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

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cytg111

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I don't think there's anything in a P4 build that's currently receiving driver updates



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.
Yea I know its on the motherboard, but still dont understand why it is inadequate. What about browsing is so taxing on the GPU these days? Flash games? Ads? What is it we wanna offload to the GPU that improves the browsing experience - that a 2.8Ghz Northwood cant handle?
 

2is

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Apr 8, 2012
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Yea I know its on the motherboard, but still dont understand why it is inadequate. What about browsing is so taxing on the GPU these days? Flash games? Ads? What is it we wanna offload to the GPU that improves the browsing experience - that a 2.8Ghz Northwood cant handle?
If you don't understand you've never used one. It can't even do youtube videos without offloading to the CPU and on a P4, even a 1080P video is going to tax it pretty hard which slows the rest of the system down to a crawl, assuming it even plays smoothly at all without having to render at 720p

Windows animations would be choppy as would browser scrolling on any web page with even minimal multi media content. These solutions were redacted even back when P4 was the latest and greatest CPU.

Profanity is not allowed in tech areas.

AT Mod Usandthem
 
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MrTeal

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Dec 7, 2003
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Clarkdale had an on-chip iGPU as well, though it wasn't integrated onto the die like Sandy Bridge was.

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.
I'm not sure if the E210 exists, but if you meant an E310, that model has a 915G chipset and doesn't support Core 2.
Is this the MB?
https://www.amazon.com/Dell-WJ770-JC474-Motherboard-Dimension/dp/B0052YB256


If that is your model though, isn't the PCI-E slot only x1? You'd need to cut off the end of the slot to install most graphics cards, which is getting pretty far into "You need a new computer" territory.
 
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Hans Gruber

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Dec 23, 2006
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Clarkdale had an on-chip iGPU as well, though it wasn't integrated onto the die like Sandy Bridge was.


I'm not sure if the E210 exists, but if you meant an E310, that model has a 915G chipset and doesn't support Core 2.
Is this the MB?
https://www.amazon.com/Dell-WJ770-JC474-Motherboard-Dimension/dp/B0052YB256


If that is your model though, isn't the PCI-E slot only x1? You'd need to cut off the end of the slot to install most graphics cards, which is getting pretty far into "You need a new computer" territory.
Yes it's an E310 and that is the motherboard. I am fixing it for a family friend. I just put in an SATA 3 card in the PCI-E 1.0 slot. Will let the forum know what the speed of the SSD later tonight. I just installed the card and loaded the drivers. Boots from the SATA 3 expansion card. It's a half speed card so 140MB reads is the SATA I benchmark.
 

MrTeal

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Yes it's an E310 and that is the motherboard. I am fixing it for a family friend. I just put in an SATA 3 card in the PCI-E 1.0 slot. Will let the forum know what the speed of the SSD later tonight. I just installed the card and loaded the drivers. Boots from the SATA 3 expansion card. It's a half speed card so 140MB reads is the SATA I benchmark.
If you're using the PCI-E x1 slot, where are you going to install the GPU?

Unless I'm missing something, the only expansion for that MB is the PCI-E slot you're using for the SATA card, and the two PCI slots.
 

B-Riz

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Feb 15, 2011
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Is a PCI vid card too bottle-necked to be worth trying in ye old P4 box?
 

MrTeal

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Is a PCI vid card too bottle-necked to be worth trying in ye old P4 box?
Even if it wasn't, finding a PCI video card worth installing at a reasonable price is going to be a nightmare. Companies continued to make PCI cards for quite awhile just for compatibility reasons, but even then they were low performance ones and low volume. Apparently there's a 5450 out there in PCI form, but PCI hasn't been the preferred bus for a top video card for more than 20 years.

A quick eBaying didn't find the HD5450 in PCI form. You can find FX5500's in PCI flavor on eBay for ~$25, but I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a card that was kind of a dud in 2004. :p
 

nathanddrews

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GMA900? Brutal. As far as PCI-only graphics options go, I can't add anything that hasn't already been said - the used market is the only way you'll find anything for $20 or less. That said, $30-40 toward a modern-ish PCI graphics card (GT 710, etc), will bring a LOT to the system for doing anything related to accelerating 2D/3D and video as they pertain to browsing.

I just restored a socket 775 (Core 2 Duo) system on an NVIDIA nForce board and it actually does very well with browsing, very low CPU usage even with 1080p video on YouTube/Netflix. I recall my first Core 2 Duo machine with GMA3000 struggling to browse anything with heavy video content.
 

B-Riz

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Feb 15, 2011
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Is GeForce 6200 the last hurrah of nVidia PCI cards?

Nope, looks to be GT 610.
 

MrTeal

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Is GeForce 6200 the last hurrah of nVidia PCI cards?
Nope, there was a GF119 based Fermi card in the GT 520 / GT 710. Zotac made one in the ZT-50610-10L, not sure on any other manufacturers. Finding one would be the problem.

