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AGP...To buy or not to buy? One hell of a question.........

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 6, 2006 7:53:30 PM

Ok I'm going to ask the same old question. I have a Ti4600 and I want to upgrade. And NO I'm not going to PCI-E. What is the best bang for the buck in a AGP card. Will I SEE a difference? Not just numbers, but in game play.

AMD 64 3000+ @ 2.0 Ghz
512k L2 cache
Mobo ECS 755-A2
2 Gig DDR400
GeForce4 Ti 4600 128mb
80 Gig 7200rpm SATA HD
12 Gig 7200rpm HD (back-up)




"The unknowing, leading the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"
July 6, 2006 8:17:33 PM

The 7800GS is probably the best bang for the buck in terms of the AGP platform.
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a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2006 8:26:15 PM

Hmmm...yeah, this is one hell of a question...you will get a lot of opinions on it as well...some questions to ask yourself:
1) How much money do you want to spend? $100, $200, $300 and up?
2) How long until you do upgrade to PCIe? Less than 1 year? More than?
3) Do you prefer ATI or nVidia?

I still have an AGP mobo, I've got a 6800GT Ultra...in my opinion, if you can find one (usually Ebay) get a 6800GT Ultra, if not get a 7800GS...some people will argue that the Ultra and GS are too expensive for an AGP card and recommend "lesser" cards (i.e.; less pixel pipes, slower gpu/memory speeds) and cite reviews and benchies showing that they perform just as well given the price to performance ratio blah, blah, blah...believe that if you choose, but truth is few will claim that the Ultra and GS suck...

Whether it's nVidia or ATI...don't make the mistake of getting a stripped down card just to save a few bucks...if you plan on holding onto that rig for a year or more, then spend the cash and get a top-o-the-line AGP.

Good luck!
July 6, 2006 8:36:26 PM

Get the the 7800GS, it has sm 3.0 and can play any current game well at 1600x1200 (no AA).
The rest of the system looks as good as it can be. You need new everything to upgrade any further.
This might work for you since real DX10 games won't come out for a year or so.
The "7800GS SC" will seem so fast you will soon forget the Ti 4600 had any problems.
July 6, 2006 8:56:27 PM

Nvidia 7800GS is the video card for the job it is superior to all the agp cards and it will stil go for some while.
July 6, 2006 8:57:47 PM

AHAHAHAHAHAH that's nice
July 6, 2006 8:58:49 PM

Quote:

HEY for $13.57 you oughta' take a shot.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592571689/ref=pd_lpo_...



I was wondering how long it would take before the GeekMasters would chime in. If I was starting from the ground up, I would go State of the art, top of the line. But I have a functioning system that runs all my programs and games well. I just wanted to know if I would see a gain over the Ti4600. And I do mean SEE. Go back to casting spells in Warcraft.

Thanks to everyone else so far for the information.
a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2006 9:21:38 PM

>>Go back to casting spells in Warcraft.<<

8D-i<
July 6, 2006 9:24:05 PM

Haha :D 
a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2006 9:40:13 PM

Quote:
Get the the 7800GS, it has sm 3.0 and can play any current game well at 1600x1200 (no AA).

Not even close. Try COD2 or Oblivion on a 7800GS. A full 7800GT can't play Oblivion at 10x7 max details, and barely COD2 at 10x7 max.
July 6, 2006 9:47:11 PM

No, you're not gonna get that kind of ultimate performance with any AGP card. However, you can still play all new games very decently with any of these: X800 GTO/PRO/XL; X1600PRO 512/256 MB; GeForce 7800GS/6800GS/6600GT. I would reccomend any of the ATI cards almost blindly; I am more hesitant on the Nvidia side.
July 6, 2006 9:49:32 PM

I really can play Oblivion at 1600x1200 (no AA). Even with HDR on.
Outside is a little choppy, better to reduce the amount of grass in the config file. Sure there is a little bit of tweeking involved, but I am happy enough to play this without going down to 10x7. Indoors is no issue.
I think only the X1900XTX or better can play all max settings with AA on at max res.

