Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

AGP 8x Upgrade for gaming.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
February 7, 2011 9:38:52 AM

I have an old Pentium IV with an AGP 8x slot, and I'd like to upgrade it to run some newer games. Particularly Magicka, which has the following requirements

* Video: NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900

Let me fill out your template...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next couple of weeks.

USAGE: Gaming only.

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: NVidia 6800 Ultra. (I'm really sorry, but I don't know how to figure out what the power supply is.)

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Pentium IV 2.67 GHz, ASUS P4C800E Deluxe, 1GB PC3200 DDR SDRAM RAM, Windows XP.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anywhere in the UK. (Recommendations would be welcome!)

PARTS PREFERENCES: None.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768 or 1280x1024


Spending a while looking into graphics cards suggested that something like this would be more than enough:

Gigabyte GV-R465D2-1GI Radeon HD 4650 1GB ATX HDMI Graphics Card
https://www.pricelover.com/product/Gigabyte_GV-R465D2-1...

This seems reasonably priced at about £65 (although if something cheaper would do the job, it would be useful to know). But I don't really know enough about graphics cards to know whether it's a sensible choice, which is precisely why I'm asking here... any help would be very much appreciated!

Thanks and best wishes,
Mohan

More about : agp upgrade gaming

a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 10:20:48 AM

From what i can see, you won't do much better as AGP support for Radeon cards stopped at the 4670.
February 7, 2011 10:25:10 AM

Thanks... that's useful to know. Do you happen to know if I would be able to get away with a much cheaper card (£30-40)? [To some degree I feel like my old PC isn't going to be able to play newer games anyway, as it only has 1GB RAM. So I'm not sure whether the 4650 is overkill... .]
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 10:30:10 AM

Yeah, your system is going to be holding that 4650 back as it is, so i guess you could shop around for cheaper. You could go down to the 3XXX series, their AGP availability is a lot better (good luck finding a seller however) and will more than likely be cheaper.

Use this chart to see how much higher you can go over your 6800 in terms of upgrading. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 11:35:36 AM

I would suggest sticking with what you have and save up to purchase a new system. Yours is at end of life and will not handle a much better graphics card.
February 7, 2011 12:41:43 PM

The PC in question is actually my old one... I only use it to play network games when friends come round. We did think about getting a new cheap PC for that purpose instead of upgrading the card, but when we had a quick look it seemed that it would cost circa £400, which is far too much. (That's without monitor, mouse, keyboard or any software -- just the main unit.) Do you happen to know whether it's possible to get one more cheaply than that? If so we'd love to know!
a c 163 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 12:59:22 PM

burbly said:
The PC in question is actually my old one... I only use it to play network games when friends come round. We did think about getting a new cheap PC for that purpose instead of upgrading the card, but when we had a quick look it seemed that it would cost circa £400, which is far too much. (That's without monitor, mouse, keyboard or any software -- just the main unit.) Do you happen to know whether it's possible to get one more cheaply than that? If so we'd love to know!


You won't be able to build a gaming PC for less than that unless you look at the used market. The issue is that the power supply and video card by themselves will be well over $100 . If you get the lowest modern CPU and memory you will also be in a bad spot as then you'd be wondering why games are not playing smoothly. Getting a faster video card for your current computer is a waste of money, with only 1gig of RAM and that older P4, nothing will play faster, and the AGP card will be useless to move to a more modern system later.
February 7, 2011 2:13:21 PM

Thanks for the advice!

hang-the-9 said:
Getting a faster video card for your current computer is a waste of money, with only 1gig of RAM and that older P4, nothing will play faster, and the AGP card will be useless to move to a more modern system later.

At the moment, I'm mainly aiming to be able to run a game of Magicka. The recommended system reqs. are "NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900". My main PC (with a GeForce 9600 GT) runs it fine at 1920x1080. I had hoped the 6800 Ultra would run the game at much-reduced resolution, but it won't even start. The error messages seem to be graphics related... so I was guessing the 6800 Ultra simply didn't have some required capability. (Shader Model 4.0?) Unfortunately I don't know any way of telling for sure...

hang-the-9 said:
You won't be able to build a gaming PC for less than that unless you look at the used market.

