1GB PCI Graphics card slower than 256MB Card
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Thread: 1GB PCI Graphics card slower than 256MB Card

  1. #1
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    1GB PCI Graphics card slower than 256MB Card

    He AO,

    I know this is a comp sec forum (or was at one time ) - but I need a little advice:

    So my stepdad has an old Sony Vaio PCV-RS410(UC). It's got a 2.6GHz Pentium 4 (single core), and I've added 1GB RAM. I also slapped a 256MB GeForce FX 5500 PCI card I had in it.

    He plays a lot of Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX), and the card does alright for the game, but he can't play it on the highest detailed settings - so, like, he can't land a helicopter on the Empire State Building, stuff like that...

    I thought I'd get him a better card for an early Christmas after I found that NewEgg still sells PCI video cards - I bought him a VGA JATON|VIDEO-498PCI-TWIN 9400GT 1GB PCI video card.

    I got it installed, and the thing runs worse than the 256MB card! I tried different drivers (from the CD, from nVidia and from the Jaton website), updating DirectX, playing with the nVidia panel settings - but nothing - graphics are just slooow!!! And sometimes leaves little short horizontal lines on the screen

    But the PSU I had was only 180W (I thought it was a 430W - I work on lots of computers and get mixed-up sometimes :P) - So I went out and dropped $60 on a CoolerMax 500W PSU, thinking maybe it just wasn't getting enough power... but meh - no difference...

    So what do you guys think? Should I RMA the card, and just wait until I have $200 to upgrade to a better mobo and CPU and get a PCIe card? Or do you think the card is just defective, and I should try another one? I'm $140 into this thing, and the game runs worse than it did when I set out to "do something nice"...

    That's what happens I guess...

    Anyway, thanks for anyone who actually read through all this mess. I really appreciate any feedback I could get on the matter. (or maybe just a "tl;dr" :P)

    Thanks guys!
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

  2. #2
    HYBR|D
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    Can you get more spec's on this system? Also out of curiosity did you happen to try uninstalling the flight sim, then doing a clean re-install so you would then need to reconfigure the graphics settings within the game.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi wiskic10-4,

    That is a pretty weird PC! It has a P4 2.6GHz processor and supports DDR, yet doesn't have an AGP slot?................and only 1GB of RAM???

    I have just had a look upstairs and the only machines I have that are PCI only (or PCI and ISA!) are Pentium I/133, Pentium I/150 and Pentium II/266 (OK I am ignoring the x86 boxes ). And they all use 72-pin EDO RAM!.

    Even my IBM Deskpro PIII/533 has an AGP graphics slot and supports 512MB of PC133 SDR (Windows NT 4.0 era)

    A quick Google suggests that the FX5500 is more commonly an AGP card and the 9400GT is PCI-E, so I don't think that a PCI connection is actually "native" to the architecture.

    Also the old PCI connection is the slowest at 33MHz I believe?

    Actually, I am not really surprised that the FX5500 is faster, as I do recall people complaining back in the day that they had bought a 256MB or 512MB card and it was slower. I am afraid I cannot remember why, but large amounts of video RAM don't seem as useful in gaming as they might be in CAD or graphics manipulation.

    Basically, what you have there is NOT a gaming machine, and I wouldn't rate either of those cards as "gaming" kit either.

    Time to move on my friend
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  4. #4
    Senior Member IKnowNot's Avatar
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    nihil not surprising there is no AGP slot, the AGP is built-in for the integrated video thus not available for external cards.

    How did you install it?
    The choice of PCI slot is important. The board has three PCI slots, how many are used? PCI slots are usually shared, one shared with the onboard VGA, which is the one you want to use.
    If you have devices, such the modem, which are not being used I would take them out and remove the drivers for them.
    Your manual should tell you which PCI slot to use for the video, but should be one most inboard, closest to the processor ( maybe )


    With something like this you have to make sure ALL the previous drivers are removed from the system.
    I normally would:
    remove all video drivers from device manager
    restart, reset integrated video in bios
    shut down machine, remove old add-in card
    restart in VGA mode ( do not let it install drivers for video )
    look for ghost devices still lingering and remove them
    see this link, finding hidden devices
    ( do this as administrator, and don't forget to check "Show hidden devices" after you open the device manager from the command prompt )
    Also, remove the old integrated video driver and AGP drivers!
    note: you can also use third party software, such as Driver Sweeper
    but afterwards I would restart and use above method to make sure they were gone )

    Shut down and install the new video card.
    restart, go into bios and turn off integrated video
    ( don't forget to move the video cable! )

    restart, then install the new drivers. check with System Information and see if there are any conflicts with the new drivers.

    Also check to make sure the monitor is properly configured and you are using modes which it supports!

    One last thing, you say you upgraded DirectX. XP only supports DirectX 9, which is what the game calls for. Unless you want to try out hacked versions of 10 I would make sure the latest version of 9 is installed.

    If that doesn't work, well, ....
    " And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be" --Miguel Cervantes

  5. #5
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    HYBR|D - No, I didn't reinstall the game - but the performance lag is noticeable in other areas of the system too - sometimes there are small horizontal lines on the desktop after boot up or changing resolution. The graphics stress-test (FurMark) proggie I use also runs slower than the 256 card... I tried all the different settings in the game - low to high - it's even choppy on the lowest settings...

    nihil - There's a place on the board for an AGP port to be soldered on, but it was not included in this particular setup. I agree - it's time to move on.

