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Need old AGP card for Mom.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 6, 2010 6:38:29 PM

My mom has onboard video and it gets kinda laggy even when watching youtube. I need to get her something with a little more power. I'm way out of the loop on graphics cards, especially older ones. All she'll ever do is watch DVD's and streaming media, no games, no video editing. It's an older HP with 2GB of ram, and XP. Any suggestions?

Only Requirements:
AGP
dual output (at least 1 being DVI)

More about : agp card mom

December 6, 2010 7:00:29 PM

VGA and DVI -or- dual DVI. One to go to the monitor and the other to her TV (I have a DVI to HDMI adapter for that)
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a c 538 U Graphics card
December 6, 2010 10:25:41 PM

I hope this works for you, it is a listing of all the AGP cards for sale on Newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Not sure what the budget is, but the AMD 4670/4650 are the best for $60 - $105 after rebate. Or the Nvidia cards for ~$40 - $50.
a c 172 U Graphics card
December 7, 2010 1:47:16 AM

If she is like my mom videos and web surfing then nothing else you don't even have to look at the more modern Radeon 4k as they are just to expensive to be used for that purpose. Second it is a smart move on your part to not over pay on a 6200. Also the Geforce6 on up has Win Vista/7 supported drivers that are up to date. Honestly I would look to a 66ooGT Agp if you are lucky to find one but a 6200 will do just fine. Good luck.
December 7, 2010 1:46:03 PM

I've got my eye on a used Radeon X800 Pro... Lots more power for the price, it seems.
a c 172 U Graphics card
December 7, 2010 2:44:14 PM

True but it is not supported by Win 7 and drivers are a issue but it is rock solid under XP and Vista so good luck and be sure to keep it clean.
December 7, 2010 2:53:43 PM

Yeah, she'll be on XP for a good while, I'm sure.

It's my understanding that a mobo with 8x AGP will also support 4x cards... but is there such a thing as a 4x AGP mobo that won't support an 8x card?
a c 172 U Graphics card
December 7, 2010 3:41:38 PM

Don't worry most board will not have an issue with card except for a rare VIA board not loading the switch on some modern cards but ether than that it is plug and play. If she is using a Dell system or some other oem Intel chances are you will never see any issues with compatibility. Since this is a native agp card such issues may never be seen. So good luck and she will be a happy camper with this card.
December 20, 2010 1:04:21 AM

OK, so I got the Radeon X800 Pro 256MB, I installed the card and the drivers, and simple youtube videos are still choppy and laggy. Any idea why the GPU upgrade didn't seem to help?

SPECS
eMachines W4065 (upgraded)
Intel Pentium 4 - 2.4GHz
ATI Radeon Powercolor X800 Pro 256MB DDR3 AGP
2 GB DDR
60BG HD
480W Enermax PSU
Windows XP Pro SP3 (up to date)
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 1:14:53 AM

Youtube has more to do with your internet connection than your hardware.
Do the speed test on Youtube during a video.
I forget where the option is but it is there.
The speed test will tell you what speed you ISP is providing.
Not all ISP providers are created equal...
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 1:16:46 AM

Also with Youtube the speed is by where the video is coming from.
I have so much problems with Vevo during peak hours for example.
It seems Ytube must have multiple servers with some faster than others.
December 20, 2010 1:39:32 AM

Well, I downloaded a HQ 720p quicktime movie trailer and played it locally, and it was still choppy.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 1:45:17 AM

right click on desktop to get to properties
go into the control panel of your video card
change your 3d settings to high performance profile
also download rivatuner and MILDLY OC the card
if you have never OCd a video card then Google "beginners guide to overclocking video cards"
If i remember PCstats has a good guide
also right click on the video and there might be flash settings you can change

December 20, 2010 2:08:37 AM

I just pumped up the performance/quality slider to performance in the ATI catalyst software, and the choppy local video still persists. I also did the "overdrive" which pushes the card a little more I guess... But given the specs of this machine, should I really have to overclock anything to get smooth playing video?! I've had worse machines that were able to do this no problem.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 2:54:03 AM

what codec package are you running?
I like K-Lite Mega Codec pack on freecodecs.com
a c 243 U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 2:57:20 AM

Or VLC. VLC plays everything even broken files.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 4:20:45 AM

anort3 said:
Or VLC. VLC plays everything even broken files.

