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Video Card Confusion!


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#1
jen147

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Hello, we are about to put in a new video card & power supply into my son's computer. And I'm tired of all the confusion and mixed messages about the video cards... specifically the GDDR3, DDR3, GDDR5 and/or DDR5. I've read till my head is spinning. When the talk gets too technical (buses & rails, etc) I just glaze over. One person will say 1GB DDR5 is better than 2GB GDDR3, then another will say they'll take the DDR3 any day over the DDR5, and I read on another computer site that the average consumer would not notice the difference in DDR3 & DDR5. Seems like sometimes there's a G at the beginning and sometimes there's not.

The only game my son is really into right now is Minecraft. He's only getting 30 to 40 FPS right now and I thought upgrading his video card, power supply & maybe RAM too would help.

The computer is as follows:

Acer Aspire M3410
AMD Athlon II X4 645 Processor 3.10 GHZ
4 GB RAM
64 bit OS
ATI Radeon HD 4250 integrated

We really want to stick w/ a Radeon card but there's so many that it gets confusing on that end too... AMD, XFX, Sapphire, Gigabyte...etc.

So can anyone here recommend a video card, tell me which is better the DDR3 or DDR5, or at least which in our particular case is necessary. Need to stay under $100 for the video card. Thanks in advance!
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#2
phillpower2

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Hello jen147

Video card http://www.amazon.co...ASIN=B008XY3890

Video card system requirements http://www.amd.com/u...overview.aspx#3

Video card benchmarks http://www.videocard...h_end_gpus.html

Please ensure that there is enough room inside the case to accommodate any potential add on card before making a purchase.

PSU http://www.newegg.co...ID=3938566&SID=

Before purchasing a new PSU it is advisable that you measure the dimensions of the present PSU and ensure that the new PSU has the correct power connections for the MB, HDDs, optical drives, FDDs or add on cards such as a video card if one is fitted.

Quality brands include Antec, Corsair, OCZ and Seasonic.


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#3
iammykyl

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Gday.
May be useful but please check that this is the correct manual for your Computer.
> http://www.manualowl.../257836?page=51
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#4
jen147

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phillpower2, thanks for your reply. Checked all your links. The two cards we were looking at were:

http://www.amazon.co...eon hd 7750 2gb

and

http://www.amazon.co...eon hd 7750 2gb


Can you explain why you picked one out that's just 1GB GDDR3? Does the 2GB not mean "better"? Also you didn't say what your opinion was on the GDDR5 cards, do we just not need that?

The psu we had picked out might be the same as the link you gave me:

http://www.amazon.co...d=ATVPDKIKX0DER
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#5
jen147

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Gday.
May be useful but please check that this is the correct manual for your Computer.
> http://www.manualowl.../257836?page=51



Thanks so much for this link, it is the same I'm pretty sure.
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#6
jen147

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Please ensure that there is enough room inside the case to accommodate any potential add on card before making a purchase.




Sorry if this sounds dumb, but how do I go about doing this. Do I need to open the case up & measure or read up on the card we pick?
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#7
phillpower2

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Can you explain why you picked one out that's just 1GB GDDR3?

I was keeping under your $100 budget + the card I suggested performs marginally better and has better feedback;

Benchmark rankings
http://www.videocard... HD 6770&id=284
http://www.videocard... HD 7750&id=321

User feedback ratings http://www.amazon.co...howViewpoints=1

Does the 2GB not mean "better"?

2GB of VRam is good if you do not have much system memory (1 - 2GB for example) you have a screen larger than 32" or if you have 3 or more displays.

Also you didn't say what your opinion was on the GDDR5 cards, do we just not need that?

I do not particularily have an opinion, GDDR5 is faster VRam (video memory) but it can only go as fast as the CPU and Ram can perform, rather than me waffle away about a computer bottleneck please see http://forums.extrem...om/t306232.html

The psu we had picked out might be the same as the link you gave me:

The PSU that I suggested is the upgraded version of the one at your link, the upgraded model is bronze rated which guarentees better performance + it is cheaper than the one at your link. http://www.newegg.co...ID=3938566&SID=

Sorry if this sounds dumb, but how do I go about doing this. Do I need to open the case up & measure or read up on the card we pick?

No worries, a tutorial to help you http://www.dummies.c...r-computer.html

Tip

If you have something to add while waiting for a reply use the edit tab – bottom right of the dialogue input box and this will ensure that no information that you provide is overlooked (this can happen if your topic has more than one page) thank you for understanding.


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#8
jen147

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Ok, really enjoyed reading the bottleneck stuff, makes a lot of sense.

I guess it all comes down to my original problem. Will any of the video cards (the one you recommended or the one or two we were looking at) help with the Minecraft problem? Will the video cards in the $100 range give him a better FPS? That's really why we are doing this to begin with.


What if we decided to upgrade the Monitor? Would that change anything? It wasn't a part of our original plan, but now that we are looking at them it would be nice. The monitor he has right now is an Acer 19" (square shape) not sure of the resolution but I know it's def not full HD. So what if we were looking at something like this:

http://www.walmart.c...ABD-WM/19714383

That's just an example.

