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Need the BEST last-generation AGP card (X1600 maybe?)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 3, 2006 2:49:17 PM

Last year I picked up an ASUS A8V Mobo (an AGP board) to support my new 2.4 ghz dualcore CPU... only to realize that AGP was on its way out as a graphics port and that the really good video upgrades are PCI express only.

Right now I've got a 9800 Pro, and its poor performance with Oblivion is making me realize that I want to upgrade.

I've recently learned of the X1600, but my roommate continues to recommend the X800 or X850... the 1600's 512 megs sound VERY tempting, but I need a second opinion (or third, or fourth, or fifth, etc).

If the AGP's on its way out, what's the card I should go for to get the best of the last?

Thanks,
Dem
April 3, 2006 2:56:24 PM

Top of the cards is the 7800GS, then x850, then 6800GS, then x1600 i would say.

But for the money for a 7800GS im sure you could get a 939 PCI-E motherboard and a nice graphics card aswell.
April 3, 2006 3:22:53 PM

512 Mb of video memory is POINTLESS on a X1600.
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April 3, 2006 4:01:06 PM

I'd check with the Bethesda forums and see if anyone is running Oblivion on a top end AGP card. It makes huge demands on my 1800, I can't imagine what it would do in an AGP world.

The upgrade to PCIE is a big one. M/B, CPU and probably RAM. Plus, if you can get a decent video card (at least an 1800xl or 7800gt) then you will probably need to upgrade your PS too (plus PCIE MB's have more requirements for newer PS's anyway).

But, in my opinion, and I think at least 80% of the Oblivion users agree, you won't regret it. With a setup able to run it at max settings, it is absolutely awesome.
a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2006 6:14:28 PM

Quote:

Right now I've got a 9800 Pro, and its poor performance with Oblivion is making me realize that I want to upgrade.


Like so many other people out there. You're definitely not alone.

Quote:
I've recently learned of the X1600, but my roommate continues to recommend the X800 or X850... the 1600's 512 megs sound VERY tempting, but I need a second opinion (or third, or fourth, or fifth, etc).


The 512MB makes little difference now, and may only be useful in Vista/DX10 and maybe in aid of Physics calculations, but even that's a big 'maybe'. For now if the difference is $20 or less from 256MB to 512MB, then get it otherwise don't waste your money.

Quote:
If the AGP's on its way out, what's the card I should go for to get the best of the last?


IMO best bang for your buck is the X1600Pro. It's a fair amount slower than the GF7800GS, but also half the price. It's nexk and neck with the slow GF6800GS in it's AGP (unless you're lucky enough to get one that unlocks). In other games the GF6800GS is faster though, but the newer games will likely play closer to morrowind closing the gap a bit and not allowing partial precision fallbacks to help. The X800XT/X800XL/X850XT will almost always outperform the GF6800GS, especially in Oblivion, however you do miss out on the OpenEXR implementation of HDR in Oblivion (X8 series can do HDR in other apps that don't call for FP16 blending). The GF7800GS and especially GT-ified Gainward version are the most powerful, but they are also very expensive. IMO I'd say either ditch your MoBo and get a solid PCIe card like the GF7900GT/X1800/X1900 or even GF7600GT for nearly the same price, or else save some money go with the X1600Pro which will let you pay into the DX10/Vista cards, and then upgrade your MoBo when there's native AM2+DDR2 support, plus many other board/HD and peripheral features.

It all depends on what your main focus is. If Oblivion is your focus over the next few months then the X1600Pro will be the best bang/buck, if you plan on playing a wider variety of new and older games, then something more uniform in it's playability may be in order.

Of your options the X1600Pro has the best features overall, but it just doesn't have the most grunt, however will play Oblivion with the slider up and with HDR @ 1024x768 without hiccups (even at the gates), which is the same level as the X800GTO-X800XL and GF6800GS-GT.

BTW, you don't need new RAM or new RAM to get a new board, there are not only PCIe version for S478, S754, S775, S939, but even AGP+PCIe models, and something to look at with some future upgradability is the MoBo Cleeve, Pauldh and a few others (including my best frined in Toronto) own, the AsRock S939 Dual SATAII which has both AGP+PCIe, plus support for a future AM2 riser, and many great features, and would support your current hardware without change. It's not a wicked overclocker, but it's a good solid mid-step for you IMO.

