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Discussion Starter #1
I have an older HP PC with an Asus A7V8X-LA motherboard in it. I would like to buy a video card for it but I don't know much about video cards. From the research that I've done I've discovered that I need an AGP 8x/4x (1.5V) compatible video card. I've done a lot of searching and found a lot of various recommendations on video cards for my particular motherboard but they seem to vary all over the place. I've really only got one shot at buying a card since I'll be purchasing from a place such as ebay (ever tried returning something on there? - not easy), and I don't want to screw up and get one that's not compatible. Can anyone please give me suggestions as to what type of video card I should buy?

Here's a summary of the things I know need to be considered:

  • I know I'm going to have to get it off of some place like ebay due to my motherboard being old and I'm fully prepared for that.
  • The reason I'm looking for a video card is so I can play games. I play world of warcraft but with my current onboard graphics I have to keep the video settings at minimum. I want to be able to turn all the video settings in WoW to high and not have any lag. I would also like to be able to play other games which I am currently unable to. My secondary purpose for the card is that I want to be able to project my computer monitor onto my television via RCA cables (non-HiDef TV.)
  • I'm looking to spend between $20 and $50. Ebay prices seem to confirm that this won't be a problem once I figure out what kind of card I want, considering that the card will more than likely be very out-dated.
Here is a list of the suggestions I've found while searching various forums. My mind is boggled trying to figure out the differences between these:

  • ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB
  • ATI Radeon All in Wonder 9800 Pro 128MB
  • ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB
  • ATI Radeon X1950 XTX Crossfire 512MB
  • ATI Radeon Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro 256MB
  • Sapphire ATI Radeon X1950 XT 256MB
  • Sapphire Radeon X1650 Pro 256MB
  • EVGA GeForce 7600GS 256MB
  • ATI Radeon X850 Pro 256MB
  • Novatech GeForce 6200 256MB
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 4650 1GB
Here is a copy of Everest reports on my PC. I edited it down to only what I thought might be vital to choosing a video card.

Code:
--------[ Summary ]-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Computer:
      Operating System                                  Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
      OS Service Pack                                   Service Pack 2
      DirectX                                           4.09.00.0904 (DirectX 9.0c)

    Motherboard:
      CPU Type                                          AMD Athlon XP, 2200 MHz (11 x 200) 3200+
      Motherboard Name                                  Asus A7V8X-LA (Kelut)  (3 PCI, 1 AGP, 2 DDR DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN, IEEE-1394)
      Motherboard Chipset                               VIA VT8378A UniChrome KM400A
      System Memory                                     960 MB  (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)

    Display:
      Video Adapter                                     VIA/S3G UniChrome IGP  (64 MB)
      3D Accelerator                                    VIA/S3 UniChrome
      Monitor                                           Sampo AlphaScan 812S  (000001)

--------[ CPU ]---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CPU Properties:
      CPU Type                                          AMD Athlon XP, 2200 MHz (11 x 200) 3200+
      CPU Alias                                         Barton
      CPU Stepping                                      A2
      Instruction Set                                   x86, MMX, 3DNow!, SSE
      L1 Code Cache                                     64 KB
      L1 Data Cache                                     64 KB
      L2 Cache                                          512 KB  (On-Die, Full-Speed)

    CPU Physical Info:
      Package Type                                      453 Pin PGA
      Package Size                                      4.95 cm x 4.95 cm
      Transistors                                       54.3 million
      Process Technology                                6Mi, 0.13 um, CMOS, Cu
      Die Size                                          101 mm2
      Core Voltage                                      1.65 V
      I/O Voltage                                       1.6 V
      Typical Power                                     53.7 - 60.4 W  (depending on clock speed)
      Maximum Power                                     68.3 - 76.8 W  (depending on clock speed)

    CPU Manufacturer:
      Company Name                                      Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
      Product Information                               http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118,00.html

    CPU Utilization:
      CPU #1                                            0 %


--------[ CPUID ]-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CPUID Properties:
      CPUID Manufacturer                                AuthenticAMD
      CPUID CPU Name                                    AMD Athlon(tm) XP 3200+
      CPUID Revision                                    000006A0h
      Extended CPUID Revision                           000007A0h
      Platform ID                                       CBh  (Socket A)
      IA CPU Serial Number                              Unknown
      HTT / CMP Units                                   0 / 0

