Please help me figure out the right graphics card for my 11 years old PC. I want to upgrade so that I can hopefully watch HD videos (if that is possible on a 11 years old PC), I also use Photoshop, Indesign from time to time so graphics boost could be handy.
My PC is:
Pentium 4; 1.5Ghz
Ram- approx 792MB
Existing Graphics card - nvidia geforce2 mx/mx 400 (it says Location: PCI Bus 1 on the system)
I have searched and trawled through search engines but could not work out the best upgrade option.
Please help me understand whether I have a PCI, AGP or PCI-E slot and secondly what upgrade options do I have?
Please let me know if you would like any further information.
That is definitely not worth upgrading at the moment. I would say save up a little bit and get a cheap Celeron G530 and a new motherboard, and it wouldnt even set you back $100, except you would need RAM as well.
You can easily upgrade the cpu for as little as $1 depending on what the board supports. Once you have done that look into getting a cheap Radeon 2k series or better agp card due to driver support and popular codecs that also support these cards. However your ram is really low, you can buy a 2gb DDR1 kit off ebay or amazon for around $40 with shipping to help improve your system. Beyond that there isn't much that you can do. If it is using SDR ram you are screwed. If it is RDRAM expect to pay a LOT to max it out. For the price of buying two 512mb rdram sticks you can purchase a core i3 2100.
gpu-z and or cpu-z will easily show what speed the agp slot is working at as the machine is new enough for the agp speed to be detected as 1x,2x,4x, and 8x. This machine should be running at 4x speeds. It only supports 4x if it is the same era as what that model cpu originally came out. We need to know what socket that it is. Socket 423 was first to have a 1.5ghz pentium 4 (Willamette) while 478 is a different core at that same speed. The socket 423 although rare is very expensive to be upgraded. The other version supported two common types of ram (SDR and DDR1) which are cheap but sdr just sucks and isn't worth your time. The other uses the same ram as 423 and is like buying gold pricks and buckets of caviar.
WoW you guys are amazing. I am impressed with the wealth of knowledge you carry with yourselves
The reason I was tempted to upgrade my graphics card was because I saw an ATI Radeon 5430 I think it was for really cheap on ebay but after your expert suggestions I will take your advice and just upgrade my computer.
I must confess that since I have had my computer for such a long time I do not really want to throw it away after an upgrade, this PC helped me through school, college and university. I am in Love with it
P.S.- My PC uses SDRAM which as someone mentioned is difficult to find to upgrade
SDR 512mb sticks and above are expensive and often rare. Second it is just too slow for your cpu as it is. You are better off building a new machine and saving the one you have for memory lane aka retro. It won't run a 5450 unless it is just a pci card and not pci-e. If this comp of yours is a custom build then look for a newer board at least that uses ddr1 if the price is low enough.