TechSpot

Need video card upgrade recomendations

By cascade
Dec 6, 2005
  1. I recently purchased Serious Sam II and found out my video card (NVIDIA GeForce MX420) will not run the game. :blackeye:
    I would like to upgrade to the best model of NIVIDA card that will work on my computer and is cost effective.
    I am using an HP Pavilion 734n, athlon, AM37 motherboard.
    I have looked at all of their models, but can't figure out which one is best for my situation. I am not planning to do further upgrades to this computer other than the video card.
     
  2. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,764

  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Cascade, just a forwarning, you may also need a new power supply when you upgrade your video card. If you go and get one of the cards that vegasgmc is suggesting, they require a lot more juice than your current one.

    Open up your case and look at the sticker on the PSU. Who is the maker, and how many watts is it rated at?
     
  4. cascade

    cascade TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks DonNagual and vegasmc for your help.
    I haven't opend my case yet, but I do have a print out of the motherboard specs.
    It says, Graphics Connector (AGP) / AGP 4X (1.5V only)
    I will start looking into the power requirements for the new card.
     
  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Just so you know, you can still use 8x graphics cards in your system. The card will automatically make the adjustments to match your motherboard.
     
  6. cascade

    cascade TS Rookie Topic Starter

    DonNagual
    Thanks for that informaion, I was wondering if a 8X would work in my 4X system.
    I am still trying to match up what I have for power supply to the requirements for the 6800.
    My system spec's say it has 1.5V only for the AGP slot, but don't know the requirements for the new board.
     
  7. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    Yes, in general 8x AGP cards will scale themselves down to match AGP4x boards. As vegasgmc above points out, some cards are better at doing this than others, so keep that in mind, but THEORETICALLY, any 8x card should work.

    Even though your slot says ONLY 1.4v, it can still use an 8x card. You CAN NOT stick older AGP cards in there like an AGP2x or 1x. They require 3.3v which your slot can not provide. (The 8x cards only require 0.8v)
     
  8. cascade

    cascade TS Rookie Topic Starter

    DonNagual
    Again, thanks for the power spec's, I was getting frustated trying to figure it out.
    Does the card regulate it's power need, being the supply is 1.5 volts?

    PS I see you are located in Japan, many years ago I spent two years in Iwakuni, while in the service.
     
  9. PC_Nerd

    PC_Nerd TS Rookie Posts: 95

    Ive got a geforce 5600 and that just scrapes the ok mark in serious sam2.
    PS, scaled down AGP runs very crapfully. In fact i would suggest upgrading to a agp8x mobo seeing as theyre cheap as chips these days, what with all yur PCI-E and that....
     
  10. cascade

    cascade TS Rookie Topic Starter

    PC_Nerd
    Thanks for your input, I am having second thoughts on the overall ability of my PC, upgrading to a better video card may be disapointing for the money spent.
     
  11. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,199

    AGP 4x will not have any real measurable decrease in performance as nothing uses AGP texturing any more. You'll obtain a very, very sizeable improvement in gaming performance with a 3d card upgrade.

    Serious Sam II is a very, very intensive game so therefore budget videocards, while yielding the ability and decent performance, it's more targetted towards higher end videocards.

    The best bang-for-the-buck AGP card out there is the ATI AIW X800 XT, which fluctuantes between $279 and $299 at NewEgg:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102492

    If this is out of your price range, the cards vegasgmc recommended are very nice middle-range AGP cards: both the 6600GT and 9800 Pro/XT.

    As already mentioned, you need to check your power supply first. If you open the case, the power supply should have a sticker displaying the rated wattage/output of the PSU. If the power supply is 250W or less, it'll likely be a bit underpowered for a new 3d card as most modern videocards will need an extra 30-45W of power by themselves.
     
     
  12. cascade

    cascade TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sharkfood
    Thanks for the encouraging message, upgrading to a better video card is about my only budgeting choice for now.
    I guess I will stop procrastinating, and open my case to confirm the power supply.

    Well, I opened it :blackeye: , and sure enough, it is only a 200 watt output. My PSU is a ATX Model 1956D... 5-7/8" W, 4" D, 3-3/8" tall.
    More suggestions welcome.

    I wonder how much it is going to cost me to play Serious Sam II. :approve:
     
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.