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First video card upgrade


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#1
Guis_wa

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I have been thinking about upgrading my computer, (which is a few years old now) by putting in a new Video Card. I've been reading up on how to do it and have a few questions. I am currently using a chipset inbuilt into my motherboard (SiS 730, I think), I read that I need to switch this off during the install but I cannot see any switches. Where is it and what does it look like?

I have an AGP slot without a divider, that means its AGP 2.0 right? Is this good or bad? I dont have a PCIE slot.

I am thinking of getting a GeForce 6600 GT, is this recommended?

If there is anything else you think I ought to know please tell me, I am reletively new to all this.
Thanks.
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#2
SRX660

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Most motherboards that have AGP slots and onboard video uses the BIOS to disable the onboard video chipset. Depending on your motherboard hitting a key (delete, excape, F8, and others)while your computer is booting up get you into the bios. Find out what motherboard you have and look it up on the net on how to get into the bios. You will have to look in the bios for the video settings. In the bios you have only the use of the arrow keys, the enter key and a couple of others. You use the arrow keys to move around and the enter key to open each section. Once you have set the video to look to the agp slot, and saved the settings, you can shut down the puter and install the agp video card. From what you explain it seems you have a 2x/4x agp slot. Heres some pictures to compare to.

http://www.abcd.com.au/v/agp_slot.htm

The geforce 6600 is a 8X video card that is not backward compatible with 4X slots. The only card i can find that is 4X compatible is the Geforce FX 5200 card. This card is slightly better than the old MX 440 series video cards which are true 2x/4x cards. Most of these cards are not being produced anymore. Nvidia states the lowest card in production is the FX 5750 card.

What i am saying here is you have a limited upgrade path before it is better to buy a newer computer. I build a new computer for myself every 3 months to keep up with the trends. Selling off my oldest one defrays the cost of a new one. i just sold my pentium 2.4 puter so i can now build a Athlon 64 puter.

SRX660
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#3
warriorscot

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Yeah, if you have a AGP 4.0x slot you could get a 6600GT becasue they do make 4x/8x compatible cards, they arent all compaible though only some, however i still wouldnt reccomend you getting one if you have a AGP2x or 4x slot as the card would be severely bottlenecking and you wouldnt get anywhere near the full speed, also on a system that old with an AGP 2x/4x slot the PSU is probably not capable fo providing the required power to an new power hungry gfx card.

I would reccomend something in the line of an FX5500 5200 are truly pathetic video cards but the 5500 while not top of the line will plod along nicely and offer you a substantial boost. They are also very cheap in comparison to the 6600GT. You can still get FX5500s you could also get a FX 5750 although it would start to experience a bottleneck although no where near as bad as the 6600GT.

I would list your full system specs, two ways to do this, you can download and use CPU-Z and then tell us all the relevant bits it says or you could download sysspec from http://www.alexnolan...are/sysspec.htm the download link is at the bottom of the page. Sysspec is probably the best one for you i would think.
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#4
Guis_wa

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Ok, I ran Sysspec and this is what it showed:

Windows: Windows XP5.1 (Build 2600)
Internet Explorer: 6.0.2600.0000
Memory (RAM): 240 MB
CPU Info: AMD Athlon™ Processor
CPU Speed: 1144.5 MHz
Sound card: SiS 7018 Wave
Display Adapters: SiS 300/305/630/540/730 | NetMeeting driver | RDPDD Chained DD |
Screen Resolution: 800 X 600
Network: Network Present
Network Adapters: SiS 900 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter - Packet Scheduler Miniport | WAN (PPP/SLIP) Interface |
CD / DVD: E: SAMSUNG CD-ROM SC-152L | F: ATAPI CD-R/RW 48X16 |
Default Printer:
COM Ports: COM3 | COM1 |
LPT Ports: LPT1
Mouse: 3 Button Wheel Mouse Present
Hard Disks: C: 14.0GB | D: 14.0GB |
Hard Disks - Free: C: 4.9GB | D: 5.1GB |
USB Controllers: Detected: 2 host controllers.
Firewire (1394): Not Detected
PCMCIA (Laptops): Not Installed
Manufacturer: American Megatrends Inc.
Product Make:
Serial Number:
AC Power Status: OnLine
BIOS Info: AT/AT COMPATIBLE | 09/13/02 | AMIINT - 1000 | |
Time Zone: AUS Eastern Standard Time
Battery: No Battery


