Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

I have an older Dell PC. A Dell OptiPlex 7010 in fact with a 3.2 ghz Intel i5-3470 CPU with 16 gigabytes of RAM and the PNY GeForce GT 710 graphics card. The OptiPlex does come with a built in video card however there’s no need to even mention that. I originally purchased this card because I wanted better graphics than the stock Intel on board GPU could provide and thought it might suffice for casual gaming. When I initially purchased the card I of course tried to load some titles which in no way would work on this card and sure enough I wasn’t surprised. Alien Isolation, Fallout 76, Medium. Not really cutting edge games but new enough that I thought it would be interesting to load. The games did in fact load @ 1920×1080 but the performance was dreadful and totally unplayable. With that quick test out of the way I was happy just in the fact those games loaded so I figured I would just stick to older games and diddle with the video settings in the games to dial in a performance rate that would make games playable.

So I played the old Doom’s and Quake’s and GTA’s and whatever else would look fun and playable on this card but it quickly became tedious as I had already played all these games in the past and quickly became bored. Then a novel idea hit me. Why am I trying to run all these games in 1080p when I don’t really have a 1080p grade video card.

So I started revisiting some games. I decided to start with Alien: Isolation as it was a game I wanted to play but when I first tried it the performance was horrible. Reloaded the game and set the resolution to 1600×900 with medium level graphics and what do you know, rock solid. I eased into the game real slow like I was gonna break it or something but within 5 minutes I had taken care of all the initial shipboard tasks and made it to the doomed Sevastopol station, where my save game is currently holding. I even bumped up the resolution to 1600×900/high and it worked fine, but the game slowed down that imperceptible amount for me to notice so playing at a snappy medium level of graphics output is fine by me.

Downloaded Doom Eternal over my Xbox Game Pass account for PC and after tweaking the video settings found a very playable resolution and detail combination to make it totally playable. I don’t’ have it loaded up at the moment otherwise I would provide the exact details but bumping the resolution down from 1080p and adjusting graphics to medium for this card seems to do it. I mean the 710 is still a 2 gigabyte GDDR3 card so it makes sense I should still be able to get some playability out of it. That makes me happy not just for the gamer in me but on the pocketbook as well. Seeing as how all GeForce GT 1650 GPU’s are now in the $400 range because of the ridiculous demand I might enjoy holding onto some cash until the prices on video cards come down. They definitely seem to be at a premium at the moment.

Then I decided to load up a brand new title. Fallout 4. I set the resolution for 1600×900 and what do you know, the game is playable but it’s a little chunky. After fooling around with the pregame video customization menu I was able to select from the full featured set of resolutions and a 1280×800 high detail seems to be no problem for the GT 710 so I’ll play around with the settings and see if i can’t dial them up a little higher.

Oh if your wondering where I’m getting all the games from I have a Xbox Game Pass for PC which gives me access to most of the PC titles in their store. That subscription actually works well with the 710 because it’s cheap and has a ton of games new and old with plenty of well known titles.

So yeah, you can game with the GeForce GT 710. In no way shape or form will you be doing hard core gaming with it but there are still plenty of games around that you can play with it provided you twiddle with the video details that it’s definitely a worthy low budget gaming card.

By rjohnson

Computer Nerd

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