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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Video Card Issues

    I currently have a NVIDIA GeForce4 MX440 graphics card with 64 megs of memory. I'm needing a new card, I think. But what I know about hardware and especially graphics cards is bare minimum.

    I questioned before issues with getting "white windows" when starting up some programs, especially Outlook and other Office progs, but a lot in Outlook... and all I can do is wait it out. I've tried adjusting the hardware acceleration and the write combining, but that doesn't seem to do much.

    I don't feel like spending a ton of cash, but I would like faster video response. I'm a bit apprehensive about asking a store salesman, because obviously they have a stake in the answer.

    Any suggestions or ideas would help and be really appreciated.

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    And what type of auto do you think is best, sir? Just teasing, for you know you'll probably get a ton of different opinions on this one, Chuck. My first opinion is NEVER buy a video card in a local store unless it just so happens they have the EXACT one you want. That's not too likely. Find what you want on the web and then buy it from a reputable online vendor (if it ISN'T in a local store).

    I've been partial to ATI for a long time and not had any problems with their cards. You do have to follow their installation instructions carefully though. I ordered this Dell last year with a RADEON X600 256MB HyperMemory card and it does very well on rendering speed.

    <A target="_blank" HREF="http://ati.amd.com/technology/hypermemory.html">HyperMemory

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Al:

    I don't drive. :-)

    I have always heard great things about ATI...

    But how the heck do I tell whether it's an AGP (which I seem to recall drivers for on a "start to finish setup that happened a year or so ago), PCI, or PCI Express -- without hauling it in to a store, which is of course what they suggested... ?

    Regards,
    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Chuck,

    It would help if you revealed the brand/model of your PC, at least that way someone could look up the specs for its motherboard and then see if it has AGP and/or PCI-E. If you take the cover off the case and look at your current video card, you should be able to tell what it is.... e.g., AGP slots are about the same length as a typical PCI slot (white porcelain looking). PCI-E slots are generally much shorter. Also, an AGP card usually has a small "lever" on the back that locks it into the slot.

    ATI vs. Nvidia.... different strokes for different folks. I've had both brands and both worked fine. I have found that uninstalling ATI drivers when having to update them to be problematic where Nvidia drivers uninstalled cleanly and without issue, which is something you might want to ponder. But again, as far as performance and reliability is concerned, they are both good. Nvidia cards are distributed by many different "re-sellers", which add features or in most cases remove features in their respective drivers from the original Nvidia design, although they use the same chip. What I have found is EVGA is the one that provides the most bang for the buck and the best warranty for its cards. I believe the same goes for ATI, i.e., there are various re-sellers who distribute their cards with the ATI chip but with various configurations. Someone else would have to recommend one of the re-sellers for ATI as I don't have much knowledge about who is good or otherwise. So, don't be led astray by "price".... since usually the lower price only gives you what you pay for. <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Jeff:

    It's fast looking like a trip to the PC store is in my near...

    My motherboard is "generic"... I had to replace it last year, and ...

    I took off my cover, and the slot looks to be the same size as any PCI slot, although NOT white like the others, but black. I've had the card out (which, contrary to what the Hardware listing in the CP said is a "Silvro"(?)) And I didn't have to deal with any lever...

    Being the master of organization, I of course don't have the CD any longer that I needed prior to XP (Win98) for display install; I did go to the Nvidia site, downloaded and installed the latest driver for the card shown in the CP... To no avail...

    I DO recall that the one time I had to install all the drivers et al from scratch was prior to my mother board swap, so that's probably not relevant...

    Regards,
    Chuck Billow
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Just for the hell of it, here's a screenshot of a motherboard showing the various types of slots.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Al:

    What I ain't got is PCI-E...

    Now... Note how your AGP slot is "out of line" with the others? So is my video card slot...

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  8. #8
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Go to Device Manager>Display adapters. A Google on the adapter listed there might reveal whether it is PCI or AGP.

    Edited: <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15> Oops - you already know what the adapter is don't you. As it so happens, I have the same card in one of my desktops and it is an AGP card.
    John
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    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    John:

    >>
    you already know what the adapter is don't you
    <<

    No I didn't, but it was/is seeming that it is AGP, based on the listings in Google, AND, again, my memory of the AGP (driver?) I had to install for '98 & 2000...

    Wonder if XP is "missing" the AGP, and therefore my driver isn't quite right...

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  10. #10
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Chuck,

    I'm assuming you are still running Win XP, correct? And I'm also going to assume that you are not going to be upgrading to Vista on this PC, correct? And I'm going to assume that you live in the U.S also. Okay.... assuming these things, just about any AGP video card will work. Here is one which is is very popular and quite inexpensive although exponentially better than what you have now:

    EVGA 256-A8-N313-LX GeForce FX5500 256MB DDR AGP 8X Video Card - Retail

    IF you live in Canada, I can provide you with a link to a supplier who I do business with regularly and who has this same card at an equal cost.

    I hope this helps somewhat to get you going.

    Jeff
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  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Jeff:

    >>
    still running Win XP
    <<

    Yes

    >>
    And I'm also going to assume that you are not going to be upgrading to Vista on this PC
    <<

    Probably not... At least not right away... I have yet to see a lot of improvement worth the change. My processor (1.5g) passed the Vista test, my graphics card didn't... At least not for Aero.

    >>
    And I'm going to assume that you live in the U.S also
    <<

    Yes, Chula Vista, CA

    The one link you sent me certainly looks OK, and is a LOT cheaper than other options I've looked at.

    I might give it a try... Newegg is a real reputable vendor, so...

    Thanks Jeff.

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  12. #12
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Jeff:

    I'm certainly showing my lack of knowledge here... When I was reading about the card, it said:

    >>
    The PCI-Express interface card is NVIDIA SLi-ready for parallel processing of next generation 3D graphics and animation.
    <<

    I didn't actually see any "hey dummy, this card needs a (an) ____________ slot."

    Is this card PCI-E? 'Cause my PC can't do that... THAT much I do now know... (thanks Al).

    Chuck
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  13. #13
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Chuck,

    If you click the "Specifications" tab, it clearly says it is an AGP interface:

    Model
    Brand: EVGA
    Model: 256-A8-N313-LX

    Interface
    Interface: <font color=red>AGP 8X</font color=red>

    Why it mentions "PCI-Express" I haven't a clue. You can easily double-check on this by sending an inquiry to NewEgg. I know someone who just bought this card for an older Dell PC and the motherboard only has an AGP slot. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15> Also, EVGA's own website says it is an AGP interface. See here: FX 5500 Specs.

    FYI, the latest drivers for this card can be downloaded by clicking here: Driver Version : 93.71

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  14. #14
    Uranium Lounger CWBillow's Avatar
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Jeff:

    I've got it ordered... Here's hoping...

    Thanks,
    Chuck Billow
    -------------------------------------------------
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment."

    ~ A(lan) A(lexander) Milne (1882-1956)- "House at Pooh Corner"

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Video Card Issues

    Chuck,
    The suggestions from the other Loungers are very good ones. Weather to use NVidia or ATI, I agree is a matter of personal choice. I have also used both and find them both very good brands.

    By the answers and discussions, I would agree that you have an AGP type of card. ( The MX400 is an AGP )

    The only thing I would add, which hasn't been mentioned, is that I would opt for a new card with additional video memory. 64 MB on the card is rather small these days. A GOOD performance increase would be gained by getting a card with at least 128MB or better 256 MB video memory and is well worth the difference in price.

    Go online and do some shopping around. Newegg is a good source.
    BOB
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