View Full Version : want to get a new graphics card
04-23-2012, 03:46 PM
im thinking of upgrading my computer to help run FSX more smoothly.
i only get about 10-15 fps with clouds and AI traffic and was thinking maybe a new graphics card would help.
first i want to say that i know almost nothing about computers so please make responses easy to understand
Processor: AMD Phenom(tm)II X4 910 Processor (4 CPUs), ~2.6Ghz
Memory 8192MB RAM
graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 4350
display mode:1680 x 1050
id like to buy a really good graphics card that will work with my computer and help get my FPS and game resolution better.
04-23-2012, 08:11 PM
Achieving good performance in FSX depends more on a fast CPU than it does on having a super video card.
In your case, that means there is no point spending a lot of money on an expensive video card when your CPU only runs at 2.6GHz.
A CPU can be over-clocked to boost FSX performance. For your HP system, though, I doubt that is possible as it probably has a locked BIOS (the BIOS is where you adjust the CPU parameters to boost its clock frequency), a power supply without sufficient reserve power for overclocking and a cooling configuration that probably can't handle the additional heat generated by over-clocking.
So, with over-clocking likely out of the question, your only option for improved performance rests with the video card. However, and as already pointed out, a super-duper video card does little to improve FSX when it is paired with slow CPU.
Also, super-duper video cards require more power and I doubt your power supply would be up to the task anyway.
That doesn't mean, however, that you shouldn't upgrade your video card as the HD4350 is definitely on the low side of things and an upgrade should enable you to turn the graphics detail up a notch while perhaps gaining a FPS or two in the bargain.
Before you do that, though, you need to know your system power supply rating (in watts). If you can't find the wattage rating in the documentation supplied with your system you can try Googling your HP model number or you can call HP support.
If you find your power supply is rated at 400 watts or greater, I suggest you go with an Nvidia GTS450 (here's one example (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127605)).
If you find your power supply is rated lower than 400 watts, let us know and we'll try to come up with a lower level alternative.
04-24-2012, 12:06 AM
i just checked it. its 300W.
whats the lower level alternative?
or do you think that maybe i could get a larger power supply?
i was looking around and found this: http://www.supernotebook.com/power-supply.php?psupart=2876
it says that it will be able to replace my power supply with no mods.
04-24-2012, 10:53 AM
You could drop down to a GT430 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130695) which requires a 300 watt power supply and should still be a bit better than your HD4350
A good power supply is essential for system reliability so spending more money in that area is definitely good insurance.
So, if you want to upgrade your power supply, you should go with something other than a low-end model from Liteon.
Examples of higher quality units include brands like Corsair, OCZ, Antec, Thermaltake, Seasonic, Coolermaster and so on.
Before upgrading your power supply, however, you need to check if regular off-the-shelf power supplies are compatible with your particular HP model (check with HP support).
If I'm not mistaken, some (maybe all?) HP models have a proprietary power supply design so its a good idea to check this out before you buy.
If you can use an off-the-shelf unit, here's one example of a good 650 watter (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139020).
04-24-2012, 05:21 PM
what do you mean by "off the shelf?"
like a universal unit with similar dimensions so it can be installed without moving things around?
and if i can use that power supply what types of graphics cards do you think id be able to get?
04-24-2012, 06:26 PM
Updating the graphics Card for performance with those computer specs would be like putting Goodyear Eagle racing tires on a Hugo to make it go faster. Aint gona happen! Save your money and invest in an upgraded computer.
04-24-2012, 07:44 PM
Basically, I agree with "torkermax". As I said in my first reply, "..........there is no point spending a lot of money on an expensive video card when your CPU only runs at 2.6GHz."
Even if you can upgrade your power supply to 400 watts, the absolute max level video card I'd recommend given your system limitations would be a GTS450.
Only you can decide if the cost of those two components is worth it keeping in mind that all you may gain would be a bit better graphics quality with little to nothing in the way of a performance boost.
To answer your questions:
"Off-the-shelf" refers to standard components readily available from retailers like Newegg and the like.
Just because an "off-the-shelf" power supply may be physically similar doesn't mean it will work in your particular HP model as it also has to be electrically similar (in other words wired the same as your HP unit).
That is why you need to carefully check for compatibility (preferably by calling HP support) before buying.
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