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Upgrading from onboard? Big Difference?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 17, 2003 10:06:39 PM

I'm still in the market for a video card (probably a Radeon 9100). I was wondering how much of a difference I will notice in surfing the web and just basic operations in Windows XP. Right now I have a Compaq S3000NX and it uses onboard video. 256MB of RAM. Will I notice a difference in speed of the general running of the computer ie. faster time opening folders, view pictures, videos etc.? Or should I just pop in another 256 of RAM and see how that goes?
September 17, 2003 11:06:34 PM

What is the speed of your CPU. Usually your onboard video has a delegated amount of your memory ,RAM,it can use. If you have a new computer its probably 64mb of ram. I'd be guessing your bottle neck in your case is your CPU. If not then i would add a graphics card to take the load off your CPU. You must remember onboard features such as sound and video and software modems and probably network will eat at your processor and memory thus slowing up the general speed of you CPU. If your take the load off by adding these items to your PCI/AGP slots and add 256mb of ram you will notice an increase in performance. Leave the RAM out and see how it goes, if your still not happy then add some RAM. Also i'm not sure what country your from but here i can get a Ti4200 and a fx5600 for not a lot more than a radeon 9100, much better cards too.

If he doesn't die, he'll get help!!!
September 17, 2003 11:41:07 PM

My CPU is an Athalon XP 2000+ 1.67GHZ. I'm from Canada. So you think those cards would work better for me eh?
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2003 12:23:41 AM

Captain Obvious says a video card will speed up 3D things like games!
It will not make web brownsing any quicker, as 2D graphical speed reached it's maximum ages ago.

What you need is More RAM!

<b><font color=red>Captain Obvious To The Rescue!!!</font color=red></b>
September 18, 2003 12:34:17 AM

The CPU is definately NOT the bottleneck. Heck, even a k6-2 300 Mhz is fine for websurfing. (I don't know if it can handle broadband though). Your CPU is faster than mine, I have the same amount of RAM (256 megs), so either the onboard video is consuming too much mememory, sor you need a new graphics card.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
September 18, 2003 12:35:44 AM

Radeon 9100 should be a GREAT card. I just sold my radeon 8500LE to my Grandpa. I loved that card (still do) It's the same as a 9100 so it should do 3D gaming pretty well also.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
September 18, 2003 12:45:48 AM

Have you started every post on these forums with the words "Captain Obvious says"?

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2003 1:27:51 AM

Captain Obvious says do a search!
You may be suprised!

<b><font color=red>Captain Obvious To The Rescue!!!</font color=red></b>
September 18, 2003 1:58:58 AM

Captain obvious you obviously have some mental health issues, and UFO did you give your grandpa mates rates or did ya take advantage of his senility and charge him twice.

If he doesn't die, he'll get help!!!
September 18, 2003 2:06:52 AM

I'm not 100% sure but from what i have heard onboard can really suck up the ram and cpu power. Even if you put a cheap sound card and vid card in it will take the load off the cpu. It will also free up the ram a bit giving you full 256mb avalible which should be ample for 95% of operations, 512 is good but no necessary. The only other thing i can think of is compaq may have put a cheap motherboard in, does your motherboard have an AGP slot, i'd be guesing so since the cpu is a AMD XP but ya never know with compaq.

If he doesn't die, he'll get help!!!
September 18, 2003 2:37:53 AM

What are you using now then?
September 18, 2003 2:49:53 AM

Yep it's got an AGP slot. I'm gonna search around and see what I can find out abuot the motherboard.
September 18, 2003 3:01:11 AM

Your motherboard should be fine then make sure its an 4X AGP slot, which it should be, and put a new video card in (whatever takes your fancy, they are backward compatable so an 8X card will fit), also put a sound card in( a cheap creative 128 will do) , check to see you don't have a software modem (external modems are the way to go).

If he doesn't die, he'll get help!!!
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2003 3:56:18 AM

Why would he want to do that? The 9100 will run fine in ANY slot, AGP2x, AGP4x, AGP8x, doesn't matter. In fact it only sees a small performance gain from 4x compared to 2x, unnoticable to the naked eye (unless you're already running in choppy framerate mode).

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
September 18, 2003 4:06:12 AM

I just wasn't sure if an 8X card would run in a 1X slot as theirs a chance he'll end up with an 8X card. I just wouldn't have wanted him to go out and buy a new card that wouldn't have run in the AGP slot.

