Replacement Video Card

Hello all: I've posted a couple questions on here in the past, and had positive results, so I figured I'd come back. My primary computer is an HP desktop from 2004. Its got an Athlon 3200+ with 1 gig of RAM and, up until a couple days ago, a radeon 9800 pro video card. I run windows XP home edition. This has been a great computer for me. I run it lean, with as few programs as possible, and reformat every couple years, and despite its age it doesnt feel slow at all to me. I do mostly web browsing, with a few semi-old games (Battlefield 2) thrown in.

I bought the video card used right after I bought the computer, and it ran great until a few days ago. One day, I brought it back from hibernation, and there were just crazy colors. I restarted and everything was back to normal. Yesterday, however, I turned it on, and pretty much nothing happened. The fans spun up and the power light came on, but the monitor stayed black, the hard drive didnt sound like it was booting, and the lights on the keyboard and mouse didnt come on. I had a hunch the problem was video card related, so I pulled the video card, and restarted the computer with the monitor plugged into the motherboard video outlet. It started up pretty normally, and though I had a couple video driver issues and i had a bit of trouble getting back on my wired network, its now running fine (thought the onboard video doesnt seem to support widescreen resolutions). I did try putting the video card back in, and it went right back to being dead.

I have essentially two questions for you guys. Number one, can we definitively say that the video card is toast, or are there any other possibilities? Number two, if it is gone, what should my next video card be? You all recommended a GeForce 9500 GT last year for my brother's computer, which has similar specs to mine. That ended up being only $30 after a mail in rebate from newegg, which was great. What has changed since last year, and what should I buy that will work for my purposes, hopefully under $50?

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  1. I'm a bit concerned about your wired network issue that has me thinking maybe the motherboard could be the issue. Changing the GPU shouldn't make a jot of difference to that at all.
    Ah hang on are you saying the PC had not been used for a while and that was why you had trouble because it wasn't configured for your new network ?

    So if we assume the card is dead then what type of card are we talking about here ? AGP ?

    Mactronix :)
  2. Computer is used daily. When I turned it on after removing the video card, initially it detected that it was on the network, but it gave me a "limited or no connectivity" error. I believe it was having trouble getting an IP address, for whatever reason, from the router. Wired network is handled through the motherboard's ethernet port. The way I have things setup, I have my DSL modem hooked in to a router, which then runs through another router, which is configured to act as a switch (it doesnt assign IP addresses on its own), and finally to this desktop. It was a PITA to get both routers to work together, but once I got all the settings right, its worked pretty much flawlessly now for like 3 years. Every once in a great while i will get the limited or no connectivity error, but usually disabling and then reenabling the Local Area Connection fixes it.

    I tried that, and then using a couple different cables between my computer and the switch, and then bypassed the switch entirely and hooked it straight into the router. Didn't seem to make a difference, but then the next day when I turned the computer on, it connected to the network no problem, and its been fine for a day or so now, through 2 or 3 restarts.

    And yes, its an AGP card.
  3. The fastest and newest card for the AGP slot would be a radeon 4670 as for nvidia it would be a geforce 7 series card which you would have to get on eBay.
  4. whooleo said:
    The fastest and newest card for the AGP slot would be a radeon 4670 as for nvidia it would be a geforce 7 series card which you would have to get on eBay.

    To add further restrictions to this, I have an OEM power supply which is only 250 W. Will that be a problem with either of these? If it will, I'm not averse to going back to older, discontinued cards from eBay that are stingier with power.

    And greg, i dont really want to buy a whole new computer over this. I am not a competitive gamer and this computer performs pretty much everything I want already. I'm assuming due to my OEM case and low-end power supply, it will be cheaper to buy a whole new computer than to buy a new motherboard, processor, video card, RAM, power supply?
  5. Your power supply will need about 4 amps on the 12 volt rail available to the radeon 4670 which has a 59 watt TDP which most likely your power supply can handle, so you should be good on that.
  6. can you suggest one thats a bit cheaper than the 4670? Its looking like it runs roughly $125. I'd like to stay under $50 and really im not looking for anything state of the art, just something to outperform the 9800 by a bit and be reliable.
  7. But will that fit in my existing case, and will I be ok with my current 250W power supply? I would probably end up buying a video card too, since I'm bound to get greedy and want more performance.
  8. i ended up ordering a radeon x800 pro from ebay. It appears to be a generation up on my 9800 pro, and based on my reading it shouldn't use any more power than the old card while being significantly better performing. Waiting for it to arrive as we speak. If I have any problems with the install, I will report back. Otherwise, future readers can assume all went well.
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