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  1.    #1  
    I just put together a new desktop screamer... an AMD Athlon 1 ghz CPU. I've got a generic AGP video card that's giving me some problems and would like to find a good replacement. Any recommendations for a reasonably priced AGP card? Is one chipset better than another (nVidia TNT vs. ATI Rage, etc)?
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    MarkEagle
    .....<a href="http://discussion.treocentral.com/tcforum/index.php?s=">TreoCentral</a> | <a href="http://discussion.visorcentral.com/vcforum/index.php?s=">VisorCentral</a> Forum Moderator - Forum Guidelines
    .....Sprint PCS Treo 650
    .....God bless America, my home sweet home...
  2. #2  
    What are you using the computer for?
    Any graphics design, hardcore 3D gaming?
    Not sure what you mean when you say resonably priced.. You just spent how much on a 1ghz system, and now you want a cheap AGP video card?
  3.    #3  
    It was just a motherboard upgrade. Only spent about $350 by the time I was done. I'm not into gaming but do some CAD and graphics work and will be getting a DVD drive soon. I've seen the $300-400 cards and don't think I need them . I was looking at the ATI Rage Fury Pro 32mb and ATI Xpert 128 16mb cards in the store yesterday. There was also a 3DFX Voodoo (they've been bought out by nVidia). I guess I just don't know enough about video cards... is there an advantage to AGP over PCI?
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    MarkEagle
    .....<a href="http://discussion.treocentral.com/tcforum/index.php?s=">TreoCentral</a> | <a href="http://discussion.visorcentral.com/vcforum/index.php?s=">VisorCentral</a> Forum Moderator - Forum Guidelines
    .....Sprint PCS Treo 650
    .....God bless America, my home sweet home...
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by MarkEagle
    It was just a motherboard upgrade. Only spent about $350 by the time I was done. I'm not into gaming but do some CAD and graphics work and will be getting a DVD drive soon. I've seen the $300-400 cards and don't think I need them . I was looking at the ATI Rage Fury Pro 32mb and ATI Xpert 128 16mb cards in the store yesterday. There was also a 3DFX Voodoo (they've been bought out by nVidia). I guess I just don't know enough about video cards... is there an advantage to AGP over PCI?
    AGP has more bandwidth than PCI, but it's fairly negligible. Get an AGP card if you have the slot for it.

    The ATI cards have built-in DVD hardware decoders, so you may want to go that route if you're thinking of getting a DVD drive. The Mac AGP Rage 128 Pro (The Rage Fury Pro in the PC world) has about the same performance as the VooDoo3 3000 AGP. If you were on a Mac, I would recommend the ProFormance3, which has blisteringly fast 2D performance. I'm not sure of any 2D oriented cards in the PC world however (as I use my PC for gaming 90% of the time).

    You really don't need the 32MB card unless you will be playing games (which is what you really need the extra memory for : 3D textures). I can't really think of anything else what will use up a large chunk of video memory.

    (I have a VooDoo3 3000 AGP in my PC and a Radeon 32MB DDR AGP in my G4 Mac.)

    The XPert 128 16MB sounds like a good choice to me.
    I don't have any experience with nVidia.
    Last edited by Vertigo; 02/25/2001 at 07:55 AM.
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by MarkEagle
    I'm not into gaming but do some CAD and graphics work and will be getting a DVD drive soon
    Hi Mark,

    Unless you want to buy a separate hardware decoder card for DVD playback, you might be better served getting a speedier video card now. You can get a GeForce 2 MX 32mb card for less than $140 these days, that rival more expensive GeForce 2 GTS cards, AND you wouldn't need a separate DVD decoder card.

    As for VooDoo... They got beat by nVidia, who just produced a better product, and got the OEM contracts.

    If you go with a 16mb card, you're not going to be happy with software only DVD decoding.

    Best of luck!
  6.    #6  
    I've been doing some checking this morning and so far I'm leaning towards an ATI All-In-Wonder 128 Pro. TV on the PC... between that and VisorCentral, I'll never leave my desk!!! .

    I'm going to try and go for a 32mb card but the prices just seem too high. The 32mb A-I-W Pro is over $200.00 (more than I paid for the motherboard!) while the 16mb can be had for around $150.00.

    The ATI caught my eye because it's actually part of the Win98 hardware reference design... the OS was designed with it in mind (Web TV).

    Decisions, decisions...
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    MarkEagle
    .....<a href="http://discussion.treocentral.com/tcforum/index.php?s=">TreoCentral</a> | <a href="http://discussion.visorcentral.com/vcforum/index.php?s=">VisorCentral</a> Forum Moderator - Forum Guidelines
    .....Sprint PCS Treo 650
    .....God bless America, my home sweet home...
  7. #7  
    DON'T go lower than 32 mb. you will regret it. i personally love my nvidia geforce card, and believe that there is no alternative the geforce 2s are awesome.
    all around good guy

    brandon
    drop me a line
  8. #8  
    If you are doing more CAD work, then you might want a good OpenGL card. Personally, I use an Oxygen VX1... it is a little more expensive than some other 32meg cards, but it is worth it in my opinion. I think it is around $220 or so... ofcourse you could EBAY it. At the time I bought mine, it was probably the best card for CAD, 3D, non-gaming stuff, for under $400.

