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What graphics card is best for older AMD Athlon XP?

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January 22, 2011 10:38:15 PM

Hello,

I have an older PC with only a meager 32MB of integrated graphics. Browsing Flash-heavy websites such as ign.com and cnet.com really bogs down said PC via Firefox. I've researched high and low, and have gotten some answers but nothing definitive yet. I first thought adding more system memory would do the trick (currently at 2GB PC2700), but that barely made a dent. So what would should I look for in a dedicated graphics card for an older PC?
Specs below:

Biostar M7VIG Motherboard
AMD Athlon XP 2000+ (1.67GHz)
Kingston 2GB PC2700 of system memory installed
Generic 250 Watt Power Supply Unit (not considering upgrading)

After some research, I've come across maybe Nvidia Geforce 5200 or ATI Radeon 9600 series. Any more I should be looking into? Since this is an older PC, budget is for no more than $20-$30. Thanks for any advice!
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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 10:58:00 PM

What resoultion is your monitor?

I would lean twards the FX5200 but if you have a 1080p monitor then you might need the 512mb.
a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 11:06:38 PM

Do you actually think he's using a 1080p monitor with that setup? lol
No offence meant to Lurker of course
a c 214 U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 11:08:41 PM

Totally sliped my mind,sorry
January 23, 2011 12:30:31 AM

Thanks for the quick replies guys! I'm typing at work atm, so my replies might be a little late.

With regards to the 512MB 6200, will my 250 watt PSU be enough to safely power that card with no problems? I forgot to state I'm not looking into gaming with this PC (as you've probably noticed). I just want to bring it somewhat into today's standards when I'm browsing the interweb through Firefox (maybe even 720P HD video as well). As I said, the heavy Flash websites are murder on this PC so I think the low-integrated graphics memory may be the culprit. I hope.

As for the monitor, it's a Samsung 19" non-widescreen with a max resolution of 1280 x 1024 at 60Hz and VGA input only. Hope that helps.

Oh one more thing, will DDR2 or DDR3 graphics memory be compatible with my AGP 4X/8X slot I have?
a b U Graphics card
January 23, 2011 9:28:03 AM

Lurker No More said:
Thanks for the quick replies guys! I'm typing at work atm, so my replies might be a little late.

With regards to the 512MB 6200, will my 250 watt PSU be enough to safely power that card with no problems? I forgot to state I'm not looking into gaming with this PC (as you've probably noticed). I just want to bring it somewhat into today's standards when I'm browsing the interweb through Firefox (maybe even 720P HD video as well). As I said, the heavy Flash websites are murder on this PC so I think the low-integrated graphics memory may be the culprit. I hope.

As for the monitor, it's a Samsung 19" non-widescreen with a max resolution of 1280 x 1024 at 60Hz and VGA input only. Hope that helps.

Oh one more thing, will DDR2 or DDR3 graphics memory be compatible with my AGP 4X/8X slot I have?



*The 250w power supply certainly should power the 6200.
*When you say gaming, what do you mean?
*Also, the 6200 won't do HD. Sorry
*DDR2 RAM is compatible with AGP slots, do you have DDR2 sockets on your motherboard?
*Yes, integrated graphics dooms us all, 32mb :pt1cable: 
a c 172 U Graphics card
January 23, 2011 1:47:15 PM

6800gt/ultra 7800/7900gs
3850/70 4650/70

All the above cards do come as agp.
January 23, 2011 5:19:38 PM

You might try to bid for This card. The 6800 Ultra is a very nice card for an older system, but maybe too power intensive. The GeForce 6800 ultra uses about 80 watts normally, but it can use about 120 watts when taxed. A 9800 XT uses 45 watts normally to about 90 watts when taxed. The passmark score of the 6800 ultra is 466. the Passmark score of the 9800 XT is 308. The GeForce FX 5200 might use a maximum of 50 watts or so, but its passmark score is 43.
Passmark

You really have to be careful about power consumption. Your processor + cpu + ram is going to use about 70w based on this discussion:
Energy Consumption discussion

I can't really tell what the power consumption of your other components is. Usually, for a computer of that era the hard drive and other components could be anything from 40-120 watts.

I would recommend you be conservative. If you think you can get by with a $12 FX5200, then go for it.

You might check out this discussion about the best card a 240 watt power supply can handle.

