Is it worth me upgrading my graphics card?

  SimpleStevie 15:10 23 Jan 2007

I have a fairly old desktop PC which I have upgraded now and then with various gadgets and bits and bobs. I use my PC for work as well as gaming and I am now at the stage where I can't run the majority of newer games as my graphics card isn't up to the job. I have a fairly old motherboard which only has an AGP slot so that cuts down my choices, and I only have around 100 quid to spend.

As it is an old machine it has an Athlon XP 2200+ 1.8ghz processor along with 1.5gb of ram. So my question to the brainy PC Advisor people is, would it be worth my while spending around 100 quid on a new AGP graphics card which will enable me to play the latest games with the processor and ram combo that I currently have? I don't want to spend a lot of money on a s*[email protected]:y new card only to find that my processor isn't up to scratch or the game runs so slowly as to make it unplayable. So should I get a new card or bite the bullet and start again with a new mboard/processor combo?

  Belatucadrus 17:17 23 Jan 2007

Difficult to say if it's worth going for an upgrade without knowing what VGA card you've got at the moment.
Also probably best to give the gamers on the forum some idea as to what specific games you have in mind so they can advise on what you'd need to get them to run well.

  Totally-braindead 17:42 23 Jan 2007

Have to agree with Belatucadrus. It depends on the game and what you have already in the way of a graphics card.
A lot of the newest games require a faster processor than you have so adding a new graphics card will do very little to make things better.

  SimpleStevie 17:46 23 Jan 2007

At the moment I have a Nvidia Geforce4 MX 440. The only games I play are RTS so I don't think I need a really high end card which some of the FPS' need. Trying to play Civ4 the other day and it said my graphics card was below the minimum spec, ands thats quite an old game in itself!

It may well be time for me to upgrade the motherboard and processor too.

  Totally-braindead 17:53 23 Jan 2007

You might be able to extend the life of your PC if the rest of your PC, in the case the processor more than meets the minimum requirements of the games in question. It will tell you on the case what it needs.
The reason I say this is a lot of the games will not run with a MX 400. Its the MX thats the problem. I don't know exactly what the problem is but a couple of games have said on the box that the MX is not supported and that may well be your problem.
If you upgraded your graphics card to something newer the games should run. But whatever you spend now will probably be unusable in your next PC as I presume you would want a PCI Express card in it. Whether it is worthwhile or not really depends on how long you plan to keep this PC and whether it will run the games you want to play on it.

  mike1967 19:12 23 Jan 2007

Plenty of AGP graphics cards available for £100 have a visit to Novatech, and anything would be a huge improvement over the MX 400

i got a 9550 256meg graphics card and it showed a great improvement and that cost around £5o

  polish 19:19 23 Jan 2007

does the mobo support 4 or 8 times agp most newer cards are 8x so if your mobo is not the card will work but not at its full performance

  Belatucadrus 19:35 23 Jan 2007

Do note however that the 8X cards are not twice as fast as 4X, the difference is nowhere near that pronounced. So while you wouldn't see the full potential of an 8X card in a 4X slot the loss of performance is marginal.

  Totally-braindead 19:44 23 Jan 2007

Difference between a 4x card and a 8x card is very small. I doubt you would notice that much difference.

  keef66 11:09 24 Jan 2007

You're in the same situation as I was. Mine's a socket A Athlon XP 2100+ on an AGP 4x board, and I too had an MX440. Turns out the MX series are really only geforce 2 cards.
I bought a vanilla 6600 and it's made a huge difference.

I'd suggest an AGP 7600gs, but be aware you may have to get a beefier power supply to run it.

If you go for a new mobo / cpu bundle you'd likely be moving to PCI-ecpress, need a new graphics card, new DDR2 memory and a new power supply. And possibly a sata hard drive.
And given that lot, if your current Windows is OEM, a new copy of Windows.
Starting to sound like you're buying a whole new pc isn't it? Well that is the cheapest way to do it these days. Assembling your own from scratch is fun, but it will cost you more.

  keef66 11:57 24 Jan 2007

a 350w min psu is needed for a 7600gs apparently

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