PC Hardware forum

General discussion

graphics card and memory

i have an intel pentium d processor 820 with dual core, memory of 1024mb and a 250gb hard drive. i would like to add a couple of sticks of ram and replace the ati x1300 graphics card i have in the unit right now. i have read a multitude of reviews and i am more confused now than i was in the beginning! i am interested in anyones thoughts on this and any advice you can offer. i run mtw 2 and will soon be running " supreme commander". money isn't an issue on this, i would just like to get it right first time! instead of wasting another $150 on a useless card.


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: graphics card and memory
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: graphics card and memory
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Adding RAM. . .

In reply to: graphics card and memory

to the motherboard will not improve graphics on a graphics card. You need a graphics card with more on-board RAM.

Collapse -

In reply to: Adding RAM. . .

so that kinda answers my question, but i want to know whether it's worth adding a couple of sticks of ram and a new graphics card or just the ram? the x1300 has 256mb on board, but i would like to get the most out of the system instead of being left to play these games on minimal settings because the fps slows down and doesn't really enhance the experience, does that make sense? if i have to put down a few bucks to get a decent graphics card and some ram that will make everything run crystal then i'd like to do that rather than waste ( as i have!) money on a card that isn't going to cut it.

Collapse -
ram and card maybe?

In reply to: so.........

I have the same pentium D chip in my desktop...I upgraded my stock 1 gig of ram to 2 gigs last summer. I'm now thinking about upgrading to a 256 or 512mb graphics card...but I need to upgrade the power supply as well in order to do so....so maybe all three would help because I did see a difference in my games loading because of the ram upgrade, however the games video doesn't lag yet

Collapse -
thanx jake

In reply to: ram and card maybe?

thanks for your input jake. what i want is to be able to run these games without all the lag issues as you described. with mtw2 i have to minimise many of the settings to get it to run at a fairly fluid speed, i.e. no jerky animations etc. i have been told that with this type of pentium that you should double upgrade as in 2x1gb memory or 2x 512mb memory because of the way that the dual core processes. is that what you did? a question to you about the graphics upgrade for you......why do you need a different power supply? won't it just plug in and run from the box? my current card (although crap!) is 256mb and that just slid right in and i've had no problems with it. it's just not giving me what i need graphics wise, maybe you should check that out more before spending anything on a new powersource?

Collapse -
power supply

In reply to: thanx jake

well my stock graphics card is on the low end, at 128mb. My power supply is only 300 watts which is fine for now...However, I want to upgrade my ram eventually to 4GB with at least a 512mb Graphics card from ATI...the box I looked at for the graphics card recommended a 350watt power supply so I need to upgrade my 300 watt.....and I've seen other posts on here about having to upgrade the power supply along with everything else....so for me over this summer I will probably get a 450watt power supply or something like that to have enough power for the 512mb or who knows they may have 1gb. video cards with a good price by then. My computers only a year old and I don't think I will be getting a new one for at while.

Collapse -
memory also...

In reply to: power supply

and the ram....yes for the dual core I found out from first hand experience I had to get a 1 gb stick to go along with my 2-512 sticks already in the system....just adding another 512 stick would not work...also theres only 4 memory slots in my computer which kinda sucks...so if I want 4GB's I have to buy 3 more 1 GB sticks

Collapse -
i hear ya!

In reply to: power supply

i got my computer in august and i definately will not be buying a new one for a while as well!!! but thats interesting about the power supply, i haven't heard of that before. if i'm putting 2gb in and a 512mb card does that mean i'm gonna need a new power supply as well?? this is all getting very complicated and expensive if so!!

Collapse -
power supply

In reply to: i hear ya!

you may not have to get a power supply depending on your stock power supply....you can open up the computer or find the specs and check it out. and compare the stock watts with the watts recommended on the new graphics card. I just know mine is not enough to handle everything...and I want to turn my computer into a SCREAMER eventually if possible lol

Collapse -
power supply

In reply to: power supply

i'm with you there. i like all the strategy/war type games so the pc is the only way to go! but the console is great for sports games! i just find it very frustrating to get into games like mtw2, having a whale of a time and then have to deal with niggly little probs like the fps slowing down that kind of ruins the entire experience!! i too would like to have a screamer, but i'd like to have it now!!! lol!!!

