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X700 to X1600 Upgrade

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 18, 2006 5:34:16 PM

Hi. I'm on the verge of upgrading my video card from a Radeon X700 Pro to a Radeon X1600 Pro. I'd like to know what you guys think. Is it a good idea? Or is it a stupid idea to upgrade from one mid ranged card to another?

I did some research and this is what I came up with:



As you can see, the X1600 Pro only outclasses the X700 in terms of core clock (even then its not much) and pixel pipelines. And not to mention the DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 3.0.

But the X700 transfers memory at 1gb/s more than the X1600!

Ok, I don't even play Half Life 2 (I played it for like 10 minutes and went back to my old favorites). So I just want to know, that if discounting the fact that I'm not looking to play NFS MW and stuff like that, is it a dumb idea or not?

I'd appreciate your comments. Thanks.

More about : x700 x1600 upgrade

April 18, 2006 6:14:19 PM

That's not an upgrade, that's a downgrade w/ sm3.0.
If you're serious about gaming don't even look at the x1300 or x1600, they are worse then the x700/x800s.


What kind of price range are you looking at?

The x1800gto would be much better, and i heard that you can unlock it to 16 pipes, which means you're getting an x1800xl.
You can't go wrong with this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

or if you like mail in rebates this one comes with 16 pipes standard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Wow only 180 bucks... i'm having buyers remorse.
a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2006 8:07:27 PM

Quote:
Hi. I'm on the verge of upgrading my video card from a Radeon X700 Pro to a Radeon X1600 Pro. I'd like to know what you guys think. Is it a good idea? Or is it a stupid idea to upgrade from one mid ranged card to another?


It's not a worthwhile upgrade. In newer games the X1600Pro will outperform the X700Pro, howver by a rather small margin. In older games the X700Pro will outperform the X1600Pro since the less complex tasks will be easy to handle on a 1:1 basis, so you'll be looking at straight raw power, not elegance in design.

Quote:
I did some research and this is what I came up with:



As you can see, the X1600 Pro only outclasses the X700 in terms of core clock (even then its not much) and pixel pipelines. And not to mention the DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 3.0.


Ok, first things first, the X1600Pro is 4 pixels per clock, it only has 4 ROPs therefore on 4 pixels per clock can be displayed. It can process 12 pixel shader operation per clock but can only display 4, thus for older games like I said, the X700 will outperform because it's not doing multiple passes and not waiting much, so it can fill those ROPs @ 8 per cycle. Also the R9800 is SM2.0, the X700Pro is SM2.0B, and hte X1600 is SM3.0, DX versions aren't as clear since technically the R9800P and X700P would follow the same DX numbering, but doi have slightly different functionality.

Quote:
But the X700 transfers memory at 1gb/s more than the X1600!


But the X1600 has better memory management enhacement. The difference will be rather minor and usually can be somewhat negated by overclocking the memory. The biggest drawback is still the core.

Quote:
Ok, I don't even play Half Life 2 (I played it for like 10 minutes and went back to my old favorites). So I just want to know, that if discounting the fact that I'm not looking to play NFS MW and stuff like that, is it a dumb idea or not?


Yes, for 'old favourites' this is likely a very bad upgrade.

Wait for the X1700 to come out of until you can afford a GF7600GT or X1800GTO, both of which would be more worthwhile upgrades.
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a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2006 8:30:08 PM

If your just looking for a cheap good upgrade I would suggest this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

This would be a nice upgrade better than your x700 and better than your 1600pro that you were thinking about getting and cheaper assuming you have an PCI-E MB.
a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2006 8:40:45 PM

IMO and X800GTO is not a worthwhile upgrade. It wou;d've been in the past, but really now it's not worth the price/performance difference.

Even though $100 i a damn fine deal (best under $100 card I can think of), I think the added performance will be mediocre. Not to say it isn't better than the X1600Pro which it is in just about 99% of the cases, but equally that one isn't worth it either.

I'd still say the GF7600GT and X1800GTO are your minimum worthy upgrade, even for the extra money.
April 19, 2006 5:35:12 AM

Wow thanks for all the detailed analysis and comments! GrapeApe, in all the forums I've been in, your answer has been the most in-depth and moving. So I guess it's set, I won't upgrade.

Just another query.. When I was playing HL2, I noticed a slight lag in performance even though a benchmarking site I went to proclaimed that I have enough power to run it smoothly. And I was only running it at low to medium gfx. (I rarely ever run any game at maximum resolution and gfx)

My question is; d'you think the lag in performance was due to the card, the X700 being a mid-ranged card, or was it due to the fact that my comp is 3 years old and not handling graphics all that well (buffers and front side bus and stuff like that)?

