Need advice on Uprgading from a GF4 MX400.

First let me say I have done some searches on the topic, and nothing is really current on my upgrade path(most lists from 2003 to 2004). The wife (and toddler) are limiting me to about $80 in upgrades(not much I know). We jsut put some money into a larger Second HD and a DVD burner fordoing the family DV tapes, so a new system really isnt an option.

Here is my system(old but I just would like to try playing some of the newer games like Republic Commando, of Halo)
MSI KT333 Board with 4xAGP
768 mb PC2700 RAM
Geforce4 MX400 64mb card.

I have been trying to do some reading up on this, but am a little confused.
I looked at an FX5700LE (because of its overclockability), or an ATI 9600 Pro, but then I read that the N4x style chipsets (6XXX for Nvidia) are good, cause they are the newer version comapred to the old 5XXX.

I don't really know what way to go.. So any input or suggestions (maybe even links to stuff or resellers) would be greatly appreciated.


22 answers Last reply
More about need advice uprgading mx400
  1. Ohboy.

    1- Stay the hell away from the 5700. Horrible, horrible card by today's standards.

    2- Look for a cheap 9800 PRO, X1300 PRO, X700 or 6600. Out of all of them I'd probably get the X1300 PRO for the nifty video features, but all are good, cheap cards.

    [edit: X1300 is a pci-express only part right now, sorry]

    I'm not sure how much the Geforce 6600 "DDR2" cards are, but they are great performers for the price, and the best deal you could get if they're not out of your price range.

    And all of them are approximately 5x better than your mx 400...
  2. Hello,

    Most video cards even at the entry level are over $100. Even if your task is internet, Word, and movies. I'm assuming you have an AGP system. I would suggest the 6600 series cards, X800 series, or 6800 series (excluding the GT/ Ultra).

    You can also visit ( This part allows you to mix and match features you really want and compare the prices.
  3. Hey Tony, the best you will do for that budget is a new 9600 pro, 9600 XT, or GF6600. Or better would be a used Radeon 9700 Pro or 9800 Pro 128MB 256-bit. I'll second what Cleeve said in stay away from the FX5700 or honestly the whole Geforce FX line. A GF6600 (plain not GT) would be about equal or maybe just above a Radeon 9600XT but below the 9700 pro or 9800 pro. It's a good choice if it doesn't stretch your budget. And a GF6200 would be slower than the 9600 pro, about equal to a plain 9600, so I'd stay clear of that one.

    If you go for a 9800 pro make sure it is a 256-bit (not 256MB) and not a 128-bit card as there was a time when the crippled 128-bit versions were being sold. If you go for a new 9600 pro make sure it is clocked 400 core/600 memory and 500 core / 600 memory for the 9600XT. This is important as slower clocked versions are out there and will not perform as well.

    I guess I'd say used 9800 pro or 9700 pro would be my #1 choice. if you want new, then GF6600, Radeon 9600XT or Radeon 9600 pro, in that order. Also, in this price range, do not be sold on a 256MB card. You would be better off with a faster chipset and 128MB of memory.

    Anyway, here is a recent AGP comparison. You'll see it includes the 9800 pro, GF6600, 9600XT, 9600 pro, and GF6200. The 9700 pro would be basically a slightly lower clocked 9800 pro so you can pretty much use the 9800 pro #'s minus 1-3% for that one.
  4. can i first say that human resilience while facing gaming adversity in the technology arena is our greatest asset. u had a Geforce4 MX400 64mb? christ my toaster can pump out more FPS than that card.


    i take my hat off to you... 8O

    **bows.. ( had one too... **sigh, ended up in the printer

    right to buisness ::

    best bet is a 'old' card like a radeon 9600 series or 9700 series.
    like a :
    SAPPHIRE Radeon 9600 Pro - 128 Mo (lite) 75,78 €

    Sapphire Radeon 9600 Pro - 256 Mo (lite retail) 85,90 €

    Radeon ATI 9600 Pro - 256 Mo - AGP 86,76 €

    Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9600XT 128 Mo (lite retail) 101,07 €

    ASUSTeK A9600PRO/TD - 256 Mo 128 bits TV-Out/DVI - AGP (ATI Radeon 9600 Pro) 89,94 €

    If you go for a newer card ,dont forget that you might have to update your PSU too! :D
    one of my pcs : QDI mobo, with a 2.4 PIV / 2x512 Mb ram with a 350 Watt PSU. upgraded from a 5700 ( yuk) to a 6600gt AGP( from asus) nice looking card good prefs, good price, 150€ approx. still is at 150€ :(
    the asus drivers have this little program that terlls u if your GC is running ok. diagnostics said :' not enough power to gpu' had to upgrade to 400 watts.

    total cost = Graphic card 150€, PSU : 98€ total : 240 +... not extactly what i had in mind.

    so be carefull! :!:

    happy hunting ^^
  5. Is the X1300 pro out in AGP?
  6. I you want a cheap card that's a good preformer until you have more money, consider a 7200(non LE) used. It's a very decent card. A Radeon 9800 or 9800 pro is a better card to be sure and maybe it can be found for $80 used as well.