--------[ Motherboard ]-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Motherboard Properties:
      Motherboard ID                                    06/11/2004-KM400-8237-6A6LYA0EC-00
      Motherboard Name                                  Asus A7V8X-LA (Kelut)

    Front Side Bus Properties:
      Bus Type                                          DEC Alpha EV6
      Bus Width                                         64-bit
      Real Clock                                        200 MHz (DDR)
      Effective Clock                                   400 MHz
      Bandwidth                                         3200 MB/s

    Memory Bus Properties:
      Bus Type                                          DDR SDRAM
      Bus Width                                         64-bit
      Real Clock                                        200 MHz (DDR)
      Effective Clock                                   400 MHz
      Bandwidth                                         3200 MB/s

    Chipset Bus Properties:
      Bus Type                                          VIA V-Link
      Bus Width                                         8-bit
      Real Clock                                        67 MHz (ODR)
      Effective Clock                                   533 MHz
      Bandwidth                                         533 MB/s

    Motherboard Physical Info:
      CPU Sockets/Slots                                 1 Socket 462
      Expansion Slots                                   3 PCI, 1 AGP
      RAM Slots                                         2 DDR DIMM
      Integrated Devices                                Audio, Video, LAN, IEEE-1394
      Form Factor                                       Micro ATX
      Motherboard Size                                  240 mm x 240 mm
      Motherboard Chipset                               KM400A

    Motherboard Manufacturer:
      Company Name                                      ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
      Product Information                               http://www.asus.com/products1.aspx?l1=3
      BIOS Download                                     http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us


--------[ Chipset ]-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  [ North Bridge: VIA VT8378A UniChrome KM400A ]

    North Bridge Properties:
      North Bridge                                      VIA VT8378A UniChrome KM400A
      Revision                                          00
      Package Type                                      552 Pin HSBGA
      Package Size                                      3.5 cm x 3.5 cm
      Process Technology                                0.22 um
      Core Voltage                                      2.5 V
      In-Order Queue Depth                              4

    Memory Controller:
      Bank Interleave                                   4-way

    Memory Timings:
      CAS Latency (CL)                                  3T
      Command Rate (CR)                                 2T

    Memory Slots:
      DRAM Slot #1                                      512 MB  (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
      DRAM Slot #2                                      512 MB  (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)

    Integrated Graphics Controller:
      Graphics Controller Type                          VIA/S3 UniChrome
      Graphics Controller Status                        Enabled
      Graphics Frame Buffer Size                        64 MB

    AGP Controller:
      AGP Version                                       3.05
      AGP Status                                        Disabled
      AGP Device                                        VIA/S3 UniChrome Integrated
      AGP Aperture Size                                 64 MB
      Supported AGP Speeds                              1x, 2x, 4x, 8x
      Fast-Write                                        Not Supported
      Side Band Addressing                              Supported, Disabled

    Chipset Manufacturer:
      Company Name                                      VIA Technologies, Inc.
      Product Information                               http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets
      Driver Download                                   http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=2

    Problems & Suggestions:
      Problem                                           AGP is disabled. This may cause performance penalty.

  [ South Bridge: VIA VT8237 ]

    South Bridge Properties:
      South Bridge                                      VIA VT8237
      Revision                                          00
      Package Type                                      539 Pin BGA
      Package Size                                      2.7 cm x 2.7 cm
      Process Technology                                0.22 um
      Core Voltage                                      2.5 V

    AC'97 Audio Controller:
      Audio Controller Type                             VIA 8233/8235/8237
      Codec Name                                        Avance Logic ALC658
      Codec ID                                          414C4780h
      S/PDIF Output                                     Supported

    Chipset Manufacturer:
      Company Name                                      VIA Technologies, Inc.
      Product Information                               http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets
      Driver Download                                   http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=2

--------[ Monitor ]----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

  [ Sampo AlphaScan 812S ]

    Monitor Properties:
      Monitor Name                                      Sampo AlphaScan 812S
      Monitor ID                                        STC0812
      Model                                             KDS VS-190is
      Manufacture Date                                  2001
      Serial Number                                     000001
      Max. Visible Display Size                         36 cm x 27 cm (17.7")
      Picture Aspect Ratio                              4:3
      Horizontal Frequency                              30 - 110 kHz
      Vertical Frequency                                50 - 160 Hz
      Maximum Resolution                                1600 x 1200
      Gamma                                             2.86
      DPMS Mode Support                                 Standby, Suspend, Active-Off

    Supported Video Modes:
      640 x 480                                         160 Hz
      800 x 600                                         160 Hz
      1024 x 768                                        135 Hz
      1152 x 864                                        120 Hz
      1280 x 1024                                       100 Hz
      1600 x 1200                                       85 Hz
Thanks for any help or suggestions, I'd really appreciate any advice I can get!
 

