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View Full Version : Need a decent cheap video card


Cave Johnson
11-24-2005, 11:45 PM
My dad has expressed some interest in playing Call of Duty 2 (WWII aficionado) and this would of course require a system upgrade. He has a Compaq with an Athlon XP 3000, 512 of PC2700 Ram, and on-board video. Any suggestions for a PCI card that would run COD2 (and Brothers in Arms) fairly well? His expectations for resolution are pretty low, like 800x600. Would a GeForce MX4000 128Mb card be ballpark (aren't these business cards), or would a FX5200 be better? What about adding more ram?

BigRock
11-25-2005, 12:37 AM
Unless I'm confusing it with another card, the GeForce MX4000 lacks some type of pixel shading support that more and more games require these days. You'll probably want to avoid that one.

ChiefFripp
11-25-2005, 03:50 AM
Any Radeon 9600-9700 should do. Don't expect to be able to max the settings but you will atkeast be able to play.

HC_Chief
11-25-2005, 10:10 AM
You do not want a PCI card.... you want an AGP card (the mobo in your father's system is most likely AGP for graphics, not PCI-Express)

You can get a RADEON 9700 PRO at http://pricewatch.com for around $100. That card will support those games at medium resolution and settings at 1280x1024; bit better performance @ 1024x768. You could probably run those games at 800x600 with graphics cranked.

Thing to remember w/ video cards is video memory SPEED is more important than quantity. Example: a 9700 Pro has must faster VRAM than a 9700. Even though the PRO has less memory (128), it will greatly outperform the 9700 standard 256 due to faster memory refresh.

Your OS should ALWAYS have at least 1GB RAM. The greatest noticeable performance boost comes from upgrading your system from <1GB to >= 1GB.

Cave Johnson
11-25-2005, 04:29 PM
HC, I know that PCI is an inadequate port for gaming. But the description at Amazon and at other sites is that "the systemís two available PCI slots and single available PCI slot may be used for add-on audio cards, video cards, and the like." I think this means that he has a PCI slot, not AGP or PCI-E.

Big, I researched after I first posted and I think you're right that the MX 4000 isn't a good gaming choice.

AeroSquid
11-26-2005, 08:24 PM
you are severely limited by your motherboard. this is about the best pci card you can get- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102434

it would probably be worth it to upgrade to a better mobo than spend $100+ on a pci card.

Kerberos
11-26-2005, 10:00 PM
You do not want a PCI card.... you want an AGP card (the mobo in your father's system is most likely AGP for graphics, not PCI-Express)

You can get a RADEON 9700 PRO at http://pricewatch.com for around $100. That card will support those games at medium resolution and settings at 1280x1024; bit better performance @ 1024x768. You could probably run those games at 800x600 with graphics cranked.

Thing to remember w/ video cards is video memory SPEED is more important than quantity. Example: a 9700 Pro has must faster VRAM than a 9700. Even though the PRO has less memory (128), it will greatly outperform the 9700 standard 256 due to faster memory refresh.

Your OS should ALWAYS have at least 1GB RAM. The greatest noticeable performance boost comes from upgrading your system from <1GB to >= 1GB.


If it is a "NEWER" HP/Compaq it may not have an AGP slot on the MB.

I know the older Compaqs we have where I work have an AGP slot on them but the newer ones we started using the last year or so DO NOT have an AGP slot on the MB and if you buy a nice CHEAP HP/Compaq there is a good chance it won't have one either.

If you have to go PCI then the card Squid put on from newegg.com would be the way to go. IMO


.

Ari Chi3fs
11-26-2005, 10:29 PM
I just picked up a ATI Radeon 9800, so soon, I will have cool TV screen caps, like the rest of you... just waiting for my new motherboard to arrive to fit it all together.

Cave Johnson
11-28-2005, 10:12 AM
Thanks for the tip on the 9250, but I'm more of an NVIDIA guy (had some compatibility issues with a ATI a few years back). Has anyone used the Geforce FX5500? It's looking like the best non-ATI option at this point.

HC_Chief
11-28-2005, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the tip on the 9250, but I'm more of an NVIDIA guy (had some compatibility issues with a ATI a few years back). Has anyone used the Geforce FX5500? It's looking like the best non-ATI option at this point.

I had a similar one... FX 5550 AGP. It was a good card. Should be fine for gaming. Sucks that you are limited to PCI.

I just picked up a ATI Radeon 9800, so soon, I will have cool TV screen caps, like the rest of you... just waiting for my new motherboard to arrive to fit it all together.

That's the card I have now: 9800 PRO. Awesome card... play BF2 at 1280x1024 at medium graphics settings. Looks great and runs ultra-smooth :thumb: