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?
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 overclockers.uk to Brooklyn,NY but you'd have to damn near triple your budget for this one foamingpanda.
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.
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.