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Graphic card for old PC?

By crashday ยท 24 replies
Oct 15, 2010
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  1. Hey everyone...
    i got a really old rig.
    its P4 3.07GHz, Intel D101GGCL, 1GB DDR RAM [yes DDR1, i know it sucks, you are welcome to abuse me]], Onboard ATI Radeon Xpress 200 - 256MB
    and a 250W PSU.

    The motherboard has 1 PCI Express x16 and 1 PCI Express x1 connectors.

    1] I want to purchase a graphic card that will fit inside these. Please suggest me the best without adding anything more to the PC.

    2] Will that card ADD TO MY 256MB of the onboard graphic card memory?

    3] I would prefer a 1GB card.

    4] I want to play most of the modern games... if not the extreme ones.

    PLEASE suggest me a graphic card I can add. I do not want to modify anything else.
    I need this.
  2. crashday

    crashday TS Rookie Topic Starter

    guys please help me out...
    i need to buy one soon before its out of dealers completely...
  3. justinone

    justinone TS Enthusiast Posts: 152

    with a 250w psu theres no chance in hell you'll be able to play the latest games let alone having 1 gb ram. you need to upgrade to at MINIMUM 450w psu and get at least 1 gb more if your mobo supports it. sorry to say but pentium 4 these is rather ancient. you realy should start thinking about buying yourself a brand new system which in the long run would save you money when it comes to upgrading. secondly, onboard graphics is rubbish, its only ment for simple applications let alone modern games.
  4. Appzalien

    Appzalien TS Rookie Posts: 94

    Your mobo has two memory slots which can operate in dual data rate mode (DDR). Do you have two 512mb sticks in there in dual data rate mode or just one 1gig stick in single rate mode? Its always a good idea to stick to the same brand card as your onboard graphics to avoid conflicts and possibly get some use out of the onboard chip in conjunction with the card. You might have to go into the bios before you install the card and change a setting to pci-e first rather than onboard first or you might not get any video at all if your try and plug in the new card with your monitor.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    You'd have better luck saving money for a new computer.
    As in, much better luck.
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,306   +577

    Appzalien, I believe you are confusing dual channel RAM with double data rate which is DDR.
  7. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,372   +17

    As already pointed out your system overall is rather dated. Just sticking a new GPU in it wont automatically let you play modern games with no issues especially with such an old CPU. And since you are limiting us to your 250W PSU it's unlikely we can find anything that will satisfy playing modern games reasonably. I'd personally recommend not bothering with upgrading and saving towards a new computer. If you must upgrade I'd really suggest getting a new PSU and don't worry its not hard to install. Reason being that even with today's low end cards I would not feel comfortable running them on a 250W PSU. If you provide us with a budget we might be able to give you some options. Ritwik7 might even be able to help since he's from India and I'm not sure how many of us know what's best locally for you.

    Also whatever card you get will replace your on-board and not add-on to it as in the memory. And getting a 1GB on a low-end card makes no real difference since you'll have to play on a lower resolution.
  8. crashday

    crashday TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok after a lot of research:

    i am gettina a 600W PSU too. but cant upgrade anyhting else...
    i got a single stick of 1GB DDR RAM - Transcend.
    i dont have "high end gaming" requirements... but the best i could get in the condig i got.
    now the only cards that seems to be apt for my config are:

    Nvidia Geforce 9500GT
    ATI Radeon HD4350

    My onboard card is ATI Radeon Xpress200
    so do you guys suggest that i should go ahead with the HD4350???

    the memory clock for 9500GT is higher... and suggested by everyone i asked.
    but should i stick to ATI Radeon?
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    I wouldn't go any lower than a HD4670, as your just be wasting money on something that frankly isn't any good for any gaming otherwise. My HD4670 is showing it's age now when trying to play the latest games, and its important to remember that the bar is continually being lifted in regards to new releases and graphics performance expectations of these new games.

    I would hold out on the graphics card for a couple of months, and wait for the HD6000 series to be released, and the prices to lower and settle first. Then you should be able to get a low end HD5000 series for good money, which will be much better than a HD4000 series card.

    Remember also, that any PSU and graphics card you purchase will fit in your next computer. So your not wasting money, your investing for future use. With that in mind, you want the best your budget can provide, and given your spec you would be well to wait a tad longer if it means you can spend more money.

    A good 600w PSU will happily power pretty much any (single) graphics card you could care to fit, as well as powering the latest motherboards, cpu's and devices. I currently have a 350w Dell (Lite-on manufactured) PSU currently running my quad core pc, with my HD4670, and both the CPU and GPU are overclocked as well. It definitely needs upgrading, but for a cheap (OEM) PSU its still doing it's job - So using a 600w PSU should give you an idea of how much power it provides.
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    600w isn't necessary, an antec earthwatts 380 would be best and most reliable.
    IMO 4670 > 9500gt.
  11. crashday

    crashday TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well i will be getting a completely new system in a year...
    so i need something just till then...

    and all my dealers say DDR3 wont be as helpful as pointed out by many people online too that my config wont let it utilize all its potential at all...

    so am getting either HD4350 or 9500GT.
    am purchasiing it in this week itself...

    now you guys said i should stick to ATI radeon... should i lose out on the 9500GT?

    and whatever card i get, do i have to "disable my onboard card first" ??? do some BIOS settings?
    wont the CD install the card and do it for me?
  12. matchu

    matchu TS Enthusiast Posts: 100

    If you're getting a new system in a year, why don't you just wait til then and get a really better PC? Combine your budget fort his upgrade with your budget for a new system?

