07-09-2005, 10:41 PM
Some games do not run on my video card. It's pretty sad considering it's from
Nvidia and has 64mb(whatever that means, I know the high end cards have
256mb) and I just got this pc 3 years ago, which shouldn't be too outdated
like my previous pc lol. Games like lego starwars and splinter cell chaos
theory require this PIXEL SHADER and in turn cannot work with my video card.
Is there any way I can get a program to help simulate this feature for my
graphics card or do I just need to suck it up and spend $100 on a newer card
that'll last for only 3 years or so like mine? Also what is up with my pc
only having a 20gb hd? It's a dell 4500 and I swear right after I got it, all
dell pcs came standard with a lot more than 20gb.
If I do need to update my pc to get some newer games working what kind of
card should I look at? Same goes for a larger HD. I would like to get a
nvidia graphics card and a HD around 100gb. Are there any quality internal
hd's out there less than $100 and for video cards are there any that are
256mb from nvidia that are no more than $150? I don't need the best, just a
good one that will last much longer than my current card.
07-09-2005, 10:41 PM
It sounds like your system is not up to running many of the new games that
are coming out. It is possible to bring it up to a level where you can run
newer games, but consider the cost. It may be that after spending $100 on a
hard drive and $150 on a graphics card you now need to spend $100 on more
memory and perhaps even more to beef up the processor and maybe a little more
for a DVD drive if your system only has a CD drive.
If you are into DIY computing then there are savings to be had but not as
much as you may think. New entry level PCs that are designed with gaming in
mind start at around $500, so keep in mind that upgrading your existing
system isn’t always the best route, and if you are not handy with DIY
computing e.g. installing and formatting disks, duplicating disks and
installing drivers etc. then you could end up wasting money.
If you are sure that you want to upgrade your existing system then consider
the following components…..
--Graphics Card – Being a few years old your PC won’t have the newer PCI
express slot for its graphics card. So check to see if your computer has an
AGP slot for the graphics card. If it does then look to get an AGP card with
an Nvidia 6600GT chip. This has the newer Shader Model that new games need at
gives the most “Bang per Buck”. Lesser graphics cards also have the Shader
Model required for new games e.g. Nvidia FX range and ATI 9xxx range but they
are already becoming old and too slow for modern games. Keep in mind that
those Nvidia 6600 graphics cards consume a fair amount of power. If your
existing PC power supply is less than 400Watts then you could run into
trouble. The older graphics cards don’t consume as much power but as I said,
they are becoming too slow for modern games. Worst case is that you find your
PC doesn’t have an AGP slot at all, in which case you really must buy a new
--Hard Disk – These are very cheap, you should be able to find a 120Gigabyte
drive for less than $100 if you shop around. Make sure the spin speed is
7200rpm (or 10,000rpm if you can afford it) and the on board cache should be
8Megabytes. You may find that by paying a little more will get you a larger
drive but make sure you are not buying a slower 5400rpm drive. One more
thing… as your system is a few years old it is highly likely that it uses the
PATA (parallel ATA) interface as opposed to the new SATA (Serial ATA)
interface for hard disks. Check that you are getting a drive with the correct
--Memory – You should consider 512Megabytes as the minimum for modern games.
The new Battlefield 2 game really needs 1Gigabyte of memory to run smoothly.
If your PC uses the older PC133 or PC100 memory types then it could cost a
lot to upgrade. I would suggest you buy a new PC if you find that your PC is
using that type of memory. If your PC uses DDR memory then check how many
empty slots you have. It may be that you have to take out some of the
existing memory to allow for an upgrade, Check if the existing memory is
DDR266, DDR333 etc. You can buy faster spec DDR333 memory if your PC
currently has the harder to find DDR266 memory but check with the supplier to
make sure any memory is compatible with your system. Incompatible memory is
all too common.
