Pros: Nvidia GPU, 512MB DDR3 memory, DVI and Dsub connectors
Last year we bought our son a used computer from a friend that was looking to get rid of an extra computer he had. We checked it out before we bought it and everything worked great, well except for the video card. The computer used an integrated video system which made graphics limited. Since our son likes to play online video games along with his school work, we had to find another option for the graphics.
When shopping at our local computer store I found a really good deal on a graphics adapter from a company that I trust; PNY. I have bought many products from PNY including flash drives and video cards and when I find a manufacturer I trust, I stick with them.
The video adapter I found is called the PNY GeForce 8400GS 512MB PCI and after you get to the end the review you will have enough information to make an informed decision.
PNY GeForce 8400GS 512MB PCI Video Card
One big reason I chose the GeForce 8400GS video card is because I’m very partial to the Nvidia graphics processors and I only look for video cards featuring their GPU (graphics processor unit). When the GeForce 8XXX series processors came out they were the next to highest level available from Nvidia. Another reason I selected this card was because the motherboard in my sons computer does not support the newer PCIe slots found on the newer motherboards. This meant I had to search for video cards made specifically for the PCI slot.
A major benefit of installing a video card in your computer instead of using the integrated video is that the PNY GeForce 8400GS has its own memory chips mounted on the card. This means that it does not have to share the system memory like the typical on board video mounted on the motherboard. This video card comes with 512MB of DDR3 memory. This speeds up the data transfer between the video processor and the system processor.
PNY included capability of the 8400GS to allow for two monitors to be connected simultaneously by using the DSub (15pin VGA) and the DVI connectors. If you happen to have monitors that only have the DSub connectors you can use the DVI to Dsub adapter that comes in the package.
It is very easy to install the PNY GeForce 8400GS graphics card and it should only take you less than 10 minutes. The first thing you want to do is remove any video drivers loaded on your system. Power down the CPU and gain access to one of the PCI slots and pop in the video card. Once you have the card installed and the video cable going to your monitor, power on the CPU. Put the DVD that came in the package that contains the drivers and other software PNY included with the card.
Your Windows OS should have found new hardware when it came up and you select locate the software and it should be found on the DVD. Once the driver is installed you will be asked to restart the CPU and when it comes back up it should be ready to go. Note: It is a good idea to check on PNY’s or Nvidia’s websites for updated drivers.
My final thoughts
The most important function of any graphics adapter is to display all of the information on to your monitor from the CPU. The better the video card is the more high quality images your computer is able to display. The PNY GeForce 8400GS performs like I expected. All of the images on the screen were crisp with no pixelation on the screen during fast motion; like during gaming. All of the colors seemed to be rendered correctly as best I can tell. The real test was going to be done by our son. He first tried it with a couple of video games we bought him (at the time he was playing games like the Civilization IV and Battlefield2 and 2142) and they seemed to run great with no video glitches. He used have to have all graphic settings on their very lowest to be able to play with it crashing every minute or two. With the new video card he was able to turn up the graphic settings to the middle setting and it played for hours without a glitch.
A definite benefit of the PNY GeForce 8400GS 512MB PCI card is that it gives you the ability to add a second monitor to your system which extends the desktop of your computer onto the second monitor.
After my son finished putting the new video card through its paces I decided that we definitely made the right choice and for that reason I would have to high recommend this video card to everyone.