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Discussion Starter #1
I didn't get any good answers at Yahoo! Answers and I am here for in need of help regarding about my eMachines T5048A desktop computer.

What types of PCI Express graphics cards may I able to purchase?
Or what website can I purchase a good decent PCI express video card? I am told that I have an extra PCI-Express slot when I bought my computer. I don't need any complicated answers but only about: What kind of PCI Express card can I get? I'll be planning to upgrade my RAM so no need to worry about that. All I need to know is the extra PCI-Express slot that I have available and am I able to get a good decent PCI Express card to at least play some of those good PC games, like The Sims 2? What types of PCI express cards that are compatible and that my computer can handle? I'm planning to upgrade my RAM to 1GB. I won't be planning yet for a 2GB upgrade. For now, a 1GB RAM will do good. I'm talking about PCI express slot that I have available. Here are my specs
eMachines T5048A
Pentium 4 CPU 3.0 Ghz
512 MB of RAM (Planning to upgrade)
Windows XP Media Center Edition
150 HDD
Integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 video card

Here is a website for more information about my motherboard
http://www.intel.com/products/motherboard/d102ggc2/index.htm
 

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Your motherboard could handle several of the latest graphics cards actually. The Xpress 200 chipset won't allow for the greatest over-clocking, but I get the feeling you won't be messing much with that.

The new ATI 3850 graphics cards would probably do you good (great prices for some nice power), but the GeForce 8800 GT or GTS models would also work fine.

Your ram is definitely one thing you're going to want to upgrade though. Your DDR2 compatibles aren't the greatest. 1 gig will probably get you by, but you really should push it up to 2 gigs as soon as you can, at least, if you do go with one of the cards suggested above.

P.S.
And since someone else will probably tell you anyway, I'll go ahead and say you should upgrade your motherboard and CPU as well at some point. :wink: I really don't see why you should have too much trouble getting a decent or even good PCI-E card to work fine, but at the very least, there are plenty of good and well priced boards you can pick up, that also should work fine with your CPU, but will be open to upgrading to a new one eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The Geforce graphics cards are pricey, obviously. I was looking at the ATI gfx card you suggested. Do you mean the ATI Radeon HD 3850? Because I only have a regular monitor. Not flat screen, plasma, LCD, and all that. Just a regular eMachines monitor. I'm not going for HD here but am I able plug the monitor I have to the ATI Radeon HD 3850 gfx card?

Here's the link to the graphics card that you might have suggested:
http://reviews.cnet.com/graphics-cards/ati-radeon-hd-3850/4505-8902_7-32745241.html?tag=prod.txt.1

Thanks, I appreciate you helping me out. =)
 

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Yes, they should work fine on a regular CRT monitor. They will come with an adapter or two so you can plug it into them.

Also make sure your power supply is up to snuff. Even if it doesn't have a PCI-E 6 pin plug, these cards usually come with an adapter for that as well. If it doesn't, you can find them pretty cheap in-store or on eBay.
 

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Your board will handle any 16x PCI-E card, but the biggest thing for you to concerned about is the power supply. All PC manufacturers leave very little upgrade room with the power supplies they install in thier PCs. To make matters worse Emachine is notorious for thier low quality power supplies. In short, unless you upgrade your power supply you will be very limited in system upgrading.

As for where to buy, Newegg.com is my Etailer of choice.
 

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Boom, right on. If you're going with the ATI 3850 models, you shouldn't need anything fantastic either. Recommend at least a 500, which as said, can be found cheap (really) on newegg.com or the likes.

Your current power supply really should have at least 400w, and it can depend what all else you have running on it. If it does, it might get you by, but look into getting another one soon.

If you are definitely going to need one, and want to get something that can get you by for next to nothing right away, I'd look at one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171018
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817148027

They will literally have little affect on your wallet, and should come with 6 pins as well to hook up to the card (so you don't have to use the adapter). Let's face it, a CoolerMaster for $10.00? I'd jump on it soon, though, as that 30 dollar mail-in is probably expiring at the end of the month (as in now).

If you have the extra money to spend, and you're bothering upgrading, I always say try to reach your limit now, so you don't have to upgrade later. If you have that extra cash, go ahead and pick up a 600. If not, those suggested could suffice for now.
 

