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The best AGP GPU for my system

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 29, 2011 6:56:04 AM

Hi All,

I have been looking for a better graphics card for my Sony Vaio PCV-RX991. I don't use the computer for gaming. However, I would like to update the computer so that I can at least watch HD videos online without the videos lagging in frame rate. My computer's specs are in the link below:

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/specs/PCVRX991spec.htm

I just want to know what AGP graphics card my system can handle given my 268W PSU. The specs on the PSU are listed below:

Brand: Delta Electronics
Model: DPS-246AB-1B
Dimensions: 15.5 x 13.5 x 8.5 cm
Input: 100-240V ~ 5A
Output: +5V - 25A
+12V - 15A
+5VSB - 1.8A
Total Max Output: 268.9W
+12V & +12VSB Total output can't exceed 180W

I was looking for a replacement for my PSU, but I couldn't find one that would fit my case. Also, I don't think my computer has support to attach a 6-pin power connector to a video card. My current Geforce 4 MX440 card is solely powered by the motherboard. I have a Nvidia Geforce 8600M GT graphics card in my laptop, which I have been very pleased with. I would appreciate it if anyone could suggest a GPU with a similar memory bandwidth. BTW, I am not on a tight budget, but I would like to spend less than $100. Thanks!

More about : agp gpu system

a b U Graphics card
June 29, 2011 7:25:32 AM

You should be able to use an HD4650. Plenty of people have used them in pre-built systems that have 250W PSUs. They're not power-hungry cards, and they perform far better than any IGP.

Unfortunately, in AGP form-factor, they're a little pricey - like $90 US. (Compared to $45-50 for PCIe versions.) Here's one at Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't know if I'd spend that sort of money on that "dated" a system. $50, maybe. $90+? Eh... I find myself more inclined to continue saving until I could upgrade my entire platform.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
June 29, 2011 4:05:18 PM

An AGP 4350 or 4550 AGP should be enough, but considering their price you may as well go with the 4650 Razberry Bandit suggests. You should be able to use this cheaper 8x only model as well

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Unless you have a 4x only slot for some reason rather than an 8x/4x slot
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a c 107 U Graphics card
June 29, 2011 4:07:05 PM

By the way, the difference in AGP versions is voltage, so if a card is designed for 8x only it can't use the 1.5v current of 4x and trying to do so could damage something.
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a b U Graphics card
June 29, 2011 4:09:48 PM

About 6 months ago I put a 4650 in an older p4 3.0 machine just to use as an HTPC and I was very dissapointed in the performance, the processor was just too slow to take advantage of it. I don't recommend spending any money on an AGP system, you will be happier if you save the money and build a new system IMO.
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June 30, 2011 3:25:45 AM

I was looking at the following two graphics cards:

ATI FireGL Z1 128MB ~ Memory Bandwidth = 19.84GB/sec

ATI FireGL T2 128MB ~ Memory Bandwidth = 10.24GB/sec

According to GPUReview.com, the Z1 provides better performance than the T2. I can get each one of them new for $30. I know these are older AGP cards, but they don't need an external molex power connection, which my power supply doesn't have. Do you guys think I should get the FireGL Z1 or is there a better AGP card that doesn't need a 4/6-pin molex power supply connection? Btw, thanks for all the comments so far.
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a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 3:43:34 AM

There's a blast from the past! Those FireGL cards were originally designed for business-class graphics applications, such as AutoCAD. I don't know if they even have drivers for 'em anymore, or how well they actually manage to perform multimedia tasks.

Most of the better AGP cards around require a 4-pin MOLEX power cable... Only one I can think of that doesn't is the 4350, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Of course, I'm only searching one source (Newegg). And since I don't know where you live, product availability and pricing may vary greatly.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 4:30:21 PM

I don't think a FireGL card will give you the flash GPU acceleration you want. Just get the 4650 and you'll be watching smoother Hulu and Netflix in no time, assuming you get the darn hotfix drivers to work right anyway ^_^
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June 30, 2011 9:47:27 PM

I found a really good deal on a ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro card, but need to know if it will work in a 4x AGP slot. I can't find a definite answer online, so I am going to ask the experts in this forum. Btw, If it helps, my motherboard model is an ASUS P4S533-VL.
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June 30, 2011 9:56:35 PM

buy thiss HD 3870 AGP. ;) 
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a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2011 10:46:24 PM

ASUS global website has no record of that motherboard. It seems they built it for Sony VAIO machines. I found a manual for a similar model, the P4S533-VM, and it does have a 4X AGP slot. Yours probably does as well.

Seriously though, we don't know if that card's 4X, 8X, or 4X/8X - we don't have it. Wouldn't it just be easier to ask the person who has the 2400pro if it's 4x? Or maybe get it's make and model number, then look it up on the manufacturer's support site?
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July 9, 2011 6:08:40 AM

I received the Visiontek Radeon HD 2400 AGP video card today and had a question about one of the connections on the card. There appears to be an open 2-pin connection on the video card that is not listed in the owner's manual or on Visiontek's website. I'm not sure if it is for an external power supply or something else altogether. Take a look at the photo linked below. The connector is circled in yellow.

http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee369/mpbankowski/V...

I don't think the connector is for the fan because the fan is already connected to a 2-pin connector (seen at the top of the picture). Any help will be much appreciated!
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a b U Graphics card
July 9, 2011 9:12:44 AM

Well it's definitely not for any sort of external power connector.

I know nVIDIA 200-series cards had 2-pin audio headers so their HDMI outputs could carry an audio signal from the sound card, but I can't recall any ATI cards having them. Odds are that 2400Pro doesn't have an HDMI output anyway.

It looks like power header for a 2nd fan. Perhaps they had another model that used a 2-fan cooler design and they simply used the exact same PCB for both.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
July 10, 2011 12:00:25 AM

It's probably either for video in or video out.

By the way, flash acceleration (and I assume silverlight for netflix as well) is for HD3000 and up cards, so that 2400 isn't going to smooth things out for you much.
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July 10, 2011 12:29:28 AM

I tried installing the card without connecting anything to the 2-pin connector. I uninstalled all my old nvidia drivers and installed the new ATI drivers from the disk supplied with the card. For some reason when I restart my computer after installing the drivers, the computer hangs on startup. The blue bar at the Windows XP startup freezes. I've tried installing drivers from various websites (Visiontek, ATI, Omega Drivers, etc.) with no luck.

I've read online that sometimes having an old sound card driver hay be the issue. I have a VIA Vinyl AC'97 Codec Combo Driver for my integrated sound card. Is the HD 2400 card not compatible with older integrated sound cards? Are there any other common issues with installing this card on an older computer?
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a c 107 U Graphics card
July 11, 2011 3:43:05 PM

So you bought it anyway.

Well, you need to use the AGP hotfix drivers. Using the regular Catalyst drivers will not work properly with the AGP card. The Omega drivers don't support the 2400 series I believe. Anyway, download driver sweeper, uninstall the drivers, run driver sweeper to remove traces of nVidia and Radeon drivers, then try to install the AGP hotfix drivers from either the Visiontek site or the AMD site. You must specifically get drivers with the AGP hotfix that support the HD 2000 series.
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