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Updating Graphics card from an onboard one


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#1
hydrolist

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Ok, I shall start off by stating my PC specs to help explain my situation.


I have an Advent T9001, with specs consisting of;

============================================

CPU.................Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz HT

BIOS................Phoenix-Award BIOS. Press the Delete key to enter.

Motherboard......MSI MS-7060

Memory............512 MB DDR RAM - PC3200

Hard Drive........120 GB Seagate ST3120022A

CD Drive..........Sony DW-U18A DVDRW

Video Card.......SiS 661FX

Sound Card......Realtek AC'97 audio

Network Card...SiS 900 integrated fast ethernet

Motherboard Info


* CPU: Socket 478 for P4 Celeron/Celeron D(FSB 400/533 Mhz)/Northwood/Prescott CPUs with FSB400/533/800MHz up to 3.4GHz
* Main Memory:
o Supports two memory banks using two 184-pin unbuffered DDR DIMMs
o Supports up to 2GB memory size without ECC
o Supports DDR266/333/400
* Chipset: SiS 661FX
o Supports Intel Pentium 4 processors with data transfer rate up to 800MHz
o Supports 64-bit high performance DDR400/DDR333/DDR266 memory controller
o Supports high performance & high quality 3D Graphic Accelerator
o Supports AGP 8x/4x interface
o Supports bi-directional 16-bit data bus with 1GHz bandwidth
* Slots:
o One 8x/4x AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) universal slot
o Three PCI 2.2 32-bit Master PCI Bus slots
* On-Board IDE:
o Dual IDE controllers integrated in SiS® 964L
o Support Bus Master, Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 operation modes
* On-Board Peripherals:
o 1 floppy port supports 2 FDDs with 360K, 720K, 1.2M, 1.44M and 2.88Mbytes
o 1 serial port
o 1 VGA port
o 1 PS2 keyboard + 1 PS2 mouse connectors
o 1 parallel port supports SPP/EPP/ECP mode
o 7 high speed USB 2.0/1.1 ports (Rear * 4 / Front * 3)
o 1 audio (Line-In/Line-Out/Mic-In) port
o 1 RJ-45 LAN connector
o 2 IEEE 1394 ports (Real * 1/ Front * 1 with pinheader) (Optional)


============================================

As you can see I have a "SiS 661FX" on board graphics card.

I would like to upgrade this graphics card to something decent costing around £30-£40 (around $50). I do not need one that has TV-out or anything extremely haut and professional, just something good enough to play Unreal Tournament 2004 smoothly and graphicaly look impressive (prefrably Nvidia make).

I have done research myself on a few cards (using www.aria.co.uk, www.dabs.co.uk and www.ebuyer.co.uk so if you could point a graphics card out from one of those sites it would be greatly helpful!) , although I don't understand what the AGP or PCI and the terminology orientated around graphic cards mean - even though I am fairly computer literate.
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#2
warriorscot

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For that price you wont get a decent card that wil play UT2004 well, it certainly wont look impressive you would struggle to get a card to do that for twice your budget. I say this because my old comp has just such a card.
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#3
dsenette

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go for AGP it's better because it has it's own processor and a faster bus.... warriorscot is right....that price will make it very difficult to get something good....try to find something with at least 128Mb of onboard memory.
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#4
estople

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I must disagree. While some games suck on the ATI Radeon 9200 chip set, it will run just about everything else at a decent frame rate on a P4 3 GHz machine. It'll blow the doors of the SiS video, that's for sure. 3D WinBench gives me a rate of over 100 even on my POS system. I've seen rates in the mid-25s for Far Cry, Warcraft 3 and BF Vietnam and in the 30s for UT2004 and CoD. Halo, Doom 3 and SW:KotOR suck w/ mid-teens frame rates, and don't even try Spliter Cell:PT; 10 at best. Still, its not horrible, just not killer.

A ton of new cards based on this chip have come out; I've got the VisionTek Xtasy 9250, but PowerColor, Aries and Saphire as well as others are all marketing boards based on this admitedly older chip set. Stay away from any with "SE" in the title; better yet get a 9250 - they're about the same price and include video out, too. List prices range from about $75-$100US, use pricewatch or pricegrabber to get lower. For example:

http://www.pricegrab...ati radeon 9200

I'd also consider an upgrade to 1 Gig of RAM, that will help performance a tad.
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#5
MOLEXRULZ

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If he wants to play the game smoothly then he should buy a ATI Radeon 9600. They are cheap now and with a 9250 he wont get out of 800x600 resolution with low detail.
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#6
hydrolist

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With my current onboard graphics card I can play the game perfectly with no glitches. I get pretty good graphics and detailed textures at no compromise to performance (unless I obviously set all the display aspects to highest setting).

But I would like to upgrade the card so I can play the game at max effects without compromise in performance (well, at least close enough with the budget)

Thanks for the advice so far, I've currently taken interest to this .


ps, the max resolution I have is 1024 x 768 (which is what I play ut2004 on).

Edited by hydrolist, 08 July 2005 - 03:34 PM.

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#7
estople

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Thanks for the advice so far, I've currently taken interest to this .
[GeForce FX 5200]


A comparable card for about the same money. Note that both of these cards are not as capable as the latest and greatest; the 9250 doesn't support DirectX 9 shaders, and the 5200 doesn't do well unless its running DirectX 9. UT2004 will run semi-acceptably on both of them. Check here for a comparison review:

http://reviews-zdnet...6-21238661.html
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#8
warriorscot

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Well i have a worse fx5200 than that on my old computer and it does run ut2004 at the res you want but it isnt great no more than 30 fps and usually about 20 or less on medium settings. It will play it fine but you might look at some of the 6200s or an 5500 upper end or slightly above your price range but they would play ut2004 quite well.
http://www.overclock...200_Series.html good site for all your cards if your a brit.
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#9
hydrolist

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Well i have a worse fx5200 than that on my old computer and it does run ut2004 at the res you want but it isnt great no more than 30 fps and usually about 20 or less on medium settings. It will play it fine but you might look at some of the 6200s or an 5500 upper end or slightly above your price range but they would play ut2004 quite well.
http://www.overclock...200_Series.html good site for all your cards if your a brit.

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Thank you!

I was aware of their forum but I never new they had an online shop!

ok, one last question before I make my decision, what will I need, a PCI type graphics card or AGP? (my pc specs are above if needed)

Thanks for all the replies,


~hydrolist~
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#10
nathen555

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5500's are old cards higher it and go for 5900 or even if your into gaming that much go for 6800 Ultra thats the card im running on its a fast card and excellent on all 3D games these are the games that i have tryed it on:

Unreal Tournament 2003
Unreal Tournament 2004
Doom 3
Far Cry
Need For Speed Underground 1 & 2
Half life 2
Halo

Plus we all know you need good specifications to Run Doom 3 and Far cry so either get Geforce 5900 or 6800 Ultra somewhere inbetween those cards

Nathen
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