Upgrading video card and drivers

vbimport

#1

Hello everybody :bigsmile:

I have a question about VGA drivers.

I’m trying to build a new PC, but as usual my wallet is empty, so I have to do some compromises.

My idea to save some money is to get first a very cheap VGA card, and then upgrade it with a better one later when I’ll have enough money. But I’d like also to avoid a mess in operative system because of the drivers. I really hate to do fresh installations all the time, and because of my money shortage I’m forced to use an OEM license of operative system, so I cannot do fresh installations very often. And no, I can’t afford a retail license :frowning: (here in Italy it is priced around the double of the OEM license)

If I understood correctly, the drivers are the same for all the VGA (they are called “unified” for this reason)

So if I get an nvidia card (and nvidia drivers), and then after some time I’ll install a newer card, another nvidia VGA of course, there is a possibility that everything will be screwed or can I simply install a more recent version of the drivers?

Is it better to get directly the definitive card or can I do safely this two-step thing?

It is important for me to know this, because I can save around €80 in this way (yeah, my wallet is so picky :()

TIA :slight_smile:


#2

Hi,[QUOTE=geno888;2495389]
I have a question about VGA drivers.
I’m trying to build a new PC, but as usual my wallet is empty, so I have to do some compromises.[/quote]How old is your PC, and why do you need a new one? (Just helping to keep your wallet alive :bigsmile: )

My idea to save some money is to get first a very cheap VGA card,
What about integrated VGA?

But I’d like also to avoid a mess in operative system because of the drivers. I really hate to do fresh installations all the time, and because of my money shortage I’m forced to use an OEM license of operative system, so I cannot do fresh installations very often.
In that respect, there is no difference between a Retail copy of Windows and the much cheaper System Builder versions.

So if I get an nvidia card (and nvidia drivers), and then after some time I’ll install a newer card, another nvidia VGA of course, there is a possibility that everything will be screwed or can I simply install a more recent version of the drivers?
That shouldn’t be a problem. But if you change the VGA card, Windows will request re-activation within 3 days.
If online activation fails for some reason, you can always activate per phone. At least in Germany, MS provides a free-of-charge hotline (you communicate with a machine then).

Michael


#3

I need a new PC because in the current one the mainboard is faulty. At the moment I’m using an old athlon 2200+ computer :frowning:

If I have to spend money, maybe is worth to get an i5 system. At the moment I’m still evaluating possibilities (and costs :().

I didn’t think to integrated VGA :doh:

and I forgot that after changing VGA it is needed to activate again windows :doh::doh::doh:


#4

[QUOTE=geno888;2495472]I need a new PC because in the current one the mainboard is faulty. At the moment I’m using an old athlon 2200+ computer :([/quote]Okay.

If I have to spend money, maybe is worth to get an i5 system. At the moment I’m still evaluating possibilities (and costs :().

If you don’t need to play the “My Benchmark Score is Bigger” game, you should have a look at AMD systems. Better bang for the buck, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

I didn’t think to integrated VGA :doh:
AMD 785 chipsets have a rather powerful IGP. Perhaps good enough for your purpose.

and I forgot that after changing VGA it is needed to activate again windows :doh::doh::doh:
Shouldn’t be a problem at all.

Michael


#5

Thanks for suggestions Michael :slight_smile:

I’ll have a check around for prices :bigsmile:


#6

I have changed video cards before without having to re-activate Windows you are allowed to change several
things before a re-activation is required. I can’t remember how many things it is right off he top of my head 3
things I believe it is or maybe it is 4.

As a matter of fact I’ve changed the video card and the CPU at the same time without having to re-activate.
You have something like I think it is 120 days for the hardware reset so if you make a couple of changes after
the 120 days have passed you shouldn’t have to worry about a re-activation every time you make changes.


