Need Help Choosing a video card

By Tweak420 ยท 22 replies
Dec 26, 2004
  1. I have a Fic AZ11EA pcb 1.0 m/b (AGP 2X/4X), and was wondering what the newest or best compatable video card would be? A year or so back I purchased a GeForce2 Ti that I found was compleatly incompatable and has been collecting dust. I have the compatability chart FIC has on their site but the newest card it showed compatable was the original GeForce3, So I assume this chart is fairly outdated. So Since I purchased the last card I have feared any newer card would also be incompatable. Also I am still curious why the GeForce2 Ti wouldn't work...please help and thanks in advance
  2. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    I want to try and get a 128MB card, at least 64MB, DDR all the better, and anything I think is better than the slowly failing 16MB DDR all-in-wonder I got. Would Be nice to also have regular vid out and s-video out. Mainly used for gaming and applications like Maya and Bryce.
  3. Nick 2k4

    Nick 2k4 TS Rookie Posts: 17

    how much are you willing to spend??
  4. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    around $100, but I have tried a GeForce4 MX 420 too and thats not compatible either so I don't think a compatible card will cost anymore than that according to pricewatch.
  5. Ea$Y

    Ea$Y TS Rookie Posts: 60


    If you are playin games or just surfin the net.
    that will be a direct reflection on the type of card you choose.
    dont buy the best cause ppl say it is. older nvidia and ati cards worth 100$ are as good as the newest ones worth 500$ - benchmarks of course do not reflect this. but you need to consider price to performance ratio. the 500 dollar cards are very pretty and marketed beautifully :p but the older cards 2 yrs or so are 350$ + cheaper. the benchmarks may tell you the performance gains are 25 % better then a 2 yr old card - but is it worth 300+ more bucks for 25% more performance? I guess it depends on the thickness of your wallet lol. Personally mine is almost transparent lol.
  6. shadow_29

    shadow_29 TS Rookie Posts: 211

    i would suggest that you dont consider anything below 64 mb ram.if you decide to wait for awhile you can get a flashy geforce 6200 but thats altleast a month or 2 away.right now in order to fit you budget i would advise you to decide on an ati radeon 9600 pro 128/256 mb or if your an nvidia fan boy than a geforce fx5200.any thing less than this would be an outrage, they will play any new game on the market and serve you well under maya or bryce(check about compatibility......i have no idea about its requirements).but an ati radeon 9600 pro is still a very respectable card for budget performance area.if you decide to go higher by any chance you might be able to find a geforce 6600 gt/non-gt version for a little more but almost double the performance in games with a lot of connectors on the back.

    post any more questions that you have

    good luck
  7. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    once again the my main question is what would be compatible since I have tried upgrading a few times and seems like most of the newer cards wont work with my m/b. My wallet probably looks close to Ea$y's so I don't wanna waste any more money on buying useless cards that will sit and collect dust because I can't return them after finding they wont work. Would the fx5200 or 9600 pro be compatible.
  8. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    Tweak420, I keep reading this thread and trying to think of a way to help, but you only say that certain cards are not compatable. Are you just looking at the list of compatable cards from your manufacturer? I looked at that list, and it's pretty old.

    As far as I know, and someone jump in here if I'm wrong, you probably have an AGP 2.0 slot for 2X,4X AGP at 1.5 volts. So I think any of the newer AGP, note AGP, cards should work, depending on other things, such as a large enough power supply. I have a 4X AGP 2.0 slot and a brand new BFG 6800GT OC and it works just fine. To back up what I said, here's a quote from nVidia.

    And I also wouldn't buy anthing less than a 128 MB card. Most all of the newer games are ever more demanding, and you need at least that much, as long as you can afford it.

    As far as an earlier statement about a older $100 card being as good as a new $500 card, that's just not so. The improvements in graphics cards in the last two years has gone by leaps and bounds. Is this $500 card 25% better? No, it's probably more like 50% or more. Even the lower end cards in the new lines are a whole lot better.

