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Help with deciding on a graphics card...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 21, 2010 8:51:41 PM

I am another person with Sims 3 but can't play it because I don't have shader model 2.0+ support. I have had Sims 3 since it came out and it is currently...rotting on my desktop.

Soon after I got it, we went to Fry's Electronics and bought a PCI card that looked like it would be pretty much perfect for me and my gaming-ness. Except the point that we found out I needed AGP after we tried to install it.

If anyone could suggest a card for me, that would be great, as long as it's AGP. I will give my computer info below.

Also, the card needs to be relatively cheap, 60-70$ at the highest but preferably 40-50$. I know I won't get a wonderful card for that price but thats fine, I'm hoping to be able to get a new computer by summer.

Currently have:

Card: Intel(R) 82865G Graphics Controller
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4CPU 2.80GHz
Memory: 2038MB RAM
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600)

If you need any more information, please tell me what along with how to find this information. I can find dxdiag but thats about all.

More about : deciding graphics card

January 21, 2010 8:53:21 PM

EDIT: Forgot to add that I am currently considering an EVGA 6200MB 256MB AGP Video Card . Does anyone have this card/is it a good card?

And / please / don't tell me it's time for me to get a new computer. I know that but I can't, we don't have that much money at the time.
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January 21, 2010 9:22:47 PM

-Slightly outside your price range for $75 is the 4650 which is a little under 3x as powerful as the 3650.

Which then in-turn has 20 times the power of a 6200, so... :non: 
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2010 9:29:18 PM

If you have a decent power supply in your computer you could run a 3850--a great deal at $70. (and more powerful than either above option--although they are good choices)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However my real recommendation is that you consider buying a used card. Prices on new AGP cards are high because not many people buy them anymore--but there are lots of people getting rid of older PCs that had AGP cards. Check out craigslist in your area and search for AGP-- you could probably get something really cheap.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2010 9:50:17 PM

I'd say go for the 4650. It's a few bucks over your price range but should work with just about any power supply and is basically the max upgrade for that system. A 4670 or 3850 will be a little more powerful, but you won't see much difference because they are probably just going to get bottlenecked by the CPU.

Also: The 3850 is honestly the best AGP card out there, but the problem is it requires an 8-pin power connector, which most power supplies of that era don't have.

Although for the money, if you can get a used card, that's probably the best option.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2010 9:57:27 PM

capt_taco said:
I'd say go for the 4650. It's a few bucks over your price range but should work with just about any power supply and is basically the max upgrade for that system. A 4670 or 3850 will be a little more powerful, but you won't see much difference because they are probably just going to get bottlenecked by the CPU.

Also: The 3850 is honestly the best AGP card out there, but the problem is it requires an 8-pin power connector, which most power supplies of that era don't have.

Although for the money, if you can get a used card, that's probably the best option.


If I recall the 3850/3870 only needed a 6-pin.
From a Google Images of 3850 even the AGP versions only needed a 6-pin.
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January 21, 2010 9:58:59 PM

Thanks everyone who has replied. I'll browse craigslist for used video cards, if my dad will let me get a used one. He has a thing about getting used electronics because we can't return it if it doesn't work.

I just checked my powersupply (and fought with my computer haha) and my powersupply is 160W I THINK. That's not very good I think x.x

It's an old computer, I think it's from 2001? Might have to just wait to get a new computer, whenever that is.

Do you think I'll even be able to get THIS video card with that wattage?
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2010 10:02:07 PM

I just want to add on that if you buy a used card from an individual-- insist on seeing it it work in a computer before purchase.

That can either be at their home in a computer, or you can make them come to your home for the transaction. Any reasonable person should understand why you would want this--and it would be worth paying at least $10 more to get.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2010 10:09:00 PM

Wow... that is pretty meek. What make is your computer--most of that era came with 250+w. I have to say I dont think 160w would run the 6200 or possibly any card--especially because its so old.

Now you are looking at a used power supply and a used card...

Do you by any chance plan to build your next PC? That could be an excuse to buy a new power supply now. ($40 psu+$30 card is still in the 70ish range.. )
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2010 10:17:11 PM

A 3450 is better than a GF6200, and uses less power.
Will play Sims 3, fixed his problem.

