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Replacing Graphics Card - Need Advice

Old 01-11-13, 02:30 PM
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Replacing Graphics Card - Need Advice

Can I get some advice on a new graphics card? I don't know anything about this stuff.

I've got an off-the-shelf Dell Studio 540 desktop (Intel Quad with 6GB RAM). It has an ATI Radeon HD 3400. I've always had a problem with the display driver crashing/restarting or freezing up and leaving a screen full of green static. It would only happen 2-3 times a month, so it didn't bother me. But since last night it's been happening every 30 minutes or so. I've updated the drivers, but it doesn't help. I'm guessing that the card is failing.

So I'm planning to replace the graphic card. But I don't know what to get. I don't do any gaming, but I occasionally watch some 720p/1080p video. I don't want anything extra, just a basic card for everyday use.

Can anyone recommend a graphics card? I was looking at something like this. Is it enough for my needs? Will it work in my computer?

EVGA GeForce 8400 GS 1 GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 DVI/HDMI/VGA Graphics Card

Should I upgrade to this? Or is it overkill?

EVGA GeForce GT 610 2048MB GDDR3, DVI, DVI, HDMI, Graphics Card

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 01-11-13, 02:56 PM
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Re: Replacing Graphics Card - Need Advice

I'm looking at card in that price range for a friend now.

After a little reading, I've wound up looking at ATI 6670 stuff over the Nvidia offerings as they seem to be preferred in that price range.
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Old 01-11-13, 03:10 PM
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Re: Replacing Graphics Card - Need Advice

I replaced that GeForce 8400 GS in my son's computer with a GeForce GTX 550. The 8400 was fine for playing movies, the 550 was needed for high-graphics games. I have an 8400 GS in my HTPC as well.
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Old 01-11-13, 03:24 PM
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Re: Replacing Graphics Card - Need Advice

If you aren't doing games at all then even the 6670 is overkill.

If you absolutely positively are not concerned about game performance, then you can get a passively cooled 6450 for about $30-40. It will struggle to play pong with a descent framerate, but it's cheap, silent, uses very little power and will handle desktop and HD video fine.
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Old 01-11-13, 03:29 PM
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Re: Replacing Graphics Card - Need Advice

Not sure if you want another radeon, but I think the 6450 was on sale for $17 AR, not sure which maker. I have the sapphire 6450 and it's ok, I had to use a plier to bend a case part to get the vga plugged in, but it works good.
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Old 01-11-13, 09:00 PM
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Re: Replacing Graphics Card - Need Advice

I bought 2 of the EVGA 610. Skip it. Fan is too loud. Get a fanless video card.
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Old 01-11-13, 09:23 PM
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Re: Replacing Graphics Card - Need Advice

The problem started getting worse, so I ran down to Best Buy. They only had Nvidia cards. I grabbed the EVGA - GeForce GT 610 2GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 Graphics Card for $60. The cheapest cards were only $20 less and looked like junk.

Installation was simple and I don't notice any fan noise yet. Hopefully this'll fix my problem.

Anyways, thanks for all the input. I appreciate the help.
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