Best performing PCI (not express) video card?


Stewart Greenhill

Hi All,

I need to upgrade my Shuttle Zen (ST62K) for a family member who is
addicted to "Second Life". I have just one standard PCI slot so I'm
looking for a good PCI graphics card that is also quiet (preferably
passively cooled).

It looks like I need to choose between:
- nVidia FX5200
- ATI Radeon 9250
- Visiontek Radeon X1300

My gut feeling is to go with the 9250, providing I can get a 256Mb card
with 128-bit memory and a heat-sink. I read that the nVidia cards tend
to trade off quality for speed (eg. here: but is this true for the
FX5200? I guess that otherwise there is probably not a lot of difference
between the FX5200 and 9250.

The X1300 should perform better, but will it really be much better given
the limitations of PCI? How much noise does the fan on the X1300 make?

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.



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