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I want a new graphics card, but don't know if PCI slots will be ok

  1. Dec 20, 2007 #1
    I was thinking of buying a new graphics card, but I had a quick look in my computer earlier today, and I have some PCI slots on the motherboard, but all the new graphics cards use PCI express. Will there be a problem trying to install a new graphics card on the motherboard I already have?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2007 #2


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    Yes, there isn't much out there anymore for PCI. I'm actually not sure if anyone makes a decent new card for it. However, since your PC is probably pretty old anyway, you'd probably do alright finding a used PCI card somewhere. What do you have now?
  4. Dec 20, 2007 #3
    If your left without having even an AGP slot and PCI is your only option, the best you're going to get will be either the Radeon 9250 or a Geforce 5700LE depending on your chipset, as Intel chipsets typically function better with Nvidia cards while the same holds true to AMDs with ATI's. To be honest though, i've never ran into any real problems mixmatching chipsets with different vid card manufacturers... other than with overall benchmark scores.

    If you do get a PCI card, make sure you at least get one with a 128bit memory interface. Benchmark scores literally double going from 64 to 128 and considering this is PCI we're talking about, you may as well get as much as you can out of it. The standard PCI interface only pushes a max bandwidth of 133.33 MB/s where AGPs range from 266 to 2133 MB/s.
  5. Dec 21, 2007 #4
    Just do your pre-lim shopping on a website like CDW or Tigerdirect and they will have the specs, compatibility, etc.
  6. Dec 22, 2007 #5
    Are you adding a second card to your system or replacing the existing one (which will likely be in an AGP slot). Just go out shopping for an AGP card. They shouldn't be too hard to find. I just replaced my AGP Ti4600 with a 6200 card a few weeks ago.

    A PCIe card won't fit into a PCI slot.
  7. Dec 26, 2007 #6
    It depends really. Who is the motherboard manufacturer and what's the model number?
  8. Dec 26, 2007 #7


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    That's not an AGP video card...
  9. Dec 30, 2007 #8
    AGP cards are phasing out. PCI-E cards are the cards that people purchase.

    If you want to do gaming that include the latest games today, an AGP card will not do. Also, a price budget of $30 will not do it either. You will need to spend at least $100 on a decent graphics card to play games like Call of Duty 4, TF2, etc.
  10. Dec 31, 2007 #9
    AGP cards are on their way out, but still really aren't that bad. Not even a year ago I put an AGP 512MB PNY 7600GS in a friends old 2.8GHz P4 computer. It could play Doom3 at 1024x768 with FSAA and AF cranked to the gills. I also transplanted that same card into another like computer and that owner has been playing BF2 and 2142 on it for a whiel now with no hiccups. people still underestimate how much 2.1GB/sec worth of bandwidth really is. The newer 16X PCI-E slots can move data both ways at around 8GB/sec (4GB/sec oneway) and is GREATLY larger than the amount of data that current (and near future) video cards can push. It does offer some nice scalability but but it's still overkill for most of the games out there. Even the 8800GTXs don't come anywhere close to filling that amount of bandwidth.

    Now, here's the key. If you don't plan on running high resolutions, you can get by with an AGP card no problem. If you're wanting to run your games on a 30" widescreen monitor with the resolution cranked to the gills and all the visual features maxed out... an AGP card won't cut it. There's actually a few benchmarks that i've seen where at lower resolutions an AGP card was able to outperform my big-gun 768MB 16x PCI-E 8800GTX.
  11. Dec 31, 2007 #10
    Interesting - do you know where you saw it?
  12. Dec 31, 2007 #11
    I'll have to look through my links at home but i'll try to find them. It was on quite a few different sites if i remember correctly. It comes down to how the manufacturers are building the cards to handle the extra eye candy at the high resolutions. Unless your really pushing the card (high-end cards), they don't perform to their potential. You can actually get higher framerates with older, less expensive cards depending on the situation. The deal with AGP vs. PCI-E is that neither is close to being saturated... it's just that the manufacturers have dropped AGP and moved on to making PCI-E x16 bus cards because that's where the industry is going. IMO, it's a little silly that they came out with PCI-E. The only real benefit is Crossfire or SLI capability.

    Do a Google search for "AGP vs PCI-E". You'll be surprised what you find. This links is a little old but other than the new 8XXX series cards, it still holds true.

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