New Graphics Card or New Computer?

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seejay

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Hello, this is my first post and i need to know whether it would be worth it to buy a new graphics card so i can play my games rather smoothly or to buy a new gaming computer all together. I recently 'inherited' my mom's old laptop and i bought starcraft 2 shortly after (about 2 days ago and 2 days after the inheritance). So i download starcraft 2 and when i first was running it it got to be so laggy that i just disconnected, this happened on the starting screen/menu before i even started a game or the campaign. So i did some research online for a few hours that ultimately did not help much. Then i called best buy and they told me they didn't have what i need but that i should check whether my laptop's graphics card is 'integrated' or 'stand-alone' and that bring to me this point on the forums. Also, if any gaming laptops are suggested it must have 128mb video ram, a 2.6GHz processor/harddrive (this one has 2.19 but runs at a 2.81 level? Explanation?) as well as 1 gig of ram. The reason I'm 'picky' is because those are the MINIMUM requirements for starcraft :)
Max price for graphics card: $50-70

Max price for a new computer (atleast 128mb video ram): ~$450 (i realize that this is considered being 'cheap' in the gaming computer world.

Current Graphics Card: ATI RADEON XPRESS 200M Series
 

Carc369

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Hi Seejay. Integrated video cards means video cards built in whether it be on your CPU or on your Motherboard. Regardless, integrated graphics are never good to play with... even on low the lowest settings.

If you have a regular business laptop... most likely it won't come with the PCI express slot needed to insert a graphics card. You won't even be able to get a crappy gaming laptop for $450 so your best bet would be to get a desktop.

A decent 'stand-alone' AKA as "dedicated" video card for $50-70 is not possible. You would need to spend at least $100 to get a semi-decent one.

Good luck!
 
Your current graphics are onboard. Laptop graphics are NOT upgradable even ones with dedicated graphics. This just means it has a dedicated onboard, or little daughterboard with dedicated graphics. There are a very few that are, but are VERY high end and VERY expensive to do so. The only way to upgrade your graphics is to buy a new laptop. $450 will not get you a gaming laptop. Sorry to say, it will be more like $800+ MINIMUM for a gaming laptop or at least one with a dedicated card that will even worth playing games on. This is why most gamers run a PC as they can be upgraded and you can usually upgrade a few items along the way to allow your PC to last as a gamer much longer than a laptop ever would.
 
Ideally you will need a laptop that will run modern games for a few years. This is probably the best gaming laptop for the price, $1300. If I were getting a gaming laptop I wouldn't get anything less than this. You can get by with other onboard card, but in a year they just won't fly with modern games.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i7+Processor+/+17.3%22+Display+/+6GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Black/9741729.p?id=1218165344675&skuId=9741729

My suggestion, if you want to game and are budget limited, get a PC. Unless you are willing to pay for mobile gaming.
 

Helltech

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mrux90

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Game sistem for this money....
cpu : AM3 athlon2 X3 440 3.0GH
Motherboard: MSI NF520T C35 (AM3)
Ram : Crucial dual channel (2x 1GB) 2gb 1066
VGA card: His or... ATI 5770 1GB
POWER: Green 480w or lower
Case and hard disc optional
 

seejay

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i guess i can buy a desktop. The debate over a laptop or desktop isnt a big deal. All i basically want is to be able to run starcraft 2 smoothly and i guess other games i might be interested in but mainly sc2. I'm not interested in games like crysis etc that are crazy demanding on graphics. Also this 'gateway' laptop is pretty old and we got it for ~$500 and it runs at 2.8GHz but just needs graphics (which i guess is impossible now since you all said its auto-integrated ha). Also: what the heck... when i used to play world of warcraft this computer handled it fairly well, only lag in high populated areas. Why is starcraft so much simpler yet so much more demanding.. modernness :(

So I guess im leaning towards a PC (desktop) now but i really would prefer portable. Bummer. But i assume that i will be able to get a decent desktop that can run starcraft without lag?

YES i have a 22inch monitor and a wireless keyboard/mouse if that will help me save money in any way while looking for a new desktop.

