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High End AGP Card and Processor constraints

Last response: in Components
March 14, 2006 4:37:46 PM

I intend to upgrade my graphics card to an XFX GeForce 6800 GS 256 MB DDR3 8X AGP Extreme Edition card to get some extended life out of my current system and play the latest games. The system is a Gateway 700S:
Gateway® 700S
Processor: Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 2.4GHz w/
512K L2 Advanced Transfer Cache and 533MHz FSB
Memory: 2x512MB RDRAM® PC800
Video: 128MB NVIDIA™ GeForce4 Ti-4200G with TV Out
and DVI Graphics Accelerator

My question is: will the overall graphics performance of the card be limited by the slower 2.4 GHz processor and 1MB of RDRAM?
March 14, 2006 5:37:54 PM

You're only running 1 "MB" of RAM!!!!!! I didn't think that was possible these days. :lol: 

Honestly, I'm not sure you want to spend over $200 for a new Vid card for that system. How long do you plan to keep it? If not for long you may want to go the 6600GT or X1600PRO route and save some money for when you upgrade the entire system.

Edit: Also which games do you plan on playing?
March 14, 2006 5:57:07 PM

rdram EEEWWWWWWWW!!!! jk, lol
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March 14, 2006 6:13:06 PM

Your processor should run the video card just fine but that would probably be the top end of video upgrade for that computer.
March 14, 2006 6:29:31 PM

yes is the correct answer, it will be limited.

that being said however, the jump you will see from going to the 6800 from the ti4200 will be much much larger than going from your 2.4 to say the 3.4 or a comparable AMD chip.

the rdram on the other hand...oh snap!
March 14, 2006 7:11:25 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I was expecting the great reactions to my very modern RDRAM...and it used to be so fast :)  For the record, it is 1GB of beautiful RDRAM.
I will probably not go much higher than the 6600GT after some consideration. The main games where I am stretching the system is Fear, HL2 and Doom3. I believe that a 6600GT card will carry me over until I get that screamer gaming machine.
March 14, 2006 8:17:14 PM

The main games where I am stretching the system is Fear, HL2 and Doom3. I believe that a 6600GT card will carry me over until I get that screamer gaming machine.

Good move. Do a little research and find out which chipsets generally perform better in those games. I can tell you right now HL2 favors ATI cards while Doom3 will favor nVidia based cards. I'm not sure about F.E.A.R. so you'll have to look it up. So you have 1 vote for each card the (the X1600PRO or the 6600GT). Whichever F.E.A.R. favors, will make the decision for you.

Just remember to get the AGP version of those cards. Quite a few have made the careless mistake of getting the PCI-E version and had to RMA them.

Good luck and have fun.
March 14, 2006 8:25:54 PM

I noticed that you noted your current card did support TV-Out. You might be limited as to your options for this feature. Most just come with S-Video out.

Just something for you to keep in mind.
March 14, 2006 9:01:40 PM

Most also come with a svideo to composite converter.
March 15, 2006 8:47:05 PM

Thanks for all the advice! I am looking forward to the highest resolutions for Doom3...
a b U Graphics card
March 18, 2006 2:32:30 AM

There is a 7800 AGP out now and Nvidia does seem to play F.E.A.R. better than the ATI X850 Pro did, Nvidia also seems to play FarCry better than ATI also.