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Need New Video Card For Vista Upgrade

I am looking at the possibility of upgrading to vista. I ran the upgrade wizard and it looks like I will need a new video card.

Presently I have a Radeon 7200 AGP with 64 MB memory. I assume this is a PCI card. I have an Abit KG7 motherboard and 1 GB ram. The DAC is internal DAC, 350 Mhz. I am using a Mag 17" LT-765 monitor.

I have never outright purchased a video card in my near 10 years of computing, except with a new computer. There are so many types out there I am a very confused senior citizen.

I don't need a gamer video card but I heavily use Photoshop CS2 & PSP 10 with Raw files from a Canon 10d. Other than that my video needs are quite ordinary.

Basically what type video card do I need and what should I stay away from? I also do not need to spend an arm and a leg on it but I'd be willing to go $100 to a max of $150.

My first ever video card was a #9 imagine 128 with 4 MB VRAM with a price tag of $600 that went in a 200 mhz Pentium Pro. My how times have changed.

Any help is highly appreciated.
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HMCS
Asked:
HMCS
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2 Solutions
 
AndreDekoltaCommented:
Good luck!
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Titanium_SniperCommented:
A graphics processor that runs Windows Aero
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Titanium_SniperCommented:
You should wait for A graphics processor that runs Windows Aero to be availible
otherwise you cannot get all the cool features in vista
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garycaseCommented:
Hi HMCS - how's the recording project (old cassettes) coming along ??

I'll answer your question, but first a bit of advice:  if you're happy with your current video card and XP, there is no compelling reason I can think of to upgrade to Vista.   Is there some specific feature that's causing you to lean towards an upgrade?   In fact, even if you upgrade with your current card, Vista will run fine -- it just won't use the newer "Vista look" graphical display.   ... so the video card upgrade is not a compelling requirement.

... now for the upgrade question:  Assuming you DO want to upgrade to Vista, and want a card that meets the requirements Microsoft has stated for this upgrade (Direct-X 9 support and minimum of 64mb of graphics memory, with preferably more), ANY ATI card (I'll stay with the Radeon cards so your upgrade path is as simple as possible -- you already have Radeon drivers installed) at the 9500 level or above will work fine.   Specifically, here's what ATI says:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ATI product series supported by Windows Vista:

    * Radeon® 9500, 9550, 9600, 9650, 9700, 9800, X300, X600, X700, X800, X850
    * Radeon® X1300, X1600, X1800, X1900 series
    * Mobility™ Radeon® 9550, 9600, 9700, 9800, X300, X600, X700, X800
    * Mobility™ Radeon® X1300, X1400, X1600, X1800
    * Radeon® Xpress 200, 200M
    * FireGL™ V7350, V7300, V7100, V5100, V5000, V3200, V3100
    * Mobility™ FireGL® V5200, V5000, V3200, V3100
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Given your useage, I'd think anything at the 9600 level or above would be fine.   While I generally prefer "ATI" cards to the other ATI-chipset cards, this Sapphire card is an excellent value:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102410

... if you want some serious graphics performance (a bit above your budget), you could spring for this:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102609   (but I personally see no reason to do so)

... if you want an ATI-manufactured card, these would both be good options:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102428   (a nice 9550, and no fan to worry about)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102581  (a 9600 All-in-Wonder, which would also give you a TV display and video capture capabilities if you ever wanted to use them => this is essentially the card I'm using at the moment -- mine's an AIW 9600XT)

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HMCSAuthor Commented:
The upgrade advisor said 128 and not 64. The recording is going great. I've transferred alot of old and fragile cassettes to something more durable. Thanks for the assist on that :-) some great oldies that never made it to being released to CD will now be preserved.

I'm probally aiming at Aero. Others on this forum have mentioned an Aero specific card. I have no clue on this.

Remember that I have a 160 GB drive partitioned into two 80 GB sections, each having a copy of XP on it. I'll probaly put Vista on one partition and leave one XP as it is.

I have 3 computers and this is the only one that I know for a vact is basically ready for Vista. My old 1 GB Athlon and 512 isn't & has integrated everything. My fairly new Gateway, which I love to hate, might run it but I just don't like it.

Given this, what do you think? Vista hasn't even been released yet but I'm thinking ahead. Oh and BTW there is a Canon 30d in my immediate future thanks to in income tax refund!


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_Commented:
>> Presently I have a Radeon 7200 AGP with 64 MB memory. I assume this is a PCI card <<

AGP and PCI are different slot types. You might be able to find a top-end AGP card to handle the AREO interface, but video cards today are using the new PCI-E 8x/16x slot.

