TechSpot

Upgrading A Video Card

By greatman05
Nov 25, 2006
  1. Hey, guys. I have this system:

    Compaq Deskpro EN
    Intel Pentium 3 866mHz (133FSB X 5)
    256MB SDRAM Memory (2 X 128 @ 100 Mhz)
    NVIDIA Riva TNT2 Graphics Card 16MB AGP4X @ AGP4X 142mhZ core, 166 mhZ memory
    Onboard SoundMAX Integrated Audio
    20GB WEstern Digital HDD @ 5400RPM or 7200RPM
    2 Optical Drives (Pioneer DVD-116 40xCD, 16xDVD; HP CD-Writer Plus! 8000 series 8XCD-R, 4XCD-RW, 32XCD)
    Windows 2000 SP4

    and I want to upgrade the graphics card. What is the highest NVIDIA series (I prefer NVIDIA) card I should use? I don't want to go into the FX series, because I believe that the processor will be a bottleneck. I want to use a GeForce4Ti (I see that model a lot in the forums), but I don't know if it would work on a 200W PSU. Any suggestions?
     
  2. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,438

    What PSU do you have now becuase I dont see it inside your system specs...

    If it's the 200w you said... Im surprised your computer can even run with 200w :haha: well what I would 1st do is switch the PSU to this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817341002

    For the videocard give a link to the card you want and i'll take a look at it
     
  3. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

    I don't have a specific card in mind...I'm looking more for a suggestion from you guys: What NVIDIA video card above a Riva TNT2 should I get that will not make my system a Bottleneck? I would just prefer a GF4 Series card..
     
  4. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,438

    4 series? that's too low for a gaming system, I would recommend getting atleast a 6-7 series ( a 7600 would be perfect and I doubt it would kill your computer ;) )
     
  5. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Do you think that a 866 MHZ processor should run a graphics card that high-end? Do you even know if that graphics card would work on an AGP 4x bus? I just wanna know what GF4 series card I should install in this system (TI, MX, etc.)
     
  6. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    Mmmh, tough question... Take a look at your 200W PSU, how many amps does it have on the +12V rail?

    You could fit a Radeon 9550 or something like that, or even better, a 9600PRO.
     
  7. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,438

    9600 pro would be the best choice because you could get 3.0 shading so your graphics look more realisitc :D
     
  8. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    The 9600PRO has 2.0 shader lol :)

    Only the newest X1K series have SM3.0 :)
     
  9. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

    I've used ATI before, but their RagePro was disappointing... anyway, I still don't know what GF4 card I should use...
     
  10. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 544

    He's going to have to swap out a lot of hardware to get into the 6 or 7 series cards.
     
  11. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    What about your PSU? Amps on the +12V rail?

    Then, we can tell you which GF4 card you can use.

    FYI, a Radeon 9600 series card would be the best choice. ATI is now making great cards, and good drivers. Forget about that RagePro, Radeon cards are great :)
     
     
  12. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

    I would estimate around 10-12A...
     
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    A Geforce 4 Ti4200 would be great if u want only a card from that series. From ATi's end, u can try the 9550 or the 9600PRO/XT as mentioned above. It is much more superior in performance to the Geforce card and I think ur system will be able to handle it well.
     
  14. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

    Thanks. I heard on the Internet that the FX series was plagued with performance problems, particularly with pixel shaders... unless FX cards have magically improved in performance and would be useful in that system, I'll stick with the GF4Ti4200. One question: does the GF4 suffer from the same stuttering video problems like the GF2MX400 does?
     
  15. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    Stuttering in games or what? The GF4Ti4200 is a superior card, faster than the GF2, so it shouldn't have too much problems, unless you want to play FEAR :)
     
  16. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

    I meant: In the Generals readme, the said something like: "GF2 owners may experience stuttering video playback"
     
  17. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    Ah, just like that Geforce 6200 PCI video playback issue.... Hmm, IDK... You could google and check if you find something about it...

    BTW, that PSU is a little low on the amperage, but should do the trick with that system :grinthumb
     
  18. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

  19. whtddusy516

    whtddusy516 TS Enthusiast Posts: 201

    Hmm I think you could have gone cheaper (but I don't exactly know what games you play). My Dell has a GeForce 2 MX that can run basically anything made before 2001/2002 haha
     
  20. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 536

    (NOTE: THIS PERTAINS TO SYSTEM #1 IN MY PROFILE!)

    See, my mobo only has PCI slots, and I wanted to upgrade the video card. I had to chose between ATI and NVIDIA, so I chose NVIDIA. The problem was, they only had 4 chipsets to chose from: the Geforce 4MX, FX5200, FX5500, and GF6200. Considering that I don't have a 300W PSU, the 6200 was out of the question. Not only that, but the GF4MX and FX5200 are too low end to make them feasible for PCI use. So naturally, I chose the near mid-end FX5500. The cheaper one at CompUSA sold out, and my grandma won't buy anything off of the internet (Otherwise, I would use NewEgg). TO top it off, this was the cheapest FX5500 PCI available in retail stores.
     
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