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Atari 5200 Guy

Graphics Card Request

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Hi Guys,

I'm asking for something simple, nothing complex.  I was blessed this holiday with a new-to-me PC motherboard.  A very nice one.  But the graphics card I am trying to use is struggling and I don't have anything newer.  I'm also not familiar with more modern GPU cards other than I know NVIDIA and ATI/AMD are the brands.  I am currently using a ZOTAC GeForce 210 w/ 1 GB of DDR3 RAM.  Nice card but not powerful enough for this setup and for the games I play and would like to play.

So, I'm asking those here who game on PCs to list the graphics card they are using.  I'm trying to get a bit of an idea on what to try to look for.  I'm also trying not to get too pricey.  The cheaper the better.

Games I play are:

  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • American Truck Simulator (a bit of a struggle with this one)
  • Saints Row 2 (Some issues but not much)

Games I would like to play:

  • Ark (this game is very demanding)
  • Forza 7
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Mudrunner

The games I enjoy state a minimum of a GTX 750 which I found a cheap one.  Others require a video card with 2 to 4 GB of memory...one game wanted 8 GB of video RAM.  How much have I missed over the years?  

So if those here would help by telling what graphics card(s) they are using on their PC I would greatly appreciate it.  It will give me more to research.

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Currently  am using a Geforce 1060 6 gb, no complaints here. Honestly I am an Nvidia guy so cannot say much about ATI. Either way if you go Nvidia you should get a 1050ti minimum, keep in mind whenever a game lists minimum specs that means it will load and run but wont necessarily be that enjoyable / playable so always go above to give yourself a little more headroom, that will save you much frustration. Personally I tend to just go by recommended specs as the "minimum". 

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We have three PC's in the house:

  • My main rig has an ATi Radeon R9-285 2GB.  It's old, but works fine for everything I've played.  I've never had to lower settings.  
  • My wife's PC is using the built-in Intel HD "4" series.  It works for games, remarkably well.  But anything more modern maxes out at 1280*1024
  • A garage PC is running an Nvidia GT 640 2GB.  Old, but it does run the latest drivers and it does run most games.  Lower the settings though! 

Advice:  Look for the hierarchy chart at tomshardware.com.  It does a good job of showing where a particular card falls performance wise. 

The 750 you've found is probably going to work just fine for those games you list.  I'd say even a GT 1030 (with GDDR5) is going to be fine. 

More advice:  Set yourself a budget.  Use the hierarchy chart to find the highest card that falls under that amount on ebay.  If you can find a Dell OEM card, those are usually outstanding values.

Example:  My last round, I set a budget of $40.  I found several cards, and then the R9-285 popped up for only $37 shipped.  It was a few rungs higher on that chart than anything else I'd been looking at.  And it works great. 

In any case, you are having fun with those parts, and that makes me happy! 

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9 hours ago, MaximumRD said:

Currently  am using a Geforce 1060 6 gb, no complaints here. Honestly I am an Nvidia guy so cannot say much about ATI. Either way if you go Nvidia you should get a 1050ti minimum, keep in mind whenever a game lists minimum specs that means it will load and run but wont necessarily be that enjoyable / playable so always go above to give yourself a little more headroom, that will save you much frustration. Personally I tend to just go by recommended specs as the "minimum". 

I prefer NVIDIA but right now I'd take any dedicated graphics that will perform better than the 210 I'm currently using.  

5 hours ago, RickR said:

We have three PC's in the house:

  • My main rig has an ATi Radeon R9-285 2GB.  It's old, but works fine for everything I've played.  I've never had to lower settings.  
  • My wife's PC is using the built-in Intel HD "4" series.  It works for games, remarkably well.  But anything more modern maxes out at 1280*1024
  • A garage PC is running an Nvidia GT 640 2GB.  Old, but it does run the latest drivers and it does run most games.  Lower the settings though! 

Advice:  Look for the hierarchy chart at tomshardware.com.  It does a good job of showing where a particular card falls performance wise. 

