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Which low-end GeForce card?

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toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
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the rest of the specs should have been the FIRST question asked here. until that is known then no sound gpu advice can be given.
 
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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,755
4,928
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1) What are the complete system specs of your friends PC - CPU/PSU/RAM/ETC?
AMD Athlon X2 4600+ (AM2)
1GB DDR2 667 RAM
ASUS M2N-E (AM2+)
160GB HD
GeForce 8400GS PCI-E
WinXP SP3, all updates
Corsair VX450W
DVDRW

We're considering further upgrades, but we'll probably stagger them over the coming year. My feeling is to upgrade the graphics first, probably RAM with it to 4GB (with a view to go to Win7 64 in time, I'm aware of the RAM limit on 32-bit), then CPU when the Phenom II range are in danger of disappearing off the shelves (I've checked the CPU support list for that board). Of course most of this is based on how well the son feels that the game plays on the current setup.

2) You ruling out AMD cards because of any recent bad experiences you personally had or because of what you read on the internet? You'll find loads of people in these forums ready to vouch for AMD drivers, including myself (I've been using AMD cards, in single GPU configuration, for nearly 3 years without a problem), that will most likely say any difference between AMD and NVIDIA drivers is negligible (although I've no idea how these cards behave on this specific game).
Personal experience, which starts at around 1999, then a few years ago (guessing 2008) I bought an ATI graphics card, and while it still works to this day (though it is only being used for basic 2D work like Office), the XP welcome text shadow is corrupted (pink), and I built my own system in 2010 with a 5770. Poor fan management leads me to use third-party software to keep the fan speed low while still maintaining a reasonable GPU temperature (because AMD OverDrive increases the clock speeds to 75% full when I change the fan speed), occasional graphics corruptions (but very artistic I must say) in StarCraft 2, I had to downgrade LibreOffice to 3.4 when the latest release had problems with page and table borders on my system. My current (5770) system used to hang if I played one WMV after another several times, regardless of GPU acceleration (in WMP or the extra installable bit in the AMD driver), as well as a regular graphics corruption. Luckily a recent driver update fixed the WMV problems.

Comparing that to >10 years of zero issues with nvidia cards except the very occasional slight imperfection in rendering (like a shadow with a very thin line through it). The only reason that I went for AMD for my own system was apparently at the time AMD was way ahead in performance terms.

I'm aware of nvidia having driver issues over the years, AFAIK particularly when Vista was released, but I'm primarily going on my own experience and a few of my friends'.

3) At £80 (you can find them under £80 at overclockers.co.uk, depending at the rest of the system specs, a 5770/6770 (same card, different numbers)
5770/6770 - whoa, I wasn't aware of that. IMO, that's a bit deceptive of them.
 
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toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
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1gb of system ram is not going to cut it for gaming. that cpu is quite slow too and is even below minimum requirements for many newer games.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,755
4,928
136
Bear in mind that the gamer in question has mostly been playing old Harry Potter games and the Sims until this game came along (and he reached a certain age I guess). As I said in my post, we plan to upgrade the RAM at the same time as the graphics card. I don't think I'll see a stack of the latest games on top of the computer when we do the first round of upgrades.
 

Madcatatlas

Golden Member
Feb 22, 2010
1,155
0
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I think you need to ask yourself this; would It not be a much better investment to just buy a complete new pc? Used or whatever, but not something as old as yours where you upgrade 1 or two components.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,755
4,928
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@Madcatatlas

Used hardware brings into question what the previous owners were like and actually why they're selling it.

Considering that this computer can be brought up to a Phenom II X4, max 8GB RAM, whatever graphics card we like, plenty of room for extra disks, and those upgrades can be spread out over (probably) a couple of years, the hypothetical used computer would have to be a hell of a bargain.
 

lifeblood

Senior member
Oct 17, 2001
991
77
91
I think you need to ask yourself this; would It not be a much better investment to just buy a complete new pc? Used or whatever, but not something as old as yours where you upgrade 1 or two components.
His motherboard is AM2+ which allows him to run AM3 CPU's. As he said, he'll get a Phenom II when their in danger of disappearing. I recently upgraded from an AM2+ / DDR2 board to an AM3+ / DDR3 board (same AM3 CPU) and I saw zero difference.

His PC may not be "up-to-date", but with a new video card and more RAM it can remain "good enough" for what its doing for a few more years.

To throw fuel on the driver fire, ATI drivers sucked 5 years ago but since then they've reached parity. Where I work (for the Navy) we use Radeon and FireGL cards for modelling & simulation as well as video streaming and we've experienced zero problems with the drivers. I game at home with an AMD card and I've had zero problems. The place I worked previously used nVidia cards for similar uses and they had zero driver problems. My previous home PC used two nVidia cards to drive 3 monitors and I had zero driver problems. In short, I've found both brands to be excellent products. I really don't know what you guys are doing that causes all these problems. Maybe I've been lucky, maybe I'm not pushing the envelope, or maybe I'm not anal retentive. Both brands have had occasional screw ups, but I just don't see the big difference.
 

GaiaHunter

Diamond Member
Jul 13, 2008
3,606
134
106
I also never had much driver problems with either AMD or NVIDIA.

In this case I only mentioned AMD since I believe that considering prices, the 5770/6770 is a better deal, but not by that much when compared to the GTS450.

Personally, I would go 5770/6770 in that situation, but it is the buyer prerogative to choose whatever he feels is best for him, so if one is to restrict to the NVIDIA brand, I would go for the GTS450 over the GT440, especially considering future RAM/CPU upgrade.
 

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