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Advice on upgrading a video card // and will I then find I need a new sound card?

Posted on 2004-10-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hi folks,

I have an older Gateway computer, Pentium III, 450 Mhz, with a 3Dfx Voodoo Banshee card with 16 MB of RAM.

I hardly ever play video games, but just got one for my birthday that I'd like to play.

It won't load because of the video display adapter, and the small print on the game package notes minimum requirements below - only relevant items copied here:

Video Card: 32 MB DirectX 9.0b compliant video card required (see supported list*)
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0b compliant sound device
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0b (included on disk)

* Supported video cards at the time of release:

Nvidia Geforce 2/3/4/FX/6 Families
ATI Radeon 7000/8000/9000 families
Matrox 400-450 and Parhelia
Hercules Kyro I & II
Intel Extreme Graphics Controller (All other Intel chipsets not supported)

So ... a two questions and background...
  I upgraded my hard drive a while back, so though not a professional, I can do basic repairs myself.

1)  Which of the above video cards would be a low-cost solution - and about how much should I expect to spend, and how easy is it to switch out my video driver?  If I have a choice, is there any reason to get more than the 32 MB of video RAM?  Alternatively is there a software solution to this?  I installed an updated driver for my Banshee, but it didn't make a difference.

In case it's of interest, I have a 1-year old Logisys, 17" video display - CRT // not flat panel.

2)  Assuming I get a new video card, will I then find that I need a Sound Card?  I currently have a several years old Creative SoundBlaster card.  Details from system information is below:

Name      Creative AudioPCI (ES1371,ES1373) (WDM)
Manufacturer      Creative Technology Ltd.
Status      OK
PNP Device ID      PCI\VEN_1274&DEV_1371&SUBSYS_8054107B&REV_04\3&61AAA01&0&60
I/O Port      0x0000FF00-0x0000FF3F
IRQ Channel      IRQ 10
Driver      c:\windows\system32\drivers\es1371mp.sys (5.1.3612.0 built by: WinDDK, 39.88 KB (40,832 bytes), 6/3/2002 11:18 AM)
      
Name      Creative SB Live! Value (WDM)
Manufacturer      Creative
Status      OK
PNP Device ID      PCI\VEN_1102&DEV_0002&SUBSYS_80221102&REV_07\3&61AAA01&0&70
I/O Port      0x0000FF80-0x0000FF9F
IRQ Channel      IRQ 10
Driver      c:\windows\system32\drivers\emu10k1m.sys (5.12.01.3300 built by: WinDDK, 277.63 KB (284,288 bytes), 6/12/2002 9:46 AM)

- end question -
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Question by:dsokal
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Assisted Solution

by:kiranghag
kiranghag earned 160 total points
ID: 12333163
in my opinion...you have decent sound cards...infact better ones...
so need not upgrade sound cards...
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Assisted Solution

by:hauk1net
hauk1net earned 340 total points
ID: 12333952
GeForce2 cards are the most likely to be compatible and are often available for only about $20 to $30.  They usually have 32MB memory and transform&lighting hardware, which is required by many games.  Sounds like you're good on sound cards.
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Accepted Solution

by:
hauk1net earned 340 total points
ID: 12333958
Afterthought...in review the list of Radeon cards...avoid those.  The 7000 and 9000 have poor compatibility records with older computers.
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