|Are you in the US?|
I just noticed you wanted to spend about $50 for a video card.
You WILL immediately notice the difference when you install a video card, no matter how cheap it is, in comparison to your onboard video.
I took a look on the newegg.com site and that $50 or so limits you to very few choices for a card that has dual DVI - ONE in fact (two, if you order the one with the mail-in rebate, but you'll have to wait for the rebate) . If you can spend a bit more you have more choices. Most of the ones with two DVI that cost less have NVidia chipsets.
A tip - newegg tells you whether the card has two DVI, or two VGA, or a DVI and a VGA, in the listings description before you click on the link to the card - the picture may be too small for you to make out which ports it has otherwise.
Don't choose low profile cards - they have a shorter bracket - unless you check and it comes with a regular bracket as well - some regular cards come with a low profile bracket as well.
If you live in a large enough place, there are probably local places that may have a video card for you, they often have web sites (look in your yellowpages at their ads to find the address), and if you can get somone to pick it up for you free, there will be no extra shipping charge cost. The card may cost a bit more locally but it's often less than what you pay online plus the shipping. charge. The smaller places that have lots of components and custom build and repair computers are more likely to have cheaper prices.
Only one of these two DVI cards has a Radeon (ATI) chipset):
BFG Tech BFGE86256GTOCE GeForce 8600 GT 256MB $50
EVGA 256-P2-N761-TR GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB $55
CHAINTECH GSE86GT-A1 GeForce 8600 GT 256MB $70
Minus $20 Mail in rebate if you order before or on March 2nd
DIAMOND Viper 2600PRO256PESB Radeon HD 2600PRO 256MB $73
JATON Video-PX358GS-DT GeForce 7300GS 256MB $73
PNY VCG86512GXWB-OC GeForce 8600 GT 512MB $70
If you're going to upgrade in the near future anyway, you might as well spend more on a video card now, as long as it's a reasonably good deal, then you won't need to upgrade it when you do get a better mboard and cpu.
I would like to point out that-
- the difference regarding what you see regarding whether the monitor or TV in monitor mode is connected by VGA or DVI is very TINY!! - many can't tell the difference, especially on a smaller screen.
- you usually have more resolution choices to choose from if the video is connected by VGA regarding what the settings the drivers for the card allow
- most recent LCD and Plasma TVs have a D-Sub port for VGA for monitor mode, but a lot fewer of them have one for a DVI connection. If it has a DVI port, it probably also has a VGA port - you can use one or the other
- you have a LOT more choices of cheaper video cards, or video cards in any price range, , to choose from if you can connect the TV in monitor mode via a VGA connection rather than a DVI connection, and you will notice little if any difference on the TV display in monitor mode. Most of them have one DVI port, one VGA port, and one DVI to VGA adapter.
newegg.com and newegg.ca do not deduct the price of any current mail-in rebate from the price but they do mention it and provide a link to it's details.
tigerdirect.com and tigerdirect.ca DO deduct the price of any current mail-in rebate from the price and they usually provide a link to it's details.
When the rebate expires where the web site is, the price goes back up to the regular price at midnight, the web site's time.
Many card makers have mail-in rebates for a limited time , and they are coming and going frequently these days.
Mail-in rebates may take months before you actually get the check for the rebate amount, but I have always actually gotten it.
" i,m looking to buy a 32" samsung for $498 @walmart it sounds/looks awesome*"
Samsung LCD TVs and LCD monitors are excellent quality.
See next for some real world examples.
I would choose the Samsung over the Sylvania one.
All LCD monitors have an "optimal" or "native" resoluttion at which they look best set to. If you choose a resolution other that that, the display does not look as good - the most noticabe thing is the fonts/type on the Windows screen don't look as clear (CRT displaysdo NOT have that problem). If the monitor is a cheaper one it's more likely to look worse at other resolutions. I know from seeing the Samsung models mentioned next at other resolutions that they still look very good. (An Acer model I've seen DOES NOT.)
Turn on Clear Type in Windows XP or Vista - makes type/fonts on LCD screens look clearer.
Keep in mind LCD and plasma TVs are frequently going on sale these days, so you don't need to be in a hurry about choosing one.