You wouldn't happen to know of a reputable (UK-based) site that would sell such things?
a c 163 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 3:09:04 PM

burbly said:
Thanks for the advice!


At the moment, I'm mainly aiming to be able to run a game of Magicka. The recommended system reqs. are "NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900". My main PC (with a GeForce 9600 GT) runs it fine at 1920x1080. I had hoped the 6800 Ultra would run the game at much-reduced resolution, but it won't even start. The error messages seem to be graphics related... so I was guessing the 6800 Ultra simply didn't have some required capability. (Shader Model 4.0?) Unfortunately I don't know any way of telling for sure...


You wouldn't happen to know of a reputable (UK-based) site that would sell such things?


Now we're getting to the core of things, why didn't you just post you have error messages in the game, then we can check on those. It's like going to the doctor and asking for a lot of bandages instead of asking them to stich up the cut in your head.

Post the exact messages you get and when.

No clue about used computer sales in the UK, US has craigslist, maybe that's international. You'd get a lot more value from a personal seller than a shop, but with a shop you have some recourse if things go bad.


February 7, 2011 3:10:18 PM

AMD Athlon X2 260 3.2ghz, Dual Core - 52 £
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/components/pro...
Asrock N68C-S UCC AM3 - 33 £
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Search/Components/Mot...(Socket+AM3)
Geil 2x1GB DDR3 CL7 1600mhz RAM - 33 £
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/38039/Geil-me...
Seagate 250GB hard disk drive SATA II 300 7200rpm 8MB cache - 29 £
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/41442/Seagate...
Sapphire Radeon HD 5550 1GB DDR3 PCI-E - 57 £
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/49254/Sapphir...
Antec Basiq 350W PSU - 29 £
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/16556/Antec-P...
Random low budget case of your likeing - 20 £
Total: 253 £, including VAT
This is a low-budget gaming configuration, I tried to cut your costs as much as possible. It will outperform your old computer in every way, and judging on the resolutions you mentioned, it WILL play most games out there on 1024 or 1280 resolutions with medium or high details (games like Dragon Age: Origins and the like). Don't expect to play Crysis on it, but seeing that I checked out the Magicka Homepage, it doesn't seem to require that much, and I assume your more of an MMO or RPG player, in which case, this desktop will be more than enough. Also, you can cut your costs for the PC if you use your old case (remove 20 pounds). I did not know what hard drive you have in your old case (IDE or Sata II), if it's Sata II, you can cut your costs with another 29 quid.

Alternatively, you could just invest into an AGP graphics card, but they are hard to find, expensive, and the rest of your configuration would pull you back anyway. However, here's a solution in case this is what you want
Sapphire HD 4650 1GB RAM AGP - 68 £
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/42398/Sapphir...

Hope this helped!
February 7, 2011 3:35:30 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Now we're getting to the core of things, why didn't you just post you have error messages in the game, then we can check on those. It's like going to the doctor and asking for a lot of bandages instead of asking them to stich up the cut in your head.

Post the exact messages you get and when.


I'm sorry -- I thought it would be unreasonable to ask for help with a specific (and little-known) game on these forums. I'm not at home, but I'll post the errors as soon as I get back. [Also: it's really very kind of you to offer to help!]

Syrocc: that's also really helpful. Thank you!
February 7, 2011 5:44:42 PM

Your most welcome. However, by the looks of Magicka, it should run decently on your old PC as well (depending on CPU and RAM too), the error is more likely software related. Usually, error messages are not caused by minimum requirement issues, but by driver/software/dll file incompatibility.

