Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

PCIe or AGP for upgrade?

Last response: in Motherboards
Share
March 7, 2005 9:11:53 PM

I am going to be upgrading my computer at the end of the month and I was all set to get an althon64 3500+, Asus A8V Deluxe mobo, and 1GB of RAM. My computer is a little over 4yrs old, but I got an ATI 9600XT 256MB a little over a year ago since I wasn't in a position to do a bigger upgrade. I don't want to have to replace that board, but I'm wondering if it'd be a better idea to do so, since I'll probably be upgrading my video card again before I do a total system upgrade.

So my questions are 1: do you think it'd be foolish not get PCIe?
and 2: how much do you think I could get for my current card to help offset the cost of a replacement
and 3: if I do go PCIe, what card/mobo would you recommend? I'd want a midrange card (no more than $200). I haven't been doing much gaming lately, but I plan on doing more after my upgrade.

More about : pcie agp upgrade

March 7, 2005 9:16:08 PM

I would go with AGP and when you'll be ready to upgrade your vido card, you'll be able to grab a nice Radeon x850xt AGP. An then, when this setup wont be really enough powerful, I will upgrade to whatever technology will be at this time.. and I think, 3-4 years from now...

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
March 7, 2005 9:30:27 PM

You didn't really give system specs, so there is no way to tell what your systems upgrade path is. Most likely at 4 years old, you will want to replace the motherboard. It sounds doubtful too that your ram would be reuseable either. I would look for a S754 Athlon 64 motherboard with an AGP slot, and use the 9600XT for now. Then later when you can afford/or need an upgrade, get a X800XL or GF6800GT caliber card. AGP is here to stay for a while, so not worries that you won't be able to upgrade that 9600XT when you need a new card. There is no game that an A64 2800+ or faster/512MB-1GB PC3200/Radeon 9600XT can't play, yet the bottleneck for gaming in such a system would be the video card.



<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3400555" target="_new"> My</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=8268935" target="_new">Gamer</A>
Related resources
March 7, 2005 9:58:08 PM

Well, I didn't think it was worth giving system specs, but they are:
Athlon 900
Asus A7V
256MB RAM
9600XT 256MB
SB Live! Value
3com 10/100 ethernet adapter

There's no way I'm keeping my current ram, motherboard, or processor. So if I go w/ AGP, you think there's no point in going for socket 939 and a faster processor than 2800+?
March 7, 2005 10:14:50 PM

Sorry, no didn't mean that at all. I upgraded to a MSI K8N neo2 Platinum NF3 Ultra AGP S939 motherboard with a Winchester A64 3000+. I wish I had gone an A64 3200+ or 3500+, but otherwise i am thrilled with the system. I had a Radeon 9800 pro i wanted to keep until a real deal came along on an upgrade. I ended up getting a BFG 6800 Ultra for $350, which was almost $250 less than the PCI-e equivelent sold for at the time. AGP doesn't limit your CPU choices, and only limits your video card choices to a single card (no sli). Otherwise any card you would want is out or coming out in AGP, and often cheaper than PCI-e. The new bridged ATI cards may be more expensive in AGP, but we don't know that yet. But GF6800 series cards are cheaper in AGP. Anyway, it sounded like you were on more of a budget. S939 won't outperform S754, but both are good AGP choices.



<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3400555" target="_new"> My</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=8268935" target="_new">Gamer</A>
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Pauldh on 03/14/05 08:52 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 7, 2005 11:31:23 PM

Agree with Pauldh, but I the s754 has the performance advantage. A s939 is clocked at 1.8Ghz and a s754 3000+ is 2Ghz. The major performance advantage of the s939 is the dual channel memory, but that doesn't make up for the 200Mhz handicap.

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
March 8, 2005 11:29:29 AM

If this <A HREF="http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=21648" target="_new"> PPU </A> ends up being pci-e, then I'd say that's a pretty damn good reason to go pci-e. It may not however; just food for thought :smile:

<font color=green> Woohoo!! I am officially an <b> Enthusiast </b>!! </font color=green>
<i> <font color=red> One new Firefox fan </font color=red> </i>
March 8, 2005 11:51:39 AM

Very interesting! Of course I wouldn't want to be the one that pays for the R&D by buying one of the first cards to hit the streets! I'll get my good price/perf platform for now and when it doesn't do the job anymore, then I'll get a new system. Maybe it'll have one of those cards - if I need/want it at that time and it has good price/perf. The next best thing is always right around the corner. Get what you need now and worry about the rest later!

