When I tried to play the new Marvel Heroes and Neverwinter games, it really hit me how much I needed to get a new computer. Being two or three years old means my average machine is now low tier. Yeah, one of the reason I don't like computer gaming...but that's not the subject here. Instead of getting a whole new one, I decided to just buy a new graphics card so I can hopefully not play slideshows. Since my rig is an Acer Aspire x3400, it offers little in the way of usable cards since it is a mini ATX.
The power supply is really what limits what cards I can use. Rather than add that to the list of things to buy, I just got a cheap-ish card that won't overtax the system but still upgrade my graphical capabilities. I went with a AMD Radeon 5450, since my research showed it to be about the best I can fit in there without ponying up for another power supply.
It arrived today, so I shut all my stuff down and installed the new card. Trouble is, I was following the directions, so I didn't have the drivers installed beforehand. Oops. So I had a black screen for a few hours. The unit still turned on, but I couldn't get a display. After looking online for some help (I used my old computer downstairs), it seems as though the BIOS disabled the old onboard card for the new one, but couldn't use it since it didn't have drivers. Unfortunately, removing the new card didn't set it back.
Eventually, I had to take out the DVD drive and HD to get to the motherboard's battery. I removed that, which reset the BIOS and I was able to boot up again. This time I installed the drivers and put it back in. It did work after about 30 seconds of nothing.
Then, of course, the drivers I downloaded didn't really work right. The display was horrible and I could barely change the resolution. So I used the included CD, which would have older drivers, and... it worked.
Long story short, there is a new review coming very soon, it just got pushed back from dealing with this nonsense. Oh, and in case you are wondering, Marvel Heroes and Neverwinter do run better. Not great, but it is an upgrade.
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