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Old 11-03-05, 03:42 PM   #1
Baracade980
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Default PCI slot solution

Hey guys. A friend of mine only has PCI slots to work with to get a graphics card. He doesn't want to upgrade the motherboard since he won't have this pc for too long. However, he has it long enough that he wants to play some good games on it.

What would be the best PCI slot card for him to consider? I have tried a FX5700LE myself but the card I bought has a severe manufacturing problems and I don't want to suggest that he get that one. He also wants one with at least 256MB and 128bits if possible.

Thanks.
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Old 11-03-05, 04:25 PM   #2
saturnotaku
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Default Re: PCI slot solution

256 MB on a PCI card won't do him squat.

I think there was a thread (search for it) that said there would be a GeForce 6200 PCI, which may be an option. Otherwise, there are several FX5500 cards available that are 128-bit and cost right around $80.
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Old 11-03-05, 04:56 PM   #3
Baracade980
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Default Re: PCI slot solution

Wow. Thanks.

Now, does anyone have HELPFUL information?
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Old 11-04-05, 12:42 PM   #4
ricercar
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Arrow Re: PCI slot solution

The latest-and-greatest NVIDIA PCI card appears to be the 6200, http://www.chumbo.com/Info.aspx?id=304966, which is a NV4x series GPU core. I've never tested a 6200 PCI so I cannot comment directly on performance.

The FX 5700 performs better than any FX 5200/5300/5500. Even a FX 5700 LE will blow away a FX 5200/5300/5500. The 5200/5300/5500 all share the same less-capable NV34 core logic, while the 5700 is NV36. If you stumble across a FX 5600 PCI card (NV31), it ranks below the 5700 and above the 5200/5300/5500.

Ignore GF 4000 (NV18) or GF 2 (NV11) . Too old, too slow. It's a wonder that consumers still buy them, but the $5 GPU still has an OEM marketshare.

--
Despite the availability of a 6200 PCI, a faster GPU than your 5700 may not display better performance if you play with high texture detail and high resolution displays. The PCI bus really limits bandwidth.

My experimentation suggests that raw GPU horsepower has become irrelevant on the PCI bus. For example, my 5200 AGP doubles the Doom3 framerate of my 5200 PCI. This is bus restrictions, not GPU restrictions. Thus I can't expect faster data transfer from a PCI 5700 than a PCI 5200, but the PCI 5700 should offer better texture quality, anti-aliasing, filtering, etc.

You might think that any GF 6 generation GPU should be faster than any FX (5x00) GPU, but this has not always been the case. The low-end of a new generation often offers more image quality but less horsepower than the high-end of the previous generation.
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Old 11-04-05, 01:16 PM   #5
ew2x4
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Default Re: PCI slot solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baracade980
Wow. Thanks.

Now, does anyone have HELPFUL information?
Wow, and you're an ass.
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Old 11-04-05, 01:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: PCI slot solution

The PCI GeForce 6200, as suggested by ricercar, would seem to be the best PCI solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baracade980
Wow. Thanks.

Now, does anyone have HELPFUL information?
saturnotaku DID give you HELPFUL information. First off, a PCI slot graphic card solution is much slower than an a AGP & PCI-E slot graphic card solution, so all PCI cards will be pretty slow for games that were released from now to 2 years ago.

Second, since all PCI cards are pretty slow, 256 MB on a such a slow card WILL NOT BENEFIT IT at all. The only reason why you would want more memory on a graphic card is if you are planning play a graphic intensive game (like Far Cry, F.E.A.R., Half-Life 2, Doom 3, Quake IV, etc.) at settings like 1600x1200 with 4xAA/16xAF. On these slow PCI cards at those settings, having 256MB over 128MB would be like 1 vs. 1.5 FPS.

Just keep in mind that more memory is NOT always better. If that was the case, would a GeForce 6600 512 MB be faster/better than a GeForce 7800 GTX 256 MB?
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Old 11-04-05, 03:51 PM   #7
Baracade980
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Default Re: PCI slot solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by ew2x4
Wow, and you're an ass.
Thanks. I pride myself on being smelly and foul.

Seriously though, last time I came to the board and was polite, I got nothin except a bunch of crap. I usually like reasons behind "it won't do him squat" other than, "I said so." So, excuse the 'being an ass' part because, there is a reason.

Now, back to the real issue...

Besides the memory and cores, would it benifit him to get an Nvidia or an ATI? I'd like to stear him away from the FX line because I haven't had good experience with the PCI slot versions of those cards. If anyone knows of any benchmarks between the two for comparison, it would help.

He might be running some graphic intense games so I think a core with dx9 would do him better than one without. Keep in mind too he won't be running them full throttle with everything on max with AA and AF on all the way, the idea is to get them at decent framerates to be playable, while getting an ok graphic experience.
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Old 11-04-05, 05:43 PM   #8
technoid
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Default Re: PCI slot solution

Concerning the 256MB does nothing comment. Most of the time now days a PCI card only has a 64 bit data path unless it's filled with 256MB and then it moves to a 128 bit data path, so because of that 256MB does help quite a bit.

It's true that normally 256MB would be wasted on a PCI graphics card but since they always seem to stick a 64 bit data path on any PCI graphics card that's not filled to the max with RAM then 256MB does help performance.

I upgraded my sister-in-laws DELL system that only had a PCI slot with a 128MB 5200 and then traded it for the 256MB 5200 and picked up quite a few frames per second in a Q3A test run because of the wider data path.

But I haven't seen a 6200 that has a 128 bit data path so you may be stuck with a 64 bit wide path for that chip. It's too bad they don't at least give the PCI bus all the speed they can since at best it's pretty slow.

So I guess my only advice is to look at how wide the data path is and get one with a 128 bit data path if you can.
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