"*im a bedridden guy*"
I help out several people with disabilities, some of whom would be bedridden all the time if they didn't have a power wheelchair and weren't in an extended care center (thanks to Canada's universal health care, it costs most of them nothing) that had staff that can get them in and out of bed
One friend of mine, Michelle, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy - that's like spina bifida PLUS muscular dystrophy - her spine is curved, she has two metal rods wired to it inside her, and at 40 years old she can only hold up her neck and move two fingers on her left hand.
She has never walked - her muscles otherwise were near normal when she was born and have slowly deteiorated since, simlar to the way they do for muscular dystrophy . Since her curved spine limits the amount of space her lungs can occupy, the bottom portion of them cannot work - since about 6 years ago, she has had a tube in her throat, and is connected to a ventillator ( a breathing machine) 24/7.
(She can still speak, and chatter away.)
She was originally not expected to live past 3 years.
She went to a normal junior high and high school and graduated from grade 12 (there is no 13 in Canada, at least not where we are), and completed two years towards an Education degree, but then was not able to finish, andhasnot been able to return since.
She is a whiz regarding using computers.
She has a desktop and an HP laptop.
She says her life without computers is maybe a 2/10; with them it's a 7 or 8/10.
I help her set up her computers and get and change components, and re-load Windows occaisionally for her, etc.
She has had a Samsung 19" LCD monitor for about 5 years, and a Samsung 19" LCD TV she uses mostly in monitor mode for about 4 years. Both are still working excellent. Most of that time her desktop computer she has them connected to was on 24/7, until the last year or so, when she sometimes has the computer turned off at night.
Her present mboard is an Epox AD580XR (AM2, about a 2 year old AMD/ATI chipset - I got it for her because it has all the legacy ports, has two IDE headers, and it supports up to the 6400+ cpu without needing a bios update) with a 6000+ X2 on it, 3gb of ram. She uses a TV card on it for her TV - she only uses the Samsung TV in TV mode when I need to take the computer away and work on it - it is difficult for her to use a regular remote (she can't look down - she has to use it by feel) otherwise she loves using the Media Center TV module in her XP MCE 2005 - it accomodates the TV in monitor mode being about twelve feet away just under the ceiling when she's in bed quite well, with it's larger than normal fonts, onscreen local cable channel selection, etc.
Because of power outage damaging the video card she wasusing and the PCI-E X16 circuits on the mboard, she is presently using a pretty good recent ATI chipset PCI card for her video, and and an el-cheapo Sabrent TV card that she used previously .
(The now dead video card is an ATI brand AIW X600 Pro, PCI- E X16)
I have ordered and received a newer AM2+ mboard, and a Visontek All in Wonder 3650 (ATI chipset) PCI-E X16 card, and will transfer all her parts to it in the near future.
She uses 3 Cirque touchpad mice, which she has no problem using by feel, and a freeware onscreen keyboard program called ClickNType, as well as the onscreen keyboard built into XP occaisionally, and she uses the Magnifier feature built into XP when she's in bed and watching the TV in monitor mode.
Both the monitor and the TV monitor port are VGA connected (theTV has no DVI port). We have tried both two port video cards and using a video splitter box. When she found out not all programs work on both monitors when connected to two ports on a video card (she likes using Power DVD - it only displays DVD playback on the primary monitor as seen by Windows) , she has insisted since that I only hook up the video splitter box, whether the video has two ports or one.
The TV has along enough extension cable she could have it right in front of her when she's in the bed, on a typical hospital over the bed table, but she thinks it would be too much fuss for the staff, although she uses exactly such a table with her laptop all the time, and of course the AC adapter for it.
The desktop has two LG IDE DVD combo drives, and an 80 and a 160gb IDE hard drive, and a 500gb SATA drive - all hard drives are Seagate.
She has 6 partitions on the hard drives, only one is for Windows itself (FAT32) , and overall they are about 80% full of data.
She has an MP3 player, and a GE digital camera she can connect.
She frequently sends me, and others, e-mail.
She has a blog page.