The 750 you've found is probably going to work just fine for those games you list.  I'd say even a GT 1030 (with GDDR5) is going to be fine. 

More advice:  Set yourself a budget.  Use the hierarchy chart to find the highest card that falls under that amount on ebay.  If you can find a Dell OEM card, those are usually outstanding values.

Example:  My last round, I set a budget of $40.  I found several cards, and then the R9-285 popped up for only $37 shipped.  It was a few rungs higher on that chart than anything else I'd been looking at.  And it works great. 

In any case, you are having fun with those parts, and that makes me happy! 

Fun?  Understatement. That Intel board is a miracle that was very much needed.  I missed my PC game collection without realizing I was missing them.  I also missed having a PC that was capable of playing those games.  The older PCs I picked up just couldn't handle it...they were too old.  They tried, though.  It's bad when a graphics card has more RAM than the computer itself.  

For those of you wondering after reading this, RickR unknowingly became my Secret Santa this year.  He gifted me his old motherboard which was an Intel Desktop Board 1 complete with a quad core i3 CPU, some RAM, and a power supply (Dell), optical drive, and some SATA cables.  I saved from a non-working gaming PC I found in our dumpster one day it's RAM and SSD.  So the board gifted now has 16 GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM and a 250 GB Samsung 840 Evo SSD.  The video card was gifted about a year ago which is a ZOTAC nVidia 210 with 1 GB of DDR3 RAM.  The setup is rather quite nice but I have no monitors capable of HDMI connections so I'm using the old card for the VGA port.  I have an adapter I can use to convert DVI to VGA but nothing to convert HDMI to VGA.  On board graphics card is an Intel 4000...and the games I play can't use that.  I feel like I've got Pinto parts on a Ferrari.

So I have pieced together a nice system, without a case, which my wife has named Frankie because it's my "Frankenstein" computer.  To run any high-end cards I would most likely need to replace the power supply to support the extra power connections on those cards.  And I can already tell I'm going to have to bump up the storage space to 1 TB or more.  The few games I've put on here, plus Windows 10, has almost gobbled up the 250 GB completely. 

PC stuff has changed so much that I am literally having to learn all over again.  What I do know:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32883022487.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000060.3.255b269cG2tE9y&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreThisSeller&scm=1007.13339.146401.0&scm_id=1007.13339.146401.0&scm-url=1007.13339.146401.0&pvid=35b3b677-1646-4ed6-b9f3-b40ab6e7718d

  • This mobo has PCIe 3.0 16x slots x2 so I can have dual graphics cards if needed
  • Games I would like to play on Microsoft's Game Pass mostly require a 2 GB video card with one game requiring 4 GB or more
  • Games I am playing now through Steam settle for a 1 GB video card, some recommend 2 GB.
  • The ZOTAC 750Ti I found (link above) is cheap but only has 1 GB of RAM

Hmm...so I'm not exactly sure which way to go.  

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I've got a couple of cards in my parts box.  If you want either one, free -- just pay shipping. 

Both are old.  Both are much better than the 210 you currently have.  Both use outdated drivers.  Neither will run the most modern games unless you turn the settings way down. 

Take a look, read some reviews, and let me know if you have any interest.  No problems if you don't.  It probably makes more sense to spend that shipping money on something more modern. 

Here are a couple of Ebay auctions to look at:

Good luck! 

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I appreciate the offer but I lack the 2 6-pin power connectors for the 460 and it lacks the RAM.  All of the games I currently play require at least 1 GB video RAM...the 460 you are offering has only 768 MB.  I wonder if that is a typo?  The power supply I'm currently using is the Dell you sent.  It lacks any standard power connectors.  Everything is for SATA accessories.

But I found this on YouTube showing modern games on that GTX 460

I might take you up on that offer but it will have to wait until next month sometime.

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I found that CPU I saved from a non-working gaming computer.  It's an i3 like what I'm using now except...

