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Upgrade video card in "old" machine?

Discussion in 'ATI' started by paminof, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. paminof

    paminof Guest

    The machine is a Compaq Deskpro 2000 PII 266 MHz with 256 MB memory
    and an integrated PCI Matrox MGA 1164SG. It runs Win2k just fine and I
    want to keep it for now.

    It has full-length PCI slots, but NO AGP. The problem is that the
    video is maxed out at 1280x1024 @ 256 colors. It will do 64K colors
    with a proprietary memory upgrade (KTC-V834/2), if I could find one. I
    also want to use DVI with my ViewSonic VP181 monitor.

    I think I can disable the integrated video in BIOS, and install a PCI
    video card. I did a search at NEWEGG.COM and it looks like there are a
    few of those cards still around:

    Powercolor ATI Radeon 7000 32MB PCI RV6P-A3 = $41

    Chaintech GEFORCE4 MX440-8X 64MB PCI P-G486 = $53

    Both cards are PCI + DVI. Is this a practical solution and is it worth
    doing? Thanks in advance.
    paminof, Sep 6, 2003
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  2. paminof

    Kent_Diego Guest

    Powercolor ATI Radeon 7000 32MB PCI RV6P-A3 = $41
    I can see no reason why not. Be sure these PCI video cards are not "Mac"
    video cards and can be used in Windows PC. The cool thing about PCI video
    cards is than you can use them with other AGP/PCI video cards and have
    multiple monitors, although both the cards you listed support dual monitors
    when used alone. On the otherside, I found it is not worth spending money on
    obsolete hardware for old system when you could upgrade motherboard/CPU for
    less than $100, but for each his own. BTW Newegg is the best place to shop.

    Kent_Diego, Sep 6, 2003
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  3. paminof

    JAD Guest

    It has full-length PCI slots

    Just to clarify as you are using terminology that is normally associated with ISA slots....they are white slots 4 in (or so) in
    length not black 6 or 7 inches long.
    JAD, Sep 6, 2003
  4. paminof

    paminof Guest

    Kent, thanks for the reply. I would upgrade the motherboard if I knew
    how. :)

    I have an old DEC (Digital Equipment) machine with a beautiful case
    and a variable-speed thermostatically controlled fan (very quiet), a
    collector's item. I've no idea how to mount a new MB in there. I've
    always thought that new MBs wouldn't line-up dimensionally inside
    older cases (mounting holes, etc.), and that the ports wouldn't
    line-up with the cutouts in the back of the case. I'd love to learn
    how to do this.

    The Deskpro is obsolete, but I figured that you can't go wrong for
    $41. I'll get 1280x1024 with at least 64K colors to run my ViewSonic
    VP181 in DVI mode. For what I do (writing software) that should be

    BTW, do you have a preference among the available PCI/DVI video cards?
    paminof, Sep 6, 2003
  5. paminof

    paminof Guest

    I'm not sure, I was just quoting from the Compaq manual -- I did my
    homework. :) I think they mean that the case will accommodate
    full-length cards. The slots are red, if I remember.
    paminof, Sep 7, 2003
  6. paminof

    JAD Guest

    The slots are red, if I remember.yes this wouldn't surprize me even then, compaq refused to go with standards
    JAD, Sep 7, 2003
  7. paminof

    Strontium Guest

    paminof stood up at show-n-tell, in
    , and said:
    Most motherboards come with the I/O faceplate, for the back of the case. I
    think the determining factor is going to be the form-factor of the case you
    have. I've seen some cases that support MicroATX, ATX, and AT form factors.
    I've, also, seen cases that support only AT. Of course, you would also have
    to take the power supply into consideration, as well.
    Strontium, Sep 7, 2003
  8. paminof

    paminof Guest

    Thanks. About the power supply, I've seen them as high 300-400W.
    That's a lot of juice. The processor uses 10-15W? The drives & cards
    maybe another 10-20? I'd like to see energy-efficient PCs, at 400W it
    is also a space heater :)
    paminof, Sep 7, 2003
  9. paminof

    Strontium Guest

    What processor(s)/motherboard(s) are we talking about? The newest have
    gotten up to 50W, depending on die size (yikes!). I remember, back in the
    K6-2 days, it was at around 30W.

    paminof stood up at show-n-tell, in
    , and said:
    Strontium, Sep 7, 2003
  10. paminof

    J.Clarke Guest

    If it is a DEC or a DeskPro, which is a Compaq brand, then it is not an
    ATX case, or MicroATX, or FlexATX or AT or any other standard. DEC and
    Compaq both use proprietary form factors. Power supply pinouts are also
    usually proprietary on those machines and some don't have disk power
    coming off the power supply, instead it comes off connectors on the

    If it can be done at all it usually requires major case mods. Generally
    just not worth it when a decent case can be had for 40 bucks.
    J.Clarke, Sep 7, 2003
  11. paminof

    J.Clarke Guest

    Nahh, just cheaping out and buying surplus Microchannel connectors--a
    PCI connector is a Microchannel connector rotated 180 degrees, and the
    Microchannel connectors in the IBMs were usually red IIRC.
    J.Clarke, Sep 7, 2003
  12. paminof

    klink Guest

    I think anything more powerful than a Voodoo3 PCI or a TNT2 Ultra
    might be a waste of processing power in that machine. The trick will
    be finding them for sale. There are still a lot of surplus 3dfx
    producst floating around out there so it might not be too hard to find
    one still new in the box.

    klink, Sep 7, 2003
  13. paminof

    paminof Guest

    Thanks klink,

    I don't really know much about video cards, that's why I posted here.
    :) I used NEWEGG's search feature and specified:

    Slot Type: PCI
    Second Output: DVI

    The result was a short list of cards, and I picked the cheapest one.
    The Chaintech GEFORCE4 MX440 comes with free shipping, so it's
    probably the better deal.

    All I want is 1280x1024 with at least 64K colors to run my ViewSonic
    VP181 in DVI mode. I know that Compaqs were oddball machines, so I am
    concerned about compatibility.
    paminof, Sep 7, 2003
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