The Best PCI Video Card

Got this email (edited for conciseness):

Sorry to be bothering you, but I’ve been searching the net for
awhile about getting a video card. It turns out the HP Pavillion
514n has no AGP slot.

I play assorted computer games all the time, tweak anything I can as much as I can, but I have to face the
facts and get a PCI video card.

I cannot get a posititve straight answer on the best
possible PCI based video card to buy. I’ve tracked down a Apollo Geforce4 Mx
440 64mb DDR for about $66, but I cannot find any reviews and specs for it.

It would ease my burden if you could help me out by referring me to the best
possible PCI video card, preferably for under $200.

Since it is an OEM computer, I’ll probably need a new power upgrade as well. Alright
well thanks to any support you might be able to give,

While it’s unlikely many in this audience will personally have this problem, sooner or later,
somebody you know who isn’t as big a computer fan will.

I did a little looking around for this on Pricewatch, and found two options:

  • A few GF4 MX440s (including the one mentioned above) and
  • A few PCI Radeon 9000s.

    While the Radeon 9000 Pro generally does somewhat better than an MX440 in benchmarking; it normally runs at a core clock
    of 275MHz and memory at 550MHz. This particular PCI card runs a core clock of 250MHz, and memory at only 380MHz. Slowed down
    to that extent, it’s unlikely to do as well as the MX.

    On the other hand, it is DX 8.1 compatible while the MX isn’t.

    So I have two questions for you:

  • Do any of you know of any better PCI card than these two?
  • Do any of you have one of these cards, and if so, how have you found it?

    He also asked about a new power supply, and a good quality but inexpensive power supply is something else you might find handy to know when dealing with somebody else’s machine.

    I’m inclined to recommend the Antec PP352X for $30 plus shipping, but I haven’t been able to come up with a lot of feedback on it.

    If you have or had this power supply, could you send me a note commenting on it? If you know of a better deal for a name-brand quality power supply, talk to me, too.

    For that matter, if you’ve found some good links and resources on the subject of power supplies in general, I’d appreciate it if you could forward that, too.

    You can find me just below. Thanks!

    Email Ed

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