    IKnowNot - I tried everything that you suggested with the exception of looking for "hidden devices" - but I stayed up until 1am pissing with it to no avail - I've been working on computers for fifteen years, so I know the procedure for properly installing a video card and the usual complications. It is installed fine, and functioning without conflicts or freezing or hanging up - it's just slooow at rendering 3D effects - on any setting. After exhausting every option I could think of or read about, I'm 98% sure it is a hardware issue. I could put it in another computer with better specs just to be sure, but personally, I'm tired of ****ing with it.

    I've decided that either (a) the card is defective or (b) the card sucks. Either way, it is going back to NewEgg for credit and the PSU is going back to Altex for cash. I'll just have to build him a new 'puter somewhere down the line, but not before Xmas.

    Thank you everyone for your feedback!
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

  6. #6
    Senior Member IKnowNot's Avatar
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    Yea, sorry, don't mean to offend: I try not to assume too much when I post, especially since others read it.

    But when you get a chance you might want to experiment with that part about finding ghost devices if you never have. You would be surprised how much junk builds up in a system over time.
    " And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be" --Miguel Cervantes

  7. #7
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IKnowNot
    Yea, sorry, don't mean to offend: I try not to assume too much when I post, especially since others read it.
    Nah - No offense taken - I just wanted to point out that I am an experienced technician, and that it was not likely that it was a driver conflict, etc - anything is possible.

    It could be any number of things - however, I seriously doubt it's a conflict with any "ghost device" as this is a relatively new install, and the only other card I've had in it were the onboard (disabled) and the other NVidia card, which I uninstalled according to procedure.
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

  8. #8
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    nihil not surprising there is no AGP slot, the AGP is built-in for the integrated video thus not available for external cards.
    Only if the manufacturer decides to make it so. I recall buying Dell Optiplexes (PIII) back in 1999/2000 that had onboard graphics and supported an external AGP card. I also have an AMD Athlon 1900+ (1.6GHz) that supports both onboard and AGP slot graphics. What you are describing would be typical of low end office equipment of the day. Sony make this machine out to be something much better than that.

    Sony marketed this machine as a "home entertainment" package. And from the processor, I would guess it to be 2003/4 vintage? By that time:

    1. PCI video cards were obsolete.
    2. PC 2100 memory was obsolete.
    3. World + dog knew that you did not ship Windows XP with less than 512MB of RAM. Unless it was for a very basic office environment.
    4. 180W PSU ????????????? hell, I didn't build with less than 350W from 2000!

    @wiskic10_4

    I guess you are trying to "make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" as we Brits would say

    If you are getting artifacts from the video card in "normal" use, then I would send the card back. This is something that I would generally associate with a hardware problem, rather than firmware or applications. As you have already noted, you could confirm this on another machine.

    Are you sure about the 180W PSU? that seems very low, even for a miniATX, which that box is not. Obviously the 500W Coolermaster is total overkill

    My guess is that the best you can hope for is to find a second user PCI gaming card.

    As I said, I would be inclined to start over, and the 500W Coolermaster would certainly fit into that?

    Good Luck!

    @ IKnowNot,

    Many thanks for that very interesting link. It isn't something I have really looked into before.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  9. #9
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    I guess you are trying to "make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" as we Brits would say
    Well, you can put a diamond in a goat's ass - but it's still a goat's ass...

    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    Are you sure about the 180W PSU? that seems very low, even for a miniATX, which that box is not. Obviously the 500W Coolermaster is total overkill
    100% - I have it right here - it's a NMB p/n 146874512 - 185.6W max

    500W is overkill - but the box says the minimum system requirements for the Jaton card is a 450W PSU - and that was the closest thing they had at the local computer store.

    A guy on another forum said this:
    FlightSim is CPU limited, not GPU. As you have 'upgraded' your GPU from complete rubbish to slightly less rubbish, you are putting more strain on the CPU and chipset throughput thus the diminished performance.
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    FlightSim is CPU limited, not GPU. As you have 'upgraded' your GPU from complete rubbish to slightly less rubbish, you are putting more strain on the CPU and chipset throughput thus the diminished performance.
    WTF!!!!!??????????/

    Processor handles comms to GPU............if GPU can't handle it, then it doesn't happen. If processor and GPU can handle it then it will work.

    If CPU can't handle it, then it doesn't get sent to GPU to fail????????????

    The guy is talking crap IMO...............if the CPU can handle it, it will.........it does not look to see what the GPU does, other than if it is ready for more?

    What he is saying seems to relate to speed or refresh rates rather than to the supported resolution?

    If I read your earlier posts correctly, the issue is about video resolution? OK, I can readily accept that if your processor is not up to it, then this may be impacted upon..........but NOT a 2.66GHz P4???............that should pass stuff through OK IMO.

    And none of that explains artifacts (diagonal lines) when in non-gaming situations?

    I guess that at this point I have 2 questions:

    1. What does the game manufacturer suggest as H/W specs?
    2. Has your stepdad updated the game software recently.........like so the H/W is now out of spec?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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