upgrade for my system...please help!

I need a new graphics card but cant afford to upgrade my whole system to PCI-e so looking for an AGP solution. My spec is:

2* 512 DDR Ram
AMD Athlon 2600 XP (Could overclock if wanted)
350W PSU

What are your thoughts? I know that I will need to upgrade my PSU to maybe 450W but want to know what is the best option for my setup as dont want to spend money on a card that wont run at full tilt due to bottlenecks! At the moment I am torn between a 6800GS or an X850. At the moment I only have a crapy geforce 4mx and want to play Age of empires 3 and B&W2 without my system crashing!
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  1. Honestly, your cpu will bottleneck in most games before either the 6800 or the 850. For the money, you'd be better matched with a 6600gt 128. Yeah it doesn't seem too great, but save your self so cash for down the road and do a full upgrade then.
  2. Your system will NOT be bottlenecked so badly that it won't be able to take advantaage of a 6800 GS or X850 XT.

    CPU's have far less of an impact in games than the graphics card, 9 times out of ten. Sure, you'll have a bit of a bottleneck in the newest, most intense AI games, but 90 percent of them are fine with a 2600+.

    Overclocking the processor wouldn't hurt though. :wink:
  3. I don't disagree with your general statement, but, a sempron 2800 at stock 1.6ghz bottlenecks in most games I play before the 7300gs (this is the wife's homework computer) does. At 2.0ghz things are much happier.
  4. I will not be able to upgrade properly for a while yet as money is tight, but thought that a new GPU would tied me over for the time being. I recon I will go 6800 GS as already have nvidia card and also seems to suit me better.

    Think that a 7800 AGP would just be a waist of money. Could overclock CPU. Aparently 2600 XPs can clock up to 2.6 gig! Well in range of anything I can throw at it surely...?!

    Also waiting to see what the later half of the year brings in Mobo and the CPU war between AMD/Intel! Looks like it could get interesting!
  5. If you OC you XP to 3200 , you will enjoy better any VGA you add to your system. If you plan to change soon your whole system ... get 6600 GT , if not , get xt850 ... but with both choices you will probably change the PS , but with 6800 you will be safe with the current PS... I had a rig with XP 2700 OC to XP 3200 with 6600 GT AGP... well it is really good for games as Doom 3 (I have little impact when I got the P4 system with 6800 Ultra , except for better resolution mode , but game was playable as good as now on P4 on 800 mode) ... but honestly... for xt850 value...get 7800 gs... or get the 6800 512 from asus on newegg ... if for your needs the xp system is fine , get the best vga and add some memory to prevent any other bottleneck... but if you want to save money for the next rig .... get a 6200 128MB or 256MB and play your games (much better than mx anyway) and them invest latter in a better rig...
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