Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help




Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Discussions > Off-Topic Discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-14-2002, 04:20 PM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
Question Computer (specifically, video card) question...

I'm in rather desperate need of a video card, and I can finally afford to get one. I don't want to make this purchase again for quite a while, so I want to make sure I get a quality card that will perform as expected and do what I need it to do. I currently have an AMD K6-2 500MHz processor with 512MB RAM and an 80GB Western Digital hard drive that I have not yet installed (when I get the video card, I'm gonna install Windows fresh on the new drive). Even with Windows installed fresh, I'm having problems with the system slowing down to the point where I can barely move the mouse, and programs stop responding almost regularly. I'm hoping this is the fault of the video card (I currently have a 1995 vintage S3 card that a friend let me borrow, with 4MB onboard memory); if not, I'm open to options but am seriously considering replacing the motherboard and processor (will go with a P4 this time; my dad has a newer AMD system that he's also having problems with; in fact, he bought it to replace the computer I have now), especially since I will also have to replace the case (all the 5 1/4" bays use sliders, and I have 3 things that need to go in and only one set of sliders, and have been unable to locase more sliders as it's a weird size) at some point as well.

I was told earlier that ATI doesn't have a decent driver set for Windows 98 SE (the OS I'm running, and plan to continue doing so indefinitely), and that nVidia/GeForce/TnT cards don't agree with AMD systems for various reasons (again, while I'm seriously considering a P4 processor, I want to keep my options open). I was told at the same time that Matrox makes a good card and that one of them would be suitable for my needs. I use the computer mainly for Web browsing (F-D, a similar site for my 300D, etc; I typically have 5 or 6 Internet Explorer windows open at a time), although I also do some image work with Paint Shop Pro, and a little bit of simulator-type games such as SimCity and Microsoft Flight Simulator. I was looking around Matrox's site, and saw the G550. Offhand, it looks like a good unit. Do you all think it'll work for what I need? I'm kinda nervous about it having "only" 32MB onboard memory (I've seen others with as much as 128MB); could this cause a problem? If so, are there any other recommendations? I've found the G550 as cheap as $88, and at that price the only reason it's not in the mail is that I want to be absolutely certain that this will best suit my needs.

I apologize for the novel *lol* but any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
__________________
2001 VW Jetta TDI, 5 speed, daily driver
1991 Ford F-350, work in progress
1984 Ford F-250 4x4, 6.9l turbo diesel, 5 speed manual
Previous oilburners: 1980 IH Scout, 1984 E-350, 1985 M-B 300D, 1979 M-B 300SD, 1983 M-B 300D
Spark-free since 1999
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-14-2002, 05:00 PM
94 E320
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 437
I have an AMD and a newer GeForce 4 video card and I haven't had any problems. I have a dual boot system one with 98SE and XP Pro.

I use the 98 only for games.

I'm sure you have some sort of budget figured out. If you want I'd be happy to talk things over off-line or we can discuss this over this forum.

Don't worry I'm not peddling anything to you just giving u recommendations.

My main use of my comp is Internet surfing, games, CD listening and copying.

I recently I made a machine but I was also set a budget target.

CPU : $100 - $120 (I went with AMD Xp2000, most bang for the buck....but u can get a XP 1800 and not miss anything)
Heatsink : $20 (Thermaltake Volcano 9)
Motherboard: $100- $120 (went with the VIA KT333 chipset by Asus)
Memory : $ 90 (go to Crucial.com need to get 256 DDR mem)
Video : budget minded go for the ATI 8500 129MB cards....pay alittle more get any GeForce 4 Ti 4200 128MB
Hard drive : use ur old one
Monitor : use ur old one
Keyboard/Mouse : use ur old one
Floppy drive : use your old one
DVD : either the Pioneer or Toshiba 16x is fine......$40
CDR : any 40X is more than fine....LG makes a good one for $85
Case : it all depends on you, I went with a Antec case.....$85...try and buy local or get free shipping...otherwise its like $30 shipping

probably more I can't think off hand

oh yeah Soundcard, use the one that comes onboard

Ren
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-14-2002, 07:27 PM
Glen's Avatar
...auto enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
Posts: 1,187
Save your money...the problem probably isn't your video card. Take a look at this url:
http://aroundcny.com/technofile/texts/tec041501.html

I think you would be better off upgrading to Windows 2000 or XP. With 512 MB of RAM either will run very well on your processor where W98 doesn't really know how to handle more than 256 MB anyway.

Good luck.
__________________
Glen Tokuhara
Beauty & the Beast and the wagon that could!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-14-2002, 07:54 PM
Ashman's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,749
the slowness you have is not caused by the video card.

