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Question for R. Proffitt about New Video Card

by Selwyn / August 3, 2004 11:48 AM PDT

This thread and question is for R. Proffitt:

Okay, since you locked the Half-Screen Problem thread, I couldn't ask you this question in that thread, so I'll ask it in this one.

I'm the one who had the Intel 82845G. Now, I might get a new video card to fix the problem and simply upgrade the computer. Because the Intel card seemed to be integrated into the system, are there any complications with getting a new video card? Or would installing it just be like replacing any other video card? (By the way, the one I'm thinking about is a Radeon 9200 or 9200 SE, in case that helps. Also, is that a good one? What would you recommend for the $50-100 price range?)

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Question for R. Proffitt about New Video Card
by Yew / August 3, 2004 9:01 PM PDT

The Radeon 9200 would probably be little to no improvement over the 845 chipset's graphics abilities. You'd be better off looking for a second hand Radeon 8500 (despite the lower model number, it would be much faster), possibly a GeForce4, or if you're willing to spend a little bit more you can get a GeForceFX 5700 Ultra with 128MB of RAM for about $130 at Chumbo.com last I checked. That would put you squarely into the mid-level territory of "modern" (i.e. DirectX 9 level -- the 9200 is a rebranded Radeon VE which is DirectX 7 level -- The Radeon 8500 and GeForce4's are DirectX 8.1 level, and the higher the DirectX level, the more things are handled in the hardware and are thus faster) video cards. Just avoid the temptation of the GeForceFX 5200. It's cheap, but you'd be better off with an older GeForce4 card performance wise.

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I didn't lock it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 3, 2004 9:03 PM PDT

There are limits to the depth enforced by the forum software. Some will not know this and get irate. Please just continue with a reply to the top entry.

As to the replacement card, the issue goes beyond video drivers and may be one of the things that people complain about. Old games may never work again in XP. You may have to go back to 98 and may even have to find a video card that old game worked with. This is the way of things and nothing else seems to cure this issue.

I never got a clear message that the games didn't work on the Sony when it had the drivers from Sony. Picking over the dialogue it just wasn't clear. It's Sony's machine and subtle design changes usually mean you can't use Intel's supplied driver. It you can't go back to Sony's driver, and while I find that quite odd, the forware direction is all that is left.

Try another card with the assurance it may or may not fix this game. I supplied GLIDE as an example of times gone by.

Bob

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Re: I didn't lock it.
by Selwyn / August 4, 2004 4:05 AM PDT
In reply to: I didn't lock it.

Ok, well here's what happened:
I tried the Sony driver you told me to, and it didn't fix it. So that's why I'm thinking about getting a new video card.

And also, I'm new to video cards and all that are about them, so I don't really know what's a better card. The main reason I want the new card is so hopefully older games will work on it, but improvement in performance is a definite plus, and if it doesn't improve performace, I don't want to waste my money on it, as older games aren't that important to me.

So, three questions:
1. How do I identify a "good" graphics card?
2. Why is it the Radeon 9200 woulnd't improve much, and why would the Radeon 8500 be better?
3. And, since it seems my video card is kind of ingrained in the system or is "on-board" (you mentioned that term, but I don't know what it means, are there any complications with installing a new video card? If so, are they complications a hired computer guy couldn't fix?

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Re: Sorry about sounding irate
by Selwyn / August 4, 2004 4:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: I didn't lock it.

And R. Proffitt, I didn't mean to sound angry or irate. I was just hoping you'd get to the message.

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Re: Sorry about sounding irate
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 4, 2004 4:18 AM PDT

No problem. Onboard video is a hit or miss affair. As you may have read, even replacing the video card is again not a sure thing. Old games may require the old OS to run again. But I wrote that.

As to which video card is likely to fix it, that's again unlikely to make any difference given the move to a current OS and its an old game.

Bob

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Re: Sorry about sounding irate
by Selwyn / August 4, 2004 9:18 AM PDT

I tried running the same game that didn't work on this computer on a friend's computer. He has Windows XP Professional Edition, and it worked fine on his. His is an NVidia-something card, a 32 MB card, so I don't think it's a problem with the OS.

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That's a GREAT clue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 4, 2004 9:34 AM PDT

Get a Nvidia card of the same model.

