Upgrading PC to watch videos

  keisha01 10:33 06 Dec 2006

I want to upgrade my PC to enable me to watch videos in better quality (current quality is poor). I have an Intel 82815 Graphics card & an old monitor with 24 bit colour quality. My PC is a Pentium III, 730MHz, 256MB RAM. Do I need to buy a new monitor, update my graphics card or get a video card (or are graphics & video cards the same thing?) Any recommendations on what would be best for me to purchase would be appreciated.

  Belatucadrus 11:02 06 Dec 2006

1)are graphics & video cards the same thing?
2)Do I need to buy a new monitor.
Technically no, the colour bit quality is defined by the graphics card not the monitor. Though a nice new screen may allow you to appreciate the improved performance of a new graphics card.
3)update my graphics card.
On the face of it, this would be the most appropriate solution, but first find out what Mother Board you have so that you can work out what sort of card is required, probably AGP. Don't go overboard when you chose.

  tenplus1 12:04 06 Dec 2006

I have a 500mhz P3 laptop with 128mb that uses an onboard intel 4mb gfx card which plays all of my movies (.avi .divx .xvid VCD and DVD) perfectly...

Make sure your Intel 82815 graphics driver is the latest one and that you have the newest DirectX installed on your system...

Also, grab the latest FFDShow from click here to play all formats and maybe the Quicktime Alternative / Real Alternative as well for those formats...

VLC Player (available on Afterdawn.com ) is a free player that plays every movie as above with good quality picture and sound.

  keisha01 20:00 07 Dec 2006

Thanks very much for your replies. How will I know which graphics card will go with my motherboard?

  Belatucadrus 20:36 07 Dec 2006

What mobo is it ?

  keisha01 02:02 10 Dec 2006

Under the Device Manager properties, it's listed as ACPI\PNPOC02. Would that be right? Otherwise, how would I find out what the mobo is? Sorry to ask such stupid questions!

  Belatucadrus 12:02 10 Dec 2006

Try running Winaudit click here, the alternative is to pop the lid on the case and apply mark one eyeball for manufacturers labels.

  keisha01 02:11 16 Dec 2006

Winaudit had listed the manufacturer as "standard system devices". The only label I could see on the motherboard was an Intel one. It had written on it Intel 815, L020HX63, SL4DF

  Belatucadrus 11:49 16 Dec 2006

I've checked with Google and all it tells me is that you've got a MOBO with an Intel 815 chipset probably made to suit Celerons and P3s. Which we already knew and doesn't help confirm the presence of a AGP slot.
Have a look at the Winaudit report Look under "System Management" subsection "Baseboard" and let us know what it says.

  keisha01 10:19 20 Dec 2006

I've cut & pasted this directly from Winaudit:
Board Number 1
Manufacturer ACER
Product S58M
Serial Number
Asset Tag
Board Type Unspecified

  Belatucadrus 11:17 20 Dec 2006

Well I can't find any information on the Acer S58M MOBO on Acer or anywhere else. It's almost certainly got a AGP port, so any suitable AGP card will do. But there's an outside chance that it uses an old PCI slot (Not PCI express, that's entirely different and too new to be on your board).
Here's a couple of possible options click here Use the Crucial Graphics card Advisor to scan your system and make a recommendation.
Or you could check the board again, rule of thumb is that a single brown card slot will be AGP, multiple white ones PCI.

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