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Advice.... Advice for the poor AGP user?! Please, good sir..

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
May 5, 2006 3:03:24 PM

Enough of the sappy begging. The title does describe my plight though.

I'm stuck with a rather old AGP rig (p4 2.5, 1 gig ram, geforce 4600, 300wtt PSU) but probably do not have enough money to upgrade the whole mobo/cpu/gpu/psu. Besides, I'd perfer waiting for the new AMD socket to come out and drop in price before another major computer upgrade.

With my poor delapidated rig, I've managed to play most new games, but I know it's now time to at least look into a new video card. I REALLY want to play Oblivion (Morrowind was my favorite game for a loooong time) at a managable FPS.

Oh wise forum tech forum guros, what AGP card could kick my old AGP system into gear and let me play Oblivion and other high-end graphics games. I'm on a budget of about 150-200 dollars.

I looked at Ebay and saw some insane eye-gouging deals... but it's hard to tell which are legit and which are rip-offs. Anyone have any advice about buying a card over e-bay? What's safe? What's not?

Thanks for the advice!

More about : advice advice poor agp user good sir

May 5, 2006 3:06:30 PM

The best cards for you are the X800 XL or 6800 GT. You might not find them new at that price, but you may find them used.

New, the best you can do is probably an X800 GTO or 6800 GS.

The X800 XL and 6800 GT are much better though, search for them hard...

Here is an X800 PRO AGP for $120 refurbished. Better than an X800 GTO, that's a great deal for an AGP card like that, and Newegg has a good warranty on refurbished stuff...

Even better is this refurbished 6800 GT for about $180... it's more expensive but much more powerful:

May 5, 2006 3:13:38 PM

Thanks for the advice and link (edited to reflect newegg post).

...sigh, the tyranny of AGP =(. Thanks for the feedback, still welcoming any other advice.
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May 5, 2006 3:24:53 PM

Both of those look like great options.

I'm a little scared to purchase refurbished though... I've heard some bad horror stories =/.
May 5, 2006 3:29:55 PM

I'm a little scared to purchase refurbished though... I've heard some bad horror stories =/.

Newegg has a good reputation for supporting their refurbished products.

Just try it out right away when you get it and make sure it works so you can return it for another if it's not working...
May 5, 2006 3:30:44 PM

Don't be ashamed that you have AGP, a lot of people still do with no complaints other than the GPU "Lock Out" that we are experiencing.
AGP is fine right now and don't let anyone tell you different.
May 5, 2006 3:50:29 PM

Another question. I've never used a GPU that hooks up to the PSU before... How hard will it be to install it? Will I need to buy a cable because the refurbished product will not come with one?
May 5, 2006 3:53:29 PM

Nope. Easy as pie. Just hook up a spare molex connector to the card, and

that's it.
May 5, 2006 3:54:24 PM

Nope. Easy as pie. Just hook up a spare molex connector to the card, and

that's it.

Sorry for double-post :oops: 
May 5, 2006 3:54:36 PM

What is the molex you speak of, lol? Are there any guides that show pictures of the stuff? I'm somewhat comp-savy, but lack hardware installation knowledge. This rig is three years old and a buddy made it for me at the time.
May 5, 2006 3:59:43 PM

It's the 4 pin plug, that is plugged into the back of your hard drive, and

CD/DVD drive. There should be a few extras hanging around from your

power supply.
May 5, 2006 4:39:11 PM

add a good video card to your machine and you're still good to go for a year
May 5, 2006 4:41:03 PM

It's likely though that you will need a new PSU as 300W may not cut it
May 5, 2006 4:57:10 PM

I got some products on neweeg refurbish lines , and cannot say anything bad about it...maybe missing a brand new color box or a sticker or 2 ...but you can find some goodies in there... 9800pro , xt850xt pe ... these are strong choices for you and in the same price range as the others suggestions...check it out...
May 5, 2006 5:00:57 PM

300W is fine for your system. And the plugs are shaped so that only one will fit. The Molex is 4 pins in a rectangle with the corners of the plug cut on one side and its the only plug that will fit in the connector on the end of your card.