I can also play Obilivion on a x700, but that requires mostly low settings in low-res.
a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2006 9:50:44 PM

Quote:
The 7800GS is probably the best bang for the buck in terms of the AGP platform.

I couldn't disagree more. Best high end AGP(X850XTpe performance and better features), sure, best bang for buck, at $260+...not even close IMO. Hard to swallow 7800GS prices when a new NF4 mobo and much faster X1800XT can be had for about the same price AR as a 7800GS. To me 7800GS is tops in AGP, but has never been a good value.

If he has $260+ and refuses to go PCI-e, get a 7800GS. If he wants best bang for buck in AGP, get a X800XL refurb for $119 from ATI, or a X850 pro brand new for $139 from ATI. These are both 6800GT level performers, for half the price or less than a 7800GS. Here's a link to some performance charts of X850 pro/x800XL/6800GT. http://www.ixbt.com/video2/sapphire-13-d.shtml
July 6, 2006 9:53:31 PM

I also agree the 7800GS is not the best bang for the buck. But when playing resource hungry games, you will want every little bit of power you can get. I still wish I had a little more power. Maybe a 7800GT +. Then the "tweeking" isn't as necessary.
a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2006 10:18:58 PM

Quote:
I really can play Oblivion at 1600x1200 (no AA). Even with HDR on.
Outside is a little choppy, better to reduce the amount of grass in the config file. Sure there is a little bit of tweeking involved


The 7800GT averages 10 FPS at 16x12 in the outdoor tests at FS. http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/oblivion_high-end_p...

Anandtech reduced the details and at 12x10 averaged 17 fps on a 7800GT in their gate benchmark. http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2746&p=4


So you must be talking a considerable amount of tweaking (not a little) to get it playable on your 7800GS at 16x12. I had a 7800GT CO and it struggled with 10x7 high details with HDR. I'd call my playable settings 10x7 medium on that card. That's why I upgraded to a X1800XT which is still nowhere near a 16x12 Oblivion card IMO. I don't consider 16x12 medium or low details being truely 16x12 capable gaming. When it comes to Oblivion I don't really feel a 16x12 single card exists; 16x12 with all the eye goodies that is. I'd play 12x10 with more eye candy rather than 16x12 with less.
a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2006 10:38:43 PM

If you want best performance, go with the NVidia solution, if you want a good price and a good card, go with the ATI solution.
July 6, 2006 10:42:42 PM

Ok.
There was a bit of tweeking.
Here is the tweek guide. Old news.
http://www.tweakguides.com/Oblivion_8.html

Usually after all the tweeking is done, the game is usually very playable. Just watch out for the dense Foliage (grass) areas. Change the iMinGrassSize to help fix this also. For reducing the impact HDR has outdoors, change the BlurShaderHDR while keeping the indoor BlurShaderHDRInterior on full. Also set bAllow30Shaders if your card really is sm 3.0. etc etc.
Just my 2 cents, I did not intend to misslead anyone for any reason.
July 6, 2006 11:06:02 PM

You would be better getting a full upgrade (pci-e etc) but i noticed the difference going from a gf5900xt to gf6600gt, so if you have the "spare" cash for a 7800gs you will definately notice a difference, espicially with newer games. My wife quite happily played Oblivion on an Athlon 2600 and gf6600gt and it plays starship troopers fine at 1024x768 as well. If you are happy with the 1024x768 area with no aa then do it, if you want 1600x1200 4xAA then save more pennies and do a full upgrade.
a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2006 11:07:27 PM

Yeah, old news but good news. I know of the tweakguide and started a thread about it a few days before it was released. :wink: Great site and I checked it often waiting for the Oblivion guide.

