figuring out a new graphics card...

  fbadt 13:19 06 Jun 2008

Hi all,
I'll begin with warning you all now I'm a computer idiot.
4yrs ago I bought a f.siemens with a 3.2ghz p4, GA-8I848PM MB & a GeForce FX 5500 agp graphics card. Obviously I'm having huge problems playing any game released after about 2006, but I have no idea about ungrading the card. Skulking around this forum I have wound up with more questions than answers, but I'm pretty sure with this MB I'm not going to be able to fit a gaphics card higher than an nVidia 7 series, that sound right? I'm also confused because all the cards I see mention 'PCIe' but I think my board is PCI only, not that I know what that means. I can't find a card with the 'PCIe' reference, should it bother me? Or is the card installed in the 'agp' slot - again, whatever that is. I guess my question is, can I semi-safely buy a series 7 card and install it or will i fall at the first hurdle? I will also get a 1gb of memory (currently at 512b), should I get another power pack too?
Sorry, like I said I am an idiot. Cost is the main issue for me, but would I be better off saving and getting a whole new rig? it seems to me the MB is too old and in 18mnts I'll be back where I started. help!
thanks, fbt

  JACC 13:40 06 Jun 2008

Hi fbadt,as you've already got an AGP card i think you will have to go down that road again.To play games you will need at least 2gb of memory and a good graphics card and a good psu to supply power to the lot.I was in the same situation as you last year,wondering was it better to keep upgrading or bite the bullet and get a new machine.I bought a new pc from Novatech and haven't looked back.I can reccomend Novatech to you,they were so easy to deal with,wether it was on the phone or on-line.You'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of upgrading or buying new,good luck and let me know what you decide.

  woodchip 13:42 06 Jun 2008

Some cards hear that should work for you, also later model thats faster of your card click here

  woodchip 13:44 06 Jun 2008

Click on the reviews to read from those who bought cards

  fbadt 14:09 06 Jun 2008

wow thanks for uber-quick responses guys, just to prove what an idiot I am, I just dug around and now i think the graphics card is in the 'PCI bus 1', according to device manager anyway, although D.Manager does also have a AGP port, or at least it's listed under system devices ("processor to AGP controller"), wish i knew what I was doing! so does this mean I can still get a AGP card or dig out an PCI? as I mentioned, all the ones I've seen say PCIe.
thanks again, really appreciate this. FBT

  crosstrainer 14:21 06 Jun 2008

That's going to be your problem...Your Motherboard supports AGP via PCI slot.

IMO, you would be better off considering a new system, rather than an aging upgrade, which really isn't going to give you the kind of boost you need.

  fbadt 16:16 06 Jun 2008

hey Crosstrainer, thanks for this, what a pain but good to know. Before I close this thread and start figuring out cost options, there's really no point in tracking down a card that would get me up to around 2006 standards while I save for a new system? I don't mind a £50 - 80ish outlay for a card if I can at least play games a few years old? if so, any ideas on what cards? Just hoping really, but if we're talking about a few less lags and settings at 'low' rather than the 'minimal' I'm used to playing it, I'll give up, honest!
thanks again, all been a huge help. FBT

  woodchip 21:30 06 Jun 2008

If the system is only 4 years old I doubt very much you are running a PCI Graphics card

  Gav5 21:50 06 Jun 2008

I was in the same position last year, i'd been constantly upgrading ram & graphics to try and keep up with the latest games. It's not worth it if you want to get any sort of decent performance with the latest games.
Unfortunately, the best solution is to either build or buy a new system. You should build a vista 64bit system with an Intel Core 2 duo and a decent Pci graphics card. It's not that difficult to build and would save you a fair bit of cash.
You could also re-use your monitor if it's got a Dvi input.

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