I did however want to offer a viable and cheap desktop PC in case you want an upgrade, for 200 quid, it sounds like a bargain, considering what type of games you play. Either way, let us know
February 7, 2011 7:21:15 PM

Quote:
I did however want to offer a viable and cheap desktop PC in case you want an upgrade, for 200 quid, it sounds like a bargain, considering what type of games you play. Either way, let us know


Regardless of what happens with Magicka, I'm very grateful for this information. I could have spent a week researching hardware and still not have come up with anything close to that. Even if I can get Magicka to run my current PC, it's very useful to have as an option in the future --- as you say, it's much cheaper than I had thought was possible. (Thanks again!)

Regarding the error messages: the game always crashes without displaying anything, so I'm relying on the error logfiles. The actual errors aren't deterministic... I just ran the game 10 times, and obtained 4 distinct error messages, which I've attached. I can also attach a log from dxdiag if it's likely to be useful. (I won't do it pre-emptively as it there's a lot of text and I'm not sure how your forum software will react, even inside spoiler tags.)

Also: it is really very kind of you all to go to so much trouble to help me. I can't ever remember finding a forum where people are this helpful. Thank you all.

Edit: I thought the spoiler tags would make the error messages collapsible... sorry. I've changed them to quote tags. If that's still a nuisance, I can try and find somewhere to upload the files -- please let me know.

Error message A [5x]
Quote:
Version: 1.3.3.7
Thread: LoaderThread
System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for 'Magicka.Gamers.Gamer' threw an exception. ---> System.ObjectDisposedException: Cannot access a disposed object.
Object name: 'Texture2D'.
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Helpers.CheckDisposed(Object obj, IntPtr pComPtr)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.Texture2D.CopyData[T](Int32 level, Nullable`1 rect, T[] data, Int32 startIndex, Int32 elementCount, UInt32 options, Boolean isSetting)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.Texture2DReader.Read(ContentReader input, Texture2D existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.InvokeReader[T](ContentTypeReader reader, Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObjectInternal[T](Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObject[T]()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadAsset[T]()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentManager.ReadAsset[T](String assetName, Action`1 recordDisposableObject)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentManager.Load[T](String assetName)
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.MessageBox..ctor(String iMessage)
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.GamerCustomizeMessageBox..ctor()
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.GamerCustomizeMessageBox.get_Instance()
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..ctor(String iGamerTag)
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..cctor()
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..ctor(String iGamerTag)
at Magicka.GameLogic.Profile.Read()
at Magicka.Game.LoaderFunction()

Error message B [3x]
Quote:
Version: 1.3.3.7
Thread: LoaderThread
System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for 'Magicka.Gamers.Gamer' threw an exception. ---> Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentLoadException: Error loading "UI\Font\Maiandra14". GraphicsDevice component not found.
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.get_GraphicsDevice()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.Texture2DReader.Read(ContentReader input, Texture2D existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.InvokeReader[T](ContentTypeReader reader, Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObjectInternal[T](Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObject[T]()
at PolygonHead.BitmapFont.Read(ContentReader iInput)
at PolygonHead.Pipeline.BitmapFontReader.Read(ContentReader iInput, BitmapFont existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.InvokeReader[T](ContentTypeReader reader, Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObjectInternal[T](Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObject[T]()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadAsset[T]()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentManager.ReadAsset[T](String assetName, Action`1 recordDisposableObject)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentManager.Load[T](String assetName)
at Magicka.Graphics.FontManager..ctor()
at Magicka.Graphics.FontManager.get_Instance()
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.MessageBox..ctor(String iMessage)
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.GamerCustomizeMessageBox..ctor()
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.GamerCustomizeMessageBox.get_Instance()
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..ctor(String iGamerTag)
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..cctor()
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..ctor(String iGamerTag)
at Magicka.GameLogic.Profile.Read()
at Magicka.Game.LoaderFunction()

