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Advice for updating old graphics card on old motherboard

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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
October 22, 2009 5:09:11 PM

My "second" computer is an old Pentium 4 machine (link) that I'm hoping to keep relevant for another year or two, mainly by upgrading the video card (currently a Radeon 9550). Problem is, the original motherboard (link) is so old that I am not 100% sure what new technology will work with it. It is based on DDR RAM standard and has both an AGP 8x and a PCI expansion slot to consider.

The three options I am considering -- keep in mind, if I can do this as cheaply as possibly, all the better:

1) Keep same motherboard and add a new PCI graphics card like a Radeon HD2400 that has DirectX 10 (total cost: approx. $60)

2) Keep the same motherboard and add a new AGP graphics card (probably a GeForce 6200, which looks like the most recent they still make) that maxes out at DirectX 9. (total cost: Approx. $40)

3) Get a new socket 478 motherboard that supports DDR2 and PCIe x16 (very rare, I could only find one kind, link), replace RAM with DDR2, and replace graphics card with a PCIe x16, DX10 card like a GeForce 8400 (total cost: approx. $150).


Just off the top of my head, the Radeon HD2400 seems like the easiest and best option, but this is where I run into some specific compatibility questions:

- Will a graphics card using DDR2 be incompatible with a motherboard based on regular DDR (which would severely limit my options if I keep the old mobo)? Or can you use any memory standard in the graphics card, and it's just having the correct interface that matters?

- Regarding AGP 8x versus PCI technology -- my understanding is that AGP is actually newer, but it looks like they stopped making new cards for it a long time ago and you can get a lot more modern ones for PCI. But is the difference in the interface significant enough that I'd be better off with the old AGP GeForce 6000 series over the Radeon HD2400 for PCI, though?

I apologize for the long message, but any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
October 22, 2009 8:16:22 PM

1. you can use a ddr5 card with a ddr mobo if you want, as long as it has a PCIE slot.

2. AGP gpus stopped being launched about 5 years ago, but still AGP has a better transfer rate than pci, the 6800GT,despite of being older, is quite a step foward the PCI version of the 9400gt, wich is much newer,you can find a 6800Ultra really cheap these days.

i would personally recommend you to upgrade to a more decent ddr3 or ddr2 mobo that supports at least a core2 and has a pcie x16port. pentiums sucks really bad right now
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a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
October 22, 2009 8:41:40 PM

wiinippongamer said:
1. you can use a ddr5 card with a ddr mobo if you want, as long as it has a PCIE slot.

2. AGP gpus stopped being launched about 5 years ago, but still AGP has a better transfer rate than pci, the 6800GT,despite of being older, is quite a step foward the PCI version of the 9400gt, wich is much newer,you can find a 6800Ultra really cheap these days.

i would personally recommend you to upgrade to a more decent ddr3 or ddr2 mobo that supports at least a core2 and has a pcie x16port. pentiums sucks really bad right now



Yeah, that would be the ideal option, but going to a Core 2 would basically mean building a whole new machine, which I don't want to do again (my main machine is a DDR3 quad core with an HD4870 anyway). The goal for this one is basically to just have a second computer that's OK for when the wife (also a gamer) or kids are using the main one. After a couple years, I'll probably just throw out the pentium and build a new i7.

It sounds like there are no compatibility issues with any of the video cards, which is good to have confirmed. And getting an AGP card is the way to go if possible over original PCI. So that solves that question -- now I've got some shopping around to do.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
February 23, 2012 3:10:28 PM

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