Grahics card benefits?

  Stowit 11:23 17 Jan 05

I have always had Pcs with on board graphics, & not bothered much with games. I recently fitted a Tv card (with good aerial) but find at full screen the picture seems a bit poor, I would describe it as 'slow'. I have a TFT monior, but am familiar with an LCD tv screens apearance. My system has 512mb ram shown as 480mb, so I assume the graphics uses 32mb. Would I 'see' a benefit from a graphics card with more on board memory? It's got a 4X AGP slot, has anyone any bargainous recomendations what to get? & are 8X cards compatible?

  Belatucadrus 11:48 17 Jan 05

click here for a card I recently fitted in a home build to upgrade the onboard graphics. It has passive cooling, so no fans to add to the noise. As a general user, occasional low tech games. It does everything I require of it. I'm sure Doom 3 would make it curl up its toes and expire, but as far as I'm concerned this isn't a problem.
8X cards will work in a 4X slot, but only at the lower speed. The performance difference however isn't 2 to 1, the performance loss is only marginal.

  Carpigiani 11:49 17 Jan 05

Look for something with 128mb RAM. Don't be influenced by a card offering 256mb for the same price as another offering 128mb. As it is more than likely an inferior product.
If going for a Radion try & get a PRO or XT version.
The Gainward nVidia Fx5700 Ultra Golden Sample is quite a good card for the money.
The nVidia 5600's are not bad cards for someone on a budget, but can be a little noisy.
They will all work in a 4x AGP slot, but not to their full potential.

I hope this helps, I am sure others will respond with their personal favourites.

Oh & if you fit a card don't forget to disable your onboard graphics first.

  The Sack 11:55 17 Jan 05

ATi 9600/9800 (not SE models) will blow all the nVidia FX cards off (core for core)

  pj123 12:00 17 Jan 05

You could also go into the BIOS and put the "Shared graphic memory" up to, say 128. I have onboard graphics and 256mb memory and my "shared" is 64mb, so 128mb shared with 512mb shouldn't be a problem (providing your BIOS will accept 128mb). If not, then an AGP card is the best bet. An AGP 8x will work in a 4x but only at the 4x speed.

  ACOLYTE 12:05 17 Jan 05

Why do people say dont buy SE/LE model cards,i know they are cut down versions but i have a LE card and it works just fine with games and other stuff i use it for,and they are also a lot cheaper than the others,and not bieng able to afford £2/300 for a non SE/LE card i find them quite resanable for the price.Just my opinion.

  Stowit 13:28 17 Jan 05

Many thanks for the advice, I'll now have a quick scan for some prices. pj123s idea sounds a good idea to try as I'm hopeing to buy more memory anyway, I'll see if I can try that. Am I correct in thinking everyone feels it would be a notceable improvement?

  Belatucadrus 15:18 18 Jan 05

Depends what you use it for, a decent 128Mb card will boost system memory and reduce some of the load on the CPU, so it'll boost performance overall. Will you notice a difference browsing the net or doing spreadsheets, no. But it should help with the TV problem.

  Simsy 17:03 18 Jan 05

but I'm open to correction, on-board graphics tend to be limited to 24bit true colour, whereas dedicated cards generally go up to 32bit.

This mean more, truer colours.

Having said that 24bit is pretty true anyway, and an upgrade for that reason aloneis probablynot worthwile unless you're into lots of picture editing or other graphics applications.

Apologies if I'm wrong!



  Bleep 17:16 18 Jan 05

If you dont want to play the latest 3D games a £29 ATI9200SE 128MB would give you all you need -me I would'nt let near my machine.

But If 3D Games or Graphics rendering arent your thing you would'nt be able to tell if a X800 XT or 9200SE was in there, there really is no need to spend a forturne here.

Sapphire ATI Radeon 9200SE 128MB DDR 8x AGP S-Video & TV Output Retail Box - £30.50 inc VAT
click here

  Bleep 17:18 18 Jan 05

And to answer your orginal question, yes Windows XP, DVD Playback and all display functions would see a general performance boost!

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