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video cards

i own a dell deminision xps 300 with 64 meg of sdram. i plan to upgrade to over 300 meg of sys memory. i plan to use seperate 2d/3d cards. i have read about everything about the new cards and even got a matrox mystique g200 with 16 meg. however, i found out while video cards are supportable with 16 meg/they may not neccessary have the upgrade yet to ship. i paid for 16 meg/matrox shipped the card with 8 meg and told me that they have problems with the upgrade and to wait until they got the bugs fixed before the additional 8 meg will be shipped. Later i found out the only card shipped with the full 16 meg was the velocity 4400. i sent the g200 back for a full refund based on misleading the customer. i will post this info on newsgroups.

i presently am using an stb 128 velocity 4 meg (not upgradeable due to oem/posting that too, a sony d2026t sony 20 inch trinitron monitor/soundblaster live awe card,wintv card/2940 ultrawide scuci card for my smart and friendly 426 delux r-w-rw.

all the info i have read is to use is a seperate 2d/3d card for optimization. i do have 1 agp and isa slot open. any price range is ok.
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ginooooo
Asked:
ginooooo
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1 Solution
 
ginoooooAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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ginoooooAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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larbelCommented:
Intel I740 (4 or 8Mb) = crap.  Buggy driver.  Slow in 3D, so-so image quality. (D3D, OpenGL)
Savage 3D (8Mb) = acceptable.  So-so speed and image quality, buggy driver.  (D3D, OpenGL)
Voodoo Banshee (16Mb) = acceptable.  Good speed and ok image quality. (D3D, OpenGL, Glide)
Matrox G200 (8Mb can be upgrade to 16Mb) = acceptable.  Best image of all, low 3D speed. (D3D, OpenGL)
Riva TNT (16Mb) = great.  Great speed, very good image but lacks Glide.  (D3D, OpenGL)
Rage 128 (32Mb) = ???  Too new to be verify.

These are the current line of 2D/3D combo cards.  For best 2D and 3D display, G200 is still the best card, it does comes in 8Mb with the ability to upgrade to 16Mb, but currently I have not seen the upgrade module as of yet.  The only drawback of G200 is slow in 3D speed in compare to most 3rd generation cards.  The Riva TNT is super fast 3D card for games, (ie Shogo runs in 1280x1024 16bit smoothly) however, any 2D res higher 1024x768 is slight blurry in compare to G200.  You will have to pick what's more important to you.  The Rage 128 is coming out end of the month with 32Mb, it promote itself as a fastest 2D/3D card, but remain to be seen.
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larbelCommented:
Also, if you're using Dell PII 300, you're using Intel 440LX chipset motherboard.  There're reports that the Rive TNT cards (Spectra 2500, Velocity 4400, Viper 550 etc) have problems running on 440LX.  The TNT cards require lots of currents, and some 440LX boards can't supply enough currents for TNT to even boot.  Check with Dell if you plan to buy TNT.
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ginoooooAuthor Commented:
these cards are 2d/3d on 1 card. i am looking for seperate 2d/3d cards only.
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harrysCommented:
Visit
http://www.3dlabs.com/products/index.html
for Information, they have 3D Cards with up to 96MB available
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larbelCommented:
Well, what exactly are you looking for?  3D as in gaming or as in 3D studio/Lightwave/CAD kind of 3D?

For gaming:
For 2D cards, your best bet is still Matrox G200, it still has the best 2D output at high res.  TNT/Banshee on the other hand would choke on anything over 1024x768.  A 8Mb G200 should get you to 1600x1200 with no problem.  Then wait for the 8Mb module upgrade will get you to 1920x1440.  As for 3D, if you want a 3D only card, there's no other choice then VoodooII 12Mb SLI (2 VoodooII 12Mb) the only problem is all this cards comes in AGP or PCI, there's *no* 3D card that are in ISA form!  And that's why I've suggested 2D/3D combo cards in the first place.

For 3D graphics:
AccelGraphics' AccelGMX 2000 PCI is a good choice, 98Mb running for about $2,900 or Oxygen 402 PCI 32Mb, take your pick.  (Still these are all PCIs)
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larbelCommented:
You really don't need a 3D only card these days, 3Dfx is great as their VoodooII SLI is still the fastest, but more often, you don't have enough PCI slots for 2 of these babies.  The only reason one should want a VoodooII is to run Glide game which only Voodoo supports.  Other than that, TNT is currently the best card for 2D/3D combo if you don't plan to go higher than 1024x768, and actually, it isn't all that bad too.  I run my Canopus Spectra 2500 16Mb at 1600x1200 under WinNT, still acceptable.

ISA is totally out...  There're currently no VGA 2D or 3D build base on it.  Your problem is that you have no PCI left in your system, and it only make sense to go with a 2D/3D cards if you can't free a PCI slot.  Good luck.
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larbelCommented:
Or perhaps a G200 16Mb AGP (yes, you will have to wait for the upgrade module), then a VoodooII 12Mb PCI once you remove the STB 128?  This setup would cover all of the games with good performance.


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ginoooooAuthor Commented:
perhaps i am still confused. will more sys or video card memory help with a balance of gaming/video/text on the internet? i plan to upgrade to cable modem soon. business graphics are not too important.
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larbelCommented:
More video memory only means you can go higher resulotion and color depth, it won't make your gaming/video/text run any faster.  I think your Sony monitor can support only up to 1600x1200 and hence, 8Mb is enough as 16Mb would get you to 1920x1400 in hi-color which is unusable to your monitor.
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larbelCommented:
Left out the system memory part, sorry.  Ok, with Win95/98 there're something called Virtual Memory, every apps. you run require certain amount of memory, and eventually when your system memory (ram) is running low, Win95/98 would create a file call Swap (*.swp) to use as virtual memory.  Since hard drive is a lot slower than ram, you might start to see system slow down, this is especially true when working with large photo editing programs.  And because Win95/98 is damn stupid when handling the swap file, depends on how many programs you're running and how many ram you have, the swap file might constantly changing size, this action along would even cause you system to run even slower, and you're likely to see your HDD LED kept flashing.

There's no way to completely eliminate the use of Swap file, but you can always set a limited to it.  i.e. under system properties>performance>virtual memory, you can set a minium size to the swap file, this would take up some HDD space, but would keep the swap file from constantly resizing.  But setting a maxium to the swap file is not suggested, because you might get out of memory error if the swap does exceed the size.  For 64mb a good minium size for swap is about 64mb of HDD space.

Another thing is your Vcache (disk cache), when you launch a program certain information is loaded into the disk cache (taken from your system memory) when make it runs faster when the next time your launch the program, this is good if you open a documents 10 times in one windows session, but since everytime you reboot, this informations would be erase, there's really no point of running a large disk cache (by default Win95/98 can make your disk cache grow up to 30Mb)  You can also set a limit to the disk cache to prevent it taken up all the ram, open up your System.ini and look under [Vcache] add these lines under it:

MinFileCache=8192
MaxFileCache=8192

You will have to experience for yourself to see what size suit you best, the example is a 8Mb disk cache 1024 X 8.  Reboot to take effect.

Usually, 128Mb would be enough for most people, included some workstations, but I really don't see any reason to go over 256Mb of system memory for home user.  Let me know if you have any more questions.

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ginoooooAuthor Commented:
thanks for being patient and sticking with me.
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