Video Card

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Video Card

Postby van » 10 Nov 2014, 16:46

Kia ora Dennis

I have ordered a 1GB video card to install given that my current video system is built into the motherboard and that it is not up to my expectations.
The question is, once I have installed the card, and hooked the monitor onto it, will the card and its associated memory take some of the load of the computer itself?
In other words, if I have the taskmaster running, will it show a drop in memory usage?
Will I gain anything by uninstalling the video software associated with the on board video or will need to go into the Bios and disable the onboard there? or both?

Thank you
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Re: Video Card

Postby Yogi » 10 Nov 2014, 20:58

Hello Bill - If you are running a version of Windows, you can use the device manager (in the control panel) to enable or disable the graphic cards. I like to keep a clean house and would uninstall the old video drivers and sofware, but it's totally not necessary to do so. Most likely you won't have to go into BIOS at all.

I'm not sure what you got there but many modern computers have a separate GPU to process video which is then sent to the the CPU to do it's thing. That will still be happening when you have a different video card. However, you theoretically will see an improvement in the video quality if the new card has more capability than the on board GPU. Thus you may not see a decrease in processor usage, plus you may see more RAM being used because the new card might be putting out more information than the old card. It's possible you will need more RAM to see everything the video card is capable of doing. It all depends on the needs of the software you are running.

Also a consideration is that the new video card may need more power than your current one. You might have to upgrade your power supply. The new card should have some specs to tell you what it needs in terms of watts. You should have at least double that available from your power source.
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Re: Video Card

Postby Kellemora » 11 Nov 2014, 10:38

Hi Van

I have a piece of black tape over the on-board video connector to remind me the CPU I installed does not support graphics.
I never knew it was the CPU that handled this, I figured if the motherboard had on-board graphics, I was good to go. So, I too have a separate video card on that computer.

I use a system monitor in the panel, and even doing heavy graphics work, the processor usage is super low, compared to my other computers with on-board graphics, doing the same type work.

I can use three monitors on my newest motherboard's on-board graphics, and made sure to buy the CPU designed to do so, rather than use a separate video card. It had memory ratings comparable to mid-range priced plug-in video cards. Much more than I need for the type work I do.

I don't have to go into bios, just use system display settings to set it how I want it in my user profile. In the frau's user profile, I have the extra monitors turned off or only one set as a mirror, forget which.

TTUL
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Re: Video Card

Postby van » 13 Nov 2014, 18:04

Kia ora

Thanks for that. Alas, woe, woe is me for the expected improvement has not materialised! A little bit of tinkering yet to apply but given the doubling of memory to 4 GB in the PC plus a video card carrying its own 1GB, I was hopeful of a better result.
The Game which causing the problem is Sid Meier's "RailRoads".
Disabling many of the graphic features, allowed to me to play sometimes for as long as an hr but detracted from the enjoyment. Under 'normal' conditions I would be lucky to last 5 min. Since putting the card in and restoring some of the options I managed not much better which is rather disappointing. It would appear that others have had issues and some comment referred to the program disliking operating on 2 processing units. I got the impression that it is possible to force it to use one processor but if so, it is not something I am familiar with.
Ah well, back to the drawing board, cancel some of the graphic options and see what happens

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Re: Video Card

Postby Yogi » 14 Nov 2014, 07:54

I looked up this game just to see what you are talking about. It's a lot like Sim City, but with a railroad twist. In other words it's a simulation type game that has some good looking graphics. However, it's from an era when technology was less than 1/4th of what is available today. Here are the specs for what is required to play this game:
    Windows 2000, Windows XP
    2.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent (or better)
    1GB RAM
    128MB videocard with pixel shader 2.0 support (Radeon x800, GeForce 6800)
    DirectX 7 compatible sound card
    1.7 GB of free disc drive space
I also looked at the reviews here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/7600/
It's hard to find any negative comments.

Today's dual core 64 bit processors were not invented when this game was developed. I'm sure the software is not optimized for today's high performance microprocessors. It would indeed be best to play this game on an (very) old computer, but don't be mislead to think your hardware is the problem. There is no way to turn off the cores of a processor, but that might not be necessary. The software isn't looking for additional cores. It''s similar to running 32-bit games on a 64-bit processor. The excess capacity simply is not used. However, if your processor is too modern, it may not be recognizing the ancient commands built into the program. This seems to be one situation where downgrading is the solution.
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Re: Video Card

Postby van » 14 Nov 2014, 17:38

Kia ora Dennis

Thank you for the information. I now know a bit more as to why it is causing problems. Having only recently purchased the game new, I had no idea it was meant to be played on archaic platforms :roll:
I still have a couple of older PC's gathering dust so will install it on one of them and see what happens.
Many thanks

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Re: Video Card

Postby Kellemora » 15 Nov 2014, 09:56

Hi Van

I'm surprised Yogi didn't mention using a VM with an old OS installed.
It's been a few years ago when I messed with an old game, but the only way to install it was if the computer had a SoundBlaster16 installed.
If I recall, I used VM in Win95 mode, and installed a SB16 emulator so the program would load.
The only problem I encountered while playing the game, was some things in the game moved too fast, even with the speed setting turned as slow as it would go. Something I've not seen on newer VM's.

Can't remember now if the game was DigDug or Frogger or something else. Today you can get most of these made for newer PCs so messing with the old ones isn't worth the trouble.
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