TechSpot

Best PCI card

By Magniitude
Dec 23, 2005
  1. Cheap Dell = My situation...so skip the explanation. I need the best PCI card on the market (dont give me the 6200 pci please from 3d fuzion) and I have searched tons of sites, but i need something up to date. I want something that will play as advanced games as possible, although I know I wouldnt get too far. The card that I want is the one that will basically overall perform best in its category because I know PCI's are dead so I dont need to buy another one after this.
    System Specs:

    2.66 ghz P4
    512 pc-2700 ddr

    Im currently looking at the radeon 9250 or the Geforce 5500, but I'll take all the suggestions i can. Prices don't matter to me that much, as long as its ~$100.

    Thanks a lot,
    Magniitude

    PS. Please dont tell me to get another motherboard :)
     
  2. Federelli

    Federelli TS Rookie Posts: 382

    If there's a PCI 6600, that should do. Otherwise, an 5500/5600/5700.

    Also, take the 5500 over the 9250, you get DX9 support that way.
     
  3. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Enthusiast Posts: 145

    Hmmm

    You could also get the X550 which is the PCi-Ex version of the Ati 9550, it's a pretty good choice for the low budget area...
     
  4. Magniitude

    Magniitude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 80

    Thing is I dont have a pci-ex slot, only pci.

    And Federelli, thats what I thought too, I'll probably get a 5500. Is there a difference between 128mb versions and 256? I've read that theres not much of a graphical improvement and its just for sales.

    Actually, If anyone can point me towards a new mobo that would be compatible with a Dell Dimension 2400 (AGP one that supports pc-2700 DDr and my processor)(ive never bought a mobo or installed one) around the $100 margin that would be great because I can stick my 9600xt from my crappy computer into this one. :angel:
     
  5. Federelli

    Federelli TS Rookie Posts: 382

    256Mb will let you hold more textures. But it the card is not fast enough, it's useless, since the delay for loading and saving them into memory is too big.
     
  6. Magniitude

    Magniitude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 80

    I see. Since 5600 are almost myths I cant find it anywhere, should I go with the 5500 256mb, 128mb, or a 5700le?
     
  7. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 202

    Go with FX5500 256MB if you can, at least that extra 128MB could alleviate some of the huge bottleneck that is called PCI bus (I cant believe they didnt build in an AGP slot!!!).

    Keep in mind that even with that you're going to watch a slideshow on any detail setting other than low and at probably 640x480, or 800x600 at most :(

    Dont know about the MoBo upgrade, as I have no idea if the case you have is in a standard format, Dell tends to have some wacky formats :(
     
  8. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    A 5700le would be faster if it's a 128bit memory one, but almost all are 64bit.
    I think a 9250 may be faster than a 5500 in somethings, but a 9250 is only a direct x 8 card, where a 5500 or 5700le would be dx9.
    I know you said not to, but it would be a good idea to replace the motherboard to support agp. I was in a similar situation as you, with my dell, and I ended up replacing the motherboard, and getting an agp card, because a pci card will be a slight improvement, but not much. It wouldn't cost much more than your budget to get a motherboard and a agp card better than a 5500 or 5700le.
    Here's a possibility.
    <$50 motherboard.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813138262
    OR
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813130519\

    And a <$70 9600pro agp.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102409

    That'd be <$120 usd, and it'd be much better than your current options, as then you'd have a real graphics slot.
    You likely could still use your ram(if your dell is a 2350 or up), cpu, power supply, case, optical drives, and hard drive. You'd just replace the mobo and the graphics card.
    I've upgraded my dell, all you need is a normal micro atx motherboard. The dell psu is standard, unlike many people will tell you.
    You might even be able to sell your current motherboard on ebay to recover some of the cost.
     
  9. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 202

    Great, if thats the case and he can upgrade with no problems, then I say - go for it!

    vfn4ultra made a good selection - you'll up your performance by alot for only 120$, that PCI card would just slighty boost it.

    I know you probably didnt plan on upgrading the mobo also, but it's a much better choice in this case.

    BTW: Merry Christmas!
     
  10. Magniitude

    Magniitude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 80

    Yea thanks a lot, I actually have a 9600 xt agp that I can put in if i get a new mobo. Do you think those mobos will fit in my case as I have heard that Dell cases are kind of weird.

    Thanks for all your help and Happy Holidays as well!
     
  11. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 202

    If I understood correctly, vfn4ultra said he was in a similar position as you are now.

    He upgraded his Dell with a MoBo of a micro ATX format and had no problems - so I guess it's fine, but you must get a mobo of a mATX format, otherwise it won't fit in the case.

    And you already have a 9600XT - great!
    You'll only need ~50$ and you will see a great boost in games.

    Enjoy the new gaming experience, oh and happy Christmas :)
     
     
  12. Magniitude

    Magniitude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 80

  13. sixabove

    sixabove TS Rookie

    I just bought the pny fx 5500. in the same situatuion no agp or pci-e... ran it on the 3d05 bench mark got a whopping 203... picked the card up at bust buy on sale for $65 plus tax... have seen no improvement over the integrated card....

    running a $299 emachine t2862
    2.67 celeron d
    256 mb ram
    PNY FX 5500 128MB

    Hope someone can help me get above 1 FPS lol!
     
  14. crazdude

    crazdude TS Rookie Posts: 198

    uh, i wud say in this case the prob is the cpu, see celeron cpus arent exactly gaming cpus, i used to have the same prob with my other celeron pc untill i got my new one with a anthlon 3500
     
  15. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    It should work, but I'd recommend this more in the same price range(when it's back in stock).
    Or if you can spend more, I'd go for the gigabyte 8IG1000mk or the asus p4p800-vm.
    Basically the ones I list just have slightly more features and some overclocking ability, which could be useful.
     
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