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Thread: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

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    1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    OK, so I'm a cheap git and try to keep my PC as low budget as possible but powerful enough to run the games that I like well enough for me to enjoy. This has worked very well for me so far, coz even though fancy graphics are all nice I prefer good game play to great graphics.

    So I currently have a cheap ASRock mobo, a dual core P4 (E2180 @ 2GHz), 2GB DDR2 but I have a bottleneck of a GPU, an old ATI 1600 Pro. Pretty much all games I have played so far have run fine with this.

    Now I have GTA IV (which is a fantastic game) I want to be able to run it at a reasonable resolution with some decent graphics, because at the moment it's running dog slow on my system. It's on absolute minimal graphical settings and running at 800x480 resolution (or some similar widescreen resolution) and I'm getting graphical glitches, weird shadows and very poor visibility (can't see small objects clearly, things appear suddenly when moving at speed etc).

    So, I want to upgrade my GPU to a more recent card, but new card model numbers confuse me. Reading my Micro Mart there's a couple of cheap graphics cards listed there like the HD 3650 and the 9500 GT which sell at about £40 to £50, but I have 2 big questions.

    1) Realistically, how much of an upgrade would these cards be from an X1600 Pro?
    2) As per the title of my thread, my mobo has it's PCI Express slot running at x4 mode rather than x16 mode, would this badly affect the speed of the card?
    3) Does anyone have any other cheap card suggestions that will really boost my performance in GTA IV?

    I would preferably like to run it at my monitor's native resolution, 1440x900, but would be happy at a lower resolution as long as I can see things properly, it handles the shadows OK and I get a better visibility at distance. It would also help if the FPS didn't drop below 25 during car chases with lots of cops as controlling the vehicles is difficult enough without taking a second to respond to my movements!

    Thanks in advance!

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    Hi there,

    OK for 1) There will be some improvement but realistically your going from one midrange card to a slightly newer midrange card and GTA is a massively intensive game on both CPU and GPU, so I dont think youll get the improvement your looking for.
    2)The x4 speed of your slot, may well hinder your graphics card, im not sure if it will have an effect on a mid range card like your talking about, but if you go for anything with more power then it will do, even then it may be affecting your performance now.
    3) I would say spend a little more and get an ATI 512mb 4670, its probably the best choice around your budget, but then again im really not sure what effect your x4 slot will have. Also I would say OC your CPU a bit if you feel comfortable with that, im sure that will also have an effect.

    Hope thats of some help.

    Hawker

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    My recollection of the X1600 was that it did not perform particularly well. ATI made some big steps forward with the X1650.

    As far as a replacement graphics card goes the best performance for your budget would probably be a Radeon HD4650. I would expect that would give a good improvement in performance over the X1600. The PCIE-E x4 is likely to limit performance particularly if it is PCI-E 1.x.

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawker1986 View Post
    Hi there,

    OK for 1) There will be some improvement but realistically your going from one midrange card to a slightly newer midrange card and GTA is a massively intensive game on both CPU and GPU, so I dont think youll get the improvement your looking for.
    2)The x4 speed of your slot, may well hinder your graphics card, im not sure if it will have an effect on a mid range card like your talking about, but if you go for anything with more power then it will do, even then it may be affecting your performance now.
    3) I would say spend a little more and get an ATI 512mb 4670, its probably the best choice around your budget, but then again im really not sure what effect your x4 slot will have. Also I would say OC your CPU a bit if you feel comfortable with that, im sure that will also have an effect.

    Hope thats of some help.

    Hawker
    Cheers, I'll take a look at that card.

    As for the overclocking, I'm confident doing it, just not sure how much this mobo can handle. I have a pretty good air cooler (an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro) and some 120mm intake and outtake fans on my case, so controlling extra heat won't be a problem. Never really tried with the new mobo tbh. I know the E2180 can handle a reasonable O/C though from what I read in reviews.

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    Quote Originally Posted by tonpal View Post
    My recollection of the X1600 was that it did not perform particularly well. ATI made some big steps forward with the X1650.

    As far as a replacement graphics card goes the best performance for your budget would probably be a Radeon HD4650. I would expect that would give a good improvement in performance over the X1600. The PCIE-E x4 is likely to limit performance particularly if it is PCI-E 1.x.
    Similar card to what was mentioned above, HD4670. I take it the latter would be more powerful?