Another friend, Brad, who lives down the hall from Michelle, has Ducshayne's (sp?) muscular dystrophy. With that, you're seemingly normal when born, in his case he was fairly normal as a kid, but slowly his muscles deteriorated, so, now, at later 30 something, he can still hold up his head but cannot walk and has no arm or hand strength, and can move his fingers but they are very weak. He has a tube in his throat too, and is on a ventillator 24/7, and can still speak.
He is also a whiz at using computers.
He has a recent desktop, and had a laptop instead up untill not long ago, but got fed up with it when it's hard drive failed early, and he sold it after the drive had been replaced and reloaded on warranty.
Up until about 6 months ago he was using a special adapter (about $1000, provided free by the goverment) that attaches to a parallel port, and a simple hand (button) switch that connects to it, to control a sophisticated program that comes with it (that Steven Hawking the physacist (sp?) used to use) that allows him to do anything on the computer by simply squeezing the button between two fingers, but his finger muscles now fatigue in a short time.
Now he is using a much cheaper solution he bought himself - it's a box you connect to a regular mouse (or USB?) port, the box mounted near his head (the box comes with the mounting hardware), and he controls the mouse cursor by means of a joystickt hat he can control with his chin, or lately, his tounge.
I'm not sure what he uses to type with - the onscreen keyboard built into XP? - maybe ClickNType too?
He sends me jokes and redneck thinking oriented stuff (he's a farmer's kid) frequently via e-mail.
How do those two contol their power wheel chairs?
Michelle has a 4 segment touchpad on a box with circuits in it (costs about $500??) that connects where a regular joystick control connects to the power chair - she uses her two working fingers with it - it has a " deadman " button switch she must tap to prevent un-intended movement before she uses the touchpad, when a time has been exceeded since she last used the touchpad . However, the stupid touchpad surface is sensitive to moisture and doesn't work well below about 50 degrees F. If the touchpad gets water on it while the box is activated, even just spit, the power chair does bizzare things - so she cannot use the chair when it's raining outside, or even for a while after the surface is cleaned with anything containing water. If it had Cirque touchpad components it wouldn't do that - her Cirque touchpad mice are not sensitive to water like that.
Brad has a "sip n puff" chair control box that connects to the same place a regular joystick control connects. He controls it by blowing into or sucking on a tube in his mouth, the box with the tube mounted to his power chair so he can do so.
"I am running 4 gb of ram"
If you have 3 or 4 modules, for 32 bit 2000, XP, and Vista operating systems, you are often better off installing 3gb rather than 4. Those 32gb operating systems have an absolute limit of 4gb of virtual address space - for the ram AND for what the operating system requires.
Depending on the particular system and mboard hardware (main chipset) you can have more ram actually available for you to use for programs if you install 3gb rather than 4gb.
When you install 4gb of ram, part of that 4gb of virtual address space is used by Windows rather than it being available for the ram for programs. Depending on the particular system and mboard hardware (main chipset) the amount of ram you can actually use for programs can be a little more, or a little LESS, than 3gb.
I got some ram for another freind who has a recent mboard (I built the system for him). He now has 4 1gb modules available. I tried installing both 3gb and 4gb of ram on that mboard. I looked in System Information each time - on that mboard, he has MORE available ram for progams when 3gb is installed, AND when I installed 4gb I noticed the difference right away - the system runs noticably better with 3gb!
Unfortunately he's a bonehead and he installed the 4th module after I had left that day despite me telling him it ran better on 3 modules. (He thinks using a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in his gas tank on hiscar vastly improves his gas mileage!)
It was that computer I installed a Sapphire Radeon 4850 on, at the same time.
By the way, the difference between ram running in dual channel vs single channel mode is mostly hype - having matched pairs of ram running in dual channel mode on the mboard makes a very very TINY difference, one an appropriate testing program will find, but that you probably cannot perceive yourself.
If all your ram is not such matched pairs, e.g. if there is one such pair and you remove one module from another such pair, it is very likely you CANNOT perceive that all the ram is then running in single channel mode!
"i,m looking at quad cores!!"
Another thing that is marketing hype is whether a cpu is single core or dual core or triple core or quad core, or on older mboards, whether the mboard has one or two cpus.
You must use programs that can utilize more than one core, or on older mboards, both cpus, in order for you to have any advantage in having more than one!
