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Looking for a small speed bump

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:55 pm
by pixel_pimp
As per my sig, I'm currently using onboard GFX (GF 6150) and, while it does the job, I wouldn't mind a small increase in GFX power (actually, I even struggle to play DVDs smoothly just now).

I'm pretty much lost as to what chips come where in the pecking order and which ATI compares with which NVidia so I'm hoping someone can point me in the direction of a suitable upgrade - nothing major, I'm not a gamer on the whole but something that'll let me play the odd game here or there and won't cost more than about GBP 40 - 50.

Any pointers greatly appreciated!

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:15 pm
by darthan
DVD playback generally isn't limited by your video card. It is usually done by your CPU using a software decoder contained in your DVD player software. A Sempron 3200 with 1GB of RAM ought to be able to play back any DVD without trouble.

As for what card, in the price range you're looking at, you probably want an ATI X1300 or Nvidia Geforce 7300 of some sort. Make sure that whatever you choose has a decent amount of onboard memory (128MB seems to be the current standard) because some of the low-end cards with PCI-E use "Turbo-Cache" (Nvidia) or "HyperMemory" (ATI) to use system memory instead of card memory. Then, to make the card cheaper, the manufacturer only puts on like 16MB of memory which isn't enough for playing games with much in the way of big textures. It's ok if the card supports the technology, you just don't really want to use it.

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:31 am
by pixel_pimp
Thanks for the pointers, I'll keep an eye out for cards with those chips.