Really, it might be cheaper and perform better to connect the SSD to the onboard SATA1 port, and use the PCI-e x1 for a GPU.
 

B-Riz

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Feb 15, 2011
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Nope, there was a GF119 based Fermi card in the GT 520 / GT 710. Zotac made one in the ZT-50610-10L, not sure on any other manufacturers. Finding one would be the problem.

Really, it might be cheaper and perform better to connect the SSD to the onboard SATA1 port, and use the PCI-e x1 for a GPU.
I think that is the better option, the x1 vid card would be cheaper.
 

MrTeal

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I think that is the better option, the x1 vid card would be cheaper.
If you're not afraid of a little surgery, you can shave off the plastic on the end of the PCI-e slot and install a x16 card, which would open it up to whatever's in the parts bin or can be scrounged basically free of Kijiji. I've done that with T3500 Dell workstations with x4 slots, and it works fine.
 

B-Riz

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If you're not afraid of a little surgery, you can shave off the plastic on the end of the PCI-e slot and install a x16 card, which would open it up to whatever's in the parts bin or can be scrounged basically free of Kijiji. I've done that with T3500 Dell workstations with x4 slots, and it works fine.
I have heard of that. There is no loss of functionality vs what the x1 would provide?
 

MrTeal

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I have heard of that. There is no loss of functionality vs what the x1 would provide?
No, it just gives a x1 link so you'd obviously be bandwidth constrained. For mining it wasn't an issue, but for gaming it could be


For what this computer would be used for I can't imagine it being a big problem though. It's not like you're going to be playing anything remotely demanding on a computer like this.
 

Hans Gruber

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Dec 23, 2006
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I should point out the P4 had a virus and I am simply slightly upgrading the system. Agreed that it should be retired. I did sell the customer a much more capable laptop with Win 10. The P4 is simply a backup computer at this point.
 

killster1

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Mar 15, 2007
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how much is your time worth? 5 years ago the c2d i had built a family member had a fan die cant remember which Fan but instead of replacing anything just bought a dell 2500k complete setup for 100$ shipped with windows 7 key included (also had pcie spot and lots of usb3 ). simply moved the SSD over and cant remember if started up or had to reinstall but was easier than putting any more money into a slow space heater. Another member recently killed the 75$ laptop they had been using grabbed a barely used i3 7100 for 160 on ebay made by leveno.

with that said im sure i have a few spare cards laying around would ship for price of shipping after receive and verify working. but it hurts me to think of someone using that machine for anything other than picture viewing.
 
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Hans Gruber

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how much is your time worth? 5 years ago the c2d i had built a family member had a fan die cant remember which Fan but instead of replacing anything just bought a dell 2500k complete setup for 100$ shipped with windows 7 key included (also had pcie spot and lots of usb3 ). simply moved the SSD over and cant remember if started up or had to reinstall but was easier than putting any more money into a slow space heater. Another member recently killed the 75$ laptop they had been using grabbed a barely used i3 7100 for 160 on ebay made by leveno.

with that said im sure i have a few spare cards laying around would ship for price of shipping after receive and verify working. but it hurts me to think of someone using that machine for anything other than picture viewing.
The Thinkpad I gave the family friend is a T61. I have stacks of Thinkpads in my garage but that is neither here nor there. I had a T43 that broke so I started collecting thinkpads in case one breaks on me. I would just assumed built him a Intel Pentium 4560 with a Fractal Design S case, 8GB of ram and a 500GB Samsung 850 Evo and called it a day.

Instead I am just putting little pieces like a DVD burner, SSD, PCI-e SATA 3 card and 4GB of ram. I had everything but the SATA 3 card that pushes 210MB. Pathetic I know but that is the best that rig will do. Sometimes people spend a good amount of money on a computer long ago and want to make it last a few more years. I have a 450w EVGA bronze power supply that I might put in it as well. When he decides the machine sucks still, he will probably want me to transfer the bits I added into a new machine.

As far as how much my time is worth. I really have not put much time into it other than loading an OS. I have my own workshop in the garage with a tooling station. I have 3 workbenches and soon will be adding a 4th. I don't consider tinkering to be something that requires any money to equate value or worth.
 

MrTeal

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Instead I am just putting little pieces like a DVD burner, SSD, PCI-e SATA 3 card and 4GB of ram. I had everything but the SATA 3 card that pushes 210MB. Pathetic I know but that is the best that rig will do. Sometimes people spend a good amount of money on a computer long ago and want to make it last a few more years. I have a 450w EVGA bronze power supply that I might put in it as well. When he decides the machine sucks still, he will probably want me to transfer the bits I added into a new machine.
Really, as it's a backup and you've already done the the work putting in the SATA card, I'd probably say just leave it as is in the graphics department. It will still be useful and quicker than it was booting up and using for general office stuff, and if he does need to use it for more graphically demanding tasks it might push him towards updating. If a decent PCI card drops in your lap you could toss it in, but putting a significant % of the cost of a new system into a deadend GPU for a system that might only see limited use before being shuttered doesn't seem to be a good value.
 