Collapse -
supreme commander will probably need at least 1gb

In reply to: so.........

but you won't know for sure until the game releases in late february. i suggest you just wait until then, read some reviews, and then look into a new video card. nvidia should be releasing the geforce 8600 cards in the $150-$200 price range by then so today's cards (geforce 7600gt/7900gs and radeon x1900gt/x1950gt/pro) will be either falling in price or obsoleted.

Collapse -
thanks ramac

In reply to: supreme commander will probably need at least 1gb

so what your saying is that i'd need to get at least another 1gb ram and update to a better card? at the current prices i would like to get another 2gb of ram and a new card if that will solve the problems i've had in the past with games. after my initial post yesterday i re-installed company of heroes, played around with the graphics settings in the games graphics settings option, but even with everything turned right down i was still only just getting what they call a "good" fps approx 63fps average. so......i hope that by getting the additional ram and a decent card i can run all these with no problems, i guess i want a kind of "console" type effect when playing.does that make sense? i would like someone to be able to give me a difinitive answer before i shell out the hard earned bucks!

Collapse -
anyone have any other advice?

In reply to: thanks ramac

so......can anyone give me any further advice on my initial question? i would really like to have some kind of concensus or advice before i spend $600 on a graphics card and ram. is it better to buy just ram and stick with the 256mb card i have? will that sufficently enhance the graphics? or am i far better off investing in the card and ram? supreme commander is what worries me here! although no-one will know for sure what is required until the release of the game........after suffering fps problems, lags etc with mtw2 and company of heroes, i want to give myself the best possible shot at enjoying the new game and the others again! seriously....any help you can offer is really appreciated.

Collapse -
2gb ram is plenty at the moment

In reply to: anyone have any other advice?

You really just need 2 1gb sticks of ram and make sure they are in the same color slots on your motherboard, then they will run in dual core. Also since its only two sticks the memory controller will operate more efficiently and you could even overclock further.
You should get a 256mb 7600gt card for about $120 while you wait for the next gen cards to come out. You should also have a sata II 3gb/s hdd for your operating system and page file drive.
Then your pc will kick *** for a year at least.

Collapse -
Upgrade the card

In reply to: graphics card and memory

1024 of ram should be enough. The x1300 is a bottom of the line card. I had the same one on my PC. I upgrades to a Nvidia 6800 gt w/256 memory and the difference was amazing.If you are going to update the card try the Nvidia 7950gt. It has 512 of video memory and is pretty cheap right now. Around 200-250 bucks at Newegg.com

Collapse -
it is not just in memory

In reply to: Upgrade the card

Well gf7950 is good but it costs...and i think it is not just how much memory it has...the most important is how fast memory is...i have ati radeon x1950 pro ddr3 and i must say it offers the most performance for the money it costs

Collapse -
I spend 200 EUR on ATI x1950 pro

In reply to: graphics card and memory

Well one month ago i replaced my geforce 6600V+ 512 MB with Ati x1950...but after that i had to replace the power supply too coz it didn't started.My older was 350 Watt and i bought new one Deluxe 600 Watt...and im satisfied with the quality that offers ATI x1950.The most of games i run in 1280x1024@60Hz and with very high quality.Right now i'm playing Rainbow six Laz vegas at 1024x786@60Hz with full quality.I have Pentim D 3.4 GHz , 1Gb DDR 2 533Mhz , HDD IDE 80 Gb.I must say that for now Ati offers best performances for the price by the way it it sapphire Ati radeon x1950 pro 256 Mb DDR3 (core clock frequency at 581 mhz , memory clock at 1400 MHz).

Collapse -
2gb ram is mandatory for good gaming I would say

In reply to: I spend 200 EUR on ATI x1950 pro

Gee, I really thing 2gb of ram is needed for proper gameplay these days. I tried BF2 with 1 GB and it took twice as long to get into each map and so I was too slow to get the good vehicles. 2gb ram running in dual interleaved mode is what each game pc should at least have if you ask me. To run dual interleaved you need equal size/brand memory sticks in the same color slots on your motherboard. It makes the ram twice as efficient and its not expensive.

Collapse -
If you want my 2 cents..

