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  1. #1
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    Comparing graphic cards and understanding PerformanceTest results

    I have a really old WinXP box which is used for office work (word processing, Quicken, Web browsing, no gaming).

    The graphics card just blew up (Nvidia GEforce 7300 LE 256MB) and I need to replace it. I have several old PCI-E cards laying around and was trying to determine which would be the best card to use. I'm also not opposed to buying a new card if these cards are worse then the one that I previously had. My only complaint with the previous setup was that web pages with a lot of embedded videos or ads would take a long to time to render. Since my internet speed is 250mbs and the PC has a 1000mbs NIC, 4GB RAM, SSD hard drive, I assume it is the GPU which is choking on these pages.

    Running at 1024 X 768 32 bit

    The four cards I have laying around are (PerformanceTest results at bottom of post):

    1. A different looking then blown card Nvidia GEforce 7300 LE, which I thought only had 128MB but PT says 512MB (128MB dedicated), DDR2,
    Core clock 450MHZ, Memory data rate 1296 MHZ

    2. AMD Radeon HD 6300M. Has a box checked off on the board that says 512MB but PT says 1024MB, HyperMemory, Core clock 650MHZ, Memory clock 400MHZ

    3. ATI Radeon X300, PT reports 128MB DDR SGRAM / SD RAM, Clock 324MHZ, memory clock 196MHZ

    4. Diamond Radeon X1550, PT reports 512MB DDR2, Clock 547 MHZ, Memory clock 270MHZ

    According to the online PT results my old card specs were Max Memory Size: 128MB Core Clock 350 MHz, Memory clock 666 MHz.



    Is my assumption about the browsing bottleneck being the GPU correct?

    Why do the reported memory sizes differ (ie I "knew" my card to be 256MB but PT web page says 128MB max, AMD Card is marked at 512 on board, but PT reports 1024MB)?

    Based on my test (below) the NEW Nvidia 7300 was faster on 2D test than the Radeon HD 6300M, but much worse on the 3D tests.
    Since I am not playing 3D games I assume that 2D performance is more important to me, but why wouldn't a faster card be faster on all?

    Which specs are most important to me, memory size (only need 1024x76) , memory speed, clock speed, memory technology?

    How do the four cards compare to the original? I cant obviously test the bad card and the scores given on this page (55 and 1.72) don't seem to have anything to do with the PT test I ran on the other cards.

    Should I use one of the four cards I have or can I get better performance for my needs by purchasing something else (recommendations).

    Thanks



    -------------------------- PT TEST RESULTS --------------------------

    2D Graphics Mark
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 264.1
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 204.2
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 228.5
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 236.2

    3D Graphics Mark
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 72.5
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 164.4
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 47.6
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 84.2

    2D Graphics Mark
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 264.1
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 204.2
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 228.5
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 236.2

    Graphics 2D - Simple Vectors
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 10.8
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 11.0
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 10.9
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 10.9

    Graphics 2D - Complex Vectors
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 66.7
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 69.4
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 70.8
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 68.4

    Graphics 2D - Complex Vectors
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 66.7
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 69.4
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 70.8
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 68.4

    Graphics 2D - Fonts and Text
    #6 - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 255.7
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 77.8
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 60.9
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 66.8
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 78.1

    Graphics 2D - Windows Interface
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 128.6
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 48.6
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 113.5
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 135.2

    Graphics 2D - Image Filters
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 210.1
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 202.0
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 211.4
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 211.6

    Graphics 2D - Image Rendering
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 196.5
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 116.8
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 116.5
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 116.3

    3D Graphics Mark
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 72.5
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 164.4
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 47.6
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 84.2

    Graphics 3D - DirectX 9 Simple
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 7.3
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 16.5
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 5.0
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 8.9

    Graphics 3D - DirectX 9 Complex
    Nvidia g7300 - NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE 3.63
    ATI 512 - AMD Radeon HD 6300M 8.3
    ATI x300 - ATI Radeon X300/X550/X1050 Series 2.27
    Ati x550 - Diamond Radeon X1550 Series 4.01

  2. #2
    Administrator satrow's Avatar
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    The Radeon X1550 should be roughly on a par with the GT 7300 LE, the others are likely to be noticeably slower.