I'd say get that and then a better PCIe option (true GF7800GT, GF7900GT, X1800GTO-XL, X1900) if you are going to spend alot of money on a crippled or more overpricced GF7800GS, or else go with the X1600Pro.
a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2006 6:19:55 PM

Quote:

But, in my opinion, and I think at least 80% of the Oblivion users agree, you won't regret it. With a setup able to run it at max settings, it is absolutely awesome.


I'd disagree somewhat. For the very top of the line PCIe, I think most peope have been dissapointed with their performance. The people who seem happiest are the bargain top enders, like the X1800XL and AIWX1900 and GF7800GT and GF7900GT owners because it plays well enough and they didn't spend $500. Even SLi systems are feeling the crunch (Xfire isn't being enable at this time due to a profile issue, but it'll be fixed in the next driver release [no other Oblivion tweaks fro what I read/hear]).

For AGP, there's no GREAT solution, but some are holding their own. I think that's just it, Oblivion right now (without performanc patches, etc) just isn't shining on the XTX and GTX lines as much as one would expect, and I think it's made the value top ends wise choices overall. We'll see if that changes once better drivers and/or a patch is released, but right now I'd say there's sweet spots to look for.
April 3, 2006 6:48:21 PM

I have some information I too have a AGP Radion 9800 Pro 128 megs and Oblivion runs ok at 640X480 and too choppy at higher res... Now for some information you may not know :)  I also have a cheapy Radion X1300 with 512 Megs of ram on PCIe... It runs at a higher res and smoother then my Radion 9800 Pro... How you ask ? hell if I know if you look at the specs the 9800 should still blow the 1300 out of the water :(  but I have a feeling that having the larger VRam helps more then people realize ? Im actualy thinking of going with the X1600 myself the only thing that made me back my hand away from the order button was the news that the X1700's are on the way and I hope they make a version for AGP. (AGP is worth one last upgrade before its hit its limmits)
a b U Graphics card
April 3, 2006 9:16:08 PM

Quote:
but I have a feeling that having the larger VRam helps more then people realize ?


And that may be the case in some rare apps. Like the X800XL-512 beating the X850XTPE in some situations. I think they'd be rare, but Oblivion may just be one of those rarities, especially with what seems to be inconsistent performance for rig to rig perhaps being able to host the larger textures helps. Dunno yet.

Quote:
Im actualy thinking of going with the X1600 myself the only thing that made me back my hand away from the order button was the news that the X1700's are on the way


Yes and it's my hope that they put either the RV560 (X1650 IMO) or RV570 (X1700 or X1800SE or some silly name) into laptop form.

Quote:
and I hope they make a version for AGP. (AGP is worth one last upgrade before its hit its limmits)


AGP is dead, sorry, I won't support you in that, however depending on ATi's EGO with leading a dieing segment, they may launch one more card to compete with the GF7800GS, but I wouldn't count on it.
April 4, 2006 10:01:21 PM

Thanks for all your input, guys!

I'll be picking up a BFG 7800GS as soon as I can spare the cash.

-Dem
April 5, 2006 1:55:59 AM

G.G.A. makes some damn good points.
April 6, 2006 5:45:03 PM

Quote:
512 Mb of video memory is POINTLESS on a X1600.


Agree. the most OVERPRICED card on the market today.
April 6, 2006 5:52:30 PM

Quote:
IMO best bang for your buck is the X1600Pro. It's a fair amount slower than the GF7800GS, but also half the price. It's nexk and neck with the slow GF6800GS in it's AGP (unless you're lucky enough to get one that unlocks). In other games the GF6800GS is faster though, but the newer games will likely play closer to morrowind closing the gap a bit and not allowing partial precision fallbacks to help.]

Wha? the x1600pro is nowhere close to a 6800GS. The 6800GS AGP is a great overclocker and is a better value than any current ATi card.

[The X800XT/X800XL/X850XT will almost always outperform the GF6800GS, especially in Oblivion]

Which platform are you discussing here? AGP? The 800 and 850 cards are discontinued and hard to find (if you are lucky) prices are at or over a 6800GS.

ATi has left the building when providing the AGP market high-end video solutions.
April 6, 2006 6:24:09 PM

from theinquirer.net/?article=30502


Conclusion:

"It is not rocket science. Gainward 7800 GS Bliss card is the fastest AGP card that we came across. It smashes the competition and it comes with 512MB of memory. This card is definitely going to get you the top performance out of your AGP system."

Nuff said. bye bye ATi.
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