Hi there everyone! I've just bought a newish PC off the net. Its a Dell Optiplex GX270 and came with integrated 64MB Intel Extreme Graphics 2. The thing is I think I need to upgrade to use the machine for what I got it for (playing games). I dont necessarily want to play the newest of games like Doom 3 et al, but games from a couple of years ago are fine. I got Unreal Tournament 2003 thinking it would run fine, but on some of the medium sized arenas, its like playing a slideshow, even when detail is reduced to the minimum. Same with a strategy game I got called Evil Genius. Ive taken detail all the way down, and its really juddery, almost to the point of being unplayable at times.

Could anyone maybe suggest the best card I can get for my money. I'm not sure what type of AGP slot it has, and I really don't want to fork out more than £50 sterling after emptying my wallet for the pc itself.

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If you could tell what motherboard model or system you have I could tell you if you have an AGP slot.

For 50pounds you cant get much. I would definitely not encourage someone to buy a cheap card like this.

Check here http://www.misco.co.uk/categories/~375~2~STOCKD~~0~0~~~/index.htm for cards.

If you have 17pounds more, I would suggest the Radeon x700 more than any other at that price range.

at around 130pounds you get a 6600GT which is much better.

Ive just checked and found a ton of info on the motherboard. I still dont have a model type but it has a x4/x8 AGP slot, which is good. Anyway, before I fit the new card, will I need to uninstall or remove any drivers for the onboard graphics chip, or can I just install the new card's drivers and be done with it? If so, how? Thanks for replying. ;)

Also, I know I can't get a good adapter for small money, but I really cant spend any more than £50. Really. So what is the absolute best card to get with this budget?

Oh, and sorry, I have yet another question, what model of GeForce card is Series 6 from?

Check the 30th post by Catweazle [thread=26196]here[/thread] for uninstall steps.

The Series 6 of Geforce has any Geforce card model with the pattern 6x00 (examples: 6200, 6600, 6800).

For 50£ on misco.co.uk, the Radeon 9600 would be my choice (it also seems to be the Pro version)

Dont take the 256mb version on the same site, it has more memory for 3£ but the core speed is cut a bit and it wouldnt be a good.

Dont expect too much of the card though, it is pretty much outdated for recent games. If you would have a couple of extra bucks, like I previously said, the Radeon X700 would be a very good decision considering you would spend only £16 more.

If you find other cards and you dont know if they are any good, just ask.

Thanks for the advice. What about a GeForce FX Verto 5500 128MB. I know it isnt 6xxx, but ive seen it in local shop and was wondering if it was any good? It also comes with Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow for free.

The FX5500 has a core clock of 270mhz and memory clock of 400mhz, the Sapphire Radeon 9600 Pro has a core of 400mhz and memory of 446mhz. The FX5500 isnt as good as the 9600 Pro.

How much was the FX5500? The lowest budget Geforce card I would get would be a 5900. In Radeon, The 9600XT would be better, any 9800, X600 and up (not the X300).

I think the Radeon 9 series is better than the Geforce 5 series

OK. The 5500 was £49.99. But, in my ignorance of all things graphics card, ive just discovered a major, major set back. Ive just found out that the bracket on graphics cards is 2cm too long for the height of my base-unit. So I actually need a low profile card. Can you give me any advice about this, like relative cost?

Hmm... Im a little lost here. What do you mean by bracket? The side of the card where there is the VGA connector (where you connect your monitor)?

Yep, the part of the adapter that meets the exterior of the computer. When a card is slotted into the machine, the card fits fine, but the steel "bracket" of it means that the base-unit cant close. Thus, I think I need a "low profile" card.

Well the metal part you are referring to is the same size for any card and fits in any computer. You are certainly not inserting it correctly.

Put your opened computer case on its side, make sure that nothing is in the way of your agp slot, align your card straight on the slot and push it down until the card bus is in the slot.

But no. I inserted it correctly, and it wont go. The card itself locked in, but the metal sits too high, preventing the base-unit from locking closed. It sits about 2 cm higher than the base-unit. The length of the metal part I measured to be 12cm, but my base-unit is only 10cm, and the AGP socket itself is raised 1cm off the motherboard.

Never heard of this problem before. What is your computer model?

Its on the first post

So my bet is you have the smaller tower right? I thought the size of cards was standard. Never seen a card with lower profile.

Close. Its the small base-unit version, not the tower.

I see... Glad you did not buy any recent card because it would take lots of space. This case must not have good ventilation. It is not ideal for gaming that is for sure.

If I ever find a solution I will let you know.

Thanks for the help. I really appreciate it. Ive found only one online shop that specialises in low profile hardware, but its based in America, so its not a viable option.

One more thing... when you buy a computer and intend to play games and upgrade, make sure it has at least a mid-tower, good ventilation and ugrade space and possibilities.

okidoke. Thanks again for the advice.

What are PCI graphics cards like (not PCI-e) compared to AGP.

In terms of performance? You would be better off buying an AGP since you have one. PCI has slower bus so PCI video cards arent as good. They are hard to find nowadays. They dont make newer models in PCI.

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