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video card - ram question


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#1
jigga211

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Im lookin for a little info because im not real big on computer stuff.

I was recently interested in upgrading my old video card to something newer. Right now I have an ATI Radeon 9600pro which has 128mb of DDR ram. I was thinking of getting the ATI Radeon x1300 which is 256mb but noticed that it uses DDR2 memory. What I want to know is wether my motherboard will support this DDR2 memory Video Card? My Motherboard is only 2 years old and 478 socket designed for Intel P4 Processors.

I had looked thru my motherboard manual and for actual memory RAM it does not say DDR2 support anywhere, only that it supports DDR400/333/266 (and 433/466 but says those are overclockin specs only). So that leads me to belive that it does not support the video card.... but since that DDR2 memory is on the video card could it still support it or does the normal memory and video card memory support go hand in hand?

Im not sure if what im asking is stupid and if its common sence or not but like I said i really dont know much about PC's. Any help would be greatly appriciated because I really dont want to waste $200 to find out the new card doesnt work :whistling:

Thanks
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#2
MNOB07

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A video card and its ram is entirely seperate from system ram; it's like a seperate computer with it's own motherboard, processor, and ram thus the kind of ram doesn't matter. Compatibility of the video card is reliant upon the appropriate connection to the main motherboard (AGP) and PSU (probably Molex).

Furthermore it's a common misconception to judge a video card's abilities based on the amount of RAM. Are you looking at the x1300 pro because you want the features associated with that line of video cards i.e. SM 3.0 or fanless operation? Are you looking for performance? Honestly, especially for performance it's not much of an upgrade from a 9600 pro; certainly not a $200 upgrade. But anyway it's hard to recommend an AGP upgrade at all since it doesn't have much life in terms of upgrades left and prices are inflated compared to similair PCI-E cards, sometimes it's wise to upgrade your mobo AND graphics card to pci-e rather than just another agp video card (but with socket 478 this isn't viable).

Anyway, a couple decent AGP cards to consider are the x800 GTO and the x1600 pro. Newegg carries these for ~120-150 US dollars

On the other hand, in the near(ish) future Intel's releasing the desktop core 2 duo processors, AMD is slashing prices, DX10 is coming, so all of that could be a good excuse to upgrade your whole computer...

Edited by MNOB07, 25 June 2006 - 05:09 PM.

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#3
jigga211

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ahh thats great news MNOB07, the reason i wish to upgrade is simply for performance, in other words doublin from 128meg radeon 9600 to 256meg x1300. I was thinking of upgrading my motherboard but decided not to do it just yet like you said Intel's releasing the desktop core 2 duo processors sometime soon so I might just wait for that and then get a new motherboard.

I did look at x1600 before but when I had done some research I found that few ppl had some issues with it so i was a bit skeptical but willing to take a look at it again. How big is the difference between the x1600 and the x800GTO tho?

After reading your post I also looked at the x800GTO on newegg and checked them out for AGP there was 2 one made by Sapphire and one by Powercolor which one is better and what is the difference? also there was actually 2 sapphires which looked almost identical in stats but one was $141 and the other $170, the only diff that i saw was $170 was Memory Clock: 490MHz and $141 had Memory Clock: 980MHz. Is that the reason for price difference? and why is the lower Memory Clock more $ then the Higher one.

If you could give me your opinion on the differences between the x1600 and x800GTO and the differences betweens those 2 x800GTO's at newegg as well I would really appriciate it.

Thanks again, hope you can clear these up for me. :whistling:

Edited by jigga211, 25 June 2006 - 08:56 PM.

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#4
MNOB07

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The difference in the two sapphire x800 gto cards is probably nothing at all. I often see duplicates on Newegg with very similair specs with one priced higher. Some flaw with their database I guess... And the memory clocks are the same on those two. one was labeled with the "effective" clockspeed, and the other with the "real" clockspeed. DDR stands for "Double Data Rate" effectively doubling a real clockspeed of 490 = 980 effective. as far as the brand difference is limited to individual manufacturer choices, warranty, and support. nothing too serious generally Powercolor and Sapphire are both great brands when it comes to ATI cards with Sapphire being a bit better IMO

PCI-Express is a newer interface seperate from AGP, a bit similair in how there's a lot of bandwidth for those hungry video cards! Unfortuneatly it's phasing out AGP that's why AGP prices are inflated, less plentiful, and harder to shop for :/ Your current system cannot use a PCI-E video card.