    The two cards you mention in your last post are probably pretty good choices. But if you could afford just a little bit more, your choices open up a lot more.
  9. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    That probably is the same compatibility chart I was looking at and yes it looks really old thats why im so unsure of it. My AGP is 2X/4X, no idea what voltage. But if it was 1.5 volts your saying almost any new card should work? what do you think the reason would be that the older GF2 Ti doesn't work. When you buy the cards does it usually show on the box or sumthing what voltage agp slot it needs so i could check before opening?
  10. Ea$Y

    Ea$Y TS Rookie Posts: 60

    Its the age old debate over who has the bigger unit :D
    Cost v.s performance.

    Yes Oldfart is right a 100$ card is definatly inferior to a 500$ card.
    128 meg is the standard on todays vid cards as well.

    However if you can play a Fps game and get 80-100 frames/second- this is good ..yes? How much are you willing to spend to achive this? I have a Radeon 9700 in my gaming rig. I play soldier of fortune 2. Among others.
    I can crank the AA and AF so everything is rendered beautifully - in the game i can adjust the quality fx settings such as blood -gore -shell ejection make it more or less visual appealing. At the cost of my gpu working hard. But thats what i bought it for. On the flip side.
    The human eye can only see at 30 or so frames a second anyway so who cares who many frames we get from a 200$ card or a 700$ card.
    I have a Radeon X800- magnificent card. Renders everything so pretty. :p
    When i loaded Soldier of fortune on it i cranked the AA/AF and jacked all the details up to maximum. I never noticed any difference from the 3 year old radeon to the brand new cutting edge radeon. I have felt the need to justify 400$ more on a card that outperforms it predecessors by a small % difference. We all do lol.

    Real world Bench and synthetic Marks - should never be a direct reflection on a users decision to buy these massive voltage heat exhausting monsters. In addition to both nvidia and ati "altering driver software" notably the most recent jaw dropper - Futuremarks allegation against nvidia for driver optimization. So where does this leave the consumer - how and with whom do we decide to spend our hard earned money.?

    If you can play a game with your 150$ card - run it at 80 fps and rendering/gameplay is nice - no artifacting- beautiful. you just saved yourself 350 bucks. Granted the newer cards are a % mark better no matter if its 25 or 50 % ...peanuts. Is it worth the cost for this performance boost that you wouldnt prob never notice - especially from a direct X 8 rated game. Most of these games are getting older and are run on older engines. Not until DX9 games will u begin to notice a diff in game quality, Doom 3 can be played on a 3 year old ATI Radeon at 8X600 res. -and still get 60 fps or so. This card is 3 years old.!
    A new Radeon/Nvidia Card which costs astronomically more will let you play the game more to its potential. Yes. But- back to the point Cost. v.s Performance....

    If you are using an 8x slot has a bandwidth of about 2.2GB/s. 4x has somewhere around half that. AGP 8x slots can utilize 8x gpu optimizations and the higher bandwidth and mathematical calulations per second. 4x slots cannot period. A geforce 6800 GT cannot use a 4X agp slot to its fullest potential. not even close. It would be like dropping a Hemi Cuda engine in a K- Car or Chevette. This is Massive bottlenecking at its finest.
    I saw a little bit- (little bit) of an increase in my video cards performance when i got my new motherboard., but that could be from a faster chip I dropped in there..

    You will find that everybody has an opinion when it comes to hardware/software in todays rapidly changing enviornment. Just like anything else go with what you and your budget are comfterable with. There is no right and wrong- just dollars and Sense :p
  11. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Well I could play Doom 3 with everything at lowest setting if it wern't for my card failing. It has verticle lines going through the screen and various parts also flash in bios and while loading windows. Once windows boots it all looks fine but card friezrs every so ofter while playin games. With Doom 3 though I get really bad tearing. I'm not looking for a top of the line card here though. I just want a card that can run most newer games that are out now. I don't care bout what it will run a year or two down the line by then I will have a new m/b so I will have much more compatability with future technologys. All I need is help finding a card that is gaurentied to work with my m/b and will run games like FFXI, Doom3, and Dungeon Siege 2(when its released if soon) at a decent quality.
  12. Ea$Y

