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Advice for Video card upgrade for older system.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 20, 2004 9:14:22 PM

Hello people;

I need some advice about the following:
I want to give my K6-3+ 550Mhz system a last video card upgrade.
Doas anyone have some advice? I planned the following:
It currently has a Geforce 2MX from hercules,
and I planned to replace it by a Geforce 4MX-440, mainly to get smooth DVD-playback.

1) But now I see that NVidia has come up with a so-called Geforce MX4000 GPU.
What is THAT?
On NVidia's website, I cannot see any difference between a Geforce 4MX-440 and this new Geforce MX4000.

2) Secondly: I have noticed that most Geforce 4MX video cards have 64-bit DDR memory. Am I right by thinking that 128-bit DDR memory (and even 128-bit SDram) are better?
I fear a little that these cards with 64-bit DDR memory will be SLOWER than my current Geforce 2MX with 128-bit SDRAM.

Thanks for your advice!
June 21, 2004 1:31:34 AM

Any GeForce4MX should be faster than ur GeForce2MX..
but don't expect a big performance boost though..
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 2:34:28 AM

I'd typically say don't upgrade to a GF4MX, but given a K63-550, maybe a Ti4200 is overkill. Refurb Ti4200's can be found for as low as $51, or about $65 for an 8X 128MB with TV/DVI.

Also, a Radeon 8500le for $49 free shipping would be a good choice. Better than a GF4MX IMO. I have one in a PIII 500@617MHz system. <A HREF="http://www.allstarshop.com/shop/simprod.asp?pid=4168&ad..." target="_new">http://www.allstarshop.com/shop/simprod.asp?pid=4168&ad...;/A>

Here are some <A HREF="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030120/vgach..." target="_new"> TBird 1.0GHz video card benchies</A> for comparison. I'd rather have an 8500le than a GF4MX 440 or MX4000.




ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
June 21, 2004 3:36:46 AM

Na my TI4200 worked with my old Athlon 500Mhz.
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 5:00:27 AM

The Athlon had a much better FPU than the K6-2.

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a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 8:01:27 AM

What exactly are you doing? If it's just DVD playback, then a cheap R9200SE (yes SE) or FX5200SE would be your best choices. Both have far better video quality than the GF4MX, and even the GF4ti. That's if DVD playback is your PRIMARY use, and the R9200 if you are playing back DIVX and other net media, which will take advanatage of fullstream videosmoothing (although with the whole system power I wouldn't expect much).

If you are gaming, then an R8500LE/9100 would do better than the GF4MX, and the GF4ti w/ 64mb would be your best choice in the class IMO. But it depends on price. But for video playback quality, go with the R9XXX series (or even an R8500LE which could be flashed to take use of fullstream if you need it) or the FX5200. The GF4(mx or ti) isn't great for video playback quality.

As for the MX4000 it's just a GF4-MX440 (NV18) with slower and slimmer 64bit memory. The GF4MX-440SE would be the closest match performance wise as it also has 64bit slow memory. The GF4MX-440 either 4X or 8X would be a better choice with faster wider memory, but like I wote above, there are better nV and Ati choices than that, but definitely AVOID the MX4000. The memory wouldn't do much for DVD playback so much as the core and any onboard media decoding chips. And even an old MATROX G200/400 would do better for DVD playback, but definitely leave you wanting in any gaming situation.

If you do get an OEM Radeon and it doesn't come with DVD playback let me know, by posting here, as I have a tip that may enable DVD player functions in your media center upon install depending on the option on your install CD.

Anywhoo, hope that helps.



- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 8:40:34 AM

I OWNED a K6-III, it was a K6-2 with on-die L2 Cache, and I was talking to Hardwareboss...dumbass!

Athlon put the K6-2 FPU to shame. References to Athlon 500 performance can't be used for K6-III performance.

I do agree with a lot of folks that the 8500 series (even the LE) would be 1337 for this old system.

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a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 8:43:46 AM

I'm looking at a K6-III 450 and Radeon DV in an AT style mini desktop for my van as an MTPC/light gaming platform.

