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How important is DirectX 10 for Vista? Onboard vs Geforce 7100GS

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a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2008 9:34:05 PM

I was just about to upgrade my system to Vista and was wondering about the video card. I don't game or do anything real video intensive. The 7100GS has been fine for XP, but I worry about Vista:

I have an EVGA Geforce 7100GS 128MB (512MB with turbo-cache). Will I be able to run Vista Ultimate with Aero?

Would onboard graphics (GMA 950, GMA 3000, or GMA 3100, ect.) be better for the overall Vista "experiance"? Which onboard graphics would I want?

The Geforce 7100GS is DirectX 9. Should I buy a Geforce 8400GS to get the DirectX 10?


My new system will have an E5200 and 4GB of 800 RAM.
September 30, 2008 9:42:05 PM

All dx10 cards will run Aero. It also runs with some dx9 cards, but not all. Not sure which group 7100gs belong to. As for Intel onboard graphics, they're pretty bad. GMA900/950 will definitely not run Aero, as it doesn't even support sm2.0 (no dx7 or dx8), it's really complete software emulation. GMA3000/3100 can run sm2.0 and up to dx9, but still no hardware acceleration. Not sure if Aero will run on it.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2008 9:56:25 PM

What about the GMA X4500HD? What other onboard video should I try to get? Or should I just stick with my Geforce 7100GS?

Will the 7100GS be my best choice?
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September 30, 2008 9:59:57 PM

Dougx1317 said:
What about the GMA X4500HD? What other onboard video should I try to get? Or should I just stick with my Geforce 7100GS?

Will the 7100GS be my best choice?


No idea. I stopped following Intel gpu development a long time ago. Try googling it and see if other people who use it can run Aero.
September 30, 2008 10:04:28 PM

DonĀ“t get it like a rude answer but: If you do intend to use directX10, buy a better VGA. And if you do not intend to do so or even if you upgrade you do not intend to run the best of the eye candy of all games on DX10 you DO NOT NEED VISTA.

In fact, I only installed vista to play Crysis on very high (HD 3870). It was good, but slow even on low res. All other games can be just as funny with good old DX9, so ditch Vista: it is much slower, devours your memory and does not improve your PC experience overall
September 30, 2008 10:05:01 PM

My old ATi 1900XTX ran Aero on Vista with no problems and that was a Dx9 card. Dx10 is just slightly more eye candy in games that support it. The only onboard graphics I know that will run Aero is the AMD 790GX. I think your at least going to want a 8000 series nVidia card to use it.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2008 10:17:45 PM

I'll tell you what. Vista is fine. I like it. But DX10 is NOT what it's cracked up to be. In fact, DX10 cripples even the best video cards in any games. And quite frankly, going with even an 8400GS is going to severely limit you as far as any modern games in Vista.

Picture it like this. Whatever runs smooth on XP, will run slower in Vista. Period.

Kudos on going with 4GB of system memory for Vista (keep in mind only 64bit will use all 4GB). But if you plan to do ANY gaming, upgrade your video card to something better. Personally, I wouldn't do anything lesser than an 8800GT or 9600GT right now for modern games.

If you could care less about games, there's really no reason to do Vista in the first place. Windows XP runs everything out there right now anyhow, and will hog less resources.

I recently ran an older system on Vista Ultimate 64bit. That system was an old AMD 3500+ and GeForce 6800 (256MB) (probably similar to your 7100) and it was pretty dang sluggish. Even without Aero on. Granted some of that was due to an older processor...

Suffice it to say, Vista isn't the right operating system for an inexpensive video card if you want to obtain any level of performance.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2008 10:20:01 PM

stoner133 said:
My old ATi 1900XTX ran Aero on Vista with no problems and that was a Dx9 card. Dx10 is just slightly more eye candy in games that support it. The only onboard graphics I know that will run Aero is the AMD 790GX. I think your at least going to want a 8000 series nVidia card to use it.


Reality is, even with an 8800GTS 512MB (latest generation) DX10 doesn't run very good FPS. And you can't really get any of the DX10 eye candy unless you max out graphics settings in the game. Even with my system I don't run any DX10 games at max settings, the FPS just isn't good enough. I play at 1400x900 (widescreen) resolution for those who might be interested.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2008 10:23:45 PM

So, even if I'm just doing normal office activites or watching movies, I should upgrade. I think I'll get a cheap Geforce 8400GS.
a c 176 U Graphics card
September 30, 2008 10:35:12 PM

Whoa. Before you start spending money, what will this machine be doing? Name the programs, don't just say movies. Does that mean .avi's and .mpeg's, or does this mean "hi-def" content? Does "normal office activities" mean just word and excel, or does that include 20MB+ pictures being loaded into Photoshop for editing? Its hard to say what you should get, if we don't have a good idea of what it will be doing.