^1 good idea
a c 155 U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 5:35:50 AM

Yeah eBay's a good place to get things like this, I just got my sister a Radeon X1300 Pro for $15. It works great and now she can use HD resolution. It made a really nice (and cheap) Christmas present. I got my mom an ASUS Radeon HD 3450 AGP for her birthday one year so she could have a real HTPC. I was lucky on that one, I got it new for $40. AGP cards are usually expensive and I will point out that if watching YouTube is the most she does that even a PCI card will work fine for her. :sol: 
December 20, 2010 12:42:22 PM

Avro Arrow said:
... I will point out that if watching YouTube is the most she does that even a PCI card will work fine for her. :sol: 

Yeah, that's what I thought too, but if you read my last few posts you'll see that I'm still having video problems after the upgrades.
December 20, 2010 5:00:21 PM

I think your best bet is to back up the data, format the hard drive and reload windows. That's obviously where the issue lies, PC's do weird things when they get cluttered. Don't forget to reload all the drivers though :) .
December 20, 2010 5:06:59 PM

Totempole said:
I think your best bet is to back up the data, format the hard drive and reload windows. That's obviously where the issue lies, PC's do weird things when they get cluttered. Don't forget to reload all the drivers though :) .

Yeah, I wondered about that. Mostly because of the fact that I previously installed the on-board video drivers before installing this new card. But as far as I can tell, the computer is recognizing the new card as the primary display and the monitor IS plugged into the card rather than the onboard VGA port. Is there any other way to confirm this before reinstalling XP?
a c 243 U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 5:09:00 PM

^ + 1

I am starting to agree with Totem. Sounds like a driver corruption issue that might not be fixable without a reload / reinstall.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 5:19:45 PM

Have you tried looking at the flash settings to see if hardware acceleration is enabled? I think it is enabled by default but you might check by right clicking on one of the vidoes and going to settings and making sure the box is checked. I've read that some flash apps are actually worse with hardware acceleration so you might try it both ways. If you still have problems try unistalling flash and reinstalling 10.1 or whatever the new one is now.
December 20, 2010 6:07:03 PM

benski said:
Have you tried looking at the flash settings to see if hardware acceleration is enabled? I think it is enabled by default but you might check by right clicking on one of the vidoes and going to settings and making sure the box is checked. I've read that some flash apps are actually worse with hardware acceleration so you might try it both ways. If you still have problems try unistalling flash and reinstalling 10.1 or whatever the new one is now.

It's not just flash though. I downloaded a quicktime movie trailer to the HD and it was still choppy.
a b U Graphics card
December 20, 2010 6:33:46 PM

I don't think quicktime can use hardware acceleration. Check the performance tab under the task manager when you're trying to play a movie. See if CPU usage is pegged at 100%, if so then hardware acceleration isn't working and your video performance is going to be CPU limited.
December 31, 2010 3:21:52 AM

So, I did a complete fresh install of XP pro, installed the main drivers, and made sure not to install the onboard graphics drivers.. STILL SAME PROBLEM with the video being choppy, on youtube AND a quicktime .mov file.

Any other suggestions?
December 31, 2010 5:46:55 AM

6600gt agp will be fine for it.
December 31, 2010 4:00:21 PM

mrjericho1991 said:
6600gt agp will be fine for it.

Already got a card in it. Read above.
January 3, 2011 12:22:13 PM

Quote:
So, I did a complete fresh install of XP pro, installed the main drivers, and made sure not to install the onboard graphics drivers.. STILL SAME PROBLEM with the video being choppy, on youtube AND a quicktime .mov file.

Any other suggestions?


