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Old 10-21-2006, 11:30 AM   #1
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GPU question...

I want to upgrade my nVidia GeForce 4 MX 4000 (128MB, AGP slot) to something better in a reasonable price range (about 30-40, which is about $60-80)

I have been looking at a few, but I need some advice as to which would go with my system:


I've looked at these:
Connect3D ATI Radeon 9550 256MB DDR VGA DVI TV AGP
XFX Geforce FX5200 256MB DDR AGP DVI TV
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9250 256MB 128BIT AGP VGA DVI TV

Which would be better? Does it matter what brand it is?
Keep in mind that I am from the UK, so if you want to refer me to another site, please make sure I can get it here at a reasonable price or it's of no real use to me...
Does the AGP 8x mean anything? Because all I know about my slot is that it's AGP...

Thanks in advance...



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Old 10-21-2006, 01:29 PM   #2
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AGP 8x refers to the data rate transfer speed of the interface between the board in the AGP slot and the motherboard. basically, AGP 8x is faster than AGP 4x.

anyways, i'd recommend checking out the GeForce 6600 GT lineup. the reason being is that it's the fastest and the most up to date graphics board available for the AGP interface. it might be more than $80 in some places, but IMHO, its worth the extra $10-20.

just my two pennies.


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Old 10-21-2006, 02:31 PM   #3
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I would recomend the 6600GT also, It's far from a great card but it will allow you to atleast play games made this year. With those other cards you'll be lucky to be able to play any game made last year. Trust me I have had to use a 5200 and I can safely say you will not be happy with it as a Video upgrade. All those cards you listed are more than 4 years old, well maybe not the cards them selves but the tech that made them is.

I have a 6600GT and I am able to play Oblivion with most settings on high and textures on Medium, my card is only 128MB so it has a tough time with the high res textures.

If you can can one with 256MB of RAM then you should be alright.
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Old 10-21-2006, 04:10 PM   #4
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What about the cheaper 6800 series cards? I'm looking to make a similar upgrade from an even worse card than N/S's card, an MX420. Some of those cheap 6800's have unlockable P/L's and are overclockable to near-6800gt performance levels.
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:45 AM   #5
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I was going to recommend the 6600GT as well

Though Qliveurs suggestion is a great one if $$ is a consideration.

Let us know what you decide

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Last edited by Astrotoy7; 10-22-2006 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:58 PM   #6
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The 6600GT is about 100 though (about $200), I dunno, what makes it better than the ones I've listed? Cause I can't really tell...

I'd like to play games that need Pixelshader support like Lego SW and Battlefront, other than that I'd like to be able to play some recent games that I might like, such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance and NWN 2...



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Old 10-22-2006, 02:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Negative_Sun
The 6600GT is about 100 though (about $200), I dunno, what makes it better than the ones I've listed? Cause I can't really tell...
It comes down to whats the most cost effective. Yes the cards you listed are a 1/3 the price but they are not much of an upgrade to the 4000 you already own. None of those 3 cards will be able to play any graphic intensive games like Oblivion(well you may get the game started but unless you like 2 fps slide shows you won't have fun, trust me I know I tried to play oblivion with a FX5200 and it was completely unplayable it took me 3 minutes just to exit the game. The Radeon cards will give you similar results.) Those cards are low range cards, they are suitable for Web Browsing, watching dvd's, web vids, and games made 3 years ago. There are some games that will run, I did manage to get Battle for middle earth 2 to play but I have to have all the video settings at the lowest possible and it still chugged along, but it was playable, barely

The 6600GT does cost more, but it will be a great upgrade to your 4000 and it will allow you play new games for atleast another year maybe 2 .
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:09 PM   #8
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I use the 5200. While its not a bad card, it won't let you play all the latest games, atleast at good graphics. It does give playable speeds on some games, like Republic Commando, Quake 4, SWAT 4 and then some. I'm planning on switching to the 6600 GT next year. Suggest you do the same!


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Old 10-22-2006, 02:03 PM   #9
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I've got my eyes set on this one:
ATI Radeon X1600PRO 256MB DDR2

Mainly because of the price/performance rate, what's the verdict on that one?



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Old 10-22-2006, 02:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Negative_Sun
I've got my eyes set on this one:
ATI Radeon X1600PRO 256MB DDR2

Mainly because of the price/performance rate, what's the verdict on that one?
Dude get that one. That Card is comparable to the 6600GT and it's an ATI If I had a choice I would Prefer the X1600pro.

I found this article on Tom's Hardware that might help you decide.
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Old 10-22-2006, 06:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T7nowhere
Dude get that one. That Card is comparable to the 6600GT and it's an ATI If I had a choice I would Prefer the X1600pro.

I found this article on Tom's Hardware that might help you decide.
Cool, thanks, I think it's between that one and the 6600, I'll have to see when the money comes in...
Btw, does it matter that my PC has an nVidia card in it now? Will switching to ATI be a problem or not?

Hmmm, what about this one?
NVIDIA GeForce 6200 256MB

Is that good value for the money?
And is it a capable card for the kind of games I want to play?



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Last edited by Negative_Sun; 10-22-2006 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Negative_Sun
Hmmm, what about this one?
NVIDIA GeForce 6200 256MB

Is that good value for the money?
And is it a capable card for the kind of games I want to play?
No, not at all, bad card, BAD CARD! Anemic, weak, bad!

