1. #1

    Exclamation Help me upgrade my graphics card! :)

    I just bought an older custom built computer and it currently has a ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics card. I want to upgrade it but I do not know anything besides the very basics about computers and I am nervous that I will not do something right and ending up having the wrong type of card or something along those lines. I just play WoW and it runs it pretty smooth (most the time around 40 fps and up) but I am trying to record with FRAPS and it normally cuts it down to about 20 or less when I am recording on half quality so I need to upgrade. So can anyone tell me what to look for or just straight out recommend a better card for me? I am not wanting to spend anymore than about $100 but I can go up a little for a better option. The ATI Radeon HD 5450 is currently selling on new egg for about $35 so i figured just about anything will be an upgrade lol. Thanks a ton! IDK if you would need the info below but I added it just incase because I always see people posting this information when they are wanting to know something like this. Thanks again.

    Code:
    System Information
    ------------------
    Time of this report: 1/2/2013, 21:31:23
           Machine name: MAYES
       Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 32-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.111025-1505)
               Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
    System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
           System Model: GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H
                   BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
              Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 4400e Processor (2 CPUs), ~2.7GHz
                 Memory: 4096MB RAM
    Available OS Memory: 3326MB RAM
              Page File: 3417MB used, 3231MB available
            Windows Dir: C:\Windows
        DirectX Version: DirectX 11
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
       User DPI Setting: Using System DPI
     System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
        DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled
         DxDiag Version: 6.01.7601.17514 32bit Unicode
      DxDiag Previously: Crashed in DirectSound (stage 1). Re-running DxDiag with "dontskip" command line parameter or choosing not to bypass information gathering when prompted might result in DxDiag successfully obtaining this information
    
    ------------
    DxDiag Notes
    ------------
          Display Tab 1: No problems found.
              Input Tab: No problems found.
    
    --------------------
    DirectX Debug Levels
    --------------------
    Direct3D:    0/4 (retail)
    DirectDraw:  0/4 (retail)
    DirectInput: 0/5 (retail)
    DirectMusic: 0/5 (retail)
    DirectPlay:  0/9 (retail)
    DirectSound: 0/5 (retail)
    DirectShow:  0/6 (retail)
    
    ---------------
    Display Devices
    ---------------
              Card name: ATI Radeon HD 5450
           Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
              Chip type: ATI display adapter (0x68F9)
               DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
             Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_68F9&SUBSYS_E145174B&REV_00
         Display Memory: 2421 MB
       Dedicated Memory: 1015 MB
          Shared Memory: 1406 MB
           Current Mode: 1440 x 900 (32 bit) (60Hz)
           Monitor Name: Generic PnP Monitor
          Monitor Model: ORION
             Monitor Id: ORN1209
            Native Mode: 1920 x 1080(i) (60.053Hz)
            Output Type: HDMI
            Driver Name: aticfx32.dll,aticfx32.dll,aticfx32.dll,atiumdag.dll,atidxx32.dll,atiumdva.cap
    Driver File Version: 8.17.0010.1124 (English)
         Driver Version: 8.961.0.0
            DDI Version: 11
           Driver Model: WDDM 1.1
      Driver Attributes: Final Retail
       Driver Date/Size: 4/5/2012 20:21:52, 909312 bytes
            WHQL Logo'd: Yes
        WHQL Date Stamp: 
      Device Identifier: {D7B71EE2-2BB9-11CF-9F70-4FC1BEC2C535}
              Vendor ID: 0x1002
              Device ID: 0x68F9
    Last edited by Cilraaz; 2013-01-03 at 03:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    For other people:
    OS: Win 7 32-bit
    CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 4400e
    RAM: 4gb DDR3 RAM
    Motherboard: GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H (Socket AM3, DDR3)
    Chipset: AMD 785G
    I'll be honest, with the specs you have, I don't think you're gonna be able to make a huge difference with $100. Both your CPU, and GPU are pretty rough, so upgrading either is going to leave the other struggling.

    If you MUST upgrade something, I'd do the video card (Power supply allowing), because it's difficult to make an AMD recommendation for CPU upgrade these days. That, or save some money, and do whole hog, CPU, GPU, Mobo.

    Unfortunately, you somehow have Win7 32bit, so you can't get more than 4gb of ram.

  3. #3
    yes, assuming your power supply can handle it (which it probably can't), the best I can recommend for the price is the Radeon 7750 or the 7770. the 7750 has a very low watt TDP for a graphics card with its performance but I still would probably not put it on something like a 200watt power supply which you could very well have. I don't know the specifics, but I am pretty sure the 7750 can handle everything WoW has on medium settings assuming you also upgrade your CPU, but quite honestly, I have a hard time recommending anything less than a 7770 for MMO's to help with raids and larger battlegrounds especially since it is only $20 more.