I do know that the newest chipsets from AMD and Nvidia should be cheaper then a seperate 8400GS + motherboard. Both of these "on board" solutions can run blu-ray movies, so they should be fine for many users. I'd look into these before you spend the $$$ on the 8400GS.
September 30, 2008 11:36:06 PM

About someone saying vista runned sluggish on a athlon 64 3500+, well..im running the 32bit version ultimate on my athlon 64 3500+, overclocked to 2.5, and 2 gb of ram, and it runs pretty damn well. I even play ut3 with the 9600gt that's in it at 40\80fps, not very good for a hardcore game, but better than nothing.
When it comes to running aero, the 7100gs will do it, but 4745454b is correct, you should specify what exactly you are going to do with a cheapo geforce, because it might no be enough even if you're not gaming.
a c 275 U Graphics card
September 30, 2008 11:38:48 PM

Don't believe the FUD about vista. It works fine. In these days of cheap ram, it makes use of all that it can find. The more it has, the better it performs. 64 bit version runs well.
For fun, google "mojave experiment".

You have some control over what video features you want in vista. Only you know what you like. Get the VGA card that will do what you want first. Vista considerations should be secondary. Try it out with your 7100GS first. If you play games at all, you will not want onboard graphics.

Also, do you really need ultimate? There are few features that a home user would use. Go to the vista web site and look at a side by side list. You can always unlock the extra capabilities of ultimate by an online update later.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 1:38:26 AM

I won't be doing any gaming on it. Although, I was able to run CSS (if anyone can remember that far back) at low settings with about 30fps on the 7100GS. I will be doing mostly word, excel, internet browsing, watch non-hd movies, and maybe watching a few hd trailers online. I assumed that a Geforce 8400GS was enough, but I am not sure. They seem to go as low as $30 online. Will a Geforce 7100GS with only 128MB not be anywhere near enough?

I like AMD's duel core line, but I don't really want to have to upgrade to a phenom later. (I'm not trying to start an intel vs AMD battle) I've always been a Intel/Nvidia guy. I was planning on building a PC with an Intel E5200 (2.5/800/2mb), 4GB of 800Mhz RAM, 80GB SATA (trust me I only use 40GB), a $120ish mobo, and some sort of cheap video card.

As far as vista goes, I have a sister running Vista Home Premium on a Pentium 4 630 (3.0/800/2mb), 1GB of RAM, and onboard GMA 950 graphics. Needless to say, it doesn't run Aero real well. Actually, it doesn't run much of anything real well. I don't want to make that same mistake, so that's why I'm here asking about my video card.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 2:20:11 AM

I really don't see the point of going to Vista for what you are doing if the XP is working great, especially the Ultimate. I do all that on a 7300LE and it runs all day with no problems. I was even running Server 2008 on it and ran Open Office all day with no problems even once I installed Aero ( I deleted Aero within a day mainly because I'm not into flashy themes). For office work, you don't need a graphics card at all. The reason your sister's machine lags is the 1GB of RAM. To run Vista smoothly, you need at least 2GB of RAM. If I had to rebuild right now, here is what I would get if I went Intel:

The e5200
4GB of decent DDR2-800 RAM
A cheap Nvidia GPU. I run Nvidia mostly because of Linux and not a fan of integrated.
The biggest hard drive I can find for $50. Words of wisdom: You will 160GB hard drives the same price as 80GB's.
a c 106 U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 2:24:14 AM

What exactly is your current system?
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 2:37:58 AM

My current system is:

Pentium D 925 (3.0/800/2x2mb)
512 DDR2 533 RAM
80GB SATA (planning to reuse)
Geforce 7100GS (was hoping to reuse until now)
All on a cheap as hell ECS motherboard

I was planning on buying a new mobo and decided I might as well get a new processor and RAM. I've been meaning to upgrade to Vista for a while. I was planning on switching the processor out on my sister's computer and giving her the extra 0.5GB of RAM

I'm planning to reuse the drive, so it is a set size. I also really only save word documents and excel files, so the size is fine.

I want to upgrade to Vista now, because I hate having to reload my OS. I'd rather do it now, when I'm upgrading hardware, then have to reload it again later. I don't have to get Ultimate, I just want to know that I can support it if I ever do want it.
October 1, 2008 2:48:31 AM

jerreece said:
I'll tell you what. Vista is fine. I like it. But DX10 is NOT what it's cracked up to be. In fact, DX10 cripples even the best video cards in any games. And quite frankly, going with even an 8400GS is going to severely limit you as far as any modern games in Vista.

Picture it like this. Whatever runs smooth on XP, will run slower in Vista. Period.

