Graphic Card choices for MoBo (ASUS a7v266e)

  Danoh 16:53 26 Feb 2006
Locked

I would like to upgrade from my ATI Radeon A500 LE but have no idea what would be easily supported by my MoBo (ASUS A7V266-e).

The monitor(s) which are connected at different times are; CRT Mitshubishi Diamond Pro 930sb and TFT Viewsonic VA1912w.

Mainly used for Office apps; Excel, Word, powerpoint, Access, etc. As well as photo-editing.

Also used for games occasionally and watching DVDs/video files.

Probably looking at a budget of £ 100, but if there is not a great deal of benefit to be had, quite happy not to upgrade either.

Any suggestions and comments welcome.
Thanks in anticipation!

  Danoh 17:10 26 Feb 2006

RADEON X800 GTO AGP
Extreme data rates with smooth, responsive 3-D gaming performance and movie-quality visual realism £136.99 ex. VAT £160.96 inc. VAT*

RADEON X700 256MB AGP
Fast, powerful response for a full-steam digital video and 3-D gaming experience in AGP systems £86.99 ex. VAT £102.21 inc. VAT*

RADEON 9600SE 128MB
Cinematic graphics for light gaming on a budget.
£40.99 ex. VAT £48.16 inc. VAT*

RADEON 9250 128MB AGP
Boosts performance for standard graphics and multimedia tasks without breaking the budget. £25.99 ex. VAT £30.54 inc. VAT*

The RADEON X700 appears to be in budget but I have no idea what benefits I should expect to get from upgrading from the existing A500 LE?

  Mr Beeline 17:24 26 Feb 2006

How about a X1600pro from overclockers UK at £99.82 click here

In my opinion, that's about the best you'll get for around a £100. Its also the latest generation. While the X800 series are nice cards (I have a X800 pro) they are previous generation cards.

Or if you fancy an Nvidia card, how about a OcUK GeForce 6600 GT 256MB, currently £89.95 +VAT again at OCuk.

  Danoh 17:34 26 Feb 2006

Thanks, Mr Beeline.

Sorry for the dumb questions, but isn't the X1600pro a CrossFire card? I don't think my 3-4 yr old MoBo will support that?

Even the X700's thickness looks like it will mean I lose space for the PCI slot beneath it.

  Mr Beeline 21:49 26 Feb 2006

Danoh

Hi... Should be no problem with the X1600, it's just Crossfire compatible.

Regarding your second comment. If you are talking about the HIS Excalibur ATI Radeon X700, then yes, this is a double width card because of the Artic cooler HIS fit.

If you fancy the Nvidia, then OCUK's price is pretty good at the moment, most sites are selling the 256MB version for around £120/130.

Good luck.

  Danoh 23:05 26 Feb 2006

I won't know what I fancy, I'm afraid!

If you say NVIDIA's GeForce 6600 GT 256Mb click here is better value then the ATI Radeon X1600 or X700, then I'd just believe you.. :-)

I must say the OC UK's prices looks competitive!

  Mr Beeline 18:05 28 Feb 2006

Danoh

I know what you mean.

If it was me, I'd go for the ATI. But that's just because I've currently got an ATI card myself and have been VERY impressed with ATI's drivers over the last year or so.

Not much difference between either of the cards that I mentioned previously. Flip a coin and buy either the X1600pro, or the 6600GT. I don't think you will be disappointed in either at that price point.

Good luck what ever you decide.

PS. Be aware that OCuk's "offers of the week" run from Thursday to Thursday. So come this Friday, the 6600GT will be back to full price.

PS. Bother these cards are better than the X700.

  Danoh 21:42 28 Feb 2006

Thanks, Mr Beeline. I would probably go for the ATI as that is what I have on my old ASUS a7v266-e mobo.
The BIOS allows me to specify PCI or AGP for the graphics slot; its defaulted to PCI ~ should I change that to AGP even with my current A500 LE?

What benefits should I expect in upgrading to this new level of graphics board?

Looking to place an order online tonight.

  Mr Beeline 22:34 28 Feb 2006

Hi

Must admit that I've never heard of the graphics card you currently have, I'm assuming it's a PCI card. So yes, you will need to set it to AGP in the BIOS before installing. Remember to remove your old graphics card drivers first and also recommended to run something like Driver Cleaner Pro (do a Google if you've not heard of it) after this, to make sure all reference to your old card is removed. Prior to this download the latest drivers from ATI's WEB site before installing your new card (assuming you've got Broadband of course ... otherwise use the drivers that come with the new card). Then remove old card, install new card, switch on and install latest drivers (just cancel out when Windows tries to be clever and install it for you).

I apologise if you already know all this.

Have fun.

  Danoh 23:05 28 Feb 2006

.. I can't read my own scribbles.

Memory Size: 128MB DDR SDAM, Interface: AGP 4x, Maximum resolution: 2048 x 1536

Thanks for the reminder of completely clearing out all stuff, particularly critical with graphics cards. It will help me avoid no end of trouble!! It'll be the 1st time I've tried to upgrade a graphics card so its extremely timely ~ thank you!

  Mr Beeline 23:49 28 Feb 2006

So your current card is an AGP one.

I think you will see a nice improvement over this card with either of the cards I have suggested as an upgrade.

Not quite sure why your BIOS is set to PCI! Strange... but I assume it works!?

Only slight possible fly in the ointment might be the old perennial favourite .. the Power Supply. Must modern graphics cards come with a warning that they require a decent 350w or better. Just wondering what your older PC might have in it? You might get away with it if it's a decent 300w, but if it's a 250w then you are in trouble!

Nothing in life is ever "simple".

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