If I need to go buy a "16MB 3D video card", what is it that I need to go out and buy?

I’m trying to run Rise of Nations on my Windows ME computer, and after I got it all installed, it told me my video card was not supported. So I looked on the box, and it says what I need is a “16MB 3D video card”. What I have in the 'puter now is apparently an “intel 82810 graphics controller”.

Googling “16MB 3D video card” does not help me much. I understand that it’s a video card of some sort, but what I need is a brand name that I can go down to Circuit City and point at–“Those. I want one of those”–since I don’t dare simply walk in there and ask one of the Redshirts for a “16MB 3D video card”; God knows what I’d come home with. (No, I don’t have a lot of faith in Big Box computer stores, why do you ask? :smiley: )

Mods, I couldn’t decide if this was a GQ or an IMHO, feel free to move.

What you need is a graphics processing card. Something like this.

Of course that is assuming you want something on the lower end that will get you through almost any decent game. If you want something cheaper but closer to the bare minimum you need to play that particular game, you could go for one of these.

I would try putting the latest 82810 drivers on there first.
It has some primitive 3D abilities, and with the newer drivers it can grab 32 MB of RAM to use for video.
Still, it’s about an 8 year old video card design.

Okay, soooo…why is one of those $45 and one is $13.99? What’s the difference?
ETA: It’s not connected to the Internet, so downloading drivers is not an option. It has to be something I can get Hubby to snap in. (It makes him feel manly.)

Performance. The 45 dollars one is 128 MB, where you need 16 MB for your game. The 13.99 one is only 8 MB. (There is more to it than that too, but for simplicity we will look at the MB of processing RAM)

I don’t think a driver is the way to go. Integrated graphics cards typically don’t have any kind of special features such as shaders, DirectX support or many other qualities and characteristics of a graphics processor that games need.

I recommend something at least three times what is recommended. You can use the 32 MB one just fine (the 19.99 one), but if you get anything higher, might as well spend a bit more and get the GEFORCE.

No good on the just installing without drivers, unless it comes with a CD. You’re going to have to install some kind of drivers and the best and newest ones are from the manufacturer. So you’d probably be best off downloading the drivers somewhere else and then getting it to the other computer one way or another. I could offer you an old AGP 32-MB card (a GeForce2 GTS that worked great with Unreal Tournament 6 years ago) for relatively cheap, along with a CD with the last drivers released by nVidia. Something that old still supports Open GL 2.0 and DirectX 9.0c, but I don’t think it has the hardware transform and lighting demanded by the newer games. Worked nicely with NWN (another older game) as well, but I had to replace it to play Civ IV and Pirates.

For a WinME computer, you’re best off, in my opinion, buying used. Unless you’ve got an early P4 in there, you probably won’t have the processing power or RAM needed to play modern games anyway, so buying anything larger than a 32-mb or 64-mb video card would be a waste of money.


Every graphics card I have ever bought came with a CD. Nowhere did I suggest that you just stick it in and it would work. My comment was in regards to merely upgrading the drivers to the integrated card.

You first need to know if you have an available AGP slot, a PCI-E slot, or, failing those, a free PCI slot. And if you need a small form-factor card or not. What is the make and model of the computer?

Buying “used”, you’re basically getting it off eBay, which will take a week at least. I need something I can go down to Big Boxville tomorrow and get.

Epimetheus, you make much sense. Thank you for clarifying that.

In addition, the majority if not the total of shop sold video cards are PCI-e (PCI Express)
Which by the sounds of it your computer is incompatible with.
If you have an AGP slot, then you may be still in-luck on the used market. As alot of the older “super power” style Nvidia 6800 and 6600 will be going for a song (compared to their original $180 - $260 price tags)
I can’t see alot of people holding onto PCI based cards as they were usually swapped out for an AGP alternative soon after purchase. So after-market this late in life may be slim pickings (Bear in mind the PCI slot cards were 4 X slower then there standard AGP slot competitor)
You never know though, once PCI-e came to prominence you may find a shed load of unused hi-spec PCI cards cluttering up some wholesalers floor.

Oops, my apologies for not noticing your system is older (the integrated card should have clued me in along with the Windows ME). Keep an eye out for Big-Box store GFX cards, as most will, as mentioned above, be PCIe. Also the expense will be higher, I doubt they will have 20 dollars cards, and most of what they have will be above 60. They may not even have AGP.

I don’t know about where you live, OP, but here in town we have a place called “Free Geek” that rehabs donated computers and we’ve picked up 16MB 4x AGP cards in their thrift shop for a buck. That’s a card you’re going to have a seriously difficult time finding new. Check e-Bay, but before you do you need to find out whether or not your board even has AGP support–many older boards don’t. If you don’t have an AGP slot you need to look for a PCI (not PCI-E) card. If you do find one, Voodoo is a good card and will do right by you.

Have you ever considered upgrading to a newer computer?

Aw, shoot, yeah, it says “1999-2000” when I turn it on and it loads up. It’s old. I didn’t realize it was quite such an antique, though. Under System Requirements, the Rise of Nations box lists “Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista”, so I assumed it would run.

So I’m pretty much S.O.L. then? Probably better not to mess with it?


Well, actually, this is our #3 computer. Currently we have Daddy’s Computer, which runs XP and has broadband wireless Internet; Daughter’s computer, which has XP and could run the Internet if we wanted to connect it all up, but which she uses for Sims 2; and Mom’s computer (mine), which is the old ME 'puter I went and got back out of the basement when Daddy and Daughter pretty much preempted #1 and #2. So I have all my games like Chuzzle and Age of Empires II on MY computer, and I was hoping that Rise of Nations would run, too, so I wouldn’t have to arm-wrestle two people for one of the other computers.

Well, you could order an older AGP card that would run on Windows ME just fine. Of course it would take a couple days, and if you are skittish about ordering from something like TigerDirect, I would say likely not. There are likely local places that would have what you are looking for, but it might not be worth the hassle of driving all around town (or calling every place) to find out.

Well, she could take me up on my offer to get rid of my GeForce2 GTS, assuming she’s got an AGP slot. A computer from 1999 or 2000 probably wouldn’t have 8x AGP, right? So one of these would work if she’s got a 2x/4x slot or one of these might work.

Anyway, it’s hard to make recommendations without knowing exactly what you’ve got. A full hardware listing would be the best, especially the type of AGP slot and the voltage of said AGP slot.

Or just telling us the make and model–that’d go a long way to helping us figure out if your computer can even be upgraded.

AGP slots changed in voltage used for the cards at some point. I think it was between 4x and 8x. They made cards that handled both voltages for a while. I’m thinking the age of the computer would make it the original AGP voltage.

Many early motherboards with built in AGP video didn’t have an open slot for upgrades. A PCI card would have to be purchased.

Okay, so, what I’m hearing is that there probably isn’t a quick fix where I can just go down to Circuit City and point, “Those. I want one of those.” If I’m going to have to go find out what my AGP’s voltage is–which is going to entail, first, finding out what an AGP is; second, where it is; and third, how I determine its voltage; and then after that, I get to figure out what, and where, its “slot” is–then frankly the whole project is definitely beginning to sound like it’s way out of my league. :frowning:

The computer is a eMachines “Tower”. It has stickers on the front that say, “Celeron”, “Intel Inside”, and “633 IDS”. That’s the sum total of my knowledge.

Maybe I should just go buy a new computer…Then we would have four (five, if you count the Windows 95 that’s still down in the basement.)

Your box is fully depreciated.
In your computing shoes, if I had $500 of fully expendable savings and a decent amount of reserve savings, I’d just get a new one.