When running windows 95/98/98se/me, with more than a certain amount of ram, the computer cannot cache the ram properly and it will cause pauses in your system at varying times.

Generally this is attributed to the OS or hardware, but in most cases it can be either or both.

I would suggest you try switching down to 128mb ram and seeing if that solves your issue first. I'm not saying you should give up on having the 512 mb of ram, but for testing purposes, try 128mb ram.

Now if the mainboard is not capable of caching the ram properly when you have a certain amount, I.E. more than 128mb, then you need to switch to a better board that is capable of caching the ram properly.

I know some chipsets cannot cache the ram properly over a certain amount, and will cause the system to pause and or seem very slow.

If you are not playing games, try running windows 2000 or Windows NT for a stable system. If you are playing games, you can try running windows XP, though not all games run under XP, I like XP quite a bit. myself and have not had many problems running games.

You can pick up an Nvidia Geforce based card (Not sure on generation) for around $60 or so. Any Geforce card, I.E. Geforce 2, 3 or 4, will run most games perfectly fine. the 3 and 4 cards are of course better than the 2 card, but I have not had any problems running games with a geforce 2 with all graphics on in my system.

BTW I run 3 Geforce 2 cards with 3 monitors, 768mb Ram, 180gb hd space, on an AMD Athlon Thunderbird 950, and my system runs just fine with no issues whatsoever.

I have a P3 500 laptop with 256 ram and windows XP, and it runs great too.

Check into the ram first, then os, then if that doesn't help, then look into swapping the board and or other components.

I have a feeling the problem you decribed is a ram caching issue, with OS choice you have made you will need to lower the amount of ram you have, or switch to windows XP, or the hardware you are using is not capable of working properly with that much ram.

Good luck, and definately try what I have suggested. before you do any upgrading on anything.

But remember what I said about the video cards, a Geforce 2 MX 32mb video card, will handle most any game perfectly fine. The only real gain on getting a better video card are some added features that most games probably don't support yet anyway, and better framerates. I have no problems with framerates myself, and I usually run my games with full graphics on at 1024x768 resolution.

I also have noticed no decrease in performance when playing a game on a geforce 2 pci card versus a geforce2 agp card, though maybe the difference is so minimal its hard to notice.

Good luck, Keep me posted.

Alon
__________________
'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - 744 - C7 Wheels - Android Radio
2002 C320 - 816 - Sport Wagon

Last edited by Ashman; 10-14-2002 at 08:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-14-2002, 08:01 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 157
Since you have the new 80gb HD, u have plenty of space for Dual boot. I would dual boot Win 2k with Win98. Use Win2k for everyday tasks, 98 for gaming. I had that setup for a while till I moved to XP. XP probably is not a good idea for you, as the processor might be a little lacking.

Of the new video cards, I like the ATI radeon 9000. Can be had for 70 USD if you know where to look. Its faster thena GF3, but slower then a GF 4 (TI).

Personally I run a GF2 with Athlon XP 1700 @ 1.75ghz.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-15-2002, 02:51 AM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
I also posted this on another board. One person over there suggested disconnecting the USB modem that I was running (I hadn't initially thought to mention it, but I had a USB modem installed until an hour or so ago and used to have a USB keyboard installed; when the keyboard was installed, half the times I fired the system up Windows wouldn't recognize the keyboard or the modem), as some early AMD motherboards apparently have had problems with the USB ports and such. I installed a PCI modem an hour or so ago and disconnected the USB modem, and so far things actually seem happier...only time will tell, though. I'll try the RAM thing next...this system used to be my dad's; his "solution" was to throw as much RAM as he could at it...he only stopped at 512 'cause he was told that Windows (excluding XP) couldn't recognize any more than that.

I do have a couple games (nothing super-fancy; stuff like SimCity and MS Flight Sim), and also, my scanner software won't work with XP (don't know with 2000), and there aren't any driver upgrades for my scanner. So, sticking with Win98 is probably my best bet...the dual-boot idea could work. I may wind up getting a new motherboard and processor anyways, just to start out fresh. I haven't decided yet, and will wait for my next paycheck in any case.

Any more thoughts would be appreciated...thanks in advance! And time will tell on the modem thing, eh?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-15-2002, 07:02 AM
Registered Diesel Burner
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
I have a theory that every time you get an update from windowsupdate.microsoft.com it actually slows your system down. How they do this I don't know, but its a conspiracy I tell you!



Ken300D
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-16-2002, 04:21 PM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
Unhappy New turn of events...

I'm starting to think this motherboard doesn't like me.

