View Full Version : GFX Card Help
9th September 2003, 22:00
I have a semi-decent computer and a pretty bad graphics card.
I cannot play most 3D games coming out these days, and thus I would like to buy a new graphics card. However, I don't know much about them, what companies are good, what to look for, prices, compatibility, and all that.
Therefore, I would appreciate it if somebody could help me.
My current system specs are:
850 mhz Athlon
384 MB RAM
ATI Rage Fury Pro/Xpert 2000 Pro (at least that's what the device manager says)
The system is approx 3 years old...
So I am looking for a graphics card less than $75 USD...
9th September 2003, 22:55
ATI makes some pretty good shtuff, so I'd just get a newer ATI card. I don't know much about nVidia.
9th September 2003, 23:21
you seek answers, I suggest these following links to help you in your quest.
A Current Buyers Guide.
Some actual preformance figures of various current cards.
A Place to seek the Bargins
in terms of video cards the two head manufactures are Nidiva and Ati , companies entrenched in a bitter rivalry much like Pentium and AMD. Nidiva until a year about a year ago made the fastest chipsets but you paid a premium for the namesake (much like Pentiums) where as Ati offered a better price to performance ratio (much like AMDs). Currently Ati makes the fastest chipsets, further there is less variability with Ati video cards for they make both the GPU and the cards on which they seat. Conversly Nidiva just makes the GPUs and sell’s these chips to a wide assortment of card manufactures, hence one 5600fx video card might trump another. Like srgt I favor Radeons currently but its quite a quagmire and ultimatly I hope I have helped.
10th September 2003, 04:46
Thanks for the help everybody...
Now, I did my best to do some research, reading the sites, and that ATI Radeon 9200 is looking kind of tempting. A friend of mine got it and said it was not bad, too. Again, I know nothing about Vid Cards so I don't really have any good reasons why I am liking the Radeon 9200... but I just have this "feeling" that it's a pretty good card... heh.
Now all I need is check the prices of my local computer shops.
And if I decide to buy that card, is it possible that it can be incompatible with my system? Is there slots or something that the card requres that I need to make sure I have on my system?
10th September 2003, 14:43
Just be sure you have and AGP slot if you are to buy an AGP Video card. This I doubt would be a problem for only the most bargin PCs are negleted such a slot.
here is a diagram of what you are looking for,
Other then that there should be no other compatability concerns with your system as long as you have a Win9x, 2ooo, Xp OS. The 9200 is a respectible card condicering your limited budget, if you can swing it try to either get the 128MB version of the 9200 or preferably step up to the radeon 9500 64mb version.
10th September 2003, 15:37
Yes... I talked to my local computer store, and asked them about any potential compatibility problems I may have. They did not mention anything about AGP slots, but they DID mention something like the power source. They said that my computer must need a 1.5 Watt power source, I think, in order for the card to work.
Is my computer store just givng me BS? Are they right? Is this 1.5 watt power source really something to worry about? Any help is appreciated.
Meanwhile, I will do my best to see what power source my system has.
10th September 2003, 17:28
Most power units are pleanty powerful for that, most, depends realy on how much you have on the comp already.
10th September 2003, 21:13
vie is correct, unless you have a couple HD's and CD ROMs in the one case, this should not be a problem. the 9200 power consumtion should not vary that much from your current card, so you should only worry about purchasing the card and not needless upgrades.
10th September 2003, 23:31
If the video card requires power from the computer's power supply, make sure it comes with a Y-cable adapter to plug it into the existing power cables. Most cards that require an outside power source come with the cables, but make sure.
11th September 2003, 02:19
Now that you mention it, I'm not really all that sure what the computer store people meant when they said I needed a 1.5 watt power supply. I think, however, that they meant that if I have any power supply OTHER than 1.5 watt, it will not work.
I'm not sure, I think I will talk to them again.
11th September 2003, 03:56
I am pretty much settled with buying the Radeon 9200, but now my only concern is whether or not the card will be compatible with my motherboard.
Ignoring that potential 1.5 wattage problem, I may also have an incompatibility issue with the AGP slots.
After checking the manual of my motherboard, it says that my motherboard supports AGP 4x only... and I THINK the 9200 is AGP 8x!!
According to ATI's site (http://www.ati.com/products/radeon9200/index.html), the ATI Radeon 9200 is "Offering full support for the AGP 8X standard and extremely programmable geometry and texture engines,"
So I'm not sure what that means. It offers support for 8x too, as well as 4x? Or does that mean that the card won't work on my system?
Any ideas? Thanks...
11th September 2003, 04:05
the card is compatable with any AGP form from 1x to 8x, its just that you will not be using the highest possible data transfer rate avaliable (which is what the #x means, varing appeture capacities) From various figures I have seen the diffrence is minute between 8x and 4x, so dont worry to much about it. Get the card and Get gaming :).
11th September 2003, 04:25
And I think what they meant about the 1.5 watts is that the card might draw 1.5 watts from your computer's power supply once it's hooked up. If that's the case, then it's no big deal. 1.5 watts is nothing, considering that standard power supplies put out anywhere from 300 to 600 (and even more) watts total power.
15th September 2003, 00:51
Also, if you plan on playing anything newer then about 2001 or so, you really need to get a new computer.
The 850mhz athlon is not that much now adays. I currenty have a 2.1ghz card (overclocked mind you).
But ya, the 9200 will play all direct x 8.1 games just fine, just dont expect to get anything playable for newer games using direct x 9 (Half-Life 2).
It is a bargin card, not ment to be future proof. And having anything faster on your computer would be a waist.
If you need anymore help, I recomend www.hardforums.com and www.hardocp.com for info and whatnot.
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