When buying new card, what do i need to consider (compatibility wise)?

Hi guys,

My reasonably new home-built computer is running an ancient Geforce2 MX 32mb card, so it's time for an upgrade.

I can't afford much, so I've plumped for an ATI Radeon X1650 Pro (AGP). AGP as my motherboard has no PCIe slot. Apart from this AGP thing, what else to I need to consider to ensure my machine will run this card?

1) I've seen mentioned on review of this card that you need an external PSU or something... how do I know? What do I need?

2) I've seen mentioned about my machine having 'enough' wattage to support this card... how do I know?

3) I've seen mentioned about making sure my BIOS and AGP chipset/AGP drivers are up to the task... how do I know?

My motherboard is ASRock 939A8X-M, specs are here:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=939A8X-M

Help!
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More about when buying card compatibility wise
  1. first of all, you have to know if your power supply can handle it, second what's intercafe, you said its AGP so thats fine, now the only thing is looking into de PSU and make sure it can support it. and then finding a great card for the money you are willing to spend.
  2. Winly said:
    first of all, you have to know if your power supply can handle it, second what's intercafe, you said its AGP so thats fine, now the only thing is looking into de PSU and make sure it can support it. and then finding a great card for the money you are willing to spend.


    Hey, thanks for the reply.

    These are my questions... how do I know if 'my power supply can handle it' and if my 'PSU can support it'?

    Thanks.
  3. Most manuf. will list on the box minimum wattage needed. Look for 300w or greater reccommended on the box or website system requirements.
    I run a 500watt PSU which is plenty for most hardware.
    Look for a sticker on the side of your PSU it should be listed or maybe google the model number if no sticker.

    If buying a new PSU, make sure the wattage is listed as "continuous"
    For example 500 watt peak and 250 watt continous-may not be enuf.

    I am in a similar situation to you...older system ...ancient vid card...I am still having trouble finding the right video card...See my post "Help me find a video card" So you dont run into the same problems I have...
    Good Luck!
  4. 300w should suffice, any cheap 430w will do.
  5. Findus -

    Graphic cards receive power that they need from the motherboard's graphic card slot (in your case, the AGP slot). A few years ago, the graphics card slot power was more than enough for a graphics card. As cards became more powerful, they required more power. In some cases, more than the graphics card slot, alone, could provide. Manufacturers started making cards with a secondary power connection.

    In the case of the ATI X1650Pro (at least the ones listed on Newegg), it requires a secondary power connection from your power supply using either a 4-Pin floppy power connection or a 4-Pin Molex connection (like one used to power IDE hard drives), depending on which card you purchase. Most, if not all, new cards will come with a power connection cable that will allow you to splice in a connection in case you do not have an extra power connector.

    Unfortunately, you can't just plug in the new card and go. You need to make sure your power supply can handle the extra power requirements. On the side of most power supplies is a sticker which shows the rated wattage of your power supply as well as a break down of how power is distributed (in amps) across the various lines of power (rails).

    Take a look at your power supply and report back to us what it says for:

    Total Max Power:
    Amps on the +3.3v, +5v, and +12v (may be more than one):

    -Wolf sends
  6. power supply, power supply, power supply. oh did i mention power supply?
  7. Thanks for the replies and background information! :)

    Here's a photo of my power supply ratings:



    And the inside... there seems to be one connector from the power supply that is not connected to anything:



    I've ran my system through one of the online wattage checker thingys (to find out how much wattage I'm already using) and it came to something around 240 watts.

    The card should be ok?
  8. :lol: nice cable management...

    18A 12v rail should be more than sufficient since my PSU with a 16A 12v rail can run my oc'd C2D and 9600GT no probs...
  9. I agree with V3NOM, you shouldn't have any problems powering the ATI X1650Pro. It looks like you will need to use the included power cable to splice in power to your graphics card.

    -Wolf sends
  10. I think you should compare the ATI x1650Pro to the Nvidia 7600GT. The 7600GT is available in AGP.
  11. Thanks guys :D

    Neuspeed, I've had lots of trouble sourcing a 7600GT (my original first choice), and the one's I have found have been double the cost of the Radeon (which I'm getting for 35 pounds).
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