If he doesn't die, he'll get help!!!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by rramjet on 09/18/03 00:08 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 18, 2003 4:07:19 AM

I am using 3 Ti4200 cards.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2003 5:21:09 AM

The only AGP8x card I know of that doesn't support 3.3v signals is the Radeon 9600 series, and I suspect that's because it's chip operates at a lower voltage so boosting the signal to 3.3v would cost more money.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
September 18, 2003 5:26:27 AM

mmm, my fx5600 handle 1X but the ultra version didn't seem to, unless they just left it out on the website. I'm not sure i'll have a closer look.

If he doesn't die, he'll get help!!!
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2003 5:55:36 AM

Hmm, 1x transfers? That's like, a special diagnostics mode for 2x slots/cards.

Anyway, I'm not 100% sure on the FX cards, but I'm hearing people say they're running them on their BX chipset boards, which are 1.0/AGP2x.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
September 18, 2003 10:41:39 AM

If it seems to be opening your folders slowly, or hesitates/chops on opening pics/videos, another possibility may be that your hard drive is not fast enough for your tastes.

If it is, in fact, your hard drive, only adding more ram will help you, but that will only help marginally. Adding a new CPU or video card won't help this.

Before making any new purchase, I would definitely do some benchmarks on your hard drive. It may save you some money...

[rant]

Am I the only one that caught that?

[/rant]

<font color=blue> Ok, so you have to put your "2 cents" in, but its value is only "A penny's worth". Who gets that extra penny? </font color=blue>
September 18, 2003 10:56:25 AM

If it's that sites and images are loading slowly, it's probably that you are running too much crap from your startup. Click start >run, type in msconfig click startup, then uncheck everything. If you aint amazed I'll be.
September 18, 2003 11:05:41 AM

absolutely, the biggest bottleneck in any system is the harddrive


for example my friend put a 7200rpm drive in his moms Pentium200mmx w/ 128m/ram and it runs 98se just fine. definately fast enough for web browsing. it also has a voodoo2 to help accelerate the video as well mind you



from what ive seen (ive sold quite a few computesr with integrated video) is for things like web browsing and text editing and playing flash games, more ram and cpu power is better than having a seperate video card. sure modern video cards will accelerate SOME gui stuff, like alpha blending on web sites, but if you have a processor with SSE (duron, athlon, p3-celeron or higher) then its not really an issue and the video card is just icing on the cake if you dont play 3d games

oh and the 9100 is faster than the TI4200 in some areas FYI. and i bet in dx8 mode its faster than a 5600nonultra too

-------

<A HREF="http://www.teenirc.net/chat/tomshardware.html" target="_new"> come to THGC chat~ NOW. dont make me get up ffs @#@$</A>
September 18, 2003 4:22:52 PM

That sounds like it makes sense, could be the hardrive. How do I go about doing this benchmark test?
September 18, 2003 5:18:42 PM

BOTTLENECKS:

#1: RAM
You're only ruinning 256 megs on WindowsXP? Let me tell you, windwosXP really likes at least 512 megs. Makes a HUGE difference, and you won't hear that scratchy hard drive noise as much because it won't have to use the swap file so often.

#2 CPU speed:
Yes, faster CPUs will let you open folders faster, view pictures faster, view videos less choppily. A 3d video card has absolutely nothing to do with these things, unless you're watching DVDs... in which case some video cards come with DVD hardware acceleration.

#3: HARD DRIVE
Yes, get a 7200 RPM hard disk! Much better than a 5400 RMP oldie. Faster loading, faster everything.

#4: VIDEO CARD
If you ever plan to play any games, onboard video is a complete joke. A Radeon 9100 will suit the bill nicely for gaming. If you're a bit more serious about it, go Geforce4Ti 4200, and if you are really serious go Radeon 9600 PRO or anything that says 9700 or 9800 on it. Best you can afford.

You got that?

------------------
Radeon 9500 (modded to PRO w/8 pixel pipelines)
AMD AthlonXP 2000+
3dMark03: 3529
September 19, 2003 3:22:00 AM

I found this program for doing benchmarks. It's called Fresh Diagnose. Here are the results I got:

Hard drive: Read Speed 5.21, Write Speed 9.97

I don't know what this means. Could someone explain. I can do benchmarks on memory and graphics display too. How can I use there to figure out my speed issues and such.
!