Complete PC idiot (me) needs help selecting Video Card...
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jlo mein

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Ok....so my video card is starting to fail me.

It's had fan failure problems (twice), and my overclocking it rediculously without any tweaking knowledge or heat modification didn't help. Games now automatically crash when it gets to the graphics engine part of the game. I can get some low graphic intensive games to work if i UNDERCLOCK my vid card...lol
. Did i mention its a Geforce 2 mx400?


So...looking for something cheap to replace it. I'm trying to save for a Hard Drive MP3 player, and i know i don't have enough money to get me through another year of tuition, so i have to keep my budget in check. Hopefully something within $100-180CDN, the cheaper the better.

Not really a serious gamer, but i like playing stuff like Jedi Academy, Collin McRae 4, MLB 2004, and would like to play upcoming games like World of Warcraft, Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars Republic Commando, etc.

PC specs:

MSI K7T266 Pro2 mobo
AMD XP 1400+ (maybe 1600+?)
256mb ddr ram
geforce2 mx400 64mb
40gig hd (5400rpm?)
running winXP

Yes and i promise i won't overclock it this time...at least not without actually learning how to overclock haha...
 
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Elec

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I would suggest maybe a Radeon 9100 - 128 meg. It has decent performance, but it's old tech so it doesn't support all the newest nifty anti-aliasing and pixel shader type features in new games. They're about $60 US online. You don't want to get anything too fancy if you're not planning to use the rest of your system cause your CPU would likely hold back a faster card. There may be a newer Radeon or GeForce that is a better bet, but I get confused by the numbering systems since the generations overlap (9500, 9700 is older than 9600, 9800, 9100 = 8500, and I have no clue about the 9200 or the SE models).

The choice will probably be technology vs. speed. You can get some older parts that are only DX8 compliant and don't support the newest features but are simply faster and you can also get low cost "new" cards that support all the fancy new features but do so slowly.
 
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zoboomofo

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I've got a similar vintage
Intel machine to yours, and I'll say that my video card upgrade was well worth it. I would have picked up a 9600 Pro if the clearance 4200Ti's weren't so cheap. Try this here link.

These guys are local too so bonus.
 
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SumB

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Look for a used Radeon 9500 Pro on eBay. This will fit in your budget and handle modern games nicely. You'll also want another stick of ram to keep things playable. 256MB just doesn't but it anymore, and 512 is barely adequate.
 
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refault

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Within that price range I'd pick up an ATi 9600 Pro 128MB. They go for pretty cheap these days and you can even probably play HL2 with it when the game comes out (well, on the lowest settings though, because you're computer specs itself is your bottleneck.)
 
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