    Ea$Y TS Rookie Posts: 60

    Hey again

    Is it in your budget to maybe upgrade to a newer board ?
    what cpu do u have?
    Because maybe you can find a newer better board to accomodate your cpu and this will open a few doors for you in terms of hardware expansion?
    The board is pretty much the basis of a system.
    Let me know your hardware config and I'l do a bit of research fer u
  13. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Although my board is outdated by a few years I still have never put it to its limits. Its a FIC AZ11EA, am using a AMD Thunderbird 1 Gig cpu and only 512MB SDram. If I had the money to buy a new board, I would in a heartbeat, but as you now see if I replaced it I would also have to upgrade my ram, along with the video card I'm looking for now. Throw in a power supply and some drives and I'd have a new computer, not what I wanna do right now. But if you would wanna help me do a bit more research on the board I currently have to find a half decent video card (better then the failing ATI 16MB DDR All-On-Wonder I have) that will work with it, id be extreamly grateful. If you are going to take time and help me with this, keep in mind that the board wouldn't work with a Geforce2 Ti and not positive but I think I also tried a Geforce4 mx420 out of a buddys pc. If you can find any links related to my problem please post as I would like to know what is keeping me from being able to run the cards I have tried.
  14. Ea$Y

    Ea$Y TS Rookie Posts: 60

    Roger tweak..

    Il let you know what i find out - lil busy these days lol..
    have faith we will find a way lol
  15. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thanks Ea$y...I was just lookin around and found that sometimes the chipset can efect compatability. Not too sure if its the north bridge or south bridge though, my educated guess would be the north bridge, but just so you don't have to look in to it too much mine are:
    North Bridge - KT133A
    South Bridge - VIA 686B
  16. Ea$Y

    Ea$Y TS Rookie Posts: 60

  17. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    yeah, thats the one but just so you know its pcb 1.0 not 1.1 or whatever it is.
  18. ezdriver

    ezdriver TS Rookie

    With a VIA motherboard and the incompatibility problems you say you are experiencing, it sounds to me that you need to update your mobo VIA 4-in-1 chipset drivers. That can make a world of difference when trying to upgrade to a newer generation graphics card. You can get them at the Viatech website. Good luck with your problem.

  19. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Nope...I'm know for a fact that it's not my drivers that are causing the issue. If it were drivers the computer would at least get past the post tests....when I have tried those other two cards I didn't hear any post tests and it would boot windows at all. Thanks for trying though, but I have updated anything possible: Via drivers, various videocard drivers, and bios. If I forgot anything I'm sure I have already done it, just can't remembrer them all cause I just woke up.
    Does anyone know If all the voltage is always the same with AGP 2.0? or can it differ from board to board. Cause the GeForce2 Ti I have that doesn't seem to work is a 2x/4x card so it should work. Anyone one know the difference in the GPU between the GeForce2 Ti and Geforce2 GTS, cause the GTS is on the compatability chart but the Ti isn't.
  20. Ea$Y

    Ea$Y TS Rookie Posts: 60

  21. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    It's got some info on the ti card I got but nothin on the GTS that I can see gotta run somewhere though so I'll look into it a bit more again when I get back.
  22. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    still haven't found a fix for my problem and still looking for a clue of what card will be compatible. Just posting to bring this back to the top of the board. Any help would be appreciated.
  23. Tweak420

    Tweak420 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    could someome point me towards a forum where people may be more knowledgeable about this sort of problem. Thought I was getting some help here but its been awhile since I've gotten any responses. I have one last question for you guys though, kinda stuped to ask but im getting desperate to have some sort of work around for temporary. Would a 256MB PCI card work better than this 16MB DDR All-in-wonder AGP card I have thats failing? And if so, there arn't any differances between PCI slots are there? and no im not talking bout PCI-E. I just dont wanna run into another compatability problem with using newer video cards on legacey(old) hardware(M/B).
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