I bought a big-box-store computer with the intent to upgrade the video card as funds allowed. But, funds didn’t allow, so I cheaped out and bought a lemon. :rolleyes: The computer specs are as follows:

Computer: HP a420n Pavilion
Motherboard: ASUS A7V8X-LA (AGP 8x, 3 PCI)
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 3000+ 2.16GHz
RAM: 512 MB
Power Supply: Bestec ATX-250-12ZD “Zinfandel 250W (I think…)
Video Card, Added: BMG (NVidia) GeForce4 MX 4000, driver updated 6/15/05
Monitor: HP mx703
OS: XP Home Edition, 2002, SP-2 added 7/15/05

The video card has been nothing but trouble. (My computer has been kind enough to tell me every time the video card has been responsible for a “serious error) The machine first freezes up, the fan runs as my machine’s CPU goes to 100%, and then it simply restarts, giving me the aforementioned error message upon start-up. OR, also irritating, the monitor occasionally looses its signal when I hit the “log off command (we have three user profiles), though the computer stays on. This second behavior only happed after I updated XP with SP-2.
FWIW: My first monitor “burned out, basically just faded to black permanently, and I got a replacement from HP under warranty; though that might not be related to the card, thought I’d mention it. The new monitor hasn’t showed a problem like this.

Two questions:
-First: will updating the BIOS, as has been suggested on this forum in another post, likely to solve this problem?
-Second: regardless of the answer to the above, I’m looking to upgrade to a better card eventually, but the good ones seem to demand a better power source. If I were to upgrade and dump the MX 4000, what would be a good card to go with, and will I be forced to upgrade the power supply as well? How high? 300W? 350W? More? How would I know which PS would work in my machine? I’m willing to spend US $200 or so on the package, and I mainly plan to use the computer for 3D graphics programs, but not for heavy-hitting games.

Thanks in advance for any advice, referrals, URL’s, and general discussion! :)

12 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by forgedaboudit

The other thread above reminds me: dual monitor capability in the graphics card would be a great bonus. Thoughts?



Well, the dam broke...or at least the card did. It's sitting on my desk beside me right now. Hey, looks great, all nice 'n shiny.

I was working along just fine, and, as usual, the screen started to get funky, and then froze. So, I did the manual restart (push on button, hold, wait til machine goes off, push on again.) But this time, I got a few lines of text, some blips, and then...black. Repeated. Black.

Took out card, holding temper in check so as to avoid damaging motherboard. Turned on machine, and now I'm working off of the Asus default built-in graphics.

So...here's the strange thing...I was careful to remove the drivers for the default when I installed the old card, but when I booted up, there was nothing about "new hardware detected", nor was there anything about the old hardware (the vid card) gone missing. I have not uninstalled the nVidia drivers yet. Is this odd?

The real question is, now I'm pretty much in the market for a good card. What's your experienced collective opinion: do I go for a decent AGP 8x card, and spend the money/time to upgrade my PSU to handle the new load, or slum with, say, a GeForce FX 5200 (Newegg, USD 57), and simply upgrade to a new machine when funds allow to a nice PCI-E setup? (Not high-end gamer, but I work with 3D graphics a lot.) HELP!


BFG GeForce 7600 GS Overclocked / 512MB GDDR2 / AGP 8x / DVI / VGA / TV Out / Video Card and a Ultra LSP550 550-Watt Power Supply did the trick for me for about 120 dollars U.S. for my HP a420n @ Tiger Direct.

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