View Full Version : Which graphics card to get? Processor upgrade?

08-18-2007, 02:35 AM
I'm looking for a nice and cheap graphics card to get to stick in a computer that I want to play IL2 on. Now I've got an ATI Radeon 9200 64 mb 8x AGP in there, which I don't expect will cut it. Will a 128 mb card be okay for me? I want good graphics quality. Or should I aim for 256 mb? What are some good, cheep cards I can aim for? I have no objections to used cards and eBay hunting. I don't have much cash to spend. I mean no more than 75 bucks.

I don't know if this is relevant, but I have an Intel P4 processor at 2.4GHz and an MSI NEO2 motherboard. 1 gig ram right now. Oh, and I only have one AGP slot and PCI slots.

Oh, and is getting a faster processor as simple as plugging a new one in? My board is designed for a P4, so I'm guessing I should probably stick to a P4, but how about a faster one? Would the improvement be worth the price? Or is 2.4GHz enough?


08-18-2007, 02:48 AM
Hi, have u tried to run the game with what u got right now?
I used to run my Il-2 with a old 5200 PCI and 2.0 ghz. Granted that i could not use perfect settings and all, it was still playable. Give it a shot.

08-18-2007, 03:00 AM
I have a 2.4ghz AGP with an Nvidia 6800GT. Perfect mode runs well and a card like that won't cost you an arm and a leg.

08-18-2007, 03:14 AM
Geforce 6800 series or RAdeon X800 series is your best bang for buck.

You should be able to pick one up very very cheap now and it will run Il2 beautifully at Excellent settings 1024x768 32 bit.

If you dont mind frame rates in the 20/30's then perfect settings should be OK too.

I like a framne rate that always stays above 60fps so I run my X800 Pro with Excellent settings rather than perfect.

DOnt bother upgrading your pentium 4, the fastest you can get is about 3200Mhz which really wont be that much faster than the one you have now. Better to get a new Gfx card like you say and then start saving for a new Core2Duo or Athlon64 system upgrade in a year or so.

08-18-2007, 04:10 AM
Thanks for the suggestions guys! Really appreciate it. I'll be checking into the X800 and Geforce 6800 for sure.

When a card says "DDR#" what's that mean and what's good?

Will most anything be compatible with my MSI Neo2 motherboard? If not, where should I check compatibility?

Thanks guys. I'm pretty new to this sort of thing.

08-18-2007, 09:55 AM
DDR means Double Data Rate. In a nutshell, it allows two paths from the processor to the RAM rather than one, effectively doubling the transfer rate. So DDR 400 RAM runs at 400 MHz, but is effectively transferring data as fast as 800 MHz RAM.

08-18-2007, 11:16 AM
So in short, DDR + high number = good? Does it matter if the type of ram on the video card differs from my main ram slot type?


08-18-2007, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by rockgardenlove:
Thanks for the suggestions guys! Really appreciate it. I'll be checking into the X800 and Geforce 6800 for sure.

When a card says "DDR#" what's that mean and what's good?

Will most anything be compatible with my MSI Neo2 motherboard? If not, where should I check compatibility?

Thanks guys. I'm pretty new to this sort of thing.

Just make sure you have an AGP 8x slot on your motherboard, I am quite confident you will have.

Forget about the RAM, just worry about the amount, try and get a 256 card if you can afford it, but a 128mb card is not too bad if you cant.

A 256mb card will mean less stutters and pauses and a smoother overall gaming experince. It means your card will be able to fit many more testures into memory and not have to load them from the HArdrive as often (the main cause of stuttering)

Just try and get a Geforce 6800/7800 or better, or a Radeon X800, X1800 or better.

Dont be fooled into getting a 7200 becasue its a higher number. Its the 2nd number thats the important one. For example get a 7800 if you find one cheap but dont get a 7300 (worse than a 6800)

Likewise, get a X850 if you want, but dont get a X1300.

If you want you can post the card you are thinking of getting here and I will tell you if its a good buy or not.

6800/7800/8800 cards are top end fast gamers cards.

6200/7200/7300/8200 are slow budget cards.

X800/X850/X1800/X1950 are fast gamers cards

X300/X1300 etc are poor budget cards.

The X600's, 7600 and 6600GT's are kind of mid range. Better to get a 6800 than a 7600 IMO.

Ideally you want either a X800 family, or a 6800 family, or a 7800 family, preferably in 256mb although 128mb is not terrible. Get the best deal you can on any of these cards. Where do you live?

SOmething like this would be ideal :-

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/nVIDIA-6800GT-AOpen-Aeolus-256MB-...QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/nVIDIA-6800GT-AOpen-Aeolus-256MB-DDR3-AGP-graphics-card_W0QQitemZ200140843805QQihZ010QQcategoryZ3762Q QssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

Or if you want a new card, this one is 512mb ram too :-

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Gainward-Bliss-nVidia-6800GS-512M...QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Gainward-Bliss-nVidia-6800GS-512MB-Graphics-Card-7753-A_W0QQitemZ320146042748QQihZ011QQcategoryZ3762QQss PageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

08-18-2007, 01:24 PM
I'm in Portland, Oregon, USA. I think I'll aim for 256 mb. I'm mainly looking for pretty good online play. The other computer I use for IL2 has a 256 mb card and it works fine for my purposes.

