New video card for emachine desktop

November 15, 2008 at 10:29:28
Specs: Windows XP, 896 MB

I recently bought a new computer game, however I do not have a video card that meets the minimum requirements. Installed in my computer is a nVidia GeForce 6100 GPU w/ an available PCI-Express slot. The game says I need nVidia GeForce 6800.

Should I just go get the GeForce 6800? Or should I get a better version, like GeForce 8400? Or do I need to get something completely different?

Also, how easy is it to install a new video card? Easy enough to do myself or should I take it into like Circuit City or Best Buy and have them do it?

See More: New video card for emachine desktop

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November 15, 2008 at 11:06:51

easy to do, but make sure your power supply unit can supply enough power for any new card. More powerful cards need more power. I would think that the emachines power supply unit would not have been over generous on the amount of extra powerful avaiable for such upgrades

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November 15, 2008 at 11:49:18

The 8400 you mentioned is weak/low end card. Just because the model number is numerically higher, it doesn't necessarily means it's better/faster. The 6800 is an older model but it was at the higher end of the scale. It will soundly beat the 8400. In other words, it wouldn't meet the requirements for your game.

If you can do it, buy a card online rather than from BestBuy, Circuit City, etc. You'll get a MUCH better deal from a place like & if you can handle the rebate hassle, you can get a fairly decent card for about $50.

Tom's Hardware puts out a monthly article about the best buys in graphics cards. Here's this month's edition:

The lowe end recommendations are the Radeon HD 2600XT or the Geforce 9500GT:

Here's a couple more to consider:

"If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions" - Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction

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November 15, 2008 at 11:52:24

In case anyone wants to few the specs:

BTW, add more RAM.

"If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions" - Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction

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Related Solutions

November 15, 2008 at 12:07:36

If your desire is to upgrade this computer's video hardware, then getting the new video card isn't a problem as long as your are prepared to also upgrade your power supply later if it's needed. Your computer comes with a 300W PSU, which may be marginal, but will probably work. As for the question about which graphics card to buy. Newer models are aways backward compatable to the capabilities of the older models. If the 6800 meets the game's specifications, then the game will probably not work any "better" on a 8400. The advantage to the 8400 is that you may someday want a new game which requires an 8400.
Installing a new video card is simple enough to do as long as you follow THE CORRECT PROCEDURE! I wanted to emphasize that because it's too often that people just stick some new video card in the computer and start it up and get things all screwed up. Fixing the screw up can be complicated, but just changing the video card is not. You just have to:
1) Change the video driver in Windows. Change to a generic driver like plain old VGA which works with any video card. This will change the display on your computer to 640x480 16-color and everything will look very ugly, but it'll come back after the new card is properly set up.
2) Restart the computer and access the BIOS and disable the onboard video chip (check manual that there isn't some kind of hardware jumper to do this, but that hasn't be necessary for years).
3) With the computer unplugged, open up the case and install the card. Read and follow instructions which came with your new card. Take your time and give yourself plenty of light so you can clearly see everything your doing. Alway be careful about static discharges!
4) Put the computer back together and make sure you plug the monitor into the new video card and not the old one. Restart the computer and then install the new drivers for your new video card. The Windows gui will look nice again after that.

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November 15, 2008 at 13:22:09

Wow I wasn't expecting so many responses so soon. Thanks to all.

Jam - thanks for clarifying about the models. Doesn't really make sense but it's good to know. I looked at everything you recommended and they all look good. And after comparing prices at newegg vs bestbuy etc, your right - online has much better deals. Definately the route to go. Do I really need more RAM?

pyrolitic - thanks for your advice. I know the the installation will be tricky, but I just need to take my time and make sure to do it right.

cliffpage and pryolitic - both you guys talked about power supply. I've never even heard of that what is that?

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November 17, 2008 at 07:16:26

I think I've decided on a EVGA GeForce 9600 GSO. I think that it will fit my needs best. Assuming I install it right, I shouldn't have any trouble using it with my eMachines should I?

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November 17, 2008 at 16:15:12

If your eMachine has an industry standard PCIe slot available, and the EVGA GeForce 9600 GSO fits in an industry standard PCIe slot, then you shouldn't have any trouble using it. Unless, of course, the manual which came with your eMachine says that video upgrades are not compatible for some reason, but I've never heard of that.
About the power supply, diffpage recommended that you check that the computer's power supply could provide the additional power required for a video card upgrade. High end graphics boards are like adding another small motherboard on to your existing motherboard. There's a GPU (same as a CPU, just designed specifically for processing graphics), memory, and controller chips for interfacing this small computer with the main computer on the motherboard. If your computer's power supply is "just big enough" for your machine as it is, then the additional load from the new video card could cause problems. Your computer, however, comes with a 300 Watt power supply which, if it's of decent quality, shouldn't have any difficulty providing the additional 20 or so Watts that your new card might require. If, after it's installed, you start experiencing some strange behavior from your computer (like just suddenly rebooting or maybe freezing up) then you might suspect the power supply is getting over taxed.

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