My four year old graphics card died yesterday. I proceeded to pick up the cheapest “gaming card” I could get off the shelf, which is what I’ve always done. (Tom’s Hardware consulting.) That meant an Nvidia Geforce 250GS at 130€. It’s my first GPU which needs a separate power supply.
Not a PC hardware issue without complications, but this was a very smooth upgrade nonetheless. I didn’t even have to install any drivers as I was already using a GPU from the same family. For some obscure reason, the upgrade did cause my external HDD to disappear. I had to disable Firewire in the Windows device manager for the thing to come up again. Or maybe it was reassigning all the drive letters after C: that did the trick. Don’t ask me why, I don’t even care. Lucky that I don’t need Firewire for anything.
All other components being equal, including the ageing AM2 socketed Athlon 64 X2 processor, the new GPU really breathed life on my PC. I dug out a bunch of games I haven’t been able to properly appreciate until now.
Crysis runs smoothly on medium settings and looks gorgeous. I played it some ways with my old setup, but it was ugly and painful. I am going to check out the recently released Crysis total conversion mod based on the Battletech universe, Mechwarrior Living Legends. Speaking of which, we’re still waiting for the free release of Mechwarrior 4.
Empire Total War now runs enjoyably. It seems more of a processor-hog than Crysis, but it’s still nice-looking and entirely playable.
I am going to re-install Need For Speed Undercover, it always struck me as something I’d like to play more of and the added eye-candy is probably all the excuse I need.
I am looking forward to enjoying more of Company Of Heroes, now with higher settings. It already looked good, I expect it to look phenomenal now, despite being a rather old title by now.