Budget PCI graphics card for a Pentium III based Compaq Presario

Hi everyone, hope you are all doing well. I recently acquired a few older computers that someone was getting rid of. One of them happens to be a very nice HP Compaq 8200 Elite system, and I'm looking forward to getting that one cleaned up and put to work. One of the other computers was an old Compaq Presario from the Windows ME era. It was a nice machine at one point, but the previous owner had stored it either outside or in a dirty garage, and the case had been beaten up a bit. I decided that the case wasn't worth trying to salvage (even if it wasn't so beaten up I wasn't sure that I wanted to put it in my vehicle) so I pulled all the worthwhile parts out of it. This left me with the following:

Stock Compaq motherboard
Intel Pentium III (866MHz) Socket 370
PCI ethernet card (likely 10/100)

I ditched the power supply as it was pretty filthy, and the previous owner had already removed the hard drive. The board has 4 PCI slots, and I'm not sure what video card I should get for it. Does anyone have any recommendations for a card that wouldn't be too expensive?


  • edited November 2020
    I guess it could depend on what operating system you plan on using on the machine.

    What do you plan on using the machine for? Vintange DOS games? 95/98 games? 2K/XP/7? File server?
  • Ah, I forgot about that. This system originally shipped with Windows ME, but I'd like to run Windows 98 on it.
  • edited November 2020
    Almost any card you can find will be suitable then. Things like Voodoo 2/3 cards will be stupidly expensive but practically anything from nvidia or ati will at least give you something to work with.

    You're putting 98 on it, but what are you doing with it? Do you need a card that can play directx 9 games? is directx 8 good enough? Do you just need to accelerate DOS based games like Doom and call it a day?
  • I'm not totally sure yet. Right now I don't have any older machines set up for games, but to be honest I haven't had the time to enjoy gaming lately on any machine. I'll see what I can find.
  • Not sure if this helps a lot but I have a Compaq Presario which has an NVIDIA TNT2 16MB. It's nice even tho I'm running XP on it.
  • I think I might have a TNT2 sitting around somewhere - I'll look for it.
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