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Upgrading old pc

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September 28, 2006 4:16:30 PM

I just got a Dell Optiplex G1 from a friend, and I want to upgrade it a bit. This is the configuration:
Pentium III 450 Katmai
2x32 MB + 1x64 MB SDRAM
Integrated Ati Rage Pro 4MB

I'm going to replace the RAM with 3x128 MB PC133 to get 384 MB.
Since there is no AGP port, I was thinking on getting a PCI graphic card. But will it work, since there is already an integrated graphic card?
And what graphic card should I get? I was thinking on a Geforce2 MX or a Radeon 7000, but is there a better option?

P.S: I'm not going to change the CPU, since the only option possible is a P3 600, so it's not worth changing it.

More about : upgrading

a b U Graphics card
September 28, 2006 4:25:01 PM

Quote:
I just got a Dell Optiplex G1 from a friend, and I want to upgrade it a bit. This is the configuration:
Pentium III 450 Katmai
2x32 MB + 1x64 MB SDRAM
Integrated Ati Rage Pro 4MB

I'm going to replace the RAM with 3x128 MB PC133 to get 384 MB.
Since there is no AGP port, I was thinking on getting a PCI graphic card. But will it work, since there is already an integrated graphic card?
And what graphic card should I get? I was thinking on a Geforce2 MX or a Radeon 7000, but is there a better option?

P.S: I'm not going to change the CPU, since the only option possible is a P3 600, so it's not worth changing it.


I am no expert on the subject, but I have a Pentium III 450 mhz Gateway system in perfect running order. I think the MB is Itel katami, but I migtht be wrong. My system has 3 x 128 MB PC100. I tried PC133 and the system crashed with it. Try Kingston's web site and RAM locater for the correct RAM for that board. HTH.
September 28, 2006 4:26:00 PM

Before you buy a new PCI video card and follow the steps outlined below, check if there is an option in your GX1's BIOS to disable on-board video card.

Reboot your PC. Go into the BIOS. Disable on-board (also known as "Integrated") video card. Exit BIOS saving changes and power down your PC before it begins to load Windows. Insert this card

ATI Radeon 9250 PCI

Reboot the PC. Install ATI drivers.
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September 28, 2006 4:27:47 PM

To be brutally honest, it doesn't matter which card you get. That computer is too old to play anything new, or even a couple years old.

If you're not playing games with it, it doesn't matter anyway.
September 28, 2006 4:29:42 PM

Quote:
To be brutally honest, it doesn't matter which card you get. That computer is too old to play anything new, or even a couple years old.

If you're not playing games with it, it doesn't matter anyway.


I am sure he knows that :wink: But if he wants a PCI video card, why not? It is not going to make that PC worse.
a b U Graphics card
September 28, 2006 4:34:42 PM

Between You, Cleeve and I we can get that P3 running lights out, ship shap. Maybe not :D  . Mine runs great with Windows XP upgrade. It's like the wheel is being invented right before my eyes when I am at the commands.

EDIT: Mine has a RIVA TNT.
September 28, 2006 4:35:40 PM

I know, but I would still like to play old games such as Age of Mythology, Age of Empires II, Ghost Recon, and be able to play Counter-Strike and Half-Life with more quality. It's also for the videos, they don't show properly with that graphic card.
I think a Radeon 9250 256 MB is a bit too much for the CPU. Which card would be more appropriate?

P.S: Sorry I wrote PC133, I meant PC100

I tried Windows XP, but it runs too slow, so I have installed Windows 2000 Pro which runs much better.
A Riva TNT would be fine, but I think I can get something better like a Geforce2 MX.
a b U Graphics card
September 28, 2006 4:38:30 PM

My P3 450 will play DVD's with a modern DVD ROM, but it skips often. I don't know about modern games, even with a decent video card the system may be just too overwhelmed to handle it. I don't know, mine runs xp upgrade and surfs the net.
September 28, 2006 4:43:18 PM

I could run Windows XP and surf the net, but Windows 2000 can also do that, and runs faster on my old PC.
I have an old CD-RW, and I was listening to music before while I was surfing, and it skipped also often.
September 28, 2006 4:46:29 PM

Quote:
I think a Radeon 9250 256 MB is a bit too much for the CPU. Which card would be more appropriate?


There isn't much else. Google for PCI video card. After you get results, click Advanced Search. In the field entitled "without the words" type Express and press enter. This will filter out PCI-Express cards and show you search results for PCI video cards. Take it form there.

Like, check out this list.

