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New graphics card

  1. Apr 17, 2007 #1
    My graphics card apparently died, and I am currently using the card that came with my computer (an Nvidia geforce 4 MX 420, at least five years old). I had an ATI 9700 pro (I think it was 128mb) that was probably four years old, which worked quite well, until today :smile: Apparently prices have gone down a lot (I remember spending $300 on that 9700 pro four years ago, and it would probably sell for less than $50 today :rofl: ). So I am probably going to get a new card, and since I don't play video games or anything like that I really don't think I need to spend more than $100.

    Some specs about my computer:

    Windows XP home
    1gb ddr ram
    P4 1.8ghz
    300 or 340 (watt? whatever this is measured in) power supply
    PCI port

    I would like to have the card be able to play nice with linux if I ever install it again, so I would think Nvidia would be the way to go (unless ATI has made its drivers better), personally I don't care about the name and I am just looking for a nice cheap card. Any suggestions? If you need any other info please say so. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2007 #2
    AGP or PCIe? you should be able to find some nVidia GeForce 7 series cards for the price range you're looking at. I've seen some of the lower end nVidia GeForce 6 series cards go for the $60-70 range.
  4. Apr 17, 2007 #3
    I am not sure if PCIe was a typo, but I am using PCI.

    I will check out those cards you suggested, thanks.
  5. Apr 17, 2007 #4
    PCI and PCIe are two different board interfaces so you'll want to watch out for that while looking around. PCIe has been around for a couple of years now and most of the newer cards only come in PCIe. You might have to hunt around to find some PCI graphics cards.
  6. Apr 17, 2007 #5
    Oh, thanks for pointing that out, I would have probably never noticed until I got him and attempted to install it. My entire computer is about 5 years old, and I think I have PCI, but I guess I will have to make sure before I buy a new card. Thanks!
  7. Apr 18, 2007 #6
    If you don't want to play video games, then why isn't your current video card good enough? Why spend any money at all?

    If you do upgrade, I suggest you get a nice cheap card with dual monitor and video output. You can get an ATI 7000 that will run in linux for like 30 bucks (I'm not sure what the driver support for this is, but linux seems to run just fine with my ATI cards. This in includes my 9000 PRO and 9800XT. I haven't tried changing the resolution or anything though, if that's what the problem is with linux? I'm no linux expert).

    If you want to go with nVidia, here's a few suggestions
    1. $53 (from newegg): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814145136"
    -dual output
    -1 DVI output
    -1 VGA/D-Sub output
    -1 S-Video output
    -Good driver support for linux.
    -DX9 support
    -Vista Ready

    2. $60 (from newegg): http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16814133007"
    - This is same as above, with the following differences:
    - It has a 128-bit memory interface rather than 64-bit
    - It has 256mb instead of 128mb of RAM
    - It is fanless. (which is good if you want quiet, bad if you want to play games for hours)
    - It has no DVI output, it's two VGA connectors.
    This card is much better than the first suggestion, if you don't need DVI output and won't be playing video games for hours.

    3. $77 (from newegg): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814145087"
    - This is the best of both worlds, but is more expensive and has a fan. Get this if you want to upgrade to Windows Vista and use the Aero desktop and you need a DVI connector. Otherwise, I think one of the other ones would be better for you.

    Well, I hope this helps. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  8. Apr 18, 2007 #7
    I found this items:

    XFX GeForce 6200 Video Card (256MB, AGP 8X, DVI) - http://www.smartratings.com/prices/mid_15806413

    ATI Radeon X1300 Video Card (256MB, PCI Express x16) - http://www.smartratings.com/prices/mid_14679364 [Broken]

    This is just one of the few that can be found on this site, (http://www.smartratings.com/computers/video_cards [Broken]). I hope it helps.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  9. Apr 18, 2007 #8


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    Definitely make sure if your motherboard supports PCI, since 5 years is pretty old. Mine is about 3 years old, and doesn't support PCI.

