Upgrading a ~4 year old desktop with a new graphics card


Motherboard: MSI KM4M
CPU: AMD Sempron 2ghz
Gfx Card: Radeon 9250 (AGP)
712 MB RAM

I'm looking at getting two 1 Gig modules of RAM (~£50 from crucial),

However I'm not sure on the graphics card; the Radeon is AGP which is old technology now, but would the modern graphics cards using 'PCI 2' or PCI Express' or whatever it is, be compatible with my motherboard?

Would I be better off getting one of the last high-end AGP cards that were released?
:? you would need an AGP card

Depending on what games you want to play your processor may be a weak point/bottleneck which will hamper any other upgrades IMHO sorry

hope im wrong
Playing TF2 which is quite intensive but not too bad compared to other modern games;

I assume then that PCI 2 / PCI Express is not backwards compatible with the 'old' PCI ?
Cheers for the help all, I'll get a bit more RAM and an AGP card, hopefully a 2 year old game like TF2 won't be affected by the slightly slower CPU
msr said:
You'd be better off putting your money towards a new PC.

MSR's right. You should buy a new PC or at least upgrade your CPU/Motherboard/Graphics Card/RAM.

I did exactly what you are planning to do and it didnt turn out well. In the aftermath, I ended up with two spare motherboards, two spare graphics cards and I had spent £150 more then I needed to.

AGP motherboards are old, and have incompatibilites with newer parts. Also, you may find out (like I did) that upgrading the Graphics card may have little difference to your framerate if you have an old CPU. Whilst upgrading my PC, I briefly had a 3GHZ P4 single core with 2GB ram and an ATI X1950 PRO (a last high-end AGP card) and still got poor framerates on newer games as my processor held it back. If you find you want to upgrade your processor to a dual core model to then you'll have to buy a newer PCI-E motherboard, and then a PCI-E graphics card. It may be cheaper just to upgrade the lot in the long run.

Lastly, the recommened system requirements for Team Forrtress 2 are:
Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better), 1GB RAM, DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card
So even thought you'll have a good Graphics card and decent RAM, theres a chance you'll only be able to play Team Fortress on low/medium because of your processor.

Please dont make the same mistake I did.
Have a look at SCAN.CO.UK on the today only deals if you really are that strapped for cash. But thay are correct in the statement about your system your just flogging a dead horse mate.
:( overclockers.co.uk do bundles as well as scan depends on your budget

a computer mag i have somewhere recently made a direct x 10 pc for 176 quid IIRC
will dig it out and get back to you which one .

Save money by upgrading now rather than wasting money trying to get average performance

most amd am2+ motherboards and chips can be upgraded in a few years time due to Amds policies i believe, the joy of pci express means that they get cheaper as technology improves so that todays stars are tomorrows bargains

Good luck