Trading motherboards... what should I watch out for?

Hi chaps,

I have an old socket 478 Micro-ATX motherboard with no PCI-e and no AGP slots, only 3 conventional PCI slots. One of the guys at my computer service center has a similar board lying around, only it has an AGP expansion slot, which is what I want. The guy agreed to trade... is it possible to switch identical motherboards and not run into problems?

(Further reading below)

I play some old not so graphics intensive games (years 2000 - 2006), but the integrated graphics handles them all poorly. I searched everywhere for a PCI graphics card, but in vain.

Now that I've come across the opportunity to play my old games off an AGP card, it seems almost too good to be true! I'm not keeping my hopes too high though... after all, it's only AGP, nowhere near PCI-e.

Currently, my integrated graphics runs games at 640x480 all settings on low at around 20 - 25 FPS... how much of an increase should I expect with an AGP card? Which card would you recommend? (Note: PSU is 235W, graphics card will be second-hand, so price is not an issue here).

Edit: I'm not interested in any responses about building a new computer.
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  1. if you get a good graphics card like this one you can get some acceptable fps even for agp slots, probably will be able to play some games at native resolution and increase a little the graphics and maintain 30fps or more;

    4670 looks good, the price if very high for a agp video card, but since you don't want a new computer this is one of the best graphics you could take for your agp slot.

    but you will need to change the psu also, if i were you would take minimum 400w psu for safety, when i had a 6600 ge force and a 300w psu, i've burned 2 graphics card, and just later noticed that 300w was not enough for a 6600 so changed for 500w and didn't had any more problems, changed computer and the old one alive.
    so if you wan't to add any good agp graphics there, first change your psu or you will face problems.
  2. Hmmm... I'm reluctant to spend money on a new PSU. However, I could get a cheap used one. Any other suggestions? Any AGP cards at all that will run fine on my 235W PSU?

    I realise that there is not much performance to be gained from upgrading, which is why I want to spend as little as possible. Better to have some performance than no performance.
  3. Without changing the PSU, Maybe, you will be able to take a geforce mx4000 or lower, but the psu will probably be running at maximum power, and will not last long, but you can do it. the performance increase will not be much... but i think will increase your fps and maybe you can go for 800x600 or a little higher.

    you will be able to play games like starcraft 1, diablo, at acceptable fps.

    i just don't know if they still sell those cards and no idea where you can get it, you can try a 5200 too, i think they need a 250w power supply or something.

    no dedicated graphics card will run fine on 235w, but you can go for a geforce mx4000 if you find one it will work;
  4. Finding the right card is not a problem, service center has boxes full of used AGP cards. If they have a low-power card, well and good. If its only high end, then I'll have them scourge the store-room for a more powerful used PSU.

    Overall shouldn't cost much at all. That's about all I want done with the computer to bring it up to my needs and expectations. If it works out, I don't see myself needing a new computer for many years to come.

    I'll let you know how it goes. Cheers.
  5. Good on ya Ford... I'm with you. I'm still happy with WinXP. Recently I replace a 2.8 GHz Northwood Pentium 4 CPU with a 3.4 GHz Prescott Pentium 4. That 20% performance boost cost only $30 :)
  6. tigershark said:
    Good on ya Ford... I'm with you. I'm still happy with WinXP. Recently I replace a 2.8 GHz Northwood Pentium 4 CPU with a 3.4 GHz Prescott Pentium 4. That 20% performance boost cost only $30 :)

    Hey tigershark. Glad to see someone's on my side. I also have a Pentium 4 Prescott, 3.2 ghz. Works fine for me.

    I don't see spending a heck load of money on a whole new computer is a good move... there are other priorities in life. All my desktop needs is a slight bump in performance for casual gaming and I'm happy.
  7. Hey guys. Haven't been able to get a motherboard that's compatible with the rest of my computer... so I'm back to the out-dated PCI port. I've managed to find a Radeon 9550 GT for $30... is it worth it? Or will it hardly be any different from the onboard graphics?
  8. Bump... anything?
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