you have to make sure that you have the correct connector on your current PSU for what ever card you do get. also consider the size of the card dimensionally as well ( you want it to fit in the case = D ) One more gig of ram would help as well. I used to play jedi outcast years ago and I loved it, I have to keep my eye on this new one.

Only thing is, is that your system "may" struggle a little bit to play this game despite a new card and more ram. I personally hate low frame rates. :D I'm not sure what the minimum system requirments are but I never go by that.

Star Wars: The Old Republic
PREDICTED System Requirements*

Intel Processor - Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33GHz CPU
AMD Processor - Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5400+
Nvidia Graphics Card - GeForce 8800 GTS GD gfx hardware score: 5
ATI Graphics Card - Radeon HD 3800 series
RAM/Memory - 2 GB

Hard Disk Space - 15 GB
Direct X - 9


* Predicted System requirements are based on recommended system requirements. If you disagree with our predictions then we encorouge you to login and let us know. Send an email or post a message on our forum. We really want to know! Through your help we can advance our predictions.

http://www.game-deba...0Old%20Republic
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#6
BrianR1976

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so based on the predicted system requirements I should probably just get a new computer?
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#7
Digerati

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According the FAQ Page

Q. What are the system requirements for Star Wars: The Old Republic?
A. While we don’t have the minimum system requirements available just yet, the goal is to make the game playable on most PCs.

So that suggests it should play on your system, though not spectacularly - and that is after you upgrade your graphics solution. With 1Gb already, you are at the "sweet spot" for XP and single core processors. 2Gb will help some, but again, not spectacularly.

As far as getting a new computer or not, I guess that depends on time. If it will be less than 6 months for you get get a new computer, then I would say save your money and wait until the budget allows for a new computer. If it will be a year or longer, then I would upgrade your current system now. What to do with the gray area between 6 months and 1 year is something only you can decide. Just understand that any new card and RAM you buy for this PC will NOT be able to be used in your new computer. The RAM will not fit and PCI is obsolete regardless now new the card is. A new PSU, if you buy big enough for the future, will be the only thing you can move to a new computer. Note that you will not need any special power connections for a PCI card. It will get its power through the bus.
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#8
BrianR1976

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I understand about not being able to use any new ram I would buy or the video card on a new computer. I really don't care for Windows 7 so I'm waiting until I absolutely have to switch over. If I could by a brand new computer today with XP on it I would probably consider it.
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#9
Digerati

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If I could by a brand new computer today with XP on it I would probably consider it.

Well, that would be a mistake. XP was designed 10 years ago to support insecure hardware and software of the DOS era of 20 years ago. XP is not designed to support today's advanced hardware, and is especially not designed to defend you against today's hostile security environment. The XP developers weighed legacy support over security and that was fine when XP first came out, but the unexpected explosion of the Internet, and the number of badguys that flocked to is soon after showed that was a mistake. With Win7, security was weighed over legacy support - and that's a good thing. A very good thing. And Win7 is designed to support today's advance hardware and software, including 64-bit stuff - which it does very well.

While it is true Windows 7 has a bit of a learning curve, especially for those (like me) who refused to migrate to Vista first. But it takes little time using it before Windows 7 becomes just as easy to use as XP, if not easier.
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#10
BrianR1976

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Thanks for the advice. I will try to look at 7 differently.
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#11
Digerati

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I will try to look at 7 differently.

Well, it is here to stay and before long, Microsoft will end all support (and updates) for XP (they no longer support SP2). So it is inevitable that you will need to move away from XP eventually. Of course, that does not mean you must go with Windows, there are very capable Linux alternatives.
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#12
D-Berd

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so based on the predicted system requirements I should probably just get a new computer?

This new game will be designed to take full advantage of windows 7 along with large amounts of memory and multi core processors. Not to mention the new dx 11. I'm pretty hardcore at gaming, and nothing is more irritating than playing a game that drops down to 20 FPS in the middle of the action. I think this conversation will open the door for you to further investigate the advantages of a newer pc. I think the more you research windows 7 and today's gaming requirement, the more you will realize it's worth getting a new pc.
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