Which AGP card with work with my system

Please help me with this question: I really need to update my Graphic card. My motherboad has AGP slot which holds a G550 Matrox card. My Motherboard is Asus 845E P4B533-E DDR Intel Pentium 4 2.666 GHZ w/ heatsink and fan,400W power. I also have several PCI open slots. But no PCI Express slots. My AGP is listed as AGP 4X and I don't know which version of AGP I have (1.0, 2.0, or 3.0). Does this matter when upgrading? If it does, how do I find out what my version is? My biggest concern of course is compatibility issues.

I do work on large photo files and for my video work need Open GL 2.0 for After Effect 7.0 The only game on my machine is Zoo Tycoon 2 which needs Direct 9.0. I would like to get the fastest card I can afford as I can't rebuild my machine for awhile.
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More about which card work system
  1. Your existing AGP is 4X, so that make's it AGP 2.0. Most of the new AGP cards out there 8X/4X. The G5500 has 32MB of memory which is fine for most 2D apps, but just about every new AGP card out there will have more than this, it's just a matter of whether you need 128, 256 or 512MB.

    They all seem to support Direct X 9.0 Shader 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0. I'm sure if you look hard enough you may find a new AGP card that doesn't work in your board, but you would have to put some effort into it(!).

    The P4B533-E is about five years old, so you'll need consider how much money you would like to spend on this, knowing it is the last gasp.

    If in doubt, look for the following on the box or web site:
    Interface 8X/4X
    Open GL 2.0

    Remember: you're likely going to pay for an 8X card that will operate at 4X, and now that PCI-E 2.0 is here, AGP 4X is starting to look very, very tired.
  2. Either one of these would be a nice upgrade. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=40000048%201069609639&Description=7600gs&bop=And&CompareItemList=N82E16814121064%2CN82E16814130076

    Relatively low power draw, and Shader Model 3 and OpenGL 2.0 supported.

    Just do not forget to plug in the 4 pin D-connector from the power supply to the front of the video card. It is the same type power connector that goes into an IDE hard drive, CD ROM drive, etc...
  3. A 7600gs is a major overkill for what he want's, i would go for a radeon 9550, or a geforce 6200, those are perfect for youre needs.
  4. I think the X1950GT could do a good job with your computer.
  5. Thank you so much!! I really do appreciate your advice and I will go google these cards. If I have any more questions, I will be back. Do you have a favorite website which teaches you how to build a PC from scratch? I bought this one as a turnkey and know very little about the insides.
  6. pantheman said:
    Thank you so much!! I really do appreciate your advice and I will go google these cards. If I have any more questions, I will be back. Do you have a favorite website which teaches you how to build a PC from scratch? I bought this one as a turnkey and know very little about the insides.

    There are numerous credible videos on YouTube. You can type in searches like "Build a PC", "Install a video card", etc...
  7. Pantheman, you've indicated that you would like to buy the fastest card you can afford, but haven't given a limit of what this is.

    How much can you afford to spend on this card?

    Using price as a guide, coupled with the AGP 4X slot limitations and your intended use, try to keep to the $35-$50 price range for the best buys. You should find something suitable in there. Indeed, the 9550 and 6200 mentioned earlier are fine, so is the 9600 and (at the upper limit) the X1550.

    As you head past this towards the $100 mark, I think there is less value here for you, more so the higher you go. Over this $100 threshold it should be considered buying for the sake of buying, with no relation to the computer or your computing needs.

    Other considerations such as fan or fanless, type of outputs (HDTV, S-video, DVI), and maximum resolution could play on the final choice, rather than just all-out grunt versus dollars.
  8. I was willing to spend around 150.00 US . I was looking seriously at the Sapphire Radeon X1950GT 256MB AGP, though not many out there anymore. Do you feel this is over Kill? I work with photoshop CS3 which is a resource hog. My file sizes are around 350 mb or more with several open at one time. I'm have issues with my refresh rate not being fast enough. Same with premiere pro 2 and After effects 7.0 I'm not able to see real time previews anymore, and rendering has slowed to a crawl.(although this could be contribute to my 1Gig of ram.) I plan on upper grading to 2gigs. I have 5 of firewire 800 external toys like film scanners, video drives, printers and USB too. All of which keep getting turned off, on, off, on by the PC, so annoying listening to the constant krthumbing sound. Is this a problem with my Power Supply(400w) or something that got mess up when I was forced to upgrade to SP2.(This is when all my issue started.) It also take 2 hours now for window XP pro to shut down the PC.
  9. "Resource hog" is right! Also, two hours to shutdown is a concern, to say the least.

