Video Card Recommendation

Compaq / Presario 5365
February 4, 2009 at 08:39:31
Specs: Windows 2000 Pro, AMD K6 450 Mhz/256 MB
I've been so intent about finding a high-end PCI video card for my old Compaq Presario that it never occured to me that a lower-end card would be just fine!

For example, I use an old ATI Rage 128 Pro AGP 2x video card for my Windows XP computer, and I am 100% happy with it. It drives Windows's video effects, DVD video, and YouTube video perfect, without any lag at all. And it was made in 1998! (Or at least, that what it says on it. It may have been made newer since it's an AGP card)

But here is what i'm curious about - lets pretend for a minute that my Compaq Presario has an AGP slot on it, and I put the ATI Rage 128 Pro card in it. Would the card perform just as good in my Compaq Presario as it does in my Windows XP computer, or would the card be handicapped because of the age (and therefore slowness) of the Compaq? (450 Mhz processor and 100 MHz system bus, as opposed to 1750 MHz and 166 MHz system bus.)

Last of all, can anyone recommend a PCI video card for me that can run DVD and YouTube video without any lag? (On an older computer.) The vintage of the card doesn't matter, and I don't care about 3D performance. Thanks a lot!

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#1
February 4, 2009 at 09:31:25
"The vintage of the card doesn't matter, and I don't care about 3D performance"

Sorry, the vintage & 3D performance DO matter. You don't need a high power computer to surf the internet, but you do need a fairly decent video card for DVD playback. The Rage 128 Pro was excellent for that though. The following was taken from a 1999 Tom's Hardware article:

"The Rage Pro Fury can be obtained for a reasonable $149, which places it in the price range of the G400, TNT2 and Voodoo3 3000. This is a no-brainer if you're into DVD playback or video encoding at all. The competition doesn't stand a chance in this price range."

You don't necessarily have to read the article, but here it is for reference:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

What you should take from the above is that you probably shouldn't consider anything older than the Rage 128 Pro on the ATI side, & you should get something better than the TNT2 on the nVidia side. Other than that, it's pretty tough to recommend a card becuase there are so many possibilities. But if you want a suggestion, look for an early ATI Radeon model such as the 7000 or 7500. If you prefer nVidia, look for an early GeForce.


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#2
February 4, 2009 at 09:51:28
Thanks, jam! I just meant that if someone recommended a card to me that did good with video (which is what's most important for me) but not good with 3D graphics, and/or was pretty old, that was still fine by me.

I read the article, which is pretty informing. is Rage Fury Pro just another name for Rage 128 Pro?

It struck me funny, the AGP Rage 128 Pro on my Windows XP computer has neither DVI out or a fan on the GPU, just a small heatsink!

eBay is my friend, i'll be looking at PCI versions of the Rage 128 Pro and the older Radeon models. (You can tell i'm biased for ATI, lol)

Thanks,

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#3
February 4, 2009 at 11:09:13
I can play DVDs at around 80% CPU usage with a Radeon 7000 PCI and 300MHz Pentium II (66MHz bus). It's the really old P2 platform with slow ass EDO memory. I imagine it would perform a hell of a lot better on an LX/SDRAM board.

However, you won't be able to play YouTube video on that rig. Even if your board allowed a GeForce GTX 285, YouTube video would still run at under 5 fps. Flash video is much harder on the CPU than MPEG-2 (DVD) video. You need at least a Pentium III or Athlon CPU to play YouTube video smoothly.

Homebuilt projector:
Samsung 1080p panel
Pixelworks controller
2 HDMI, 2 Component, 1 VGA
Homebuilt enclosure
120" 16:9 screen
Connected to: HTPC w/ BD, satellite receiver, XB360.


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#4
February 4, 2009 at 11:24:41
Son of a gun, I forgot YouTube was based on flash. This is an AMD K6-2, and uses SDRAM. The SiS 530 built into this rig lets me have about 1 FPS on YouTube, and no better in video played offline. The latest processor this computer will take is an AMD K6-III+, which was a competitor to the Katmai P3s.

I can't seem to find any PCI versions of the Rage 128 Pro on eBay. I do see quite a few Rage 128's, although I would like the enhanced MPEG encoding/decoding support that the Pro has. I see quite a few Radeon 7000 and 7500s on there, as well.

Some idiot is selling a Rage 128, and they say that it has 128 MB of RAM. He/she obviously doesn't know it means 128 bit.

I gotta remember, though, i'm gonna need a much better PSU before I put a video card in this rig.

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#5
February 4, 2009 at 11:44:03
"The latest processor this computer will take is an AMD K6-III+..."

Correction, the K6-III and the K6-III-P are the latest processors this computer can take. The K6-III+ is a 2.0 volt processor, and my computer only has 2.2 and 2.4 volt settings.

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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#6
February 4, 2009 at 13:10:26
"The latest processor this computer will take is an AMD K6-III+, which was a competitor to the Katmai P3s."

Katmai was nothing more than a Deschutes-cored Pentium II with SSE tacked on. Intel even called it Pentium II a few months before its debut. The Coppermine was the first real P3, and it was considerably faster than Katmai, especially in NT-based operating systems where cache performance actually mattered. When jackbomb mentions the P3, he means Coppermine or Tualatin, not Katmai. :)

"AMD K6-III+"

Flash seems to like memory bandwidth as well as SIMD performance. Thanks to an on-chip L2, the extra bandwidth available to the K6-3 will boost Flash video performance a little. However the very weak FP performance (compared to the P3/Athlon) and lack of a proper SIMD instruction set to make up for it (K6 lacks SSE, and, let's face it, 3DNow! is a joke), will really hurt Flash performance.

If you want to watch YouTube video on that machine, you'll have to download the video to your hard drive as an MP4 file and play it in a DirectShow media player (Media Player Classic, WMP, etc). DirectShow is a far more efficient way of playing back video than Flash.

Homebuilt projector:
Samsung 1080p panel
Pixelworks controller
2 HDMI, 2 Component, 1 VGA
Homebuilt enclosure
120" 16:9 screen
Connected to: HTPC w/ BD, satellite receiver, XB360.


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#7
February 4, 2009 at 14:31:50
"I can't seem to find any PCI versions of the Rage 128 Pro on eBay"

Why are you looking for the oldest card you can find? Go for a Radeon instead.


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#8
February 5, 2009 at 17:53:57
BTW jam, what should the Aperture size be set to in the BIOS for the Windows XP computer? The Rage 128 Pro has 16 MB of memory, in case that info is needed. Because I don't know what the aperture does or what it means, I just leave it at the default 256 MB.

-Trent

"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving may not be for you."

-Our tour guide at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.


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