Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

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Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:37 pm

Hey everyone,

Longtime lurker, first time poster here.

So I picked up 4 Lenovo Thinkcenter SFF PC's with matching 19" 1280x1024 lcd monitors from a business surplus auction for $30 a piece. My plan was to set them up on a small square table and make a 4 player retro LAN gaming station for when my buddies come over in hopes to convert them over to PC gaming from console gaming. The PC's have 3.0 ghz P4's in them with 2 Gb of ram. Other than maybe adding an extra fan to help with cooling I don't plan to upgrade them at all. Problem is that I need 4 low profile PCI-E GFX cards that will match up with the P4 CPU to get the best bang for my buck.

Back when I had my AMD 2800+ I was running a Geforce 6600 GT, so I like to find something that performs similar to the 6600GT. I would like to spend around $50 a card and have the same card in all systems to simplify driver installation and keep any unfair advantages to a minimum. What do you guys think of the 6450? I could maybe find a 9400GT for $50 but I can't seem to find and low profile ones for that cheap. Keep in mind I'll be gaming at 1280x1028 and I don't need to have the quality maxed out.

Oh yeah, games that I want to play for sure are Unreal Tournament III, Age of Empires III, Warcraft III, and other popular games for this era. Feel free to post your favorite LAN games too, I'm always looking for new LAN games.
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:42 pm

Most of these cards are probably overkill for such old systems, but:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... 696%3A9641

Team Fortress 2 is free to play now. I also like Red Orchestra: Ostfront.
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:47 pm

You don't have to use an ancient GPU to get a low-profile card.
$60 -10MIR Radeon HD5570
$64 -20MIR GeForce GT430
$77 or $82 -15MIR Radeon HD6570
$107 GeForce GT440

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2011 ... 5220%5D=on
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:07 pm

I'll put in a vote for a low-profile 5570. They're really well behaved cards (thermally and power wise) and have more than enough oomph for 1280*1024 :).
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:47 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:You don't have to use an ancient GPU to get a low-profile card.
$60 -10MIR Radeon HD5570
$64 -20MIR GeForce GT430
$77 or $82 -15MIR Radeon HD6570
$107 GeForce GT440

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2011 ... 5220%5D=on

The only problem with these suggestions is that most MIRs specify one per household, and he wants to buy four units.

FWIW, I've ordered from GearXS a couple times, they're basically a surplus/overstock outlet, and never had any issues. Any of these cards might work, although you would have to special-order the low-profile bracket (or custom modify the existing):

Nvidia G100 512MB, $30: http://www.gearxs.com/gearxs/product_in ... s_id=15749
AMD HD5450 1GB, $40: http://www.gearxs.com/gearxs/product_in ... s_id=15644
Nvidia N8400GS 512MB $52: http://www.gearxs.com/gearxs/product_in ... s_id=12981
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:40 pm

ludi wrote:The only problem with these suggestions is that most MIRs specify one per household, and he wants to buy four units.
The problem with graphics cards cheaper than the four models that I listed is that they don't provide acceptable gaming performance.
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:07 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
ludi wrote:The only problem with these suggestions is that most MIRs specify one per household, and he wants to buy four units.
The problem with graphics cards cheaper than the four models that I listed is that they don't provide acceptable gaming performance.

Honestly, I don't think he's going to be too GPU-bound for the described resolution and supporting hardware.
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:28 pm

Yeah. His bottlenecks are going to be CPU and hard drive.
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:30 pm

I'm going to say Radeon 5570 as well. You go up to a 128-bit memory interface (as opposed to the 64-bit of the 5450); to me, that's a big deal.

For retro-gaming at 1280x1024, it should be more than enough. I bet you can find a bulk lot on Ebay. Second choice would be the 6570, but it's probably another $10 apiece at retail.
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:53 pm

Yeah I hate MIRs, so nothing that includes a MIR. I'm from Canada and prefer to use NCIX but and open to other sources too.

I found an old passive Geforce 8200 laying around and tried it out just to see what it could play. It had no problem playing AoE III or Warcraft III. I haven't had time to install a FPS shooter to try out but have a feeling that a FPS might start to test the 8200 a little more.

I was thinking of getting these:
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=65567&vpn ... e=Gigabyte

I've always preferred Nvidia's drivers and the passive heatsinks should work good in the cases I have.

There is this Sapphire Radeon HD 5450 on sale this week for $40 but there is a limit of 2 per customer.
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku= ... omoid=1282

Edit: Oh yeah forgot to mention I'll be running Windows XP so Direct X 9 only.
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Looks like that 5450 you linked includes the low-profile brackets, which would save you a small headache. It's Limit 2 at the sale price but the regular price is shown at $53, so you would still be under $200 for a set of four. Or you might try calling customer service, explain what you're up to and why you need that particular card, and see if they'll give you a manual override.
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Re: Older PCI-E GFX card for retro gaming system

Postposted on Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:26 pm

The GeForce GT520 is MUCH slower than the GeForce GT430 or Radeon HD5550.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2011 ... 5231%5D=on
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