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Upgrading: Graphics card, compatability?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by firestormer, Oct 18, 2006.

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  1. firestormer

    firestormer Thread Starter

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    Do i need to worry about compatability when looking to buy a graphics card for my PC?
    or is it a one size fits all thing?
     
  2. MysticEyes

    MysticEyes Banned

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    On size does not fit all.
     
  3. Jones

    Jones

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    Here's a bit more info:

    There are three types of video cards, and they are not compatible in each other's slots.

    First: PCI

    Old technology, and also the slowest. PCI cards are going the way of the dinosaur because of this. Poor gaming performance on newer games, and hard to find a decent one.

    Second: AGP

    Second-generation graphics slot. Pretty fast, and very popular. However, declining in availability due to the surge of PCI-E cards. Newer motherboards won't have an AGP slot anymore, but middle-aged boards (like socket 478 Pentium boards) will have this slot type, making them a good alternative for budget gamers who can't afford an entirely new system.

    Third: PCI-Express

    The latest and greatest. Twice the speed of AGP, and the only card that will work in new motherboards. PCI-E cards are coming down in price, and performance is going up, so if you're building a new system, this is the only way to go.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. firestormer

    firestormer Thread Starter

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    Right i have a spare AGP slot so i want use it. What specs to i need to look at and compare between my PC and any potential graphics cards?
     
  5. Jones

    Jones

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    You need to know if it's a 1x AGP, 4x AGP, or 8x AGP. You should be able to find this out by going to the mfg's website, but it's likely you have an 8x slot if it's less than 3 years old.

    Other than that, the only other thing you might need is a spare power connector from your power supply (depending on what card you buy). Some require additional power than what the slot can deliver on its own.
     
  6. firestormer

    firestormer Thread Starter

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    Well according to lavey's everest ive got all that:

    Code:
    Integrated Graphics Controller	
    Graphics Controller Type	SiS 330 Mirage
    Graphics Controller Status	Enabled
    Graphics Frame Buffer Size	64 MB
    	
    AGP Controller	
    AGP Version	3.05
    AGP Status	Enabled
    AGP Device	SiS 330 Mirage Integrated
    AGP Aperture Size	64 MB
    Supported AGP Speeds	1x, 2x, 4x, 8x
    Current AGP Speed	8x
    Fast-Write	Supported, Disabled
    Side Band Addressing	Supported, Enabled
    	
    Is there anythig else i should think about?

    Thanks Guys
     
  7. Jones

    Jones

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    There's lots to think about now.

    How much do you have to spend?
    What games are you planning on playing?
    Do you have a high-quality Power Supply?

    These are all things to consider. Especially the PSU, since high-end video cards can draw alot of power, and a cheap PSU can cause all kinds of stability problems.
     
  8. firestormer

    firestormer Thread Starter

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    Ok tell me more about the PSU and what i need to look at and compare
     
  9. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    These days psu should be brand name such as Antec, Enermax, Sparkle or Thermaltake and probably minimum 350 watts.
     
  10. firestormer

    firestormer Thread Starter

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    OK thanks thatll do nicely.
     
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