PC Buyer Beware!

Graphics card problem: When I play any game on my PC there appears a 1-2 second lag or freeze

PROBLEM: I have a problem that I can’t find the solution to so I’m asking about it here. My PC runs normally but when I play any game there appears a 1-2 second lag or freeze. When i play the game it freezes for a 1-2 seconds an then it continues to run smooth and freezes again and continues normally and so it goes on and on. My configuration is Intel Dual Core E2180 2.0 processor, 1.5 GB RAM, DDR1, Nvidia 8400 GS graphics card, Windows XP.

ANSWER: The graphics card is not powerful enough to play many or most recent games at an acceptable level.

Read this article:

http://www.ebuyer.com/390925-sapphire-hd-7750-1gb-gddr5-dvi-micro-hdmi-mini-displayport-pci-e-low-11202-10-20g

Search for Best Graphics Cards For The Money on http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/ for good information on selecting a current graphics card.

I think you need a more powerful card.

Apparently, your processor can achieve a 40% overclock successfully, which will add performance. Read the comments on this page:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-E2180-2-0GHz-processor-BX80557E2180/dp/B000VC9GRK

Questioner: I might go 2.80Ghz when I buy a stronger cooling unit for the processor but in the meantime is it safe to leave it on 2.40GHz as it seems stable, the temperature doesn’t go above 55C even under stress? And one more thing about the graphics card, is it normal that the temperature of the GPU is 70C on desktop with nothing on, just like that? The fan is working on the graphics card but I don’t understand why the temp. is so high while nothing is stressing it and when I start a game it goes 100C+.

Answer: 55C is all right for the processor, but I like it to be around the 40C mark. I set the BIOS to shut the PC down if the processor goes higher than 60C. The Nvidia site doesn’t include operating temps in the specifications of that card, but it has a passive heatsink (no fan), so 70 degrees is all right if you are only doing non-gaming activities, but 100 degrees is probably at the temperature limit, so maybe the temperature is what is causing the problem if you are playing undemanding games. I would make sure that the cooling inside the case is good. But it is four years old now and only has 64MB of memory, so won’t be able to play demanding games.

See the specifications here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_8_series#GeForce_8300_and_8400_Series.

Cards with a passive heatsink are not suitable for demanding gaming. You need to get a well-reviewed one with a heatsink and fan, new or second-hand. Tom’s Hardware gives good advice. Search for Best graphics Cards for the Money on its website. I am not providing a link because the latest reviews are given a new page every month.

Questioner: Actually it has a fan on top off the heatsink. It’s weird because when i do a web search I never see the exact model as mine. They are always shown without a fan.

Answer: So, if you want to keep that card, you could try finding a stronger heatsink and fan unit for it. Measure it and see if you can find a more powerful one with the same dimensions. The name for them is usually GPU or VGA coolers.

Questioner: I will try if I don’t find any appropriate sinks or fans then there is one option left – buy a new one. The new one should be 1GB, right, because no point in buying another 512MB card?

Answer: I would get the best graphics card that you can afford – preferably a Radeon-based card. Most of the best-value cards on Tom’s Hardware are Radeon-based cards. That way you won’t have to upgrade it for longer than if you get a card that is only just adequate now for gaming. Have a look at the graphics cards on ebuyer.com. I always read the purchaser reviews, which are often more helpful than anything else in making a buying decision.