Best card for low-end systems ?

I have an old pII-350 with 256 RAM running WindowsME, and a old Nvidia TNT 16 mb graphics card (ASUS motherboard, AGPx2). I dont want to upgrade my whole system at this time (i'll do a serious upgrade in 6-7 months from now), but i'd like to upgrade the graphics card.

So what should be my best buy ? I'm looking for something around $150. I did my research and found these cards:

1.Creative 3d Blaster Geforce2 MX (~150$)
2.Hercules Prophet II Geforce2 MX (~150$)
3. a simple TNT2 32 mb card (which is around 75$)

Which one would be the best card for my low-end system ?
I have a EIZO 15' TFT that goes up to 1024x780.
I know the Geforce performs much better with faster cpu.

Is it worth getting a Geforce2MX for this system (and which is better, Hercules or Creative), or will i be getting the same frame rates (at 1024x768) with the simple TNT2 32 card ? is it worth the difference in $ ?

Thank you in advance guys
7 answers Last reply
More about best card systems
  1. I picked up the Hercules GeForce2MX for $102 USD. I love it, with a nice improvement on some flight sim games. It replaced a Rage 128 card on a K6-III 400 with 256 MB and W98SE.
  2. Get the Hercules, its faster. It uses SDRam but has a 128 bit data path. The Creative card has DDR Ram but only a 64 bit data path and it is a real bottleneck. All the benchmarks show the Creative card to be slower because of this.
  3. So I'm in the same boat (same question, different thread) with a PII/333 w/ 128MBs RAM and a TNT, although my monitor is 19". My question is what your plans were on the system you'll upgrade to. The reason I am asking (kind of what my thought process was) is that I am finding it hard to justify upgrading to a $150 board when I undoubtedly would go to an Ultra when buy the new computer. So, unless the Ultra comes down by $150 between now and the difference is "wasted" compared to buying the Ultra now.

    Of course, if you're not going the Ultra route, that's a horse of a different color. Would love to get a second opinion.
  4. Well when you think about it.

    the ATI all in wonder 128 / 32mb apg is 150+ off pricewatch. it has alot of cool stuff
    Intelligent TV-Tuner with Digital VCR
    128-bit 3D graphics acceleration
    True color (32-bit) gaming
    Video output to TV or VCR
    Still image and MPEG-2 motion video capture
    Video editing
    Hardware DVD video playback
    Up to 32 MB of memory

    wait 6 months and get your nv20 or "geforce3". Then get your athlon or p4 2ghz.

    -- takes one to now one --
  5. From the choices you listed, I'd go with the second.

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  6. Is that U.S. dollars? Assuming so, I would see if you can find an Original Geforce256 DDR in your price range. I think it will give better performance at that resolution than a Geforce 2 MX. Or wait a couple of months and see if the Geforce 2 GTS cards drop to $150 after the NV20 cards hit the market.
  7. Ok, i actually got the Hercules MX today for $124.
    All in all, i am amazed.

    Here are some framerates:

    Old TNT 16 card results first, then with the new Hercules MX
    1024x768 32 bit : 15 --> 45
    1024x768 16 bit : 28 --> 60
    800x600 32 bit : 28 --> 60
    800x600 16 bit : 38 --> 70

    1024x768 : 20 -> 40
    800x600 : 30 -> ? (didnt get this one)

    I could not try higher resolutions since my TFT goes up to 1024x768.

    Well, as you can see, on my old system (pii350, 256 mb (100hz) , asus mb) the Hercules Geforce2MX doubled the framerates. But that's not all ! The texture detail is really amazing (nothing compared to the old card), animation is smoother, COLORS and TEXTURES are AmAzInG and to cut a long story short, this is a whole new experience for me :)))))

    I didnt want to spend more money upgrading my pc now. I believe i made the right choice getting this card. Hope this helps.
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