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Onboard VGA or PCI card, which would be better?

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a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2007 4:45:20 PM

Hello all,

I've been brainstorming a new computer for the in-laws based on the E4300 CPU. Budget is of great concern with this build and therefore I would like to re-use as much of the old hardware as possible. Before I begin, I must tell you that the most graphic intense program that would ever run on this system would only be a screensaver or possibly DVD video.

They already have a PCI Sapphire Radeon 9250 256MB DDR card in their current system (Dell Dimension, no AGP or PCIe slot). I am debating whether or not to get a motherboard with onboard video, of which nearly all are micro-ATX, or a full ATX board with PCIe but use the old Radeon 9250 PCI card. Another option would be to get an el cheapo PCIe card around $50 and use that instead.

It breaks down like this:

A) C2D Mobo with onboard VGA: $70-100 (mATX with Intel 945G or 965G chipset)
B) C2D Mobo w/o onboard VGA + PCI card: $75-130 (ATX with Intel P945 or P965 chipset)
C) C2D Mobo w/o onboard VGA + $50 PCIe card: $125-185

As you can see, A and B are about the same in price, but B would give more options for upgrades later with more PCI slots and maybe more RAM slots. C could be an option, but I don’t know if it’s any better getting a crappy ATI X300 or Nvidia 6200TC over the card they already have. BTW, I’m not interested in VIA chipsets or bottom-barrel mobo makers (PC Chips, etc.).

Since it’s pretty much unheard of to see side-by-side benchmark comparisons of onboard VGA with anything, much less obscure PCI cards, I’ve posted this thread for advice.

Which do you think is better, Intel onboard graphics or a PCI Radeon 9250? (Or… tell the in-laws to shell-out more $$$ for a PCIe card?)

More about : onboard vga pci card

January 24, 2007 6:01:40 PM

Get a board with onboard video that also has a pci-e slot.
DVD video will play just fine. Use a dell at work and it plays dvd just fine.
Later if they want to "upgrade" youll have the option for a better pci-e card.

You can test the pci card against the onboard if you want to.
January 24, 2007 6:12:04 PM

IMHO 965G should be better than Radeon 9250

945G... not as good as Radeon 9250 though

if it is only video playback I would suppose they will all do fine unless you want to spend money to get those purevideo/AVIVO enhancements/corrections (in that case seriously a nVidia 6200TC/7100GS or ATI x1300 will do; ATI x300 doesn't have such features)

(I have no info on the Video enhancements that comes with 965G, but Radeon 9250 shouldn't have any to begin with)

So if you can get 965G you don't need Radeon 9250
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a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2007 6:17:25 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I'm kind of leaning towards the full size ATX w/o VGA since I was planning on going with a mid-tower case and I know that the PCI card does them just fine right now. I know that a mATX board will fit in a larger case, but it seems such a waste to have only 2-3 expansion slots when the case has room for 6-7. Plus, its easier to find a full size board with 4 DIMM slots instead of 2 that is commonly found on mATX.

The thing that really sucks is that they could actually afford a much better computer, they have the means. The tight budget is only because they are thinking about buying another $500 Dell and I've been trying to convince them that I could build a better, faster system for the money. I'm afraid they'll get another Dimension without PCIe, low power PSU, only 2 DIMM slots, room for only 1 HDD, etc. like the one they already have.
January 24, 2007 6:21:08 PM

I'm pretty sure a 965G using the GMA X3000 onboard video would outperform the PCI Radeon 9250 due to its programmable, unified design. It should also easily handle a DVD video.

Like sturm noted, you'd also have the option to upgrade to a PCI-E card at a later time too.
January 24, 2007 6:36:13 PM

Are you sure you want to be the troubleshooting, warranty, and repair department for the inlaws??? Think about it - you're a hero if it allways works all the time but they might think you're a jerk if anything goes wrong (and you know it will)! IMHO - let them buy a name brand computer from a store with warranty and service agreement.
January 24, 2007 7:01:20 PM

Quote:
Are you sure you want to be the troubleshooting, warranty, and repair department for the inlaws??? Think about it - you're a hero if it allways works all the time but they might think you're a jerk if anything goes wrong (and you know it will)! IMHO - let them buy a name brand computer from a store with warranty and service agreement.


LOL. Agreed.
Unless of course you live with them then it would be a different story, because they will get you to call the computer company to fix it anyways. 8O

but given you are competing with Dell, I would suggest you to get a G965 rig and forget about the card (more components = more driver updates = more failure points) (besides you can get some smaller case to make it look cool while beating the Dell price)
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2007 7:04:19 PM

Quote:
Are you sure you want to be the troubleshooting, warranty, and repair department for the inlaws???

:lol:  That's funny, I've been all of that for the last 3 years and they have a Dell! My father-in-law called Dell support once and couldn't understand the Bombay-English on the other end. I fixed the problem and have been the repair department ever since. :lol: 
!