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Sparkle SF-PX94GT1024U2-HP Passive

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      17.06.2009 21:00
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      A lot of bang for your bucks

      I am no expert when it comes to graphics cards, so I won't talk about the technical details here, just about my experience of the card.

      I used to play Lord of the Rings Online on my laptop, yet when I tried to play on my desktop computer it could barely run it on low graphics settings with it's onboard graphics processor. So, I decided to upgrade it and buy a budget separate graphics card for it.

      I actually bought this graphics card from a computer dealer at North Weald Market, near Harlow. I needed a card that had a VGA output to a normal lcd monitor (the socket with the blue plastic in it), not the other output that most have these days, I assume they are for high-def monitors or something....

      Anyway, I had decided that I would only spend £50 on a graphics card and this was the only PCI-E graphics card that they had with the output I wanted...however, they wanted £80 for it...I was amazed I managed to haggle them down to my £50 budget, I guess I was lucky the weather was poor and the market was not busy. The card is a budget version of nvidia's 9400GT and has 1024mb (1gb) of memory on board.

      Fitting the card in my computer was child's play, just open the case up and slot it in (it'll only fit in one place), then close it up again and turn the power on. Windows XP recognised the new card instantly, but I installed the nvidia software and drivers anyway just to be sure it was setup right. This was easy also, just pop the CD in the drive and it auto-installed.

      Now, with the new card, my favourite game (Lord of the Rings Online) now runs at 'Very High' settings and looks absolutely beautiful with so much detail and so, so smooth. Middle Earth never looked so amazing! I don't know the exact framerate I get, I just know that I could detect no jerkiness, so I am a happy bunny.

      The one concern I did have was that this card is passive...in other words, it doesn't have a fan on it to keep it's processor cool, it just has a heatsink (kind of like a radiator). It seems my concern was unfounded though, I have had no troubles with overheating (or anything else).

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