Off the top of my head the Radeon® 9500, 9550, 9600, 9650, 9700, 9800 are APG, I don't remember about the others that garycase posted.
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garycaseCommented:
coral47 => I missed that comment, but I did look up the board to confirm it had an AGP slot.
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
It is probally an AGP slot then, not PCI. I get confused with all these changes and such, as I'm not of the "younger set" anymore.  I just want to be sure I get the right card and not get the wrong one and be singing the blues later on.

I doubt that the Abit KG-7 uses the newer PCI-E 8x/16x slot. Now how high a "top end" card are we talking about to handle the Aero?

Ack! I can see even with Vista a distance away it is already causing ripples (acid indigestion) among the computing public. I've never seen a new OS cause this much press. I'm wondering in some ways if Redmond bit off more than they can chew?
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garycaseCommented:
The KG-7 definitely does not have a PCI-e slot;  it has an AGP 4x slot.   The 4x/8x cards I suggested SHOULD work, but will run at 4x speed.   However, not ALL 8x cards will work in all 4x slots -- it depends on the voltage capabilities of the motherboard and the card.   I've used a Radeon 9550 8x card in a board with a 4x slot with no problem, but have not used any of the specific cards I listed above in a 4x slot, so can't say for certain which will/won't work.   But you'll have to try one -- none of the available AGP 2x/4x cards are included in ATI's list of Vista-supported cards.

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garycaseCommented:
... I'd spend your extra $$ on a nice new Canon 30D instead of Vista for now :-)
(in fact, I'd probably just wait until your next PC upgrade, and Vista will undoubtedly come with it)
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
Thie more I think about this I am struck by the futility of trying this upgrade considering too many what ifs about the compatability of the AGP card. This to be is too much of a gamble to risk on something that "might" work, then on the other hand be a total disaster.

I think I'll wait till the smoke clears out on what is what with Vista and see what is available in a custom line. I like to specify what goes into a computer from the ground up & as little of this "on board" stuff as you can get. Plenty of *real* hardware :-)

For all intents and purposes the 30d is paid for, not bought yet tho. The card was going to come out of my normal budget but maybe I'll invest in a bit of music by Joseph Rosenblatt or a little bit of Shlomo Carlebach or Naftali Hershtik.

Gary I'll take your last comment as the answer but if you will kindly write up a little wrap up, I'd appreiate it greatly :-)
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garycaseCommented:
Glad to.  As I noted at the beginning of this thread, it's not at all clear that there's any compelling reason to upgrade to Vista for what you use your system for.

... IF you want to upgrade to a video card that's compatible with Vista, what I would suggest is buying this one:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102410
It SHOULD work -- and if for some reason it doesn't, you'll only lose $5 shipping, a $9 restock fee (15%), and about another $5 to ship it back -- roughly a $20 bill.    Or you could try a slightly higher cost (& therefore $3 more in restock fees if there's an issue) ATI 9550:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102428   I HAVE used a 9550 in an AGP 2x/4x slot and it worked fine -- but that was last year, so this is probably not an identical card; and of course it wasn't the same motherboard.

... Trying a video card wouldn't be a "total disaster" => but it might cost you a $20 bill :-)

I agree, however, that simply waiting until Vista is out and the "smokes clears" is not a bad idea.
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
I'll think about the possibilities you have mentioned. As always I appreciate your straight forward no nonsense approach. I can always trust your advice as being directly to the point.

Best of luck and good computing :-)

HM
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_Commented:
Thank you much.    : )

Since Vista will not be released until after the first of the year (current guess from MS), you have about a year to decide what your new system will be.

Here's a little "quick n dirty" look at Vista Hardware needs:
http://www.expertsrt.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=731
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
I took a quick peek at that link you gave me. Looks like my next PC will be loaded to the gills. Since I work with PS CS2 & PSP 10 and large RAW and Tiff files I can see a motherboard capable of holding the max amount of ram (4 GB) & a processor that won't faint and fall out.
Naturally a SATA drive of large proportions. AERO is still up in the air right now as to what video card it takes to run it. As earlier it was stated there may well be an AERO specific card in the works.

This whole thing may wind up with a cure worse than the disease.
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_Commented:
>> wind up with a cure worse than the disease <<   I will have to remember that one.   : D
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garycaseCommented:
Vista and 64-bit CPU's won't be limited by a "paltry" 4GB --- start saving your pennies for 8 or 16GB !!

