Hi. So about GMA 950...

Discussion in 'General Graphics Cards Discussion' started by Dainer7, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Dainer7

    Dainer7 New Member

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    Hey I'm Dainer. Greetings. I made an account so I could ask few q's. I don't know much about computers and software! I'm not a huge gamer, but there's a few titles I love...I played the old xbox, but had to give it up for a while (tendonitis). So I turned to my home computer...and I discovered the unamazing world of Intel! Okay so first I tried HL2:epi1.
    For the first 10 minutes it was awesome, but after leaving Alex it becomes unplayable.

    Here's my very humble specs:

    Emachines t3604 vista home basic 32
    Celeron D 356
    1.5 gb/ram
    GMA 950 (945G)

    So I'm guessing I'll never get thru HL2Epi1 on these wheels? From what I've read I was lucky to get what I got.

    BUT All I really want to do with this machine is play the first Halo online and maybe Combat Arms. But it gets all choppy and stuff. So I read a bunch and thought maybe newer drivers would help.

    I downloaded 2 new drivers for GMA 950 but neither were compatible with
    Emachines, and at their site, it says the newest is no longer available!?!?!
    Currently I have version 7.14.10.1147. Is it possible for me to find an
    update??? What's the deal with that?

    And does it even matter??? Is my processor just for crap? even with updated drivers am I going to get that lag-er, low FPS or whatever? HL2 I could understand, but an 8 year old game like Halo?!?!? Actually come to think of it, Halo says it requires 733MHz, i can only do 533.

    So am I s.o.l. without buying a brand new system?

    Thanks in advance, I didn't know where else to turn! I'm a little frustrated. I''ll check back later...

     
  2. Teme

    Teme Super Moderator

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    Intel's GMA isn't really meant to run games like HL2 at all. And the GMA what you have is so old and "weak" that it only suites basic 2d use in todays standards. :(
     
  3. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    The upside is that if the specs for that machine are correct then your computer should have 1 PCI Express (PCIE) graphics slot. That gives you the ability to upgrade the graphics of your machine to whatever you want within reason. I say, "within reason", because you have to be careful not to go beyond what your power supply can handle. Most manufacturers, such as eMachines, will put in a PSU that is inadequate for gaming, or more to the point, just enough to run the machine AS IS. Usually this is something around the 300-350 watt range. A mid-range graphics card, such as an Nvidia 9600GT, requires a minimum power supply of 400 watts. Try to run a graphics intensive game, and the machine will reboot itself a lot.

    The other thing to consider is the size of the card. If you buy one be sure that there is room around it, in particular where the cards length, as some cards can interfere with things such as the hard drive/floppy drive bays (some of the mid-high to high end cards can be over 10" long).
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  4. [hobo]eclipse

    [hobo]eclipse ...just bummin 'round

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    tipstaff u think his machine would operate ok with a radeon hd 4670? those dont require a power conneter do they? should play halflife 2 fine i would think. or would the power draw still be to great?
     
  5. Dainer7

    Dainer7 New Member

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    @temeteus82: Ya ya, I know GMA is crap!

    I'm just going to find a gaming forum to bother...oh and I'm scoping an Asus 8400. I've found a bunch of cards that work at 300 watts...



    but I'd still like to know about drivers for it, and why none of them are accepted by Emachines and yet their own latest release is no longer available.

    For instance, I think one supports T&L, which would help me out alot with a few games. I just wanted to know if it would help Combat Arms play better...and Halo...how can this machine play Splinter Cell perfectly and screw up Halo?
     
  6. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    generally considering the construction of other prebuilts and emachines... adding any form of pci-ex video card that exceeds the absalutely slowest/least powerful card say a radeon 4350 (hell that may even cause some "issues") is touch and go with these machines.

    It's quite irratting..

    It's just better overall that if your going to add anything to these machines, your safer and least likely to run into problems sticking in at better psu at the same time. It's also worth the investment if you get a good decent one.

    I'm still a fan of Coolermasters 500watt model with the 2 12v rails, and the latest revision adds additional power to the 12v rails and better SATA connectivity. Far better cables.

    The reason i suggest this EVEN with a HD4670 that doesn't require additional power, is that the typical psu's are already on edge with the requirements of the board alone, and doesn't provide the total required watts for the PCI-EX slot.

    I know this from 2 cercumstances with relatively new machines in which were an HP and a Emachine, i had installed a HD4650 and the machine became highly unstable, even though the "wattage rating" on the psu's were 350watt and 380 respectively.

    The problem was that yet again, like all hunks of crap, the 12v rails were questionable at best, 18amp single rail on the first psu and 19amp on the 2nd. (single 12v rail PSUs)

    Another interesting ordeal is that just replaceing the PSU in some of these machines has showed a great improvement without touching anything else.... yes performance wise.

    They are designed that way, bloody irritating.
     
  7. Dainer7

    Dainer7 New Member

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    Interesting. Thanks for the inside info, Judas. That was actuallly very very helpful. Thanks.


    Still would like to know why only Emachines can't update drivers. That's why I'm here...at driverheaven...

    Feel free to slam me in my brazen newbishness, so long as I get informed..,
     
  8. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    it's not only emachines.... hp compaq.... it all varies on what they did...

    see when prebuilders such as those get ahold of the hardware.. they usually make "changes" that essentially disallow the reference designed drivers to work. This prevents you the user from being able to take advantage of the updates available, and to prevent other users from make the mistake of installing driver incorrectly or who knows what else.

    it's rather frivlious anyways cause the intel solution just was never intended for use like this.

