Entry Level Video Card

O

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#1
Hi,


I'm building my own for PC for the first time, and I've been making some progress. I learned as much as I could about RAM, and putting together PCs.


So far, I've decided to get a ASUS P4P800SE Intel mobo, a P4 3.0E Prescott 800MHz processor, and Kingston 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) for the RAM.

First I need some opinions on these choices. I'm 95% sure they're all compatible. Crucial.com isn't showing otherwise.

Second, now I need to figure out what video card to get. I won't be using this PC for gaming, just web browsing/Photoshop/watching avi's... I need a cheap, entry level video card that's reliable.

Third, with this mobo/ram/proc, will I need special cooling, or will a regular case and fan do the job?

Thanks in advance
 
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#3
Thanks for the quick response..

any particular reason I'd need 128MBs for a basic card? I only ask because the 32 and 64MB cards are almost half the cost.

Here's a few side by side
Not sure what the different features/specs mean. I just learned the ins and outs of RAM today.
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#4
It's better to have the added ram for watching videos and future proofing your system so you won't have to upgrade later on.

The card is only $39.50. ;)
 
O

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#5
is there a quick & painless way to see which video card is on my current PC?
 
jankerson

jankerson

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#6
Off Top said:
is there a quick & painless way to see which video card is on my current PC?

Right click on your desktop and click properties.

Click advanced, then adapter.
 
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#7
Thx

Okay, this one's a Dell M991 64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 420 with TV Out

I like the way it plays videos... what type difference would I see on a 128 card? I thought contrast/picture quality/response time were all determined by the monitor I get.
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#8
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Thx

Okay, this one's a Dell M991 64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 420 with TV Out

I like the way it plays videos... what type difference would I see on a 128 card? I thought contrast/picture quality/response time were all determined by the monitor I get.

It's both really, picture quality depends on the monitor because if you have a really low end monitor then it won't matter what card you have, it will look bad. ;)

But then if you have a really good high end monitor and the video card won't handle the resolution and drive the video etc you will still be in the same boat.

With the next vers of Windows coming out next year (Longhorn) that will require a 128mb Video card min to enable all the new features of the OS it would be smart to get the 128mb card.

I never recommend anything below 128 MB cards these days as there isn't any reason not to get at least a 128mb card. ;)
 
jankerson

jankerson

Super Moderator
#10
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ok, thanks... 128 it is

It will give you plenty of room to do what you want and if you do end up wanting to play some games then it will work fine for that too.

It is a much better card than what you have now so the video quality will be a lot better too.
 
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#11
wait, I just thought of something. I do graphic and flash design, and one of the problems I've had in the past is that my machine is too far advanced from my clients, so sometimes they see different colors than I do, or flash moves slower.

Will this video card affect the richness of my monitor's colors, or affect flash animation speed?
 
F

F_A_L_C_O_N

New Member
#13
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wait, I just thought of something. I do graphic and flash design, and one of the problems I've had in the past is that my machine is too far advanced from my clients, so sometimes they see different colors than I do, or flash moves slower.

Will this video card affect the richness of my monitor's colors, or affect flash animation speed?
Why dont you get IGP (integrated graphics) Intel motherboard then

This way you will have the onboard video card most office computers are equiped with and will know exactly how they will see your apps.
Mind you 3Ghz P4 is not exactly what typical office comp comes with, not to mention some have 256MB of ram and less and those slooooow 5400 rpm hard drives.
Still it will give you at least some idea whats going on on the client side of the bussiness.

BTW Intel onboard video cards are actually not too bad as far as image quality goes, just really slow in 3D and in any other HW accelaration stuff.
 
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CenturionStrategy

CenturionStrategy

Super Moderator
#14
Yeah, the card that Jankerson suggested should be nice and quick for what your needs are - a good balance between speed and price. The next few years will see higher demands on video processing, with High Def videos arriving, so this card should serve you well, and at such a low price!

Nick
 
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#15
Thanks for the suggestion, Falcon. I was originally planning on that, but a friend advised me to not go with onboard videocards, because if the video card messes up, I'll have to swap out the entire mother board. Plus, I won't be able to upgrade.

I'd like to have a dual monitor set up, with one 128MB and one 32, and have them on 19 and 17" monitors respectively. But that's a bit out of my price range at the moment. Still weighing my options.
 
CenturionStrategy

CenturionStrategy

Super Moderator
#16
F_A_L_C_O_N said:
Thats may be so but I know exactly what his problem is and the IGP I suggested is a very good way to know exactly what performance (VC wise) will your clients have, since most of the office PCs come with IGP

And he is not looking for something good that will carry him through 2 years, but something that will help him work out what kind of end product will the clients see.

Anyway he can install AGP card as well and then switch between the two.
Sorry mate, took so long typing my reply I missed yours! Yeah a mate at Uni had a Dell with a similar IGP but was left with a spare AGP port and was very happy with it as long as he wasn't playing the newest games.

It is very unlikely that the IGP would fail, but as long as you get a board with an AGP slot you'll be able to replace it. Thinking realistically, with IGP and an AGP slot you'll be able to use dual monitors. However if dual monitors will be something that you'll need on a day-to-day basis, you might have less hassle if you get a dual monitor AGP card such as the Radeon 7000.
 
F

F_A_L_C_O_N

New Member
#18
That Radeon 7000 is a good suggestion, you can even get the LE version which is probably about as fast as typical Intel IGP anyway and as Centurion said, it can come with dual monitor capability

Anyway if you get IGP board you can always switch between the two cards just so to test your work, then go back to whatever AGP card you are using and work on dual monitor display.

There is no IGP solution with dual monitor capability for Intel as far as I am aware of.

BTW Cent I should be sorry, I was too harsh in pushing my point anyway, so definitely np :eek:
 
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#19
I've been thinking it over... I'll just use an older PC for the compatibility testing. I've done that in the past with my own PCs, but when I move, I'll just have to use my daughter's.

So now I just want to find a good card for dual monitor set ups. The SAPPHIRE 100582L Radeon 9250 that jankerson recommended doesn't seem to be capable, but I'm not sure how to tell which is best for this sort of thing.

CenturionStrategy, which Radeon 7000 are you referring to? Newegg has over 20 listed.