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Adding a Radeon video card question

By Cballero ยท 4 replies
Feb 19, 2005
  1. I saw a D815EEA post recently on this forum section made by TANSOCAL and I knew from the answers I saw I could get some great advice and suggestions on video cards and RAM upgrades for my PC.

    Here's my problem: I can't run more than 2-3 apps w/out low memory freezes and slowdowns. My PC needs are not high-end (for now), so I figure upgrading my RAM and video may help. I need a stable system for some web design and work projects where I'll be running Adobe, Macromedia and Office software. I have tweaked my system for better PC (RAM/startup managers, etc.) and DSL (3Mbps) performance and updated all my OS/HW drivers.

    Here's what I got:

    - An Intel D815EEA mobo w/a PIII 933MHz and PC100 3CL 128SDRAM chip
    - 4x AGP slot - the video is integrated Intel 82815 graphic controller
    - Latest Windows 98SE and hardware drivers and DirectX 9.0c
    - Audio (SoundMAX 3D Sensaura) and LAN are also integrated
    - 30GB ATA Primary Fat32 and 60GB ATA slave (routinely fragmented)
    - 15" Elements Cyclone 7A monitor mainly run @ 1024x 16-bit resolution

    The motherboard will only recognize 512RAM (@ max 133MHz speed). One website I found offers a $58 256MB PC133 2CL SDRAM chip, a $55 AGP Radeon 128MB 9200SE. I also found a $30 64MB Radeon 9200SE.

    My budget's awful right now, so all I can think of is getting one of those cheap x8 AGP Radeons and a 256 CL2 133MHz RAM chip until I can get a whole new system. The RAM and card should be under or around $100.

    Any suggestions? TIA
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +6

    You don't need a new video card for the things you described here. A powerful video card is only useful to you if you play demanding games or work with some big CAD projects.
  3. Cballero

    Cballero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Nodsu.

    I thought that I may need even the 64 Radeon card when I edit images and graphics in Photoshop and Imageready, create Flash animations and interfaces in Flash and Swish, scan in 20-50 page faxes, rearrange pages as Tiff images into Acrobat, Mac emulation with Basillisk II to run my older Mac apps, and even do some light gaming, occassional video editing/watching and playing around with 3D software like Blender (I don't expect it to be a 3D video production powerhouse, of course).

    I mean, when I try to run say 5 or more applications, or play any Windows Media video files, everything comes to a screeching halt and I end up rebooting most of the time.

    A video card will not perform a little better than the he built-in graphics? Just 512MB RAM then, and maybe a $15 or less 4MB GPA video memory module,that's all?
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +6

    All those things you do depend mainly on the CPU and RAM. From the looks of it, your issues may not be in the lack of hardware power but with Windows itself.
  5. Cballero

    Cballero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Nodsu. You may be right. I haven't reinstalled Windows since I started using this PC (in part because I don't have my Windows OS installer anymore). And since I don't have a spare PC, I've been reluctant to do something so major.

    I'm running FreeRAM XP Pro and Autoruns to check my RAM usage, free-up RAM and keep my taskbar and hidden processes down. I use checkdisk and defrag every 2-3 weeks. I also run Kerio 2.1.5 firewall, Spybot, Ad-Aware, AVG free and other spyware inhibitors to prevent and remove any malwares. All my performance tweaks have produced good results and the crashes have not increased after tuning. My system only slows down and eventually goes haywire when it goes past the memory low indicator (thanks to FreeRAM Pro's reporting it to me).

    Maybe one of my processes is acting up then? I'll try to disable some of them to see if I get some of my memory back. I may have to find a way to reinstall my OS after all if that's the culprit.
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