After putting the PCI modem in, everything seemed happy... However, another issue has cropped up. I bought a new case for the computer (the old case uses sliders that screw into the 5 1/4" stuff such as CD-ROM's, and I needed 3 sets of sliders and only had one). I transferred everything over to the new case, but I didn't make any hardware changes yet except for two different CD drives (a new 52x CD-ROM and my venerable old CD-RW drive) and that I didn't plug the 2nd hard drive in. This was just to test everything prior to putting the new video card (I got an ATi Raedon 7500) and new hard drive in and subsequentially starting with a fresh copy of Windows. However, BIOS isn't recognizing that anything's installed. If I have everything else unplugged, it will recognize the CD-RW as the secondary slave (which it's supposed to be); however, if I have the CD-ROM and/or the hard drive plugged in, BIOS won't even recognize the CD-RW. With everything plugged in, the system will lock up before attempting to identify the Primary Master and Slave and the Secondary Master and Slave. If the CD-ROM and CD-RW are not plugged in, it will say that nothing's plugged in at all and will get as far as telling me that there's a system boot error and that I need to put a system disk in and hit ENTER. All cables are properly hooked up, as far as I know all jumpers (on the drives and the motherboard) are set where they're supposed to be, and again, other than the two CD drives, no hardware or settings have been changed. The power supply's a new 350 watt unit; the old one was either 250 or 200, I believe. The motherboard seems to be powering up properly; my dad was thinking that the motherboard was overjuiced but I have a bit of trouble with that as the system seems to power up as expected. The hard drive does not spin up, and neither does the CD-ROM, although the CD-RW is. I tried it with the old power supply, and nothing changed. I also tried moving plugs around (using plugs that powered up other things, for example) to no avail.

I'm guessing there's a setting that's wrong somewhere, but I have no idea where, and neither does my dad (we spent the better part 4 hours last night trying to troubleshoot it; thank goodness for my $25/month flat rate in-state long-distance calling plan). I'm on my mom's computer at this point. BIOS is set up to automatically detect any IDE drives, and trying teh HDD Auto Detection does nothing; the motherboard just plain doesn't acknowledge that anything's plugged in (except, again, the CD-RW drive under certain circumstances; I need to play with that a bit, though).

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-16-2002, 05:05 PM
jsmith's Avatar
Ronin
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
is this on the new MB now? it almost sounds like the hard drive isn't jumpered correctly. it should at least recognize a hard drive if you set it to "single drive". the fact that the HD doesn't spin is suspicious.

lastly, have you looked into whether or not there are bios upgades available. a word of caution on that though - it is not for the faint of heart and you can wind up with a dead MB. what make/model is the MB?
__________________
joE
1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
http://banners.wunderground.com/bann...L/Key_West.gif
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-16-2002, 05:49 PM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
No, it's the old MB. I'm seriously thinking about getting a new one (especially with this development), but haven't made the purchase yet.

According to Maxtor's website, the hard drive is jumpered correctly. There are apparently settings for Master, Slave, and Cable Select (no "Single Drive" setting), and it's on Master right now. I've tried it everywhere.

The MB has the letters "GA-5AX" right by an FCC statement; that's the only lettering that could be an identifying mark. The main chip (not the CPU I would assume this is the BIOS chip) is an ALi M1541 A1 (my dad looked it up last night; apparently ALi's out of business...)

Tried it a couple more times; no change...wound up replacing the heat sink (the bearing on the CPU fan was dying, and they came together), althuogh I don't think that would make a difference here...

Thanks! Any more thoughts greatly appreciated...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-16-2002, 09:25 PM
jsmith's Avatar
Ronin
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
that sounds like a fairly common chipset for K6 boards.
the board should boot with your old hard drive because nothing should have changed except for the power supply in the new case. that's really all that changed right? if it doesn't then there is something seriously wrong with the MB...
__________________
joE
1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
http://banners.wunderground.com/bann...L/Key_West.gif
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-17-2002, 01:32 AM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
Unhappy

Yes, that's all that changed. Again, two different CD drives, but given that the jumpers are right, I don't see how that could have caused this.

Unless I hear otherwise, I guess it's safe to assume that my MB's fried. My girlfriend's willing to let me borrow her computer until I can get a new MB...

Thank you very much!!
__________________
2001 VW Jetta TDI, 5 speed, daily driver
1991 Ford F-350, work in progress
1984 Ford F-250 4x4, 6.9l turbo diesel, 5 speed manual
Previous oilburners: 1980 IH Scout, 1984 E-350, 1985 M-B 300D, 1979 M-B 300SD, 1983 M-B 300D
Spark-free since 1999
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-17-2002, 02:27 AM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
Exclamation

Well, I tried to take the hard drive (the one with my boot info on it; it also has most of my personal files) and install it as a slave on my girlfriend's computer, and it did the exact same thing. Wouldn't even spin up. So, I tried a different hard drive that had not been tested on the new system, and it spun up and is acting normally. This other hard drive also has my personal files on it; I'm now copying them onto my girlfriend's computer's drive.

