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Best Upgrade From GFX5600?

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Anonymous
August 15, 2004 2:53:06 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

Hi Group,

Current spec is 1GB 333MHz RAM, 2GHz AMD Barton, NForce2 mobo with GeForce
FX 5600 256mb.

After buying a 17" LCD, it's preferable to run everything in 1280x1024,
being the native resolution. This can be a little demanding on my system at
times. The game which has highlighted this especially, is Thief III. Even at
800x600 I get a fair bit of game sluggishness (if that's a word).

So, I'm looking at options to boost my system a little.

If I were to go the graphics card route, which generation would I really
need to reach for, to see an improvement? I assume just going for a 5700
would be quite unnoticable?

Ebuyer have an XFX NVidia Geforce FX 5900XT 128MB DDR 8x/4x AGP TV-Out DVI
at £121.95 ex vat, which is around my preferred budget. But it only has
128mb RAM - though I'm not sure I'm actually benefitting from the 256mb I
have currently.

Would this show a great boost in overall performance?

Does anyone think the rest of my system is more to blame? Should I be
upgrading my processor and FSB instead maybe?

Any comments highly appreciated!

P.S. I would prefer nVidia recommendations over alternative boards, as I've
always been happy with them, thanks!

Elliot

More about : upgrade gfx5600

Anonymous
August 15, 2004 2:53:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

On Sun, 15 Aug 2004 10:53:06 GMT, "Elliot J" <elliot.xxx@xxx.co.uk>
wrote:

>Hi Group,
>
>Current spec is 1GB 333MHz RAM, 2GHz AMD Barton, NForce2 mobo with GeForce
>FX 5600 256mb.
>
>After buying a 17" LCD, it's preferable to run everything in 1280x1024,
>being the native resolution. This can be a little demanding on my system at
>times. The game which has highlighted this especially, is Thief III. Even at
>800x600 I get a fair bit of game sluggishness (if that's a word).
>
>So, I'm looking at options to boost my system a little.
>
>If I were to go the graphics card route, which generation would I really
>need to reach for, to see an improvement? I assume just going for a 5700
>would be quite unnoticable?

In general, you don't want to upgrade to a same-generational card.
Performance improvement will be marginal and the price-to-performance
ratio is miserable. If upgrading, time to hit the GeForce6 generation
cards.

>Does anyone think the rest of my system is more to blame? Should I be
>upgrading my processor and FSB instead maybe?

I'm not 100% positive, that "2GHz" processor is a 2600+ or so,
correct? I suspect thats what you mean, but if you mean a 2000+
processor that might be worth an upgrade. You can't push the upgrade
path of a 2600+ too much without getting into a large monetary
expenditure and you hit the price-performance barrier again.

Consider a 6800 for about $280 as a fairly low-priced, simple upgrade
path for yourself.

-s-
Anonymous
August 15, 2004 7:44:18 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

"Steven L Cox" <stevencox56@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:ljruh0hq9tquk8l9cg12vnap2l4h8lch02@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 15 Aug 2004 10:53:06 GMT, "Elliot J" <elliot.xxx@xxx.co.uk>
> wrote:
>
> >Hi Group,
> >
> >Current spec is 1GB 333MHz RAM, 2GHz AMD Barton, NForce2 mobo with
GeForce
> >FX 5600 256mb.
> >
> >After buying a 17" LCD, it's preferable to run everything in 1280x1024,
> >being the native resolution. This can be a little demanding on my system
at
> >times. The game which has highlighted this especially, is Thief III. Even
at
> >800x600 I get a fair bit of game sluggishness (if that's a word).
> >
> >So, I'm looking at options to boost my system a little.
> >
> >If I were to go the graphics card route, which generation would I really
> >need to reach for, to see an improvement? I assume just going for a 5700
> >would be quite unnoticable?
>
> In general, you don't want to upgrade to a same-generational card.
> Performance improvement will be marginal and the price-to-performance
> ratio is miserable. If upgrading, time to hit the GeForce6 generation
> cards.
>
> >Does anyone think the rest of my system is more to blame? Should I be
> >upgrading my processor and FSB instead maybe?
>
> I'm not 100% positive, that "2GHz" processor is a 2600+ or so,
> correct? I suspect thats what you mean, but if you mean a 2000+
> processor that might be worth an upgrade. You can't push the upgrade
> path of a 2600+ too much without getting into a large monetary
> expenditure and you hit the price-performance barrier again.