Error message C [1x]
Quote:
Version: 1.3.3.7
Thread: LoaderThread
System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for 'Magicka.Gamers.Gamer' threw an exception. ---> System.ObjectDisposedException: Cannot access a disposed object.
Object name: 'Texture2D'.
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Helpers.CheckDisposed(Object obj, IntPtr pComPtr)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.Texture2D.CopyData[T](Int32 level, Nullable`1 rect, T[] data, Int32 startIndex, Int32 elementCount, UInt32 options, Boolean isSetting)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.Texture2DReader.Read(ContentReader input, Texture2D existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.InvokeReader[T](ContentTypeReader reader, Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObjectInternal[T](Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObject[T]()
at PolygonHead.BitmapFont.Read(ContentReader iInput)
at PolygonHead.Pipeline.BitmapFontReader.Read(ContentReader iInput, BitmapFont existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.InvokeReader[T](ContentTypeReader reader, Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObjectInternal[T](Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObject[T]()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadAsset[T]()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentManager.ReadAsset[T](String assetName, Action`1 recordDisposableObject)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentManager.Load[T](String assetName)
at Magicka.Graphics.FontManager..ctor()
at Magicka.Graphics.FontManager.get_Instance()
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.MessageBox..ctor(String iMessage)
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.GamerCustomizeMessageBox..ctor()
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.GamerCustomizeMessageBox.get_Instance()
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..ctor(String iGamerTag)
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..cctor()
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..ctor(String iGamerTag)
at Magicka.GameLogic.Profile.Read()
at Magicka.Game.LoaderFunction()

Error message D [1x]
Quote:
Version: 1.3.3.7
Thread: LoaderThread
System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for 'Magicka.Gamers.Gamer' threw an exception. ---> System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.Texture2D.CopyData[T](Int32 level, Nullable`1 rect, T[] data, Int32 startIndex, Int32 elementCount, UInt32 options, Boolean isSetting)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.Texture2DReader.Read(ContentReader input, Texture2D existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.InvokeReader[T](ContentTypeReader reader, Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObjectInternal[T](Object existingInstance)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadObject[T]()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentReader.ReadAsset[T]()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentManager.ReadAsset[T](String assetName, Action`1 recordDisposableObject)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Content.ContentManager.Load[T](String assetName)
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.MessageBox..ctor(String iMessage)
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.GamerCustomizeMessageBox..ctor()
at Magicka.GameLogic.UI.GamerCustomizeMessageBox.get_Instance()
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..ctor(String iGamerTag)
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..cctor()
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
at Magicka.Gamers.Gamer..ctor(String iGamerTag)
at Magicka.GameLogic.Profile.Read()
at Magicka.Game.LoaderFunction()



Best wishes,
Mohan
a c 163 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 7:57:02 PM

From those log files, it does seem like the error changes, but all having to do with the video system. Try to get the latest video drivers for the card, and update DirectX http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?Fami...

You may want to run the full MS Update thing to get any patches/fixes.
February 7, 2011 8:45:11 PM

Thanks for the advice!

Quote:
From those log files, it does seem like the error changes, but all having to do with the video system. Try to get the latest video drivers for the card, and update DirectX http://www.microsoft.com/downloads [...] laylang=en


I'd done those before my original post. I double checked with the Smart Scan on the NVidia website, which says:

Product: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra
Current installed driver: 266.58
Latest driver update: Your PC currently has the latest driver installed for your GPU. No driver update is necessary at this time.

Similarly DirectX (directly from your link) reports that 'A newer or equivalent version of DirectX has been installed already. No installation is necessary.'

