Ah, little help with getting a new graphic board?

By Investors ยท 26 replies
Jan 16, 2003
  1. I am trying to upgrade my aging ATI RAGE 128 VR AGP. This thing really is a dinosaur.

    I am currently looking for a graphic board with a 64 MB video memory and that allows me to use my TV to play games and watch movies. I am looking for a cost range $150 or less.

    What graphic boards should I consider? Do you guys have any suggestions? Below I listed some of the specs. of my system:

    Window XP Professional 2002

    Intel Petium III Processor with 450MHz and 320 MB RAM

    My system device says I have a PCI bus. Then why the hell my display adapter says I have a AGP? (ATI Rage 128 VR AGP?)

    Monitor: Gateway EV 700

    Please let me know if you have any ideas. Thanks for your time. God bless.
  2. Investors

    Investors TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    PCI Vs AGP

    Does it matter whether I have a PCI or a AGP interface when considering what graphic board to purchase? If it fits, it shouldn't matter. Right?
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    AGP cards appear to have more of a future than PCI cards, not to mention newer motherboards (aside from the major computer manufacturers such as Compaq, HP, Dell even?, ect) nearly all have AGP slots. If you are looking for an entry level card such as a GF4MX then you can get PCI, but for anything better (heard something abotu ati making a good pci one sometime ago) you are limited to AGP.
    Basically you will find much more selection with AGP.

    What is your system like? And what type of things are you wanting to do with your card? Newer games?
  4. Investors

    Investors TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    SNGX1275, Thanks. You seem like a guy who really know about the Hardwares.

    My system is described under my previous inquiry, "ah Little help getting a new graphic board?"

    Thanks man.
  5. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Your computer has both PCI and AGP buses. if you dont want to spend more than 150.00 I would suggest G4 Ti4200 which can be found for less then 130.00 online at places like newegg.com
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Yeh sorry, I just noticed your second post. Based on that if you are planning on keeping your current setup identical aside from your video card I'd recommend something real cheap like a GF2TI, but if you want to upgrade everything at some time in the future I'd recommend what iss did in that other thread somethign along the lines of a GeForce 4 TI4200.
    Your system will be the bottleneck with that TI4200 and things may not be much better with that than the GF2TI, but the TI4200 will be a HUGE improvement over the GF2TI if you upgrade your motherboard and processor later.
  7. Investors

    Investors TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Do I really have two buses, PCI and AGP?

    Sorry if I am being an ignorant comp. Geek wanna be.
  8. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    what is the motherboard you have? if you dont know download belarc advisor and install it. belarc will tell you exactly what motherboard you have.


    after installing belarc run it. it will pop up your internet browser look to the right side of the info listed under "main circuit board"

    the first item listed there is "board" it will tell the manufacturer and the model number. like this: Board: Intel Corporation D850EMV2 AAA87951-402
  9. Investors

    Investors TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    which G4 Ti4200?
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    You could also take the case off your computer and look at your motherboard, the PCI slots will be white in color, the AGP most likely brown and it will be larger. If you don't have a slot thats larger than those white ones and above them then you do not have an AGP slot. ISA slots are larger than PCI but generally located physically below the PCI slots and are generally colored black. ISA is older technology and you should be able to physically tell ISA from AGP aside from color because the ISA will have very crude looking gold colored connectors in its center - somewhere around 1mm in size I'd guess.

    I'm sure somewhere online you can find pictures of what ISA, PCI, and AGP all look like incase my description wasnt' good enough.
  11. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Yeah you have an AGP slot as stated in the other post that you plan to upgrade your old ATI AGP card. You do have PCI slots as they are rather standard, but the now is that whether you have any free PCI slot.
  12. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

  13. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Open the computer case and check you have an AGP slot before you buy anything. Some of the ATI onboard graphics used AGP systems which were built into the motherboard but had no slot for any additional AGP card to be connected.

    To be sure you have an AGP slot check that you have a slot slightly different in configuration just above your PCI slots.

    For instance on this Gigabyte board the AGP slot is the green one, but on a lot of more standard coloured boards its brown while the PCI are all white.


