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Upgrading G Card Suggestions for Novice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 9, 2009 8:33:42 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm completely new to customising computers, and I'd just like some recommendations for what I can do with my son's old(ish) desktop pc. I want to put in a more powerful graphics crd than the one he has now, but I don't know what would be compatible.

The motherboard is a 865GM2-LS - Microstar Micro-star MSI. If yu need any more info I have Belarc Advisor installed on it so can provide you with more details. I'm not looking for a hugely powerful one, something that can comfortably run games like Dawn of War and Dark Star One.

Thanks in advance!
a c 125 U Graphics card
November 9, 2009 9:03:04 AM

Can you give us more infomation like your processor and also what monitor you use and what resolution.

Theres no point in getting a decent graphics card if its going to be crippled by an old processor.
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November 9, 2009 9:52:56 AM

Sure, here is he Belarc Advisor report:

Operating System System Model
Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 3 (build 2600)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (United Kingdom) MICRO-STAR INTL, CO.,LTD. MS-6743 Ver0B
System Serial Number: SNC302EEH
Enclosure Type: Desktop
Processor a Main Circuit Board b
2.80 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
8 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
Not hyper-threaded Board: MICRO-STAR INTL, CO.,LTD. MS-6743 Ver0B
Bus Clock: 133 megahertz
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG 04/23/2003
Drives Memory Modules c,d
81.95 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
62.03 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

SAMSUNG CDRW/DVD SM-352N [CD-ROM drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

Maxtor 6Y080L0 [Hard drive] (81.96 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 3259414a50364559202020202020202020202020 256 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'A0' has 256 MB
Slot 'A1' is Empty
Slot 'A2' is Empty
Slot 'A3' is Empty
Local Drive Volumes

c: (NTFS on drive 0) 81.95 GB 62.03 GB free



Controllers Display
Standard floppy disk controller
Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 24DB
Primary IDE Channel [Controller]
Secondary IDE Channel [Controller] NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (Microsoft Corporation) [Display adapter]
Samsung SyncMaster [Monitor] (19.1"vis, s/n H9NY207173, February 2005)
Bus Adapters Multimedia
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D2
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D4
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D7
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24DE
Intel(R) 82801EB USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 24DD C-Media AC97 Audio Device
Creative Game Port
Creative SB Audigy 2 (WDM)
Controllers Display
Standard floppy disk controller
Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 24DB
Primary IDE Channel [Controller]
Secondary IDE Channel [Controller] NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (Microsoft Corporation) [Display adapter]
Samsung SyncMaster [Monitor] (19.1"vis, s/n H9NY207173, February 2005)
Bus Adapters Multimedia
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D2
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D4
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D7
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24DE
Intel(R) 82801EB USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 24DD C-Media AC97 Audio Device
Creative Game Port
Creative SB Audigy 2 (WDM)
Controllers Display
Standard floppy disk controller
Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 24DB
Primary IDE Channel [Controller]
Secondary IDE Channel [Controller] NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (Microsoft Corporation) [Display adapter]
Samsung SyncMaster [Monitor] (19.1"vis, s/n H9NY207173, February 2005)
Bus Adapters Multimedia
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D2
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D4
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24D7
Intel(R) 82801EB USB Universal Host Controller - 24DE
Intel(R) 82801EB USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 24DD C-Media AC97 Audio Device
Creative Game Port
Creative SB Audigy 2 (WDM)
November 9, 2009 10:02:30 AM

And here is the Motherboard

865GM2-LS - Microstar Micro-star MSI

9.65 in.(L) x 9.65 in.(W); Micro-ATX
• 4 DIMMs w/ DDR400 upto 4GB
• 1 AGP 8X; 3 PCI; 8 USB
• 6 Ch. Audio; 10/100 LAN; SATA; ATA100
• Integrated Intel Extereme Graphic 2 supports up to 64MB of video memory
• Live Update; Fuzzy Logic; PC Alert; MSI CoreCell; MSI CoreCenter