    Most anything else will require a faster CPU and bigger power supply to run well. Save the money for a few months and then do the full system upgrade.
  7. You should Consider a 9800Pro or 6600gt from referbished that will be ur best bet imho.
  8. question - GeForce2 MX400 or GeForce4 MX440?

    The GeForce 6600's are a great card and support DX9.0c and previously iv had performance/stability issues when switching from a nvidia to an ATi card (prolly just my system - it was a few years back).
  9. Ok, I am still learning here, after doing some research, It appears I have a Geforce4 MX440 (not MX400)...

    I have been looking into these suggestions and have a few more questions...

    I was looking at this 9700 Pro -Refurb:

    This 9600 pro :

    This 9600 XT:,ECOSTDEAL

    I was leaning towards either the 9600XT or the 9700 Pro. But I was curious as to which you all would think would be better? I have looked at the reviews, etc, The XT has the 500/600 listed (under its description at dealtime) but the 9700 was mentioned as a slightly lower clocked version of the 9800 pro (it is only a 325mhz GPU bus). What would be the difference in performance of these systems? Would it be beneficial to me to try overclocking once I get them , or...?

    Thank you all for your speedy responses, this is making it easier to convince the wife, once she hears I have had some knowlegable people help me out!

  10. Without Question Tony, the 9700 pro refurb from Crucial. It is much faster than a 9600XT. Matter of fact, that's such a good card for the price, that I'm ordering one myself, THX.
  11. Thanks everyone.

    I just ordered a Refurb 9700Pro from Crucial, so I will kep you posted on how I like it!

    Are there any special drivers I should be on the lookout for or any other pieces of software that might come in handy?

    Thanks Again!!!

  12. hardware rather, did you check if your power unit can handle the extra load??
  13. Congrats on the 9700.

    Prepare to drop yopur jaw when you see the difference it makes from your old mx400.
  14. I'm actually rather attached to my 'ol Geforce 4. Plenty of games run just fine; Half-Life 2 scales so well that I've gotten consistantly playable fps on the mid-range settings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like games such as BF2 and Fear are using the graphics card as a crutch to make up for shoddy programming. Of course, I'm just talking out my rear over here, so feel free to ignore me...
  15. You are missing a ton of visuals running a DX7 card(assuming your's is an MX like his). HL2 runs well thanks to their effort to code it for older cards. But I guarantee you aren't seeing HL2 as it should be seen. Basically it remains playable by rendering alot less. And BF2 forget it, It requires PS 1.4 (DX 8.1) so even the GF4 Ti's aren't officially supported.
  16. Well, I'm hoping to get a 6600gt come the 25th, so I'll get a chance to see what you're talking about first-hand. I wish they'd bring back the $100 after-rebate deal on Newegg; that was an absolute steal.
  17. A 6600GT would be nice and $100 is nice for sure. In the mean time, check out this article as it does a good job of explaining the IQ differences.
  18. My Crucial card came today. 9700 pro, power adapter cable, svhs cable, composite rca video cable, svhs to rca adapter, DVI to VGA adapter, crucial catalyst disc and Power DVD. Complete bundle; nice for just over $70 shipped. Now to test it as it's just a 30 day warranty.

    Hey, before you remove the old card, make sure you properly uninstall the old drivers. I'd recommend first using add/remove programs from control panel to remove the Nvidia display driver. You don't have to, but I say Next reboot into save mode and use driver cleaner pro (download this ahead of time) to remove any nasty driver bits left behind. Then shut down, pull the old card, put in the new card, boot up and load the latest ATI drivers of use the Crucial drivers disc if you want.
  19. Well, I guess I am back in the search...

    I got an eamial from Crucial saying that although the website said they had plenty onhand, they actually don't so they refunded my money...

    I will let ya'll know what else I can find out there...

    Let me know how that 9700 works for you! My interest is piqued now :)

  20. OOOps. That stinks. I hope I didn't grab the last one from ya. 8O

    The 9700 pro will be replacing a Ti4200 in my sons system, so it will actually go to good use.
  21. Oh well, if you did, you did... They still have it listed on their webpage, so I have a feeling alot of people are probably getting refunded.

    You mentioned that there is a driver cleaner pro? Where is that located to download? (and is it free?). Thanks for how to remove the drivers, I was wondering the steps to take when I get a new card.

    Thanks again for all your help!

  22. Hope you got a card. Just an update. That Crucial refurb only worked for 4-5 days before all kinds of corruption and artifacts started. Crucial does not have any more, and they don't refund money on refurbs, which is lame. They offered me a new 9600se 8O (Piece of junk), or a Refurb 9600XT, but the 30 day warranty would stand, so I'd barely have any chance to try the new card. Anyway, I ended up RMA'ing the card for credit, which I'll use to buy RAM sometime.

    Maybe it's a good thing I got it instead of you. ;)
Ask a new question

Read More

Graphics Cards Graphics Product