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bigjohn 12-10-2004 08:19 AM

Which graphics/video card ???
How do I indentify exactly which graphics/video card I have installed ?

Someone recently told me that that would be via the lspci command, but


bash-2.05b# lspci
0000:00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset Host Bridge(rev 04)
0000:00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset AGP Bridge (rev 04)
0000:00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82801 PCI Bridge (rev 05)
0000:00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corp. 82801BA ISA Bridge (LPC) (rev 05)
0000:00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corp. 82801BA IDE U100 (rev 05)
0000:00:1f.2 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801BA/BAM USB (Hub #1) (rev 05)
0000:00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corp. 82801BA/BAM SMBus (rev 05)
0000:00:1f.4 USB Controller: Intel Corp. 82801BA/BAM USB (Hub #2) (rev 05)
0000:01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV17 [GeForce4 MX 420] (rev a3)
0000:02:00.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 07)
0000:02:00.1 Input device controller: Creative Labs SB Live! MIDI/Game Port (rev 07)
0000:02:01.0 Ethernet controller: National Semiconductor Corporation DP83815 (MacPhyter) Ethernet Controller
0000:02:02.0 Communication controller: Ambient Technologies Inc HaM controllerless modem (rev 02)

Now I can see the mention of a chipset AGP bridge, but don't follow quite what that means. I can also see the nVidia Corporation NV17 [GeForce4 MX 420] (rev a3) bit.

Whenever I see adverts for graphics cards, it says things link 8x AGP, so how do I find out exactly what my system can handle?



kilgoretrout 12-10-2004 09:50 AM

You have an Intel Brookdale chipset on your motherboard which I believe is limited to 4X AGP. 8X cards will work in it but function at 4X speeds. The AGP capability is determined by the motherboard design.

bigjohn 12-15-2004 10:02 AM

Thanks for that kilgoretrout, erm presumably you derived that info from the

0000:00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset AGP Bridge (rev 04)
line ? and that (rev 04) suggests a max of 4X agp ???

Still, at least I can make an offer on one of the cheap 128meg cards that pcworld are doing a deal on at the mo.



emu_123 12-15-2004 08:17 PM


First things first, currently you have a Geforce 4 mx 420 installed. The line

0000:01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV17 [GeForce4 MX 420] (rev a3)

shows that. The 01:00.0 is the identifier for your agp slot (in rare circumstances you may need to know that for setting up X ).


Thanks for that kilgoretrout, erm presumably you derived that info from the

quote:0000:00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corp. 82845 845 (Brookdale) Chipset AGP Bridge (rev 04)

line ? and that (rev 04) suggests a max of 4X agp ???
The (rev 04) suggests that the hardware is in its fourth revision with your motherboard. To be able to find out the speed of your AGP, you would need to look up the specifications for your motherboard's chipset (845 Brookdale) either in one of your manuals for your computer or on the web.

With compatibility for videocards, any newer non-PCI-express card should be right. 8X agp cards will work in any motherboard that has at least a AGP 2.0 compliant slot (4X agp) but will probably not work in 2x agp slots.

As with which video card you should buy, you should look at how much you are willing to pay, what you will be using it for, whether it is better then what you already have and how supported it is in linux. From the sounds of it, you are not after a whiz bang video card like the latest nvidia and ati cards so the speed of your processor does not really factor in.

See the HCL lists here for linux support and also search on the web ( ) to see if any one is having troubles with the card that you plan on buying.

I would recommend that you do not get an ATI card at the moment (if you are after a card that will let you play 3d games like quake 3) because their linux support is wanting. NVIDIA provides good proprietry drivers that I have had no troubles with and requires minimal configuration.

With other brands of video cards (eg. Matrox, S3 etc ) I cannot comment because I have had no experience with them in linux (or windows for that matter).

HTH, if you need any more information or clarifications or have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. The only silly question is the one not asked :)

Emu :)

kilgoretrout 12-15-2004 08:32 PM

I had a Brookdale Intel board. That's how I knew. IIRC they are all 4X. It was one of the reasons I switched to an 865perl board.

bigjohn 12-16-2004 05:02 AM

Thanks for the clarification both.

I did once have a pdf version of the mobo - well sort of.

It was a little weird, because I ID'd the board under windows, using SiSofts "Sandra" app (the free version). Which led me to the MSI site, but when I finally got to the board instructions pdf, it showed their version to have an additional pci slot, other than that it was identical - so I had to presume that it was a cheap "job lot" that had been bought for OEM type contruction - the pc has microstar on the front, but is actually produced by Medion in Germany - who are famed for "cheap and cheerful".

So I think (yes, only think) that it was a correct presumption i.e. it worked out ok when I ordered more RAM from crucial, well after using the crucial memory selector facility, the stuff that they sent worked OK.

I'll just have to go back and see if I still have the pdf for it!



p.s. unless you know of any app's that will generate a hardware identification list under linux ???

kilgoretrout 12-16-2004 12:57 PM

Your printout says you have an Intel 845 Brookdale chipset on your mb. Here's the specs on that chipset from Intel:

That chipset has a 4X AGP interface.

bigjohn 12-18-2004 07:30 PM

Thanks for that kilgoretrout, it clears up pretty much most of the questions I had (not all, but it's now 0130 in the morning and the old brains starting to falter - mainly because I've been trying to read and comprehend this. Not exactly what you might call "light reading").

Once again, thanks for the assist, I should at least be able to replace my graphics card without too much trouble.



JaseP 12-18-2004 09:17 PM

If you stick with an nVidia card, you won't need to switch your drivers... if you are using the nVidia unified drivers now...

bigjohn 12-19-2004 05:49 PM

yeah, I am using the unified one 6111 if my memory serves me correctly is the current "flavour"!



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