... and a nice new dual-core Intel Conroe CPU  :-)   (I'm going to build one of these either this fall or next spring)
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
8 to 16 gigs? holy moly!!! I think that would make photoshop go at warp speed. But I can dream :-) I must investigate this further!!!
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_Commented:
Just to keep things interesting; the new AMD cpus are moving to DDR2 ram sticks, and the new Intel cpus are moving to DDR3.

You might want to keep aspirin handy while trying to figure out the new hardware. I do.   ; )
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garycaseCommented:
In addition to the aspirin, keep your checkbook handy !!    These new toys cost more than a few pennies !!   Of course everything is relative -- I still remember buying a 16K (Yes, K) memory card in KIT form (over 1,000 solder points) for $1200;  and a 26MB  (Yes, M) hard drive for a tidy $4500 !!
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garycaseCommented:
... by the way, what is it with retired Navy guys and fancy digital SLR's ??   I have two friends who are both retired Navy and they both have digital SLR's ==> one of them has a virtual collection of them (I don't think he EVER gets rid of a camera).   He's currently "lusting" over a Nikon D2X :-)
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
Gary.........I don't know about the rest of the retired USN guys but 2007 will mark my 47th year as a professional photographer, although I am greatly semi-retired thanks to that pesky stroke I had 19 months ago. That cut's into your lifestyle a bit I'd say.

I have film cameras I hardly ever use. Maybe it's like some fishing buddies of mine. They always have the latest lures, hardly ever use them and and can't find the right one half the time when the fish are biting. I sit there with my lowly beetle spin and reel em in. (evil grin)

I've gone the digital route. I have 2 digitals now: the Canon 10d and a small older little Fuji. It's so much fun to take a few pics and then run back and "process" them. I do it the hard way...RAW format. Then if you don't like them you take more. I'm afraid soon film cameras will be obsolete. Several camera makers are pulling out of the flim camera market or are cutting back their lines alot. I might pick up a few extra Canon EOS bodies (the chepaer ones) and keep em around. It will still be years before film becomes a thing of the past. Sheet film will probally be the first to go (I have a 4 X5 & a 5 X 7 press), next will be roll film (120, 220) and last 35mm.

Yea, prices are relative and keep going up but not my paycheck.I've got some good computers per se. nothing really fancy out of this world play toy but I think I could do better. This is why Vista and now looking at another computer. Even what I probally pick out (components, etc) will be obsolete by the time Vista comes out.  But I guess i'll still wait till the dust clears. I remember the furor when Windows-NT4 came out.

Years ago I dare not dream of 4 GB ram. I could not afford it for one thing. Now it is a possibility with ram being as cheap as it is now. I'm not sure if I could afford more but you can bet your bottom dollar that if and when I can find a motherboard that can support it, I'm going to make it my future motherboard. Crunching large Tiff and Raw files does take ram, expecially with Photoshop CS. I have 1 gig in this computer and I have managed to either lock it up or slow it down to a crawl.

Not familiar with DDR2 or DDR3, must investigate further. Oh well, back to the "real world".

Be well

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garycaseCommented:
Both of the guys I referred to also do all their work with RAW -- and are both CS2 users as well.   The "collector" has about 6 Nikon film SLR's and 3 digitals -- and as I noted is about to buy a DX2 (he and his wife are both retired Navy Captains, so he can afford a lot of "toys").

Just think of DDR2 & DDR3 is just "faster" memory -- and obviously (all other things being equal) faster is better :-)

... as for remembering when you "dare not dream of 4GB" -- I remember when I "lusted" for 64KB !!
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
I'm only a retired senior chief with 24 years service. I knock down a few coins but nothing like a 4 striper. If he has all that money why not get a Canon 1D and be done with it?

Get a "Blad" (Hasselblad) with a digital back! (drools)
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garycaseCommented:
He's already got a Hasselblad film camera -- but I doubt that even Bill (my friend) will spring for an H2D-39 !!

As for a Nikon D2X vs a Canon 1D => he's a "Nikon guy" -- I doubt he'd consider the 1D "better" :-)

Amazing how many retired Navy and Marine guys I know (I'm retired AF myself).
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HMCSAuthor Commented:
I was USN but I spent 23 of 24 with the USMC. I was an 8404/8472 NEC (Field Medical Service Tech & Medical Photographer. I wanted so bad to be a PH (Photographer's Mate) but could not get in. Getting in to Medical Photography school took some doing.

The H2D-39 or something like it is kin to being in digital heaven but the price tag will send your finances reeling in the other direction. I hear there are digital backs now made for the 4" x 5".

I think there are digital backs also for the Bronica and RB-67. Also out of my league!
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garycaseCommented:
Getting back to your original question ... you might want to read this:
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9000829
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