Anyone? :( 
a c 243 U Graphics card
January 3, 2011 7:32:09 PM

rspaulding said:
Quote:
So, I did a complete fresh install of XP pro, installed the main drivers, and made sure not to install the onboard graphics drivers.. STILL SAME PROBLEM with the video being choppy, on youtube AND a quicktime .mov file.

Any other suggestions?


Anyone? :( 



Did you disable onboard graphics in BIOS when you installed the card?
January 6, 2011 4:23:25 AM

anort3 said:
Did you disable onboard graphics in BIOS when you installed the card?

I looked in the bios for something that could do that. The best I could find is "Default Primary Video Adapter" which I can choose between 'PCI' or 'AGP'. It was set on 'PCI' so I changed it to 'AGP' ....still, nothing seemed to change when I ran the videos in windows.
January 6, 2011 4:57:23 AM

You ARE plugged into the graphics card right?
January 6, 2011 12:27:11 PM

Randomacts said:
You ARE plugged into the graphics card right?

Yes. I can tell that the graphics card IS working. When I drag a window around on the screen it doesn't make severe trails and windows is not limited to a very low resolution like it would with no graphics drivers installed. This is driving me nuts. The computer specs and this card should be plenty powerful enough to play videos on youtube... right?
January 12, 2011 2:06:26 PM

This is driving me nuts. The computer specs and this card should be plenty powerful enough to play videos on youtube... right?
a c 243 U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 3:39:11 PM

It sure should be. Honestly, I am at a loss......you are 100% sure it's not an internet connection issue?
January 12, 2011 8:17:28 PM

Yeah, like I said, I downloaded some quicktime videos to the HD to rule that out.

Best solution

January 12, 2011 9:35:07 PM
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I'm sorry to say guys, but you are all wrong!

The problem is very simple, although the solution might not exactly work 100%.

Let me explain:

1. Youtube videos have become more and more demanding (flash videos in general) because they use very efficient codecs to use less space. The trouble is, they require a lot of horsepower. You must have either one of two things to get it right:

a) a powerful CPU. At least a Pentium 4 running at 3.2Ghz. A 2.4Ghz P4 won't do it.

and/or:

b) A GPU that is capable of doing the decoding process instead. The Geforce 6200 or the X800 can't do it because nor the hardware nor the drivers have support for it.


Your best bet is to buy a Radeon HD4650 AGP. Nvidia didn't make any AGP variants after the Geforce 7 series and those don't have support for GPU hardware acceleration (EDIT: for flash video, that is; they do have support for certain types of video codecs like MPEG 1 and 2, etc), so Nvidia is not an option.

ATI Radeons prior to the HD4xxx series are also not an option because they also don't have support for this feature. An HD 3850 may sound very nice, but it won't help with flash. You really only have a very narrow choice. You can try to find an AGP HD4350, or a HD4650 (easier to find) or an HD4670. These all have support.

The question is, the GPU decode is still not done at 100% in the GPU, that is planned to flash 10.2, which is currently in beta stage. At the moment some of the decode process is still being done on the CPU. That is why I'm not confident enough to say you will have a 100% problem free experience. I certainly wouldn't try playing anything above 720p with that CPU. You could try and buy a second hand P4 3 Ghz, that would certainly help.

I can relate to your case because I have an old P4 3 Ghz with HT, 1GB ram, Nvidia Geforce 7600GS AGP 256MB, and it's the exact same thing. I can play 480p in a window, and in fullscreen mode, but 720p is a no go with this GPU, not even in windowed mode. It really is a performance issue here; not an internet or browser related problem, no reformat required etc. Just pure horsepower and certain hardware features in the GPU and drivers need to be present.


P.S: Don't forget to install the latest drivers for the 4650 from AMD/ATI site. You also need the latest AGP Hotfix for Windows XP, otherwise the card may not be identified.
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 1:35:57 AM

^+1 great answer!
I just read the article on the home page of THG and everything tpi2007 said
is correct.
a c 243 U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 2:25:05 AM

Yep, just goes to show you learn something every day on these forums. Nice find.
January 13, 2011 1:10:22 PM

Best answer selected by rspaulding.
January 13, 2011 1:18:01 PM

tpi2007 said:
I'm sorry to say guys, but you are all wrong!