It's a 2600+ Barton

> Consider a 6800 for about $280 as a fairly low-priced, simple upgrade
> path for yourself.

Thanks for the feedback, I haven't really looked at the 6th gen boards, so
will go check some prices now, thanks.

Elliot
Related resources
Anonymous
August 15, 2004 8:25:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

Elliot J wrote:
> "Steven L Cox" <stevencox56@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:ljruh0hq9tquk8l9cg12vnap2l4h8lch02@4ax.com...
>
>>On Sun, 15 Aug 2004 10:53:06 GMT, "Elliot J" <elliot.xxx@xxx.co.uk>
>>wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Hi Group,
>>>
>>>Current spec is 1GB 333MHz RAM, 2GHz AMD Barton, NForce2 mobo with
>
> GeForce
>
>>>FX 5600 256mb.
>>>
>>>After buying a 17" LCD, it's preferable to run everything in 1280x1024,
>>>being the native resolution. This can be a little demanding on my system
>
> at
>
>>>times. The game which has highlighted this especially, is Thief III. Even
>
> at
>
>>>800x600 I get a fair bit of game sluggishness (if that's a word).
>>>
>>>So, I'm looking at options to boost my system a little.
>>>
>>>If I were to go the graphics card route, which generation would I really
>>>need to reach for, to see an improvement? I assume just going for a 5700
>>>would be quite unnoticable?
>>
>>In general, you don't want to upgrade to a same-generational card.
>>Performance improvement will be marginal and the price-to-performance
>>ratio is miserable. If upgrading, time to hit the GeForce6 generation
>>cards.
>>
>>
>>>Does anyone think the rest of my system is more to blame? Should I be
>>>upgrading my processor and FSB instead maybe?
>>
>>I'm not 100% positive, that "2GHz" processor is a 2600+ or so,
>>correct? I suspect thats what you mean, but if you mean a 2000+
>>processor that might be worth an upgrade. You can't push the upgrade
>>path of a 2600+ too much without getting into a large monetary
>>expenditure and you hit the price-performance barrier again.
>
>
> It's a 2600+ Barton
>
>
>>Consider a 6800 for about $280 as a fairly low-priced, simple upgrade
>>path for yourself.
>
>
> Thanks for the feedback, I haven't really looked at the 6th gen boards, so
> will go check some prices now, thanks.
>
> Elliot
>
>
>

The Barton was an excellent core revision for the XP, and most of them
easily overclock. I'd recommend getting some PC3200 RAM (you'll need it
for the FSB) and either unlocking your CPU or run the FSB higher to get
somewhere around a 3200 level.

All NForce 2 boards have a decoupled FSB/AGP bus, so one can run faster
than the other.
Anonymous
August 15, 2004 11:45:11 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

"Elliot J" <elliot.xxx@xxx.co.uk> wrote in message
news:mgHTc.161948$a8.47962@fe2.news.blueyonder.co.uk...

" Does anyone think the rest of my system is more to blame? Should I be
upgrading my processor and FSB instead maybe? "


I would say that some all-round upgrades would benefit you most, and there
are a number of different ways to go about that.

The first way is to build on your current motherboard. Which nForce2 model
is it? If it's a good 400FSB overclocking board (FSB and voltage
increments), then I would suggest an Athlon XP Mobile and some good PC3700
RAM to get between 2.4Ghz and 2.7Ghz. It's the cheapest way to get the best
performance from a 32-bit setup, and the RAM will give you upgrade longevity

If it's not a good overclocking board, but still 400FSB, then you could get
some good PC3200 (or better) RAM and an Athlon XP 2500+ to clock it at
200Mhz instead of its standard 166Mhz. You'll get Athlon XP 3200+
performance for little money.

With either of the above two options, you can sell your 2600+, DDR333 and
FX5600 on eBay, and then work out how much you have left over for a GPU. An
FX5900XT isn't a massive step up from your FX5600, whereas a FX5900, FX5900
Ultra or an FX5950 Ultra would be good options from the same generation.
Some of the lower 6800 range won't out-perform these cards, and could even
cost more.

If your motherboard only supports 333FSB, then a 333FSB Athlon XP 3000+ is
the best you can do with the CPU. You wouldn't need new RAM, and would have
more cash for a GPU. However, one of the better 6800 cards may well be held
back a little by the rest of the system.