The PSU that I suggested is the upgraded version of the one at your link, the upgraded model is bronze rated which guarentees better performance + it is cheaper than the one at your link. http://www.newegg.co...ID=3938566&SID=


For the life of me I can't find the major difference. I read the descriptions on both. They both say 80 plus bronze & I'm wondering if we are looking at the same thing because the link to mine was actually $2 cheaper. ??? Newegg is $59.99 & the one at Amazon is $57.74. Ok... The Amazon one says: Universal AC input from 90~264V And the Newegg one says: 100 - 240 V, don't know if that's even the same thing or not. I see the one from Newegg does say v2.3 and I can't find that on the one from Amazon anywhere. In the title on the one from Amazon it says: ATX/EPS & in the title on the one from Newegg it says: ATX12V v2.3 It's not a big deal at all, I just thought I was going crazy or something.
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#9
phillpower2

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Each of the three cards will provide better FPS than the present graphics solution however I would narrow the choice down to either the MSI card that you have selected or the XFX card that I suggested, the final choice you must make and I can only offer you some guidance - below are a couple of pointers;

MSI AMD Radeon HD 7750 2GB
Pros = 2GB Vram
Cons = mixed feedback ratings

XFX AMD Radeon HD 6770 1GB
Pros = faster than the HD 7750, better feedback ratings than the HD 7750 + costs $79.99 after mail in rebate.
Cons = 1GB of video memory, this is not detrimental unless as I pointed out the display is larger than 32" or you wish to have three or more screens.

We do not have the present monitor details so cannot comment but I can say that the Walmart specifications for your linked screen are very poor and I had to read through the reviews to find out that there is no HDMI port, not helpful.

I apologize for my oversight in that the PSU at your link is bronze rated and I missed it in the small print :blush: Newegg however have increased the cost since I provided the link and at the time of posting the PSU if I recall correctly was $32.99 after mail in rebate.
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#10
jen147

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Hello! Ok, installation complete. Went with the XFX 6770 & Newegg had the $20 rebate on the 600 watt Corsair, so we did that instead of the 500. Problem is, he's only getting 10 maybe 15 more FPS. I think he's expecting over 60 fps to be happy with it. Is there anything else we can do to achieve that or more?

Thanks for all the help so far.
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#11
heartgrave

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Hello Jen147!

Please have him go into his Minecraft video settings and see if V-Sync is turned on. This limits your FPS to improve visual appearance. What is V-Sync you ask? V-Sync stands for Vertical Synchronization. The basic idea is that it synchronizes your FPS with your monitor's refresh rate. The purpose is to eliminate something called "tearing". Turning this off will increase his FPS but doing so might cause a "tear" in the image. These are almost not noticeable. See https://www.google.c...5067%2F;800;640 for what "tearing" is. See the offset portions of the bathroom? That's "tearing." Please keep in mind, "tearing" does not always look like this. "Tearing" is a phenomenon that gives a disjointed image. The idea is, if you took a photograph of something, then rotated your view maybe just 1 degree to the left and took a photograph of that, then cut the two pictures in half and taped the top half of one to the bottom half of the other. The images would be similar but there would be a notable difference in the top half from the bottom half. This is what is called tearing on a visual display. It doesn't always have to be cut right in the middle. It can be near the top or the bottom and the separation point can actually move up or down the screen, or seem to jump back and forth between two points. As I mentioned, not too noticeable. 30-40 FPS before the upgrade is actually pretty nice for a lot of games. If he is getting 40-55 now, that's actually quite decent.

I play World of Warcraft and have upgraded everything in my computer to performance gaming parts (motherboard, ram, graphics card, central processing unit (CPU), Power Supply Unit (PSU)). When there is a lot of stuff on the screen, I can drop to as low as 15 FPS. When there is not a lot of stuff on screen, I am pushing 110+ FPS. If I turn on V-Sync, my FPS stays at 60 no matter what and doesn't change. I like having a lot of FPS so I turn mine off. My "tearing" likes to start at the bottom of my screen and scroll up to the top. It looks like a transparent line rolling up my screen and I barely notice unless I sit there and look for it.

Edited by heartgrave, 22 July 2013 - 07:11 AM.

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#12
jen147

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He checked and the V-Sync was already off. He says his average is 40 to 45 now. I agree with you that that sounds pretty good but to him it's not good enough. He says there's lag when there's a lot of entities, like in a mob farm. He's also using 64x64 texture pack.

So what would give him the FPS he's dreaming of? An even better video card... more RAM? Would Amazon.com take this video card back do you think and maybe we could buy a more expensive one? The power supply we put in is 600 watts, so that hopefully wouldn't need to be changed. Is the problem with the monitor? If you want to know the specs of the monitor please tell me how to find those & I'll provide that info.
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#13
heartgrave

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Well, more RAM will depend on the type of motherboard that is in the system. You can do a crucial system check on his computer see if a better RAM upgrade is possible. More RAM would help with FPS.

