My GFX Card?

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My GFX Card?

Postby Shyrtandros » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:35 pm

So I've been debating on whether or not my GFX card is still "UP TO SNUFF" enough for newer games like Rift, SWTOR ect. I bought it for $75 last year when Rift came out and got a giant improvement from the onboard card (for obvious reasons).

I currently have the PNY GT 240 which is like the off-brand of an Nvidia? I don't really know ANYTHING about GFX Cards so here are the stats I found.. Since I don't really know anything about the cards I just kinda went "Hmm on sale.. heard it's a decent brand.. suure why not."

PNY GeForce GT 240

Shader Units 96
ROPs 8
GPU Core GT215
Transistors 727M
Mem Size 512MB / 1GB
Memory Bus Width 128-Bit
Memory Bandwidth 54.4 GB/s
Core Clock 550 MHz
Memory Clock 1700MHz
Shader Clock 1340 MHz

So where am I at? Is this thing considered "Ancient" for the current MMO's and a well executed upgrade will shoot performance sky high,or did I do decent the first time?

I can play the games but I'm setting them at low or medium settings and FPS is definately not in the "phoenominal" category.
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby Hrobertgar » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:58 pm

Frame rate is also going to vary with main memory (2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and what speed), processor specs and other overall system specs. Some of the more technical folks may want some of that info to better answer the question.

For comparison, I normally play Wow on a 3yr old desktop running a HD2960 or some such card supported by an intel core 2 duo 7300 and 8GB RAM - 800Mhz and I get pretty good frame rates at 1350ishx768 resolution and decent settings and I usually get 30 fps with lots of people and still upto 60 out in the boonies
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby Shyrtandros » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:17 pm

Gateway DX4200-09 Desktop PC: Quad-core Phenom 9100e 1.8 GHz, 4GB DDR2, 640GB HDD, Radeon HD3200

Features
AMD Phenom X4 9100e 64-bit Quad-Core Processor (1.80GHz, 2MB L2 Cache) with AMD64 Technology
4096MB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM (2-2048MB modules), expandable up to 8GB
Integrated ATIÆ Radeonô HD 3200 Hybrid Graphics with up to 256MB of Shared Video Memory
AMD 780G Chipset
1 HDMI and 1 VGA video port
640GB 7200rpm Serial ATA II/300 hard drive with 16MB Cache
18X DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti Drive featuring Labelflashô Technology
6 USB 2.0 ports (2 Front, 4 Rear)
2 IEEE 1394a Ports(1 Front, 1 Rear)
2 PS2 Ports
1 - PCI-E x16, 1 - PCI-Ex1 and 1 - PCI Available Expansion Slots
GatewayÆ 15-in-1 media card reader with copy button
8-Channel (7.1) High Definition Audio
300W Power Supply
10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)
56k ITU v.92 Ready Fax/Modem (RJ-11 port)
Dimensions (H x W x D): 16.34î x 7.09î x 17.32î (415mm x 180mm x 440mm)

Added a 120G SSD & the Card from OP, installed Windows 7 Home Premium

Everything else should be stock.


*Stares with wide-eyes and hopes for the best*
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby rodos » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:31 pm

The big one, for WoW at least, is CPU. FPS scales very well with CPU speed from what I've seen. My system has Intel Q6600 CPU and GeForce GTX460 graphics. I think overclocking the CPU gave more of a boost to fps than I got upgrading the gfx card from an 8600 to the 460 (a 3-generation jump).

SSD is generally a good upgrade to make too. Won't do much for fps, but it should reduce your loading times a bit compared to a regular HDD.
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby Talaii » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:12 am

Shyrtandros wrote:I currently have the PNY GT 240 which is like the off-brand of an Nvidia? I don't really know ANYTHING about GFX Cards so here are the stats I found.. Since I don't really know anything about the cards I just kinda went "Hmm on sale.. heard it's a decent brand.. suure why not."