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
March 8, 2005 2:39:18 PM

I don't know why I'm so sold on the whole pci-e thing. I read somewhere in THG that it may be worth getting if you're gonna build a new rig anyways (which I am), and ever since then I decided I <b> HAVE </b> to go pci-e. Oh well :smile:

<font color=green> Woohoo!! I am officially an <b> Enthusiast </b>!! </font color=green>
<i> <font color=red> One new Firefox fan </font color=red> </i>
March 8, 2005 2:50:06 PM

I'm definitely not saying that PCIe isn't a good thing. It's perfectly appropriate for some people, but it isn't for everyone and i'm in that group. :smile:

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
March 8, 2005 2:51:49 PM

I figured it's ok because I have to rebuild practically from scratch anyways, so why not? :smile:

<font color=green> Woohoo!! I am officially an <b> Enthusiast </b>!! </font color=green>
<i> <font color=red> One new Firefox fan </font color=red> </i>
March 8, 2005 2:57:46 PM

I'm building from scratch, but i'm going the s754 route...at least that's the way i'm strongly leaning right now. Saving a little more and then the purchases will start!

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
March 8, 2005 3:03:33 PM

:tongue: But seriously, I'm in the same boat, waiting on tax return actually... :frown:

<font color=green> Woohoo!! I am officially an <b> Enthusiast </b>!! </font color=green>
<i> <font color=red> One new Firefox fan </font color=red> </i>
March 8, 2005 3:08:25 PM

Tax return went to pay off some credit cards. Will be dealing with cash from now on!

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
March 8, 2005 3:24:12 PM

Not all the current video cards are avaliable in AGP format, and when they eventually become available they often cost more.

I just bought a x800xl for $299 at Compusa, but my friend couldn't because he went the AGP route. Now he is wishing he had PCIe instead.

My MSI Neo 4 Platinum motherboard will arrive via fedex in the next two hours. :) 
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
March 8, 2005 3:29:27 PM

Sweet :cool:

<font color=green> Woohoo!! I am officially an <b> Enthusiast </b>!! </font color=green>
<i> <font color=red> One new Firefox fan </font color=red> </i>
March 8, 2005 6:09:28 PM

True, but it would be a waste to put down that nice 9600XT. That should be able to last him in most games for a long time - especially if he's going to use moderate resolutions. Nothing says that he must go the ATI route either - the 6800 series cards are cheaper right now in AGP. As newer GPUs hit the street, the prices will continue to drop. 12-18mths down the line he'll probably be able to get a killer deal on a 6800 Ultra and I imagine that ATI won't price themselves out of competition by having their X800 series cards priced too high. JMHO

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
March 8, 2005 7:12:52 PM

I don't know. Seems like the trend for new cards is for PCI-e to be given top priority and AGP support will be an after thought.

Sure there is not preformance gain from AGP to PCI-e now, but the same was true for PCI and the first AGP cards.

If you think you will want another new motherboard before you want a new video card then swtich with AGP.

The fact that you have such an old processor with such a new video card tells me that this is probably not the case for you.
March 8, 2005 8:27:47 PM

Sounds like he got the new vid card last year for better gameplay. The bottleneck shifted to another part of his comp and now he's going the whole nine yards, but doesn't want to sacrifice the vid card. I completely understand that sentiment.

I also agree with you that the emphasis will shift from AGP to PCIe vid cards over time. But there are a lot of AGP mobos out there - bought or in mfr/retailer stock. I would dare say there are more AGP mobos out there than PCIe. There are also a lot of people that will upgrade their vid cards when the high-end prices drop to the middle of the road. That indicates to me that mfrs will continue to produce AGP cards and the prices will drop. That being said...there will come a time when AGP fades into the annals of history, but I believe that day is a little farther down the road. The true death of AGP will be when PCIe performance truly and significantly surpasses AGP. Not theoretical, but results/performance benefits in real world applications.