To do a crucial system check, go here: http://www.crucial.c...ner/?click=true

Also, something that may help the techs is to do a speccy system check here: http://www.piriform.com/speccy

Please post the results for both.

Since your son is a gamer, please keep in mind, if you have Windows 7 64-bit as your OS then 8GB of Ram is all that you need as you would not utilize any more than that and so would be a waste of your cash. RAM higher than that is for far more demanding programs such as video editing, graphic designers, game programmers and professions of the such.

With my parts list I told you earlier, I only have a 650W PSU powering all that so your 600W PSU should be sufficient enough.

Edited by heartgrave, 22 July 2013 - 11:12 AM.

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#14
jen147

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Crucial System Check:

Your Aspire M3410 System Specs

Scan Id: 5C1C990131D926C3




Memory:
DDR3 PC3-10600, DDR3 PC3-12800

Memory Type: DDR3 PC3-10600, DDR3 PC3-12800, DDR3 (non-ECC)
Maximum Memory: 8GB
Currently Installed Memory: 4GB
Total Memory Slots: 4
Available Memory Slots: 2



2GB



2GB



EMPTY

EMPTY







Although the memory can be installed one module at a time, the best performance comes from using matched pairs of modules.


How much memory your Windows OS will recognize depends on which version of Windows you are running. 32-bit versions of Windows will see (and utilize) only 3GB or 3.5GB. To utilize more memory, install a 64-bit version of your OS. More information about OS memory maximums can be found here.


Memory or DRAM is the 'working' memory of the computer. It's used to store data for programs (sequences of instructions) on a temporary basis.



video - installing memory







Storage:
SATA 2 - 3Gb/s

10% Full (915 GB Total Storage)



SATA Version -- SATA 2 - 3Gb/s

External Drive Bays -- 2 x 5.25"

Internal Drive Bays -- 2 x 3.5"

Storage Drives -- hard drives and solid state drives -- are the permanent memory for the programs and documents on your computer.

Data Transfer Rate is the rate at which data can be sent or received. This is determined by your motherboard. A drive with a higher transfer rate will only run at the rate of the motherboard's transfer rate.

Cache is a type of working memory that allows the drive to perform faster.

RPM is the rotations per minute of a hard drive which effects the speed of data transfer.

Solid State Drives are non-moving memory, so access speed is instant.

*******************************************************************************************************************************

Don't know what all you wanted from Speccy, but here is the monitor info:

Monitor
Name Acer V173 on AMD Radeon HD 6700 Series
Current Resolution 1280x1024 pixels
Work Resolution 1280x984 pixels
State Enabled, Primary, Output devices support
Monitor Width 1280
Monitor Height 1024
Monitor BPP 32 bits per pixel
Monitor Frequency 60 Hz
Device \\.\DISPLAY1\Monitor0
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#15
jen147

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Motherboard
Manufacturer Acer
Model Aspire M3410 (CPU 1)
Chipset Vendor AMD
Chipset Model 880G
Chipset Revision 00
Southbridge Vendor AMD
Southbridge Model SB850
Southbridge Revision 40
System Temperature 38 °C
BIOS
Brand American Megatrends Inc.
Version P01-B3
Date 1/26/2011
Voltage
+12V 11.981 V
+5V 5.166 V
CPU CORE 1.380 V
VIN3 1.656 V
VIN4 1.200 V
+3.3V 3.432 V
VIN6 2.892 V
VIN7 1.644 V
VIN8 1.524 V
PCI Data
Slot PCI-E
Slot Type PCI-E
Slot Usage In Use
Bus Width Unknown
Slot Designation PCIE1
Slot Number 0
Slot PCI-E
Slot Type PCI-E
Slot Usage Available
Bus Width Unknown
Slot Designation PCIE2
Slot Number 1
Slot PCI-E
Slot Type PCI-E
Slot Usage In Use
Bus Width Unknown
Slot Designation PCIE3
Slot Number 2
Slot PCI
Slot Type PCI
Slot Usage Available
Bus Width 32 bit
Slot Designation PCI1
Slot Number 3




RAM
Memory slots
Total memory slots 4
Used memory slots 2
Free memory slots 2
Memory
Type DDR3
Size 4096 MBytes
Channels # Dual
DRAM Frequency 665.7 MHz
CAS# Latency (CL) 9 clocks
RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD) 9 clocks
RAS# Precharge (tRP) 9 clocks
Cycle Time (tRAS) 24 clocks
Bank Cycle Time (tRC) 33 clocks
Command Rate (CR) 1T
Physical Memory
Memory Usage 59 %
Total Physical 3.99 GB
Available Physical 1.60 GB
Total Virtual 7.98 GB
Available Virtual 4.52 GB
SPD
Number Of SPD Modules 2
Slot #1
Slot #2

Edited by jen147, 22 July 2013 - 11:47 AM.

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