Low power video card

Discussion about old PC hardware and Retro PCs

Low power video card

Postby olemogamer » 2008-11-12 @ 01:35

I recently picked up a Compaq Deskpro (small form factor) pc. It has a 450 mb PIII and a 4 mb ATI Rage Pro AGP card that's integrated in the mobo. I would like to upgrade the video card (there are two PCI slots) but I need a shorter card and the pc only has a 90 watt power supply. Any thing in the 16 mb range that meets this criteria? My Radian 7000 fits, but I get no video at all from it or the Rage when it's plugged in (I assume it's because of the ps).

I'm running Windows 98SE on this pc.
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Re: Low power video card

Postby 5u3 » 2008-11-12 @ 09:45

A quick web search lists 20-25 W for the Radeon 7000. A Geforce MX draws 10 - 15 W max. depending on the design, maybe that one'll work.

I'm not sure if power consumption of the video card is the real problem here, as the cards only draw maximum power when operating in 3D mode, which is not the case when booting the machine. Ususally power problems with video cards reveal themselves only when playing demanding 3D games.

You could hook up another power supply for testing, but there's a catch: Brand name machines often have non-standard pinouts on their power supplies, even when the plug looks like a standard one. So do not connect a PSU unless you're absolutely sure the pinout is correct!
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Re: Low power video card

Postby valnar » 2008-11-12 @ 11:56

I agree that it's probably not the power supply, but if you think it is, this is a worthy investment.
http://www.p3international.com/products/special/P4400/P4400-CE.html
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Re: Low power video card

Postby olemogamer » 2008-11-12 @ 12:40

Could the pci slots be bad? This pc is configured oddly. To save space, it has an expansion module connected to the mobo and the two pci slots are in this module. The pc won't work with this module removed. I do have a couple of other pci cards to check with, but I would have to remove them from other pc's I'm using.
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Re: Low power video card

Postby olemogamer » 2008-11-14 @ 12:48

The pci slots are working. I installed one of my 12 mb Voodoo2's and it worked fine in both slots. But I don't have many games that use Glide, so I really don't need two machines with Voodoo's in them. I guess I'll pick up an older 3d card for this machine.

It turns out though, I don't need this machine to play the game I wanted to play on it. I picked up Giants Citizen Kabuto cheap and it played way too fast on my 2.7 gig Celeron pc (winxp). So I was looking to upgrade the video card on the Compaq PIII instead. Well I loaded it on my C2D gaming rig and it played perfect!
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Re: Low power video card

Postby swaaye » 2008-11-14 @ 21:26

Get yourself a TNT/TNT2 or a Voodoo3. Both are available for PCI and give fairly compatible (very, very fast) DOS VESA compatibility and excellent 3D speed if you need it. And they don't have fans.
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Re: Low power video card

Postby keropi » 2008-11-15 @ 09:20

I would recommend a voodoo3 for an old pc (because of glide)
and since it gets VERY hot, adding a small fan would be a good idea. it is not required, but when you touch the heatsink after a while you will want to add one.
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Re: Low power video card

Postby swaaye » 2008-11-18 @ 19:58

They get hot but they're within specs I'm sure. After all, the cards are still working 9 years later!!

People just got scared because TNT and V3 were the first chips to get really hot. They're certainly nothing special these days! :)
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