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a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 8:56:47 AM

Yeah that should do it. They're acceptable. I don't think the regular Radeon is good for gaming, but for video it's ok. Of course for light gaming it should be OK, I was able to play a fair amount of stuff on that old RageFury while I had it as a Tempo solution.

Of course I'd prefer a nice DELL XPS Laptop! :wink:


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
June 21, 2004 6:17:35 PM

Thanks to all of you for your generous input.
One of the reasons why I'm thinking of a Geforce 4MX though,
is because I will install it in a K6-3+ system, so that's a Super Socket 7 system. Back in the days when I bought the Geforce 2MX for this system, I bought it because I had read that Radeons have compatibility issues with many Super 7 mobos. (Now mine is a Tyan mobo, so it's probably good quality.)

Furthermore, I don't think that a Geforce FX5200 will be happy sitting on a Super 7 mobo, as it's AGP 1x-2x only.

-> I thought that most videocards of today are only compatible with AGP 4x-8x? So I even doubt it that the Radeon 9000-series will work on it.
It is for that reason that I was thinking that the GF 4MX-es will probably have less compatibility issues than other video chips. After all, they're only a GF 2MX with an optimised memory controller and built-in MPEG2-accelleration.
Sparkle, for instance, states on its website that its Geforce 4MX cards and the MX4000 are compatible with AGP 1x-2x-4x AND 8x. ( Until yesterday I thought that this is not possible?!? )
I don't know though if Sparkle is a good brand name. I wish Hercules would not have left the graphics card business. I've had nothing but good experiences with Hercules, even with their after sales service.

Has anyone had good experiences with really modern video chips ( DX8 or DX9 types) working perfectly in a Super 7 system?

The main reason why I would upgrade to a GF 4MX is to improve DVD playback. Although the current GF2MX does it okay, I read that the GF4MX has MPEG2-decoding built-in for totally smooth playback.

One of you states that the MX4000 is a GF4MX with a scaled down 64-bit memory controller, but the article on www.xbitlabs.com about the MX4000 states exactly the opposite: that the MX4000 has a 128-bit memory controller, while the GF 4MX has only a 64-bit controller.
Which is the truth?

Once again, thanks for your time and replies!
June 21, 2004 6:36:44 PM

Thanks for your reply!

Only: What the heck is the difference between the Radeon 9000, the 9100 and the 9200?
I only know that the SE-versions of all Radeon have a scaled down 64-bit memory controller, so maybe I'd better avoid those. (although for my old K6-3+, this might not make much of a difference.)

Are these 9000-series all the same, or are they architecturally different?

When I bought the GF2MX for this system, I bought it because I had read that they have the best compatibility with Super Socket 7 mobos, and that the Radeon 7500 had compatibility problems with quite a few Super 7 mobos.
For that reason, I fear that the Radeon 9000-series might have the same problem.
I'd like to improve my system one last time, but not at the cost of stability.

Anyway: Radeon 9000, 9100, 9200 ... what's the difference?

Thanks in advance!
Carl
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 7:09:00 PM

I think the GFFX5200 would work with 1/2/4/8xAGP, <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">here's just one I saw at NewEgg (yes it's an SE)</A> on their front page of the video card section. Of course the Keying and Voltage will determine the compatability, but it looks right, if it's 1 & 2XAGP it should be fine.

And as for compatibility with the ATI's I hadn't heard that, but whatever you prefer. <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">There is this R9200SE</A> which was also on their front page, and it too supports 1/2/4/8x according to the info.

Anywhoo, just to let you know.

Quote:
One of you states that the MX4000 is a GF4MX with a scaled down 64-bit memory controller, but the article on www.xbitlabs.com about the MX4000 states exactly the opposite: that the MX4000 has a 128-bit memory controller, while the GF 4MX has only a 64-bit controller.
Which is the truth?

