Would a new graphics card help ?

Hi,
one of my old desktop PCs from my overclocking days is an Athlon XP 2400+, running Win XP Pro SP3 and a ATI Radeon 9600 AGP.
I dont really have any issues with it except that recently I have noticed that certain graphics are "slow". The two most prominent examples I can think of are Google Maps/Earth and playing HD Video over Netflix.

When I drag or zoom in a map on Google it has a very noticeable lag which I dont remember having experienced before.
When I watch an HD movie (which I believe is 720p) on Netflix online then it barely works - its slow enough to say its practically stopped.

I will be upgrading/replacing this system but not anytime soon - perhaps 6-8 months. so I am thinking that I'd buy a new AGP card that will allow me to breathe some life into it in this area. Since its an AGP there arn't very many options, and I am looking at a HD 4850. But what I would like to confirm is will that really help with the above mentioned issues ? Does it sound like the video card is the bottleneck ? The CPU is fairly old too - I dont believe it has any of those advanced multilmedia instruction sets like SSE2 etc.. so would it still be a problem ?

Is it possible there is something in Windows or the Video Card that is not set properly ?

Appreciate your help.
Thanks!
6 answers Last reply
More about would graphics card
  1. It sounds like you just have a lot of things running in the background. If you've never experienced it before using the same setup, you should try a reformat, make sure not to run excessive amounts of uneeded programs, or at least clean out your hardware system of any overaccumulation of dust.
  2. nope. thats not it. confirmed.
    whenever this happens iexplore.exe (IE 8) cpu utilization pins at 100%. It drops back and stays close to 0% indicating nothings else is hogging it.
  3. I don't think that a 4850 AGP exists, even if it does I think your current PSU will be inadequate for it.The best option would be to look for a 4670 AGP.
  4. The best AGP card you can get is probably the HD 4670.

    Regarding your choppy Netflix playback, I just want to confirmed that you are using broadband internet access.
  5. Don't get a new card quite yet. Netflix uses silverlight and I assume google earth does as well. Silverlight doesn't really do gpu accelerated video playback, which makes any gpu useless for netflix
  6. I am sorry I meant a 4650! and I did upgrade the psu to 450W at some point. (remember this is an OC machine ;) ).
    Yes I did notice that Netflix uses Silverlight. wasn't sure about Google maps. Now thats a bummer that Silverlight does not leverage the gpu for video. Silverlight pushed out a major update recently, so I have been told. Do you know if this could have changed in the recent release ?

    and yes I have a 7Mbps DSL which delivers a pretty good steady stream. I should have mentioned these issues do not exists at all on my laptop which is a Thinkpad SL410, Win7, T5970 Core2Duo with Intel 4500 HD graphics. HD video playback is perfect on this machine.
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