What do I need to upgrade?

I have a system built around 2002. It has an Asus motherboard with integrated Nvidia sound and video. It has a slot for an accelerated graphics card but I’ve never installed one. It has one 512 mb and one 256 mb memory dimm. The motherboard will only accept one GB total. Processor is an AMD Athlon 2200 (about 1.8 ghz). OpenSuse has found the integrated video and configured it to run in VGA mode. My internet connection is via DSL. This all generally works fine except when I’m running a web browser video full screen (such as jaylenosgarage.com). The video is then somewhat jerky. As I see it, there are only two inexpensive possibilities: an inexpensive AG card or max out the memory (or both). Beyond that, my money would be better spent on a whole new system. Would the AG card and/or memory help any? BTW, my swap space is 2x memory. Is that a factor?

I doubt maxing the memory will work; I suspect your only option is a graphics card with some on-board memory that will take the strain but I have no idea what would be available.

Maxing the memory is always a good thing to do for an older system, and it shouldn’t be too expensive, given the age of the system.

A video card upgrade would be your best bet to getting smoother video and web browsing. Since you would need an AGP card I recommend getting a Nvidia 6200-based AGP card. They are cheap, still being made, and they work great in Linux with the Nvidia proprietary driver. My GF’s PC has one, and she experiences no slow down when doing basic tasks. It even allows her to play secondlife which runs pretty smoothly on moderate graphic settings (with compositing on, mind you :wink: ).

If I were you, I would look into upgrading both the RAM and getting a video card; afterwards, your PC would be able to handle basic web browsing/office tasks without any trouble for a few years.

If you have a low budget, just get the video card. But like I said, it shouldn’t cost much more to get both upgrades. And swap space doesn’t affect PC performance; swapping to the hard drive is extremely slow and no substitute for adding more RAM.

I’ll check out the cost of doing both and then decide if it’s worth it. I may just upgrade the whole system and get 64 bit processing along with it.

I have video playing smoothly on an older system. But a lot depends on the bit rate/resolution of the video you trying to play, and also on your graphics card/driver, and also on your internet connection, and on the web site you visit.

Intel graphics are currently going thru a phase where some of them are having performance problems. But I note you have nVidia graphics. What driver are you using? vesa ? openGL (ie “nv” ), or proprietary nvidia (ie “nvidia”). In openSUSE-11.1 or earlier, if you type:
**cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf | grep river **
it will tell you which graphic driver.

I assume you do not have any problems with videos on your hard drive?

Note some web sites have problems. For example, youtube is notorious for having problems in streaming High Definition videos smoothly, even to high speed connections to state of the art PCs.

Its hard to offer anything specific. Can you provide the URL of the web site that causes the problem, so others can advise if this is systemic of the web site, or if it is PC specific?

My connection is DSL. OpenSuse found my integrated nVidia (geforce 2MX) and set the VESA driver. It is generally working good and I haven’t tried to change it. After posting my initial message I ordered a DIMM in order to max out memory at 1 GB and also a low-end nVidia AGP card. I’ll let you know what they do to help, if anything.

OK, … I confess I do not know anything about a GeForce 2MX.

I have an old athlon-1100 (1GB RAM) with a nVidia FX5200 AGP card and it plays audio/video back with no problem. But I use the proprietary nVidia driver which has SIGNIFICANTLY superior performance.

I have an old athlon-2800 (2GB RAM) with a nVidia GeForce 8400GS PCI (not PCI-e, but the much older PCI) card and it plays audio/video back with no problem. But I use the proprietary nVidia driver which has SIGNIFICANTLY superior performance.

Your 756MB of RAM should be enough. IMHO the problem may be your VESA graphics driver, and also the video output mode you have selected in your multimedia application/player.