About the x1600 pro; I've also heard of a few problems with it, mainly heat problems. I would hate to push you into buying something you are not comfortable with but if you're not trying to push extra volts and speed into the card, and with proper ventilation I don't see it being a problem. If there is you will have a warranty.

heres a tomshardware review that stacks a x1600pro against the 9600pro:

http://www.tomshardw..._pro/page7.html

As you can see it's a decent performance increase, but it matters the most of what your needs are. If you already have a solid system and are a light gamer on a budget the x1600 would be a great choice. If you're planning on playing the most graphic intesive games of today and tomorrow, with a need for power and high frames per second the x1600 pro may be a lost cause.

EDIT: do you live in the US, Canada, or elsewhere? I want to make sure we're on the same page as far as pricing and buying go

Edited by MNOB07, 25 June 2006 - 09:13 PM.

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#5
jigga211

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I am in Canada but have no problem shopping with places in the states if i cant find something im looking for as long as they deliver here which most do.

I guess you could call me a light gamer. I mainly play Counterstrike Online and get decent fps but still lag sometimes in 20 vs. 20 matches , also play Half-Life2 and Sin:Episodes which also demand decent cards. My system is intel p4 2.4 ghz and 1gig of ocz ram. So between those 2 im ok I think and thought a new vid card would be a good improvement. What do you think?

I will check out that review for the 2 cards your provided thanx for that link. Also as far as gaming goes often enough I hear that whenever people play games like Counterstrike or Halfife they usually crank up their vid card settings to max performance, I keep mine set to 3/4's of its max, should I be cranking it up all the way as well for better performance and lower fps, i know that the graphics quality is lower with higher performance boost but does it really help the fps a lot to crank it all the way?

Also a question a bit off topic here, like i mentioned i have 1gig ocz dual channel ram, i was thinking of doubling it to 2gigz of dual channel ocz now and once I get new motherboard transferin the same ram to there, my question is would that be a good choice considering that my new motherboard would prolly support the new DDR2 ram, i guess what im asking is how much better is the ddr2 ram then the normal ddr 400 dual channel?


Thank you once again you have taught me so much already :whistling:

Edited by jigga211, 25 June 2006 - 09:39 PM.

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#6
MNOB07

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The x1600 pro would be a good upgrade for your system, and you will be pushing some major fps in your games which can mean a lot in online deathmatches! You can turn up the eyecandy too

DDR2 is an overall improvement to DDR ram and operates at lower voltage, higher clockspeed, and is getting cheaper in some cases cheaper than ddr but unfortunatly they're not interchangeable. A new mobo will probably mean new DDR2 RAM. I think 1GB RAM is already great and your system doesn't need it a RAM upgrade.

Newegg doesn't ship to Canada, but tigerdirect has a place in canada and can ship to you w/o any fees and has a good x1600 pro AGP (price is in CAD)

http://www.tigerdire...a...1&CatId=935

Edited by MNOB07, 25 June 2006 - 09:51 PM.

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#7
jigga211

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Aww newegg doesnt ship to Canada thats terible :whistling: hehe , Tigerdirect.ca tho is exactly where i shop for all my stuff, and thats where i was lookin at for the x800GTO but the 2 they have there are pci-e only and were a bit pricy to what you said they should be at, I did see the x1600 AGP there and was thinking about it.

Thank you for the RAM advice, the only reason I was thinking of getting 2 gigz is because I do a lot of multi tasking sometimes and not to mention I run Norton AntiVirus which eats mad ram on its own (yes i know norton is terrible waiting for the subscription to expire to get it off my pc) so thats why but I will just stick to 1 gig then.

I guess you answered all my questions now I will just do more research into x1600 and will prolly end up getting it in the end.

Not sure if you know anything about this but I also have a question about hyper-threading technology, if your familiar with it I have had a problem with enabling it for some reason. my p4 2.4ghz supports it and my motherboard & chipset as well as OS support it as well, those are the 4 criterias for Hyper Threading to work. But I cannot enable it for some reason, I did do some research on the net and apparently some 2.4ghz p4 (being the lowest p4 with HT technology) even tho support it seemed to have been locked out during the manufacturing at the time. Wondering if you know anything about that or about enabling it.