So what about a downloaded quicktime video? Is that any different? Cuz I downloaded the HD trailer of Inception in quicktime format and it was also choppy playing off the HD.

and how do I make sure I have the AGP hotfix? All XP updates are up to date.
January 14, 2011 1:00:02 AM

rspaulding said:
So what about a downloaded quicktime video? Is that any different? Cuz I downloaded the HD trailer of Inception in quicktime format and it was also choppy playing off the HD.

and how do I make sure I have the AGP hotfix? All XP updates are up to date.



I'm not sure what video decoding features the X800 series has, but my bet is it can only accelerate DVD's, MPEG 1 and 2 and little else. I'm almost 100% sure it can't accelerate MPEG 4, which is probably what your Quicktime movie trailer is encoded with.

[EDIT: As I suspected, by this time (X800), Hardware Video Acceleration was not very good. See here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ati,802-10.html

"As we can see, the new X800 cards are neither faster nor slower than the Radeon 9800XT. Although, according to ATi, the video decoding functions are carried out by the pixel shaders of the GPU, the greater number of pipelines in the X800 does not seem to improve performance or lower the CPU load in any way."


Not even the X1000 series, which supported H.264 for the first time, did show any real benefit: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_R520):

"The R5xx family introduced a more advanced onboard motion-video engine. Like the Radeon cards since the R100, the R5xx can offload almost the entire MPEG-1/2 video pipeline. The R5xx can also assist in Microsoft WMV9/VC-1 and MPEG H.264/AVC decoding, by a combination of the 3D/pipeline's shader-units and the motion-video engine. Benchmarks show only a modest decrease in CPU-utilization for VC-1 and H.264 playback."]



The HD4600 series on the other hand, can handle a lot more with it's Unified Video Decoder 2:
(http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...)

Quote:

"ATI Avivo™ HD Video and Display Platform1
2nd generation Unified Video Decoder (UVD 2)
Enabling hardware decode acceleration of H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2
Dual stream playback (or Picture-in-picture)
Hardware MPEG-1 and DivX video decode acceleration
Motion compensation and IDCT
ATI Avivo Video Post Processor1
Enhanced DVD up-conversion to HD
Color space conversion
Chroma subsampling format conversion
Horizontal and vertical scaling
Gamma correction
Advanced vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
Detail enhancement
Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
Bad edit correction
Automatic dynamic contrast adjustment
Full score in HQV (SD) and HQV (HD) video quality benchmarks "


My guess is your Quicktime movie will probably be encoded with MPEG 4 (with H.264) and will therefore be fine, given that the card will do the decoding as I quoted above. By the way, H.264 is also currently the codec mostly used in flash video sites like Youtube - although Flash is a lot more than just video and therefore needs special support by both Flash, starting with Flash 10.1 and the hardware, starting with the Radeon HD4xxx series.

But as I said, I wouldn't try and go above 720p with that P4 2.4Ghz CPU, 1080p might get choppy at times (and you'd eventually need a faster Hard Disk to make it smooth, given that a lot more data has to be moved around at 1080p).

You can read more about Quicktime and MPEG 4 in here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuickTime
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_Part_14



As to the XP AGP hotfix, I mean it for the new HD4650; the card you have right now does not need it.

You see, these new series are PCIe express based cards with PCIe drivers only. Well actually AMD started manufacturing PCIe cards with the generation you are actually using (the "X" stands for PCI eXpress), but they still provided AGP based ones - the GPU is actually the same, using PCIe signaling, but the card itself has an additional PCIe to AGP bridge chip that translates the PCIe instructions to AGP and vice-versa, like the one you have.

But the difference here is, at the time your card came out, AGP was still very much alive and PCIe just starting, so ATI made drivers that worked with both AGP and PCIe right out of the box.