    It does struggle with some of the games though, just isn't built for it. I had a hard time with Unreal Tournament, but it rocks now.

    -Russ
  9. #9  
    Guys, would you mind explaining why you think he needs a 32MB card?

    A 16MB Card can handle any resolution 99% of monitors are able to put out. I currently have my 22" monitor running at 1600x1200 and that used up under 8MB of memory.

    I havn't heard of DVD decoders using video memory, would someone explain?
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by Vertigo
    I havn't heard of DVD decoders using video memory, would someone explain?
    Hi Vertigo...

    2 words - refresh rate - When you are pushing high fps streams at your monitor, no matter the resolution, you are going to need a card that can keep up with the frame rate of the DVD.

    For instance, I have a PIII 600mhz, 16mb nvidia TNT Pro card, 128mb ram, and 15" monitor, that can't handle DVD without many choppy parts. I'm kinda bummed I even bought a DVD drive for it, and I'm going to take up another irq with another card for decoding.

    However, my 866Mhz, 32mb GeForce 2 GTS, 128mb ram, 19" monitor, handles DVD's like a dream. The picture is so clear, skipfree, and artifact-less (?sp), that it blows away the quality of my 32" wega tv for pic quality. I'm sure some of it has to do this the monitor quality, but most of it has to do with the video card being able to keep up with the data stream.

    I'm with pcgamingnet.com in regards to not getting the 16mb card. I have a feeling that you will be sorry.
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by LarryN


    Hi Vertigo...

    2 words - refresh rate - When you are pushing high fps streams at your monitor, no matter the resolution, you are going to need a card that can keep up with the frame rate of the DVD.

    For instance, I have a PIII 600mhz, 16mb nvidia TNT Pro card, 128mb ram, and 15" monitor, that can't handle DVD without many choppy parts. I'm kinda bummed I even bought a DVD drive for it, and I'm going to take up another irq with another card for decoding.

    However, my 866Mhz, 32mb GeForce 2 GTS, 128mb ram, 19" monitor, handles DVD's like a dream. The picture is so clear, skipfree, and artifact-less (?sp), that it blows away the quality of my 32" wega tv for pic quality. I'm sure some of it has to do this the monitor quality, but most of it has to do with the video card being able to keep up with the data stream.

    I'm with pcgamingnet.com in regards to not getting the 16mb card. I have a feeling that you will be sorry.
    Ok, but there are a lot of other factors there other than another 16MB of ram on your video card. the faster processor, the much higher end GPU.

    The reason I'm saying 32MB is not nessescery is that I thought refresh rate had nothing to do with the amount of memory on the card. Isn't he memory is just used for pushing the amount of pixels and bit depth up (2D)?

    I have a software DVD player on my G4/400, and when it had (I now have a Radeon) a 16MB Rage 128 Pro AGP, it played DVDs PERFECTLY, even with DTS audio.
  12. #12  
    Refresh rates are tied to a few things, including video memory, bus speed, and resolution, the higher the resolution, the more power (memory and type of memory) you'll need to maintain a higher refresh rate. To maintain high refresh rates with high resolution you need more memory. Granted, I do not believe that the human eye can notice any difference above 80fps...

    You are dead on regarding getting AGP graphics, it didn't make too much difference when it was first intruduced, bit now, with 2x, and 4x agp cards, it makes a LOT of difference. My newer pc does have 4x agp, and that does contribute to better grahics as well. I would guess that ny mobo that would support 1ghz athlons would also support 4xagp...

    As far as your G4 goes, don't Mac's simply handle graphics much better with less power than a Windoze system?

    I guess my whole point was that the few (~$40) dollars that you could spend now speaks volumes in graphics quality, even for non-gamers. ...and gives you a couple of more days until the "planned obsolesence" occurs. the geforce 3 chipset is going to be released in a few days, so that should drop geforce 2 prices a bit...
  13.    #13  
    Well, now that I'm totally confused...

    The bottom line here was bang for the buck (and the approval of the Mrs.). I decided to go with the ATI All-In-Wonder Pro 128 AGP with a paltry 16mb! Got it for $150.

    Since she has an Athlon 750 that's going to need a graphics upgrade soon, I'll just pass on the AIW to her and get something better . I needed something now, and she has possesion of the checkbook, so it's the AIW.

    Since I don't currently have a DVD and don't do any gaming, I think I'll be safe for a few months. By then, maybe a good G2 will be available in my price range (my wife reminded me that every dollar I spend on the desktop is a dollar less for Visor toys!!!).

    By the way, thanks for all the help!
    .
    .....
    MarkEagle
    .....<a href="http://discussion.treocentral.com/tcforum/index.php?s=">TreoCentral</a> | <a href="http://discussion.visorcentral.com/vcforum/index.php?s=">VisorCentral</a> Forum Moderator - Forum Guidelines
    .....Sprint PCS Treo 650
    .....God bless America, my home sweet home...

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