I doubt a $30 GPU can justify a $40 PSU.
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January 21, 2010 10:21:15 PM

I'm pretty sure that this is my computer. That's how it looks like anyways. And yes, I was scared that's what you would say xD

What do you mean by build my next PC? I'm guessing that you mean customize it so I can choose the video card, memory, ect. If I'm correct, yes, we are, but I don't know how soon it will be. My dad has an older computer then I does and he needs one for his work (or lack of; he's unemployed at the moment).

A new PSU is only about $40? That's pretty good. If I get the only thats $50 (the one the Dell lady recommended, that I linked to), that is only $90.

Thank you!
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January 21, 2010 10:23:05 PM

sabot00 said:
A 3450 is better than a GF6200, and uses less power.
Will play Sims 3, fixed his problem.

I doubt a $30 GPU can justify a $40 PSU.


So you would definatly recommend the 3450? I'll have to take a deeper look into that and hope that I can afford that along with the PSU. Thank you :) 
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2010 10:32:01 PM

I just looked it up and I guess the 3450 that he linked MIGHT work. Its still a bit of a stretch to run on your old power supply but its worth trying. As power supplies get older they become less and less powerful...

From looking at the photo you posted I should note that you have a slim system--so make certain you get a low profile card, and know that you would need a special shape power supply--so that cant be replaced cheaply.

Do not get the 6200. It is not a good deal, and less powerful than the other cards mentioned here.
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a b U Graphics card
January 21, 2010 10:40:32 PM

From the picture it's PROBABLY a low-profile (slim) case. However we can't be sure.
The 3450 is better than the GF6200 is every way; newer, more powerful, less power-consumption, faster core, faster VRAM.
The 3450 I linked is also low-profile, so it would still fit.
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January 21, 2010 10:41:23 PM

Thanks, deadlockedworld and sabot, I'll cross the 6200 off my list then.

I'm looking at power supplies right now. What do you mean by a special shaped power supply? Is it something I'll have to customize or whatever you might want to call it? Would you be able to grab a link for me? If not, thats fine, I understand completely.

Sorry for all the questions x.x I fail at the computer hardware stuff. I'm good at the other stuff on computers but hardware...puzzles me xD
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January 25, 2010 6:06:42 PM

Best answer selected by fehler.
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January 25, 2010 7:20:03 PM

A few facts that might help out.
a) It does indeed reqiure a low profile card
b) You will struggle to find a better psu, from my experience, only a gx280 psu will fit in a gx280, it's a mass produced PC thing, they don't want you to upgrade.. Dell are one of the worst for this but most will make it hard work. Its a very specific size and shape with very specific fittings,

There are atleast 3 possible answers to your problem.
1) Find a low profile card that will only run on the power available from an AGP slot - None are comming to mind but I'm sure somebody here will know if there is one. I'm not even sure if it's an AGPx8 slot!!!!! Can you see anything in the bios to confirm?
2) Now this is a little dodgy, but its how I managed to use a gx280 as a gaming machine - Buy a cheap standard desktop psu (about £30) and use this externally to the case (You will need to leave the case open) and as you have to leave the case open anyway you can now fit a full height card although this will require some minor case bending to fit. I had a Nvid 7800gt (my gx280 had pcie slot) and a nice 480W psu on a shelf just above the case with its cables flowing down :) 
3)Throw it away and buy a cheap PC on Craigs etc I realise what your budget is here and if I still had any of my old machines (AMD XP3200, ATI9800pro etc) I would have sold it to you for the price of shipping :) 

Your in a tricky situation given your budget and I hope someone can come up with a low profile card which can run from an AGP slot alone.
Good luck mate.
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January 25, 2010 7:23:34 PM

sry... how is this solved???
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a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2010 7:29:46 PM

jibbermitch said:
sry... how is this solved???



I'm not really certain either. But thanks :-) Maybe he decided to just give up?


I do like the above idea of just getting a full size power supply for outside of the case.. but im not certain any of the work is worth it on a p4.
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January 25, 2010 7:38:11 PM

Well, when I was between rigs (mobo blew and took out memory and CPU) I.... found? a gx280 and set up as above and could play pretty much every game 1280x1024 with decent settings. This was probably about 2 yrs ago.
Your right, these days its just not worth the hassel!
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a c 271 U Graphics card
February 23, 2012 2:07:41 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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