C1

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Feb 21, 2008
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I still have my 3.06 Northwood (only 512 Rdram) that is used nearly every day. It runs super, is totally reliable and I probably get more done on it than most people using the latest stuff. I do video & graphics (viewing, ripping & creating), audio (ripping & listening), business (brochures & very complex documents, taxes, spred sheets, powerpoints, Access db, etc.), all kinds of special projects, etc.

(Recently did a whole multimedia project for friends involving converting some of our old band recordings from reel tape to CD/DvD and just needed my daughter's old 733 PIII which was more than sufficient.)

The issue is to have the right software.

This now also is a great time as there is so much freeware. (You can have a blast just running Puppy Linux).

Ensure that you have hyper-threading enabled. (The biggest limiter is IDE for multi-tasking, but these systems do use DMA.) With net surfing, single core seems to be the issue, but that is because often the web sites being accessed want to run junk advertising & scripts in the background so try disabling java.)

Typically when Im in the library, one observes that the people using their much more capable hardware platforms are effectively doing nothing significant with it. The most taxing might be watching YouTube.

If you want an old video card then church sales or your local eWaste re-cycler should have lots of them for only a few dollars each. (Was just there Tues & picked up a nice 320GB 7.2K rpm Seagate HDD for a friend $7. They had a bin full of Seagates, Hitachi & WDes all sizes & shapes including 2.5" .)
 

Hans Gruber

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Dec 23, 2006
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Really, as it's a backup and you've already done the the work putting in the SATA card, I'd probably say just leave it as is in the graphics department. It will still be useful and quicker than it was booting up and using for general office stuff, and if he does need to use it for more graphically demanding tasks it might push him towards updating. If a decent PCI card drops in your lap you could toss it in, but putting a significant % of the cost of a new system into a deadend GPU for a system that might only see limited use before being shuttered doesn't seem to be a good value.
The PCI-e 1.0 SATA 3 card cost me a whopping $9 shipped. The power supply with 2 day shipping $22. I pass that cost onto the owner of the computer. The install time for the PCI-E card was about 3 seconds, the driver took me 2 minutes but I spent 10 minutes multitasking. I have a significant parts bin in my garage. 1 GB and 2GB DDR2 memory sticks, DVD burners and SATA cables as adapter plugs. I figured a 450w bronze CPU would help simply for the SATA cables and a wider variety of interconnects and remove a point of failure in the system. The 120GB SSD was in my parts bin as well.

The SSD went from a read speed of 139MB to 210MB with the SATA 3 PCI-E 1.0 card. The write speed is around 180MB which is about right for that SSD drive.

An earlier post asked how much is my time worth? That is where the cost of my labor will come in at the end plus the parts cost. I offer a lifetime warranty on my parts and service.
 

MrTeal

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The PCI-e 1.0 SATA 3 card cost me a whopping $9 shipped. The power supply with 2 day shipping $22. I pass that cost onto the owner of the computer. The install time for the PCI-E card was about 3 seconds, the driver took me 2 minutes but I spent 10 minutes multitasking. I have a significant parts bin in my garage. 1 GB and 2GB DDR2 memory sticks, DVD burners and SATA cables as adapter plugs. I figured a 450w bronze CPU would help simply for the SATA cables and a wider variety of interconnects and remove a point of failure in the system. The 120GB SSD was in my parts bin as well.

The SSD went from a read speed of 139MB to 210MB with the SATA 3 PCI-E 1.0 card. The write speed is around 180MB which is about right for that SSD drive.

An earlier post asked how much is my time worth? That is where the cost of my labor will come in at the end plus the parts cost. I offer a lifetime warranty on my parts and service.
Oh, I'm not questioning what you've done already. I'm sure the system will be much more usable that what it was, and if he does move to something new you can reuse the parts.
I was just talking exclusively about trying to find a new GPU for it. That's something where you probably can't find it in a parts bin, there are very limited choices for something even remotely modern, and you're going to way overpay for it because of the legacy bus. If it was a x16 PCIe card you could move to a new computer that'd be one thing, but it'd be an expensive part is obsolete for anything else. If you do need one (say he needs HDMI for the monitor) you could try to track down one of those GT 520's or HD5450, as those would probably be the best bet.
 

Zodiark1593

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Oct 21, 2012
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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.

Should have just gone the sleeper route and transplanted the stuff from the new PC into the old case. While it would take time and possible metal cutting, probably still less painful than waiting for XP to update.
 

Zodiark1593

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Oct 21, 2012
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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.
Actually, that honors would go to the Clarkdale/Arrandale cpu line (1st gen Core i dual cores), where the Northbridge and GPU were moved on package, albeit, not on the same die as the cpu itself. Intel iGPUs are good for h.264 HD (1080P) video going as far back as the GMA 4500MHD, which was released alongside 45nm C2D. Besides WebGL, such iGPU solutions should be adequate for web browsing and most video, though a C2Q would be strongly advised to take on YouTube's VP9.
 

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