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  #1  
Old 2009-01-11, 18:13
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morshem morshem is offline
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How do you choose a video card?

My video card's fan has been making lots of noise recently. The technician said that it's not fixable, and recommended buying a new card. Only problem is, I understand nothing in this matter, and there are so many brands and types that I don't even know where to begin...

I guess my requirements are not really big (I hardly play any games), and money is no real issue.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 2009-01-11, 19:05
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ChaosFish ChaosFish is offline
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First, are you sure it's the graphics card's fan? If you have Intel, chances are it's the CPU fan that's making the noise. That's easily fixable by replacing the fan with a better one (also cheap).

If you want to buy a new graphics card, I suppose it would be either nVidia GeForce or ATI Radeon. You can compare the various models on Wikipedia (for example - models in the GeForce 7 series).

When buying a card you should also ask how much memory it has on it, each computer salesman dude can choose to put what he likes. Today it should be at least half a gigabyte.
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  #3  
Old 2009-01-11, 19:31
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If you dont play games, you might as well just go for the cheapest you can find :P
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  #4  
Old 2009-01-11, 21:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
If you dont play games, you might as well just go for the cheapest you can find :P
this.



It's really hard to keep up with nVidia GeForce / ATi Radeon model numbers, so I tend to ignore them until I need to upgrade my card. Then I use price as a general guideline for performance (I usually look for something in the €200~300 price range), and read benchmarks on tech sites for a closer look of specific models.

A higher number does not implicate it's a faster card. There are GeForce 8000 series cards that are faster than GeForce 9000 series cards.

Don't look only at the amount of memory a card has. A trick applied by videocard manufacturers is to take a cheap graphics chip and put a huge amount of RAM on it to make it look attractive. Chance is the videocard is that slow that you will never benefit from the larger amount of RAM and you're better off getting the same videocard with half the amount of RAM.

Like Darkflame said, if you don't really have any demands on performance you're best off getting the cheapest one. 2D performance differences are negligible.


If you're a bit handy you could affix a 4x4 or 6x6 or even 8x8 fan on your videocard, replacing the old one. If it's not a speed monster, chances are it'll be sufficient for cooling.


CF: what are you saying about Intel and fan noise?

Last edited by wacko; 2009-01-11 at 21:12.
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  #5  
Old 2009-01-11, 21:35
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Intel chipsets have shitty fans... That's why they're more noisy than AMD ones. My computer was like a busy train station until I replaced the fan.
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  #6  
Old 2009-01-11, 22:10
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Look for a graphic card that is compatible with your motherboard.

BTW, I'm too looking for a graphic card, but I think I'm going to wait 1 year more.
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  #7  
Old 2009-01-11, 23:09
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Oh, good point there :P

Indeed, make sure its the right slot type for your mobo!
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  #8  
Old 2009-01-12, 02:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosFish View Post
Intel chipsets have shitty fans... That's why they're more noisy than AMD ones. My computer was like a busy train station until I replaced the fan.
You mean the stock cooler as provided in the 'box' editions of Intel CPUs? (I don't get what their chipsets have to do with this; their cooling is quite different depending on the motherboard manufacturer.) They're okay as far as stock coolers go and they even have variable speed for CPU temperature; maybe your CPU was getting a bit hot. Third party coolers can give you better temperatures / noise levels though, yeah.
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  #9  
Old 2009-01-12, 03:22
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Don't get the cheapest one. You might not be able to play LBA3 when it comes along.
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  #10  
Old 2009-01-12, 03:56
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I dont think any card you buy now will be compatible with LBA3 :P
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  #11  
Old 2009-01-12, 07:02
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morshem, to be sure u get a decent card and will also be able to play most games at reasonable FPS, get nVidia 8600 or Ati 3650
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  #12  
Old 2009-01-12, 07:25
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Anyway, if money is really no real issue, just get the most expensive one you can find.
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  #13  
Old 2009-01-12, 13:09
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Take a look at your current video card's chord edge, and with minor details draw the 'pattern' that goes to the motherboard on a piece a paper, then ask the salesman to get the cheapest card with that in-plug-pattern. It will then most likely work for your computer.

That's basically what I did .
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  #14  
Old 2009-01-12, 15:28
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morshem morshem is offline
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OK, thanks for the tips everyone
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  #15  
Old 2009-01-14, 02:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosFish View Post
Anyway, if money is really no real issue, just get the most expensive one you can find.
What a stupid thing to say. Money might not be an issue but why throw it away on shit he won't need? £300 on a graphics card is ridiculous if he's watching the odd bit of porn and browsing/working off his PC.
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  #16  
Old 2009-01-14, 02:57
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I was joking
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