Like I said this computer is pretty old and hasn't been updated for a while. The only reason I was going to update was so I could play 'The Movies', will this be possible with the card suggested?
Again, thanks for the help.
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#5
Guis_wa

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Also, what about ATI cards? Would a Radeon 9700 pro be appropriate, it seems to have all the relevent features (AGP x4, Directx9.0 etc)

Any thoughts?
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#6
warriorscot

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Nah the PC itself would really hold it down even if you got the movies going the PC would probably crash. I would save up and get a new system entirely.

You know sysspec didnt even tell me what gfx port you had, doesnt matter after seeing the rest of the system it isnt going to do what you want it to, you know that integrated gfx you have know is pants but it should be able to handle a res above 800x600 on the desktop without any bother.

If you want run CPU-Z and tell me what it says in mainboard what kind of graphical interface you have, you might be able to get something a little better but i wouldnt waste your money on it, the only way you would be playing that game is with a full upgrade, CPU, motherboard and memory as well as gfx. So basically a new computer is in order for playing new games.
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#7
Guis_wa

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I ran CPU-Z but nothing was in the Graphical Interface section, it was all greyed out. btw would it help if I added another 256mb ram? I mean, I know it would help, but would it help enough?

Also, why so negative? here are the minimum system requirements for the movies:
The Movies Minimum System Requirements:

* Microsoft Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP
* 800MHz processor or higher
* 256MB RAM
* 8x Speed CD-ROM drive
* 2.4 GB free hard disk space
* DirectX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card
* Mouse
* Keyboard
* DirectX® 9.0c (included)
* Updated Windows Media® Player 9 Codecs (included)
* 800 x 600 Monitor Resolution
* 3D Hardware Accelerator Card required
* Updated drivers for all hardware

Supported Graphics Cards:

* ATI Radeon® series (7000 or better): 7000, 7200, 7500, 8500 9000, 9200, 9250, 9550, 9600, 9700, 9800 x300, x600, x700, x800, x850

* NVIDIA GeForce® series (GeForce 3 or better). GeForce 3, 3 Ti GeForce 4, MX, Ti GeForce FX 5200, 5600, 5700, 5800, 5900, PCX 5300, 5750, 5950 GeForce 6200, 6600, 6800

I meet everything except the Graphics card, surely there is some way I can get my system to run the game.

Edited by Guis_wa, 10 December 2005 - 11:24 PM.

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#8
warriorscot

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Well, the minimum system requirements arent really what you need to play the game, thats what you need to get it running, the reccomended is what you need for an enjoyable gaming experience, on my old PC i had painkiller and the PC i used to play it was faster with more ram than yours and had a FX5200 which is the only card you can get as if CPU-Z didnt show anything you wont have AGP. And the game looked like the original quake games when i played it and was essentially unplayable, and i met the minimum requiremnets.
And i have loads of games like that, they meet the minimum of my old PC but they wont play and they wont be playable even when they do.

It kinds sucks but the game companies want you to buy the game they dont care if you have to upgrade.

So you could get a PCI fx5200 but if you do you arent going to be getting an enjoyable gaming experience, the gfx will be set to lowest and it will be a grainy stuttering thing with no effects. It wooldnt be so bad alot of systems we get on here are fast enough but just dont have a gfx card, yours is also very slow which doesnt help.
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#9
Guis_wa

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I am so confused right now. So I dont have an AGP slot? Really? Coz I opened up the case and had a look, and it seems to me like there was one in there. I also ran the scan thingy on crucial.com, which said I have an AGP slot. So anyway, you think a PCI Fx5200 right. What about an ATi 9250?

This whole process is way too complex, no wonder console gaming is so much more popular.
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#10
warriorscot

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Its not really more popular there are more PC gamers its just they advertise console gaming more, and a PC gamer is a PC gamer they are usually pretty techno savvy bunch of folks that have pretty decent PCs and keep them up to date. But you get different degrees of PC gamer you have just seen a game you like and fancy playing it by the looks of it, then you get casual gamers that have a few games they like and dont go much beyond that, then you get full on hard core gamers that its basically the main hobby they have.