__________________________________________________
:tongue: <font color=red>Have you read the FAQ? Searched for other posts on this topic?</font color=red>
March 8, 2005 10:45:23 PM

How do you like the MSI board? I'm starting to lean towards that one, though it sorta bothers me that it's priced somewhat higher than most other 939 AGP boards. Is it worth it? I know it's benchmarked very well, even out of the box. At this point I'm also considering the EPoX EP-9NDA3+, though unless it's improved it sounds like it might be a bit flaky (though I spose the MSI has its share of bad stories as well).

Argh, I just realized I'm probably going to have to get a new power supply as well. I doubt 300W would cut it for a new system.

Thanks for everyone's help, btw.
March 8, 2005 10:50:59 PM

Yeah, that was what I did. And it's allowed me to play some games at fairly high detail settings, even on this old rig, even if they do take forever to load. I think I'm just going to have to bank on AGP being around for a while longer, so when I next want to upgrade my video card I'll be able to get something decent, and then wait a little while longer before switching to PCIe.
March 9, 2005 12:24:17 AM

:wink: You're right - the 300W won't do it for this upgrade. Especially if you're planning on upgrading to a better vid card on down the road.

I really don't think there will be any major issues with upgrading to a better AGP card down the road - may the Crashman strike this post from the books if i'm wrong. :smile:

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 9, 2005 12:32:56 AM

yeah, I'm glad I thought of that now!

D'you think a 350W will be adaquate?

Well, considering how old some of the cards you can still find kicking around are, I think I'll probably be fine too.
March 9, 2005 12:45:15 AM

First read up on <A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20041223/index.html" target="_new">ATX12V v2.0</A>. Then go to this <A HREF="http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/" target="_new">Wattage Calculator</A> and figure out how much power your system will need on a constant basis. That figure should be no more than 55-65% of the wattage rating of the PSU you want to use. Remember that you want to upgrade to a better video card later on - use that cards info to figure out you're wattage. I think you'll find that you need something more like this <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Fortron Blue Storm 500W</A> or this <A HREF="http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?scriteria=BA211..." target="_new">Enermax 535W Whisper II model EG565P</A>. Here is a recent THG <A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20050228/index.html" target="_new">Power Supply Review</A>, too. Happy reading and research! :smile:

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 9, 2005 1:34:24 AM

Hmm, yeah, I can see the advantage of going w/ something more powerful now. But are those two overkill? Plugging things into that wattage calculator (and trying to account for a video card upgrade down the road) it still says I need at least 350W. So would something like the <A HREF="http://"http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product..."" target="_new">Enermax EG425P-SFMA24P 420W</A> be more reasonable? Or are you recommending those two as insurance against a future upgrade? I certainly don't want to have to replace a power supply if possible, but then again depending on how fast standards change, maybe I'd have to?
March 9, 2005 10:13:46 AM

What the site is actually calculating is the continuous use wattage (use a calculator to add it up). The PSUs ratings are for peak wattag and are not designed for continuous use at those levels. A hint is to take a look at the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rating. For example, the MTBF on this <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Enermax Noisetaker 420W model EG425P-VE SFMA 2.0</A> is "greater than 100k hours at 70% of full rated load." So at 70% continuous load it will last greater than 100K hours - in other words at 294W. You would be running the system at 83% load with the 6800 Ultra. That would negatively impact the longevity of the PSU, and leave you little room for usage spikes when components cycle on/off. Modern computers require a lot of juice, expecially high end GPUs! Even with the 500W PSU, you would be running at 70%! Give yourself a little buffer and get the 535W Enermax...

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 9, 2005 6:17:58 PM

I like it alot and would definately have chosen the same mobo if doing it agian. It has been totally stable, and issue free. Only downside was when I first started overclcoking it I hit an early ceiling at first. It was because SATA 1&2 aren't locked. So when overclocking the fsb/cpu, and using an SATA hard drive, you have to use SATA 3 or 4. No big deal though, ONCE you know about it.


Anayway, MSI won me over with this mobo. Enough so I'd by it again and because of great reviews, If going PCI-e would go for the Neo 4 platinum/SLI also.