MSI Part No: MS-6743G


CPU
• Supports Socket 478 for Intel® Pentium 4 (Northwood/Prescott) processor
• Supports up 3.2 GHz/FSB 800
• Supports FSB 400/533/800 MHz


Chipset
• Intel® Springdale 865G Chipset
- Supports FSB *400 (Northwood only)/533/800 MHz
- Support Single or Dual channel DDR 400/333/266 non-ECC memory up to 4GB
- Integrated Graphics controller
- Support AGP 8x or 4x at 0.8V (AGP 3.0) or 4x at 1.5V (not support 3.3V)

• Intel® ICH5 Chipset
- Integrated Hi-Speed USB 2.0 controller, 480Mb/sec, 8 ports
- 2 Serial ATA/ 150 ports
- 2 channel Ultra ATA 100 bus Master IDE controller
- PCI Master v 2.3, I/O APIC
- Supports both ACPI and legacy APM power management - Serial ATA/150


FSB
Support 400* (Northwood only)/533/800MHz Intel NetBurst micro-architecture bus.

Main Memory
• Supports 4 unbuffered DIMM of 2.5 Volt DDR SDRAM
• Supports up to 4GB memory size
• Support Single or Dual Channel DDR 400*/333/266 MHz and up (*In order to use DDR 400, FSB 800 CPU is required)
Due to the High Performance Memory design, motherboards or system configurations may or may not operate smoothly at the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) standard settings (BIOS Default on the motherboard) such as DDR voltage, memory speed Example: Kingston HyperX DDR500 PC4000 operates at 2.65V, 3-4-4-8, CL=3.
For more information about specification of high performance memory modules, please check with your Memory Manufactures for more details.

Slots
• One AGP slot supports 8x/4x at 0.8V (AGP 3.0) or 4x at 1.5V (3.3v is not supported)
• Five PCI 2.2 32-bit Master PCI Bus slots. (support 3.3v / 5v PCI bus interface)


BIOS
• The mainboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
• The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications.


On-Board IDE
Dual Ultra DMA 66/ 100 IDE controllers integrated in ICH5
- Supports PIO, Bus Master operation modes
- Can connect up to 4 Ultra ATA drives
Serial ATA/ 150 controller integrated in ICH5
- Up to 150MB/s transfer speed
- Can connect up to 2 Serial ATA drives


Video
Intel Extereme Graphic 2: Also knowns as DVMT2 (Dynamic Video Memory Technology 2.0), it will assign up to 64MB with total system memory 192 MB or above.

Audio
6 Channels software audio codec C-Media 9739A
- Compliance with AC97 v2.2 Spec
- Meet PC2001 audio performance requirement
- Support SPDIF out via 3-pin SPDIF bracket only


LAN
Intel® 8262EZ
- Integrated Fast Ethernet MAC and PHY in one chip
- Supports 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s
- Compliance with PCI 2.2
- Supports ACPI Power Management


On-Board Peripherals
- 1 floppy port supports 2 FDDs with 360K, 720K, 1.2M, 1.44M and 2.88Mbytes
- 1 serial port COM A ; 1 VGA port
- 1 parallel port supports SPP/EPP/ECP mode
- 8 USB 2.0 ports (Rear x 6 / **Front x 2) (**Front USB ports are supported by pin-out)
- 1 Line-In/Line-Out/Mic-In port
- 2 PS/2 connectors
- 1 LAN RJ45 connector
a c 125 U Graphics card
November 9, 2009 10:17:38 AM

My advice is to (if you can afford it) completely start again, your computer is old.Really old.

Unfortunality the best card you can get is an AGP card, So if you cannot afford to completely upgrade then buy an AGP card (not PCI-E, because your motherboard does not support it)

IH8U's surgestion of a 4650 AGP is your best bet, but will probably be held back by your P4.
!