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I need a new video card?


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#31
warriorscot

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looks like it doesnt have an agp slot at all, which would really snooker your chances of playing AoE3 wihout replacing your mobo with a new one. To double check take a look inside your pc to check, there will be a few PCI slots and above them if you have AGP there will be longer slot.
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#32
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Ok, ive just got a few questions...

1) How do i look in my pc when its shell is screwd on?

2) Why do i need an AGP slot?

3) Whats a PCI slot?

4) Will i have to have a AGP slot to install the new graphics / video card?

5) Whats a mobo?
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#33
warriorscot

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A mobo is a motherboard he big bit of pcb everything insode the PC is mounted on, you unscrew the case to take a look inside. You need at least an AGP slot for a powerful enough gfx card to play AoE3. A PCI slot is the standard slot for adding cards onto the PC. You can get graphics cards for PCI slots but they arent really up to playing AoE 3, so its a new motherboard if you want to play AoE 3.
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#34
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Ok, so i will have to buy a new motherboard, then a new video card.

And can you tell me...

1) How much does a motherboard roughly cost?

2) What one would you reccomend?

3) Is it easy to put in a new motherboard?

4) Is RAM, GHz, and GB or hard drive all stored on the motherboard?

5) Are all my documents and programmes installed on my mother board?

6) Is the hard drive with all my GBs on the motherboard?

7) If all my documents are on the motherboard, will i have to just put them on cds and then install the new motherboard and copy them over?

:tazz:
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#35
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Oldjim,

I have seen 2 similar video cards on eBay that i like...

The Nvidia GeForce 6600 256MB: Here
The Nvidia GeForce 6200 256MB: Here

What one is better?

And will they both run on my computer?
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#36
Oldjim

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With all due respect these questions indicate a lack of knowledge which would make any major changes by yourself very risky indeed.
Fundamentally the motherboard is the part on which most of the components either fix or are connected to.
On the motherboard you have a processor – your Pentium 4, memory, expansion slots (pci and agp), connections for keyboard, mouse, printers etc.
Now in your case your computer would have been supplied with OEM software (Windows XP etc.) which was preinstalled. Now regardless as to whether you have an XP CD or not this will have been what is known as OEM (original equipment manufacture – i.e. not retail) supply. The effect of that is that it is tied to the equipment provided. Now you can make minor changes – adding a graphics card would be permitted but changing the motherboard for a different type would be prohibited.
This means that changing the motherboard would also require you to purchase a new copy of Windows XP (about £70 as an OEM purchase with the motherboard.)
As the two software checks conflict on whether there is an AGP port or not you are going to need to look inside.
However before doing that you could try the following.
In Windows select Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/System Information
Select Hardware resources then I/O – do you see anything which looks like “AGP Host to PCI Bridge”
Alternatively if you go into Settings/Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager/System Devices you should see the same thing.
If you decide to open up the case and see what is inside then
If you open this page [motherboard and enlarge the picture you will see three white strips near the bottom. These are the PCI slots one of which is currently occupied by the modem.
Above these is a brown slot set slightly to the right. This is the AGP slot and this is what you need to look for. If there isn’t one then you are certainly scuppered as we would now be into a major rebuild (motherboard, Windows XP and a graphics card – approx £150 minimum).
If there is an AGP slot then all we need to find out is the specification of it.
Do you have any documentation that came with the computer – manual etc. – which gives an indication of the specification.
To answer your other question the 6600 card is definitely better but before doing anything lets check what you have already. Also if you open the case have a look at the power supply - what does it say on the label - make, model etc.

Edited by Oldjim, 06 November 2005 - 05:26 PM.

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#37
warriorscot

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Judging on what youve said in the thread i will give the rare advice from me: take it to a shop and get it done you clearly arent the greatest at the computer thing so go to a shop with your specs and ask them if they will do it for you how much it would cost etc. then tell us and we can tell you if it sounds fair or not. If you really want to do the upgrade yourself then we will help you through it but you would be safer in a shop. The 6600 is the better one, higher number better card usually is the rule certainly for nvidia and ATI cards.

