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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

I got a mobo from www.eqscomputers.com which has integrated Radeon x300 128mb graphics. What kind of performance am I looking at getting with this.

For example over games like:

FEAR
Half Life 2
Far Cry
Black & White 2
Rome Total War
Warhammer Dawn Of War

etc. Or what I should be able to run at full pelt if its not grunty enough for these.

PC itself is an AMD64bit 3000 Newcastle with 1GB ram, running with 320GB RAID HD.

Fairly tempted to get the X850 PCI Express card in the near future if the existing on board could use a replacement.
18 REPLIES
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Honestly? Pretty poor performance for all those games. The x300 is a very old card, and as such isn't really up to much with modern games like HL2, Doom, etc.

My card of choice at the moment is a Nvidia Geforce 6600GT. It can be had for under £100, but still offers medium-high performance on the latest games.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Embedded or integrated graphics is not recommended for high speed 3D rendering that most modern games require, not only that, they often don't have their own memory but steal some from main memory so have to access it in a much slower way than if they had their own dedicated memory as plugin AGP cards have.

Integrated graphics will never match or come close to the AGP or PCI Express speeds due to compromises on manufacturing costs, feature sets and compatibility, which are necessary to keep the overall mobo chipset cost down. Would you really buy your mobo if it cost £300 -> £400, which is may do to have one of the more recent graphics processors fitted on the mainboard.

One of the other reasons why you only see the slower or older grapics chips on the mainboard is so those now obsolete (in terms on AGP cards) can still generate revenue in order to fund the development of the faster ADP/PCI express cards. It basically extends the life of a graphics chip by a year or two and thus recoups the development costs and possibly even makes a profit.

If you intend to run the games you have listed you need one of the recent AGP cards from Nvidia or ATI. If your mobo has an AGP slot then that is the way to go. If it does not, then i'm afraid you will have to buy another mobo and a graphics card.

While not specific to your graphics chip, the following Toms Hardware article explains why integrated graphics will never compete with AGP versions:

Are Intel's Integrated Graphics Processors Good Enough for Gaming?
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Righto!

I was thinking of downloading a demo of a game, just to see how well it performs. Although to be honest, I'll be pretty happy with some of the backcatalogue of games out there that I wouldn't mind catching up on.

I think I forsee me upgrading with my first paycheque from new job.

Just had a check of the mobo specs, no AGP slots but I do have a PCI Express slot ... so may have to go down that route. I was thinking of moving up to a 939 motherboard in the future anyway (mainly so I can get used to fiddling about inside the PC!), so will remember about AGP.

Thanks for all the help though, I really do need to get up to speed. The last time I fiddled about with PC Gaming was with the original pass of Command And Conquer!

I'll let you know what it turns out to be like. To be honest, I expect things to look a bit more swish than my Xbox/PS2!
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Oh, this is my bit of technology if anyone is interested!

http://www.eqscomputers.com/products/mobo/motherboard.php?model=M62K8-MLF
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Quote
Just had a check of the mobo specs, no AGP slots but I do have a PCI Express slot ... so may have to go down that route. I was thinking of moving up to a 939 motherboard in the future anyway (mainly so I can get used to fiddling about inside the PC!), so will remember about AGP.

That's good. Although the limits of AGP 8x have not yet been reached, PCI-e has really taken over as the chosen standard. AGP cards are getting harder to find, and in the future most (if not all) motherboards will only have PCI-e slots.

So you're certainly better off splashing out on a PCI-e card, since it'll be that bit more future-proof.
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Checking the specs of latest games in Game just now, Black & White 2 would rather be run on 'some Nvidea card' and the x800 Radeon. Looks like thats the way to go for me then! I found one online at the place where I got my PC and its around the 100 quid mark. Not too bad.

Although I WAS going to fork out for a PSP for all my commutes to my new job!

Just forked out £25 for retail copies of C&C:General mega pack (because I always loved C&C), plus Lord Of The Rings RTS game (because I love my Tolkien ... plus it appears to be the only decent looking LOTR to date). Those should happily chug away on my machine.
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Quote
better off splashing out on a PCI-e card, since it'll be that bit more future-proof.


This will be done! Also been told to go down the 939 path too. I could only afford what I got for now (which shall do the job nicely for the time being).
Ajtame
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 22-07-2007

Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

After seeing the requirements for F.E.A.R, I think i'm going to have to turn my attention to this -

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-x1800.html

oooh next gen Cheesy
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

How mcuh £ will that set me back!
Ajtame
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 22-07-2007

Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Oh about 300 notes for the geforce, ati one isnt even for sale in the uk yet Wink
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Blimey! I think I'll have to settle for the x800 for now!

Tried out Battle For Middle Earth. Runs on High, also runs on Ultra High but keeping it on High just in case. If full scale battles run pretty damn good on High, I'll step it up a notch.

Think I've noticed how the onboard works. My ram is @ 896MB, which leads me to assume that 128mb of it has been 'nabbed' for the ATi.

Still, I'm happy that I can play 1 year old games ok ... mainly because they only cost £12.50 or so from Game!

LOTR seems pretty ace (to get me back into RTS games), but C&C Generals looks the way to go. IGN have LOTR BFME 2 previews which seem pretty darn good too.
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

I wouldnt bother with the X1800XT tbh, the 7800GTX is cheaper and is slightly better in most benches.

Unless your interested in ATI Crossfire.
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

I'm going to settle on the X800GTO ... I've been reading up on this hugely useful thread here:

http://www.elderscrolls.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=170571

Quite a good read!

Seems the GTO is cheap and decent at what it does. Putting it at the lower end of the high end stuff.
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Since I know bog all about graphics cards...

Good choice of card, better than a 6600gt previously mentioned in this thread