Graphics Card for Pentium 3 Dual Processor server. [Legacy Machine]

First post and first question on this forum – how does someone find which video card is right for their machines?

I have a legacy machine from circa 2000 (*getting rid of it isn't an option) and I want a new video card so I can use a newer monitor on it since the old CRT monitor it came with died. (Are they supposed to make a crackle noise before making a loud “POP” like someone stepped on a wine glass? No?!? Oh! That explains it…)

Here are the stats on my Gateway 7210 Server (not to be confused with the 7210 Laptop) word for word.

Power supply:
320 W PS/2 power supply
Expansion slots:
Four 32-bit, 33 MHz PCI slots,
Two 32-bit, 66 MHz PCI slots,
One ISA slot

More Information... (Thanks, Riider)

I'm looking around for suggestions for what's the best graphics card for this machine - since it uses the on "Integrated Cirrus Logic CL-GD5480 graphics controller with 2 megabytes (MB) of synchronous graphics RAM (SGRAM)" I'm limited to 800px X 600px screen resolution. While I'm not going to be using the biggest monitor in the house (I have the smallest singled out) the card just has to work well. I'm only using it to monitor it's progress on some simple tasks and accessing information from old media.

As a brief aside: I have an older Seagate external hard drive, one of the first 1 Terabites... for whatever reason it only works on this Gateway 7210 server. More on that later.

Tanks in advance for your suggestions.
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  1. You got pci slots. You can get this :

    Can't get cheaper then that! LOL or you can get some used pci card off ebay. Then you can get any nice LCD monitor that needs a DVI connection or you can just convert to VGA if you find a VGA only graphic card. A lot of the old legacy video cards come in PCI , it's just very hard to find them in retail like the fry's link I posted. You will only find them on ebay or use and find some online vendor.
  2. What OS are you running? If 2000/XP just get this.

    If you are running XP or newer, or might be upgrading, then something with a newer chipset is in order. Perhaps this.
  3. I just did a quick search on ebay :

    On a side note... why can't you overhaul the current server? That is really outdated.
  4. mofotech said:
    on a side note... why can't you overhaul the current server? That is really outdated.

    The short answer is that it’s a legacy machine with now obsolete media peripherals like a Iomega Zip and Jazz drive. I’m in a part of the country where there are still some clients who have everything stored on media that people haven’t touched in a long time. Just because nobody else has a Jazz or Zip drive doesn’t mean they still don’t need to have their old media accessed.

    I still use this server to access older programs and files from the past 15 years and it is still used as a storage device for my current work. It’s not attached to the internet and works as a really good archive tool. There are some older image generating programs that just aren’t supported or updated any more that I like to dabble with occasionally. I also enjoy using some fractal programs that tie up my most modern computer and I like to set the other computers to work on that while I’m doing my real work that pays and has deadlines.

    This isn’t my only computer, my newest computer is only a year old, I have three others that I’ve hung onto as legacy machines. This Gateway 7210 Server just so happens to be the first computer I’ve ever bought myself; it wasn’t a gift or hand-me-down from someone else.

    Another reason – the fact is that restoring and refurbishing this unit is more like a hobby, like restoring an old car or furniture. I’ve learned a lot about other aspects of computers out there in the meantime and my wife and I have agreed that so long as the bills are paid and we’ve already put money into savings/retirement and I don’t spend too much I’m free to keep at this.

    As for the parts, I’ve always known or believed that somewhere out there in the world that there were warehouses full of obsolete parts that didn’t sell because of something else was released and customers weren’t interested in anymore. It’s just a matter of finding out where those parts are and put them to use so long as they aren’t out of range of our budget.

    Could also be “The Fisk Curse” - My dad, grandfather and great grandfather were innovators who have built things just because they could, and then found a use for them later. My dad is infamous in the HAM Radio community for building various types of antenna tuners, modular motor drivers, and other things even though there are new technologies that can do these jobs he still likes to find other ways. It’s like trying to find other approaches and techniques to the same problems or ways of doing things. My dad has made about 20 different versions of antenna tuners and recently was bragging that he’s come up with a new idea that’s going to make “a million dollars.”

    I want to max this thing out just because I can even if it makes sense to nobody else. Just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should. It’s a momentary distraction from the other things in my life.
  5. Whoa. Cool, ya I wish I could put things together like that. But it would be cool to do it with modern things... or maybe with this time era... may not be a good idea. OMG. My uncle who passed away would do things like that. My mom told me he would build radios from transformers and other electrical components which I am pretty sure my mom doesn't know what they are as that was like 40+ years ago. He was a engineer in Pakistan Air Force and my mom says the planes weren't checked off for flight unless he issued the "Go-ahead" . LOL, I wish I asked him this stuff when I was younger and I did see him. But he died latter in the late 90's from heart failure. I hope that graphic card fits your needs. I do understand some old hardware just work with certain things and you can't find modern alternatives. Good luck!
  6. Hey, Mo

    I have some really good memories of building things with my dad. He was really impressed that he didn’t have to teach me how to solder since I watched him do it so many times. We used CADD programs to create the circuit boards and the assembly instructions and layouts for many of the devices we created. The sad part is we didn’t keep at it, we moved on to other things – I became a full time Graphic Designer and he went off the deep-end with some of his HAM RADIO equipment.

    The one thing I learned in spite of him is that you don’t scrimp on computers. You get what you pay for. If you don’t by a machine with the fastest processors, the most RAM, the most storage, the best monitor, you might as well not try to start a business or do work from home. I’ve learned the hard way – The Best Tools for The Job!

    Thanks for the warm wishes on that graphics card, I’m going to order it ASAP with the next pay check. There are a couple of other things I need for it, too. I’m angry at myself that I got rid of another machine I owned from that period that all the parts I could have used on this server. Live and learn.

    Keep in touch!
  7. Deep end? I let my license lapse as I never really used it. But get my ARL is one of the things that set me on my love of tech. I only ever got the Tech no code, but it was there I learned about all the common parts in a circuit like resisters and caps, along with other exciting things like bridge rectifiers. Also learned how to read a schematic and how to tell (on paper) the difference between a PNP and NPN transistors. Along with of course Eagles, Indians and Rabbits. I laugh sometimes when people come in and try to say something that's so obviously wrong. I just think, come on, I learned that decades ago.

    I too remember working with my dad back in the day. Helped him swap out our 286 board for a "new" 386 one. I watched, handed him things, and even had to get a PITA standoff out from a corner of the case as my hands were smaller. I was I think around 7 or so when we did this. You don't need to do anything special dads. Even ordinary tasks can mean a lot to a kid.


    Edited for spelling.
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