Graphics card for Medion PC
May 28, 2012 1:10 AM   Subscribe

Need a replacement graphics card for a Medion PC - but which one?

I've an almost 3 year old Medion (Akoya E7330 D) which works marvellously well until I either start streaming video in the browser or leave the machine inactive for more than 3 minutes - at this point the monitors go black and nothing will bring them back other than rebooting. (Firefox etc is still running, I can hear the video.)

This has happened twice before over the last 3 years and each time a replacement graphics card sent from Medion has instantly fixed the problem.

However, I just got off the phone to Medion support and because it's no longer under warranty they would again replace the card but I would have to send it off to customer support so that they can verify the problem and then be sent a new one. This would mean being computerless for at least two weeks, probably more. Not an option.

So I'd like to buy a new graphics card to tide me over until I can replace the machine later in the year - customer support suggested a replacement NVIDIA GeForce GT220 DirectX10 with 1024 MB graphics memory - my question: is it best to replace like for like or can I get a better card, such as the Gigabyte NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 1GB DDR3 PCI-E DVI-I/HDMI/VGA.
posted by humph to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Best answer: You can put pretty much whatever graphics card you like into the machine. Like-for-like isn't really a consideration, as Medion will have chosen the existing card on price and features. There's no need to restrict yourself to a GT220. However, you might want to avoid going for anything that looks like a high-performance gaming card, though, as these will almost certainly be too much for the existing power supply.

As this is only a stop-gap fix, I'd just head over to eBuyer (I'm assuming you're in the UK as it's a Medion) and just pick up a cheap dual-DVI card that has good reviews - there are plenty under £50. Unless you're doing lots of gaming, most areas of performance aren't particularly important; a budget card should give you perfectly good video playback.
posted by pipeski at 2:09 AM on May 28, 2012

Response by poster: Ah okay, that makes perfect sense, thank you pikeski. I've been on Ebuyer and Ebay but the choice is baffling, I'm a bit closer to knowing what I need now!

I don't do any gaming but often have a number of applications open at the same time (Photoshop, FrameMaker, Firefox with multiple tabs, etc.) - would an increase in video memory (I see that 128mb, 512mb and 1gb are available) mean increased performance?
posted by humph at 3:17 AM on May 28, 2012

Generally speaking, Windows applications don't rely much on video hardware. Performance of Windows applications is largely a function CPU and system memory (your 4Gb ought to be fine unless you've got lots and lots of applications all doing stuff at once). Pretty much all you're paying for when you buy most fancy-pants video cards is games/3D performance.

I'll leave others to make specific recommendations though.
posted by pipeski at 3:55 AM on May 28, 2012

Response by poster: You're a star, pipeski - I'm so much better informed than I was this morning, thanks again!
posted by humph at 4:04 AM on May 28, 2012

Best answer: grab one from this page on ebuyer less than £50, you'll be all set.

A second question though...are you running the newest video drivers from nvidia? Something's fishy, I don't understand how you can have the same problem with different hardware... have you tried your video card in a friend's machine? Have you tried simply removing and re-installing your card?
posted by defcom1 at 9:35 AM on May 28, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for that recommendation defcom1.

I just checked and you're right, I do indeed need to update the driver so I'm downloading it now and will install.

The graphics card dying for a third time over a three year period being fishy? I kind of put it down to the Medion being a (relatively) cheap piece of kit with average quality components being used 18 hours a day with 2 monitors and a heavy workload.

Medion tech support have been great about sending replacement cards on the previous two occasions so I guess it's only fair I replace this one myself.

As for trying it in a friend's machine - I live in a small village and don't yet know anyone well enough to ask such a favour. I'll definitely keep the old one and try it in another machine next time I'm home in Wales - that's a good idea. I should mention though that even taking the cover off a machine is a bit of an ordeal, let alone switching graphics cards - I'm still in trauma recovery from the last time... :-) so if this works (either the driver or the new card - or both) I'm tempted to breathe a huge sigh of relief and let sleeping dogs lie.
posted by humph at 2:46 PM on May 28, 2012

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