As for refurbs, the only thing I would really be worried about is the fan. But heck, the fan on my FX5900XT quit a few months after I bought it new, so I wouldn't be overly concerned with failure on a refurb card.
May 5, 2006 5:09:00 PM

I looked at Ebay and saw some insane eye-gouging deals... but it's hard to tell which are legit and which are rip-offs. Anyone have any advice about buying a card over e-bay? What's safe? What's not?

...or is it better to just stick with a safe merchant?

May 5, 2006 5:16:44 PM

Having done both, I would recommend buying a refurbished card at a reputable shop like NewEgg over getting a used card on eBay.
If you buy a card on eBay, look for some kind of guarantee in the listing that doesn't include a whopping return fee. If no guarantee is listed, send the seller a question asking what the return policy for a defective card is. Don't buy a card unless you have all of that cleared up beforehand. And as with everything on eBay, look for a high feedback rating.
May 5, 2006 5:23:41 PM

Check out EBay. I just upgraded my AGP system with an ATI X850 Pro for only $160. I put in another $20 for an Arctic Cool cooling system and unlocked the 12 pixel piplelines to 16 with a BIOS flash. Using ATI Tool I overclocked and now I basically own an X850 XT Platinum Edition.
May 5, 2006 5:47:13 PM

Ebay is great, just buy from a seller with a great user rating.

A guy with a 99% user rating and over 100 transactions isn't going to screw you for a couple hundred bucks.
May 5, 2006 6:01:03 PM

I just sold my X850XT PE on Ebay and I got $295 for it! 8) People are crazy! LOL.
May 5, 2006 10:19:13 PM

That's because it's a damn good card and worth the money too. I paid $284 for my 6800 GT new, very worth it, and that was a year ago last month.
May 5, 2006 11:43:18 PM

i would definately say go with a refurb from newegg. i've personally purchased a refurb video card from newegg - it works perfectly , zero issues

my brother in law has had the same experience - works perfect, no issues

my $0.02
May 6, 2006 2:54:14 PM

I just bought a new evga 7800gs OC at circuit city last night, many would say (including Tom's reviews) that 7800 is the absolute best you can do on AGP right now (or maybe ever?) I got it for jsut under $200 AR + tax, though you need a coupon to get it down to 220 & I used discounted GCs to get it to $200. It's all detailed here.

Otherwise if you wait long enough I'm sure it will come down to there in a more general way. It's alrady selleing for ~$275 AR in a couple other places,with a free AoE II game thrown in.
May 12, 2006 5:44:33 PM

not for nothin' but the best agp 7800 isn't the 16 pipe evga it's the 24 pipe Gainward 7800 GS+ based on the 7900GT. i copped and imported it from to Brooklyn,NY but you'd have to damn near triple your budget for this one foamingpanda.
May 12, 2006 6:19:40 PM

I bought the leadtek 6800GT... it worked for about 5 minutes on oblivion and 3dmark2006 before I got really wierd graphics errors, lol. The entire screen would turn light green and two thick red bars popped up on the left side of screen.

Tried reinstall games, DX9, mb, and video drivers -- no luck. It was a bad card. RMA'ed it back and now have a Sapphire 512mb 1600PRO coming.

...not a great or advanced card, but it'll run most games decently =).
Good price at 120ish too.
May 12, 2006 6:59:54 PM

I also got the evga 7800gs OC. This should keep me happy until I get new EVERYTHING in learly 2007. Anything less and you can't play Oblivion with mostly high settings (for example). It is the best money can buy (unless you live in the Uk or go through ultra-hassle).
BTW, even though my card is super-clocked. I never had a stability issue.

I am guessing Oblivion will be the biggest title for a long time. I havn't heard any news of new big titles until DX10 comes out.