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upgrade dilemma - please advise

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Games
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
April 16, 2006 8:49:31 AM

Hi there guys,

I currently have a P4 3.2, with 1 gig of RAM and a Radeon 9800 pro (128 meg). The benchmark numbers generally seem good:

3d mark 2001 (1024x768) - between 17,500 and 17,850
3d mark 2003 (1024x768) is 5950 (676 CPU)
Commanche (1024x768) around 60 fps
Aquamark 43, 785
PC Mark 2002 = cpu-7890 mem-8890 hdd-1178
Far cry (PCGH_VGA demo) 1024x768 (everything v.high): average fps = 68

And more importantly, games like half life 2 and far cry run fine. However more recent games like F.E.A.R and even Doom 3 seem to struggle a bit.

This is my question: given that my motherboard only supports AGP what would be the best graphics card upgrade so I could play the latest games and what kind of improvement would I notice. And moreover, with a new card, can this system still cut it with the latest generation of games.

Thanks in advance guys...

More about : upgrade dilemma advise

April 16, 2006 9:23:05 AM

The best you could get would be the 7800 GS, SPECIFICALLY the gainward version. It would give you a huge boost in those games you're machine is now finding difficult.

However, it's in the neighborhood of $300, so it may or may not be worth it to you, especially if you plan to upgrade to a PCI express mobo/CPU in the near future.

If not, for under $200 right now you can get an X800 XL on newegg, which wil also show you a very large gain over your 9800 PRO...
April 16, 2006 1:24:23 PM

Cheers mate - I think I'd rather spend a little bit extra and get the extra performance. A few quick questions first: Is my CPU fast enough for the high-end cards (like the 7800 or 7900) or is it going to act a bottle-neck so that there would be no discernible improvement over say a 6600...

How great is the difference between these two cards:

Gainward GeForce 7800GS "BLISS" 512MB DDR3 AGP 2xDVI HDTV
and
Gainward GF 6600GT GS 256MB AGP TVO DVI

And is GT better than GS - the product lines are so damn confusing!

Thanks again...
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a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2006 1:55:31 PM

The 3.2 is still quite capable...

The 3.2/800 Northwood cores with PC3200 mem on a properly set up mainboard game pretty much as fast as a 3500+ on an NF4 board when both have equal video cards...

Yes, the 9800 Pro is what is holding you back on modern games, and, within the AGP world, it would be hard if not impossible to do any better than one of Gainward's 7800GS variants...

(I had not even heard of a 512mb 7800GS prior to today, but I had heard that Gainwards cards have the full 20 pipelines, so are much closer to 7800GT performance..)
April 16, 2006 1:57:39 PM

Quote:
The 3.2 is still quite capable...

The 3.2/800 Northwood cores with PC3200 mem on a properly set up mainboard game pretty much as fast as a 3500+ on an NF4 board when both have equal video cards...

Yes, the 9800 Pro is what is holding you back on modern games, and, within the AGP world, it would be hard if not impossible to do any better than one of Gainward's 7800GS variants...

(I had not even heard of a 512mb 7800GS prior to today, but I had heard that Gainwards cards have the full 20 pipelines, so are much closer to 7800GT performance..)


If I'm not mistaken, the Gainwards are 7800GT's adapted for the AGP bus.
a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2006 1:58:27 PM

Generally, a GT is better than a GS within the same card series, but in the case of comparing different card architectures (7800 vs 6600 or 6800), a 7800GS (only available in agp, the 7800GT is/was PCI-e only) will be much faster than a 6600, 6600GT, 6800GS or even a 6800GT...
April 16, 2006 4:10:32 PM

Thanks guys - you've been really helpful. I know what has to be done, time to start saving :-(
April 16, 2006 5:04:50 PM

Yeah I have a problem too, I just have to much money. Should I just burn them in the fireplace or fluch them down the toilet?