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PCI Video Card Question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 1, 2009 8:23:10 PM

I recently purchased a motherboard/processor combination with on-board video. The motherboard works great, but unfortunately it has only a PCI slot and no PCI-Express. I am pleased with my purchase, but I'd like to upgrade the video capabilities. I'd like to spend around $100 and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on a decent card for gaming (Mass Effect, Crisis, etc.). Obviously, I'm looking for a Video card to play these games on low to medium settings. Thanks for any input in advance.
January 1, 2009 8:44:11 PM

btw the on-board I have is currently an Intel GMA 950. I heard bad things about it before I bought the motherboard and it seems like they weren't lying. I play Wow and it runs about 10 fps on average.
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
January 2, 2009 6:25:46 AM

The best you can get with PCI is a steady framerate in WoW. You have almost no options for modern gaming whatsoever without at least an AGP card.

You sure you don't even have an AGP slot somewhere??
January 2, 2009 8:10:45 PM

Nope no AGP or PCIe... My situation seems worse then i thought. I seen both of those cards on newegg and was thinking of the 8400 gs. The card didn't have many reviews and none of the reviews dealt with gaming. I found this card on tigerdirect http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... and it may seem like the best choice for me but is the radeon 2400 better than this card?
a b U Graphics card
January 2, 2009 8:45:55 PM

No that card is slower than the HD2400, but the difference is minimal because they are both so hampered by the slow/thin PCI bus.

It almost doesn't matter what you get because it would be like buying a V6 or V8 and then taping the air intake so that there's only a pin-hole left. Sure one or the other is more powerful at the core, but since they are so far from optimal output they're not going to be all that great or even noticeable in their differences. Only the on board workload, like increased AA might benifit one or the other, but really it won't matter much there either since they are both weak in AA due to the small bitwidth VRAM.

IMO your best bet is if you can find an inexpensive MOBO that supports your CPU & RAM that you already have for around ~$50-60, and then add something like this (if you must go TD);
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

or from NEgg one of the following;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Even if the Mobo were just over $60 you could always go with these, which while not great, would perform better than any PCI card you're looking at;

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

All would be much better IMO, and also give you an upgrade path after this one, although you're still going to be on the low side of the settings.

Best bet for getting some medium settings is a GF9500 or HD3650/4650 class of card with 128bit memory (size doesn't matter much but 256MB is the norm nowadays).

That would be my recommendation, because PCI just is going to be very unsatisfying, and leaves you no future.

Also if you can swing about $60-65 towards a graphics card after the mobo replacement, then you're looking at things that would be better at Medium on a game like Crysis, like a GF9600GS/GSO/GT or HD4650/4670.
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