Since AGP is essentially legacy right now, and very few cards are made and sold, what they do to maintain compatibility is release the drivers normally, only with PCI Express support written in them, and then, if you have an AGP card, you also have to download the AGP hotfix, which basically lets the drivers see the card and be able to handle it.

Current drivers are 10.12. Here: http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/radeon_xp-...

But, you also have to download the hotfix if the above driver installation does not recognize an AMD card is installed (it's very likely you will get the error message) : http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/CatalystAGPH...

So you have to install this first. The Hotfix is "As is" in nature, as AMD states in the page above, and so it's not WHQL certified by Microsoft, so you won't get it through Windows Update.


Hope I answered all your questions! If not, feel free to ask! :D 

Cheers! And thanks for selecting my answer as the best answer!
January 14, 2011 2:02:47 AM

king smp said:
^+1 great answer!
I just read the article on the home page of THG and everything tpi2007 said
is correct.



anort3 said:
Yep, just goes to show you learn something every day on these forums. Nice find.




Thanks! :D 
February 1, 2011 1:51:36 AM

tpi2007 said:

Your best bet is to buy a Radeon HD4650 AGP.

Well I bought the Sapphire version from newegg, reinstalled windows, drivers etc, and the framerates are still pretty choppy playing that same quicktime file (HD download of the 'Inception' trailer.)
February 2, 2011 10:16:21 PM

rspaulding said:
Well I bought the Sapphire version from newegg, reinstalled windows, drivers etc, and the framerates are still pretty choppy playing that same quicktime file (HD download of the 'Inception' trailer.)



I told you I wasn't 100% sure it would completely solve the problem with such a weak CPU. You also need CPU horsepower to help with the decoding.

Try buying a faster Pentium 4 second hand. The faster, the better.

If you PC has a 478 socket, try getting at least a 3.2 Ghz Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading and an 800Mhz FSB. If your motherboard tops out at 533Mhz FSB, your best bet is a 3.06Ghz Pentium 4 Northwood with a 533Mhz FSB.

Beware the Prescott models heat up more and consume more power than the cooler Northwoods (the Prescotts have 1MB of L2 Cache versus the 512KB of the Northwood versions).

Be sure to lookup what socket you use (478, 775), what FSB your motherboard supports, etc.

If you can find what CPU's your motherboard supports, the better.

If your motherboard uses a 775 socket, you probably have more options. You could try buying a 6xx series Pentium 4. They have 2MB of L2 cache, use ENhanced Speedstep to keep the thermals in check, and come in many speed too. You should get at least a 3.2, or 3.4 would be better, of course. If you use a 775 socket you might want to check the specifications to see if if also supports a Pentium D (a Dual Core CPU which is basically 2 Pentium 4's in the same package). That would be ideal. You can get those cheap too. A 3 Ghz speed or more would be ideal.


Don't forget to clean the old thermal paste from the heatsink and apply new paste between the CPU and heatsink. I recommend Arctic Cooling MX-2.



P.S.: By the way, can you play Youtube videos in HD (at least 720p) now ?
February 3, 2011 1:17:18 PM

tpi2007 said:
Be sure to lookup what socket you use (478, 775), what FSB your motherboard supports, etc.

P.S.: By the way, can you play Youtube videos in HD (at least 720p) now ?

No, even 480 at fullscreen is a bit choppy. 720 is unwatchable.

The computer is an eMachines W4065. I've put in 2gb of PC2700 ram and a better power supply that I had laying around. Here are the specs: http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/emachines-w4065-p4-2/1...
a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2011 1:33:33 PM

What speed internet connection do you have and what settings do you have setup for the caching and streaming of the files -- Does it work better if you download the video to your HDD and play it from there instead of streaming ? -- could be a slow internet connection causing choppiness as it waits for the entire stream to download if it is not caching enough prior to running the video. Also what Codec packs are you using ? could also be an inefficient codec - you might want to download the K-lite codec pack and install it -- it includes pretty much any codec you might need for various formats and they all have been tested to work well together so do not cause conflicts.
!