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Thread: Video card upgrade on old machine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Port Orford, OR, USA.
    Posts
    911

    Default Video card upgrade on old machine

    I can't upgrade the computer very far at this time! I would like to bring the video card up to something reasonable, given the computing power I have.

    HP Pavillion 8776C
    Athlon 1 Gig processor
    512 Mb RAM 133Mz
    60 Gig 5200 RPM HD
    nVidia TNT32 pro graphics card

    I realize I'm not going to see miracles, and have $50-100 to spend. I suspect I can get quite an upgrade for this price, considering the card I'm starting from.

    I can get a GeForce2 MX-400 64Mb locally for $45, or a FX5200 for around $80. Any other suggestions, that won't be overkill on my system and within my budget?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.
    Posts
    14,705

    Default RE: Video card upgrade on old machine

    You can do a lot better than that if you forget the "locally", try www.pricewatch.com for assorted GEFORCE 4 models for 50 bucks. In fact there's an FX5200 128mb listed for 50 bucks on one page, you can search by brands or price range. I don't recall if the FX 5200 had problems or not, but you can research video cards here;

    http://graphics.tomshardware.com/gra...229/index.html

    That one is a comparison of assorted video card, click on the "next" link at the bottom to see benchmark comparisons.

    The other suggestion, dump that 5400rpm hard disk, get one of the Western Digital 7200rpm ATA-133 JB models (the "BB" is a standard 2mb hardware cache, the "JB" has an 8mb cache and loads trainsim objects with a lot less "stuttering"), WD800JB (80 gigabyte) for $55 buckazoids on pricewatch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Port Orford, OR, USA.
    Posts
    911

    Default RE: Video card upgrade on old machine

    Thanks Jim,

    My old card won't display the microtex texture, so grass, etc. looks different on my machine. Also, in working on Sumpter, I had a corrupted microtex ace and it looked terrible on other machines, kinda a checkerboard pattern on everything. It looked fine on my machine though.

    Running at 1024 X 768, most things maxed, no shadows, and a short train with one of Jon Davis' mallets, I get 12-15 fps on the scenic intense areas of Sumpter, not horrible, and I can live with the stuttering, not too bad on this machine.

    Just gotta figure out what to get in my price range that will be low hassle to install and use.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Houston, TX.
    Posts
    618

    Default RE: Video card upgrade on old machine

    I went from a TNT to a FX 5200 about 4 Months ago. At first, I could not see any improvement, but then I followed the instructions on nVidia's site, and removed all the old drivers, went to generic VGA or what ever from XP, and then installed the latest "certified" nVidia drivers - what a difference in detail. My computer is a 3 1/2 year old 700Mh machine, so your speed should really make a difference.

    Takes about 15 minutes to replace the card, and another 20 min to delete and reinstall the software.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Tampa FL
    Posts
    242

    Default RE: Video card upgrade on old machine

    I been running the 5200 series for some time now. I had one on a Compaq 1 GHZ, PCI version and now on my newer comp P4 2.4 HT with 1 GB dual channel memory, custom cooling. And with a XFX AGP FX5200 plus twin hardirves 80 & 60 GB, learned from leasons in the past! 2 is the way to go also a 380 powersuply. The FX 5200 is about the best bang for the buck. it can come in the PCI and AGP version. And also comes in 128 or 256 MB DDR which does not matter since memory is self contained. You can go on http://www.tigerdirect.com/ or any Circuit city and Best Buys. I was going to upgrade to a Raideon 9800 Pro and saw no noticable defrence. The Nivida software can be tweaked and also is Direct X 9 coampble. But thats my advice! Plus it will interface with 250W powersystems
    Mike Schwanke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Abingdon, VA, USA.
    Posts
    659

    Default RE: Video card upgrade on old machine

    I will have to agree here. I have an AGP FX5200 with 256 MB DDR and it does an excellent job, despite the rumors to the contrary. I also did the same thing and got rid of the old drivers and got the newest ones from NVidea. I have a much faster and larger machine than you but I think if you get an FX5200 it will work in your machine. Just make sure you do as stated above and get the newest drivers for it but get rid of the old ones first. I have a 400 watt power supply but that is because I am running two very large harddrives and two CDR's plus one has DVD on it plus I am running two input fans and four output fans which doesn't count the fan on the power supply the one on the processor (An AMD 2700) plus the one on the video card. So it stays nice and cool. And I like that.
    Get the 5200. You can get it cheap online. Good luck! :)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.
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    Default RE: Video card upgrade on old machine

    Yeah, I suspect the 5200 is fine. My memory ain't what it used to be (or was it ever any good? I can't remember!), so I don't remember what I read or where half the time. If you look at the tomshardware list in that link above tho, the complaints of the reviewers become more obvious - the basic FX5200 adds the DX 9 features which the Titanium series didn't have, but it's actually slower than the Ti-4200. The 5200 has the same chipclock speed as the Ti-4200, but the memory clock is 400mhz compared to the 4200's 514mhz, and both have 4 pixel pipes but the 4200 processes 2 texels per clock cycle. That's probably a DX 9 thing, looking further up the list the double stroke on the pipes isn't used on any of the DX 9 cards. Even the 5200 Ultra don't compare favorably to the GEFORCE 4 Ti-4600, the memory clock is the same, the chipclock is only 25mhz faster, and with the 4x2 pipe the Ti-4600 is gonna negate the 25mhz advantage the 5200 Ultra has on most 3D games. Again that's a "bang for your buck" thing tho, the Ti-4600 is still more expensive, and in the long run will become obsolete before the FX5200 since it don't have the DX 9 additional features. At the moment that's not really important, but as more games start using DX 9 in the future, the 5200 will still be okay, cards that don't have the additional DX 9 features will start to look kinda blah.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Jeffersonville, Indiana, USA.
    Posts
    269

    Default RE: Video card upgrade on old machine

    >Athlon 1 Gig processor

    Hey, don't worry. I have a 1.6GB so I'm not too far away from you. And did I mention I also have an HP?

    It's an HP Pavilion 540n
    1.6GB P4 CPU
    512MB of RAM
    nVidia GeForce FX 5200
    Windows XP Home
    40GB Hard Drive(C)
    20GB Hard Drive(F)
    DVD-ROM
    HP CD-Writer Plus

    Our computers are almost the same.

    -BeaverMon, AKA Ben-

  9. #9

    Default RE: Video card upgrade on old machine

    Reviews from many sources are not really relevant for cards being used for old-timer MSTS, which was designed for DirectX-7 ! They are usually bench-tested with top ranking 3-D games under DirectX-9 and AGP 8x.

    I have a nVIDIA TI-4600 with the 30.82 driver and would not change it for anything else to run on my WIN-XP for some time to come until we get a TRAIN SIM designed for DirectX-9+ !

    O t t o

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Port Orford, OR, USA.
    Posts
    911

    Default Video card woes, HELP!

    I went ahead and bought a GeForce FX5200 AGP card w/128Mb DDR. Seemed to work ok on old drivers, ran the sim same as old card. Went to basic driver, uninstalled nVidia drivers, then installed 61.76 from their download page.

    Computer crashed to black on opening several times, even in safe mode. I finally got it to boot all the way, after nearly loading everything several times. Switched to 44.03, which I had dl'd a few months ago, and it quit crashing, for the most part. Ran mprofile. exe, TS would load, and when I went to drive a train, it would load the route 99%, then lock up. Hit any key and instant black screen.

    Also tried 4.14.10.5216 with the same result. Everything else seems to be working ok, but the sim won't load and neither with the editor, just a black screen lockup.

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