If a motherboard upgrade is what you go for, then a good 32-bit dual-channel
overclocker with an Athlon XP Mobile is the cheaper way to go. An Athlon64
is the expensive way, but you couldn't skimp on the GPU. It won't do you any
good in the short-term if you can't afford to upgrade your FX5600. You'll
see from this article just how well Doom3 performs with the Athlon64, but an
overclocked Athlon XP Mobile would be far ahead of the XP 3200+ on the list:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=214...
Anonymous
August 17, 2004 2:26:55 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

"Elliot J" <elliot.xxx@xxx.co.uk> wrote in message
news:mgHTc.161948$a8.47962@fe2.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
> Hi Group,
>
> Current spec is 1GB 333MHz RAM, 2GHz AMD Barton, NForce2 mobo with GeForce
> FX 5600 256mb.
>
> After buying a 17" LCD, it's preferable to run everything in 1280x1024,
> being the native resolution. This can be a little demanding on my system
at
> times. The game which has highlighted this especially, is Thief III. Even
at
> 800x600 I get a fair bit of game sluggishness (if that's a word).
>
> So, I'm looking at options to boost my system a little.
>
> If I were to go the graphics card route, which generation would I really
> need to reach for, to see an improvement? I assume just going for a 5700
> would be quite unnoticable?
>
> Ebuyer have an XFX NVidia Geforce FX 5900XT 128MB DDR 8x/4x AGP TV-Out DVI
> at £121.95 ex vat, which is around my preferred budget. But it only has
> 128mb RAM - though I'm not sure I'm actually benefitting from the 256mb I
> have currently.
>
> Would this show a great boost in overall performance?
>
> Does anyone think the rest of my system is more to blame? Should I be
> upgrading my processor and FSB instead maybe?
>
> Any comments highly appreciated!
>
> P.S. I would prefer nVidia recommendations over alternative boards, as
I've
> always been happy with them, thanks!
>
> Elliot

Based on some personal experience, I think that you are right to go for a
5900XT. My tests were done with Doom3 and the two Painkiller demos during
the past week. The following combinations allow play at 1280x1024 with all
quality settings at their highest values:

1. GA7N400Pro2 (nforce 2 board) + XP2800+ (Barton) + 512Mb PC2700 + GF FX
5950 Ultra (Leadtek)

2. GA7VA (KT400 board) + XP2600+ (Thoroughbred) + 512Mb PC2700 + GF FX
5900XT (Leadtek)

The following combinations don't allow a decent games experience even at
1024 x 768 ....

3. GA7N400Pro (nforce 2 board) + XP2700+ (Thoroughbred) + 512Mb PC2700 +
Ti4600 (PNY)

4. GA7N400Pro2 (nforce 2 board) + XP2600+ (Thoroughbred) + 512Mb PC2700 +
GF FX 5200 (Brand unknown - Inno3D?)

5. GA7VAXP-A (KT400A board) + XP2000+ (?) + 512Mb PC2100 + GF FX 5600
(Leadtek) (this comes closest)

6. GA7VA (KT400 board) + XP1900+ (?) + 512Mb PC2100 + Ti4200 (Abit)

All the mainboards are Gigabyte; nothing is overclocked. I don't believe in
benchmark numbers - a game is either playable and enjoyable, or it isn't. As
you can see, I've not permutated all combinations, such as matching your
precise system (cleaning those darn heatsinks is a pain), but it is pretty
clear to me that the critical factor is most likely to be the graphics
card - system 3 lies between 1 & 2 in terms of mainboard & cpu, but has an
inferior graphics card, and isn't much cop as a games machine; system 5 has
an inferior cpu, but is the "best of the rest", probably because the 5600 is
actually better in these games than the Ti cards. All the systems have
recent installs of XP, DirectX 9.0c and 61.77 drivers.

Look around for prices, www.scan.co.uk is a bit cheaper than the price you
quote.

I don't think that going for a faster processor & RAM is going to be as
cost-effective as changing the video card. Certainly not within the sort of
budget you outlined. Frankly, I couldn't tell the difference when I upgraded
system 1 to dual channel Corsair TwinX, I can't tell the difference no
matter what the RAM is clocked at, and there isn't much difference between
an XP2000+ and an XP2800+ for most purposes. Outside of games, you can't
tell the difference between the videocards either.

Eddie
Anonymous
August 17, 2004 8:50:29 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

> an overclocked Athlon XP Mobile would be far ahead of the XP 3200+ on the list:
> http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=214...

Mobile? Can you get those in Socket A? If so, what would the advantage
over a "desktop" chip be, in terms over overclockability? Do mobile
chips have an unlocked multiplier?
!