Fixing a P4 build for a family friend. Need cheap graphics card used.

Hans Gruber

Senior member
Dec 23, 2006
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I am looking on Ebay. I want a cheap used option for passive cooling (heatsink) that will do 1080p for basic web browsing via PCI-E 1.0 What is the best option of say a $10-$20 option?
 

Thunder 57

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Aug 19, 2007
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SPBHM

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Sep 12, 2012
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the negative with Radeons is that they are no longer receiving driver updates;
I would try some low end fermi, like GT420, 610... something like that.
 

thecoolnessrune

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2005
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An AMD R5 430 is based off of a re-spun GCN 1st gen core and is still receiving driver updates. It's like $25 on eBay. I'd take that over a 610 myself.
 

Hans Gruber

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Dec 23, 2006
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In my parts bin I have a couple of x1950pro's with 256MB of ram. I think I would have to upgrade the power supply to a 450w which is something I wanted to do originally. Right now the computer has integrated graphics running the machine.

You can throw all the good money at bad but some people want to hold onto their legacy systems. On a side note this system went from 1GB of ram to 4GB of glorious ram. From XP to Win7. I put in a 120GB SSD and ordered a $10 SATA 3 card for added speed.

I always leave loaner laptops because they always want to buy those as well.


Thanks for the feedback. Thoughts on the x1950pro?
 

NTMBK

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Nov 14, 2011
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What specific Pentium 4 do they have? You might be able to pick up an upgrade from eBay dirt cheap. My parents went from a 1.6GHz first-gen to a 2.4GHz Northwood (with a lot more L2 cache), nice little kicker. I mean it was still slow as treacle, but marginally less painful to use.
 

Hans Gruber

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Dec 23, 2006
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What specific Pentium 4 do they have? You might be able to pick up an upgrade from eBay dirt cheap. My parents went from a 1.6GHz first-gen to a 2.4GHz Northwood (with a lot more L2 cache), nice little kicker. I mean it was still slow as treacle, but marginally less painful to use.
It's a 2.8Ghz P4 with hyperthreading and supports 64bit OS. So it's one of the newer P4's.
 

Spjut

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Apr 9, 2011
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I don't think the x1950 is a good option because it's lacking hardware acceleration for h264, and probably for modern browsers as well.

Least I would pick is a DX10 generation card, preferably Nvidia since they had official support until 2016. But there should be alot of Geforce 400 cards available for cheap, and they still have driver support.
 

ElFenix

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question for those who may know: would a newer card like a geforce 710 not work?
 

Denithor

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Apr 11, 2004
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Be careful, that old of a system is likely an AGP video slot, not PCIe. Meaning you're going to have a hard time finding any cards that will even fit it. And none of those are likely to support much modern hardware encoding/etc.
 

Hans Gruber

Senior member
Dec 23, 2006
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Be careful, that old of a system is likely an AGP video slot, not PCIe. Meaning you're going to have a hard time finding any cards that will even fit it. And none of those are likely to support much modern hardware encoding/etc.
Good point, I will check and likely if my parts bin still has a ATI 9700pro and 9800pro I would be good to go on that front as well.
 

Hans Gruber

Senior member
Dec 23, 2006
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Be careful, that old of a system is likely an AGP video slot, not PCIe. Meaning you're going to have a hard time finding any cards that will even fit it. And none of those are likely to support much modern hardware encoding/etc.
I simply wanted a card that will support 1080p because the client has a 27" LCD monitor. Not really worried about HD content. Simply something that will support the resolution of the 27" monitor.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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I'd recommend the dumpster. At this point they'd just be throwing good money after bad.

Well here's a Radeon 4850 for $20.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ATI-RADEON-HD-4850-Video-Graphics-Card-512MB-Working/253475128773
I would recommend a new system as well. What OS are they running? If it is anything less than Win 7 that alone is a good reason to upgrade. IMO just not worth the time and effort to repair a system that old, when you are going to be stuck with a slow, outdated system anyway, for which all the other parts could fail at any time. Do you or they live close to a microcenter? They have a really good selection of off lease systems for a hundred to two hundred bucks.
 

