Heres the lay down. I have recently got back into computer gaming and started installing some of my old games eg. Half life 2, call of duty 2 etc. All good so far. Now I would load up the game and play it for oh.. maybe 10 minutes flawlessly if i was lucky. Then all of the sudden the graphics would become distorted.. inverted and going everywhere. I would Ctr alt del out of the game and restart it. This would result in a black menu screen on all games. After a computer restart same results for every demanding game. "ATTEMPTED SOLUTIONS" Ok, first i tried installing new drivers for multiple devices and tweaking with game settings.. then i messed with ram issues stuff like that. last result.. fresh install... so i installed xp pro sp2 and tried it again same results. SPECS: 2.4 ghz intel, nvidia geforce fx 5200<--- what i think is the issue))) 500 gb hd, 1gig ram.. If anyone knows any solutions then please enlighten me. Im trying to decide wether to purchase a new graphics card or not. Thanks for your time.

wow, you actually play those game with only 1GB ram??? hmm... what was your graphic card? did it work before?

ya they use to work fine on med - low settings. My graphics card is a geforce fx 5200 256mb nividia. =)

do you use it for high resolution now? what's your resolution now?
well, I say 256 is not enough, at least for me. I'm using ATi X1600 512MB DDR2, and that's not enough stil.. haha..

I beleive my in game resoultion is 800 x 600 & the resouliton for average desktop activities is 1024 by 768. These are the requirements for hl2
Official Half-Life 2 Box minimum specs:

  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Processor
  • OS: Windows, 2000/XP/Me/98
  • Graphic card: DirectX 7 level graphics card
  • Hard Drive: 4.5 GB
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Other: Internet Connection, DVD-ROM Drive

Evidently, my system meets these requirements with room to spare.. so i think the problem lies somewhere in a hardware issue.

I was thinking about purchasing a EVGA 256-A8-N506-AX GeForce 7800GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X CO Video Card or the 7900 version but they both only have 256 mb mem. Do you think those cards would suffice? Also, this is going to be my last upgrade on my agp mobo before a complete overhaul.

I personaly use ATI Power Color X1800 XT, but it is PCI-E. Running COD2, BF2 and Half-Life 2 on top settings. However you would not able to do so with X1600 which is no so good as the cards you mentioned. Don't trust me, read this.
So in your position I would go for one of the card which you mentioned, they will just do for mean time. Once you do major upgrade you move to something else and you still will have a chance to sell your old components to somebody who wish to use his machine only for emails, browsing internet etc

I have decided to purchase the GeForce 7900gs 256 agp video card. It should arrive around Thursday, which means I will get back to everyone whether the problem is fixed or not.