PC gamers are also usually performance freaks that love pretty graphics effects, and game companies caught on to the fact that people that buy most of their games have good PCs so started making games look far better than what they made on consoles and made fantastic games. But that means you are left out alot of the time if you dont have a relativley up to date computer.

ends speach on computer gaming, if you couldnt allready tell im one of the big gamers. On with problem

Well cpu-z can occasionaly throw up a false positive what did it say was your motherboard make and model, that way you can check the manufacturers site. Maybe you do have one but the pc needs a faster cpu and alot more ram to run it as well with any decent performance or visuals.

To be honest the PC isnt worth spending alot of money on you get to the imaginery line where you are as well just starting to save your money to buy a new pc, as they get to a point where even the new basic software starts to be sluggish not just the highend games.

To play the game you really need to be looking at the other side of the reccomended specs preferably with a comfortable margin more. The ATI 9250s and the FX5200 are much the same both are pretty equally rubbish.
You arent likely to have a 8x slot and would be lucky to have a 4x slot so even if you have an AGP you will be limited to older cards like the fx5200 and 9250 anything faster would be wasting your money as all the power would be lost as the slot wouldnt be fast enough to transfer the data fast enough and the CPU and ram would limit the speed severly, you may also have 5200rpm drives judging by the size which would just make the lack of ram worse.

I would just leave it and save up and get a new pc, if you fancy building one we can help you with that, its the cheapest way to get a new PC, and its a fun thing to do but you can buy new ones easy enough. Sorry for being so doom and gloom but im not going to sugar coat it your computer is pretty slow and even if you get it to run the game you are going to be disappointed by how badly it runs.

Upgrading newer PCs is slightly less complex and it becomes easier when you know a little bit about computers, most people though arent to into computers and just got the PC of the shelf and didnt really pay to much attention to what the specs were as long as the guy in the shop told them it would do what they wanted it to at the time. And the computer builders dont particularly want you to upgrade so they dont make it easy for you as they want you to buy a new one.

sorry if im bumming you out, im pretty bummed out at the moment and its infectious.
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#11
Guis_wa

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Thanks for all the help. I think I have a plan, I'll get a 128mb fx5200 and 256mb RAM and see how it goes. If it runs fairly well I'll be happy, if not... well I have a birthday coming up, and I do hear good things about F.E.A.R.... I might be back hear in a few weeks asking about how to overclock a GeForce7800 or sumsuch. see you then.
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#12
warriorscot

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Sounds good i might ask for FEAR for christmas, i played the demo and it was excellent, needs a good PC to run it mines ran it ok but it kinda struggled at times, could do with an X1800 for my system and a 4400+ x2 and another gig of ram, guess ill have to wait till my birthday to get all that stuff, only another 6 and half months to go.

I would just buy a single gig stick they arent expensive if you are only buying it in a single stick of value stuff.

FX5200s are ok for plodding along it should be able to get it goin its just going to be abit stuttery, most of them now are the TV vareity they have had a kind of second wind as a TV input card for cheap media PCs as they can be made into slimline cards and are cool enough to not need its own fan.
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#13
El Jimben

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Just to put you in the picture for F.E.A.R, the minimum specs required are: P4 1.7GHZ or equivalent, 512MB RAM, Radeon 9000 or 64MB Geforce 4 and 5GB of HD space. Even if you do upgrade your RAM and GFX, your processor won't cut it and you'll be left with 4GB of space. Warrior is right in that you should just save up and buy new shiz :tazz:

I can run FEAR on my Athlon XP 1.9GHZ, 1GB ram and radeon 9000 but it really doesn't do the game justice, looks ugly. My friend just got an Athlon 3800 x2, 2GB RAM and Geforce 7800GT - Now THAT'S some impressive gaming. Steady 80FPS on FEAR with everything on max!

Edited by El Jimben, 18 December 2005 - 09:03 AM.

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#14
warriorscot

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dude you really shouldnt resurect old threads unless its important. clutters the place up, we like to have the current problems in the first page if you bring up an old one you knock a newer one down.
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