Sorry, but I got one of those a while back and sent it back. Needless to say; don't bother.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur
No, not at all, bad card, BAD CARD! Anemic, weak, bad!

Sorry, but I got one of those a while back and sent it back. Needless to say; don't bother.
yes, if you are referring to the TurboCache version, they suck magnificently. They are actually a measly 64mb card and can potentially reach 256mb by stealing from your RAM

I used one in a media centre pc, as it was a cheap passive card(ie.fanless=no noise), but not recommended for gaming, unless you want to stay stuck in 2004

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Old 10-24-2006, 05:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur
No, not at all, bad card, BAD CARD! Anemic, weak, bad!

Sorry, but I got one of those a while back and sent it back. Needless to say; don't bother.
Ok, thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7
yes, if you are referring to the TurboCache version, they suck magnificently. They are actually a measly 64mb card and can potentially reach 256mb by stealing from your RAM

I used one in a media centre pc, as it was a cheap passive card(ie.fanless=no noise), but not recommended for gaming, unless you want to stay stuck in 2004

mtfbwya
Steal from my RAM? That sucks!
Btw, looking around I came across the term "Hypermemory", is that a good thing or a bad thing?



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Old 10-22-2006, 02:32 PM   #15
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_R520#X1600_series

I still say check out the 6800 series cards on Ebay.

EDIT: Actually, the X1600Pro is a renamed X1300XT. They're exactly the same card, with the same specs.
Here's the best price I could find on one after a quick search:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814131427

Last edited by Q; 10-22-2006 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 10-22-2006, 06:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_R520#X1600_series

I still say check out the 6800 series cards on Ebay.

EDIT: Actually, the X1600Pro is a renamed X1300XT. They're exactly the same card, with the same specs.
Here's the best price I could find on one after a quick search:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814131427
"Newegg.com does not offer International/Canadian shipping options at this time."

No go for me I'm afraid...

I might check Ebay actually, but I wouldn't buy a second hand one.



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Old 10-22-2006, 11:43 PM   #17
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I can't wait. Ordered a Diamond ATi Radeon X1600Pro 512MB AGP 4x/8x board today... Hope to see much much much improvement over my old nVidia geForce4 MX420 64mb card. However... gotta upgrade my (worthless, hp puts in cheap parts) PSU because its only 200 watts.
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:45 AM   #18
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It's ATI's version of Turbocache, so no.
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Old 10-25-2006, 08:24 AM   #19
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Well, me and my fiancee have decided to invest in a new PC, we've got our eyes set on this one...

You can customize it to your needs, which is brilliant, could any of you help me figure out a few things though, like what would be the best GPU in that list? (under or around 50 extra)

What power supply would you recommend?

Is it possible to have an ATI and GeForce card working together in SLI? Or is it just GeForce? And are all the GeForce cards compatible with SLI?

If you have an nForce4 motherboard, can you use that nTune program to tune you dual-core CPU? And your GPU?

I already have 512Mb of DDR-400 RAM, which I could add to the 2x512Mb it already has (since the motherboard has 4 RAM slots), would that be enough?

A lot of questions lol, I'd appreciate any kind of help



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Old 10-25-2006, 09:56 AM   #20
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Some general advise from what I picked up when I got a new computer roughly a month ago:

What kind of power supply you need depends on what hardware you have in the computer. Use the Power Supply Calculator to get a rough idea of how many watts you need, but also keep an eye on the ampere on the 12V rails since modern graphics cards draw power from there. At least 30A (in total if you have a power supply with two 12V rails) seems to be recommended if you have a decent graphics card (though I have a 450W power supply with 14A on 12V1 and 15A on 12V2 and haven't had any problems with my Radeon X1900 so far). More might be needed if you want to run multiple cards with SLI (nVidia) or Crossfire (ATI).

Since PCs tend to be loaded with cooling fans nowadays it may also be wise to pay extra attention to what type of chassis you get to keep the noise down. I learned this the hard way, and have had to bury my new computer under a mountain of pillows to get the noise down to a level where you can stay in the same room as the computer for more than 5 minutes.

Also, if you intend to get a new monitor as well I'd advise you to stay away from Viewsonic's 19" TFT monitors. I bought one when I got a new computer, but the image/color quality was so poor I had to revert back to use my old CRT monitor with the new computer and relegate the new monitor to be used with my old computer. (That, and Viewsonic's customer support sounds like they want you to hang up already so they can go back to sleep...)

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Old 10-25-2006, 06:59 PM   #21
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Thanks for the advice!



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Old 11-01-2006, 12:45 AM   #22
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Didn't want to say anything until it got here and was installed, but I finally got a new (to me, at least!) video card for my aging system, an EVGA 6800GT. I got it used off of Ebay for a total of $95.00US including shipping and power cable. I got it installed with no problems and compared to my old 420MX, well, there IS no comparison! This card is SWEEEEET! Now I can finally play KotOR & KotOR2 at the highest settings. w00t!


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Old 11-01-2006, 03:25 AM   #23
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Congrats on the card Qliveur!

Makes a helluva difference eh? hehehe...


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Old 11-01-2006, 09:56 PM   #24
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Thanks, Chainz. It's hardly modern hardware, but it's just about all my computer can handle!


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:51 AM   #25
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A friend of mine bought the x1600XT - its about the max his system can handle without a power supply upgrade. Gets some decent framerates on it

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this elsewhere but here is a great Power Supply Calculator

I never start a build without running some numbers through it

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