Video card upgrade advice?

Do I need more than 16 mb?

I have a 16mb video card and am thinking I should upgrade to more mem since my screen freezes a lot in htrack - good idea? Other better solutions? Recommedations no how much memory?

64 or 128 MBs is standard these days.

Mr Soul

Your current system specs would be good. I have a feeling that screen freezes aren’t due to the video card, but some kind of hardware conflict or something else tieing (sp?) up the bus (possibly bad drivers though if it’s an old unsupported card like a voodoo).

If you want an inexpensive card that will do all the basics (even some gaming) i’d recommend a mx4000 based card. You can get them as inexespensively as $40 CAN (aprox $30 USD). I’ve had a lot more luck with nvidia drivers, as a canadian I like supporting canadian products but ati doesn’t have as good drivers IMHO. For example as soon as the win64 beta was out I could good working drivers for my card to run under it (ati users didn’t have that luck).

My last card was a dual head geforce 4 which was great for applications, and it was decent on games (plenty of FPS on the orginal halflife and MOHAA).

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need a lot of memory. A 32MB card would do you fine i’m sure (my dual head was only 32MB), unless you are playing game 128MB is overkill, the extra memory is for storing textures and stuff to be processed. Unless your desktop involves realtime 3D rendering you don’t need that much (windows won’t be using 3d abilties of a card until longhorn is released, and by then you’ll need to ungrade your entire computer to run it I bet).

For a great deal I bet you could get a used geforce 2 mx200 or mx400 for <$20 off of your local usenet group. Pretty much useless for new games, but plenty of power for the desktop.


What OS are you using? I wouldn’t think getting more than 16MB has as much to do with system stability as the OS and drivers, as well as the N-track build you use. The stability with my old 32MB Geforce 2 card and N-track (as well as several other programs) really increased when I upgraded from Win 98 to Win 2000. I don’t think N-track has ever frozen up my system under Win 2000. I recently moved up to a 128MB Radeon card, and it hasn’t made a difference with N-track (3D gaming improved, of course). Occasionally, I still run N-track on a Win 98 box for testing purposes, and even though that box has a 64MB video card, it is still easy to crash the system with N-track and games.


Duplicate deleted

Good info all… thanks. To answer the questions: I"m running 4.04 with XP Home, SP2 on a 1gig Celreon machine, 512 Ram.

The freezing I’m experiencing isn’t system lock up, just the screen, while recording, will stop responding… if I continue to record, it starts again and is OK and the recoring is fine…

I"m running 4.04 with XP Home, SP2 on a 1gig Celreon machine, 512 Ram.
In general, I would expect your configuration to be slow. Sorry about that.

Mr Soul

what video card are you running? I’ve never run a celeron (although my gf has a 2.4ghz and I really don’t like the way it’s behaving right now). Problem with celerons is the small cache. I assume that board could take a p3 of around the same speed . Although depending on the chipset of your board it may be slowness on the bus, it gets tied up so the vid card doesn’t get its turn and it freezes.

If you can get a used p3 for a song locally it may be worth a try. I never had any problems when I was running a duron 800 with a 32MB mx2 running winXP (of course I wan’t using ntrack at that time and even if I was it wasn’t v4.04). Could there be other processes running? WinXP is a hog, so it would be good to turn of all unnecesary services. You can check what gets started up by going start->run-> msconfig then go to the services tab. Win2k would probably be preferable for an older computer, but once you turn off extra crap and screen animations etc xp seems to run pretty well.

Have you tried benchmarking the system with something like sisoft sandra? I love sandra, it has picked out a few problems for me before.

Upgrading your video couldn’t hurt, but as a warning it may not help. Of course if you buy a decent card you can bring it with you to your next setup.

I’m running a Celeron 800 with a 8 Meg ati graphics card 128 Meg ram and can get 40 tracks with no problems using an old version of n-track (2.2).

The short answer is that yes getting a video card with 32megs may help. It really depends on what the underlying cause of the freeze is. A new card will most likely move you to newer drivers. A 16 meg card is probably old and may not have drivers fully fixed up for newer OSes.

I would say your machine is slower by today’s standards but it’s no way too slow to be very useful. I used a 750mhz PIII until recently. I was able to get upwards of 36 tracks when using V3.3. I had upgraded to a 3.2 ghz machine before V4 came out so I can’t make a comparison though.

I suggest looking for a video card with at lease 64 megs. I have a pile of 32 meg cards at work and n-Tracks worked fine all that I tried, but there was a noticeable jump in other programs (games) when moving to a 64 meg card. Old games were ok but we got my son two new games for Christmas and neither would run on 32 meg cards, so I brought my pile of cards home to see what worked. 64 megs it was for the games.

I use a Matrox Millennium G400 Dual-Head on my main DAW machine. It’s 32 megs and I have no obvious problems.