I also ran MS update manually. It installed the DOT NET 3.5 SP1, which I certainly needed. (Not sure why it didn't auto-update, but in any case I'm grateful for the suggestion.) Unfortunately, it didn't change anything as far as the game goes -- I got the most frequent error again. Still, thank you for trying.
a b U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 1:11:46 AM

How long does it take before it crashes? Try this. Open Task Manager and see how much memory the Magicka process is using before it crashes. The System Requirements also say it needs 2GB RAM.
February 8, 2011 8:21:22 AM

Not more than 75 MB. On my other PC it uses about 600MB during all the initial menu screens, then 850MB once the game is running. I'm aware that it might well use more memory further into the game...
February 8, 2011 11:06:13 AM

I did some research on your error messages, related to Magicka. It seems your not the only one having this problem, there are other players out there with similar issues. One suggestion for this problem that I found was this:

"1. Right-click on your volume control on the bottom-right corner of the screen.
2. Select "Playback devices"
3. Right-click on "Digital Output"
4. Select "Set as Default Device"

This seems to be a problem with microsoft XNA as every game I know that uses it crashes if "digital output" is not set as the default device on my computer."

I personally would also recommend installing an updated version of Microsoft .net framework, similar problems can be caused by it.

Here is the forum where this topic is discussed, checking there could help you as well: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?p=...
February 8, 2011 12:20:36 PM

Thank you for looking into this -- it's really kind of you. I did spend a while hunting round on those forums and on the developer's own forum, but no suggestions I found there helped. [In particular, I don't have a 'digital output' sound option.] It's also taken as read on the forums that nothing less than the recommended cards will run the game -- I don't know whether that is accurate or not, but it's what led me to come here in the first place.

Regarding Dot Net... I now have 3.5 SP1; I assume that's what you mean? (As far as I'm aware, Dot Net 4 is a completely separate thing... .)
a c 163 U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 1:07:24 PM

.net 4 is separate, but encompasses the older features (you should only need the latest .net, in theory). You can have both 3.5 and 4 installed on the same system, or only 4. There ARE some programs that require a specific version to run, but those are pretty rare.
February 8, 2011 2:40:15 PM

I installed v4 and updated it, but it didn't change anything.
February 8, 2011 3:27:49 PM

I still believe this is an isolated case of software problem, and is not related to your GPU. Even if your graphics card can't handle the game, it should start, but run really badly, with a horrible FPS. Unfortunately, the developers of the game didn't really comment on these issues (and your not the only one having them, saw posts from other users with better configs too), so I really can't give you more tips on what to do. Try contacting the game's support service, and they might be able to help you out
February 8, 2011 3:40:37 PM

Quote:
Even if your graphics card can't handle the game, it should start, but run really badly, with a horrible FPS.

I didn't realise that; that's very useful to know. Thank you.

I think developers are swamped at the moment... there are apparently only two programmers on the (7-person) team. They've been maintaining the official line that the game just won't run on a PC without the recommended graphics cards... but I think that's probably as much to cut down on the volume of complaints as anything else.

(I had noticed the occasional errors on better cards, although they seem to be much less common. The fluctuating bug suggest a memory-related error... maybe they are freeing some memory on the graphics card and still using it afterwards? That's less likely to cause an immediate crash on cards with more memory, which would fit the pattern. But I only really know about these things CPU-side; and there's not a lot of point speculating.)

In any case, I'll wait a few weeks and hope that there is a patch that solves the issue. Thank you for all your help -- I really do appreciate it.
February 8, 2011 4:18:08 PM

Don't mention it. I know that many game developers give general responses for issues, instead of taking the time to verify your specific case. Keep pressuring them, especially if it's an MMO you pay for. It's your right as a customer, and their job as service providers. If they say some part of your system is problematic, make sure they tell you WHY. And provide all the information you can, include your dxdiag file, error logs, etc.

I do recommend that you use a better PC (why I made that config for you), however, I don't support the fact that you should change it without making sure you actually NEED to. So find out what you can from the devs, and if all else fails, look into a new build, such as the one I've posted. If your interested in a new build and have more questions, feel free to PM me for help.

Cheers!
February 8, 2011 7:04:04 PM

The only reason I didn't jump straight on the new PC suggestion is that it's looking likely that both of the friends I play games with will leave town in September or so! So a long-term investment might not be sensible. But it's still very useful to have as an option -- you never know what might happen. If nothing else, it's great to know that it is possible to build a reasonable PC so cheaply. (Thanks again!)
!