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To be frank, the video card will not help much. A faster video card is only as fast as the slowest part in your pc, in your case the cpu looks to be a bottle neck as well. I feel saving money and doing an overhaul would be a wiser choice. Investing in old hardware is a dead end street. Can also become pricey when compared to newer parts.
 

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As above ^
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately fully upgrading my computer isn't an option. I'm a broke jobless guy lol. It took me nearly a year to save up the $50 I've got. To fully upgrade I'm looking at several hundred dollars at the least, which at my current rate would take me years to save. I'm just looking to pump the most I possibly can out of the machine I've got.

According to Can You Run It? all I lack to meet the minimum requirements of WoW is a video card:

Video Card Minimum: NVIDIA® GeForce® FX or ATI Radeon™ 9500 or Intel GMA X4500 series video card or better. You Have: VIA/S3G UniChrome IGP
Upgrade Suggested: Unfortunately, your Video Card does not meet this requirement. Click here to see some recommendations. Features: Minimum attributes of your Video Card

Required You Have
Video RAM 128 MB 64.0 MB
3D Yes Yes
Hardware T&L Yes No
Pixel Shader version 2.0 0.0
Vertex Shader version 2.0 0.0
If I go with the recommended settings then yes it says I need a better CPU and another gig of ram.

I don't think it's a bad investment to attempt installing an older video card considering that I've seen them selling for as little as $10 plus shipping on ebay. (this one for example - ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128M | eBay) - and they're all over ebay like that.

So to further clarify, I just want to know what would actually work with my system. Let's pretend my system is brand new top of the line technology and so are the older video cards. If that were the case what would you recommend?
 

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if i would recommend a card it would be the Nvidia quadro2 pro, which is a great graphics card for gaming. it makes halo look amazing on my intel pentium 3 computer. if you want a decent older graphics card get a voodoo banshee 3000 agp graphics card
 

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i tell you what ET phone home, i will sell you my Nvidia Geforce 4 mx 440 for $20. you can pay me through paypal. the card features the following features-

Fill Rate: 1.1 Billion Texels/Sec.
Triangles per Second:
34 Million
Memory Bandwidth: 6.4GB/Sec.
Maximum Memory: 64MB

  • S video tv out
nView Display TechnologyThe nView hardware and software technology combination delivers maximum flexibility for multi-display options, and provides unprecedented end-user control of the desktop experience. nView allows end-users to select any combination of multiple displays, including digital flat panels, analog CRTs, and TVs, and to modify the display properties using an intuitive software interface.
AGP 8XProvides double the bandwidth of AGP 4X—2.1GB/sec. vs. 1.1GB/sec. AGP 8X enables more complex models and detailed textures, creating richer and more lifelike environments. Uninterrupted data flow allows for smoother video streaming and faster, more seamless gameplay.
Accuview Antialiasing (AA)The Accuview Antialiasing subsystem with advanced multisampling hardware delivers full-scene antialiased quality at performance levels never before seen.
Lightspeed Memory Architecture (LMA) IILMA II boosts effective memory bandwidth by up to 300%. Radical new technologies―including Z-occlusion culling, fast Z-clear, and auto pre-charge―effectively multiply the memory bandwidth to ensure fluid frame rates for the latest 3D and 2D games and applications.
 

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Those 3200's aren't exactly slouches. I had one coupled with a GeForce 6800GT and it ran just beautifully.
 

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Investing any sort of money into agp technology is money down the drain.

You will only be wasting the money that took you so long to save up on a junk video card that will not improve anything. Keep your money and save up more for a future build.
Again, Ditto.
 

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Im sorry but i don't see any sort of upgrade for your setup that will make WoW playable. High settings simply isn't going to happen without an overhual. My little 4770 could only manage 30fps average maxed settings at 1440x900 and its light years ahead of those cards in terms of performance and video driver availability.
 

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His issue was wanting high settings with a much older card that could simply not perform. If your in the same boat as him wanting to play wow on high settings with an older agp card it isn't going to happen. They just don't have the power.

If you would, start a new thread with what hardware you have and what it is exactly that you want to accomplish with a gpu upgrade.
 
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