    Also is your machine a gateway PC? If so you might be best off contacting Gateway or checking their site to find out what cards that it will support. If it has an AGP port it might support AGP 2.0 or older only. Another concern when upgrading Video cards from something quite low power is that the power supply is big enough to supply enough power for the card and the rest of the system. If this is not the case then it can lead to system instabilities. I had a GA-7IXE4 card and no matter what I did I could not get a GF3 to work with it. So just make sure that your computer can operate with something as power hungry as a GF4 card.
  14. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Heh in this thread the options for ~$150 video cards are explained at length. Get the Radeon 9500 Pro if you have AGP. It will last you alot longer...

    If it's a "ATI Rage 128 VR AGP" than you do have an AGP slot, but to make sure open up your case and do what Arris said.
  15. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    a computer has many busses, however AGP runs at the same speed at the front side bus and PCI is only a factor of the front side bus (think its only good to about 33 MHz, actually...) So an AGP card should perform better...

    as several have noted, your bottleneck will be your cpu which is getting a little tired out, but a new graphics card could give that rig a lease of life until you go for a new moterboard and chip or even a completely new machine.

    what sort of amount of money were you thinking on spending??
  16. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    For a Pentium III 450MHz, you could aim much lower than a Geforce4 MX and still be limited by your processor.

    I just want you to know that upgrading your video card will not fix all (or many) of your performance problems for newer games. You will be able to enjoy better image quality and higher resolutions, however.

    My advice - Don't spend a lot of extra money for something that is awesome - Because you won't be able to take advantage of it with your current setup. If you plan on upgrading that CPU soon, then perhaps getting a high end video card is worthwhile since you'll be able to stick that in a new system.

    I'm not saying don't get the Geforce 4MX... But if you find something like a Radeon or Geforce3 MX for cheaper - Then it is a wiser buy.

    PCI vs AGP is not a big deal so you should factor that out. Make sure that you computer supports turning off your onboard graphics (if you have one) or has an AGP slot.
  17. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Yeh like I said, getting a GeForce 2 Ti would be a big improvement and would be much cheaper than a GF3 or GF4 of any variety.
  18. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    No such thing.

    He already mentioned that in his first post - "I am looking for a cost range $150 or less."
  19. mrslippyfist

    mrslippyfist TS Rookie Posts: 50

    I had a ATI Rage 128 VR AGP in my old k6/2, there was no AGP slot, on mine, just onboard, i'd have thought it'd be the same for this.
    do you think VR stand for virtual?
  20. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942


    That hasn't been true since the 66mhz FSB was no longer standard.

    The AGP bus always runs at a ratio of the front side bus, not AT the front side bus speed. 100mhz FSB runs the AGP bus at 2/3 = 66mhz, the 133mhz FSB runs the AGP bus at 3/4 = 66mhz, et cetera.
  21. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    this is very interesting....please explain this further....
  22. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Yes and no. The Ti-200 was originally meant to be called MX, but nVidia PR agents decided to call it the Ti-200.

    Either way, it's a "lesser" version and hopefully everyone gets the idea. Unfortunately, I still have a bad habit of calling the 200 a MX. I suppose it is incorrect to call it an "MX" though, because while it is slower, it is not crippled like other MX products.
  23. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    If you are referring to the AGP bus thing, it really does run at 2/3 (66/100MHz) or 1/2 (66/133MHz) of the FSB.

    I believe the AGP bus has its own multiplier though, which controls how fast the bus really is...

    AGP 1x runs 66MHz, AGP 2x 133Mhz, AGP 4x at 266MHz and 8x runs at 533MHz.. Etc...

    So I guess you could say the AGP bus is 66MHz, but uses a multiplier of 8x in current computers which raises the real-world frequency of the port.
  24. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Yes, precisely.

    However, 2x, 4x, 8x, etc, does NOT mean that the bus itself is running at 133mhz, 266mhz, etc. The agp bus itself (before 3.0 at least) always runs at 66mhz, but the data rate is an effective 66x2, 66x4, etc. The clock speed of the bus is a constant 66mhz, though. I'm not too sure about AGP 3.0, though.
  25. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I thought I was right with my earlier post about this virtual AGP. Thanks for confiriming this ;)
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