    Upgrading graphics cards can be a minefield, let's use your current card (Release date for the 7000 range: June 20052006!) as an example: SE/LE indicates a cut-down version cf. the best card in that model, the GT; where one card has more/double memory installed, esp. for 'budget' cards, the larger memory size often uses slower/older memory; memory bandwidth is a much better indicator of 'speed': https://www.nvidia.com/page/geforce_7300.html but ensure you check exactly what you're getting with any potential new card.

    We really need to see the full specs/details of your PC components to have a better idea of the likely bottlenecks and whether your motherboard will work correctly with more recent graphics cards.

    On the PT page for your card, scroll down to Last 5 Baselines for GeForce 7300 LE and open each of them, the 2D # is probably the best indicator of speed, if all else is equal - which it almost never is! CPU, main memory and drive speed all play a part; the drive is called on to feed the graphics data into the main memory where it's picked up by the CPU and then passed to the graphics card.

    From your PT page I also ran a compare with the GeForce GT 710 (released 2013) and it indicates a clear advantage for the newer card, the specs page (https://www.geforce.com/hardware/des...specifications) shows that the memory bandwidth is close to triple that of the older card. (these are available from Newegg at ~$39 - but - they also have 2x versions of this card advertised as having the more recent GDDR5 memory, giving more memory bandwidth again - 5.2 > 14.4 > 40 GB/s. for ~$50).

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    JackPollack (2018-04-21)

  4. #3
    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackPollack View Post
    web pages with a lot of embedded videos or ads would take a long to time to render
    To help with that, look into your browser settings to disable videos auto-playing, use an ad blocker, and disable Flash.
    Lugh.
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  6. #4
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    These are my specs (:lol):
    CPU Type: Intel Pentium 4 3.00GHz
    Number of CPUs: 1
    Cores per CPU: 1
    Hyperthreading: Enabled
    Motherboard: 0J8885
    Memory: 4GB Crucial Technology DDR2 SDRAM

    I was thinking about springing for the MSI GT 710 2GD5H-LP.

    Given the limited specs of the computer, the fact that I am running only at 1024x768 32bit, and dont play games do you think I will see any benefit (even slight) with GT 710 2GD5H-LP over the ZOTAC GeForce GT 710 DirectX 12 ZT-71301-20L 1GB 64-Bit DDR3?

    I assume these drivers will work for both (XP)

    Thanks

    PS just installed a flash player disabler.
    Last edited by JackPollack; 2018-04-21 at 07:45.

  7. #5
    Administrator satrow's Avatar
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    Fly in the ointment time Is your XP 32 or 64-bit?

    If it's 32-bit, the amount of memory (RAM) available to Windows will reduce, probably to ~2.2GB, if you use a 2GB graphics card, maybe to ~3GB if you get a 1GB version - it's down to the way 32-bit Windows reserves memory address space for certain hardware devices to stay below the 4GB total limit. If it's the 64-bit XP version, it will be able to use all 4GB.

    Yes, I think you would see a difference in performance: lower CPU kernel usage, faster image drawing, fewer dropped frames/less stutter on video playback, etc. with the GDDR5 card.

    You might still be hitting a bottleneck elsewhere though; I would certainly want to put some effort into ensuring the SSD retains as much free space as possible and that you leave the PC 'resting' overnight on the BIOS screen after a reboot say, bi-monthly, to give the SSD's inbuilt garbage collection routines a chance to clean up the 'dirty' data blocks, as XP has no native Trim routine to rely on.

    Those drivers should be fine

    From longer term and security viewpoints, you really should be considering a newer and more capable machine with a currently supported Windows version, esp. now that most of the major browsers have stopped, or are about to stop releasing, versions for XP/Vista (also all 32-bit versions in some cases). It really isn't safe to use outdated Internet-facing software...