Kudos on going with 4GB of system memory for Vista (keep in mind only 64bit will use all 4GB). But if you plan to do ANY gaming, upgrade your video card to something better. Personally, I wouldn't do anything lesser than an 8800GT or 9600GT right now for modern games.

If you could care less about games, there's really no reason to do Vista in the first place. Windows XP runs everything out there right now anyhow, and will hog less resources.

I recently ran an older system on Vista Ultimate 64bit. That system was an old AMD 3500+ and GeForce 6800 (256MB) (probably similar to your 7100) and it was pretty dang sluggish. Even without Aero on. Granted some of that was due to an older processor...

Suffice it to say, Vista isn't the right operating system for an inexpensive video card if you want to obtain any level of performance.


Not true, stop spreading FUD. Vista's lackluster performance was due to incomplete graphics drivers, at this present moment Vista offers at the very least the same performance as XP. In fact in some situations the DX9 rendering path is faster on Vista if AA is enabled (compared to XP that is). madshrimps had a review on this particular situation, look for it if you want to educate yourself on the matter.

Now to the OP (and anyone else planning to upgrade to Vista), keep in mind that Vista is definitely worth it as an OS in my opinion, if and only if, your machine is powerful enough to run it properly. You will want 4GB of ram, a decent dual core CPU (E5200 is a very nice choice), and a decent graphics card, even if you do no gaming. I would suggest a nice HD 2600 Pro at around $30 at the very least (The HD 2600 is a HUGE step up from an 8400GS).

Palit AE/260PS+HD21 Radeon HD 2600PRO 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Last piece of advice is to remember to get the 64-bit edition.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 2:59:21 AM

I've got to admit that the Radeon HD 2600PRO does look good. Is there anyone else here who can give a second opinion on this card? I don't know anything about ATI cards. If anyone can tell me this card's nvidia "equivalent", it'd be very helpful.
October 1, 2008 3:05:21 AM

An equivalent to this ATI card would be slightly below the 8600GT. (That doesn't mean that it's similar to the 8500GT though)
October 1, 2008 3:07:30 AM

I'd go for the HD 4670. It has 320 SP and sips power like a Brit at Tea Time. It is far superior to the 2600Pro/XT and HD 3650 cards, and uses less power.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 3:20:12 AM

Is the 2600PRO better than a Geforce 8500GT? Would I have no problems in Vista or Aero with it?

The 4670 is getting a little expensive. I'm looking for a card to do basic desktop activities in vista.
October 1, 2008 3:39:40 AM

Anything is better than an 8500GT (Except an 8400GS). The 8600GT is a HUGE step up from an 8500GT, and I'd say the HD 2600 Pro small one maybe two steps below the 8600GT, no earth shattering differences, but sizable enough to make one.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 3:55:26 AM

Also, someone earlier mentioned that I should get the 64 bit version of windows. Would anybody recommend 64 bit over 32 bit for a average user like me? I know that I'd only be able to use about 3.5GB of my RAM.
October 1, 2008 4:27:37 AM

I would recommend 64-bit for absolutely anyone. There is no reason to get 32-bit OS anymore, Vista was just released to support legacy hardware (Pentium 4 and Athlon XP) that were not able to run in such environment. I just wish the PC world was slightly less considerate to people that have 10 year old computers so it could move and innovate faster. Enough rambling :)  Get a 64-Bit OS, even the OEMs are finally starting to put it in.
October 1, 2008 4:58:33 AM

Yes, definitely get 64-bit Vista, no reason not to. (That goes for everyone who's PC supports 64-bit.)
October 1, 2008 10:31:51 AM

Lol, again, im running the 32bit version on a athlon 64 3500+ and 2 gb of ram, and yes it runs great, i agree that the FUD about the OS being slow belongs into history already as service packs and latest drivers already fixed most of the problems.
I have never tried the 64 bit version though, im somewhat afraid that someday some software wouldnt run because of incompatibility :o 
October 1, 2008 11:13:43 AM

Dougx1317 said:

As far as vista goes, I have a sister running Vista Home Premium on a Pentium 4 630 (3.0/800/2mb), 1GB of RAM, and onboard GMA 950 graphics. Needless to say, it doesn't run Aero real well. Actually, it doesn't run much of anything real well. I don't want to make that same mistake, so that's why I'm here asking about my video card.


Sorry to say, but that rig is excellent candidate for the Intrepid Ibex !!! You can do anything in Ubuntu, even light gaming (loads of free games). If your sister doesn't mind, i would strongly advice. It is a good enough machine and it goes real smooth. Just don't turn on Compiz-Fusion.

About the Video Card. Your 7100 with Hypermemory will crank up the system. Hypermemry was a nice tred that existed for a while that the GPU reserved RAM to self use. Of course (it was expected) lowered the performance of the system.
So, brands and chip makers abandoned that idea for the desktop world. Lappys still use it alot.

