Which is better - integrated nForce 420 or external GEForce2 MX400?
January 27, 2009 5:22 PM   Subscribe

What should I use in this aging Packard Bell desktop - the integrated nForce 420 chipset, or an external GEForce 2 MX400 64mb card?
posted by obiwanwasabi to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
What are you doing with the system? I'd be inclined to use the card, assuming that its AGP, if only because the integrated graphics probably use system memory for the frame buffer, and you probably need as much of that as you can get.
posted by Good Brain at 5:44 PM on January 27, 2009

The nForce 420 core was a GeForce2 MX.

The performance difference between the GeForce2 MX and GeForce2 MX400 was pretty insignificant. However with the onboard graphics you'll only be able to allot up to 32MB out of system memory. The expansion card will give you extra graphics memory, and won't eat into your system memory.

If you're just using the computer to browse the internet there should be no difference. If you're going to play games or watch video, you might get better results with the graphics card.
posted by brassafrax at 5:44 PM on January 27, 2009

It's almost always better to go with an external card. Are you sure you can't find a better one than the MX 400? I know for my ancient Dell -- which only has PCI slot, no AGP -- for about $35 on NewEgg.com, I can get an FX 5200, which is substantially better than the MX 400.
posted by wastelands at 5:51 PM on January 27, 2009

What brassafrax said -- the dedicated memory will make a big difference.

And also, I dunno if buying a new card is worth it. Geforce4s are basically just Geforce2's, which means an upgrade would be something along the lines of the 5000 or 6000 series (assuming there's enough stock).

Eh, something like the FX5200 will be a bit quicker, but not that much quicker. It's a low end 5-series. You can verify the numbers here.
posted by spiderskull at 6:02 PM on January 27, 2009

Thanks brassafrax - exactly what I was looking for. I'll go with the card - it'll mostly be a homework box (Firefox / word processing), but will probably end up having a few older games and xvids thrown at it as well. With a lousy 480mb of RAM it'll need all the help it can get.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:29 PM on January 27, 2009

Installing the external card will add more mass to the computer.

Thus, it will make an even better boat anchor.
posted by wfrgms at 7:40 PM on January 27, 2009

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