    Also, how can I find out if it's PCI-E 1.x? The mobo is an ASRock 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0 (http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.as...TA2%20R2.0&s=n).

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    get a second hand 8800 gtx. they are a godsend!
    "Gaming" Rig (is it actually good enough to be classed as a gaming rig?

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    my mate has a motherboard that only supports PCI-E x4 and he has a nVidia 9600GT in his PC and it runs all the games he wants to run @ 1280 x 1024 with a decent amount of eyecandy too
    or for an ATi alternative the HD4670 or maybe, if you're feeling generous towards yourself , a HD4830?

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Also, how can I find out if it's PCI-E 1.x? The mobo is an ASRock 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0 (http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.as...TA2%20R2.0&s=n).
    Here are all the graphics cards that are officially supported on your motherboard: http://www.asrock.com/mb/vga.asp?Model=4CoreDual-SATA2

    The PCI-e slot on the mother motherboard will fit a full length 16x PCI-e card, however it only has 4 channels of bandwidth so will limit performance, but doesn't mean you are restricted to a 4x card.

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    The 4670 would be more powerful than the 4650 and would also cost more. I have found a review that compares the 4650 and 4670.

    http://xtreview.com/addcomment-id-62...ce-review.html

    Given the age of your motherboard I think it would be safe to assume it is PCI-E 1.0. If you update the graphics card and still find that the performance is unacceptable then you may wish to take a look at updating the motherboard. A P31 or P43 based motherboard would be worth taking a look at. If your copy of windows is an OEM version you can't transfer to another motherboard.

    As a last option I would look at the CPU. An E5200 is the best value wolfdale core and should do the job.

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    Quote Originally Posted by vmong View Post
    get a second hand 8800 gtx. they are a godsend!
    Hmm, I tend to stay well clear of second hand PC equipment, I will always buy new when I can.

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    Here are all the graphics cards that are officially supported on your motherboard: http://www.asrock.com/mb/vga.asp?Model=4CoreDual-SATA2

    The PCI-e slot on the mother motherboard will fit a full length 16x PCI-e card, however it only has 4 channels of bandwidth so will limit performance, but doesn't mean you are restricted to a 4x card.
    Awesome, didn't think of checking the ASRock site for a list of compatible cards!

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    Quote Originally Posted by tonpal View Post
    The 4670 would be more powerful than the 4650 and would also cost more. I have found a review that compares the 4650 and 4670.

    http://xtreview.com/addcomment-id-62...ce-review.html

    Given the age of your motherboard I think it would be safe to assume it is PCI-E 1.0. If you update the graphics card and still find that the performance is unacceptable then you may wish to take a look at updating the motherboard. A P31 or P43 based motherboard would be worth taking a look at. If your copy of windows is an OEM version you can't transfer to another motherboard.

    As a last option I would look at the CPU. An E5200 is the best value wolfdale core and should do the job.
    I've not had a problem using my OEM version of XP on the past 3 motherboards I've had in my system...

    Still, I would prefer not to spend out on a new CPU, as it will probably mean a new mobo as well, and all the other stuff to go with that new mobo... expensive!

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    Hopefully an updated graphics card will do the trick then.

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    You can get the following motherboard for under 50 quid which has decent overclocking options:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/148802

    It has a good review:

    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/575

    You should be able to get your E2180 to around 2.5ghz to 3ghz!

    The motherboard will only have one IDE connector though!

    You could then pair this with an HD4670 for 64 quid:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150851

    If you can collect it from your local PCWorld you can get a 9600GT for 70 quid:

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/product.php...Froogle_search

    You may also be able to sell your old motherboard and graphics card for a few quid too if you decide to upgrade!!

    Hence for around 100 quid you will have a decent upgrade!!

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    How does that 9600GT compare to the HD4670? And where does it stand in the latest line up of cards? And I always thought PC World was a place to stay well away from!

    See, this is what I lack right now, knowledge about the latest graphics cards... Hence my need to ask.

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    Re: 1 x PCI Express Graphics slot (@ x4 mode)

    The 9600GT is a high-midrange card, if that makes sense. Its a bit better than the 4670, and at that price if I was you I would defo go pick one up, over at ebuyer theyre like £95. And its a BFG one not some nobody brand, good find CAT-THE-FIFTH.

    Hawker

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