<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3400555" target="_new"> My</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=8268935" target="_new">Gamer</A>
March 10, 2005 12:39:22 AM

Yeah, I think I'm going to go w/ it. Do you use the onboard sound/ethernet at all? I figure they're probably actually better than what I currently have, given how old they are. I've always been sorta wary of integrated stuff, but the nf3 boards seem like they have pretty good quality components.
March 10, 2005 12:42:20 AM

I was looking at some of the MTBF data after I posted that and your recommendations started to make more sense to me. I probably will go w/ the 535W Enermax. I just didn't want to have to spend that much on a power supply. I might end up downgrading to getting A64 3200+ instead of a 3500+, although maybe I should be doing that anyway. Since I don't upgrade very often I like to get the fastest processor I can w/in my price range, but even given a future video card upgrade, maybe the extra 200Mhz aren't worth the extra $100.
March 10, 2005 2:18:05 AM

I'm all about price/performance and I personally don't think the performance between the 3200+ and the 3500+ warrants $100.

What RAM are you planning on getting? Case?

Sometimes it's a hard pill to swallow having to drop that kind of cash on a PSU. It seems like you're not getting a lot of bang out of those bucks. If you haunt these boards a bit you'll realize, that a lot of people are suffering from bad PSUs. Bad can mean a bad decision on capacity of the PSU or faulty generic PSUs. Sometimes it's hard to immediately point it out, but when a good new PSU is installed the problems seem to disappear. You can look at your PSU purchase as being an investment into system reliability and longevity.

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 10, 2005 2:29:20 AM

Yeah, I'm torn because part of me just WANTS the 3500+, but the other part of me is telling me I'm being ridiculous.

I'm gonna get the 2x512mb corsair value select. It seems like the best bang for your buck from what I've seen. I'm just keeping my old case. It's just a generic midtower, but it gets the job done.

The more I read up on it, the more it does seem like it's a good investment. And I do always say, spend a little more now, and you'll save later. I've never had any power supply problems personally, but I have a friend who always seems to have parts, including power supplies, fail on him. You have to start thinking that is not just due to bad luck, but to buying inferior hardware.
March 10, 2005 2:31:02 AM

I was actually trying to figure out what the difference between the two ethernet chips is. Is it just different manufacturers but same basic functionality?
March 10, 2005 2:47:43 AM

Keeping the same case isn't a bad idea. I've recycled a few into new systems, too... :smile: Be sure that you have good ventilation in the case and monitor temps to make sure they're not too high.

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 10, 2005 2:56:53 AM

Well, I know I need to clean it out. I've been bad about that. But I've got a couple of fans going in there, and this system has lasted a little over four years of being on almost continuously without any hardware failing, and it's still going strong. And before I switched over to XP, I used to like to say I had the most stable install of 98 I'd ever heard of.

This is actually the first time I've done a major system overhall instead of a complete upgrade. I sort of just want to go all out the more I get into it, but I think I'm going to get a pretty good system for a lot less than I've spent in the past.
March 10, 2005 11:56:05 AM

I'm always amazed at the quality, affordability of a system that an individual can make for himself when he/she does some research and the work. PC companies place a real premium on their knowledge - and I will add that they are right to do it. If someone is not willing/able to do it themselves, then they are paying good money for a valuable service. I'd rather save some money by building my own system - I'm always in need of some more fishing gear! :lol: 

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 11, 2005 1:33:04 AM

Well, just being able to hand pick every component in my system makes it worth the hassle for me. Of course it doesn't hurt that you can often save money in the process.
March 11, 2005 2:53:42 AM

Built to your specs by YOU! Of course that usually only leaves you to blame when something goes terribly wrong.

That last sentence sounded like a bad line from a B-grade horror flick. "Jimmie and Betty were enjoying their camping trip at the lake - then soemthing went terrbily wrong!"

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 12, 2005 5:51:50 PM

Yes! Exactly.

So, I think I've probably decided to go w/ the 3200 and maybe do some light overclocking on it. I've never done any overclocking before, but should it be pretty easy to do that w/ the msi neo2 platinum, and will it not have any adverse effect on the lifetime of my hardware?
March 12, 2005 8:10:22 PM

List your final system specs and we'll give a critique. I make no guarantees on whether or not OCing will shorten the life of your system. Logically speaking, pushing a component beyond it's given rating can shorten it's lifetime. The more you push, the more likely it is to shorten the lifespan...

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 12, 2005 8:33:46 PM

Athlon 64 3200+ w/ retail heatsink/fan
MSI K8N neo2 platinum
1GB (2x512) corsair value select cas 2.5
ATI 9600XT 256MB
onboard ethernet
either onboard sound or sb live! value
535W enermax psu

I also have 2 pata hds and 2 case fans.