That was me, and remember that Xbit was commenting on the LAUNCH of the card, not an actual retail card. The MX4XX series has both 128 bit and 64bit, but the only 64 bit ones are the SE. As for the MX4000, it can be both, but you will find it rarer that they are 128bit, than the 64bit cheapos, especially the 64mb versions. Just be aware of them because there is no naming difference, no MX4000SE. Here's <A HREF="http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=G4M..." target="_new">MSI's description</A> which includes the description of both 128/64bit.

For DVD playback the better quality picture would be from the FX5200 and Radeon series. And considering the price of the FX5200SE versus the MX4000, I'd go with the FX5200 hands down, especially if game playing isn't abig factor, heck even if it were a factor. I still say the R9200SE would be a better choice, but if you have heard there are issues with that mobo, then go with the one you think will be hassle free, also the fact that you had an nV card there before means that you may encounter problems unless you format and re-install. So if that's a concern, then yeah the FX52000SE for sure.

As always, just my two frames worth.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 7:17:37 PM

Didn't see your second reply,

The R9000 and 9200 are the same basic core (with the R9200 having AGP 8X support added on). The R9000Pro is usually faster than any of the R9200s. The R9100 is really just a re-nameplated R8500LE with some BIOS additions and support for 8Xagp. One of the nice additions that come with an R9100 over the R8500LE is that fullstream video smoothing feature for .net videos.

As for 64bit versus 128bit. It won't matter that much for DVD playback, it would help something like HDTV size fullstream, but on a core as slow as those, likely it wouldn't have an impact with even 128bit or 256bit memory for that matter.

If you look at LARS' old reviews in the Graphics Section of the main THG website he goes into a fair amount of detail about the R9000, 9100 and 9200 cards and focuses on their differences.

<A HREF="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030306/radeo..." target="_new">Here's LARS' look at the R9200 series</A>
<A HREF="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/200303061/gefo..." target="_new">Here's LARS' look at the FX5200 series</A>


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
June 21, 2004 7:33:56 PM

Thanks again for your expertise.

Do I understand this right?
A GF 4MX440 ALWAYS has 128-bit memory, and only the SE version has 64-bit memory?

I've never seen something called GF 4MX440"SE", so the manufacturers probably call them all GF4MX, without mentioning the "SE" and then add 64-bit memory...
Why can't they just tell the truth about their products... damn.

Thanks for your info on the 9000-series too, I'll take a look at it.

Carl
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 7:51:31 PM

Yeah, I'm not really sure if SE is mandatory, but knowing the industry it's probably not, which is dirty.

Just keep your eyes open. The SE was it's model name, but whether it appears on the box or info is another question. Of course this was well before they had the SE/LE/XT/EPV/ETC. models. They just had one crippled model.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
a b U Graphics card
June 21, 2004 9:58:01 PM

LOL, I should have said 8500DV, but since the only DV IS an 8500, I was a little too general. I'm thinking of connecting the whole thing to a cheap 15" flat panel with 800x600 resolution, so it should be...OK. Except that it will be kinda blurry/streaky/etc during fast movements in games.

I'll be looking for a 12v flat panel, since going DC-AC-DC using inverters and converters waste a lot of power. Also, I might go AT power for simplicity, and run the 12v off the battery.

I have a 12v to 3.3v adapter from an old power supply (early ATX) should I decide to go ATX power. What would REALLY be handy right now is: A 12v regulator (automotive systems run 11.9v to 14.5v and can be kind of choppy) and a 12v to 5v converter, if you know of any sources let me in on it!

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June 22, 2004 7:09:13 PM

Hi again guys;

I have just found an FX5200 from Leadtek which states "superfast 4ns RAM".

As far as I know, most Geforce FX5200s have 400Mhz DDR memory (so 200Mhz clockspeed).
For this Leadtek however, the site only states "4ns" for the RAM speed.
Does that also mean 400Mhz DDR, or does it mean something else?

Thanks in advance for your explanation.
a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2004 4:50:50 AM

I'd go with a Radeon 8500, 8500LE, or 9100. I haven't had any unusual problems with ATI cards on my Socket 7 platforms. But I HAVE had problems with nVidia cards on them. If there WERE problems, they must have been driver issues from my experience.

<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>
!