If it's the X700 that's lagging HL2, d'ya think I should get the X1600 and d'ya think the lag will go away? I know I said I won't play newer games and such, but what if a nice one comes out later this year and I'm crippled by the fact that my card is one generation behind?

I forgot to also mention that I'd like to play BF2 on a regular basis. Would the X1600 improve my gameplay performance?

Did I also mention that I need my video card to be an AGP slot?

Again, thanks for all the replies! It's helped alot. I appreciate the patience and time y'all put into answering my fears and doubts.
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2006 10:39:41 PM

Quote:
Just another query.. When I was playing HL2, I noticed a slight lag in performance even though a benchmarking site I went to proclaimed that I have enough power to run it smoothly. And I was only running it at low to medium gfx. (I rarely ever run any game at maximum resolution and gfx)

My question is; d'you think the lag in performance was due to the card, the X700 being a mid-ranged card, or was it due to the fact that my comp is 3 years old and not handling graphics all that well (buffers and front side bus and stuff like that)?


Well it depends, there are some CPU limitations as well as GPU limitations. Depending on the features you chose (reflect world water is a no no IMO) it should easily be playable. Now CPU limitations can greatly impact performance, and it's not always obvious where that is. I had HL2 quite playable @ 1280x1024 without issue and most things turned on and fairly far up, but in some scenes my framerate would drop, I tried lowering the resolution to no effect the same are was a constant 20FPS, even overclocking the card to my benchmarking pretty insane levels +35% core + 20% memory had no impact. So it was obviously cpu limited in that section.

Now the question becomes do you still have those same performance drops when YOU change resolutions? If it still happens at the lower resolution then it's likely the system that's holding you back too. If lowering the resolution solves it then it's the graphics solution that needs more oomph, and I say that as an owner of the R9600Pro (@ XT+ level) and MobilityRX700 who's completed HL2 twice (once on desktop and once on laptop).


Quote:
If it's the X700 that's lagging HL2, d'ya think I should get the X1600 and d'ya think the lag will go away?


Perhaps, but not by much, look at this mobile review that compares the desktop versions of the X1600XT (more powerful than the X1600Pro you're considering) to the Desktop X700 (less powerful than the one you currently have);
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/ati-x1600-mobility_7.html

Does that look like a significant difference to you, of rven such an extreme difference? I'd say your card and the X1600Pro will be neck and neck.

Quote:
I know I said I won't play newer games and such, but what if a nice one comes out later this year and I'm crippled by the fact that my card is one generation behind?


Then that's when you buy, not before. There will be cheaper and better solutions out by the time that happens, and unless you play Oblivion right now, I don't think there's a game out there where the X1600Pro will show enough of a difference to justify you spending money. Now at this point your interface comes into play, since you're AGP (which I assumed you were due to age of rig) your options will be limited. There is really only the X1600Pro, X800GTO and GF6800GS in that range (maybe GF7600GT in future), but none of them are a 'worthwhile' long term upgrade IMO. If the X1600Pro isn't worth it for $110US, then those other cards aren't likely to be any better in the future for $50-90 more. If you find a cheap full GF6800GT or X800XT or are lucky enough to mod a GF6800GS or X800GTO into their ful 16pipe brothers, then maybe it'd be worth it. But my motto has always been, upgrade the card when you need to, not in anticipation of something that might not only need a new card, but if you need a new CPU as well and you're stuck with another AGP card that cost more and may perform worse than it's possible PCIe option you may be kicking yourself for upgrading before you knew for sure what you needed.

[/quote]I forgot to also mention that I'd like to play BF2 on a regular basis. Would the X1600 improve my gameplay performance?[/quote]

Yes, but once again, only slight. IMO still not worth it.

Quote:
Did I also mention that I need my video card to be an AGP slot?


No, but I guess that based on your statements. It does mean no 'great deals' for you though, since the X800GTO PCIe can be had OEM for under $100, the X1600XT PCIE can be had for about the same price as the X1600Pro AGP, The AGP version of the GF6800GS isn't as good/fast as the PCIe version unless you're luckey enough to unlock it, and the X1800GTO and GF7600GT and other nice options are unfortunately not available. Alot of this plays into what's good and what's not for the dollar, and for AGP the options are getting slimmer and less attractive, especially the closer we get to next gen games.

Quote:
Again, thanks for all the replies! It's helped alot. I appreciate the patience and time y'all put into answering my fears and doubts.


No worries man, people helped us, just passing the the same help on to you, and you can do it too in the future.
!