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/77769/intel-core-i3-4330-processor-4m-cache-3-50-ghz.html

It's only got two cores instead of four.  But I seen something that I didn't expect in that tech doc.  Are the Intel graphics embedded inside the main CPU?  That sheet says it has a HD 4600 GPU in the CPU.  This processor is 4th Gen Intel.  I'm not sure it would be an upgrade or a downgrade.

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I have another question, forgive me for seeming like a newbie, but Intel specs show the CPU I'm using (i3-3220) as having only two cores but Windows 10 shows in the device manager as it having four cores.  Which one is correct?  Or are there hidden cores in the CPU Windows found?  I'm confused.

 

screenshot.thumb.jpg.8c22a4e6aa1ee36e838ae7eafa182e0c.jpg

 

Edited by kamakazi20012

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The ZOTAC 210 I'm using is not too bad really.  Games are somewhat playable on low to medium settings depending on the game's demands.  Screens I'm including are taken from the game Car Mechanic Simulator 2015.  Settings are using high textures at 1280x720.  Everything else is turned off.  I tried turning on the floor reflection and the game framerate made the game unplayable.  The 210 is trying...I'll give it that.  Framerate is the same no matter what texture setting I use so I left it on high.  I haven't tried Ultra yet.  I might be getting 20-30 fps if I'm lucky.  I wish I knew what benchmark those YouTubers are using where you see the information on the screen during game play.

 

20191229010310_1.jpg

20191229010324_1.jpg

20191229010921_1.jpg

20191229010927_1.jpg

20191229014417_1.jpg

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I'm putting this here for reference purposes.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/6-pin-PCIe-to-SATA-Adapter-7-5-inches-18-cm-by-MinerParts-/182717736420?_trksid=p2385738.m4383.l4275.c10&redirect=mobile

...and...

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32882918184.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000013.7.49712155AaR1v5&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreThisSeller&scm=1007.13339.146401.0&scm_id=1007.13339.146401.0&scm-url=1007.13339.146401.0&pvid=9923384b-110c-49c6-a077-ab4deffe307e

I found a 750 I am after with 2 GB RAM, the minimum requirements for most of the games I want to play and those I play now on the 210.  I'm not complaining...that 210 is doing more than it should visually...the frame rate is just not there for me.  Below is a video showcasing the exact card I'm after.  Its going to take me a while to save up for it but it will be worth the wait.

https://youtu.be/DFXebSEQ6RY

I'm not ungrateful and feel fortunate to have what I have.  There's more potential locked on this motherboard that a better graphics card will unlock.  I'd still like to hear other people's thoughts and what they use.

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10 hours ago, kamakazi20012 said:

I have a question...most likely a dumb one lol...but would having vsync on slow down an older video card?  Would turning that off speed it up enough I could bump up a few more settings like textures and shadows?

I never turn it on.  It shouldn't slow anything down, but I think it does set a governor on the high end. 

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7 hours ago, kamakazi20012 said:

I found that CPU I saved from a non-working gaming computer.  It's an i3 like what I'm using now except...

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/77769/intel-core-i3-4330-processor-4m-cache-3-50-ghz.html

It's only got two cores instead of four.  But I seen something that I didn't expect in that tech doc.  Are the Intel graphics embedded inside the main CPU?  That sheet says it has a HD 4600 GPU in the CPU.  This processor is 4th Gen Intel.  I'm not sure it would be an upgrade or a downgrade.

Intel graphics are embedded in the CPU. 

On google, search for "CPU1 vs. CPU2" (example:  i3-3220 vs i3-4330) and it will take you to a CPUBOSS comparison. 

 

Edited by RickR

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7 hours ago, kamakazi20012 said:

I have another question, forgive me for seeming like a newbie, but Intel specs show the CPU I'm using (i3-3220) as having only two cores but Windows 10 shows in the device manager as it having four cores.  Which one is correct?  Or are there hidden cores in the CPU Windows found?  I'm confused.

