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Advice on video cards

by Islander / April 15, 2005 10:44 AM PDT

This card is installed, NVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400 64MB AGP 4X. How would this card compare in the same machine, eVGA GeForce MX 4000 / 128MB DDR / PCI.
computer is 1.6ghz,768mb of ram
monitor is viewsonic vx910

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Both those cards are junk
by damasta55r / April 15, 2005 11:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Advice on video cards

i wouldn't expect a large boost especially since the new card is a pci. i would get an eVGA 6600 GT FOR $177 AT Newegg.

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by nerdyboy1234 / April 15, 2005 4:05 PM PDT
In reply to: Advice on video cards

these video cards are ok for regular use (surfing net, pictures, 2d gaming, old games,...). not good at all for new games. Suggest getting 6600gt like damasta says.

If not really interested in gaming, try checking out the ati radeon 9200 or fx5200. Those are better than both. U should get the agp versions of them. Not pci. Pci are slower.

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by Islander / April 16, 2005 12:05 AM PDT
In reply to: RE

I understand that pci is slower than agp however the board is 4x agp and will not support 8x agp is that not correct. I cannot find a 4x agp card with 128 mb mem therefore thot a 128 pci may be better. Any suggestions welcome.

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Since ...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 16, 2005 12:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Re

Since 8x cards work at 4x in 4x slots, why not one of those?


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What I needed to hear
by Islander / April 16, 2005 7:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Since ...

Thats what I should have asked I quess because I was under the impression that 4x was a different voltage than 8x and somewhere had read, or thought I did, that the slots were slightly different.
Thanks Bob

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Just commenting.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 16, 2005 7:28 AM PDT
In reply to: What I needed to hear

If a video card "8X only" it's sales would be so low that you would not find it on the store shelves.

In closing, the AGP slot does NOT set the voltage. The AGP card "asks" for a voltage and the AGP slot supplies that voltage.


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this card
by Islander / April 16, 2005 7:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Just commenting.

I'm seriously looking at this card as the price compares well against others. Is it junk, or inferior?

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Frankly? "Value card" or not so nice...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 16, 2005 7:48 AM PDT
In reply to: this card

Junk. It ranks poorly on the tomshardware vgacharts. Some say it doesn't rank or is rank. Sorry.

Even a lowly FX5200 should spring past this one and the fx5700le with 128M isn't that much for what zip it adds.


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AGP slots.....
by John Robie / April 17, 2005 6:32 AM PDT
In reply to: agp confusion

As McMahon would say to Carson, "Everything you want to know is....." right in this link:

You indicate you currently have a 4x AGP card installed. That 4x card could possibly be compatible to 1.5v and 3.3 volts. You didn't indicate what motherboard you have or even what brand and model number of the computer. If that mobo is real old it could possibly have a 3.3Volt AGP slot. So, jamming a 1.5v/.8v card in a 3.3v mobo slot, turning on the juice may cause an atomic explosion.

Re: " .8V is the voltage requirement of new 8x AGP cards utilizing AGP specification 3.0. Motherboards supporting 8x AGP support both 1.5V AGP 2.0 compliant cards (AGP 4x) and newer .8V AGP 3.0 compliant cards (AGP 8x). The keying for AGP 3.0 cards is identical to that of AGP 2.0 cards to retain backward compatibility. A motherboard that supports 8x AGP should work fine with a 1.5V (AGP 4x video card), and a motherboard that supports 1.5V (AGP 4x) video cards should work ok with a .8V video card (AGP 8x), however in the later example the video card would only work at the fastest speed the motherboard supports (AGP 4x)."

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by Islander / April 17, 2005 9:48 AM PDT
In reply to: AGP slots.....

The mb is a shuttle av18e, quite old. The slot is designated 32 bit up to 4x agp. It is the universal slot, it is not keyed. So I'm reading that it will support an 8x card at 4x ?

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Again I write.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 17, 2005 10:00 AM PDT
In reply to: board

There are no known 8x only cards being offered. It would be the death of the product.

Said card will step back to ... 4x.


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Low end cards....
by John Robie / April 17, 2005 7:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Advice on video cards
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my suggestion
by ozos / April 17, 2005 10:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Low end cards....