In reply to: 2gb ram is mandatory for good gaming I would say

As a part-time computer builder/gamer/tech nut the single most important piece of computer hardware is your power supply. Without a good power supply your computer will NOT run well and you're more apt to see BSOD's then someone with damaged hardware. The ONLY power supplies I will recommend you use are PC Power & Cooling (simply the best out there, Enermax, Adapted and most recently BFG Tech. I only used to use Adaptec supplies in my own machines for their reliability, price and power but I've recently built a new rig around the BFG Tech 650w and it runs supper quite with stable output. If you do a test on your power supply, most of you will find considerable differences between what it should be, and what it is putting out ESPECIALLY if you have a stock power supply from the manufacturer.
The second most important part of a PC is memory. YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH (as long as you're running Windows XP SP2 or higher). Windows 9x kernal doesn't play well over 128MB. I currently have 2GB of PC2-6400 @ 800Mhz and I find this is the minimum amount of RAM for any true game rig. If you're planning on playing BF2, 2142, Supreme Commander or just about any game released in 2007 then this should be your starting point, even before CPU speed. I'm planning on upgrading to 4GB as soon as I can.
Third on the list of important things to have in your computer if you're going to play high-end games is a great graphics card. Again, like the memory, you can't have too much. I had planned on putting an BFG (again, the ONLY card I will use in my machines PERIOD) 8800 GTS OC 640mb PCIx card in this machine, but opted for the 7950 GT OC 256mb for price at this time. The BFG 8800 GTX OC card is the fastest single video card on the planet at this time, so if money is no object, this IS the card you will want. The biggest difference between the 7900 and lower cards to the 8800 cards, is that the new 8800 cards have Physics chips built in, so you wont need another add on card to get the benefiet of this awesome effect. Many people complain about the price of BFG cards when I recommend them, but all I can say is you get what you pay for. They are one of the few video card manufacturers that stand behind thier product with a FULL LIFETIME warrenty, and they even sell pre-overclocked cards with the same coverage.
Number four on our list of this to put in your rig is the CPU. Some people question why it's not number one and that's because CPUs are outrunning programs for once. It used to be you had to upgrade to a new CPU as soon as they came out so you could run another TSR on your slow machine. Now with CPUs hitting the 5 Ghz mark along with dual and quad cores, it should be a while before you HAVE to upgrade. (Although Vista should make things interesting). As long as you're running something in the 3Ghz or higher you 'should' be ok to game as long as you follow the above items. My last game rig was an 820 D dual 2.8 machine with 2GB and a BFG 7900 and it ran BF2 with everything as high as it would go at 1600x1200@32.
To the fifth and final requirement to a good game rig is hard drive. Once again, too much is never enough, but speed rules here. I ditch my CD/DVDs as soon as the game is installed and run from a mini image, so all the game info is comming directly from the drive. My current system boots from a 36GB Raptor drive on SATA1 and my games/apps are installed to a 500GB SATA2 drive that screams while I'm playing. Always look for drives based on 7200 rpm or faster and Serial and RAID can be your friend.
Well, I hope this helps some of you.. I know it works for me..

Current rig:
Intel DG965WH motherboard (DO NOT BUY THIS BOARD)
Intel E6300 @ stock 1.8 Dual Core
BFG Tech 7950 GT OC 256MB
Onboard hard hi-def sound
Onboard Gigabit LAN
Boot - 36Gb Raptor
Install - 500Gb SATA2
Vista Ultimate
Saitek II Keyboard
Razer Copperhead mouse
Envision 19" CRT (fast and big) ~ LCDs are for laptops, and laptops aren't for games Silly

Collapse -
On the memory...

In reply to: If you want my 2 cents..

Oh yeah you can have too much, from what I've seen. Just try to run WinXP, the 32 bit version not the 64 bit version, with 4GB or more of memory and you'll see a few issues.


Collapse -
I have, as long as it's SP2

In reply to: On the memory...

I have run 4Gb of Pc-3200 with XP PRO SP2 and it ran fine. I originally had issues with the motherboard recognizing my configuration, but once I moved to a better board all was good and it ran fine. I'm looking to make the same upgrade to this system as soon as I can.

Collapse -
If you want my 2 cents!

In reply to: If you want my 2 cents..

Hi Viperz7,
You certainly gave MORE than your 2cents worth...I'm sure it was appreciated by all!! Quick Question, I'm only in to vide's...and want a FAST System! Does ALL apply that you talked about...encluding that BFG Video Card?? Thanks for your help!

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.