However, something still seems fishy here...doesn't seem like the drive would have just picked right then to go out, and again, as far as I know, the jumpers are set properly. I haven't tried the 80GB on my girlfriend's computer; if that one doesn't spin up either, then what could the problem be? The power supply with the new case is set up at the same voltage...could there have been a power spike of sorts?

Ugh I think I'm gonna be sick...if there is a power supply problem and my brand-new 80GB drive was damaged by it...
__________________
2001 VW Jetta TDI, 5 speed, daily driver
1991 Ford F-350, work in progress
1984 Ford F-250 4x4, 6.9l turbo diesel, 5 speed manual
Previous oilburners: 1980 IH Scout, 1984 E-350, 1985 M-B 300D, 1979 M-B 300SD, 1983 M-B 300D
Spark-free since 1999
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-17-2002, 04:24 AM
Ashman's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,749
Try swapping power connectors, and or switching the direction of the cable. you made sure the red stripe lines up to pin 1, or blue stripe in the case of ultra ATA Cables. Also try a different IDE cable to be sure.

Make sure the CDrom's are on the secondary channel. Try swapping the CDRW to master and the CDrom to slave and see what happens. Change that cable too if you think it is suspect.

If the case is new, Try having the power supply swapped to see if perhaps it is somehow defective in some sort.

One last thing, Clear the Cmos and when it is finally loaded, set the clock, then load bios defaults or setup default settings. Try booting.

Make sure primary video device is set to the type of video card as well.

Feel free to e-mail me, ashman@peachparts.com if you need any help and I will do my best to help you.

Alon
__________________
'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - 744 - C7 Wheels - Android Radio
2002 C320 - 816 - Sport Wagon
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-17-2002, 04:37 AM
The Warden's Avatar
Certified diesel nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacifica (SF Bay Area), CA
Posts: 2,946
Quote:
Originally posted by Ashman
Try swapping power connectors, and or switching the direction of the cable. you made sure the red stripe lines up to pin 1, or blue stripe in the case of ultra ATA Cables. Also try a different IDE cable to be sure.
Tried changing power connectors, and tried changing IDE cables. No luck. And yeah, the red stripe's in the right spot.

Quote:
Make sure the CDrom's are on the secondary channel. Try swapping the CDRW to master and the CDrom to slave and see what happens. Change that cable too if you think it is suspect.


I haven't yet tried switching the CD-RW to master and the CD-ROM to slave. I did also change the cable there, and have confirmed multiple times that the CD-ROM cable's on the secondary channel.

Quote:
If the case is new, Try having the power supply swapped to see if perhaps it is somehow defective in some sort.


I already tried putting the original power supply in the new case. It didn't make a difference, but I haven't tried using the old power supply with a hard drive that hasn't been run on the new power supply. I did test the 80 GB drive on my girlfriend's computer and it does not spin up there either, but is emitting a low-pitched beeping. I E-mailed Western Digital to find out what's up, but I'm concerned that something's wrong with the power supply and that may have affected both drives (as aforementioned, I've now got two drives that won't even spin up when power's applied; one of them worked fine before this but now doesn't appear to work at all, anywhere). How can I test the power supply? {added in edit} I just tried my CD-ROM and my CD-RW in my girlfriend's computer. The CD-ROM wouldn't power up, and the CD-RW appears to be working normally. I have a bad feeling that the CD-ROM succumbed to the same fate the hard drives did; I dunno why the CD-RW's okay, though...not that I'm complaining; the CD-ROM's new so I can return it...

Quote:
One last thing, Clear the Cmos and when it is finally loaded, set the clock, then load bios defaults or setup default settings. Try booting.
How do I do that? I'm guessing that I clear the CMOS by pulling the battery, but is it just a matter of removing and replacing the battery? I don't believe I have any software pertaining to the motherboard; if I pull the CMOS battery, will I lose anything that I can't get back?

Quote:
Make sure primary video device is set to the type of video card as well.


How do you mean? How do I go about doing that?

Quote:
Feel free to e-mail me, ashman@peachparts.com if you need any help and I will do my best to help you.


Thank you. I may wind up doing that...I'm getting to the point of desperation here...

Last edited by The Warden; 10-17-2002 at 04:47 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page