Helltech- Are you saying to just buy all the items showed on those links (i have the monitor/mouse/keyboard but not sure if my disk drives are optical like you said) then just put em together or take em to best buy or somethin? I definately cannot put a computer together haha

I really appreciate the help provided! Even if i dont understand it.
 

Helltech

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Well the problem with the laptop is you cannot upgrade the graphics card, even if you DID have an upgradable graphics card its a pain in the ass and expensive to upgrade it.

Like jay2tall said, you can buy another laptop, but you'll be spending a lot more money.

Take the links I gave you and what you said about only wanting to play starcraft 2 and the such, and post them in the homebuilt section on Tom's Hardware. The people there might be able to find you better deals and will make sure everything will look right. (Make sure you follow their format for posting new builds).
 
@ Seejay: It's not that hard to assemble a computer-even I can do it;) There are plenty of online guides on the subject and if you assemble it yourself it will be far less expensive and will be exactly what YOU want.
Whichever way you choose to go-homebuilt or store bought, have a read here first:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/starcraft2-wings-of-liberty.html

If you want to build it yourself and post in the Homebuild Forum, do not forget to include information on your country, Toms has an international membership so someone is bound to be able to offer advice on local prices/availabilaty/best deals.
 

seejay

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HELLTECH- alright but im just trusting you on the fact that those items are basically what i need, i dont know about the little things that go in cpu's and all of the statistics and compatability between parts. cause those links show like 5 items. i always thought building a computer would be a cool thing to do and to learn but if i mess up thats a huge hit. i feel too new... like ill miss something.
 

seejay

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@Coozie7 - i dont know exactly what i want, i just trust the people of the forum to provide legit information/help which is why i feel like im taking a big risk you know?

By the way, im having difficulty finding what you want me to find through that link.. the site says the best one is nvidia geforce 470x which runs at a nice frame rate but isnt overkill.
 

seejay

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wait... nevermind COOZIE7, sorry but the reccomended graphics card on that site is $300 minimum. thats almost as much as helltech said that the entire computer he linked would cost.
 
I know how you feel, I can remember my first build and the confusion I had selecting the parts, so do n't feel bad or worried.
But, to make the correct choices, you'll need to spend some time on the 'net doing research and posting questions, if not here then on other tech sites.
It is hard I know, you want to play but are held up and that can be frustrating but it's better to hold back and do the research so you can make the correct decisions.
For now, I suggest you post your requirements in the Homebuilt Forum and begin the research.
Patience is a virtue, and leads to the Light Side young padawan. To the Dark Side impatience leads!
 
@ Seejay: Not exactly, they say the HD5770 is plenty at 1650x1080, probably the resolution of your existing 22" monitor.
This means the parts linked by Helltech would be fine: Plenty of CPU power, plenty of memory and a fast enough graphics card (The HD4870 is about as fast as the HD5770 but is older and lacks DX11 compliance).
 

seejay

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do i need to find out my resolution of my monitor? also, i just posted my situation on the new-build forum and im waitin for what people have to say.

There are so many graphics cards and ram choices as well as the actual PC big box so im not sure. I feel like i need someone to just tell me straight up what is the best for what i want and my price haha
 

seejay

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So your saying that all those parts helltech linked will have me set? Or do i need any extra parts to make the computer. He posted ~5 parts within those links i think. + They are affordable. Too good to be true??
 
Yes, try to find out the monitors 'native resolution', the easy way is to see what Windows will allow- It will only allow resolutions sup[ported by the monitor.
The problem is that there are so many choices, but you ahve made a good move-Keep an eye on the Homebuilt Forum and ask further questions there, if you need to.
 

seejay

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I checked and my resolution minimum is 800 by 600 and maximum is 1600 by 1024 under display properties-settings.

Plug and Play Monior on NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 100/200 <---monitor
 

seejay

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He said thats abuot $399 for what he posted, how much will the Windows 7 64 Bit cost? The operating system.
The problem is that everyone will keep posting different options for what i can get which i dont necessarily want. Just want to be able to play some games with no lag and ofcourse not breaking the budget.
 

seejay

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little expensive lol. i would build my own computer but noone is responding in the new-built section. 512mb vid ram is nice though. I would just buy those parts hell suggested but i dont know what else i need to make the computer playable etc..
 
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