Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Upgrading the Radeon X700
02-23-2010, 04:00 PM
Hi there,

I was hoping someone could give me advice for upgrading a graphics card on the cheap that would work well with STO.

I'm trying to get a friend of mine into STO, but his graphics card doesn't meet the minimum requirements. Nonetheless, he was still able to play -- he just had a really terrible/blocky/unrendered graphics experience. I am thinking of getting him a new graphics card, but his computer is a fairly older model (about 4 years old). Here are the current specifications, including his current graphics card, the Radeon X700:
Make and Model: Gateway GT 4024
Processor: Intel Pendium D Dual-Core 805 2.66 Ghz
Memory: 1 GB DDR2 (upgradable to 2 GB DDR2)
Power Supply: 350 Watt
Integrated Video: Disabled.
Graphics Card: Radeon X700 PCI-Express (on the sole PCI-e x 16 1.0 (2.0) slot)
Form Factor: uBTX / Mid-Tower
What would you recommend for him?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-23-2010, 05:05 PM
Hate to sound like and ATI fan but the HD5650 or HD5670 might be the best cards if you are sticking with the same PSU. they will run u about 100 bucks + they are future proof (DX11) if you are not looking to upgrade down the road. and i would strongly upgrade the ram two 2gb
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-24-2010, 01:38 AM
HD5670 and HD5570 are pretty cheap and low power consumption with average performance, plus they do support DX11. I wouldn't exactly call them future proof as they are budget cards, or apparently they're being branded as mainstream these days.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-24-2010, 02:18 AM
dont forget you might have to upgrade the PSU as well! 350 is a little on the low side tbh. it also depends on how much u want to spend?
i picked up a point of view extreme overclocked GTX260 for 165 quid. this card will last a long time before i have to upgrade it again.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-26-2010, 02:11 PM
I just received my new ATI HD5670 from Newegg about a half hour ago to replace the stock card that came on my HP Pavilion, shows it currently as a nvidia 9300. It ran the graphics ok as long as I bumped things down but dang it I want at least a little eyecandy. They recomend a 400 watt power supply for this card but plenty of people who have gotten this card say they run it on 350 watts stock power supply, some even say theirs is a 300 watt supply. I have had my system hooked up to a P3 Kill-A-Watt for a few days and while playing its only running at 154 watts max leaving me right around 200 watts to power the new card. Toms Hardware tested the 5670 and it ran about 175 watts full load for the card using the same Kill-A-Watt method so I should have plenty of power taking into consideration that the 154 included the power the current card is using. The 5670 runs just on power from the pcie slot and does not require any other power supply such as a 4 pin or 6 pin plug.

This card has 512 megs of GDDR5 and from pretty much every review I can find beats out the nvidia cards at the same price point such as the GT220 & GT240. It was $104 with tax and shipping (ordered yesterday afternoon 3 day standard, received it today since I live close to one of their warehouses).

I will be installing my card when I get home from work so I'll let you know how it does after playing some this weekend.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-01-2010, 11:46 AM
Put the card in friday night. Updated the drivers to 10.2. Cranked the eyecandy up to full except shadows (I dont really care about shadows) and it is absolutly stunning. Runs well even with dynamic lighting on. the Kill-A-Watt shows me running at 198 watts steady occasionally jumping to 201 watts when I hit an asteroid busy system. Plenty of power to spare with the stock 350 watt supply, its only using about 50 watts more than the stock graphics card that came in my HP. All in all I recomend this card strongly as it is a sub $100 card with 512 GB of GDDR5 and handles the game without hesitation.
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