View Full Version : Graphics card for old machine running linux

06-08-2014, 11:46 AM

Wifey running Ubuntu 14.4 Linux on P4 machine, reckons she can't open large graphics files as it times out (using onboard graphics, shared ram), thought getting a graphics card might help?

Ok this is the motherboard


I can figure out its a pcie card needed, but thats where I get a bit lost.

I am in no massive hurry to get a card, I'd just want to know exactly what i should be looking at and which type would work best in Linux

06-08-2014, 03:33 PM
Wifey running Ubuntu 14.4 Linux on P4 machine, reckons she can't open large graphics files as it times out (using onboard graphics, shared ram), thought getting a graphics card might help?

Really? How much Ram is there?
For just pictures it shouldn't matter about GPUs.......but any half decent one will do, doesn't matter whether Nvidia or ATI, I would go a bit higher up than entry level though....just because....

Here's the ranking:


You sure don't need any of the top several lines.....

Rod J
06-08-2014, 05:12 PM
Upgrading the ram would be more effective in this case than a graphic card (unless you want to upgrade the graphics performance for other reasons too).

07-08-2014, 12:10 AM
If you can get a cheap RAM upgrade then it's worth a shot but bear in mind you can get a brand new MB/CPU/RAM combo for under $300. It's not worth spending very much on what amounts to an ancient MB by today's standards.
Here's a couple of examples http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA54322, http://www.pp.co.nz/products.php?pp_id=AA55952.

At least it's pcie so if you did buy a graphics card it could be re-used in a modern PC, what works best in linux tends to be common cards that have been around for a while, i.e. don't get something that's just been released in the last few months. I agree with the others though, it's more likely to be RAM. What do you guys use this machine for?

07-08-2014, 07:38 AM
if you need more RAM post what it is sure someone on here will have some even me probably

07-08-2014, 12:51 PM
Machine has got around 2gb ram, they are 512 sticks (I think) all slots are full, possibly could use more, I guess, it runs fine for everything except the image manipulation stuff.

She's using gimp with large scanned images of artworks, sort of graphic intensive, it seems to do 80% of what she wants currently, I don't particularly want to spend much money on it as it is a hobby, So as to graphics card it will be something of trademe thats really cheap if thats realistic. I am guessing that there will be the odd cheap graphics card thats better than 10yr old onboard graphics crop up on trade me every once in a while

Something possibly like this
or this

How do i tell if
a) How much better it is that the current onboard graphics

With processors you used to be able to compare them , the link PCTek gave does give me some guidance, but i have to say graphics cards are pretty damned confusing

07-08-2014, 03:41 PM
IF a graphics card helps at all it will only be because it freed up some shared RAM, image manipulation is not graphics intensive, it''s RAM intensive. Have a look at this similar situation http://gimpforums.com/thread-does-gimp-use-graphics-card-memory

Having said that the onboard graphics on a socket 775 machine will be slower than any add in graphics card you can find and either of those you linked would be a huge upgrade for anything that does use graphics. The 8800GTX might be a bit overpowered and need a beefy PSU to feed it though, something else to consider.

07-08-2014, 05:56 PM
Have you tried increasing the swapfile size or even move it to a different drive?
This sometimes can be enough to allow the loading of larger size files,
of course if they are bigger than 4GB or so they might never load in a 32 bit system?

08-08-2014, 07:49 PM
I'll look at the swapfile didn't think of that

If I was to look at a graphics card, how do you tell how much power they use, as i don't think the old machine has a great power supply

As for Ram I assuming its any non ecc ddr400 ram will do?

Speedy Gonzales
08-08-2014, 08:04 PM
The box for the card will tell you what the requirements are. Or check online for the req's. And yup any non-ecc DDR400 should do. As long as it's 1 gb each (if you get 4 sticks). Since the mobo only supports up to 4 GB