General Question

bomyne's avatar

Can someone recommend a good budget video card?

Asked by bomyne (636points) May 15th, 2009

I recently brought a new PC. I’m very happy with it EXCEPT for the inbuilt video card/chip. It’s pathetic. Running a game is painful at the moment but more bareable then my last system.

Anyway, I was hoping someone could recommend a really cheap video card that could at least run World Of Warcraft in Northrend at low or medium settings.

Not looking for any fancy features. It just has to be AGP, around 100–150 AUD max, and be able to run WoW.

Thanks in advanced.

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18 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

First you need to check you have an expansion slot for a graphics card. Some motherboards with built in graphics leave out the expansion slot to save money. For most cards a PCI express 16x slot is needed.

Tobotron's avatar

You bought a new PC you say? Well AGP hasn’t been used in years so if it’s a new PC it will almost certainly be PCi Express…personally I’ld go Nvidia I got a 8600 GTS and it will run 90% of games today on full settings such as COD4 COD5 GRID etc it cost me £80 now though Nvidia 9600 series is good value and future proof for a good price…sorry can’t give prices in dollars…

As far as AGP goes there very hard to get hold of now, expensive, and not as fast as PCiE

Tobotron's avatar

if your in the UK for example http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/products/a1051x1y0z1p0s0n0m0 or just good to browse at…don’t bother with one that’s more than £100 you probably don’t need that extra power…

bomyne's avatar

@Tobotron and @Lightlyseared: How do I know if it’s PCI Express? I thought the brown slots are AGP, but I do not know enough about this stuff lol.

bomyne's avatar

Incase it helps, I took a photo and uploaded it this Imageshack.

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/706/photob.jpg

It’s not very good quality, I know… but… I’m hoping you people can tell me what I have :)

Tobotron's avatar

Impossible to tell from the photo its too blurry, look at this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/AGP_slot.jpg the maroon one is AGP the white ones are PCi Express…I know they look similar but going by the slight size differences which fits yours best?
Basically on PCi Express you have one long wafer and then a pretty damn short wafer in one line…on AGP you have 2 also but they are more comparable eg the short one isnt hugely shorter than the longer one unlike in PCi express

bomyne's avatar

Basically, I have 1 Maroon slot, 2 shot white ones and one long white one that currently has my Wifi card (That I know is simply normal PCI).

Looking on Wikipedia, they look like the image of the PCIe 1x. does that mean I have two PCIe slots and one AGP?

Lightlyseared's avatar

@bomyne in your photo the two small white slots look like PCI express 1x. If they are the long slot will probably be 16x slot. To check have a look at the PCB by the slot and see if there some text printed by it. PCIE = PCI express.

@Tobotron the 2 white slots in your photo are standard PCI slots not express slots. They are marked PCI on the PCB not PCIE. This wikipedia article has a nice photo of the two types of PCI express slots (1x and 16x).

Tobotron's avatar

@Lightlyseared yep your right, umpft…so I would assume then from the askers image, and based on what we have to go by, that we could say it was a PCIE he needs? Supposedly any new computer made after 2004 will be using a PCIE, I would say if your PC is dual core then defiantly it should have a PCIE as standard…

bomyne's avatar

Thanks guys :)

I quickly took a look at the Nvidia 9600 but they all look like x16 or somehing and I don’t have a PCIe slot that big… any other recommendations? :)

Lightlyseared's avatar

@bomyne What is the big slot underneath the two 1x slots? You might need to check the board as the manufacturer has probably labeled the slot. If it’s a new computer it is most likely a 16x slot. AGP slots are pretty rare these days which is why you dont find many cards for them. You could also try looking in the documentation that came with the PC – it might say what the expansion slots are.

Tobotron's avatar

@bomyne Use this program runs without install and give us a screenshot on imageshack of what it says http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/GPU-Z-Download-85523.html

bomyne's avatar

I’ve just realized I know very little about modern computer hardware lol :) (I’m a programmer, not a tech :P)

Tobotron's avatar

@bomyne well your running Vista?! And bus says PCI so yep I’ld say go get yourself a PCI xpress card…looks like you’ve got a well spec’ed PC so go for Nividia’s I linked you too and you will be amazed at the difference, as far as gaming goes the graphics card is doing most of the work, its like a mini computer in itself so go mainstream with Nvidia and go mid-range for best value for money eg spend about £80 not a lot less.

Lightlyseared's avatar

OK so it’s got a 16x slot – you are home free, pretty much any graphics card you want will fit.

bomyne's avatar

Thanks guys!

According to the site, that card that one of you recommended above is about 150 AUD. A bit more then I wanted to pay but well worth it :)

Thanks again.

Oh and quick offtopic question. If I kill some of Vista’s Aero features, I’ll get a bit better game experience, right? (Until I can buy that card :) )

Tobotron's avatar

@bomyne An Ozzy lol awesome…nah I thought that at first too but it actually dents performance if you do that because the effects in desktop are being distributed to your otherwise do nothing graphics card actually taking some load off of the CPU and when you start a game in vista Aero gets disabled anyway pushing your power into the game automatically…all I can say is don’t load your task bar up with junk because that will dent ram and cpu use, I run Ubuntu but I do use Vista for games.

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