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Pci graphics card for 3d cad - AMD Athlon 1GB

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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 6:43:14 PM

Hi guys, hoping you can help me with an upgrade issue.

I'm upgrading my nearly 4 year old Compaq Presario to 3D cad (revit and sketch up mostly) capability, with a bit of gaming every now and then. should really replace the whole thing, but want to strecth this one out till i can afford a top spec machine.

It's a AMD athlon gigabyte processor with the old style pci slots. just bumped up from 1/2 gb ddr2 ram to 3.5, and i think the PSU is the standard 300'ish. Running on XP 2000 32 Bit.

My main issue is most cards now seem to be pci-e, and that i have almost no knowledge of graphics cards! :??: 
I'd prefer to spend no more than £80, but if i have to replace the PSU then maybe more.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Jon
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 7:44:53 PM

Sapphire HD 4670 1 GB - £57.99 inc VAT
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

Palit GT 240 1 GB - £64.99 inc VAT
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

Both are at the top of the graphical processing food chain without requiring a PCI-e power connector. Performance is in line with their prices.


If you want more, I need to know what resolution is your monitor and what is your budget? Also know that going much higher on the GPU will get bottlenecked by your CPU.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 8:00:43 PM

Wait, if I read that right, your motherboard has ONLY old-style PCI slots, NOT a PCI-e or even an AGP slot? If so, that could be a problem. Regular PCI's data transfer rate is so slow that you're not going to get much performance out of any video card you can put in it. PCI is better suited for other uses that aren't as data-intensive.

It's rare, but I have heard of budget Compaq and HP machines that don't have AGP or PCI-e, which is why I ask. But definitely double-check what you've got, because I'd be surprised if you only have regular PCI. If that's indeed the case, you probably ought to just wait until you can get a new machine.

If it turns out you have an AGP slot (fairly common on machines of that age), probably the Radeon HD 4670 is your best bet, or the HD 4650 if you're really worried about power consumption.

If you have PCIe, then, what he said.
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a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 8:25:22 PM

Good catch, Capt_Taco.

All PCI graphics cards are inherently underpowered (for the bandwidth issue noted above) which makes them almost useless for graphics productivity and gaming.

Download CPU-Z and check the Mainboard tab. At the bottom is Graphic Interface. What's listed?
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 8:55:07 PM

Thanks Viper and capt_taco.

I've just checked my motherboard against some images online and i may have been a bit hasty about the slots. There's what looks like a PCI-e next to the pci's.
It looks exactly like the pic on this link -

http://www.karbosguide.com/books/pcarchitecture/images/...

Viper - The monitor is a Sony LCD screen and the resolution is 1,280 x 1,024 and the number of colours supported is 16.2 million.

It looks a bit flashy but i think it's pretty standard underneath. It has a DVI-D port on the back, which i've read could let me connect to the HD on the graphics card with an adapter?

You can probably tell i don't really work on computers, so thanks again. Really helpful

Jon
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 9:05:34 PM

Viper, I checked with CPU-Z and i don't have anything listed under Graphic Interface.
At the moment it's just got integrated graphics and under Graphics tab it lists NVidia GE force 6150 LE. Is that gonna be an issue?
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 9:44:28 PM

It sounds like you've got a PCI-e slot after all.

Just to be sure, is the longer slot (the PCI-e) flush with the other slots toward the left of the board? AGP and PCI-e are both longer than regular PCI slots, but AGP slots will be offset toward the center of the board by an inch or so. Also, if you open up the case, often times the manufacturer will have actually printed the type of slot on the board next to it (e.g. "PCIE X16" or "AGP 8x" and so forth). Just a couple more ways to double-check, but what you've described sounds exactly like a PCIe x16 slot.

The onboard graphics won't stop you from using a new video card in that slot, but it could create headaches. Typically, you have to disable the onboard graphics before your system will recognize an add-on card -- that's typically done in the BIOS -- and if everything goes as it's supposed to, your machine should recognize the new card and let you install the drivers no problem. In reality, older machines tend to be pretty fussy about how you install a new video card, and the standard procedure may or may not work on the first try; you may have to do one step out of order, or add some extra step you didn't know about, like reseating the card, going into the device manager, etc., etc.

Don't worry about the card not working at all -- it will -- just know going in that you may well wind up facing an inexplicable black screen and having to troubleshoot it before you can get it running as it should. I would keep a second computer handy that has an Internet connection if I were you. But hopefully, you'll be one of the lucky ones that doesn't run into any issues.
a b U Graphics card
November 23, 2009 11:27:32 PM

Quote:
Thanks Viper and capt_taco.

I've just checked my motherboard against some images online and i may have been a bit hasty about the slots. There's what looks like a PCI-e next to the pci's.
It looks exactly like the pic on this link -

http://www.karbosguide.com/books/pcarchitecture/images/...

Viper - The monitor is a Sony LCD screen and the resolution is 1,280 x 1,024 and the number of colours supported is 16.2 million.

It looks a bit flashy but i think it's pretty standard underneath. It has a DVI-D port on the back, which i've read could let me connect to the HD on the graphics card with an adapter?

You can probably tell i don't really work on computers, so thanks again. Really helpful

Jon

Excellent.

Given that fact and your monitors resolution, the 2 cards I listed earlier will certainly provide you with all you need.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2009 3:07:45 PM

cheers guys, Palit GT 240 ordered, a 800w psu for good measure and a bit of ram should keep me in the right century for a year or two longer!
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2009 3:16:21 PM

Sounds like a plan. Let us know how it goes.
November 24, 2009 3:19:23 PM

!!! You don't need that 800W PSU for a GT240 !!!

What you have should be fine!
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2009 3:47:36 PM

smithereen said:
!!! You don't need that 800W PSU for a GT240 !!!

What you have should be fine!


Very true. I don't even think that card needs its own power cable; it gets all the juice it needs from the motherboard slot. So lack of free cables won't be a problem either. I'd send that power supply back and spend the money on booze.
!