If you just want 720P videos to not be choppy. You might consider media player classic. I was able to play 720P videos smoothly on an AthlonXP 1800+ with an ATI MX440 video card. I upgraded my computer a few weeks ago.



January 23, 2011 6:09:12 PM

omnisome said:
*The 250w power supply certainly should power the 6200.
*When you say gaming, what do you mean?
*Also, the 6200 won't do HD. Sorry
*DDR2 RAM is compatible with AGP slots, do you have DDR2 sockets on your motherboard?
*Yes, integrated graphics dooms us all, 32mb :pt1cable: 

I'm sorry, I said I wouldn't be gaming on this PC. It's much to slow for that. :cry: 

I'd have to recheck my motherboard to see if it has compatible DDR2/3 slots. Although, after contacting Biostar via email, they claimed that it can run those cards. I will have to find out.

Regardless of all, upgrading the video card on this system should improve performance when browsing the web correct? Because maxing out my system memory wasn't enough.
January 23, 2011 6:35:25 PM

I've been looking around for a newer, low power consumption card for your system. They seem to be making low power consuming cards for pci-e, but not for AGP. You really are taking a risk with anything. Even the GeForce 6200 (Passmark 57) recommends a 300-watt power supply. A 250-watt power supply is really designed for a PC without an add-on video card.
a c 172 U Graphics card
January 23, 2011 7:15:27 PM

Upgrade the psu any way and look to what ever it is that you can afford.
January 23, 2011 7:39:47 PM

If it were me, I might try a geForce 5200. It wouldn't make his system up-to-date, but it would probably give his old system a huge boost. It sounds like his built-in video card is so poor, he can't even browse the web. The geForce 5200 would give his system the power to do that. I was able to browse the web just fine with an ATI MX 440 and I think the geForce 5200 is a little faster. Do a search on ebay. I saw one for $15 with free shipping. It is still a risk. With a 250-watt power supply, anything is. But I think it is the safest bet to make browsing work.

January 23, 2011 7:46:58 PM

purple stank said:
Here's a full list of AGP cards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

If you've maxed out the RAM then all you need is a Graphics card to get really smooth web serfing.How much RAM is in it?

I currently have 2GB PC2700 DDR memory (Kingston) installed. And that's really what I'm seeking, smooth web surfing for once! Just like in my sister's old-ish HP laptop that has a 1.6GHz Pentium Celeron M processor with only 128MB of integrated graphics memory. That thing does just fine for smooth web browsing and I don't believe her processor is any better than my Athlon XP.

@marktwayne, I don't believe you're entirely correct (no offense). Because the 512MB 6200 that was suggested in this thread by Omnisome seems to run fine with only a 250w PSU installed, according to the comments left on Newegg. Maybe because it's only 64-bit as opposed to 128-bit?
January 23, 2011 8:02:00 PM

No offence taken. I was looking for something under $30 for you, so I was looking at used cards on ebay. That's going to cost you $37 plus shipping, but you get the rebate. If you can afford it, I think that would be a better card than the old GeForce 5200. It probably has similar power requirements. I think they will probably both run on less than 40-watts.

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a c 214 U Graphics card
January 23, 2011 8:19:14 PM
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All you need is a new card.You currently only have 32mb of video memory,which is why your getting stuttering and lag.Just get a card with at least 128mb of ram and you should be fine.Preferibly 512mb to run some 720p but that should also make it last another 3 years.
January 23, 2011 9:33:03 PM

Thanks mark! You're right on the pricing, as I should keep this purchase well under $30 if I can. Maybe I can look into 128MB or 256MB versions of the 6200 as well, aside from the 5200.

Just to throw some ATI love out there, it's a shame that I can't even run the old warhorse 9700 Pro in my antiquated setup. It would probably melt it! Either way, I have even more knowledge now than ever after joining this forum.
January 23, 2011 9:36:23 PM

purple stank said:
All you need is a new card.You currently only have 32mb of video memory,which is why your getting stuttering and lag.Just get a card with at least 128mb of ram and you should be fine.Preferibly 512mb to run some 720p but that should also make it last another 3 years.

Or at least until Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP Home Edition once and for all! 512MB does sound enticing though.
February 13, 2011 1:35:14 PM

Best answer selected by Lurker No More.
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