9250 is just $50... I mean you can get a weaker card for about the same amount of money or did you expect to get something for $3 ?
September 28, 2006 5:55:21 PM

I'm obviously not going to get a new graphic card, I'll buy used. I'm sure I can get a Geforce2 MX or a Radeon 7000 for around 10$ on eBay.
September 28, 2006 6:27:46 PM

So you want to know if there's something better for $10?

Not in PCI, nope.
September 28, 2006 6:35:45 PM

Quote:
I'm obviously not going to get a new graphic card, I'll buy used. I'm sure I can get a Geforce2 MX or a Radeon 7000 for around 10$ on eBay.


You mean $10 with shipping, handling and all that? I am not saying that your used card will be broken/defective or something (which is possible), but it will cost you $20 or more. Why not just get the best there is for $50? But it is your choice, of course.
September 29, 2006 1:01:26 AM

Sorry I meant 20 $. But wouldn't it be a waste of money buying the Radeon 9250 considering that it would not be fully used due to the weak CPU?
September 29, 2006 1:43:50 AM

In my opinion I would not change a thing. It is not really worth it. Those are the type of computers you find at state surplus warehouses. :wink:
September 29, 2006 2:23:00 AM

Quote:
My P3 450 will play DVD's with a modern DVD ROM, but it skips often. I don't know about modern games, even with a decent video card the system may be just too overwhelmed to handle it. I don't know, mine runs xp upgrade and surfs the net.


This is off topic for the OP, but I thought you might like this tidbit of info: The PII 450 skips on the DVD playing because the TNT card has no mpeg2 hardware support, so it's all being decoded in the software using the CPU. That's why the Dell Dimension XPS r450 I have came with a Cinemaster hardware mpeg2 decoder PCI card to compliment the TNT AGP card. Works awesome, and has a perfect TV out on the decoder card. If you're interested in something like that, you can usually find these Cinemaster cards on ebay for pennies. They don't play nice with newer graphics cards (pretty much any card or IGP built after 2000) that have hardware mpeg2 acceleration though.
a b U Graphics card
September 29, 2006 3:24:14 AM

Speaking of breathtakingly slow computers, I was at Fry's circa mid-90's and bought a MATROX video card with 4 MB memory. I still have it. I wonder if it's worth anything? It cost about a hundred bucks ten years years ago. Installed it in my Pentium 100 mhz domafloutchey screw-up special. That system was upgraded to a 133 mhz. processor with a ONE gigabyte harddrive. All still there. Still has Windows 95 intalled. The thing I remember most about it was when I went online and opened a web site. I could go watch an hour of basic Instinct and by the time I came back the page would almost be loaded 8O .

Thanks. :D 
September 29, 2006 4:23:00 AM

Quote:
Sorry I meant 20 $. But wouldn't it be a waste of money buying the Radeon 9250 considering that it would not be fully used due to the weak CPU?


I don't mean to sound like a filthy rich, condescending playboy... but, come on. We are not talking a $300 difference in price. We are talking a $30 difference. I mean... hmmm... ever go out for drinks at a local pub? I am sure you easily drop $30-50 a night a few times a month. We are talking a price of 5 beers here. Big deal? Ummm... No, I don't think so.

And while there are games which are CPU reliant, most of the games (old and new) are more dependent on the video card's power.
September 29, 2006 10:50:58 AM

Well it might not seem a lot to you, but i'm 16 and i can't spend money like that, that's why i want to get something that's good for the money, and goes good on my PC.

P.S: By the way, I just got 3 sticks of 128 MB PC133 ram from a friend, so now I have 384 MB! It's so much faster!
a b U Graphics card
September 29, 2006 1:41:55 PM

Quote:
P.S: By the way, I just got 3 sticks of 128 MB PC133 ram from a friend, so now I have 384 MB! It's so much faster!


If you experience frequent system crashes, it's caused becasue you are using 133 mhz RAM instead of 100 mhz.
September 29, 2006 3:38:02 PM

Quote:
but i'm 16 and i can't spend money like that


Uh, my apologies. In any event, just about any video card will be better than what you have. I linked you to a page with about 30 PCI cards. The prices start from $12.99:

Just pick one that fits your budget. But if at all possible get that Radeon 9250.
September 29, 2006 6:35:29 PM

I haven't had any system crashes yet. Before having this PC133 memory, one of my sticks was PC125 and it never crashed, so I don't know why it would with PC133.

I don't live in the US, so I don't think I could buy from that site, but thanks for the list, it's good so I can check out the prices though.
!