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Vin Copperfield

Graphics card advice wanted

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Hello Vin. If you want my advice, stay with the GT 230. You will not see any difference, especially if your goal is to play with ultra graphics and having shadows and lightings enabled. I run SL with a GT240 with an Intel® Core2 Quad CPU Q8300 @ 2.50GHz  and 4GB ram in Windows 32 bit without problems.

If you need something better my suggestion is a system with 2 GTX 275 in SLI (working together), but the cost is big.

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Nvidia model numbers:

First digit is series (roughly = year) - so the 530 is newer

Second digit is 'power' within that series - so the 530 is about the same as the 230

So, in effect, you should expect it to run a bit better (we have to hope there are some improvements over the years!) but overall pretty much the same (because it's still a 30).

As far as I know (which isn't very far) you should be ok with drivers and things but may have to up/down grade from whichever is pre-installed.

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The two cards are pretty much equal is performance.  I got an idea for you.  Drop the GT530 card from your new computer and opt for whatever onboard graphics comes with the card.  With the savings upgrade your power supply to a 600 watt or higher rating.  Then when you get your new computer home, remove the GT230 from the old computer and install it in the new computer.  Update the graphics and you're good to go. 

 

What you will wind up with is a computer with a better power supply and the same performance in the graphics as your old computer.  Here's why the better power supply is important.  Some day (maybe next week even) you find a better graphics card that you want........say a GTX560 at a great price.  You can go ahead and get it and not have to worry about "will the power supply" be enough (if you had not upgraded the PS when you bought your new computer, the answer to that question would very likely be "No..........not even close").

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You're correct about the first number being the series. But that does not equate to how many years the card is. The 200 series nVidia cards are not 3 years old. They are just about 2 years old. nVidia (and AMD/ATI for that matter) sometimes release new series card several times a year. For instance, I run a GTS 250 card in my computer. I purchased that card last summer right after the 300 series cards came out and the price for the 200 series cards dropped dramatically. It was just about a 6 month old series when I bought it. The 300 series cards were the newest series for only a very few months (like maybe 2 or 3) before the 400 series hit the market. And the 500 series just came out about 4 months ago. You can equate the "age" of a card using the series number but the "age" is defined by how many series have been released.......not by how many months or years. Things like major changes or upgrades to graphics rendering engines are mostly what the higher series cards give over the lower series........OpenGL 4.xx and DirectX 11 are recent examples. Sometimes drivers can give those new changes to the series that initially didn't have the capabilities. A 3 or 4 year old card is not at the obsolete stage in most cases...........and a card that old in years could be 7 or 8 series behind the current high series.

 

The second number, you're pretty much spot on.

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