I am quite a keen gamer in that I play games quite a lot as opposed to having top of the range games all of the time, in fact my selection consists of the most recent Madden and FM. But I want to get company of heroes which is very advanced as far as graphics go and i don't think my computer will cope. Therefore I want to get a new graphics card so that I can basically play the game. My problem is the fact that i have no idea how you can judge the quality, apart from the price, and what I should be loking for to meet the demands of the next 2 years of games...

thanks in advance

Hi there.
If you try this site first:
Find the game in question, and find it in the drop-down list. This online programme will then check your hardware & software to see if you can run the game. It will then tell you as well, how your computers kit compares to the minimum and recommended specifications of the game you selected.
What operating system do you run? Vista (which version?) or XP?

google for reviews,

You want 256mb or 512mb cards and when they banchmark them in the reviews, the higher the benchmark score or the FPS (frames a second), the better the card is

thanks a lot i used the website u suggested Serunson and it does indeed suggest that i get a 512mb card, NVIDIA GeForce 6800 512mb, so ill check it out in reviews but ill probs get that... I'm on XP but it also said that i should get an upgrade to my RAM as i need a GB and i only have half. I would just get a new PC but I want to get another 2 years out of it.

6 series is a bit old

the 8 series is the current generation of nvidia video cards

but the 800 model is the high-end one.

e.g a good card like an 6800 might give better real world performance than a not so good, but more modern card like a 7400

You would be better off going for a high end Nvidia card for DirectX9.c compatibility because they are cheaper now due to everyone migrating to use Vista and DirectX 10. If you do intend in moving to Vista in the near future, i.e. next month or so, then i would advise getting a DirectX 10 card so that you can play all the games with Vista.

yes, 7 series is 9 and 8 series is 10

you can only use 10 with vista, if you run it on xp it runs using 9

I have the video card that the computer came with when i bought it which is the Intel(R) 82865G Graphics Controller which really isn't that great. I want to upgrade it so that I can play Company of heroes on my computer. But i'm not really sure about what to go for, I have been on systemrequirementslab and that "advised" me to get a Nvidia 6800. I am intending to get more RAM (1GB total) and I was just wondering if anyone had any advice on how I go about finding the right video card for my needs and will work with my system as it is.
I want to spend no more than £40-50 and I am trying to make my PC last another couple of years before i replace it.

That is the question I am basically asking

i would reccomend the radeon x1650 pro 512mb (£41 on www.novatech.com - uk site, reputable dealer)

reccomend that you have a 350w minimum power supply - 450w+ is better. You will need to check the sticker on yours.

on the Power Supply in your PC

find out how many watts it is

If you just open your case, look for where your power cable goes in and there is ur PSU. The sticker normally faces towards you when the case is opened.
The value would look like this: ---W
As Bennet rightly said to run high end graphics cards a PSU (Power Supply Unit) needs to have a power output of at least 400W preferably higher.

This is the minimum it can be:
Video RAM: Required - 512 MB
Video Card 3D Acceleration
Video HW Transform & Lighting
Vertex Shader Ver.: Required - 2.0
Pixel Shader Ver.: Required - 2.0
Runs within the 250W on/in my PC
AGP 8x Expansion

...Starting to seem quite difficult, basically just the cheapest one that meets those requirements and should last me two more years would be great if you could find it. Thanks

For safe running of your computer, you should have a PSU that is at least 400W, if you intend on only having it a short time. You could also invest in a high spec PSU around 700W ish, and transfer it to a new computer if/when you purchase one.

a decent 400w one with dual 12v rails can be better than a cheap "750w" one

Yeah but you can also get expensive 700W ones, which do the job and last. Mine is a 570W one and works like a dream :)

And if i didn't change my power and I just wanted to get a graphics card with the requirements above, which one would u guys recommend?

Any ATi or Nvidia card with 512Mb of V-RAM would suffice. I personally would go with ATi, just because i know the software and hardware better. Nvidia cards though are slightly better for gaming i believe, They are all quite even really!

No No No.

A 250w PSU wont run any modern cards. You need to upgrade your PSU no matter what.

I asked in another forum and they said "the Nvidia GeForce 7600 only uses 36W of power under full load" is that true, if it is I would go for it apart from the fact that it is only 256MB and I need 512MB...

512mb is pointless. 256 is fine.

Company of heroes has a recomended 512MB...

a good 256 is better than a cheap 512


a 7600 or 7800 would be though but they wont run on your PSU

to play any decent games made in the last 5 years you will need a new PSU

What are it's power requirements?
It seems to fit my requirements, 512mb, AGP 8x interface, shader model 3.0...
It says DDR2 but my RAM that I am going to get is just DDR is that a problem?
So is there any way at all I could avoid getting a psu?

no. A 250w will run only up to something like a geforce 5 , s you are limited to old games like CoD1, Operation Flashpoint etc....

Neither of them would work with my power supply then, but would they work with the rest of my PC and would they be good enough to work a game like Company of Heroes at it's recommended level, because it seems to match the requirements it has but you said no?
If I accepted that I needed a PSU then what should I go for?

an x1650 will run company of heroes but not amazingly well. The reccomended specs are minimums