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Older Games without a Dedicated GPU?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I am just about to finish purchasing components for my HTPC, it will be used 90% for watching tv/movies, but I wouldnt mind playing a game or two on it.

Here are the planned components:
Motherboard -
CPU - Intel i5 Ivybridge (havent chosen which one yet)
RAM - 8gb G.Skill DDR3 1600
SSD - Crucial 64gb M4
PSU - Seasonic X-400 fanless

Display - 1080p 50in plasma

Here is my question, I am planning on getting one of the i5 sandybridges and am considering getting the model with the HD4000 onboard graphics as compared to the HD2500. With the HD4000 will I be able to play some older games such as:

Left 4 Dead 2
Rainbow Six Vegas
Battlefield 2
or other similar/older games that can be had for cheap.

Im not looking to play on super max ultra settings, just some casual gaming without investing alot of $$ or buying a PS3/360

The price difference between the i5 with HD2500 and the i5 with HD4000 is about $30, just looking to see if it is worth the cost.
post #2 of 10
For comparison, my Mac Mini running similarly powered integrated graphics runs Portal 2 at 720p with medium settings at a solid 30fps. It's perfectly playable, and fairly in line with what the PS3 or 360 spit out for that game. It does take more tweaking to make the game playable than my higher end gear in the living room though.

I would take that $30 difference, spend another $40 or so and get a card like an Nvidia GT440 that will give you very solid 720p gameplay across the board with minimal tweaking on your part. The experience will just end up being better in the end for not that much more. Even if that means you have to wait another couple weeks to scrounge the cash up, skip gaming for now, get the cheaper hardware, and drop in a video card a bit later.
post #3 of 10
This is kind of a loaded question.....the short version is "Is the HD4000 good enough for older games at medium resolutions" and the answer is "probably yes, maybe, depends on the game and what you consider acceptable".

PS: Playing any of those games you list from the couch without a lap-board is going to suck
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by scoyne88 View Post

Hi everyone,
I am just about to finish purchasing components for my HTPC, it will be used 90% for watching tv/movies, but I wouldnt mind playing a game or two on it.

Here are the planned components:
Motherboard -
CPU - Intel i5 Ivybridge (havent chosen which one yet)
RAM - 8gb G.Skill DDR3 1600
SSD - Crucial 64gb M4
PSU - Seasonic X-400 fanless

Display - 1080p 50in plasma

Here is my question, I am planning on getting one of the i5 sandybridges and am considering getting the model with the HD4000 onboard graphics as compared to the HD2500. With the HD4000 will I be able to play some older games such as:

Left 4 Dead 2
Rainbow Six Vegas
Battlefield 2
or other similar/older games that can be had for cheap.

Im not looking to play on super max ultra settings, just some casual gaming without investing alot of $$ or buying a PS3/360

The price difference between the i5 with HD2500 and the i5 with HD4000 is about $30, just looking to see if it is worth the cost.

Save up $100 and buy a card man. you owe it to yourself to get one.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback so far,
A dedicated card would definitely be much better, but im planning on taking my old HTPC components, upgrading the ram (to 8gb ddr1600), CPU (to Athlon X4) and video card (currently have a Nvidia GT430, probably a $150-$200 card) to turn it into a media server/light gaming rig. But... this might take me a while to do so in the meantime im not looking to spend too much more on my HTPC.

I could throw the GT430 in the new HTPC and use the onboard video on the media server until its fit for gaming. I guess my real question is, is the upgrade from HD2500 to HD4000 really worth $30. I think in the long run if HD4000 graphics can't play games like Left 4 Dead 2, of Flight Sim FX (forgot to mention that one earlier) on the big-screen, even at lower quality levels, id rather save for a gaming rig with a proper monitor and keyboard/mouse setup. I tried to play Battlefield 1942 on my current HTPC, it runs fine but man is it hard to use a keyboard/mouse on a couch.
post #6 of 10
I've got a similar rig as the OP and was recommended a GT440 also.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hmm, there is a fan-less GT440, that would fit well with my silent HTPC design.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by scoyne88 View Post

Hmm, there is a fan-less GT440, that would fit well with my silent HTPC design.
I would definetly recommend spending a little bit more and get something like a 7750 fanless because it is going to give you much better performance. Also, with any of the fanless cards be sure to have good airflow in your case.
post #9 of 10
I took the jump and purchased a XFX 7770 to replace my 430 (the HTPC is silent) and I cannot hear the 7770 at all, ever so it's worth also considering cards that run silent, rather than specifically passive. The benefit of this is that it's pushing hot air out of the case still, rather than letting it collect near the card.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Good to know,
I ended up getting the i5-3550 Ivy Bridge with the HD2500 graphics, so far it works fine for the older games that I play. The 7770 and 7750 cards look good for when Im ready to upgrade and play some more recent games.
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