#7

[QUOTE=getit29;2495527]I have changed video cards before without having to re-activate Windows you are allowed to change several
things before a re-activation is required. [/QUOTE]Windows must have some random activation generator built-in. I replaced a Geforce6200 by a MX440 for troubleshooting: “Hardware has changed, reactivate within 3 days” :rolleyes:

Michael


#8

It happened to me when I moved the C: disk from the IDE slot on the mainboard to a PCI controller (already installed by a long time). Windows XP OEM asked for activation again. There were no new hardware installed, I only moved the drive from a location to another.

If also Win7 is so picky I have to be careful about any hardware change :doh:


#9

If you need value go for AMD 785 and a dual core CPU although Intel is much more preferable of you want to go Linux/Unix route have in mind though that you need to buy RAM too.

Having that said can you actually find some decent deals on eprice.it :slight_smile:

http://www.eprice.it/Schede-Madri-SAPPHIRE/s-2320370
The Sapphire card is a value card but not as awful as ECS or ASRock. It lacks 4 DIMM slots and audio codec is a bit dated not to mention that you probably wont get any new BIOS updates but it does have sideport memory.

If you want something a bit better with longer support I’d go for MSI’s motherboard instead which is ~15 EUR more expensive which add 2 DIMM slots (totals of 4) and a much more updated audio codec.
http://www.eprice.it/Schede-Madri-MSI/s-2329106

Intel is a bit more expensive but you have much better compatibility especially if you want to run Linux/Unix although video drivers might not be mature yet. I don’t see why you should go with Socket 775 today since its slowly dying rendering unsuitable for future upgrades.

http://www.eprice.it/Schede-Madri-ASUS/s-2453690
115 EUR
http://www.eprice.it/Microprocessori-INTEL/s-2437068
110 EUR

Both systems use the same type of memory and you need at least 2Gb these days…
http://www.eprice.it/Memorie-CORSAIR/s-2416538

//Danne


#10

Actually my plan was to get a Gigabyte P55A-UD4, and build (finally) a decent system.

My concern about drivers is because I can’t afford the retail version of Win 7, so I’m forced to get the OEM version, that can be activated only a limited number of times (three if I’m not wrong). To avoid activation every time I install a new component, I thought that getting a basic card like a SAPPHIRE - Radeon HD 5450 first, I can save some money and get a better card later simply upgrading catalyst drivers, so no fresh installation is required to avoid a mess in drivers.

But almost certainly (based in my past experience with Windows XP), changing the video card will bring again the need for activation.

The only alternative is wait until I have enough money to get all the components, but it could be a rather long time :doh:


#11

Uhm… The UD4 is insanely expensive… Why go for the UD4? The MSI P55M-GD65 is probably more than enough and and allows overclocking if you want to dive into that too. If you don’t want to do overclocking the Asus Q57-chipset motherboard is more than fine unless you have some specific requirements. OEM doesn’t activate everytime you install a component afaik
//Danne


#12

The UD4 board has a lot of SATA connectors already on board, and I thought that is safer to use onboard connectors that installing an external controller.


#13

[QUOTE=geno888;2496070]
My concern about drivers is because I can’t afford the retail version of Win 7, so I’m forced to get the OEM version, that can be activated only a limited number of times (three if I’m not wrong). [/QUOTE]Activation is the same, regardless of Retail or System Builder version.

Michael


#14

So also retail version can be activated only a limited number of times? :eek:


#15

Is there really a need for more than 6 SATA ports?
//Danne


#16

[QUOTE=geno888;2496120]The UD4 board has a lot of SATA connectors already on board, and I thought that is safer to use onboard connectors that installing an external controller.[/QUOTE]

Actually, only six of those SATA ports are natively controlled by the Intel chipset. The other SATA ports on that motherboard are actually controlled by two third-party controller chips installed by the motherboard manufacturer (one Marvell controller for the SATA 3 6.0 Gb/s ports and one Jmicron controller for the eSATA ports), and thus are functionally the same as the ports on an add-in PCI-e SATA card. Those, plus the use of a PCI-e Realtek LAN controller (it makes no sense for a motherboard manufacturer to disable the P55 chipset’s native Intel LAN controller in favor of a PCI-e Realtek LAN controller, IMHO) and an NEC USB 3.0 controller, leaves only four PCI-e lanes available for expansion slots (GigaByte provides three PCI-e x1 slots for expansion). And all of those extra controllers substantially increase the cost of a motherboard.


