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9600 XT running AGP 4x, how much slower than AGP 8x?

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Is it worth to upgrade old P4-1.6Ghz?

Total: 18 votes

  • Go for MB+Celeron D 2.93 GHz for $59.99
  • 12 %
  • Go for MB+Sempron 3300+ for $79.99
  • 28 %
  • Save money for better upgrade(s)
  • 62 %
April 28, 2006 9:03:52 PM

I need advice & opinions on wortheness of doing *cheap-est* upgrade.

I have 4+ years old computer, and motherboard supports only 4x AGP. Processor is P4 1.6GHz, PC2100 memory of 512 Mb, Sapphire 9600 XT.

I periodically did some upgrades during these years, HDD, DVD drive, Video Card.

The videocard is 9600XT and it is running on AGP 4x because of Motherboard, but videocard supports 8x.

I bought F.E.A.R game and it is quite slow even on minimum settings.

I am wondering, if I am going for *cheap* upgrade motherboard and processor, will I see any difference in F.E.A.R or other games because of AGP 8x?

My memory is PC2100 - (two sticks, total = 512 mb)

*Cheap* upgrade I was thinking about cheapest possible upgrade of MoBo & Processor and re-use everything else in the old system.

Something like $59 deals on MoBo + Proccesor combos. Celeron D 346 2.93 GHz.

Celeron 2.93 + MB on tigerdirect


Or Sempron 3300+ for $79.99.
M.B. + Sempron 3300+ on tigerdirect


Is Celeron D 2.93 noticably better than P4 1.6 GHz for games?

Will be PC2100 memory slowing down everyting else?

What is better for games Sempron or Celeron combos?


Thanks for advice.
April 28, 2006 9:15:31 PM

The difference between 4x and 8x can't be noticed by a human eye. Your videocard card is holding you back, not your bus.

On second look, your biggest problem is probably your P4 1.6 ghz. That is a slow mofo.

My advice: WHEN YOU CAN AFFORD IT, go with an Asrock dual-SATA II motherboard and Athlon64 3200+ - keep your current videocard. Then upgrade your videocard to a PCIe card in the future, the Asrock motherboard accepts both PCI express and AGP cards.

I wouldn't bother with a Sempron or Celeron D. You'd still be shackled to your old card and while the AGP bus isn't bad, it's not cost effective for future upgrades because the cheapest fastest cards are only PCI express...
April 29, 2006 12:34:48 AM

Thanks a lot for advice. Motherboard with AGP+PCIe looks interesting.

I have searched for the motherboard you mentioned, and found on newegg:
ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 Socket 939

In the specifications it says that memory type is DDR400 (PC3200).
Does it means that I will not be able to use my old PC2100 memory or it actually supports all DDR memory up to PC3200?!

Let's suggest that it will support PC2100, then I have another question. There 4 RAM slots: Is it real to combine my old 2x256Mb PC2100 sticks with something else? Or it should be only the same model/manufacturer PC2100?



How big is impact of memory on games performance, I mean PC2100 vs PC3200?


Thanks again!
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April 29, 2006 5:03:09 PM

I've done this myself. When I bought my AIW 9600pro, I could score around 11000 3dmarks (2001 version) Motherboard was a Slot 950 Athlon, with "only" an AGP 4x bus. I finally upgraded to a socket 754 Sempron system, with the 8x bus, and my score went to around 14000. I would argue that most of this was due to the better CPU (Sempron 2800) and more ram (512mbs of pc3200 instead of 384mbs of pc100)

Few games are needing the bandwith that 8x provides. If you push the detail levels up on current games, you could probably stress the 4x bus, but your better off getting a new video card.
a b U Graphics card
April 30, 2006 2:09:43 AM

Unfortunately, you are suffering from a slow cpu, slow video card, and slow memory....

If you can delay playing FEAR for three months, if contemplating a new cpu/mainboard/video card/RAM set, Conroe will be out in July...

Grab a 7900GT or 1800XT, and you are set for FEAR!
April 30, 2006 2:41:51 AM

Quote:
The difference between 4x and 8x can't be noticed by a human eye. Your videocard card is holding you back, not your bus.


what does the human eye have to do with how much throughput the bus is doing? i suppose the human eye cant see if a device is going at USB 1.1 speed or 2.0 speed either for that matter.
May 1, 2006 12:15:24 AM

Quote:
The difference between 4x and 8x can't be noticed by a human eye. Your videocard card is holding you back, not your bus.


what does the human eye have to do with how much throughput the bus is doing? i suppose the human eye cant see if a device is going at USB 1.1 speed or 2.0 speed either for that matter.

I think he means because the frames could be slightly lowered by the bus being a bottleneck.
May 1, 2006 12:18:45 AM

Quote:

I bought F.E.A.R game and it is quite slow even on minimum settings.


With your setup, F.E.A.R. is completely unplayable.
May 1, 2006 4:39:58 PM

I'm running FEAR on medium video settings, max CPU settings, at 50+ frames per second, with the following:
Abit AV8
Athlon 64 3000 (Winchester)
2 x 512mb PC3200 Corsair Value Select, dual channel
Radeon 9600 XT 128mb, stock settings.

Your CPU and ram are your main bottlenecks, I think. Might be better to upgrade to a SLI mobo under $100 and a 7600 GS or comparable.

The ASRock board is another option.
May 1, 2006 5:30:11 PM

1-2 fps difference between AGP4x and AGP 8x. Tomshardware did tests when AGP8x came out.

Just like PCI-E isn't really any faster than AGP8x. Its all theoretical. Only reason PCI-E is faster is because faster cards have come out. Main benefit though is multi-GPU capability.
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