Bob

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Re: Sorry about sounding irate
by Selwyn / August 4, 2004 9:35 AM PDT

Also, I know that a new video card may not fix the problem. I'm willing to take the risk. What I'm wondering is: since the Intel 82845G is an "on-board" video card, I have two questions:
1. What does "on-board" video card mean?
2. Because my video card is "on-board", is it even possible to install a new video card?

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Re: Replacing an onboard video card
by Selwyn / August 4, 2004 12:09 PM PDT

When installing a new video card, replacing the Intel 82845G that I have, since it's an onboard video card, will replacing it even work? Is it possible to buy a new video card and replace this one, or will that not work since it's integrated into the chipset?

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Re: Replacing an onboard video card
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 4, 2004 12:21 PM PDT

I've done this a zillion times. With i810 based boards, you may not have an AGP slot, so you use a PCI card. Also you may not have a disable for the onboard video, but a BIOS option to set the AGP or PCI video card to be the PRIMARY or BOOT display is what you use to tell which is to be the boot screen.

Failing all that, you just install the card, connect the display and see if it just works.

Sony can be nonchalant about it and not tell you exact steps. For me, it's par for the course so we just dive in and get it done.

Bob

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Re: Choosing a video card
by Selwyn / August 4, 2004 12:41 PM PDT

Ok, so it's possible. Thanks. As long as I know it's possible, I don't have to worry too much about it. I'm probably gonna hire a tech guy to come install the video card, as doing it myself and going into the computer makes me nervous (if I touch THIS, is my computer dead).

I'm quite new to video cards though, so what are factors to consider when getting a new video card. How do I measure how "good" it is, and whether it's better than my present one? I'm probably not going to use the one my friend had though, because it seems rather poor, and looks like it would actually be a downgrade from the present one.

So, basically, what (besides price) should I consider when getting my new one? The Radeon 9200 SE looks good, but I don't really know. Any advice?

And yes, Sony wasn't helpful at all. I e-mailed them and they said they couldn't handle it by e-mail; I must call them. I called them, and I was out of the warranty so it costs $19.95 just for tech support! I'm still talking to Intel to see if I can fix the problem, however.

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Re: Choosing a video card
by Selwyn / August 4, 2004 12:57 PM PDT

Also, how do I found out whether I need an AGP or a PCI card before I buy it?

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Also, how do I found out whether I need an AGP or a PCI card
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 4, 2004 10:56 PM PDT

I open the case and look.

Bob

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Re: Also, how do I found out whether I need an AGP or a PCI
by Selwyn / August 5, 2004 4:58 AM PDT

Hmm... that would work, but I don't have experience with that in any sort of way. I don't really want to do that, as I'm afraid I might screw something up.

I'll bet I could figure it out by going to the Intel web page of my chipset and seeing what they say I have. I have the i845G chipset, so I think this is the webpage for it. Tell me if I'm wrong.
http://intel.com/design/chipsets/845g/index.htm?iid=ipp_browse+chpsts_845g&
Now, it says "AGP4X interface: High-bandwidth interface enables upgradeability to latest graphics cards." What does that mean? Can you tell me from the webpage link or from that quote?

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Re: Replacing an onboard video card
by Selwyn / August 9, 2004 11:57 AM PDT

So if I get this video card (the Geforce FX 5200), it should work fine?

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Re: Replacing an onboard video card
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 9, 2004 12:16 PM PDT

"So if I get this video card (the Geforce FX 5200), it should work fine?"

If it has a matching slot (PCI/AGP) and you install the drivers and if you set the BIOS to make it the primary/boot display and if the monitor is plugged into it, but your reluctance to look inside the machine....

Bob

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Re: Replacing an onboard video card
by Selwyn / August 9, 2004 1:32 PM PDT

I don't have a reluctance to look inside the computer, it's the owner's reluctance. But for installing the video card, most likely a tech person will be hired to install it, so we don't have to worry about that.

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You should look inside or walk away.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 9, 2004 1:40 PM PDT

Such a problem can be doomed to silly things that could have been avoided by just looking. But if they insist, at least they pay for it and eventually will learn the lesson.

In closing, this new card is NOT 100% guaranteed to make the old game play proper. You'll know when it's all said and done at least.