Nvidia makes the chips, other people (in this case PNY, but lots of companies do it) take the chips, assemble a full card (chips, memory, VRMs, etc) and sell the finished product. So it's a Nvidia GPU, manufactured by PNY, basically. Some companies make custom coolers and stuff to try and differentiate themselves, but it's the same thing underneath all that.

First thing to do, really, is find out what's limiting your performance. You have a slow processor, a slow graphics card, and "only" 4G of RAM (which is generally enough). The easiest way to do this is to run a hardware monitor (this or this) while running the game. Keep an eye on load. Generally either a couple of your CPU cores will be pegged at 100%, with the Graphics Core at somewhat lower percentage, or the graphics card will be pegged at 100%, with the CPU cores lower. Whichever is sitting at 100% is your limiting factor. For example: When I run Skyrim, my graphics card sits at 99% load, and my CPU hovers around 50%. Therefore, getting a faster CPU won't improve performance, since the graphics card is the limiting factor. This varies from game to game, too, so try it with all the ones you care about.

If your graphics card is the limit, you have several options. You can turn down video settings (resolution, detail levels) and see if that makes the situation better, but you'll obviously have less pretty graphics. Unfortunately, the problem with higher-powered video card is that they use a LOT of power. You've only got a 300W power supply, which limits your options. You may be able to run a Geforce 550Ti or a Radeon 6770 (or 5770, they are two names for the same card). These cards require somewhere around 100-125W on their own. A good quality 300W power supply should be sufficient for a 95W CPU + one of these cards, but a lot of OEM computers don't have high-quality power supplies, unfortunately. A radeon 6570 or 6670 (no geforce equivalent) should work; but they won't be much faster than the 240 (~10-15% for the 6570, ~30% faster for the 6670. A Geforce 550Ti is about twice as fast as the 6670).

As far as the CPU goes, you have a lower-power (in the literal "electricity" sense, it uses 65W rather than the "standard" 95W for quad-cores, but it manages that by running slower) version of a three-generation old CPU, it's really not fast. More modern Phenoms have better performance at the same clock speed (they added a bunch of L3 cache, which helped a LOT), and have much higher clockspeeds (3.2GHz or higher). Dropping one of them in MAY work, if you can find a BIOS upgrade that supports them. Just googling around, it looks like the motherboard in your computer doesn't support Phenom IIs without a newer BIOS, so you might be forced to get a new motherboard (and probably new memory, as well) in order to get a faster CPU. The original Phenoms are no longer available in retail, though you might find second-hand ones around. They aren't very good processors, but at least they'll be clocked higher.

Hope this is helpful, rather than confusing. I tend to ramble a bit.
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby Shyrtandros » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:10 am

In summary.

"Your system sux - time to buy an upgrade."

*sigh* Looks like I need to actually put forth the effort to build one instead of dropping $500 at best buy.
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby gibborim » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:24 pm

Shyrtandros wrote:*sigh* Looks like I need to actually put forth the effort to build one instead of dropping $500 at best buy.


Looks like Intel is launching Ivy Bridge in April. Their base model Ivy Bridge chips should be pretty reasonable. I don't know if they will be in your budget, but the current generation of chips should also fall in price when they launch.
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby Fetzie » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:18 pm

The prices of the 3570K and 3770K (the equivalents of the 2500K and 2600K) are expected to cost 225 and 335 dollars respectively. So pretty much exactly the same as the SB chips did on launch.
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby Gab » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:25 am

What a shame. I finally got around to building a new machine. Bought a 2500k... will the ivy bridge be the same socket (LGA 1155)?
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby Fetzie » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:42 am

Yes
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Re: My GFX Card?

Postby Shyrtandros » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:28 pm

If I were to buy a gaming "Barebones Kit", gut my current systems drives and buy a new GFX card would it work properly or do I need to start from scratch?

Once I get my tax return next week I should have roughly $600 and I was thinking that may be enough money to buy something. I want something that will handle SWTOR with GOOD FPS.

Any recommendations? Should I wait for.. whatever the heck " Ivy Bridge" is?

Thx again for helping this hardware nub..
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