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Old 09-12-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
ulster1486
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Default Upgrading my Graphics Card

I was experiencing some issues with my PCs performance whilst running certain games, (such as Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, BattleField 3) and one of my friends has told me that it's because my card uses Hyper Memory. It is a AMD Radeon 5450. Is this the case or are there options I have yet to activate to optimize for my card? I am somewhat new to graphics card terms, but if it is a case that my card isn't good enough what Graphics Card would you recommend for these games? I have a prepared budget of 400 - 500 (at a push) and I will be very grateful for any help.



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Old 09-12-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
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What is your system config? CPU ram etc?
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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It has 8GB of RAM, 64 bit windows 7, 3.10 GHz Processor, 2TB, quad-core, 6MB L3 cache (if I forgot anything important please tell me as I probably have)
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:25 PM   #4
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Can you provide more information about the CPU, such as a model number? I am guess it is the Core i5-2400: http://ark.intel.com/products/52207/...up-to-3_40-GHz)

If so, is this a pre-built system, such as a Dell, HP, or Acer? It has a configuration that would be typical of such a system.

If it is indeed a pre-built, you'll need to be concerned about three issues:
(1) power supply capacity
(2) internal space
(3) cooling

Assuming the system has at least a 400w power supply, the best option for you would be the AMD HD7850, which is offered by various manufacturers. You would want to aim for a smaller version, with one power connector, and potentially some ability to push air out the exhaust vent. This would be an example:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814131464

By the way, you have provided a very large budget for your graphics card upgrade, but frankly it is much too high. You should not spend that much money on a graphics card for this system - it would likely be incompatible due to any one of the three issues I raised above.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:49 PM   #5
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It is the Core i5-2400. It was custom built for my Christmas from some miscellaneous company whom i cant name off the top of my head in England. I have had no experience with Graphics Cards, CPU, etc prior to this, and so I am grateful that you have pointed out my mistake of almost blowing an unnecessary amount of cash on a graphics card that might not be compatible! So many thanks for that. I will look into graphics cards according to the specs you suggested.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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Yeah, well its blatantly obvious why you have performance issues, a 5450 is not a card for gaming. It doesnt get much lower end than a 5450.

Recommendations: Well, you really shouldnt have to spend all that much money to get a huge upgrade. The lowest I would go would be a amd 5770/6770/7770 or in the nvidia area a GTX 550ti. Thats what I run and I dont have any complaints with what I do. Then again, I do run fairly lower resolutions so its going to depend on what resolutions you run.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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You should get a Radeon 7850 or Radeon 7870. The remaining budget should be saved for Haswell and future upgrades.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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Ok, so I think I've decided on the Radeon 7850 or the Radeon 7870, based on everyone's recommendations. I am currently being swayed to the 7850 although I'm sure I'll mull it over and change my mind constantly for the next day or so. Nonetheless I thank you all for the support you have gave me, by narrowing down what would have been a very long (and potentially disastrous) end if I had tried to learn these specifications and implementations myself.

Last edited by ulster1486; 09-12-2012 at 02:48 PM. Reason: Typos ugh.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
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7850 is a very good choice...
even a 7750 would be a huge upgrade coming from a 5450...
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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ulster1486, what is the resolution of your monitor? I assume 1920x180, but just verify please.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:03 AM   #11
ulster1486
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Back again, sorry it's been so long. Upon further look into purchasing the graphics card I've encountered that several different manufacturers sell the graphics card - are there any differences? Also in a website I found, it claimed that I needed a blu-ray drive or something along those lines as a system specification - according to my dad; which my computer does not have.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:33 AM   #12
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A blu-ray drive is absolutely NOT needed for anything yet, except for bluray movies or for burning bluray discs.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:40 AM   #13
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You do not need a BluRay player for using a graphics card. You can download the drivers from the internet.

Since you have decided for an AMD card you go here and look up the model and download and install the latest drivers.

The differences between the different manufacturers are usually minor, as long as they sell the same model. Some have a better cooling solution and run cooler and more quiet.
Some of them have put more memory and overclock them so they perform better but then it not exactly the same card any longer.
I recommend you find the model you want, then google the different cards that are listed for reviews. See what the experts have to say about the different cards and then choose the one that is "best" and within your price range.

One tip: Go for cool and quiet!

Good luck!
PS: Do get help from someone who have done it before when installing your new card.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:40 AM   #14
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What power rating does your power supply have? Should be listed as maximum watts somewhere on the side of it.

Does it have 1 or 2 PCIe power cables? They look like this:
http://www.playtool.com/pages/psucon...pcie6plus2.jpg

If it has two you are pretty much good to use any GPU available, if only one you are going to be limited to a 7850 or a GTX 660 (not the Ti model). If your PSU doesn't have any of these plugs you are going to have to upgrade that first before getting a new GPU.

Also, you need to measure the length of space available in your case from the back plate (where the faceplate of the GPU will go) along the length of your PCIe slot to wherever something blocks it at the front (either hard drive cage or front of case). Most cases range in this length from 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) depending on how the hard drive cage is arranged. How long that space is will also affect the card you choose (won't do you any good to buy a card that won't fit into your case).
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:21 PM   #15
ulster1486
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My power supply said 500W. However in terms of PCIe, I THINK my computer had only one, although to be honest I am not too sure if I was even looking at the right thing. Although I was only going for a 7850 anyway by saphire.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulster1486 View Post
My power supply said 500W. However in terms of PCIe, I THINK my computer had only one, although to be honest I am not too sure if I was even looking at the right thing. Although I was only going for a 7850 anyway by saphire.
The 5450 doesn't need an extra pci power cord, but the 7770 and anything above will, so you need to be sure you have this before you buy a card. It should have six pins and it will plug directly into the card when you get it. If you can find a picture of a gpu hooked up somewhere on the internet, this will be a good indication of what it looks like.
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