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Is the BFG 6800GS 256MB AGP a better card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 27, 2006 1:19:38 PM

I recently saw the BFG 6800GS 256MB AGP for a good price at a local shop, but I'm wondering if it will be much better (I mean noticeably so to a non-expert) than my current card, which is an ATI Radeon 9600XT AGP. I know it's a better card, but what I'm wondering is will it be that much better that it's worth plunking down $250 (I'm in Canada) for it?

Just for further info, I play Battlefield 2, Day of Defeat: Source, Counter Strike: Source, and World of Warcraft mainly, but I have many other games like Need for Speed Most Wanted and some sports games. Battlefield in particular is a resource hog, and I can only run it smoothly on medium settings at 800X600, and even then I sometimes get stutter.
a b U Graphics card
January 27, 2006 2:24:08 PM

The poor 9600 series cards are definitely getting a bit winded with newer game titles, even with reduced settings....

BF2 is a real system hog anyway, most are going with 2 gb of RAM jsut because of that beast...
January 27, 2006 3:02:37 PM

ncix.com is a canadian shipper who has the X800 GTO 256mb for $250 as well.

I consider the X800 GTO a bit better than the AGP 6800 GS stock, and it has better overclocking potential from what I've seen.

Then again, if you get the 6800 GS, there is a chance that you could unlock all 16 pipes with a BIOS tweak, making it a full-fledged 6800 GT... so if you're up to modding, the 6800 would be the way to go.

But stock, I think I'd pick the X800 GTO. Both perform closely though, can't really go wrong with either.
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January 27, 2006 3:40:20 PM

If you believe some of the posts around regarding people who've upgraded to the 6800GS (not necessarily the BFG OCed) then they have suggested dramatic improvements over 9600XT and similar models in games they've tested. I bought this but was upgrading from a 64MB geforce3 Ti200 so the step up was incredible. Sadly, if you have an AMD 760-762 chipset series motherboard you may experience conflict issues with the 6600 and 6800 series of Nvidia cards - recent forceware drivers have suddenly led to this conflict and to overcome this I currently have to set my AGP control to be essentially recognized as a PCI slot (switching CPU to AGP controller driver to generic PCI to PCI bridge driver). This inevitably drops performance some - even so I saw a 9 fold leap in 3dMark03 scores at stock card settings without unlocking additional pipes. Fingers crossed a driver update fixes this. If you are prepared to use Riva and unlock this can be a fantastic card (I should note I bought this on the day of release for 190$ from the ppl at new egg). I should also note that I am able to play FEAR (even on an athlonXP1700+) with good fps at 800 x 600 while BF2 can run a little higher. HL2 Lost Coast Stress Test I get over 30fps average, CS:S stress test well over 50fps. If you decide on this card I hope you enjoy the boost as much as I have - best sub-$200 option out there I think.
January 27, 2006 6:06:05 PM

Thanks for the replies, folks. My system specs are:

AMD Athlon 64 3200
1 GB RAM (PC 2700 I think)
Asus motherboard (I can't remember which one exactly, but it uses the VIA driver, no the nVidia one)

I know nothing of over-clocking, and I'm leary to try it, because from what I understand that voids the warranty and can fry the card. But if it's safe, I might consider it. Further, would it just be better to hold off on upgrading the card and wait to get a PCI-express motherboard and new PCI-e graphics card eventually? Or is the difference between this AGP card and its PCI-e equivalent that big?
January 27, 2006 6:22:07 PM

There is no real-world performance difference between a PCI-express or AGP card with the same chipset and clockspeeds.

An X800 GTO PCI-express on an Athlon64 3200+ delivers the same performance as an AGP X800 GTO on an Athlon64 3200+
January 27, 2006 8:43:55 PM

definetly go with the x800. personally i live ati but with the x 800 it is a great card and has both dvi and vga outputs so it will last for a long time.
Both are great cards so its really up to persnal selection. but the x800 beats the 6800 in benchmarks i believe.
a b U Graphics card
January 30, 2006 3:30:09 AM

I have an xp3200, and just upgraded from a 6600GT, to an XFX6800GS, and there is a huge difference, I play Halflife2, Counterstrike, Day of Defeat, at 1024x768 2XAA,4XAf, without a hitch, just got Quake4and play with everything on high at 60fps, so yes you would see a big difference
October 8, 2006 11:03:37 PM

how do I u unlock to 16 pixelpiplines using rivatuner? is it easy? do u think it would help performance wise?
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2006 11:21:09 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the replies, folks. My system specs are:

AMD Athlon 64 3200
1 GB RAM (PC 2700 I think)
Asus motherboard (I can't remember which one exactly, but it uses the VIA driver, no the nVidia one)

.... Further, would it just be better to hold off on upgrading the card and wait to get a PCI-express motherboard and new PCI-e graphics card eventually? Or is the difference between this AGP card and its PCI-e equivalent that big?


Yeah the GF6800GS AGP is slower than the PCIe, but there is the unlockability option, but since you're not a tweaker, then IMO Faq the silly AGP cards and get something more like this combination (assuming that's an S939 A64);

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=20172&vpn=93...

+

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=17947&vpn=BF...

or

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=20801&vpn=25...

or

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=20037&vpn=PV...

All within your price-range, and about the same performance (BFG and XFX are well OC'ed with BFG having good OC and a good price), a little slower in some areas a little faster in others.

This would also open up your opportunities in the future instead of investing in another dead-end card whose re-sale value will likely be less than your two other options.

That would be my recommendation.
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