 

screenshot.thumb.jpg.8c22a4e6aa1ee36e838ae7eafa182e0c.jpg

 

There are two physical cores on all i3 processors.  But with hyperthreading, they can handle 4 threads.  Windows 10 considers those as normal cores.  My CPU is a Core i7 with 4 physical cores, but Windows 10 shows 8 cores for the same reason. 

Also, when you get the CPUBOSS comparison, it will show you the type of socket they both use.  If it's the same, you can use that other CPU in that board.  And in most cases, going to a newer generation of CPU (starts with 4 vs. 3) is a good thing, even at lower clock speeds.  Intel usually introduces efficiencies, smaller transistors (less heat), and larger cache.  You probably wouldn't notice much when moving from a 3 to a 4....but moving from a 3 to a 7 would be very noticeable.

I just looked, and these two CPU's use different sockets.  So sadly, you can't use that 4330 on that motherboard.  However, you can use any socket 1155 CPU on the board.  So if you go to ebay (or ALIExpress) and occasionally search for "Intel 1155 CPU" and sort by price, you sometimes will find really nice CPU's for less than $10 shipped. 

 

Edited by RickR

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I don't know which program they use to show CPU and GPU usage during games, but I use a program called "Core Temp" to show CPU statistics on the desktop.  It also shows good info about temperatures, the socket, physical cores vs. threads, etc.  A very handy program to have.  Here's what it shows for me:

 

Untitled.jpg

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The other really good programs I recommend are :  CPU-Z and GPU-Z.  They show a lot more detail on the CPU and memory, and the GPU. 

Here are three GPU-Z screenshots for my latest card, the 9600GSO, and a cheap Dell Radeon card (you can find these for $10).  For you to compare to what you have now.

 

Radeon R9-285.gif

9600GSO_Dad_video_card.gif

GPUZ Dell HD 7470.gif

Edited by RickR

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Thanks RickR.  A nvidia 9600 would not do me any good.  Not enough on-board RAM.  And while searching for info on the other cards you mentioned (one on ebay ends in 5 hours) I found this:

https://www.newegg.com/zotac-geforce-gt-630-zt-60411-10l/p/N82E16814500487?nm_mc=knc-msnsearch&cm_mmc=knc-msnsearch-pc-_-pla-_-video+card+nvidia-_-zotac-_-14500487&msclkid=3650c7e15fec1cf8848a99e9b5b93b1d&gclid=CPv5u9S42-YCFS6VxQIdzt0OVQ&gclsrc=ds

I'm sort of starting to like the ZOTAC brand.  I'm diggin' that orange color.  Not a bad price either.  There's a 4 GB version made but I've not been able to find that one.  It seems to perform pretty good, too.

 

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Go with a 730 over a 630.  The performance is about the same, but the 730 supports the latest drivers and the 630 does not.  Plus, no VGA out on that 630. 

Honestly, I think you'll be happy with anything that's faster than your 210.  You do not need a monster or dual video cards to have some fun playing games.  The most essential thing I think is really fast memory and a wide memory bus on the video card.   Do not go near anything that has a 64 bit bus!  128 is the minimum. 

That 9600 GSO was a speedster back when I bought it new.  It has a 192-bit bus, which was a rarity.  Most 9600's had 128.  And 1.5GB seemed huge at the time.  It's always been kind of sad to me that old game consoles have value, but old PC hardware has none. 

Edited by RickR

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The lack of a VGA port is not too big of a concern as long as they have a DVI out.  I have an adapter to convert DVI to VGA.  I just know it will be a one-time purchase for me and want something I know will hold and work with games I own from Steam and those I want to play on Microsoft Store/Game Pass.

I can't seem to locate a 730.  I might go with that 630 if I can't find a 730 cheap.  I'm also not worried about having to use one power port for a 6-pin video card power connector now that I found those adapters.  But, you are right, I'd be happy with anything better than the 210 I'm currently using.  

 

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