    My recommendation for the graphics card was based on the system you're already described, but now you've given a much more detailed account of the work you do with it (looks like it definitely works hard when it does), so that's not worth much, now.

    Until you can boot, get to desktop reasonably quickly (say 40-90 seconds from pressing the button), check an email or something, generally fiddle about (no big apps), then perform a shut down in under 2 minutes, you've got other issues with your configuration.

    Before buying into the new graphics cards and extra stick of RAM, try answering these:
    How many programs are in memory after start up?
    How big is your swap file?
    Is there anything you think is soaking up resources (cumbersome AV, chunky printing suite(s), dozens of piddly apps using your broadband, etc)?
    What's left out of 1GB when you're working away?
    Any error or end task messages during your lengthy shutdown?
  10. Hmmm all good questions. . . how do I go about researching these issue? I know how to check for start ups and I do keep these at a bare minium. My PC start up just fine and I don't really get to many error messages.
    How do I check for thing soaking up resources?

    The very last question is no, it just go to "window is shutting down" and hungs there. Last night it actual shut down pretty quickly. I will check again tonight. Sorry about not getting back sooner. With the holidays, sick kids, and with my backup drive going bad , I forgot to check for replies. Thanks for getting back to me.
  11. Go Start -> Run, type in taskmgr and have a look at the process tab. It's usual for a new install to have 25-27 processes running, typical systems will be 30-40. Over 40 processes running means you may have too much other junk on, however, if you need everything listed installed, but can do without them starting up automatically, change them in msconfig. Look at the CPU usage % and Mem Usage for likely culprits.

    While in task manager, have a look at the performance tab, find the Physical Memory (K) Available, it will say xxMB. This is what you've got spare in RAM, should have about 20%+ total RAM spare. Find the Paging File amount as well, xxMB, this is how much is written to the disk rather than residing in memory. A simple rule of thumb is your paging file is the minimum extra RAM you may need. (eg, 512MB installed, 80MB spare, PF 250MB. Therefore required extra RAM is 256MB, so 768MB would be the minimum, logically 1GB would be installed, 2 x 512MB sticks in such a system).

    If you're not comfortable with msconfig, you can use freeware and shareware such as http://www.startupmechanic.com/ or Quick Startup http://www.glarysoft.com/qs.html?tag=download to turn things off.

    Go to http://www.download.com and look for some freebies to check what's using your broadband.

    Post some results, if you like.
  12. I have 48 processing running, almost all of them are 00 (CPU) except system idle process which is 97 (CPU)
    Physical memory (K) Kernel Memory(K)
    Total 1048020 Total 11820
    Available 622108 Paged 88952
    System cache 571700 nonpaged 24864

    Page file usage history 403MB
    So these are my numbers what does it tell us???
  13. 48 is up there, but it varies. Unless you investigate them further, indentify them and decide to either keep, stop them from starting or uninstall, you won't know.

    CPU and idle are all typical when just looking at task manager with no other activity.

    You've got 89MB of operating system kernel and device drivers in your paging file (hard drive) and 25MB in memory, so that's typical (mine is 81MB and 9MB, for comparison).

    It tells us you've got 1GB and are only using 572MB at start up, plus a 403MB paging file on the hard drive. This old computer I'm on has about 310MB in memory (512MB total) plus a 270MB paging file.

    Your results are not enough to terrify anyone, but you've got 150MB+ in memory and 100MB more on the hard drive, however, you've also 21 more processes than me (27).

    In the task manager Processes tab, just have a look down the list and see what's over 15MB in size, ignoring the following processes and thier size, for now:

    Really, if there's nothing there that leaps out, 21 extra process using an average of 12MB will do it. Mine has only 3 processes over 10MB, the rest are all small in size. If there's nothing there in that list, I'm barking up the wrong tree...
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