Hans Gruber

Senior member
Dec 23, 2006
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I would recommend a new system as well. What OS are they running? If it is anything less than Win 7 that alone is a good reason to upgrade. IMO just not worth the time and effort to repair a system that old, when you are going to be stuck with a slow, outdated system anyway, for which all the other parts could fail at any time. Do you or they live close to a microcenter? They have a really good selection of off lease systems for a hundred to two hundred bucks.
It's not my call. I upgraded the machine to Win7 Home Premium 64bit from XP. When someone wants to keep their system, you do what you can. Besides I am a professional. I never leave anything to chance. If something breaks, I fix it. Rinse and repeat.
 

.vodka

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Dec 5, 2014
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Does that motherboard by any chance support 65nm C2Ds? You could make it much less painful to use if that's a viable upgrade path.
 

Hans Gruber

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Dec 23, 2006
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I have a couple of P35 motherboards and a retired C2D chip. I will check on the motherboard to see what it supports. It's a Dell Dimension E210 model.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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a lot of valid points, if the MB supports a C2D upgrade that's totally worth doing, and overall that's a seriously slow PC even for web browsing (Pentium 4 2.8); although the last time I tried the 3Ghz 65nm P4 HT last year it was not THAT bad, if you had a fresh install of Win7 with no AV/auto update and so on, but that PC had plenty of ram and a discrete GPU, far better than the average P4.


An AMD R5 430 is based off of a re-spun GCN 1st gen core and is still receiving driver updates. It's like $25 on eBay. I'd take that over a 610 myself.
I would just recommend to keep your distance from the R5 230, all the other R5 cards should be fine, because I think the 230 is the only one that uses a TeraScale2 GPU and not GCN, the 430 should be fine if it's a r7 240 rebrand (looks like it)
 
Apr 20, 2008
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-OPTIPLEX-790-Intel-2-9ghz-250gb-HD-4gb-DDR3-Ram-512mb-AMD-Radeon-Desktop/282861011720?hash=item41dbd48308:g:4PMAAOSwhcdakela

Dell Optiplex 790 - $76 shipped.

Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9ghz Dual Core
Intel HD 2000 igp (good enough for what you're asking for)
4GB DDR3
Radeon 6350 512MB (even better, but Intel might actually have relatively current driver support)
250gb HDD

Seriously have them recycle what they've got, backup all data onto a jump drive and go with this. It's actually not a bad setup for casual gaming, let alone web browsing. I'd put in a $50 SSD and call it good for the next 3-5 years.
 
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Apr 20, 2008
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a lot of valid points, if the MB supports a C2D upgrade that's totally worth doing, and overall that's a seriously slow PC even for web browsing (Pentium 4 2.8); although the last time I tried the 3Ghz 65nm P4 HT last year it was not THAT bad, if you had a fresh install of Win7 with no AV/auto update and so on, but that PC had plenty of ram and a discrete GPU, far better than the average P4.
Even when I changed from a P4 2.8HT to an A64 3500+ I noticed a big drop in multitasking stability. Audio would stutter much more often when I listened to MP3s and browsed the web or gamed with the same sound card. Not until I got the x2 4200+ was it smooth again. HT is only going to be utilized better from here on out and makes the original P4 not age as horribly as A64.
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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I dunno. I'm torn. I fixed up someone's P4 rig with XP a few years back, just before XP went EOL. They had fallen for the "Veendows Support" scam, and I had to clean up the mess. I nuked and paved. (With a new HDD, I saved the old IDE HDD and put it into a USB 2.0 metal enclosure, should someone with a pay grade higher than mine, want to recover some data from it in the future.)

Of course, all of that work, and the enclosure, new HDD for the unit (used a SATA WD 640GB, and an IDE-to-SATA/SATA-to-IDE converter), installation of XP, and updates, oh the updates.... anyways, it took me a number of hours to get it up to ship-shape speed.

