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Need help choosing budget graphics card.

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  • Need help choosing budget graphics card.

    So you might've read my thread in here about how Garry's Mod fails on my computer. Well, Portal, Ep2, and TF2 don't even play on it because I have a Radeon 7500 and they need a Dx8 card from what I understand. So I need help choosing a budget card (~$50) that will literally be able to just drop into the current slot and play those games. Or maybe you'll have to tell me it's not a good idea with my current set up and just to wait to buy a whole new rig (which I plan on doing around Spring/early Summer '09).

    Current settings that I can find in my Device Manager:
    > MS2000 Pro Service Pack 4
    > "Motherboard resources Location: on PCI bus" (that's all I can find about my mobo unless someone can point me to where I need to look if you need it)
    > Radeon 7500; Bus Type AGP 1X,AGP 2X,AGP 4X; BIOS Vers 6.004; BIOS date 2001/12/06; Memory 64 M DDR SGRAM/SDRAM; Location: PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0
    > Intel Pentium 4 2.20GHz
    > AT/AT Compatible (not sure what this means)
    > 786 MB RAM (512 & 256 sticks, my mobo limit is 768)

    So looking on NewEgg there are many types of interfaces:
    AGP 4X/8X
    PCI Express 2.0 x16
    PCI Express x1
    PCI Express x16

    Should I click on the second option, "PCI", to look for cards that will work with mine? What should I steer away from after I go in there? Any MB limits? There are also things like PixelPipelines, OpenGL, Core Clock, Manufacturer, and other things I see that I don't know what's important and what's not.

    Here's one that says it has DirectX 8: Will that drop into mine and work flawlessly?
    Here's another that says it's DirectX 9: This one?

    Any help would be fantastic. Thank you so much.

  • #2
    Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

    well since your bus is AGP you have to stay there. not a whole lot of options to chose from. I don't know a lot about AGP cards other than that they are old and new cards aren't made for it any more, so you might want to start saving up for a new rig.
    Reapator, overlord of ponies


    • #3
      Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

      Originally posted by Reaperassault View Post
      well since your bus is AGP...
      Can I ask what led you to know that? I'm trying to get a grasp on these acronyms and stuff. Under location it says PCI bus. What does that mean? Thanks.


      • #4
        Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

        Radeon 7500; Bus Type AGP
        you said it your self. the PCI bus is just a different communication pathway that other add on cards use, PCI-e x16 is the current standard interface for graphics cards. a lot of other cards use PCI (typically network cards or RAID controllers and sound cards) and PCI-e x1 (some sound cars and TV tuners)

        so for instance

        the long white slots are PCI
        the long Blue slots and the black one are PCI-e x16
        the short white slots are PCI-e x1

        I believe the AGP slot hooked into the bus, so in essence its just a different interface for the card.

        hope that helps
        Reapator, overlord of ponies


        • #5
          Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

          IMO save the $50 for your new build. Your not going to find much at that price point.

          Try to look at prices. I just did and im not happy with what I saw.
          I also looked at somtimes you can find decent used gear but it takes a little searching around.

          Remember that AGP has not been used as the standard for several years and the market supply is shrinking.
          Post in the TG Ill bet that somebody has an old AGP card laying around in a bin.



          • #6
            Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

            Save for a new rig!
            That thing is ancient :D


            • #7
              Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

              Originally posted by Sarcoma
              Post in the TG
              Meh. If I have this many people telling me to save my money I ought to do just that.
              Originally posted by csstealth
              That thing is ancient
              Pssh. Tell me about it. I got the tower as is, like, three years ago from a retired IBM guy for $250. At the time I was just looking for a PC to run Source. He let me run a frames test and it registered 104fps so I said, "SOLD!"

              Reaperassault: thanks for the info. My card is in a brown slot (which means AGP?). Are the white slots below those (there are five I think) the PCI slots you were talking about? I could have six video cards?!
              (Forgive the quality, it was taken on my phone.)


              • #8
                Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

                Good have one of the old ECS budget boards. I'm shocked it hasn't died on you yet.

                The bottom brown slot is actually the CNR (might have the acrynom wrong) slot and is meant as a specialized bus and slot for modems.

                The other brown slot with a card in it is your AGP 4x slot. Unfortunately, we have too little information to see if your specific AGP slot is 3.3v or 1.5v as there was a difference back in the AGP 4x era (non-Pro and Pro versions).

                There's not much point in upgrading your system. Just save up for a new one. Nowadays you can spend $500-600 on a new build and be happy for a few years.
                |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                Former 9th & 13th

                Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-

                SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                TG Primer and Rules


                • #9
                  Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

                  well the PCI slots arn't always the same color it depends on the motherboard manufacturer

                  such as

                  but yes those are regular PCI slots not PCI-e x16 which are longer and have lots of bandwidth for all the graphical goodness.
                  Reapator, overlord of ponies


                  • #10
                    Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

                    This would probably be your best bet, although it wouldn't be the ideal solution. If there is any way you can afford to save a few hundred bucks, you would be much better off building a whole new PC. Expect to turn the details all the way down on games like Portal, Ep. 2 and TF2 just to get playable framerates with this one.


                    If you can stretch the budget a bit (which probably wouldn't be worth it given the specs of the rest of the machine), something like this would give you decent performance. YOu might need to upgrade your PSU to handle something like this though.

                    Last edited by Buckets; 10-29-2008, 10:42 PM.


                    • #11
                      Re: Need help choosing budget graphics card.

                      Wow thanks for all this help guys. I don't think I can justify > $50. I plan on just giving this rig to the girlfriend when I build a new one so I'm wanting it in tact in hopes she'll play Source with me. I just got hired after college and I'm part time at like $375 net a week but I'm at maybe $15,000 in debt to my parents (from racing, which shows where my priorities are ) so I think that should be first. Grr. I've found some tutorials on building your own rig so in about six months I might give it a shot. (Admins can lock or delete this or whatever.) Thanks again for helping me save my $50 y'all.




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