New Graphics Card

  IanR_ 09:44 29 Mar 2006

Hi i'm looking for a new card to replace my MX440,my motherboard is a K7VTA3/KT333 by ECS.I dont want to spend a fortune maybe £50 - £70



  rmcqua 09:54 29 Mar 2006

Hi Ian,
You could try this one, which is a good card and comes within your budget, but to be honest I don't think you will notice a lot of difference because your m/b will only cope with up to 4X AGP cards. 8X AGP cards (like this one) will work, but you will not notice any real performance advantage. If I were you, I would probably spend my money on a new m/b.

  IanR_ 09:57 29 Mar 2006

ok cheers for that,so can anyone recommend a new MOBO? total computophobe when it comes to the internals sorry.Oh & how easy is it to swop over?


  gudgulf 10:24 29 Mar 2006

A lot depends on what you use the pc for.......the mx440 is not a powerful graphics card so if all you need is a direct replacement any AGP 8x/4x compatible card will do.

The fact that an 8x card will run at only 4x will make no differernce whatsoever.

The AGP bandwidth refers to the maximum data transfer rate it can sustain......something like an mx440 will not be capable of processing the data speed of even AGP 4x so will not benefit from the extra bandwidth of AGP 8x.

Something like this click here which is compatible with AGP 8x,4x and 2x will be fine as a direct replacement.

If you are looking for a faster card post you pc spec and we can advise further.

  IanR_ 10:30 29 Mar 2006

Thanks gudgulf,i really only play Enemy Territory online & thats about it,my card is ok,i just thought i could slightly improve things with a bit better card.So that one you linked to would be 'better' than my mx440?

  gudgulf 11:05 29 Mar 2006

Yes but tell me what cpu you have and memory amount/speed......chances are you will be able to use a faster card and stay well within your budget.

For starters click here

Also worth a look is the ATI 9600 pro (I have one of these in my second pc.) click here

  keef66 11:07 29 Mar 2006

click here

MSI 5600 ultra for £35 from Morgan. Couple of years ago you'd have paid £150 for it. Bargain. And definitely an improvement on an MX440.

Once you start replacing motherboards you end up needing a new processor, memory, graphics card and sometimes power supply, and the cost of a new base unit starts to look attractive instead.


  IanR_ 11:14 29 Mar 2006

Right thanks again,i'm at work at the moment but i think its an AMD 2200 & 512 does that sound right? Ive had it about 4 years now.I remember looking a few years back & 9800 pros were all the thing but all the names have changed now (probably out of my price range aswell)

  Totally-braindead 11:52 29 Mar 2006

I was going to post a link to the 5600 Ultra myself. Its a vast improvement on what you have already but not as good as a 9800, but then the 9800 would be a lot more expensive.

  keef66 14:45 29 Mar 2006

Same as me then. Don't play the latest games, but I try the ones which have fallen in price but which are still quite demanding of the pc. Computer's nearly 4 years old,(the retailer has gone bust) socket A mobo, Athlon XP 2100+, 512mb ram, and an MX440 graphics card with a fan which now requires periodic lubrication. I'm waiting to hear if we get a bonus this year, and depending on the outcome will upgrade to the MSI 5600 ultra (£35)or the MSI 6600 (£70) from the Morgan website. Also considering an extra 512mb ram from Crucial. These are the only really cost-effective upgrades for this age of pc.

If you wanted a 9800pro you could do worse than here. click here
They do reconditioned cards but the 9800 pro is new with a 1 year warranty, for under £70.

How easy is it?
From add/remove programs in control panel, uninstall the drivers for your existing card. Shut down and unplug the pc power lead.
Remove the left hand side panel (viewed from the front), identify the graphics card (if in doubt, your monitor's plugged into it, and it sits in the agp slot which is often brown and looks different from the cream pci slots beneath it)
Unplug the monitor cable from the back of the card.
Remove the screw which secures the card to the back of the pc, then gently pull it out of it's slot. You may need to release a clip at the other end of the slot first.
Marvel at the dust you have collected in the cooling fan / heatsink!
Insert the new card in the agp slot and secure with the screw you just removed. Depending on the card you've bought, you may need to attach a spare molex power connector from the power supply to the new graphics card (the mx440 doesn't need additional power)
Once the card's in, reconnect the monitor, start up the pc, and when Windows detects the new card, load the drivers from the CD which hopefully came with it. Alternatively you could load the latest drivers you've downloaded from the Nvidia or ATI website.
(both websites have guidance on replacing a graphics card too)

Good luck with your chosen course of action. Post back if further help required.


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