TechSpot

Video Cards???

By mileslong
Nov 16, 2006
  1. I want to update my video card from what I have now which is I think only a 4x agp card. I was looking at prices and alot of the 256mb/8x agp cards are more expensive than the 512mb/8x agp cards? Why is this? Is having a
    512mb card not better than having a 256mb card? I do play games quite ofter so I want a good card a but I also do not want to break the bank, otherwise I would get a new mobo, processor and go pci-e. Any help on which is better and why the price differences as well as some suggetions wouild be greatfully appreciated. Thanx.
     
  2. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 403

    It's not the onboard RAM that you have to look at when choosing a new gpu, it's the core speed. A card with 256 megs of RAM can be quite faster than a card with 512. You have to look at the core speed.
    As far as upgrading from a 4X AGP card to an 8X AGP card, you have to ensure that your mobo is compatible with an 8X. Many older mobos are only 4X AGP.
     
  3. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Is core speed the same as Engine Clock Speed. <----- That is what I see listed on many cards as far as specifications go. Also a Memory Clock Speed is listed.

    As for a mobo, I'm pretty sure mine is an Intel P4PE. Ok, i got the specs on my mobo and they are as follows:

    CPU
    Socket 478 for Intel®Pentium 4/ Celeron up to 3GHz+
    On-die 512KB/256KB L2 Cache with full speed
    Intel Hyper-Threading Technology ready
    New power design supports up to 3.06GHz CPU speed and above
    Chipset
    Intel 82845PE MCH
    Intel 82801DA ICH4
    Front Side Bus
    533 / 400 MHz
    Memory
    3 x 184-pin DIMM Sockets support max. 2GB PC2700/PC2100 (FSB533) or PC2100/PC1600 (FSB400) non-ECC DDR SDRAM memory
    Expansion Slots
    1 x AGP 4X (1.5V only)
    6 x PCI
    IDE
    2 x UltraDMA 100 / 66 / 33
    Flexible Serial ATA (optional)
    Promise controller supports one ATA133 port and two Serial ATA ports
    RAID (optional)
    RAID 0 supported by single Parallel ATA with single or dual Serial ATA connections,or dual Serial ATA connections alone.
    RAID 1 supported by single Parallel ATA with single Serial ATA connection or dual Serial ATA connections alone.
    Audio
    ADI1980 6-channel CODEC
    LAN (optional)
    BroadCom 10/100 Mbps or 1000 Mbps Ethernet controller
    IEEE-1394
    VIA 1394 controller with two 1394 ports
    Special Features
    Power Loss Restart
    ASUS JumperFree
    CrashFree BIOS
    Support S/PDIF out interface (on audio model only)
    ASUS EZ Plug
    ASUS POST Reporter
    ASUS MyLogo2
    ASUS Q-Fan technology
    ASUS EZ Flash
    Multi-language BIOS
    AGP warning LED
    Overclock Feature
    CPU, Memory, and AGP voltage adjustable
    ASUS JumperFree
    C.P.R. (CPU Parameter Recall)
    SFS (Stepless Frequency Selection) from 100MHz up to 200MHz at 1MHz increments
    Adjustable FSB/DDR ratio. Fixed AGP/PCI frequencies
    Back Panel I/O Ports
    1x Parallel
    2x Serial
    1 x PS/2 Keyboard
    1 x PS/2 Mouse
    1 x RJ45 (optional)
    1 x Audio I/O (optional)
    4 x USB 2.0 / 1.1
    Internal I/O Connectors
    2 x IEEE1394 port (optional)
    1 x USB 2.0 / 1.1 connector support additional 2 USB 2.0 / 1.1 ports
    CPU / Power / Chassis FAN connectors
    20 pin ATX Power connector
    4 pin ATX 12V Power connector
    IDE LED connector, power LED connetor
    Chassis Intrusion, SM Bus, SIR
    S/PDIF out connector (optional)
    Front Audio Panel connector (optional)
    GAME / MIDI connector (optional)
    BIOS Feature
    4 Mb Flash ROM,AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.3, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash, MyLogo2, ASUS C.P.R.
    Industry Standard
    PCI 2.2, USB 2.0
    Manageability
    WfM 2.0,DMI 2.0,WOL by PME,WOR by PME, Chassis Intrusion, SM Bus
    Support CD
    Trend Micro PC-cillin 2002 anti-virus software
    ASUS PC Probe
    ASUS LiveUpdate Utility
    Drivers
    Accessories
    User's manual
    IDE cable
    FDD cable
    I/O shield
    S/PDIF out module (optional)
    2 port IEEE1394 module and 2 x IEEE1394 cable (on 1394 model only)
    2-port USB2.0 / Game port module
    InterVideo WinCinema (Gold version)
    2 x Serial ATA cable (on Serial ATA model only)
    2-connector UltraDMA cable (on Serial ATA model only)
    3-connector UltraDMA cable
    Form Factor
    ATX Form Factor 12.0" x 9.0" (30.5cm x 22.9cm)