#17

[QUOTE=RJL65;2496252]Actually, only six of those SATA ports are natively controlled by the Intel chipset. The other SATA ports on that motherboard are actually controlled by two third-party controller chips installed by the motherboard manufacturer (one Marvell controller for the SATA 3 6.0 Gb/s ports and one Jmicron controller for the eSATA ports), and thus are functionally the same as the ports on an add-in PCI-e SATA card. Those, plus the use of a PCI-e Realtek LAN controller (it makes no sense for a motherboard manufacturer to disable the P55 chipset’s native Intel LAN controller in favor of a PCI-e Realtek LAN controller, IMHO) and an NEC USB 3.0 controller, leaves only four PCI-e lanes available for expansion slots (GigaByte provides three PCI-e x1 slots for expansion). And all of those extra controllers substantially increase the cost of a motherboard.[/QUOTE]

I also forgot to tell the OP that I would not make SATA 6.0 Gbps or USB 3.0 support primary considerations in choosing a motherboard since there is currently no motherboard core-logic chipset from either Intel or AMD which natively supports either feature. In fact, if money is your primary consideration I would not purchase a motherboard with such added support until Intel and/or AMD puts native support for those two features into their chipsets.


#18

[QUOTE=geno888;2496196]So also retail version can be activated only a limited number of times? :eek:[/QUOTE]

I’m afraid so. The maximum number of times that a retail version of Windows may be activated online is about 10 times - after which the user must call Microsoft by phone every time he or she needs to reactivate Windows. (The one exception to this maximum limit is if the user reinstalls that same copy of Windows to the exact same system with the exact same motherboard consecutively without changing motherboards, in which case the number of times that the retail copy of Windows can be reactivated online becomes indefinite. Thus, the number of allowed online reactivations will decrease by one with every change in the motherboard.) The biggest reason to purchase a retail-boxed version of Windows is if he or she will essentially be switching systems (for example, upgrade to an entirely new motherboard and CPU) with the same copy of the operating system during its nominal supported lifespan. The OEM and system builder versions of Windows are semi-permanently tied to the same motherboard during the entire supported lifespan of the OS; if that copy of Windows is to be transferred to another PC, then it must be reactivated by phone after the hardware upgrade (after which the license becomes tied to that new system). In other words, the existing activation keys remain active in Microsoft’s database for 120 days for retail versions but indefinitely for OEM and system builder versions.


#19

[QUOTE=geno888;2496196]So also retail version can be activated only a limited number of times? :eek:[/QUOTE]
Yes, the restrictions are the same. Please check Microsoft website on more detailled information about Product Activation. They have some FAQ there.

Michael


#20

Hi,[QUOTE=RJL65;2496263]The biggest reason to purchase a retail-boxed version of Windows is if he or she will essentially be switching systems (for example, upgrade to an entirely new motherboard and CPU) with the same copy of the operating system during its nominal supported lifespan.[/quote]I beg to differ :smiley:
At least here in germany, the only difference between a Retail version and a System Builder version is the nice packaging and (limited) phone support you get with the Retail version. The SB is not tied to the hardware, just like the Retail version.

The OEM and system builder versions of Windows are semi-permanently tied to the same motherboard during the entire supported lifespan of the OS; if that copy of Windows is to be transferred to another PC, then it must be reactivated by phone after the hardware upgrade
This is true for the OEM versions, not the SB. Again, this might depend on the local market. Here in Germany, SB versions can be sold without hardware - it needed a decision of our highest court for this. :cool:

Michael