Bob

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" What does that mean? Can you tell me from the webpage link
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 5, 2004 5:18 AM PDT

" What does that mean? Can you tell me from the webpage link or from that quote?"

Here's why the Intel web site is meaningless for the Sony. Intel doesn't force Sony to install an AGP connector. To curb costs, why add such?

The visual inspection is simple. Pictures of AGP and PCI card slots abound on the web so I let people look that up and don't answer what they look like. I hope you understand that it's best to teach fishing and not hand out fish when this level of understanding is needed.

Bob

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Re: " What does that mean? Can you tell me from the webpage
by Selwyn / August 5, 2004 11:13 AM PDT

Yes, I've found the slots for AGP and PCI cards on the web. But again, I'm not allowed to take off the computer's cover. I would if I could, but I don't have control over that, so I'm seeing if I can find that any other way. However, I made a mistake witht eh chipset thing: I don't have an i845G chipset, I have an i845GV. I looked on Amazon.com for my model (Sony VAIO PCV-RS310) and that's what it said. Here's the link:
http://intel.com/design/chipsets/845gv/index.htm?iid=ipp_browse+chpsts_845gv&#Features
This doesn't mention an AGP connector, so should I assume it doesn't, and I need a PCI slot? If I do, are there PCI versions of all the graphics cards?

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I wouldn't do it. Here's why.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 5, 2004 11:21 AM PDT

Unless I could remove the cover for a visual inspection I would walk away. It's not worth the risk of getting the wrong card.

Period. End of discussion.

----------------------------

Second thought? Nah. Without a looksee under the hood, who knows if there are any slots at all?

I will not rewrite this so as to not upset nerve endings. It's just a silly requirement that someone is playing games with you and needs a whack up the side with a reality noodle.

Wake up!

Bob

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Re: I wouldn't do it. Here's why.
by Selwyn / August 5, 2004 11:28 AM PDT

Ok, darn. I'll see if I can convince them, otherwise, maybe hire a tech person to look and install the card, after looking to make sure there's slots at all.

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Re: I wouldn't do it. Here's why.
by Selwyn / August 5, 2004 12:37 PM PDT

I'll also try contacting Sony and see if they know what slots there are (I figure they should if I mention the model).

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(NT) (NT) Sony will not know if the owner has filled the slots.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 6, 2004 12:10 AM PDT
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Re: (NT) Sony will not know if the owner has filled the slot
by Selwyn / August 6, 2004 2:44 AM PDT

Yes, but I haven't installed a new video card or ever taken the computer's hood off, so I know the slots are not filled.

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Re: I wouldn't do it. Here's why.
by jconner / August 6, 2004 12:27 AM PDT

Do a google search on aida32. It will scan your hardware and tell you eactly what you have without having to open the case.

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Aida32 didn't help me last time.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 6, 2004 12:42 AM PDT

I needed to know the wattage of the power supply. Aida32 didn't list it. Also if there was a spare power plug.

Sometimes you have to pop the hood.

bob

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Re: I wouldn't do it. Here's why.
by Selwyn / August 6, 2004 2:53 AM PDT
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PCI Video cards.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 6, 2004 5:08 AM PDT

Your selection will be very limited. Since you have tried a Nvidia, then you can find the PCI FX5200 out their aplenty for not much money.

The wattage noted is not what I needed to know last time. I needed the power supply rating and if there was a spare plug. Visual inspections are required to do a good job for the customers.

Bob

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Re: PCI Video cards.
by Selwyn / August 6, 2004 7:05 AM PDT
In reply to: PCI Video cards.

Thanks a bunch. I'll figure something out for the power supply. Maybe hire someone, or get a friend to help, or do some persuasion, who knows.

The Geforce 5200FX looks pretty good though, and has an affordable cost. One thing about it worries me though:
System requirements
.Pentium III, AMD Duron or Athlon class processor or higher
.128MB of system DRAM
.AGP compliant motherboard with an AGP 2.0 slot
.Installation software requires CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
.Windows 95 OSR2, 98 or higher, ME, 2000, XP, or Windows NT4.0
.DVD playback requires DVD-ROM drive
.VGA or DVI-I compatible monitor

It says "with an AGP 2.0 slot". Does that mean I need AGP? By the way, I was looking at the PCI version.

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