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The Coolermaster Extreme is a little better than the Emachine unit, but not much. Apevia is junk.

The only offerings from Coolermaster worth buying (if you want a quality PSU) is the Real Power Pro and I-Green series.

For some good info on power supply selection check out the "Power Supply Info" link in my signature.
 

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That's not actually an Apevia I don't think. It's parts are not manufactured by them at all. It can come standard in several PC cases.

As for the CoolerMaster, I'm just trying to suggest something easy to move through. The only real "suggestions" I can see otherwise are pricey (for my preferred of the choices anyway), which are already obvious if you do indeed have that extra money. Being in the place of someone who didn't always have much extra to go about, I know a thing or two about good, temporary placements that don't hold too harsh a punishment as a result. That CoolerMaster would get you by (at only 10 bucks, seriously) perfectly fine until you can muster up and buy one of the real dogs. Just be prepared for possible RMA.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Wow that explains a lot. I probably have a supply power of 400w. My computer has this sound sometimes like it was speeding up. It happens when I'm downloading a multiple of files or converting a video.

I know this is out of topic but since all parts work together for the magic to happen, I want to know if the RAM effects the power supply also? Or all parts of the computer effects the power supply? I might actually just go for the 2GB upgrade for the heck of it. My computer is really, really slow.

I mean, if I wanted to add in a PCI express card, I need to replace a power supply?

What about these two? They seem to work well if add one of them in with an upgrade of the RAM and I might able to play The Sims 2 with no lag or less lag?
http://reviews.cnet.com/graphics-cards/ati-radeon-8500-64/4507-8902_7-7425582.html?tag=specs
http://reviews.cnet.com/graphics-cards/ati-all-in-wonder/4505-8902_7-8004655.html?tag=prod.txt.2

How about a graphics card that my computer can handle and that my computer can play The Sims 2 at least.

Also if I just leave the idea of upgrading or adding in a graphics card and just use the integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 card and just only upgrade my RAM to 2GB. If I play The Sims 2, will the game have faster loading times?
 

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That's not actually an Apevia I don't think. It's parts are not manufactured by them at all. It can come standard in several PC cases.

As for the CoolerMaster, I'm just trying to suggest something easy to move through. The only real "suggestions" I can see otherwise are pricey (for my preferred of the choices anyway), which are already obvious if you do indeed have that extra money. Being in the place of someone who didn't always have much extra to go about, I know a thing or two about good, temporary placements that don't hold too harsh a punishment as a result. That CoolerMaster would get you by (at only 10 bucks, seriously) perfectly fine until you can muster up and buy one of the real dogs. Just be prepared for possible RMA.
You are absolutely correct, Apevia doesn't make ANY power supplies. There a limited number of PSU manufacturers, with the top dog being Seasonic.

Here's an Apevia review conclusion from Hard OCP:
Apevia ATX-AS500W-BL


The Apevia ATX-AS500W-BL started off with an either love it or hate it look and with a questionable build quality. During the load testing portion of the review the design choices lead to poor performance and some literal falling apart as the unit began to melt. At a load of only 241w at 45c the 12v2 rail fell out of the ATX specification for 12v output voltage range and sealed the fate of the Apevia. The DC output during this time was on one hand better than would be expected from a unit that had failed so spectacularly but still poor as the 5v rail was pushing if not exceeding the ATX specification during Test #3 (353w). There is no application that the Apevia ATX-AS500W-BL would be suitable for and it could indeed be outright dangerous hardware due to its electrical performance and due to how the unit’s physical construction operates at elevated temperatures (such as our testing range of 45c). The Apevia ATX-AS500W-BL is priced at $59.99 (currently $54.99) but simply can not be recommended at this or any other price point.

Complete review can be read at http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTMzOSwxLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==

I also agree that the extreme would be an ok "get me by" purchase but nothing more. As I said, it's a slight upgrade over the emachine unit.

I used to buy cheap PSUs also, and still do at times. It all depends on the situation. For example, I've used Thermaltake TR2 430w in several PCs. HP, Emachines, etc but they are all lowend rigs, with onboard graphics that are basically just used to surf the net and do homework. Therefore I know, replacing a 180w Bestec with a 430w TR2 is going to be more than enough to handle the rig without stressing the PSU to the point of failure.

