Which PCI graphics card is best?

  NinkyRudes 21:25 19 Jan 03
  NinkyRudes 21:25 19 Jan 03

Just out of interest, I was wondering whether there have been any PCI graphics card reviews recently. I know in this day and age that 95% of PCs have an AGP slot, but for those that don't (e.g. those who purchased stupid E-machines PCs a couple of years ago), unless we want to spend another £100 on a new motherboard, we have to rely on PCI upgrades for now. I have tried a 64Mb Hercules 3D Prophet 4000XT (Kyro 1 chipset), and a 64 Mb Hercules 3D Prophet 9000 (ATI Radeon 9000 chipset). Both seem to produce similar framerated on my Celeron 700Mhz with 256Mb of RAM, yet the Radeon is clearly supposed to be a better chipset. My final question is: is is my processor that is holding up the framerate (note that the X-Box uses a 700Mhz processor), or is it the PCI bus?

  duplo 23:16 19 Jan 03

Your are limited in speed by the PCI Bus speed. AGP was brought out to address the increased demands of 3D Cards, the PCI was a bottleneck.

Your Processor also may hold things back aswell, however I would emagin that most Graphic chip sets are now beyond the capability of the PCI bus speed.

As for the X-Box- dont forget it 700Mhz chip only deals with processing Graphics. Nothing else, whilst your Chip needs to process much more data.

Ultimatley your may be limited with no AGP slot, as this is where the advanced Graphics are. I had a GF2 AGP and a 700Mhz Duron as my old PC and it was starting to show its limitations. If you want 3D games its time to upgrade your MOBO, Chip and Graphics.

  AMD 4 ever 23:22 19 Jan 03

duplo is spot on!

  NinkyRudes 16:55 20 Jan 03

Thanks very much! I guess it's time...

  NinkyRudes 17:00 20 Jan 03

I suppose the moral of this story is: whilst a fancy chipset, like the Radeon 9000, might look tempting in a PCI card, you'll get just as good framerates from an older GeForce 2 PCI or even a Kyro based one. My advice, having been lured into the trap of PCI video is this. Either go the whole hog and upgrade the whole lot to AGP, or, if you're not too bothered about framerates, go for one of the many sub $50 PCI cards on the market. The amount I've spent on graphics cards & RAM in the last 6 months I could have changed my motherboard, processor and bought a budget AGP card. Ah well!

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