Time for a video card upgrade...

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Post by Ra Cha Chongo on Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:28 pm

So, Netflix is officially a school supply for me now, but it turns out that I can't make use of the "instant watch" feature without a 512mb video card or some such; any cost-effective suggestions? How much should I expect to pay for something decent?

Alternatively...

Since I don't actually need a new video card for anything but the Netflix, would I be better off getting a Wii since you can apparently watch Netflix through that? I wouldn't mind spending a little extra to go in this direction (I haven't had a Nintendo console since the SuperNES, and it IS for educational purposes, after all Time for a video card upgrade... Icon_razz ), but I don't know if I need some other service or something to be able to utilize the Wii for that, and I don't think I can really afford another monthly bill.
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Post by Alundaio on Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:57 pm

If you know your PC's specs, it would be helpful in pinpointing what kind of graphics card you need (ie. AGP or PCIx16.) Hopefully you do have an external graphics card, right? EDIT: I don't mean external (Such a thing does exist now,) I mean GPU slot. On-board video sucks!

I have a Wii and it's in my closet in a box. It's soft-modded to play copied games but I still don't even play it.

I recently had my GPU die on me a few weeks ago because of intense heat. Luckily I had a backup. 200$ in the hole pretty much since it was only about a little over a year old. Sad

I think some Radeon HD cards may be suitable for what you are going to use it for and should be relatively cheap. Take a look at www.newegg.com and go to the video cards/desktop graphics section. Then sort by AGP/PCIx16 depending on which can fit in the motherboard. I would sort by price and try to find something with a good rating and about 512mb RAM or more. Somewhere around 50$ should be acceptable for your needs.

If that is true about the Wii, then perhaps you should get one. It's a lot of fun when you have someone else to play it with.


Last edited by Alundaio on Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by daveyeisley on Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:35 pm

I watch netflix on my PC fairly often. I have an older video card with only 256MB of video RAM. Works fine for netflix.

Some of the newer games I have trouble with, like Shadowrun for PC and Far Cry 2 among others.... but 256MB works fine for netflix and NWN.

That should save you a good chunk. Newegg.com is a good place to shop, but as Alundaio said, you need to make sure the card you get will fit into your motherboard. If you dont know what your motherboard will take, post back here with the brand and model of your computer. We will find out from there. Manufacturer's website or google should have the skinny.
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Post by Alundaio on Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:21 am

haha, you tried playing Far Cry 2 with a 256MB GPU? Seeing as your a computer guy I would have thought you would be sporting top of the line graphics, even if it wasn't necessary.

My dream is for a 3D projector and shutter glasses. To bad I'm poor lately...I guess I'll make due with my crappy 2D 720p Projector. Sad
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Post by daveyeisley on Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:00 am

I am a gamer first, computer guy second. What this means? I am poor.

Computer guys make more money than gamers... and as a gamer, I realized long ago, in my NES days... that pretty graphics wont help a bad game. I will probably never spend the money on top of the line graphics if I can get by on a middle of the road card. The price jump from 'decent' to 'cutting edge' is just ridiculous. It doesnt have to play the game with the settings cranked all the way up, it just has to play the game.

The funny and sad thing is... I try to avoid hardware upgrades (as long as my current hardware works properly), and the main reason I ever do them.... is so that I can play newer games Razz
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Post by inthecorridors on Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:28 am

*I* vote for the Wii cos I want to play with the Wii! Razz But also, practically speaking, you'd technically need new graphics AND sound, yeah?
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Post by Elhanan on Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:09 am

This may be helpful. An older article at this site helped guide this Techless One towards a worthy and affordable purchase:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-radeon-hd-5570-gaming,2697.html
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Post by daveyeisley on Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:51 am

inthecorridors wrote:*I* vote for the Wii cos I want to play with the Wii! Razz But also, practically speaking, you'd technically need new graphics AND sound, yeah?

Sound hardware, more specifically on-board audio chipsets are able to handle 90% of the software you might run. It is rarely needful to purchase add-on sound cards anymore. There are some cases where it might be a good idea, and on-board chipsets wont offer the highest quality audio (some dont even offer HD audio, but most new machines do have it), so you may want to upgrade the built-in audio... but in a case where money is an issue (when isn't it?) you should be fine with the built in audio. For netflix, I wouldn't bother worrying about audio.
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