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Help selecting Low End Video Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 16, 2003 5:38:24 PM

Would like some advice on selecting a new video card for an old PC. I’ve got an old PII Gateway 266 Mhz PC running W98 with about 160 MB of RAM that I’ve given to my son and he would like to run Lego Studios on it. However, Lego Studios requires DirectX compatibility, which the current 4 MB AGP graphics card does not support. I’ve tried putting in a GeForce4 MX440 64MB AGP card and had all kinds of trouble as soon as I tried adjusting the resolution (system would freeze-up immediately), then I tried a GeForce2 MX400 64MB AGP card and could the get the system to boot up and was able to run the application, but the card still caused my system to freeze-up periodically, usually 30 or 60 minutes after booting, and would happen in any types of applications (Word, Lego Studios, Warcraft, etc). I’ve talked with Gateway technical support and they suggested not going with anything larger than a 32 MB AGP card, then when I talked with Gateway sales dept, they recommended (after I explained my problems) going with a PCI card instead of an AGP since they said I only had a AGP 1 slot and the PCI card would be more stable. Up to now I’ve only tried Nvidia cards, would it make any sense to try a Radeon? What do you guys think of the AGP vs PCI issue, and finally, what size should I be looking for? Again, I’m not looking to run any kind of high end games, just a few simple apps like Lego Studios. Thanks,
July 16, 2003 6:28:07 PM

Well, to be honest, that machine may just be too old for 3d gaming. It may meet the minimum requirements, but those requirements are BARE minimum. I could be wrong. Maybe try an nVidia TNT2. They're extremely cheap, and there should be a PCI version.

Tit for tat, butter for fat, ATi's dog kicks nVidia's cat

(Maximum PC)
July 16, 2003 6:55:19 PM

My honest suggestions is go pick up a 1700+ from pricewatch on the prebuilt systems page, use the same monitor... lets see whats there real quick... hell even an emachine, that pc isn't worth sticking any card in honestly... the card is worth more than the machine.
Pricewatch.com lists this...

Clicked on "PC - Windows", "Complete Athlon 1700 Win CD COA", added the word "asus" to search so we get a decent board with onboard graphics and not some no name pos, came up with this at $393.00 (including s&h).

Complete Athlon XP 1700 Win CD COA, 40GB HDD, 128MB PC2100 DDR,FD, ASUS A7N266VM GeForce, SOUND,Lan, Deluxe ATX CASE 300W, Kb/Mo/Sp, 52xCD.

Shadus
!