I mean, I wouldn't be looking to overclock that hard. Just to get a little more out of the 3200 and save some money over the 3500. And, I know it stands to reason that it will shorten the lifespan of a system to a cerain extent, but I guess just want to know that there's a good chance it'll last a few years even w/ light OCing. I'm not looking for a guarantee, because obviously parts can fail even if you run them with their normal specifications.
March 12, 2005 10:28:05 PM

Neo3 platinum you mean? EDIT: NOPE


These A64's run so cool, and not much of a voltage boost is needed to gain some MHz. My 3000+ only does 2.35Ghz, but I just run it at 2.2GHz, which is the same speed as the 3500+. Of course if I bought the 3500+, I'd run it at 2.5 or so GHz, but still a little free performance is a nice thing when temps stay so low and it's totally stable.

That said, unless you are gaming on a high end viedo card, is there really a need to OC? The A64 3200+ at stock speeds will amaze you. Good luck, and enjoy.


<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3400555" target="_new"> My</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=8268935" target="_new">Gamer</A>
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Pauldh on 03/14/05 08:46 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 13, 2005 12:17:09 AM

no, I'm pretty sure I mean <A HREF="http:// http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=K8N..." target="_new">neo2</A>. I don't think there's such a thing as a neo3. The nforce4 based board is called the neo4.

In any case, I'm just exploring my options. I have thought about the video card bottleneck, and I was thinking I might keep things at stock speeds but try OCing when I upgrade my video card. I just wanted to look into it before I actually purchased anything.

I'm hoping to be blown away after being on this 900Mhz thunderbird for so long. Not that I have any complaints.
March 13, 2005 2:27:19 AM

Well...there is a <A HREF="http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=865..." target="_new">Neo3</A>, but it won't work with an AMD s939. Anyways, I do think you'll be blown away by the new setup. What about a CDRW, DVDRW or similar device?

Edit: For your links to work, you need to take out the HTTP:// - it is added in automatically.
__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by rugger on 03/12/05 11:28 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 13, 2005 2:58:52 AM

oh, I never looked at intel motherboards so I had no idea. How odd that they'd name things that way.

Hmm, I was pretty sure I'd taken the http:// out (I noticed that it does that). Oh well.

Oh, I have a DVD drive that I was just going to keep. No CDRW or DVDRW. For some reason I've never gotten one even though I know it could come in handy sometimes. I actually hadn't thought about upgrading, so I don't really know if I'd gain from it performance-wise or not. Maybe I should look into that. I just checked and it looks like you can get dvdrw drives for ridiculously cheap at this point.

Later on I might get that and maybe upgrade my sound to an audigy2 zs or something if I'm not happy with the onboard sound.
March 13, 2005 3:46:15 AM

Dual media, 16XDVDRWs for $55-65! If you were on a tight budget then it'd be something that you could pass on, but it's nice to be able to burn CDs/DVDs from one device...

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 13, 2005 3:54:38 AM

yeah, now that you have me thinking about it I was taking a look at the NEC 3250 as something to get. I can afford it, I just don't know if it's a priority for me right now. But I'm definitely going to think about it. I should join the 21st century in that respect. It's funny, I was thinking of future upgrades of hard drives and my sound card and video card, and I didn't even think of upgrading my dvd drive.
March 13, 2005 4:20:49 AM

It's definitely not a necessity, but is definitely nice to have... :smile:

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
March 13, 2005 1:56:06 PM

Well, I just ordered the parts. And I think I'll mull it over a bit more and maybe get that dvdrw drive and possibly an audigy 2 zs. Though I've been told it's not worth the money and I should just stick w/ onboard sound.

I've realized that the downside of not getting a new case is that I have no idea what to do with the parts I'll be removing from my case. I spose I could put them in another computer I built at my parents house with an even older machine (p2) inside it. I don't think I've ever thrown away computer parts, so I'm at a loss.

Btw, thanks again for all your help. I've been out of the loop for so long it's been very helpful to get some advice along w/ the reviews I've read.
March 13, 2005 2:53:02 PM

1. You could Ebay them...
2. You could a. Get a better case for your new sytem
b. Get an elcheapo case for the old parts.


__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
!