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Would a new graphics card help ?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
August 1, 2010 11:24:43 PM

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.

More about : graphics card

a b U Graphics card
August 1, 2010 11:28:26 PM

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.
August 1, 2010 11:30:41 PM

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.
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a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2010 4:53:59 AM

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.
a c 355 U Graphics card
August 2, 2010 5:14:37 AM

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.
August 2, 2010 6:32:02 AM

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
August 2, 2010 11:49:32 AM

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.