--Processor (CPU) – I won’t put you to sleep by talking about front side
buss speeds and dual processor cores, but if your processor is less than a
2GHz model then think about an upgrade. You will need to check what your PCs
Motherboard can support and make sure you get a processor that fits your PCs
Processor Socket type. If you can stretch to a 3Ghz + processor then it is
worth the extra, but if money is short then go for extra memory in preference
to a faster processor. Any processor over 2.4Ghz should be fine for the next
two to three years (I’m guessing here). One last thing on the processor, make
sure you have a good heatsink and fan otherwise you will introduce stability
problems into the system. By good I mean one that states clearly what
processors it can cope with, and even then I would add a margin i.e. if you
have a Pentium 4 2.8Ghz processor then get a heatsink and fan that supports
up to a Pentium 4 3.2Ghz. The cooler the processor is the better.
--DVD drive – Newer games come on DVD. If your system only has a CD drive
then you will need to add a DVD drive or replace the CD drive if there isn’t
space to fit a DVD drive. Luckily DVD drives are very cheap, so cheap that
you should look to get a DVD Writer as opposed to a DVD ROM drive. That way
you can play games, watch films (with the right software) and backup all
those important photos and documents you would hate to lose.
--Sound card – It may sound strange (no pun intended) but old sound cards
that don’t support Creative Labs EAX systems are becoming useless in modern
games. Your PC can end up using a lot of processor power just processing the
sound. Check what sound card you have (it is probably integrated into the
motherboard, but can be disabled in the PCs BIOS if you opt for a PCI upgrade
card). If you are looking for a good sound card then consider a Sound Blaster
If all that seems scary then check the reviews and buy the best gaming PC
you can afford, but expect it to be out of date within three years. There are
two rules of thumb to keep in mind when buying PCs and components with the
intension of playing the latest games….
1.) Buy cheap and often.
2.) Buy expensive and slightly less often.
You won’t find anyone selling components that state that they will still be
useful in three years time. Just as we grow old PCs do too, only PCs do it at
a faster rate.
On the other hand you could just buy a PlayStation or an Xbox and keep your
PC for word processing and the internet
I hope that has been some help.
> Some games do not run on my video card. It's pretty sad considering it's from
> Nvidia and has 64mb(whatever that means, I know the high end cards have
> 256mb) and I just got this pc 3 years ago, which shouldn't be too outdated
> like my previous pc lol. Games like lego starwars and splinter cell chaos
> theory require this PIXEL SHADER and in turn cannot work with my video card.
> Is there any way I can get a program to help simulate this feature for my
> graphics card or do I just need to suck it up and spend $100 on a newer card
> that'll last for only 3 years or so like mine? Also what is up with my pc
> only having a 20gb hd? It's a dell 4500 and I swear right after I got it, all
> dell pcs came standard with a lot more than 20gb.
> If I do need to update my pc to get some newer games working what kind of
> card should I look at? Same goes for a larger HD. I would like to get a
> nvidia graphics card and a HD around 100gb. Are there any quality internal
> hd's out there less than $100 and for video cards are there any that are
> 256mb from nvidia that are no more than $150? I don't need the best, just a
> good one that will last much longer than my current card.
07-09-2005, 10:41 PM
thanks hodge. My dell supports two memory slots, DDR. I have upgraded them in
the past and right now it has a total of 768. I do plan on buying another 512
to max it out at a little over 1gb since it has a 512 and a 256 inside. I'll
just sell the 256 if I can lol. I will make sure I look into those specs for
the HD and Video Card. My video card uses/is AGP, not sure if that's used
correctly but I remember seeing AGP many times while looking at the specs of
my pc before to see what is/isn't compatible. Also my drive is a DVD/CD
drive. I do plan on upgrading to a DVD/CDRW or DVDRW/CDRW so I'm already
covered on that. As for the sound card it does support EAX, but I'll probably
buy a new one just because mine is getting a little old and there are many
newer/much better ones that aren't too expensive. My processor is a Pentium 4
2.0ghz. Maybe after I get my HD/Vid card/Sound Card/Memory upgraded I'll look
into getting a processor around 3+ghz. Although I use my ps2 for gaming, I'd
just like to have my pc updated rather than go out and look to buy a newer
one. It's a little irritating when things aren't compatible with your pc, so
I'd just like to have a pc that I dont have to worry about HD space(like I do
now) and other things. Thanks again.