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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Gaming problem -Need to uprgade graphics card and sound card

    My son recently purchased Sid Meiers' Civilization IV (He has other Sid Meier's games that freeze up too). The first time he opened the game, he received a message that our computer did not meet the minimum requirements. The game will open and he can play it, but it is really, really slow. We also got an error that we ran out of virtual memory.

    The minimum system requirements for this particular game is
    1.2GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon procesor or equivalent
    256MB RAM
    64 MB Video card w/ Hardware T&L (GeForce2/Radeon 7500 or better) DirectX7 compatible sound card
    CD_ROM drive
    1.7GB of free hard drive space
    DirectX9.0c (included)

    The recommended system requirements are
    1.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD
    512 MB RAM
    128 MB Video card w/ Direct X 8 support (pixel and vertex shaders)
    DirectX7 compatible sound card
    CD-ROM drive
    1.7GB of free hard drive space
    DirectX9.0c (included)

    The Screen resolution is set at 1024 by 768 pixels and the color quality is Highest (32 bit). I think that was changed when we installed the game.

    All of the information on the internet about graphics cards is confusing. But from what I have read in your forum and others, it sounds like the graphics controller on my PC is part of the motherboard not a separate card.

    My computer is a Gateway E-4000 with Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2
    2.4 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
    8 kilobyte primary mermory cache
    512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
    Main circuit board is an Intel Corporation D845GRG AAA81583-301
    254 Megabytes Installed Memory
    Intel (R) 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV graphics controller [Display Adapter]
    Multimedia listed is SoundMAX integrated Digital Autio & Unimodem Half-Duplex Audio Device

    Can we upgrade or add a new graphics card? If yes, what do you recommend?
    Can we upgrade or replace the sound card? If yes, what do you recommend?
    Will we have to add memory? If yes what kind and how much?
    I have added software to our computer, but I have NEVER touched the inside of my computer. Should I take it to a professional to install the graphics card, sound card or additional memory?

    Thank you!


  2. #2
    Member galena1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Devon -UK


    Hi - Your cheapest option to start would be to add some additional RAM. If you go to the link below and run the Crucial Scanner it will tell you the type of RAM you need.

    As for fitting it yourself. It's a fairly straightforward job. The main thing to be aware of is possible damage to new and existing components by static electric discharge from you. This can be avoided by touching a bare piece of metal on the casing once the cover is removed, this will discharge any static you are carrying, do this at regular intervals whilst working on the pc. Another important factor is to only handle the the RAM on its edges, don't touch the faces or the contacts.
    1. Turn off the pc at the wall.
    2. Remove the cover.
    3. Locate the slot on the motherboard for the new RAM. It should be easy to recognise because you will see the existing stick of RAM.
    4. Touch a bare piece of the casing to discharge static.
    5. Insert the new RAM firmly into the slot, handling only the edges. The slot should be 'keyed' so the RAM will only fit in one way. You should see a notch amongst the contacts on the bottom edge, this will correspond with a small lug inside the slot. Shine a light into the slot to find the lug if it is difficult to spot. This will ensure that the RAM is the correct way round.
    Whilst you have the cover and power off - Is it dusty inside the pc? Pay particular attention to all fans and also cooling fins on the processor. If it's dusty get yourself a can of compressed air from a pc shop and blow out all the dust, again pay particular attention to fans and cooling fins.
    Replace the cover and turn on the power. Sit back and feel very smug
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