I am actually going to DISAGREE with the suggestion of an FX 5200, and suggest a different low range nVidia card

I am going to suggest the GeForce4 MX 440, NOT THE SE VERSION, and if you find a version that supports AGP 8x, get it (so if you upgrade the motherboard, and it's AGP 8x, it can use AGP 8x (instead of getting an AGP 4x only card, which means if you get an AGP 8x capable board, your stuck at 4x...)

the reason I'm going to suggest the GeForce4 MX 440 is this:

I used to own both (I still own the GF4)
playing most 3D intensive games, the GeForce4 MX card was considerably faster
the reason is simple:

the GeForce FX 5200 is a fully DirectX 9.0 capable card, with all the hardware support features required to make it a DirectX 9 part
games will default DirectX 9 level shaders, graphics and other features on it due to it's capabilities, and it will usually run slower than a Pinto in gaming due to that...and it doesn't do so well with those features disabled (dropping it into DirectX 8.1)

so here is where the GeForce4 MX 440 comes in
it is a fully DirectX 8.1 compliant part, with no abilities to run DirectX 9 shaders (BUT it can play DirectX 9 games (it just doesn't have all the eye candy DX9 offers, only what DX8.1 can give you)

so now that we have leveld them off
both are in DirectX 8.1, and both are nVidia parts of simmilar design (4 pipes, 64-128MB of RAM, 64 or 128-bit memory interface, basically their the same)

there is one key difference
the GeForce4 MX 440 is clocked higher, so it can achive higher fill rates in games, meaning more FPS, meaning better performance

it's 275/333 for the GeForce4 MX 440
compared to 250/400 (or 250/333 for the 256MB version) for the 5200

when you overclock the 5200 to 300/425 (I had the 256MB version @ 305/425 up from 250/333) the performance difference switches around, and the 5200 wins

but imo if you can buy the GeForce4 and not have to OC it, you should

I am going to suggest it on the basis that it will out-perform in most cases

now i know Tom's Hardware states the 5200 is faster, and that is the general consensus
but in my experience the GeForce4 MX is faster (AthlonXP 2600+, GeForce FX 5200 256MB, 512MB PC2100 DDR vs. Pentium 4 2000/Willamette, GeForce4 MX 440, 512MB PC133 SDRAM, and the GF4 equipped system wins in Halo by around 5 FPS, and in most other games it did admirably)

but 5FPS, while neglible
means playable and not playable on these amazingly low end cards, as most of them play between 15 and 35 FPS in most games

so my suggestion in the $35-$45 range is the GeForce4 MX 440 8x

that is not my final suggestion
my ultimate suggestion would have to be the XGI Volari V8 256MB (it's $100) and it will perform as good, if not better than, a GeForce FX 5700LE

the only issue you MIGHT run into with the Volari is a limited game library (has no issues with current games, i mean if a game is put out next month, it may take them a week to get the game added (not likely, as their doing great as far as game support, this isssue is probably more common in reverse, older games not working with it's drivers...unless they can run 2D or software accelerated (in which case your CPU better be up to it)

also, would you stop suggesting a 6600GT?
considering he is considering replacing a GeForce2 MX in a system with AGP 4x, i'm guessing a 6600GT is probably as fast as his CPU (or close...)

and aside from that
it's just going to be un-needed power
if he is considering a value level card, for a basic performance increase, a 6600GT is like buying a 5950's just a very fast, very gaming oriented card

i'd suggest a GeForce 6200 AGP or GeForce 6600nU AGP

or the Volari V8 256MB
or the GeForce4 MX 440

or from ATi the Radeon 9600Pro (which should be faster than the Volari)

i can't really think of anything else to suggest to you...the 6600nU, 9600Pro and Volari V8 concern me on their power requirements for your system, as they all want 300W or more
the GeForce4 MX 440 (personal experience talking here) will work on about any PSU (smallest i've run it on is a 200W along with a Willamette P4, 2 optical drives, and a hard drive)

and the GeForce 6200 should be pretty low on power needs
the 5200 should be about the same (if you decide to buy it)

the Volari is probably going to want a good sized PSU, same with the 6600 and 9600Pro

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by Islander / April 17, 2005 11:29 AM PDT
In reply to: my suggestion
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i'd buy it...
by ozos / April 17, 2005 1:16 PM PDT
In reply to: re

the same thing is sold for $99 @ newegg, but newegg doesn't ship canada...

but i'd buy that card
Gigabyte is a decent company

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by John Robie / April 17, 2005 9:43 PM PDT
In reply to: my suggestion

My Suggestion. Please read my posts in this thread. No where did I mention 6600GT. So, DON'T TELL me to stop suggesting 6600GT.

It appeared that Islander wanted advice on replacing a 64MB AGP 4x, MX400 card with a 128MB PCI, MX 4000 card, and I believe my advice of not replacing an AGP card with a PCI card is accurate. Since both cards are low end including price, I assumed he wanted an inexpensive card and recommended the FX5200 AGP as a replacement for the PCI MX4000 which can be had for as low as $34.99.

You disagree with me on the FX 5200. I disagree with you on your selection of the MX440 in any version. The MX440-8x came out around the fall of 2002 and the FX series is more recent. I have used the FX 5200 on my brother's computer in another state, so am no stranger to it. I have more confidence in the accurate testing of Video Cards by Tom's Hardware, which for years has furnished charts that card buyers may use as a guide for purchase.