    IF you want to do something gaming wise with the machine.... budget for the following 2 parts:

    A 500watt Powersupply FIRST
    and a Video card of your choosing, the HD4670's are EXCELLENT cards, course if you want some more punch... get something better such as a 4870. But also keep in mind don't go crazy cause the rest of the components in the machine aren't going be able to make full use of the cards power.

    Think of it like taking a 4 cylinder mustang and replaceing it with a v8 super charged engine.... the rest of the parts need to match to take full advantage of such a change. But without all the other changes, you'll still get a significant boost just in that one change.


    Also make sure that the emachine isn't using a "non standard" PSU before you up and order anything.. and also make sure that the board indeed has a PCI-EX 16x slot.... you can find referrences of what the slot looks like on the internet. Nothing would be worse then ordering said parts and finding out you can't use any of it.
     
  9. Dainer7

    Dainer7 New Member

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    Lulz...I just had a chat support session at Emachines. Since the warranty is void, he wouldn't help me, but wanted to find me a link for drivers. And then he asked if the GMA 950 is hardware I installed??? Then he said I should ask Intel, I said thank you and emachines suck.

    Judas thanks again---so, to summate:


    There is no possible way I can get updated drivers? I see you can mod drivers. Risky I'm sure, but is there a backdoor, a way to trick the computer into accepting a different driver?
     
  10. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    yes.. but it's generally not a good idea.. and won't likely provide any real benefit.. it could potentially result in even worse results then you have right now.


    BTW why did they say your warranty was void..... or do you mean it's expired?

    Updating a driver doesn't void warranty, the only way to void warranty would be to physically open the computer and start messing in the case
     
  11. Matth

    Matth Flash Banner Hater

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    Emachines PSUs, replaced two of the awful Best-tec (300W with dual 12v rails - WHY?), one dead, one with a seized fan.

    No idea why the bog-standard Intel drivers don't work - desktops are not usually fussy.
    Maybe there is something about it being Vista home basic - this is a driver search for 945G on Vista home basic 32 bit
    Download Search Results

    One thing, to screw the max possible out of the chipset, the memory really needs to be matched for dual channel, but even the most bottom end graphics card that is current will blow the socks off a G945.

    Even a Radeon HD4350 would be an improvement, and that is regarded as a media PC card rather than a gaming card - and uses very low power.

    Given the weakness of emachines PSUs, going to even a lower midrange graphics card really needs a PSU replacement - while the HD4670 card does not need a PCI-E power connector, it is close to the maximum allowable slot power, and I wouldn't trust an emachines PSU to take that much added load.
     
  12. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    every dell machine i've dealt with in terms of desktops with intel chipsets... REFUSE to allow intel specific drivers to be installed...

    even intel and dell will tell you that.. and it's no different usually with any other manufacturer... it's bloody irritating.

    and a 4350 isn't all that great at gaming at all... it's unbearable imo.... a 4650 would be my lowest possible suggestion.... even a 4670 is noticeably better
     
  13. Dainer7

    Dainer7 New Member

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    Wow. So I don't have a problem, the industry has the problem.

    Thanks for the lesson and the recommendations ya'll.
     
  14. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    yeah the industry...

    see there are contracts and whatnot signed...

    a good example is that of say Laptops, where ATI provides the chips, the manufactures throw them in thier laptops, and the contract essentially states that ATI will not provide driver support for the product to the end user. Same deal with intel or nvidia basically.

    This is why the mobility modders are present for us, as we have to as a user, break the contract ourselves with no assistance from either company.

    (that may not all be really accurate.. but it's the general assessment)

    The main reason for doing this from what i can gather, is to limit the possibility that a driver provided by ATI doesn't mess up the users machine in which they would call Dell (as an example) and try and get support for it... if dell provides thier own drivers, then dell knows it should work...

    It's all about money and support and warranty.
     
  15. Matth

    Matth Flash Banner Hater

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    To go back to the Intel onboards, while the GMA900 and GMA950 are theoretically DX9 hardware, they have a serious weakness versus comparable onboards from ATI or Nvidia.

    While they have DX9 Pixel shaders (PS2.0) they lack hardware vertex shaders (DX8) and Hardware T&L (DX7).

    More recent drivers are unlikely to deliver significant improvement, as they cannot make up for what is missing from the hardware.
    Intel GMA - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  16. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Just a note on updating the GMA 950 drivers (which is part of the 945G chipset). In this case Intel has stopped production on drivers for that graphics chip. They stopped in February 2008 for XP (v.14.32.4.4926), and late June 2008 for Vista (v.15.8.3.1504). And since Intel is no longer producing them, and manufacturers get their drivers from Intel, you will not see updated ones from them either.

    If you want the last set of drivers Intel put out you will have to go HERE to get them.

    BTW, this last set of drivers were touted by Intel as being "gaming" drivers. While they are faster than their previous releases, they are still not gaming drivers... no matter what Intel says.
     
  17. jandarsun8

    jandarsun8 Active Member

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    Not sure if this will help or not since I don't work with emachines and have generally worked with Dell both at work and away but what I've done in the past is check Dells site for that model, check to see what upgrade options they have for that model and then bought a comparable card with close to the same specs from Newegg or someplace else.

    The couple of emachines that I have worked on were proprietary cases with no way of installing a standard ATX ps in them because of the shape/size of the case (any of the prebuilt systems have this problem). With that in mind, do some research into what exactly you have for a PS before buying anything.

    Just a heads up, most built in video cards suck all the way around. There are ATI and Nvidia built in cards that do work pretty decently but you still won't get out of them what you will with an actual dedicated video card.

    So check your system specs and see what you actually have before getting anything. Once you do, check out newegg.com for ordering a card. Almost always get something cheaper there then you will anywhere else.
     

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