    Your computer uses DDR ram. DDR3 ram won't even fit into it.

    The HD4350 definitely not.

    If my impression is correct, the 9500GT might do okay for now, but it's already pretty old. It will probably have trouble playing a lot of "modern games" (just read what Leeky said. the 4670 is not too different from the 9500GT, and then 4670 is already not working too well).

    Anyway, why don't you wait?
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,330   +3,573

    The 9500 GT is a pig. I say this in the nicest possible way, since I own one, AND it's a GDDR-3 model. Something as simple as a GT240 will blow it out of the water.
    The "Egg" has sold out of this particular GT240; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133306&cm_re=gt-240-_-14-133-306-_-Product So I guess it was a fairly good deal @ 80 bucks W $20,00 MIR (Which BTW, EVGA will actually pay)! The 240's memory bandwidth is better than a 9600GT, but not as good as a 9800GT. It would use less power, with a bunch more oomph that a 9500.

    If you follow Newegg's sales, I have seen issues of this card as low as 65 dollars, with a MIR on top of that. Still, this is far from the hard core gamer's card of choice.
  14. crashday

    crashday TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i am getting it just for Rs. 3000 [$60] !!!
    so am not waiting for a year just for that much...

    by DDR3... i meant DDR3 graphic cards...
  15. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    I'd tell you to wait for a bit, or just buy a decent card+powersupply that you can transfer into your new system later.
  16. crashday

    crashday TS Rookie Topic Starter

    also what do you guys say about a GT220???
    the only concern i have is that that card is DDR3, and dealers say my config wont run more than DDR2 cards.

    what do you guys thuink?
  17. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    That's not true, either way, you still don't want a GT220 because they're weak.
  18. crashday

    crashday TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ^-next year i mostly might be getting a laptop... WHICH I HATE FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.
    but its gonna be for college... so cant help it...
    and so new card wont apply...
    so i need a card for a year..
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,330   +3,573

    I didn't think that the memory (DDR2, 3, 0r for that matter GDDR-5) , of the video card had any bearing on whatever it was installed in. I could be wrong, somebody want to back me up on this?

    To answer one of you original questions, once a video card is install, the RAM now being used by the onboard video, should be returned to the system, and your video RAM will be that carried on the card. Older, lower line cards, sometimes carried only perhaps 128MB of their own RAM, then used system RAM to make up the rest of their claimed capacity. This is certainly NOT true of the 9500GT (or newer) card. All of its stated RAM is onboard the card itself, and that's why I say that it doesn't mater what number DDR is carried in the card, because it never comes into contact with the system RAM. Does that help?
  20. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    My understanding of it was the only compatibility issue would be whether the PSU could handle the GPU's load more than anything.

    That said, on older hardware it'll never run right anyway, so maybe it could be a memory bandwidth issue on older motherboards.

    I've never really known for sure what exactly causes a top end GPU to slow down on older/legacy hardware, even with PCI express x16 and a PSU man enough to handle it.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,330   +3,573

    Leeky, see my edited post above.

    And with all that said, modern CPUs have a ton more throughput than an old Pent 4. So, as much as CPU gets pooh poohed away in most discussions of gaming, (I think we've been spoiled ever since the C2D E6300), this older hardware probably can't present enough information to a high end graphics card to saturate the input
  22. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    Thanks Captain.

    It kind of confirms what I thought to begin with, but it still doesn't really explain why older hardware struggles to see the benefits of newer top of the line cards.

    I mean I know they don't work as intended, but why is a mystery to me.

    If anything, a new card in older hardware should help it out. It won't be robbing the older hardware of its valuable RAM for a start. Its on-board RAM would also be considerably faster as well.

    Is it just a simple case of bandwidth (or lack there of) on the motherboard causing the GPU to run slower than intended?
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,330   +3,573

    As to modern video cards running iwith older CPUs
    We discussed this at some length a while ago. Multi-threaded software can actually bottleneck an older, single thread CPU. (I think the stack gets clogged, but that's my simplistic understanding of it). It may be a chicken of the egg question, as to why the card seems to "slow down".

    This, plus the memory bandwidth of DDR is wretched, compared with what we've gotten spoiled with today.
  24. fiftythebe

    fiftythebe TS Rookie

    trust me Buddie! you are going to spend a lil' more when upgrading than going for a new system that has everything you want.
  25. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    Is that a "0" or an o?

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