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Stupid PCI video card question


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#1 whitestingray81

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 08:27 AM

Hi there,

 

I have an older computer that has horrible video, so I'd like to add a cheap video card to it. I do not use it for gaming, but would like to use it as a "media" PC and hook it up to my 42" Vizio flat screen, which has a VGA input, amongst others. Anyways, the computer is an HP a1034n, which has a 3.0GHz processor, and 4GB maxed-out ram. I run Windows XP and/or Zorin (Linux) on it.

 

Anyways, the big, stupid question here is: The computer only has PCI slots. No AGP, or PCIE slots. So I've been looking for a cheap, used PCI video cards on eBay, but all seem to have a second "notch" further back on their contacts. Why is that? Would a card like this fit in my PCI-only computer? Thanks!



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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:43 AM

Should work fine.

 

Not sure of the purpose of the extra slot on a PCI card.  On later AGP cards the slots(s) were used to separate cards that required differing AGP voltages.  On PCI, if the card fits the slot, it should work.  When you have a slot that requires a notch, and your card doesn't have one, then you worry.

 

EDIT:  Here you go.  I was curious as well.

 

http://hsi.web.cern.ch/hsi/s-link/devices/s32pci64/slottypes.html


Edited by dpunisher, 04 September 2013 - 09:46 AM.

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#3 whitestingray81

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:32 AM

Wow, so the difference is 32 bit or 64 bit. That's news to me. Thanks for the link; my searches didn't yeild anything.

 

I wonder if the notches all line up... only one way to find out.



#4 dpunisher

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:00 PM

No, 3.3V or 5V.  Only thing that had 64bit PCI slots were servers.........old school servers.


I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#5 whitestingray81

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 01:25 PM

Roger that; I got it now. Thanks again!



#6 whitestingray81

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:31 PM

Okay, I finally got around to getting a video card. It is a (used) BFG NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS with 512MB DDR2 SDRAM. I installed it, and started Windows XP. The graphics were all messed up, but that was to be expected. The NVIDIA software was installed, and I restarted. It looks GREAT! Couple of problems though:

 

1. My RAM is now down to 2.68GB. I guess that is to be expected since the card is taking 512MB?

 

2. I can't flippin' figure out how to disable the onboard graphics. I go into the BIOS, and the graphics are set to "PCI", but there is no provision for turning off the onboard GPU. The only thing close to it is a menu of 10 or so values. The stock setting is "8MB/0MB/120MB/128MB." It's under "Onboard Video Memory Size." There is no settings for "off" or "0." To further compund the problem, I can plug in the VGA cable to the onboard graphics and it will work along with the DVI output of the PCI card, so clearly it is still "on." BUT, I cannot get the DVI output to work in conjunction with the VGA output from the video card to work at the same time! That's frustraing. Maybe the PSU is underpowered? This has got to be a settings issue.....



#7 whitestingray81

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:45 PM

Been messing around with stuff, not getting anywhere. The 8MB/0MB/120MB/128MB thing is Pre-allocated/Fixed/DVMT/Total, whatever that means. Still can't turn off the on-board video. Also, the DVI has stopped working.... don't know if it's the card or the monitor.



#8 myopinion

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:54 PM

All reasonable questions BTW:

 

 

My RAM is now down to 2.68GB. I guess that is to be expected since the card is taking 512MB?

Sounds about right to me.

 

 

I can't flippin' figure out how to disable the onboard graphics

I had an old 2004 mobo that worked the same way. No discreet turn off option. Just a first choice option (like yours). 

 

 

 

The stock setting is "8MB/0MB/120MB/128MB." It's under "Onboard Video Memory Size."

IMHO, not worth worrying about this setting if you are using a discreet card as PCI is first choice now.

 

 

 I cannot get the DVI output to work in conjunction with the VGA output from the video card to work at the same time!

Don't know the answer to that one because I've never tried using both the VGA and DVI outputs simultaneously (on a discreet card); however, that "either or" sounds right to me because it seems like the graphics card would have to do duplicate signal processing and that could possibley lead to heat-related issues. This is just a guess on my part.

 

Good luck.


Edited by myopinion, 04 October 2013 - 06:56 PM.


#9 whitestingray81

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:49 PM

Thanks for the input! It seems you have confirmed what I have found. For whatever reason, the DVI and VGA on the card cannot be used at the same time. I assumed they could be as in the product description it said 2 monitors could be used at the same time. That is still true, but one has to be the onboard VGA.  Also, on my new HP P7 I can use the DVI and VGA simultaniously from the on-board graphics. Of course this computer is 9 years newer.... But I digress.  Ahh well.

 

What I don't understand is I still can't play HD video without lag.... hmmmm.






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