Graphics card upgrade - a minefield for the newbie

Trying to upgrade my purchased-2003 computer to run games a bit smoother. I have a Sony Vaio PCZ-RZ-324:

A Pentium 4 HyperThreading CPU 3.0 GHz
512mb RAM (DDR 333 SDRAM Infineoon)
128 mb Nvidia FX 560 card Asus AGP
Microsoft Windows XP SP2 Home Edition

Basically I'm going to be putting in 1gb of more RAM. I also want to upgrade the graphics card, but have a few questions:

1) How to tell what IS and what is NOT an upgrade (and will run games smoother for me) to my graphics card? At a guess I would just go for an nVidia one since I have that kind aready and judge on which has the highest unit integer in front of the "mb" but this is an ameteur's guess!

2) How to determine what number of slots my AGP card has? These appear to come as single slot, 2X, 4X and 8X having read some online advice articles/this forum's previous posts.

3) How to determine if my Power Supply Unit can handle any card I think about purchasing?

My manual for the computer I have is located at HERE.

Thank you, from a confused PC owner :)
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More about graphics card upgrade minefield newbie
  1. you need at least another 512mb of ram. Then AGP should be 8x if you bought it in 2003. X1950 PRO is a great choice. Idk what you power supply is
  2. itotallybelieveyou said:
    you need at least another 512mb of ram. Then AGP should be 8x if you bought it in 2003. X1950 PRO is a great choice. Idk what you power supply is


    Hi there itotallybelieveyou, thank you for the remarkably quick response :)

    - Agreed on the RAM - will be ordered by the end of today.

    - How can I absolutely confirm if my card (128 mb Nvidia FX 560) is 8 X slot type - are you 100% sure or is there a technical specification list for my card that will confirm this for me (I have tried looking at pictures of the slots online but even thought my computer's case is off I can't tell :lol: ) Or maybe it is silly to ask this if, say, ALL cards from summer 2003 will be 8X without a doubt...

    - Googling the card you have recommended, although I would appreciate some info on how YOU can tell this is an upgrade for me, short of its number of MB? I have another recommendation from a friend, but quite how he came to believe it a better card for me I have no idea... I would like to become less igorant on the reasons.

    - Re: power suppply, I took off the PC case again and the power supply I have is this one: Brand NMB Model number MJPC-300A2, it says on it "100V-240V ~4.7A" and later further down "Output Total 295.4W max"
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