For example, on some testing comparison of the FX 5200, MX440's, and 9600SE by Tom's Hardware:

In Dome3 and Halo the FX 5200 rates higher than GF4 440-8x and GF4 440.
In Call of Duty they are about even.
In Battlefield 1942:
9600SE = 69.4 FPS
FX 5200 = 68.5 FPS
440-8x = 55.9
440 = 51.8

In Unreal Tournament 2003:
FX 5200 = 33.2 FPS
MX 460 = 31.6
9600SE = 29.3
MX440 = 27.8

All this disagreement you started makes no difference as Islander apparently now understands 4x / 8x, and indicates he is going wih the Radeon 9600 Pro, a $108 card instead of a $35-$45 card.

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learned alot
by Islander / April 18, 2005 7:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Err.......ozos.......
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Re: Still shopping.
by John Robie / April 18, 2005 8:38 AM PDT
In reply to: learned alot

Well, the MSI GeForce FX5600 sells for around $67 new, and is better than the FX5200, but not that much better than the FX5200 Ultra IMO. The guy selling it from Canada has a $26 bid so far, and it would be a good buy for around that price. Although I have always liked MSI packages with their games & etc... the guy is kinda 'far out' saying the SW package is worth over $1000. LOL.

The FX 5700LE is $73 at Newegg. Also Ozos suggested the GeForce 6200 AGP, $102 at Newegg, and also the Radeon 9600Pro $98 retail which are good for your system.

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by ozos / April 18, 2005 11:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Still shopping.

i wasn't telling you to not suggest the 6600GT, it was like post 3 in the thread "get a 6600GT, it's only $199!!"

so i replyed that it's going way out of the ballpark

also, THG's benchmarks have been questionable in the past (more so their CPU benchmarks) in the sense that they were giving favor to certain systems (they aren't doing this now, idk, it was for a short was mostly confirmed by another fourm i'm at which had a 3DMark and Aquamark compilation for every fourm member who could submit valid links to ORB or Aquamark certified benchmarks, and the benchies on THG were way off for the hardware (either too high, or too low))

I don't like VGA Chart III for that reason
VGA Chart IV and V are what i'd rather trust
but as for the FX 5600, it's slightly above a 5200 Ultra (identical clock speeds, BUT a different core (NV31 vs NV34, 34 being the 5200)

i wouldn't suggest that 5600
that is MSI's standard retial packaging for software
you could buy most of it for under $50 total (and some of it you can DL for free (the Demo's, most of MSI's software, etc...)

but aside from that
the 9600Pro will be MUCH faster than the FX 5600 (the FX 5600 was released as competition for the Radeon 9500, the FX 5600 Ultra was released for the 9500Pro, ATI moved to the 9600 and 9600Pro (which are slower than the 9500 cards...but cheaper to produce (the 9500 is the same core as the 9700, but with pipelines locked, the 9600 is it's own (cheaper) core, thus it's cheaper to make (and cheaper for you, and it's about the same performance)

so the FX 5600 Ultra vs 9600Pro
it's a one sided fight, the 9600Pro just walks all over the 5600U
so the FC edition was released (higher core and RAM clocks) still, didn't help

so eventually the 5700 series was put into production, and things leveled out

I would suggest the 9600Pro, it's faster than the FX 5600 Ultra and equivalent to the FX 5700

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9600 pro ordered
by Islander / April 19, 2005 10:33 AM PDT
In reply to: John...

I'll post back and let you know how the new vid card works in this antique machine.
I feel a total rebuild coming on.

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by Islander / April 26, 2005 10:31 AM PDT
In reply to: 9600 pro ordered

I installed the new 9600pro in the av18E board and it looked real good but was unstable in this machine and rebooted to a scrambled mess a couple of times. Removed/reinstalled card & drivers etc with same result.
So I decided to get an AS8 board and p4/3.0/630 cpu to go with it. Thanks again for all the input.

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just a comment
by ozos / April 26, 2005 11:06 AM PDT
In reply to: results

did you get a new PSU?
that is probably why it was having problems
as you probably had a 200-250W PSU, and it needs either a 300 or 350W if i remember right, so that Pentium 4 and 9600Pro together with your current PSU, will probably fail

so i'd order a new PSU
such as this one

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(NT) (NT) I have a 420 ThermalTake
by Islander / April 26, 2005 12:05 PM PDT
In reply to: just a comment
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by Islander / May 29, 2005 7:59 AM PDT

ATI 9600pro now installed in abit as8 mb, intel p4 630cpu, antec 380 true power, 1gb of ram. Card works real nice on digital with the 19" viewsonic monitor.

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