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Posted: 1/4/2003 8:19:02 PM EDT
Found several computers for pretty cheap.  I'm cheap too so it just fits.  These are package deals with a monitor and sometimes a printer. One is an HP Pavilion 533w with a 2.0Ghz processor, 60G HD, 256MB ram. Under "Video Graphics it says: "Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics" with up to 64MB shared video memory.   Several of the affordable package deals have this type video card.

What I need to know is can I upgrade the graphics card.  One of the salespeople who seemed to know what he was doing popped the cover off a display model and told me it would have to be a "PCI" type graphics card.  Other people I've talked to said that an upgrade is impossible because the video card is integrated.  What I want to run is games like "Ghost Recon" or "Medal of Honor"

Thanks for any help!!
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 8:24:20 PM EDT
If the salesman told you any upgrade would have to be a PCI graphics card, that means the motherboard doesn't have an AGP slot (Accelerated  Graphics Port).  PCI graphics cards are going to be really slow for any of today's 3D graphics games.  The integrated Intel graphics chip would almost certainly be better than any PCI card you could find, although I don't know whether the integrated chip would be good enough for your games.
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 8:50:46 PM EDT
Sure you can. Here's the info.
I'm copying and pasting because I can't type fast.

If you have on-board integrated graphics and no AGP slot you will have to try to upgrade with a PCI card. If after fitting PCI graphics you have 2 graphics adapters listed in device manager then "disable" the integrated graphics.If you still have problems then probably only a Hard drive re-format and reloading of windows will solve it.

If you are replacing existing graphics- right click on your blank desktop and select properties, settings ,advanced ,adapter ,change ,new driver , display list of drivers ,show all hardware, select standard display types  vga adapter, apply and windows will ask you if you want to restart windows, select no and shut down manually so you can replace card then restart later. Then insert your new agp graphics card and restart and refer below for driver installation details, if you are fitting a pci card see instructions following.
Should you experience problems ,start windows in safe mode (f8 when windows starts loading) and remove the display adaptor in the system device manager box and see if the driver is listed in the add/remove programs section in control panel for your old video card, if so remove it.  Restart windows and follow driver installation details below.

Link Posted: 1/4/2003 8:58:14 PM EDT
If you are going to buy the PC for use with video or gaming, then forget about one that only has a PCI slot.  You want to get one with an AGP slot and an AGP graphics card to go with it.

My AGP video card recently went out and I replaced it with the identical version but with a PCI card instead.  That was a big mistake, the performance is much worse.

Anything that is integrated can be turned off.  In addition you can run multiple video cards on one computer anyway.
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 9:34:56 PM EDT
I have the computer you're talking about, and I dunno about any other games, but Ghost recon runs just fine on it, with all the graphics settings maxed out.
Link Posted: 1/4/2003 9:53:06 PM EDT
Integrated graphics hardware is fine (it can always be turned off), but run away from any computer that doesn't offer an AGP slot.

I assume the "Intel Extreme Graphics" means one of their i8xx chips, which is rather low-end but may work for you. If not, spend $100-$200 on a good NVIDIA card (any GeForce4) or ATI card (Radeon etc)...
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 12:08:54 AM EDT
Good motherboards allow you to turn off the integrated stuff in the bios if you are going to use your own stuff.

I would not own a computer that did not have an AGP port for an AGP video card.

You could build yourself a better computer for cheaper than what you can buy on the shelf.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:41:16 PM EDT
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