Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you... Need some help from those who are more familiar with the ins-and-outs of computer hardware than me.
I've never had a need for a dedicated graphics card until now because I don't do much modern PC gaming. (My gaming interests are firmly rooted in MAME and the emulation of old consoles & DOS games, with the occasional Windows-era game out of the Civilization or Sim series thrown in.) However, I do dabble extensively in audio & video content, and I have a number of high-def video files that the integrated graphics on my motherboard can't handle without large amounts of dropped frames and the occasional skip in audio.
So I'm looking for a graphics card that will both fit with my existing machine and suit my needs as described in the last paragraph. However, I know next to nothing about manufacturers, specs, etc. when it comes to graphics cards, so I'm hoping that someone can give me a good recommendation. I do have a few other considerations for the card aside from my needs:
- I'm not looking to spend any more than $200 to $250, and something more in the $100 to $150 range would be preferable. - I don't need top-of-the-line performance, because if I ever do get into PC gaming, I'll either buy or build a more powerful system than the one I'm currently using. Just need something that will play the aforementioned HD content to my satisfaction. - It needs to run quiet - complete inaudibility would be preferred. My machine is on the World Community Grid (worldcommunitygrid.org) and I leave it on overnight to do unit processing, and the machine is also in my room with me. Last thing I need is for the loud noise emanating from a graphics card fan running at full speed to be keeping me up all night.
These are the relevant specs (as far as I can tell). If anyone needs any more information, I can provide it.
I know, for instance, that the graphics card should go in a PCI Express x16 slot where available, but I don't know much about compatibility concerns and the like. (The December 2007 issue of PC Magazine had a five-star review of the XFX GeForce 8800 GT, but when I read the specs, it said the card was PCI Express 2.0 - don't know if that means the card would or wouldn't jive with my 1.0-only motherboard. I also read a number of reviews that said the card ran real loud as well, so I've discounted it from my thinking.)
Any help that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated by me.
smark/net attack Advisory System Status is: Elevated (Holds; June 18, 2006) While the switch from Cena to RVD should alleviate some complaints, the inevitability of the belt's return to Cena (note where Summerslam is this year) and the poor initial showing by the new ECW are enough to keep the indicator where it is for now. The pieces are in place, though, especially on RAW, for improvements to be made to the IWC's psyche in the near future.
Send me a PM. I can probably send you a card for the price of shipping and you can test it to see if it is good enough. You don't want anything high end because it will have a fan (and more noise) so you are looking low end. I have a low end PCI x ATI card I pulled out of my Dell that will probably work perfectly for you.