    I really can't say much about the CPU. I believe I found both the CPU and motherboard and it says the CPU has an AM2 socket while the motherboard has an AM3 socket which aren't suppose to be compatible, so I don't know what the hell is going on there assuming I was paying attention. Anyhow, your processor will probably do fine in areas that don't have many people around such as 5-man dungeons or the smaller battlegrounds but it will likely struggle in larger battlegrounds, 25-man Raids, and walking into heavily populated cities.

    4GB RAM is fine but it doesn't really matter, your entire system is likely screwed. You would really have to learn about this stuff to avoid errors and make something like that work. I could do something like this if I wanted too, but it would likely require around $250 ($120 for GPU, $30 for a cheap power supply with enough watts, and $100 for a CPU) and I would have to buy a used CPU on Ebay (which doesn't please me) and the whole system still wouldn't be the greatest due to limitations of how far I could go with an AM2 or AM3 socket. If I wanted a different socket to work with I would also have to buy a new motherboard which means I would probably have to replace the RAM since it is probably not DDR3 and guess what, I would have just replaced almost the entire PC but of course I may be going overboard here ^^
    Last edited by Asurakai; 2013-01-03 at 05:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    I believe I found both the CPU and motherboard and it says the CPU has an AM2 socket while the motherboard has an AM3 socket which aren't suppose to be compatible, so I don't know what the hell is going on there assuming I was paying attention.
    The board is AM3, so the CPU is AM3... however I did some poking at "Athlon II X2 4400e" and AMD doesn't even list it on their website, so I suppose it's an AM3 version of the AM2 4400 or something. Either way, it's an AM3, so CPU upgrade is possible... But not by much. The newer FM2 CPU's are much more worthwhile (But still behind Intel in performance per dollar usually)

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-02 at 09:32 PM ----------

    4GB RAM is fine but it doesn't really matter
    4gb is starting to push it, on Win7 with gaming. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about it, since the OS won't allow more regardless.

  5. #5
    7750 hd radeon is a good solution to upgrading older systems without a power supply that can withstand higher power cards. I just upgraded from my aging gt230 (actually a surprisingly great card for costing next to nothing) and was happy to see performance and graphics be able to jump a good distance. It's a solid budget card that requires little know how as you have no additional power requirements and don't really need to worry about your power supply at all.

  6. #6
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Probably the best thing you can do at this point, on a budget, is do things incrementally, with upgrading in mind.

    1) Get a better GPU. A nice one. And a power supply to support it, and future hardware (A seasonic 520w is perfect). Expect to spend $200 on these together.
    2) Save up some money, and at this point upgrade the motherboard and CPU. A nice upgrade will run 200, a good one 300. You should be able to keep your RAM, HD, Case, and CD Drive (MAYBE. If they're SATA. If they're still IDE, you need new ones there, too.)

    You will also need ~$100 for a 64bit OS (Win7 64bit), and at that point can get more ram.

  7. #7
    AMD Athlon II X2 4400e is the name for an unlocked Sempron 140, it works on both AM2+ and AM3 motherboards.
    It is a single core CPU unlocked to dual core and is oh so slow.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
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  8. #8
    Herald of the Titans Saithes's Avatar
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    Just to let everyone know... The AMD Athlon(tm) II X2 4400e Processor (2 CPUs), ~2.7GHz is an Unlocked Sempron 140 Processor which runs on AM3.


    Scratch that, n0cturnal beat me by a minute lol. In any case I agree with everyone else.. Upgrading the graphics card will not do anything to improve performance. This system is bottlenecked by the processor.

  9. #9
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithes View Post
    Upgrading the graphics card will not do anything to improve performance. This system is bottlenecked by the processor.
    If that's the case, it may just be worth it to save up for a full upgrade.

  10. #10
    Herald of the Titans Saithes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    If that's the case, it may just be worth it to save up for a full upgrade.
    It is, that would be my honest suggestion. There's just not much of a point to put money into something that won't give any real boost.

  11. #11
    If OP is just looking to get better fraps performance I would try to find a used Phenom2 x4 965 and buy a better GPU for whatever money that is left. Also make sure to fraps to another harddrive.

    There might be some issues with the PSU though, the 965 is quite power hungry.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
    Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X @ 1372/7604MHz | Corsair Force GT 120GB | Silverstone Fortress FT02 | Corsair VX450

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