VOGONS


First post, by senrew

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Like the title says, I've got a shitty HP P4 machine that I'd like to look into adding some kind of video card to in order to open up the range of games I can play on it.

The machine was my wife's family's old machine. Right now, I've got it setup as my DOSBox machine, and for that purpose it's running very nicely.

Here's a link for it's specs:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?d … &product=463301

I have my old SB Live! CT-4760, and the newest video card I still have, a GeForce 4, MX4000 (as according to tom's hardware, it's one step above the built in gma 900). Both cards are only DX7 compatible so not much help there. I've got a gig of pc3200 ram in there.

The first question I have is, what can I do video wise? This thing does not have an AGP slot. It's got the pin headers for one, but no actual slot. I know the absolute extent of PCI was a couple of 9500GT cards but good luck finding those. I could go up to 6200, I think with just the PCI slots.

How far advanced game-wise can I go with whatever video card I manage to stick in this? It's running XP SP3.

Reply 1 of 22, by DosFreak

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Zotac Releases GeForce GT 520 With Classic PCI Connector
This should work on that machine.

Review benchmarks so you can determine what can be played. It being a PCI card and not a high powered one at that along with your P4 will limit you.

Slap 4GB of ram in there and you could run Windows 7 decently.
(I have 7 32bit running well enough on my brothers XP 2800+)

Replace the HD with a 7200RPM one or even better a 64GB or 128GB SSD and then a regular HD for Data.

Last edited by DosFreak on 2012-03-14, 19:54. Edited 3 times in total.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 2 of 22, by senrew

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Holy Shit that is overkill.

I've got an A8-3500m laptop for modern stuff. It runs TOR at 30+ fps on medium presets and I'm cool with that.

Like I said, this machine is right now my DOSBox machine, but I've got a stack of games from 2002-2006 era that I'd like to play and I figure this machine will be a decent enough base? I have no desire to modernize it beyond a video card that will play shit like CoD1 and stuff of that era reliably.

Reply 3 of 22, by swaaye

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

That's a decent P4 box which would compare well to a Athlon XP 3200+, but unless you have a much nicer video card than a GF4MX, it's not worth gaming on. The 2001+ games typically work fine on modern hardware after all.

Reply 4 of 22, by jaqie

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

only having PCI slots (no pcie and no agp) severely limits what that machine can do. Personally if I were you I would sell that one on craigslist and then find one someone else is selling with an AGP slot or pcie slots. You could also find a p4 compatible motherboard that can take those parts in that board and just swap it out, that would increase your options dramatically. Places like geeks.com and ebay you can find some of those older LGA775 based microATX motherboards with agp or pcie for like $20.

Reply 5 of 22, by CapnCrunch53

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Unfortunately as everyone else said, with PCI you're limited pretty badly. That said, if you don't want to drop money on a new motherboard, I think you could accomplish your goal of running games from 2002 to at least 2004 if not later with a PCI card. Back in 2007 I was using a Radeon X1550 on a 3Ghz P4. I remember at the time it was one of the best PCI cards available, about tied with the 8600GT (which was rebranded the 9500GT later). At the time it got me by playing Source engine games like Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike Source fairly well with around 30ish FPS. It probably couldn't now since they updated the engine, but it ran other games like Halo perfectly.

If you decide to keep that motherboard, I'd look for one of those X1550 (apparently the X1300 is more or less the same card as well, and it looks like you can find them for $15 on ebay); they can be found very cheaply and like I said, I can vouch that it will at least run Halo. 2005 and later games might be pushing it.

PCs, Macs, old and new... too much stuff.

Reply 6 of 22, by sliderider

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

For light gaming under 2K/XP/Vista/7 you can put a 9500GT PCI in it, which is the fastest card currently for PCI, but 9500GT isn't that great for later games with lots of eye candy. There are two cards that came out after the 9500GT PCI that support later standards, the HD5450 PCI and GT520 PCI, but neither of them even comes close to a 9500GT in performance. The GT520 is the faster of the two and on paper it looks like it might be close to a Radeon 9800 or FX5800 in performance, but figures on paper don't always tell the whole story.

Last edited by sliderider on 2012-03-14, 20:17. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 8 of 22, by sliderider

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
jaqie wrote:

Does no one else realize what a bandwidth limiting factor PCI is for gaming on a system?

Why do you think they invented/developed AGP in the first place?

That's why later PCI cards are made with entry level GPU's and low bandwith memory buses. They don't use all the PCI bus bandwith.

Reply 9 of 22, by CapnCrunch53

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
jaqie wrote:

Does no one else realize what a bandwidth limiting factor PCI is for gaming on a system?

Why do you think they invented/developed AGP in the first place?

Yeah it's pretty terrible. I probably would have kept using that Pentium 4 Dell for awhile longer if it'd had AGP. I mean it even had the solder points for an AGP slot if I remember correctly, would it have cost them that much to spend the extra like 5 cents to put one in?

PCs, Macs, old and new... too much stuff.

Reply 11 of 22, by sliderider

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
swaaye wrote:

I would just relegate the thing to non-gaming duty somewhere.

Agree with this. The only Netburst machines I have that are still functional are a few workstations with AGP 4x or servers with Netburst based Xeons and AGP Pro slots. I wouldn't use any machine without at least AGP 4x for anything other than light duty.

Reply 12 of 22, by senrew

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Well, see, I don't want to do anything too amazing with this. It's main purpose is being my dosbox machine. I literally don't do anything else with it. I was just looking to up the video card to open up the range of what I can play on it. So, assuming I stick something like a x1300 or 6200. Just something DX9 capable really.

Reply 14 of 22, by senrew

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I have one.

Asus P3V133
PIII 933
512mb ram

I just don't use it cause it has some issues. Takes forever to get going from a cold boot, so I think it has some capacitor issues somewhere, but I haven't gone about looking for anything on the board itself.

Reply 15 of 22, by SquallStrife

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
jaqie wrote:

Does no one else realize what a bandwidth limiting factor PCI is for gaming on a system?

Why do you think they invented/developed AGP in the first place?

Relax, brah!

Sometimes people just have to work with what they have. If putting a PCI card in will help in some way, why not?

It couldn't possibly make things worse.

VogonsDrivers.com | Link | News Thread

Reply 16 of 22, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I too think a pci vga would be a waste for the system... it will be an improvement over onboard for sure but I would only bother with one IF I could get one cheap... paying 50+$/€ for a "modern" pci vga is just wasted money imho

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus , Action Rewind , Megacard and MK8330 soundcard website

Reply 18 of 22, by jaqie

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Like I said earlier, I would just find a p4 compatible mobo from geeks.com or ebay which you can swap into the system and has agp or pcie. If you look you can find one for $20 shipped or so, and with agp or pcie your options broaden dramatically and so does the potential performance of the system.

Reply 19 of 22, by AdamP

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I wouldn't bother with the CT4760 SB Live!. It can only do quadrophonic while your onboard can do 7.1. Probably the only thing your Live! has that the onboard doesn't is soundfonts. Although it might, just might, take some work off the CPU...

Don't expect to be able to run any 2004+ graphics-demanding games above minimum settings on a PCI graphics card. While they're better than onboard, they're not meant for even half-serious gaming. After AGP came along, PCI video cards were basically relegated to entry-level status. Same with AGP when PCIE video cards came along. They're primarily intended for people who only need bare minimum. That's why the higher-end cards have no PCI version. The bottom line is that some systems just aren't meant for gaming. Any 1998+ system without AGP certainly isn't. Older games however, should run ok.

I would just use the MX4000 if you can't find a better PCI card cheap.