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Old 03-31-2008, 07:23 PM   #1

Ryan3215's Avatar
Default How can I upgrade my video card?

Currently I have an ATI radeon 9800XT video card and it is becoming obsolite (if it hasnt already) but my question is how can I upgrade? I got my computer circa 2004 and it lacks a PCI x16 slot so therefore I cannot install one even if I bought one. I was wondering if there was a way to install a new modern video card, my computer has an AGP slot but that isnt the proper slot. Any sugestions?
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:36 PM   #2

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Get a new computer.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:58 PM   #3

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If getting a new computer/motherboard isn't an option, there are lots of AGP cards you can still get at, or anywhere else for that matter. It would be a 15 min. upgrade.
See here: - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!

This would be the highest end ATI card you could get: - POWERCOLOR AG3850 512MD3-P Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

But in all honesty, for what you would pay for a new AGP card, you could get a new 9600GT that would absolutely SMOKE it for around $150 after rebates. That card is really wowing tech review sites right now, and even better the 8800GT for $200.

You could build an all new gaming system for $700 easy that would bring your computer up to date and make future upgrades easier.

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Old 03-31-2008, 08:45 PM   #4

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Well right now I cant afford to build a whole new system, but what are my options? If I get a new motherboard can I run a 9800? All I need to know right now is what can I do to get a PCI slot. Since my computer lacks on I figure that is the only thing stopping me from up grading.
Comp specs:
Intel pentium 4 CPU 3.20 GHz
2046MB RAM
Direct X 9.0c

Anything else you need? Can I run a 9800 with these specs if I were to get a new motherboard? As you can tell Im still a little confused on the subject
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:01 PM   #5

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We are happy to help man, and the best way to learn is by asking.

I am a bit confused about your above post though,
"If I get a new motherboard can I run a 9800?"

I thought the point was you don't want to be running your 9800 any more, right. I had a 9800pro, and it did not like PR very much, so I upgraded to an X850pro, and it handled things much better, but even now that is a very old card. I like you was stuck with AGP, and so the only option was a new motherboard, but here is where things get iffy.
1st up, do you have DDR1 or DDR2 memory?
2nd, your CPU is probably an older socket, but do you know off hand which one?
And is your computer a store bought computer, if so what model # and brand.
And is it a full size ATX case, or a mini/micro case.
And what size is your power supply (how many watts is it)?

Chances are, if you really want to upgrade, the cheapest thing would just buy a new AGP card. But like I said, it is a dead end card, so if in a few months or a year you decided to upgrade the whole computer, it would be wasted.
Really important you find out info about your power supply, cause if it isn't up to snuff, even if you go the AGP new card route, it may mean you also need a new power supply. Without enough juice, a graf. card will underclock itself, giving you low FPS. And one of the biggest mistakes you can make when getting new stuff is to buy a cheap power supply. You REALLY get what you pay for with PSUs. On a cheap one, even if it says 500 watts on the box, it may only get 300 watts out once it heats up from gaming. You can find something like a good Antec 500 watt PSU for about $50 after rebates, if it comes to that.
PSUs are a little harder to install than the very easy graf. card upgrade, but once you lay everything out and look at it, and take your time, it is actually very easy. First upgrade I ever did was a PSU and the 9800pro mentioned above. Took about 20 mins. (I read directions )

If you wanted to go with a new motherboard, we might be able to find one that supports your CPU, but it will most likly also require new memory, which might be about $35-40 after rebates. But again, that would mean if you decided to upgrade the CPU later you would be stuck.

Just some things to think about.
If you want to go either way, post back, and I will start looking for you some good deals.

Also, here is a thread from the off topic section last week

Might want to read it too.

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Old 03-31-2008, 11:12 PM   #6

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Do you just want me to post a SS of the DXdiag thing? I have no idea how ot find the things you are telling me to look for. I have a Dell Dimention XPS gen. 2 which is more of an all-in-one system thta has the PSU sealed off behind a plastic thing. I think a new computer might be an option and 5-6 months but I will have to keep my HD,and what ever else might be important. So my easiest option is to but a whole new comp?
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:50 AM   #7

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Post the exact model number of your computer so I can get a look at it. The fact that it is a Dell is probably bad news, since they don't like people upgrading.
I ran with my old agp card for what seemed like forever until I could afford a real upgrade instead of spending any more money on another AGP dead end.
Another option would be e-bay, which is where I got my x850pro. It was just like new and $50 cheaper than in a store. Ran good for 2 years till I upgraded.
Check out this thread I did with some good build guides for budget game computers.
TR's February 2008 system guide - Tactical Gamer

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Old 04-01-2008, 07:54 AM   #8

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yeah Dell usually have integrated CPU's and mobos
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:06 AM   #9
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Ryan3215 and M82 finally meet.....
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:13 PM   #10
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You can upgrade your pc to agp 7600gt level, but that is about it as your motherboard/cpu/ram become a bottleneck preventing any further increase in gaming power. Your power supply inside the case might not reach what is needed to power the graphics card and you could get stung for one of them too, so upgrading is going to cost you more than you think right now.

Generally, a modern pc (run XP PRO and not Vista) that will run PR 1440x900 maximum graphics settings and let you spend 90% of the time with smooth gaming with fps of 35 at worst dependent on map, to 55-100fps general frame rate, is going to cost you :

Motherboard (AMD2 pci-e) £50
CPU (say AMD2 6000+) £100
RAM (2 gigs pc6400) £40
PSU (hiper 580w) £50
GPU (x1950pro) £80
SATA HDD (250gig) £40

or upgrade your current machine and squeeze an extra 15fps out of it @ 1024x768 low to medium settings, making it playable but not smooth enough to really enjoy the expenditure :

GPU (7600gt) £51
PSU (Hiper 580w) £50

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card, upgrade, video
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