Changing the motherboard wouldnt affect your windows installation you could use it on the same PC.

Edited by warriorscot, 06 November 2005 - 05:31 PM.

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#38
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Right...

Oldjim, here is a photo of the device manager settings my computer displayed...

devicesettings.jpg

And i will have a look inside my pc when i get back from the post office at 5:30.

warriorscot, i might consider taking it to a shop but so far i have learnet so much! I am really good with computers etc, but i not good at all with the inside of computers and building pcs, i really want to learn this!

So the higher the card number, the better it is. Thanks!

And is the NVidia GeForce 6600 a graphics card or a video card and what is the difference?
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#39
Oldjim

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Certainly looks as though you haven't got an AGP slot so now you are into major work.
Graphics card and video card are the same thing.
Basically yes the higher number the better although there can be oddities and you need to check reviews to be sure. The big difference between the 6200 and 6600 is support for shader 3 which is a clear requirement for furure proofing.
Finally - and this is most important - you may be good at programming/web sites /software etc. but replacing a motherboard is a whole new ball game especially starting with a Compaq which is quite likely to have proprietary kit all over it. If you screw up you can easily write off a chunk of extensive kit - no reformat and reinstall as a backstop like with software.
If your going to seriously want a PC to play games my recommendation would be to build a new one as your present machine almost certainly will need a new case, power supply, motherboard, XP license, thermal paste for CPU, graphics card and removing your present CPU/cooler will be very tricky as they are easily broken
Remember my earlier comment - probably all the software that came preinstalled on the Compaq will not be transferrable to a new machine and when replacing a motherboard with a different model it is always recommended to do a format and new install of XP.
Finally before doing anything I suggest you get a book on how to build a PC or see if any of your friends/colleagues can assistal though there may be information on the web covering it.
And just one more point - before considering ebay look at this review site of suppliers Romulus

Edit - just done a quick search and these are the results google

Edited by Oldjim, 07 November 2005 - 10:55 AM.

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#40
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Yes, i have a friend called louis who builds computers.

He has 3 in his room!!!

He gets pc parts cheap from lots of places!

I will probably get him to fix me up a good gaming pc and he can teach me along the way.

I will pay him probably for all the parts.

Thanks for all your help.

http://www.mysuperpc.com/

But just 1 more thing...

If i take my pc to say, pc world and ask them to update the motherboard, the video card, how much would it cost roughly?
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#41
warriorscot

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I wouldnt be so drastic as to say you cant it really depends on the PC, my advice is that if you have a friend that is good with computers let them take a look at it and then see what they say it could be easy or it could be difficult some pc builders are good at building upgradable PCs others are fairly rubbish(Dell are notorious). You have a pretty good cpu in your current pc so its obviously what you want to salvage and a new case and some thermal grease are peanuts really if you arent to fussy for asthetics, PSU might be big enough to handle a fairly new but modest rig it really depends what you have, you will need to check it out.

Shader model 3 is actuall not a requirement it is just a more eficient version of shader model 2 you cant see a difference between shader model 2 and 3 in a game.

Best advice find someone you know who is good at building computers and ask them to take a look they can tell you what information you need and the information we might need to help you with the problem.
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#42
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Louis has checked out my pc and said that he will be able to get me a new graphics card that will be easly installable on my pc and will play age of empires 3 in great graphics!

:tazz:
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#43
Oldjim

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That's great. Best of luck.
Can Louis advise if the present motherboard has an AGP slot as it would be interesting to know to confirm one or other of the diagnostics
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#44
warriorscot

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What gfx card is it more importantly, AoE3 needs a fair bit o clout.
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#45
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Yes louis will identify if i have an APG slot.

If i do have an APG slot, could i get the NVidia GeForce 6200 / 6600 or 6800?
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