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Video Card compatibility with Asus P4S8X motherboard

By TechFundi
May 21, 2006
  1. Hi there,

    My Specs:
    P4 @ 2.4Ghz
    512 Ram @ 2100
    80 Gigs Harddrive
    ATI Radeon All In WOnder 7500 64MB video card
    Asus P4S8X-MX Socket 478 --Motherboard

    I am in the process of upgrading my system by adding a new video card and a 512 Ram memory. The problem with my video card is that it doesn't play new games such as Age of Empires 3 and Ghost Recon 2. So I feel compelled to buy a new video card just to play those games. I am not going to spend more than $150 on video card alone. But there are so many freaking video cards out there that i'm almost confused as to which one to consider that would work best with m current system.

    Also there are so many new technologically equipped video cards out there that I hve no idea. If some one would care to explain what the following things mean breifly, I would really appreciate it.

    What is DDR on video cards? difference between DDR2 and DDR3?

    My motherboard
    Asus P4S8X-MX Socket 478 supports X400 video cards as says in the Bios-havn't a clue what that is??? whats the diff b/w X400 and X800 AGP? also what do these terms stand for?

    Would you suggest buying sealed pack video cards from E-Bay comp stores? There are some great deals for 9250, 9550,9600, and 9700, ATI-Radeon cards. Please share any good/bad experiences.

    last but not least, whats the difference between original video cards built by ATI RADEON and other ATI Radeon cards built by Sapphire, PowerColor, Gigabyte, etc.?

    Thanks a lot in advance. :D
     
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    DDR is the type of ram the video card uses. The same as the ram in your computer, it is special memory which your system can access at a relatively fast speed. On video cards, DDR3 is pretty much the standard these days.

    There are three types of "slots" that graphics cards can fit into on a motherboard. There are PCI graphics, AGP graphics and PCI express 16x graphics.

    Your motherboard has an AGP slot. As AGP technology advanced, the rate at which the slot could transfer data between the graphics card and the CPU got faster and faster. AGP4x and AGP 8x refers to the data transfer rates. AGP 1x used a 32-bit channel operating at 66 MHz. AGP 2x doubled that, AGP4x quadrupled it and AGP 8x.... what's the word for THAT? Octupled? :haha:

    Anyways, your board supports AGP 8x, which gives you a great selection of very powerful graphics cards.

    E-bay is always a risk. The good side is there are some great deals to be had, but the bad side is you could end up loosing your cash, or ending up with a card that has had a long life of being overclocked. As long as you are aware of the risks...

    Other than that, I'd suggest you re-think the cards you are looking at. One of the games you mention wanting to be able to play is Age of Empires III. That game needs a pretty powerful card to run, and the ones you are looking at are, well, for lack of a better word, whimpy.

    I'd suggest you look more along the lines of a 6600GT as a minimum.

    Here is a great site for comparing the performance of various graphics cards:
    http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html

    I have never owned a powercolor, but sapphire and gigabyte make great cards. ATI allows other manufacturers to use their chips to make graphics cards. There will be minor differences between the various companies, from what is packaged with the card, and sometimes even differences in the clock speeds. Always read online reviews before buying.

    Hope this helped!
     
  3. TechFundi

    TechFundi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot bravo. That was very helpfull. *Props*

    Another question:

    My system is about 3 years old so I dont remember what kind of Ram I bought back in the day. All I know is its 512MB Ram, i have a feeling that its 2100or 2700. Theres no tag on the ram that indicates the model/type/etc., so how does one go about finding it?

    I am about to buy another piece of 512RAM memory stick, which one would you recommend that would go along with an ATI radeon video card?

    Thanks in advance
     
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    Download Everest Home Edition(google for it) and use it to tell u the speed of ur RAM.
     
  5. TechFundi

    TechFundi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot bravo.

    Its a 512MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM (2.5-3-3-6@133Mhz--what the hells this???) (2.0-2-2-5@100Mhz--and this???)

    Would this memory chip be compatible with DDR2 and DDR3 video cards?
    My common sense says so. :D

    Also, would this chipset work along with the newer DDR2 and DDR3 memory sticks on my motherboard?

    Should i buy a same memory stick as my older one or better one to enhance the speed of the system?

    Woah, i just realized how much I have to learn still. damn . .

    THanks a lot in advance.
     
  6. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    This tells us that your ram is PC2100 DDR266. It depends on what the FSB (front side bus) of your system is set at. If your FSB is set to 133Mhz, then your ram timings are capable of running at 2.5-3-3-6, but if your FSB is running at only 100Mhz, then your ram timings can be set a little tighter (faster).

    This is a pretty complicated subject to get into actually. The easiest thing to do would be to get another identical stick of PC2100 just to be safe.

    No problems at all. Your motherboard's graphic interface determines what kind of graphics card you can have. Your system ram speed has nothing to do with it.

    No (assuming you are now talking about SYSTEM ram, not the ram on the graphics card). If your board is running with DDR ram now, then that is enough proof for me to confidently say that it will not like DDR2 in there (let alone DDR3 as it isn't even on the market yet).

    Let us know some more about your system first. Mobo make/model and CPU. But the general rule of using more than one stick is, you should ALWAYS try and use identical sticks, especially the same speeds of ram.
     
  7. TechFundi

    TechFundi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks once again bravo. :grinthumb Heres my system information:

    I never really updated my BIOS. Is it good to update BIOS before I install new components such as DVD-RW, Video Card, Memory, etc.? Also where and how do i update my BIOS cuz I never done it before. :bounce: :bounce:

     
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,566

    The general rule with updating the bios is:

    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

    In other words, only update your bios if you really NEED to. If you are not having any problems, then there is no need to update your bios.
     
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