  8. #6
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    It is XP 32 bit!
    I was aware of the 4GB RAM limit, but didnt know that the graphics card would eat into that number.

    I'm not clear on what you are trying to say here.
    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    the amount of memory (RAM) available to Windows will reduce, probably to ~2.2GB, if you use a 2GB graphics card, maybe to ~3GB if you get a 1GB version
    Are you saying I will end up with more usable memory if I get the 2GB card, or the system will reserve more RAM for the 2GB card, leaving me (Windows) less?

    I would hate for the system to reserve my preciously low RAM for video resolutions I wont use. If what you are saying is that the 2GB card will give me better video performance, but eat up more Windows RAM than the 1GB card, is there no (registry) setting that will limit the the amount of RAM irregardless of the amount of RAM on the video card (ie have the 2GB card lie and say it is smaller)?


    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    You might still be hitting a bottleneck elsewhere though; I would certainly want to put some effort into ensuring the SSD retains as much free space as possible and that you leave the PC 'resting' overnight on the BIOS screen after a reboot say, bi-monthly, to give the SSD's inbuilt garbage collection routines a chance to clean up the 'dirty' data blocks, as XP has no native Trim routine to rely on.
    Also aware of that fact tha XP has no TRIM, but your idea of leaving on BIOS screen is a good one.

    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    From longer term and security viewpoints, you really should be considering a newer and more capable machine with a currently supported Windows version, esp. now that most of the major browsers have stopped, or are about to stop releasing, versions for XP/Vista (also all 32-bit versions in some cases). It really isn't safe to use outdated Internet-facing software...
    Noted :-)

  9. #7
    Administrator satrow's Avatar
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    I'll hand you over to Mark Russinovich for an explanation: Pushing the Limits of Windows: Physical Memory

    Other miscellaneous devices account for most of the rest, and the PCI bus reserves additional ranges for devices as part of the conservative estimation the firmware uses during boot.

    The consumption of memory addresses below 4GB can be drastic on high-end gaming systems with large video cards. For example, I purchased one from a boutique gaming rig company that came with 4GB of RAM and two 1GB video cards. I hadn't specified the OS version and assumed that they'd put 64-bit Vista on it, but it came with the 32-bit version and as a result only 2.2GB of the memory was accessible by Windows. You can see a giant memory hole from 8FEF0000 to FFFFFFFF in this Meminfo output from the system after I installed 64-bit Windows:

    Device Manager reveals that 512MB of the over 2GB hole is for the video cards (256MB each), and it looks like the firmware has reserved more for either dynamic mappings or because it was conservative in its estimate:
    Search the web page for "32-bit Client Effective Memory Limits" for the beginning of the relevant section with more details, image examples and tools used to check, etc.

  10. #8
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    I would suggest trying any one of the working cards, and use something to check how hard the GPU is working when in 'normal' use - I just downloaded and tried GPU-Z and it shows graphs of various GPU clocks. You should be able to tell if web browsing kicks off significant extra activity - which I would doubt, except for extreme pages. I expect is mostly just waiting for the garbage that is linked from other sites. If you use no-script (as I do), you won't be surprised at the vast number of 'foreign' pages that want to run scripts.

    Of course, if you can run W10, it has a graphical display of GPU activity - I am dual-booting XP and W10, and forgot that, as i mostly use XP.

    I would give a link to GPU-Z, but it is available in many places, and I don't know which ones are free of extraneous, unwanted download offers. On further reflection, this seems to be the best place to start:
    https://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/

  11. #9
    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackPollack View Post
    web pages with a lot of embedded videos or ads would take a long to time to render
    Follow-on to my previous post on that. I've been using AutoplayStopper for the past week in Opera browser—it's a Chrome extension, so obviously should work on that also. It's doing a good job so far.
    Lugh.
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