    Btw, I just bought the ATI Radeon Sapphire x1650 card, and it's great, specially when you take the price into account, which is ~150 $.

    As an example, TES IV: Oblivion runs quite nice on my computer right now.

    If you don't need it for gaming, then it's even more than a good card, but you could get a cheaper one, though.
  10. Apr 18, 2007 #9
    the primary graphics interface on a 5 year old MB is likely to be AGP. If you look at the motherboard, you should see a row of PCI slots along with another board connector that is probably slightly offset and likely a different colour from the others. There will probably be some kind of plastic clip retaining/locking device on that connector. If your graphics card is in this slot, then you'll need an AGP card. If your graphics card is in one of the slots that are all lined up together, then you'll be looking for a PCI card.
  11. Apr 18, 2007 #10
    The slot the graphics card is in is a little offset from the other slots (there is also a little hook so that you have to slide the card in at an angle, it works like a hinge of a door).

    However, when I check out the device manager in windows XP it says the following for the graphics card.

    Location: PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0

    I would think this would mean that I have a PCI slot?

    How would I tell for sure?
  12. Apr 18, 2007 #11
    since the graphics card slot isn't in line with the others, I'd guess yours is an AGP slot.
  13. Apr 18, 2007 #12
    You would be correct :smile:

    I just now remembered that I have the box for the motherboard, and it says it supports AGP 4x (1.5v) graphics card only.

    I wonder why windows says that the graphics card is in a PCI bus?
  14. Apr 19, 2007 #13
    lol, ok then, AGP is much better than PCI.. Don't go with my other suggestions, you'll be limiting yourself for no reason.

    One thing though, if you are new to buying computer parts online, here are a few helpful tips:

    1. Cheaper websites are not always better. Oftentimes they will charge more for shipping to recoup costs or will be terribly slow. You might be waiting a month before you get your part.

    2. Customer service for a lot of the "cheaper" websites is oftentimes horrendous. They might charge your credit card, then you don't get the item, so you try to contact them and it takes 2 months before they tell you they don't have the item you ordered in stock and they refund your money.

    3. You don't know who you are giving your credit card information to. A good way to see how trustworthy a vendor is, is to simply see how long they've been in business.

    For these reasons, I referred you to Newegg. Another good place to buy hardware Tiger Direct online. (I prefer Newegg though)
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2007
  15. Apr 19, 2007 #14
    My Computer is abou 5 years old as well and the graphix enabled on it stock is built into the board of which the bios reads it as PCI//AGP when you change your configuration, If you decide on a AGP card you will sometimes have to get into the bios and change the order to AGP//PCI so that it doesn't try to look for video where there no longer is video -In my case, the computer AGP slot had like a filler card with just some added memory for the board's built in Graphics that I had to obviously remove to install the AGP card( I am a avid gamer so I got the Nvida Vetro gforce 7800 512mb onboard memory=)
  16. Apr 27, 2007 #15
    XFX GeForce 7600GT. I got it for $99.99 and its pretty good for the money although it is PCI Express X16
  17. Apr 29, 2007 #16

    Gib Z

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    I have a 9600 radeon, my computers about 3 years old. I remember buying it just before PCI Express came out, i felt like such an idiot. I got my card for 270, which I think was a decent price then. I DO play video games and I'm still going fine, just gotta choose lower resolution on the newer games :) I normally play Warcraft 3 though, which i can run at full specs no problem.
  18. May 10, 2007 #17
    Don't get a Chaintech! Chances are you have a PCI slot considering that your computer is 5 years old. Your best bet is to just get a PCI video card. Also you should check to make sure that the video card does not require external power because if you only have 400W and its 5 years old theres probably no 6 pin adapter or free molex cables for a converter.
  19. May 11, 2007 #18
    He has AGP.
  20. May 12, 2007 #19
    9800pro or 9800xt would be suitable for your system
  21. May 13, 2007 #20
    I highly doubt that he only has one slot in the computer, and that that slot is AGP. Is the motherboard mATX or standard ATX. Just go for a PCI card.
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