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Advise on upgrading video card in older system

Discussion in 'Games' started by SonomaDave, Dec 12, 2006.

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  1. SonomaDave

    SonomaDave Thread Starter

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    Would like to upgrade the video card in a Gateway system I bought back in 2001. The system came with Win ME, a 1.3ghz Pentium 4 chip, Intel Monterrey Motherboard, 256mb of RAM, 20gb HD, 250 watt PS, Sound Blaster Live Value Sound Card and a 32MB NVIDIA GeForce2 MX AGP Video Card.

    I've since upgraded the OS to Win XP, bumped the RAM to 512mb, and replaced the tiny 20gb 4500rpm HD with a Seagate 300gb 7200rpm drive. I tried to upgrade the PS but found out it's a Proprietary type so I guess I'm screwed there.

    I'm not heavy into gaming, the boys and I play Half-Life, MechWarrior, and some other older games but the current NVIDIA card just doesn't seem to hack it as we get slowdowns and freeze-ups in parts of some games.

    My question is, would this video card be a decent, low-budget upgrade that would greatly improve our gaming experience? Would it integrate and work with my ancient six year old system? Any knowledgeable advice would be welcomed.
     
  2. SonomaDave

    SonomaDave Thread Starter

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    Doh! - here's the link to the video card I was looking at - video card

    Here are the specs for my board off of Gateway's website if that helps anyone to help me.



    Feature Specification
    General
    Form Factor ATX (12.0×9.6 inches)
    Processor 423-pin zero insertion force (ZIF) socket supports the following:
    Intel® Pentium® 4 processor
    400 MHz system data bus

    Memory Two Direct-RDRAM channels with two RIMMs per channel (four RIMM sockets)
    Support for up to 2 GB of system memory using PC600 or PC800 RDRAM

    Chipset Intel® 850 Chipset consisting of:
    Intel 82850 Memory Controller Hub (MCH)
    Intel 82801BA I/O Controller Hub (ICH2)
    Intel 82802AB 4 Mbit Firmware Hub (FWH)

    I/O Control SMSC LPC47M102 LPC bus I/O controller
    Video AGP connector supporting 1.5 V 4X AGP cards
    USB Ports Version 1.1
    Peripheral Interfaces Four Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports
    One serial port
    One parallel port
    Two IDE interfaces with Ultra DMA, ATA-33/66/100 support
    One disk drive interface
    PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports

    Expansion Capabilities Five PCI bus add-in card connectors (SMBus routed to PCI bus connector 2)
    BIOS Intel/AMI BIOS (resident in the Intel 82802AB 4 Mbit FWH)
    Support for Advanced Power Management (APM), Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), Plug and Play, and SMBIOS

    Instantly Available PC Support for PCI Local Bus Specification Revision 2.2
    Suspend to RAM support
    Wake on PCI, CNR, RS-232, front panel, PS/2 keyboard, and USB ports

    Hardware Monitoring features Two fan sense inputs used to monitor fan activity
    Enhanced thermal monitor and fan control device Two additional fan sense inputs
    Two additional thermal sense inputs

    Power Consumption
    Mode:

    Windows® Me APM full on
    Windows Me APM suspend
    Windows Me APCI S0
    Windows Me APCI S1
    Windows Me APCI S3
    AC power:

    88.6 W
    54.3 W
    57.6 W
    54.1 W
    4.1 W

    Reliability
    Mean time between failures (MTBF) 104,770 hours at 55°C (131°F)
    Environmental
    Temperature Non-Operating: -40°C to 70°C (-40°F to 158°F)
    Operating: 0°C to 55°C (32°F to 131°F)
    Regulations
    Safety UL 1950/CSA950
    EMC FCC Class B/ICES-003 Class B
     
  3. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    If you can go for the AGP version instead. The AGP slot is dedicated for video.
     
  4. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    AGP version of the card you wanted, same price... but I think it may not work, since that is an 8X card and your board only supports 4X.

    "Video AGP connector supporting 1.5 V 4X AGP cards"
     
  5. Jones

    Jones

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    You can put 8x cards in 4x slots, as the voltage is typically the same, they will just function at the slower speed. Still way better than a plain old PCI card.
     
  6. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    I was under the assumption that it will need so say it (video card) supported the 4X
     
  7. Jones

    Jones

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  8. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    Only thing in that link is:

    Rule #1: Speeds are backwards compatible
    AGP Speeds are required to be backwards compatible. This means that an 8X video card MUST be able to run at 4x, 2x, or 1x speeds. However, this does NOT necessarily mean that your 8X card will run on a 4x slot.

    :D but that's what I thought. I'm sure the cards I have purchased before has on the box 4X and 8X :)
     
  9. Jones

    Jones

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    We've all learned something today! :D
     
  10. Jones

    Jones

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    I didn't realize about the whole 1.5 vs 0.8 voltage compatibility issue. Turns out you really have to be careful when putting an 8x card into a 4x board. Good to know, eh?
     
  11. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    yeah you have to be really careful :)

    Very good to know now then is it? (welsh :D)
     
  12. Jones

    Jones

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    LOL. My CDN accent sometimes slips through, too. :D
     
  13. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    :) that's cool. I have a canadian friend who has not been fully americanized yet :) she still says ey sometimes :D (BTW, i'm english not welsh :D)

    wow... off topic already :D
     
  14. Jones

    Jones

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    Well, to go back on topic..... :D

    The board he has is 1.5v 4x AGP (which is AGP 2.0), and the specs for the card indicate an AGP 2.0 compatible board is required. Therefore, he should be okay, right?
     
  15. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    in theory. :)
     
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