This is a good buy if you have an old PC and want to boost its performance rather than fork out for a brand new PC when you want to save money for the long term.
My PC was bought in 2002 although has had a few upgrades along the way like extra memory and a new motherboard/processor in 2004. I decided it was time to upgrade the graphics card to have an HDMI output for better use of my HD monitor.
Upon looking for a new graphics card, I discovered that many of them would not be compatible with my motherboard as my existing motherboard only has PCI slots and one AGP slot for the graphics card. I was quite limited in choice as could only really pick an AGP graphics card otherwise I'd have to upgrade my motherboard to PCI-Express.
For those who aren't familiar with those terms I'll briefly explain them:
Motherboard - the backbone circuit board in your PC that interconnects everything to the processor.
AGP - A slot in the motherboard that is different to the other slots and is used mainly for graphics cards. Most new PC's now have PCI-Express slots for everything.
PCI Express - New type of slot in motherboards for graphics card, sound cards or other types of cards. Faster than the older PCI or AGP slots.
Windows XP seems to run smoother with less hard drive access. Visually the screen looks better possibly because the refresh rate is higher.
When playing the only games I really have time to play such as Orbiter Spaceflight Simulator, Virtual Sailor 7 and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, the frame rate has improved and I can now play these games with higher graphics detail settings. I haven't bench tested any other newer games yet so cannot comment on how this graphics card works with these games.
A vast improvement from the previous graphics card which had only 64Mb of onboard memory; this now has 256Mb.
This graphics card has improved performance of my PC and only cost £35 from PC World. That should satisfy my requirements for the next 6 months to 1 year after which I should be looking at buying a new PC altogether such as Quad-core or I might just keep the existing PC and use it as a 2nd system.