    So now my question is: Is it worth it for me to buy a PCI video card as obviously I cannot use an 8x AGP card or should I just get a new mobo and start fresh and build a new machine??
     
  4. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Most AGP 8x cards will happily run in AGP 4x mode, so this should not be a problem. Adding a beefier 3d card could require a new PSU or case cooling though, depending on your current case and power supply.

    That being said, there are a number of lower priced AGP 3d cards to choose from in a number of brackets. As you have not shared what your budget is, nor what kinds of games/settings you wish to achieve... we have no idea what brand or model to suggest.

    I'd hit NewEgg and use their advanced search. Plug in AGP 4x/8x and your pricerange and see what tickles your fancy. I'd say some of the best bang for the buck AGP 3d cards right now are the Geforce 7600 series and Radeon X800 series.
     
  5. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I would say my price range would be no more than about $250 bucks. I'm from Canada so neweeg is of no use to me considering they do not ship to Canada. I play alot of first and third person shooter games as well as some car racing games. So would it be best to get a 8x agp card or get a 4x agp card for my situation? From what I have seen reseaching this subject is that regular pci cards are crap and I should stick with an agp card until i get a newer mobo that has pci-e? Is this correct thinking?
     
  6. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Can anybody answer my questions or give me some suggestions?
     
  7. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Hi & Welcome to Techspot!! :)

    You need to get an AGP 4X card. Take a look at TigerDirect.ca, they have good video cards, and low prices.

    If you could afford it, the top-end AGP card is the Geforce 7800GS.
     
  8. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Don't bother with a PCI card. You can run an AGP card and 4x/8x really will not have a great impact on games. The AGP bandwidth is rarely taxed to the 8x level (unless you are texturing over the AGP bus, which sucks horribly with 8x or 4x, so just get a 128mb or greater vram card to avoid period).

    With a $250 CAN budget, you can definately get a really good AGP card. I'd advice against this though as I don't recommend sinking that much into an AGP system as AGP is obsolete. It would be better saved towards upgrading to a newer AM2 or 775 socket system (AMD or Core 2) down the road and PCI-Express (do not confuse PCI with PCI-Express! PCI-Express is vastly different and a step up from AGP. Normal PCI is a large step-down from AGP).

    From what you've given, I'd say a 7600 series would be great and should fit in your budget. I'd inspect your power supply to see what brand and how many watts (you have to physically open the case and look for a sticker for this information) as well as make sure you case has good ventilation and preferrably case fans to keep it cool.
     
  9. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I will be custom building a new machine in the near future based on a Core 2 and pci-e card but I want to just update my current machine with a new agp card and some more ram. So is it worth getting an 8x agp card or should I just stick with a 4x card considering my mobo limitations?
     
  10. Harry_Beast

    Harry_Beast TS Enthusiast Posts: 70

    Hi there--Your mobo sounds very similar to mine.I am guessing your system is 3 years old or so.I went thru the same thing six months ago.I would recommend the Gef6600GT-as that is what I bought .It has dropped a lot in price!! Being Canadian,I can tell you to check Futureshop flyers,I have seen this card for under $180 (I payed $275 )It works good for Counterstrike .But--you will need a 350watt PSU minimum!!!! I scooped a 450watter at Staples for around $50 a month ago.
    That would be your cheapest option for a good card.
     
  11. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sounds like a good card. I still am looking for an answer to the question of whether I should stcik with a 4x agp card which my mobo is compatible with or is getting an 8x agp card better even though it's not compatioble with my mobo??
     
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