Befor buying a new video card must read first
here are some things you should know before buying a video card for gaming.
If you're thinking of replacing your card because you're having problems running a certain game, make sure you have the latest version of the drivers for your current graphics card. You will find the latest drivers for your card available for download from the manufacturer's Web site.
For the purpose of gaming, two developers of 3D graphics card chipsets have come to dominate the market: nVidia and ATI. While there are many video card manufacturers, most of them build their cards around chipsets designed and supported by one of these two companies. Certain games will run a little better on one chipset than another - something you might want to consider before deciding which way to go.
A long time ago the Advanced Graphics Port (AGP) replaced the Peripheral Component Interface (PCI) as the standard way to connect the graphics card to the motherboard. PCI-Express is a new and faster form of PCI, which is replacing AGP as the standard for graphics card slots. PCI-Express offers roughly twice the data transfer rate of 8x AGP. You can't put a PCI-Express card in an AGP slot or vice versa, so your motherboard will have to have PCI-Express if you want to use a PCIE card.
256 MB of memory is, at the time of writing this, about the minimum for a gamer looking for a new card. When it comes to memory, more is always better, although it does raise the price of the card. 128 MB cards are still common, but it's worth looking for 256 MB or even 512 MB of memory if you want to run games at high resolutions.
As the term implies, framerate is an indication of how many frames per second your system can display. The rate not only varies from game to game, it is also affected by the game's settings and the action taking place at any given moment in the game. Framerate is, in some ways, the ultimate test of a video card's speed, so a lot of sites compare cards on this basis. The fastest cards in this regard are usually the most expensive as well.
While you may need the latest version of Microsoft DirectX (DX) software to run a game, this doesn't necessarily mean that your card must be fully compatible with the latest version of DX, you simply won't be able to use certain graphics features. Most new games support cards that have built-in DX 9 features, but will still run on a video card from the DX 8 era. When in doubt, look for the specific chipsets that the game you want to play supports.
This has been a standard feature in game-oriented video cards for quite a few years, but there are still PCs around that don't have it. These are usually systems with Intel graphics integrated into the motherboard, commonly used in budget laptops and desktops designed for office use. If your desktop doesn't have hardware T&L and you have an AGP slot available, adding a newer video card is an option.
Although, as noted earlier, AGP will soon be history, here are some basics if you're working on an older system. There are several different speeds of AGP, but anything other than 8x is rare. Both the slot on the motherboard and the video card will have an AGP rating, but in most cases these ratings do not have to match for the system to work. The system will operate at the speed of the lowest rated component. For example, if your motherboard supports 8x AGP but your video card will only do 4x, your system will operate at 4x.
hope that helps!
on Aug 21, 2008 | Nvidia GeForce 7200 Graphic Card