There is nothing built into 2000 or XP that can utilize more than one core or one cpu, and the only programs you can buy that can utilize more than one are too expensive for most people - e.g. server programs, high end graphics programs, and expensive scientifically related programs.
Server operating system software can use more than one, but most people don't use that.
Vista apparently has a small amount of built in support for more than one, and apparently some recent games made with software for Vista included can use more than one, but only in Vista; other than that, the same applies - most people are not using programs that can use more than one core or more than one discrete cpu.
However, even if the programs you use cannot use more than one core or more than one discrete cpu, the single core you're using in newer cpus performs so much better than one on older cpus, you DO see a significant difference anyway.
E.g. I've built three systems with the Athlon 64X2 6000+ and 6400+ cpus - all I can say is WOW!, especially for the 6400+!
A tip - there is a shortage of 6400+ cpus (3.2ghz) and a glut of 6000+ (3.0ghz) ones, so the 6000+ ones have been heavily discounted and are a bargain!
The AMD supplied heatsink/fan combo in the boxed set for those cpus has heatpipes in the heatsink and is excellent!
"does amd athlon make a quad?? I only see other brands like intel I love amd athlons they have always BEEN super strenth* "
I am biased in favour of AMD cpus too.
Yes they certainly do!
They are the Phenom cpus.
They come in triple core and quad core versions.
On the lower end, they're only a bit more money than an Athlon 64 X2 6400+ cpu
However, I don't think any of them to date nominally run faster than an Athlon 64 X2 6400+ cpu (3.2 ghz; but you can no longer go by just the ghz the cpu runs at - AMD rates it as equivalent to the original P4 (in some ways) running at 6.4 ghz, hence the model number; the same applies for the Phenom model numbers; AMD has been doing that since the Athlon XPxxxx cpus were released ) .
Phenoms are backwards compatible to some extent - you can install them on an AM2 mboard as well as an AM2+ mboard, they run at the same speed but they peform better on a AM2+ mboard, and AM2 mboards are limited to DDR2 PC6400 max., AM2+ mboards and only the Phenom cpus on them cam use faster DDR2 ram.
Athlon 64X2 cpus can be used on AM2 or AM2+ mboards, no problem.
On the other hand, many recent Intel cpus can only be used on newer mboards - you often have to replace the mboard when you want to upgrade the cpu type.
AMD does not intend to try competing with the much more expensive top end Intel quad core cpus - their aim is to provide triple and quad core cpus that a lot more people can afford to buy.
However, you cannot install them on your present mboard, and you cannot install a 64 X2 Athlon on your present mboard - they require DDR2 ram, your mboard uses DDR, your socket is 939 pin, the newer ones are 940 pin (AM2 or AM2+).
"I HATE VISTA so much**i,m just a x.p lover*I"
A lot of people feel the same way.
Many have tried Vista and have reverted back to XP.
XP with SP3 updates has far fewer bugs, and can be used with older mboards no problem.
Many with newer systems are waiting for the sucessor to Vista
to be available in a beta or in a final version, and try that instead.
"i,m only at 1.5 megs on my dsl "
Same here, but the speed pages load on internet is not limited strickly by that; only download speeds and the faster video streaming speeds are, which are also, in any case, dependant on the max capabilities of the web site you are accessing.
Whether you upgrade the video or the whole system....
You won't notice as much difference on the internet because it's limited by the max data transfer speed you pay for, which is rated in bits per second, not bytes per second as everything other than network related stuff is - for the very best case, which is impossible, you divide the speed rating by 8 (8 bits per byte) - in the real world you divide the rate by about 10 - to get the actual max data transfer speed in bytes per second on the internet, because of what used for overhead for data error correction routines, etc..
Do you need 64 bit Vista (or XP Pro)?
Probably not, unless you need to use 64 bit programs, or need to use more than 4gb of ram. You would probably have to BUY some 64 bit versions of some programs you have added to Windows, in some cases.
Do you need more than 4gb of ram for XP Pro 64 bit, or for Vista 64 bit, or Vista's 64 bit successor?
Probably not. In fact it's likely you do not have anything installed and will not install anything that needs anywhere near 4gb or even 3gb.
Ultimate Memory Guide
How Much Memory Do You Need? etc.