Now, a 8400GS or a Ati 2600 will be more than enough for Aero. Or you can wait a bit and use a Ati 4650 or if money allows a 4670. Those last two come with HDMI and a few more tricks. Im sure you will see films in 720p or more.
Anyway those are my recommendations. Cheap, fast and with a good image quality. In terms of video i don't think Nvidia has nothing at this price point.

I have a Ati 4850. While the Wife is watching a DVD or a 720p movie, im playing PES, AC or WoW. Same PC, Same GPU, Simultaneously. COD4 it stutters a bit. Im very pleased with my 4850. I have a simple 4800+ X2 Brisbane.


a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 12:17:59 PM

Deep breeath everyone. He's running office and watching non-hd movies. Even a 7100 and a Pentium D should own at CSS.

The only thing wrong with your system is the slow DDR2 memory (and only 512 of it). Just replace your current RAM with 2GB of whatever your mobo supports (up to DDR2 800) and you should be fine.

If you do need to upgrade your graphics card, pick up an 8600 GT. Some gaming potential, and usually in the sub-$100 range. Make sure to get the GDDR3 version though...
a c 176 U Graphics card
October 2, 2008 1:50:59 AM

Correct. Office and excel, with watching some non HD movies. Any current onboard solution should be fine. The half gig of ram is probably his biggest problem.

If I were the OP, here is what I'd do. You don't even need the 5200, any of the 2xxx chips should be fine. Seeing as its so cheap, you might as well get 4GBs of ram. Buy a motherboard that has a modern onboard GPU. Whatever motherboard you get, make sure it has a PCIe 16x slot so that you can upgrade your graphics IF you need to some time in the future. By all means reuse your 80GB drive (:o ) and case if you want. You might want to look at your PSU to make sure it isn't horribly old. Aside from providing cleaner power, newer PSUs are usually more efficient, making them cheaper to run. (and you won't have to worry about an aged capacitor dying on you.)

As for 32 vs 64bit, as long as ALL of your "computer" parts are new, go 64bit. By "computer", I mean anything that plugs into it. This includes printers, scanners, gamepad/joystick, and digital cameras. If you have any older devices, either upgrade it to something that is 64bit compatible, or stick with 32bit windows. For you, you won't see much difference between them, other then some things won't work with 64bit.
a b U Graphics card
October 2, 2008 11:25:13 AM

Dougx1317 said:
I was just about to upgrade my system to Vista and was wondering about the video card. I don't game or do anything real video intensive. The 7100GS has been fine for XP, but I worry about Vista:

I have an EVGA Geforce 7100GS 128MB (512MB with turbo-cache). Will I be able to run Vista Ultimate with Aero?

Would onboard graphics (GMA 950, GMA 3000, or GMA 3100, ect.) be better for the overall Vista "experiance"? Which onboard graphics would I want?

The Geforce 7100GS is DirectX 9. Should I buy a Geforce 8400GS to get the DirectX 10?


My new system will have an E5200 and 4GB of 800 RAM.


Even an FX5200 runs aero, that 7100GS would be fine! unless your doing gaming etc
a b U Graphics card
October 2, 2008 11:30:04 AM

jerreece said:
I'll tell you what. Vista is fine. I like it. But DX10 is NOT what it's cracked up to be. In fact, DX10 cripples even the best video cards in any games. And quite frankly, going with even an 8400GS is going to severely limit you as far as any modern games in Vista.

Picture it like this. Whatever runs smooth on XP, will run slower in Vista. Period.

Kudos on going with 4GB of system memory for Vista (keep in mind only 64bit will use all 4GB). But if you plan to do ANY gaming, upgrade your video card to something better. Personally, I wouldn't do anything lesser than an 8800GT or 9600GT right now for modern games.

If you could care less about games, there's really no reason to do Vista in the first place. Windows XP runs everything out there right now anyhow, and will hog less resources.

I recently ran an older system on Vista Ultimate 64bit. That system was an old AMD 3500+ and GeForce 6800 (256MB) (probably similar to your 7100) and it was pretty dang sluggish. Even without Aero on. Granted some of that was due to an older processor...

Suffice it to say, Vista isn't the right operating system for an inexpensive video card if you want to obtain any level of performance.


Vista loves:
Dual core processors
Dedicated video cards
Lots of memory

Work sweet as with an E1200 (2 x 1.6ghz, 512k L2) @ 2.13ghz, 3gb and onboard Nvidia "7050" video (ASUS P5N-MX)

Sucked on a Pentium 4 3.4ghz (6 series) with 2gb of memory

4gb is nothing these days, give that system 8gb and leave XP in the dust - modern OS, modern hardware! you will never go back, trust me.
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