I charged, oh, well, some reasonable amount, considering all of the time and hardware I had into it, but they seemed.... disappointed.

I felt bad that I charged them that much, for such an old machine, even though, that's what they asked. So I GAVE them a free refurb Win7 Dell/HP/whatever box I picked up off of Newegg for $99.99 at the time. I don't recall if it was Core2Duo, or Sandy Bridge Pentium, but it was a definite step up from a P4 with XP.

They didn't even use the refurb, client gave it to one of their relatives. Sigh.

It's hard to get people to "Change", or at least, convince them to upgrade.
 
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Hans Gruber

Senior member
Dec 23, 2006
572
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I dunno. I'm torn. I fixed up someone's P4 rig with XP a few years back, just before XP went EOL. They had fallen for the "Veendows Support" scam, and I had to clean up the mess. I nuked and paved. (With a new HDD, I saved the old IDE HDD and put it into a USB 2.0 metal enclosure, should someone with a pay grade higher than mine, want to recover some data from it in the future.)

Of course, all of that work, and the enclosure, new HDD for the unit (used a SATA WD 640GB, and an IDE-to-SATA/SATA-to-IDE converter), installation of XP, and updates, oh the updates.... anyways, it took me a number of hours to get it up to ship-shape speed.

I charged, oh, well, some reasonable amount, considering all of the time and hardware I had into it, but they seemed.... disappointed.

I felt bad that I charged them that much, for such an old machine, even though, that's what they asked. So I GAVE them a free refurb Win7 Dell/HP/whatever box I picked up off of Newegg for $99.99 at the time. I don't recall if it was Core2Duo, or Sandy Bridge Pentium, but it was a definite step up from a P4 with XP.

They didn't even use the refurb, client gave it to one of their relatives. Sigh.

It's hard to get people to "Change", or at least, convince them to upgrade.
Larry, I am somewhat beside myself trying to reason with my dad and his family friend. They want what they want and I can't change how people think. The P4 went from 1GB to 4GB. I ordered a SATA 3 PCI-E card to boost the SSD speeds past SATA 1 speeeds 140mb. Even with a half speed card the read speeds should be a minimum 300mb. Win 7 64 bit. It actually runs quite good for such as old machine if you compared it to a computer using a magnetic drive. There are a few more additions I will consider. I appreciate the suggestions on graphics cards and who cares if AMD doesn't update drivers. As if these graphics cards can run AAA titles to begin with.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
44,749
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Wait, if this P4 rig, has PCI-E x1 slots for a PCI-E SATA6G controller card, then it probably is new enough to take a Core2 CPU. I would get an E2180 (65nm), or if you're feeling especially adventurous, a Q6600, and try them.
 

cytg111

Diamond Member
Mar 17, 2008
9,873
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In my parts bin I have a couple of x1950pro's with 256MB of ram. I think I would have to upgrade the power supply to a 450w which is something I wanted to do originally. Right now the computer has integrated graphics running the machine.

You can throw all the good money at bad but some people want to hold onto their legacy systems. On a side note this system went from 1GB of ram to 4GB of glorious ram. From XP to Win7. I put in a 120GB SSD and ordered a $10 SATA 3 card for added speed.

I always leave loaner laptops because they always want to buy those as well.


Thanks for the feedback. Thoughts on the x1950pro?
Browsing .. whats wrong with the integrated ?
 

2is

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2012
4,289
127
106
the negative with Radeons is that they are no longer receiving driver updates;
I would try some low end fermi, like GT420, 610... something like that.
I don't think there's anything in a P4 build that's currently receiving driver updates

Browsing .. whats wrong with the integrated ?
P4 CPUs didn't have integrated GPU's. The systems back then that did have integrated were on the motherboard and they are extremely inadequate, even for browsing. The first Intel CPU family with iGPU was Sandy Bridge, and while it was a lot better than the motherboard integrated solutions before it, even those would be pretty inadequate for browsing today.
 

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