Need video card advice

Well, my old 3d card finally went down (although I have some final testing to do to make sure that’s the poroblem, I’ve seen graphical glitches that have been going on for a while).

There are a couple isues with replacing it: I need an AGP card, not a PCIx, because it’s an older machine. It has only about 256 MB ram (yes, you read that right) and a 2.2 ghz single processor. Yes, I am in the process of backing up my data. Anyway, I basically need to play WoW on it at medium settings or above, and can’t afford to blow a lot of money.

The other option is if can upgrade my laptop. That machine has 2 Gb ram and a Core2 Duo 1.8 ghz. This is a Vaio VGR-NR385e, and I’m trying to find out if/how I can install a laptop 3d card in it.

Anyway, any advice?

No, most notebooks do not have upgradable video.

Sounds like you’re looking for an ATI Radeon HD 4670. Here you go.

Does that 256 MB refer to the graphics card or the motherboard? If the latter, go to Crucial, run their scanner and buy more RAM.

YUp, 256 MB system memory, not the card (my old card has 128).

Can I get that card in America? I don’t fancy having it shipped across the Atlantic…

You don’t need a 4670 in a machine with 256 MB of RAM. Just check your local classifieds for someone selling an old AGP board. They don’t really suffer wear and tear so it’ll be fine.

Anything priced over $50 should crush WoW, but offer $25 and remind him you’re the only person in [region] looking for an old AGP card.

No point spending more on a modern card that’ll be just CPU limited anyway.

Of course

As you can see you’re actually paying more for the outdated AGP port version of the card, the PCiExpress card is $25 cheaper.

This will continue to happen until you upgrade your rig. Not only that but the limited system RAM and CPU means a lot of that GPU power is going to waste as any games you play will be CPU bound first. If you keep your old case, hard drive and PSU, you can probably build a nice modern rig for less than $400. Just saying :slight_smile:

You’d probably do fine with this XFX Geforce 6200LE. It’ll only run you about $50, and it should be able to handle World of Warcraft quite well.

Keeping the PSU might not be a good idea, even if it’s got sufficient wattage to power a more modern machine (which is unlikely). From the specs, I’m guessing the existing rig is many, many years old. Old power supplies do fail eventually, and when they do they can sometimes take down other system components with them.

Hard drives fail eventually as well, so at the very least if you migrate an old HDD to a new machine, make sure you have any important data backed up and that you’re willing to suffer a few days of downtime while you get a replacement when it inevitably goes kaput. :stuck_out_tongue:

Funny, I have the same exact problem. I have a Sony Vaio laptop (FZ290) with 4GB of memory, 2.40 GHz processor, and an NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT, which I guess is only 256MB. I was able to play GTA III but I just tried IV and it’s a no-go. :frowning:

I did the online chat thing with a Sony representative and he told me it’s not upgradeable (without getting a whole new motherboard, I suppose), so you may be stuck with that first option.

The problem with AGP is that since it is an older, deprecated interface, the new cards that are available for it sell for a premium. You do not find many *deals *on new AGP cards.

Check out eBay. You can find GeForce 6600GT AGP cards for under $20 shipped and Geforce 7600GS AGP cards for under $40 shipped.

Or he could go to Fry’s and get an Athlon II X3 425 & Biostar MCP6P M2+ (with Geforce 6150) combo for about $60. The 6150 chipset has performance similar to the 6200LE. Add $20 more for a 1GB stick of RAM and he has a cutting edge system for $80.

Actually, I checked again. I have 1 Gb Ram, (yeah, only off by a factor of 4 there!) But you are right I need to upgrade eventually.

As others have pointed out, AGP is old, as is your system, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. You’re not going to be running Crysis on that box, but then you don’t want to. The card I suggested will serve you well. You’d be better served by a motherboard upgrade + PCI GPU but you’d need a new CPU and new memory. And you’d likely have to reinstall Windows and everything else. So, it’s a case of what is most cost-effective for you.