I just can't justify recommending a poor quality PSU, to someone that is spending better than $150 on a video card. Think about it, the power supply is the heart of your system, and when it goes it can take any number of other components with it. It's better to spend an extra $60-$70 dollars now than to have replace the MB, RAM, CPU, or VGA card later.

Markakajin,
I just seen your post. If you have a 400w PSU, then the 8500 would be ok, you can also look at a Geforce 7600, and upgrade your RAM.

Both of kids play Sims2 on 9600xt agp cards. One has an Athlon XP 2400+ and the other has a Celeron D 3.06ghz bith runnng 512mbs of DDR400. They run the game with no problems.
 

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Wow that explains a lot. I probably have a supply power of 400w. My computer has this sound sometimes like it was speeding up. It happens when I'm downloading a multiple of files or converting a video.

I know this is out of topic but since all parts work together for the magic to happen, I want to know if the RAM effects the power supply also? Or all parts of the computer effects the power supply? I might actually just go for the 2GB upgrade for the heck of it. My computer is really, really slow.

I mean, if I wanted to add in a PCI express card, I need to replace a power supply?

What about these two? They seem to work well if add one of them in with an upgrade of the RAM and I might able to play The Sims 2 with no lag or less lag?
http://reviews.cnet.com/graphics-cards/ati-radeon-8500-64/4507-8902_7-7425582.html?tag=specs
http://reviews.cnet.com/graphics-cards/ati-all-in-wonder/4505-8902_7-8004655.html?tag=prod.txt.2

How about a graphics card that my computer can handle and that my computer can play The Sims 2 at least.

Also if I just leave the idea of upgrading or adding in a graphics card and just use the integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 card and just only upgrade my RAM to 2GB. If I play The Sims 2, will the game have faster loading times?
It would improve the load times a bit, but I'm surprised you're able to run the Sims 2 significantly well at all. That integrated graphics chip is better than some, but it still isn't that great. The new graphics card would benefit you more than anything else.

You might even be kind of hard pressed to even find a Radeon 8500, but it wouldn't be an option anyway, since it's an AGP card, and your motherboard only has a PCI-E slot, so you need to be looking for PCI-E compatible cards. That card is definitely looking a bit way too low anyway. You could buy a two or three year old card for very cheap that would be several times better.

If bottom cheap performance is where you're aiming, I would look at one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150128
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814186030

Foxconn is a newer brand to the VGA market (they make motherboards mainly), but they're proving rather well and are challenging the scene with their prices. At 20 dollars after mail-in, that card would definitely improve your performance without really taking anything out of your pocket.

With all that being said, yes, the graphics card would be a better upgrade first for the overall performance in game play for the Sims 2. However, again, you definitely want to get that extra ram at some point. Don't expect any miracle working here though. The Sims 2 series is notorious for long load times, especially as you add on more expansions.

I just can't justify recommending a poor quality PSU, to someone that is spending better than $150 on a video card. Think about it, the power supply is the heart of your system, and when it goes it can take any number of other components with it. It's better to spend an extra $60-$70 dollars now than to have replace the MB, RAM, CPU, or VGA card later.
I don't think it really matters as he doesn't appear to be considering it now.

But yeah, you are definitely right. If going the full shabang, you might a well wait on the card until you have the full price to buy both that, and the PSU. I have used the low end CoolerMax ones though, and they don't tend to have a very high damage rate on dead ends - if they even happen. Same with the Apevia releases. I wouldn't suggest them as "get by" power supplies if they did.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for helping me out guys. I think I'll take it here from here on out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wouldn't bother to make a new thread but can you guys suggest any good 16x PCI Express video card that my computer can handle? Here are my computer specs again:
eMachines T5048A
Pentium 4 CPU 3.0 Ghz
512 MB of RAM (Planning to upgrade)
Windows XP Media Center Edition
150 HDD
Integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 video card

Btw, I have an available PCI-Express slot. That's why I'm asking. I know there are already suggestions but I think I need more. Any PCI EXpress video card that is able to handle my computer.
 
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