Upgrading video cards from AGP to PCI-E  HELP!!

By mamaindia ยท 12 replies
Jan 1, 2008
  1. Hi there,

    My current video card is a Sparkle G-Force 6600 AGP 256MB and it has thrown in the towel. I want to upgrade to a PCI-E workstation card as i will be using a lot of CAD software. I am looking at a Leadtek Quadro FX1500 PCI-e card and was wondering what modifications i will need to make to the computer. Will it just be a matter of changing to a PCI-e motherboard or will i also need to change CPU and memory etc?


    Is there a PCI-E motherboard of the same size as the existing one that i can just switch over to and transplant everything from the old one to the new one? Or will i need to purchase new CPU, memory etc??

    Thanks for your time,

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Don't worry Ron,
    all you need is a PCI-e motherboard. These mobos are exactly the same size as non-PCI-e boards. You may need to upgrade your DDR memory to DDR2. Your CPU should be ok to use
  3. mamaindia

    mamaindia TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That's great news.

    "You may need to upgrade your DDR memory to DDR2"

    Is this because PCI-e motherboards only come with DDR2 memory slots?

    I used to know a thing or two about computers many years ago, but it's all going too fast for me now :) So I don't need to worry about socket numbers or this or that when ordering a PCI-e mobo? Do i just need to specify that i want a replacement for an AGP mobo, and it should fit straight into my case?

    Thanks again.
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

  5. klipseracer

    klipseracer TS Rookie

    Not true at all. You do need to make sure your processor is the right socket for the main board you choose to use. PCI-E is just a new(better) way to connect a gfx card to your computer, similar in ways to the move from PCI to AGP many years ago.

    Just take your time and make sure you do all your research and comparing. Get your information on a mobo from more than just one place. Sometimes they aren't entirely accurate(specifically ebay listings) or complete.

    What you need to pay attention to depends on what kind of goals you have. if you want to have a very nice setup for CAD, then you might find yourself replacing the mobo, gfx and the ram. But if you want to do a minimum upgrade, you could keep your ram, and find a new mobo that supports PC3200(assuming DDR400) and then get a good card. Depending on how much your looking at spending, I have a 7800GTX 256. Which isn't blazing fast by any means, but considering how cheap it is these days its definatel a good buy in my opinion. If you can get your hands on a 512mb version even better. If money is not an issue, then just go get an 8800GTX or ultra and while your at it upgrade to a mobo that supports DDR2 as well as it is cheaper than DDR these days it seams. Also, if your going to purchase new ram, make sure its Low Density ram. Its always more expensive, but its faster than high density ram, and imo more reliable. Just like a celeron is a High end Pentium 4 reject, or how a Phenom(3 core) is a quad core reject, high density ram is the low density reject.

    EDIT: Let it be known, i'm not a hardware guy, i'm a software dev, but this is just from what i've got stored in my brain. heh. So if i'm wrong on any of these, i'll stand corrected.

    And a lot of times, the celeron for instance has a very small L2 cache, because of some reason when intel 'prints' out the chips they can't activate the uppor portion of the cache so they sell it as a celeron instead. same with the phenom, they can't get all 4 cores working, so they sell it as a 3 core. hopefully this is useful informtation to someone
  6. mamaindia

    mamaindia TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cheers for that.

    The main goal i am trying to achieve is to run CAD software and other 3D rendering programs a lot more easily. I find that my current card cannot cope with the rendering loads from ArchiCAD and 3DsMax software.

    So i guess what i am after is a new suitable motherboard that can accept a socket 478 3.2GHz P4 CPU (Prescott), a new Leadtek Quadro FX1500 PCI-e graphics card (or equivalent), and my current 2GB of PC3200 400MHz DDR SDRAM. If this is not possible due to memory or CPU problems, then what can i do?
    Any suggestions would be super! :)
    Sorry for all the questions, and thank you again.

  7. sillygirl85

    sillygirl85 TS Rookie

    helpful! thank you!
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    didn't you see the expample of a board for your PCI-e video card and using your original socket 478 Pentium 4? Many of these PCI-e graphics boards use DDR2 or DDR3 memory now
  9. mamaindia

    mamaindia TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes i checked out that board you suggested. i was just wondering if it can be mounted in my case that's all. Cos it looks like it is a fair bit smaller than my motherboard. Other than that (and i'm sure it's no problem) it looks like a good match. Thanks for that!

  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I'm sure it will fit with no problems. Are you located in the USA? Newegg only ships inside the USA
  11. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I for one do not know any motherboards offering PCI-e slots & a 478 pin socket so I believe you'll have to change at least the motherboard & the CPU, you could look for a board such as the ASRock 775Dual-VSTA which would allow you to have to change the CPU only & keep your current ram.

    It has an AGP & a PCI-e slot so you're free to chose which is better for you.
  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    "I for one do not know any motherboards offering PCI-e slots & a 478 pin socket"...

    There are a few socket 478 PCI-e graphics boards out there. Check this link
  13. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I stand corrected. :p
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