On the other hand, there's BoB coming up. Would 2.4GHz even run that baby, or would I need a total upgrade? Would buying a 512 card now be any good for BoB in the future? With BoB I'd be looking for playable graphics. I doubt I'd ever be able to max it out with my budget. It seems like it would help, seeing as how much more complex the ground textures are and the size increase of the planes. Hmm. I won't be able to buy myself a new computer just for BoB, so if 512 mb will help me scrape by in the future, that would make sense (of course, if my processor can handle it at all). For IL2, 256 suits me just fine.

(Is it even possible to plug a Core 2 Duo into a board designed for a P4?)

Thanks much!
I'll be keeping an eye out on the nVidia 6/7800s and the X800s I think. Oh, and how can I make sure they'll work with my motherboard?

Thanks again.

08-18-2007, 01:35 PM
NO mate, forget about SOW BOB until it comes out, you will most likely want to buy a new system to run it well. I am sure it wont be out for a year yet.

DOnt bother getting a faster GFX card thinking it will be good for SOW BOB, much better to do what your plan is, get a decent GFX card like a 6800 or X800 pro for now and then wait and see how long it lasts you, but start saving for that new system and get it in a year or a bit more.

A new system need not cost you a lot of money when you finally do need to get one. I put a nice system together for my brother for just 220 recently, using his old case/mouse/keyboard/monitor/sound card.

I upgraded the motherboard/CPU/RAM/Gfx card/PSU

Athlon 64 3700+/Geforce 7800GT/1 Gb Ram/ Hiper 500watt PSU/MSI K8N Diamond Motherboard all for 220

Its a fantastic system for such a low price, runs every game at very high settings. Now that everyone wants Core2Duo, which are overkill for todays games, Athlon 64's which are a bit slower but run todays games brilliantly are really cheap.

You need a new motherboard for a Core2Duo or Athlon 64.

My own system is a Athlon 2500+ (comparable to your Pentium 2400) and a ATI X800 Pro, with 1.25 gb ram. It still runs all games at minimum a decent resolution (1024x768 and mid range graphics, often I can turn on high Graphics.

I intend on upgrading in a year or so too. Right now a 2500mhz system with 1gb ram and a 6800 or X800 pro is quite sufficent for current games.

Your graphics card is the most important component for running games well, you will see a massie difference when you get a new card.

Just remember to check that your motherboard has a AGP 8x slot, and make sure you get a AGP graphics card, not a PCI express.

If you tell us your model of motherboard, or model of computer, I can tell you if you have a AGP slot. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

08-18-2007, 01:45 PM
I know I've got an AGP slot. One AGP and five or so PCI. The motherboard is an MSI Neo2. Whole shebang is about three years old. It was put together from parts by a custom builder, so it should be pretty upgradeable I'd think, no manufacturers trying to lock you into buying new computers or anything.

I think I'll be looking for 256 mb, if SoW really will need a whole new computer. Mostly because my laptop right now (Apple Powerbook) is two years old and needs an upgrade too. I really prefer my Mac for all my regular computing, and use it for much more, so it gets upgrade priority. I also need a laptop. Maybe BoB could be run (under booting Vista or WinXP of course) on one of the faster Mac laptops? Maybe if I give my brother my old laptop he'll help me pay for a new gaming computer to share. We'll see.

08-18-2007, 01:48 PM
OK mate, BTW I edited the above post to show how cheap you can upgrade you whole PCs inards with a fast Athlon 64 cpu, if you keep your existing case,monitor,mouse,keyboard, soundcard etc.

CHeck out the prices, the A64's are really very cheap for their power rating.

You could double your current CPU speed with an Athlon 64 for about $60 with an Athlon 64 4000+.

Or course you would need a new motherboard too, but these are not that expewnsivce either, probably about $50 for a good one which supports Athlon 64 4000+.

Keep an eye on prices for a future upgrade.

08-18-2007, 02:01 PM
That's a good point, I guess I was thinking more like 1500 bucks, but I can keep quite of bit of the old stuff.

I suppose when BoB does come out I'll probably do some upgrading. The first step seems to be to figure out what the game needs to look okay.

Btw, is it at all possible to transfer a WinXP license from one computer to another? That is, unregister it and then reregister it onto another comp?

08-18-2007, 03:49 PM
Why settle for a 128mb card when you can get a 512mb card for 74.99. You have AGP right? Then get yourself this Radeon X1650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP 4X/8X Video Card.



08-18-2007, 04:04 PM
Wow, what's the catch? Why so cheap?
From the reviews:

How exactly would I go about doing that?
(Can't resist tinkering. It's my weak point.)

08-18-2007, 04:09 PM
No catch. This generation of cards have dropped in price dramatically. Even more so because its AGP. It will be a world of difference for you though upgrading from what you got already. Enjoy!


08-18-2007, 04:11 PM
How exactly would I go about doing that?
(Can't resist tinkering. It's my weak point.)

You should go here http://forums.guru3d.com/forumdisplay.php?f=19
Just register a name and ask away and Im certain you will be pointed in the proper direction. Flashing the bios is rather easy.


08-18-2007, 04:22 PM
Thanks. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif