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Install Old Graphics Card


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#1 benny269

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:27 PM

I currently have a Compaq Presario and as can be seen from this spec the graphics module is integrated into the mobo with its own allocated RAM. As such I have always found the PC a little slow, especially struggling with graphics-heavy tasks (ie loading 3D visuals).

I recently took apart an old and unused PC of mine which contained a graphics card labelled Geforce 2-MX32MB4L. My questions are thus:

a) Will installing this card improve graphics performance and free up system RAM?

:thumbsup: Is this card compatible with my PC and if so how do I install it?

Thanks in advance.

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#2 gavinseabrook

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 10:12 PM

Probably. It would be better than using integrated graphics. This will give you a graphics boost, not much as far as freeing up system ram, but it will be able to load all graphics faster.

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#3 acklan

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 11:51 PM

You computer has an AGP slot available. Does the old card have an AGP interface? You could also use it if it is a PCI card. If the card is very old you would do better to increase your RAM and max out your onboard video memory allocation. Simply by inserting a 128mb RAM module would off set the memory. You can pickup a DDR PC3200 128mb chip for as little as $20.
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#4 benny269

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 12:51 PM

Unfortunately, the alternative is not a viable option for me as my PC has only 2 RAM slots both of which are occupied to provide the 512Mb RAM currently installed and I am not prepared to upgrade a 256Mb module at this point in time.

The card has an AGP interface so I will install it in its appropriate empty slot if it is sensible to do so. I am currently just looking at if it would be beneficial to install the card as opposed to leaving it unused?

It seems that it would provide some benefit to graphics loading, and if this is the case I need your help and advice in installing it. Beyond sticking the module in the slot I don't have much expertise in the area.

Help needed and welcome as always. :thumbsup:

#5 gavinseabrook

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:21 PM

Most times, integrated graphics are between 16 MB and 32 MB video memory. Some go as low as 8. But the card will give you an improved performance in graphics then not, due to the fact that it has its own GPU unit performing calculations. I would reccomend going to www.tigerdirect.com and getting a better one. Usually they have decent ATI/Nvidia cards (around 128 MB video memory) going for around 20 bucks.

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#6 benny269

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:26 PM

Ok well unfortunately we don't have tigerdirect out here in the uk (maybe you can suggest a good alternative) and I don't want to spend money on any upgrades just yet as I see a whole new build coming on soon.

I have decided I might as well install the card just to see if it makes any difference. To that end - any advice on how to go about it? I can't find any info about this particular card or any drivers/downloads/support software. I can install it in the motherboard but beyond this I don't know. Should I just power up the PC after installing and let WinXP detect it?

#7 acklan

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:53 PM

I have decided I might as well install the card just to see if it makes any difference. To that end - any advice on how to go about it? I can't find any info about this particular card or any drivers/downloads/support software. I can install it in the motherboard but beyond this I don't know. Should I just power up the PC after installing and let WinXP detect it?

Generally if it is a very old card XP will have the drivers needed to install the adapter. Installing it will not hurt anything (unless it is a damaged card). Install it and allow windows to configure it for you. If it installs go to your BIOS and disable your onboard video. If there is no option to disable it reduce the allocated RAM to the minimum amount allowed. The RAM will still be allocated whether you use the onboard video or not, but you can configure down the amount allocated.
Before you install it download and install Everest v1.51. When the card is installed run Everest and it should tell you the type of video card it is and how much RAM it has. If need be we can find the right drivers for it if XP fails to configure the card.
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#8 benny269

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:03 AM

Ok I have now installed the card, and initially I thought perhaps the desktop loaded a little faster than usual - I cannot be sure. My monitor originally went black receiving no signal so I switched the connectors on the back of the PC hooking the monitor up with the graphics card rather than the motherboard. I got my display back. The display came up really big as it was also not set to my preferred resolution which I fixed through Desktop Properties. I'm assuming Windows recognised the card and installed the drivers (I did download the Everest utility before doing so as instructed).

I have just noticed that when I scroll within a window, for example in a long forum page like this one, the page doesn't smoothly move down as it used to in the past and instead seems to flicker. By this I mean that say if I scroll a whole lot with my mouse scroll wheel, the page will load one movement then the next and the next in quick succession but makes the scrolling 'juddery'. Why is this? Problem with the card?

I also need someone to guide me through the disabling of the onboard video. I have little experience in BIOS.

Many thanks.

#9 Mr Alpha

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:31 AM

This usually means the driver isn't installed and windows is using a low-performance generic driver.
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#10 benny269

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 12:27 PM

Ok, thanks to Mr Alpha there I did a little digging using the Everest utility I downloaded previously which (I think) identifies the GPU as "nVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400 (Leadtek WinFast GeForce2 MX)" and gives its GPU Code Name as "NV11" (looking under the 'Display' heading from the left hand side pane).

There was a link shortcut for driver download at the bottom of the information which I followed to an nVIDIA website and after selecting some options led me to this download.

Please can someone check and confirm that this is indeed the correct driver for this video card. If so should I download and install it or is there something else I should do first/instead.

Edited by benny269, 04 May 2007 - 12:35 PM.


#11 Mr Alpha

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 01:10 PM

Download and install. It is the correct driver.

At the right side of the download page you see the link Products Supported and it says the driver you have is for the GeForce 2 MX 400.
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#12 acklan

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:29 PM

There is no need to worry about your onboard graphics. They were disabled when your motherboard detected the new card. That is why you could not receive a signal when you plugged in.
I doubt that the plug in graphic card will be a match for your onboard graphics adapter. The MX\MX400 series would be considered a low level card by todays standards. While MB does not solely indicate power it does reflect some on the capabilities of the card. That card is going to have between 32 and 64 MB of memory onboard. In my opinion your onboard video will be better.
Nvidia makes a driver pack that covers several cards. When you go to the download page it may not even reference your card, but the driver pack will work.
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#13 oldf@rt

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:56 PM

Just looked at the link given for your compaq. You have the SiS video chipset onboard. If I remember correctly SiS based chips could barely handle 2d, let alone 3d.

The MX\MX400 series would be considered a low level card by todays standards. While MB does not solely indicate power it does reflect some on the capabilities of the card. That card is going to have between 32 and 64 MB of memory onboard

Absolutely correct, I just think it is much better than SiS onboard.
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#14 acklan

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 07:50 PM

Your right you oldf@rt. :thumbsup: I do not game or watch videos so the basic card does me well.
Since you have both, try both of them and post the results. Everyone loves test results and it may help someone else.
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#15 benny269

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 06:16 PM

Having installed the card I can safely say that its FAR better to use the system with the video card than it is without. Now I am not a heavy gamer, I have no copies of F.E.A.R. to test this with, however I do play poker in a virtual 3D environment which is where I see the biggest effects.

Before installation with the use of mobo onboard video, I was able to run the 3D environment if it was the one and ONLY application running. Changing views, modes and using various functions was painstakingly slow and heaven forbid someone send me a chat message. That would screw things up royally.

With the card however, I can now load and run the environment much more easily and quickly AND continue to surf the internet, use online messaging and a whole host of other things and the poker game runs happily in the background - no slow PC, no skipping frames, no mess!

That and I've finally reclaimed the 128Mb of RAM that was always allocated to the onboard video. HOORAY!!

Hope this proves helpful to someone. I had the best result I could have hoped for. My thanks to everyone who contributed.




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