Thank you very much !!

P.S. I saw the one you chose was the HIS Radeon x1600 Pro, there are also
Diablotek Radeon X1600 Pro / 256MB GDDR2 / AGP 8x / DVI / VGA / TV Out / Video Card
GeCube Radeon X1600 Pro / 256MB GDDR2 / AGP 8x / Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card

both only being a couple dollars apart from each other and the HIS, any reason why the HIS is better in any way or they all pretty much the same? I also see the diablotek has tv-out while the HIS and GeCube have HDTV... i do need Tv-out cuz i sometimes connect my card to my TV and watch movies, is the HDTV same thing as TV-Out or what is it?

Edited by jigga211, 25 June 2006 - 10:10 PM.

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#8
MNOB07

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Your last question is interesting, I also have a 2.4 Ghz Pentium 4 but I can't get hyperthreading to work. This link seems to show that Hyperthreading started with the 3 Ghz processor: http://www.hothardwa...x?articleid=266

I don't think we're missing out on much though, performance is degraded sometimes when it is enabled and when it helps the difference is negligible...

EDIT: the three graphics cards ar all very similair with more subtle differences, if you notice the GeCube has Dual DVI while the other two have one DVI one VGA. The Diablotek lacks HDTV output which the other two have. They all have a 12 month warranty through the manufacturer. I'd say Either the GeCube or HIS is the winner. HIS is cheaper after the rebate, but GeCube is cheaper i you don't like rebates, and has dual DVI which can be a good thing it you want dual monitors running on DVI.

Edited by MNOB07, 25 June 2006 - 10:20 PM.

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#9
jigga211

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Thats very interesting indeed, I was doing a ton of research on it today because i felt like i was cheated out of something. My main source is the Intel site itself, at this link http://www.intel.com...tium4/index.htm
you will find info on the processors supporting hyper threading as says Intel itself, if you hit the "View Specification Chart" on that links page and scroll to the very bottom it says 512k 2.40ghz 800 MHz processor is the lowest one that is supporting hyper threading. Very interesting tho indeed, I know we probably arent missing much but with multi tasking I hear HT helps quite a bit so I was very curious to try it especially when it says HT compatible right on the p4 box lol.
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#10
jigga211

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Also if you could answer my P.S. from the HT post that would be great. :whistling:
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#11
MNOB07

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The card should come with a dongle that can connect the card to one of several displays, at least S-Video and HDTV. here's an example of one (will look different) http://www.bonafider...ages/dongle.jpg

the Diablotek will probably only connect with S-video with no HDTV.

I think we both are running Pentium 4 processors with a 533 Mhz FSB, athat spec sheet only shows support for 800 FSB 2.4 Ghz processors... that may be the problem

EDIT again: but if your processor says HT enabled right on the box then... hmm I dunno maybe we should take this to someone else :whistling: can anyone else help us out here?

Edited by MNOB07, 25 June 2006 - 10:30 PM.

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#12
jigga211

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ahhh ok now i understand, well right now i run 2 screens, one from vga and one dvi , i have no problems running 2 dvi's just need another connector for my second monitor to change it to dvi which i think would come with the card anyhow. But is the HDTV just another form of Tv-Out then? and Does this mean i need an HD-TV for the HDTV connection?
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#13
jigga211

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ahh i see so it will come with a transformer for hdtv to s-video, if it does or even if i can buy one that would be fine then

Edit: Yea thats what really stumped me, they label it HT enabled but really it isnt :whistling: , i was thinking of getting the 3.0ghz from tiger direct it had such good reviews and all but decided not to because I wasnt sure what the problem was with my current processor not working with HT and didnt wanna risk buyin it.

Edited by jigga211, 25 June 2006 - 10:35 PM.

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#14
MNOB07

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I can't seem to find out if these cards are OEM or retail XD

if they're retail then it will definatly come with the hdtv dongle and DVI-VGA converters

if it's OEM it still may come with both but it's up to them.
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#15
jigga211

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Ok that is fine really either way, I will just purchase one seperate even if it dont come with it.

Thanx a ton for all your help, if I find any new info about the 2.4 and HT technology compatability I will be sure to let you know. I hope you wont mind if I have a question or two in the future and contact you. Thank you again your awesome!
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