I can see that it is possible for you to play at 16x12 if enough is tweaked but never assumed anyone would try to reduce that much to keep high res. Do you have a native 16x12 LCD? Please tell me that's the case.

But I do think you unintentionally would mislead people quite a bit saying a 7800GS can play anything at 16x12. Anyway, no harm man. Hopefully the OP has heard enough to decide if he wants to go all out in AGP for the 7800GS, or get more for his money with a good but slower X850pro or X800XL.

His rig is good enough to justify the 7800GS if a pci-e mobo is out of the question for some reason. I just can't imagine spending almost $300 on a 7800GS when a NF4 mobo has been as low as $45 AR, and 7900GT or X1800XT for $220's AR. Much faster setup for the same price if you don't mind rebates.
a b U Graphics card
July 6, 2006 11:08:52 PM

I went from a Ti4200, to 6600GT (was a good buy at the time) and saw an amazing difference, anything 6xxx or 7xxx will give a massive improvement. 7xxx obviously more so, depends what resolution you could game at.
July 6, 2006 11:29:22 PM

Yes,
I do have a native 16x12 LCD monitor, which is why I play EVERYTHING at 16x12. I leave AA off - I know this will kill my framerates, even if I get some jaggies.
I also like max settings (including HDR). So what I did was start at all MAX, then slowly do the tweeking until I get things right. Reducing the Foliage helped the most for outdoor traveling while keeping the grass so things stll look nice. I like this setting more than reducing the grass draw distance.
Now for FEAR, I did not need to tweek anything. All just worked at 16x12 with AA off.
The only other games (I don't have) on the 7800GS that "might" need tweeking is B&W2 and COD2. This is a fairly short list which is why I said the 7800GS can currently handle almost anything.
I still like the 7800GS even if it's not a good "bang or buck" because at least it's "possible" to play anything with possible tweeking in high-res. I don't think the x800 can play Oblivion high-res no matter how much tweeking is done. If Dan has a low-res monitor, then all this fuss isn't as necessary,
I know about the 7900GT for $220, I need new everything as well.
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2006 12:09:43 AM

Ah, alrighty then. I totally understand now. I would keep native res and tweak away just like you did then. Glad the card is working so well for you.

Quote:
I don't think the x800 can play Oblivion high-res no matter how much tweeking is done.

I actually feel the X800XL would probably do just as good as the 7800GS in Oblivion raw performance wise. FS did benchies and the X800XL just demolished the 7600GT and 6800GT in Oblivion when using fsaa & AF. The 512MB vs 256MB settings were the same as their mainstream settings so those numbers can be compared to the other charts in the review. Of course, HDR is not an option...the downside of X800's and Oblivion. But I wouldn't be surprised if in that one game, the X800XL could possibly even win over the 7800GS with fsaa. But lack of HDR would give the win to the 7800GS reguardless.
July 7, 2006 12:28:00 AM

I went from a mx420 to an x800 GTo and it works great!!!

I would say that you should get a 6600gt or an x800 gto and unlock the extra pipes on it, or get the 7800 gs if you can afford it!!

what res are you planning on playing at?? and how much are you willing to spend??
July 7, 2006 6:13:48 AM

I just got a x800xt agp for 125.00. What do you guys think?
July 7, 2006 6:23:50 AM

That is a great deal and great bang for the buck.
It should blow your old GPU out of the water. (with 16 barrels!)
The x800 lacks HDR and sm 3.0, but that is minor.
You can upgrade to a DX10 card (better than any current card) in a year if you want new everything then.
Your card should last a good long while.
July 7, 2006 8:27:48 AM

Quote:
Get the the 7800GS, it has sm 3.0 and can play any current game well at 1600x1200 (no AA).

Not even close. Try COD2 or Oblivion on a 7800GS. A full 7800GT can't play Oblivion at 10x7 max details, and barely COD2 at 10x7 max.

well said....agree....tested and proved 83957839 times
:p 
July 7, 2006 8:34:45 AM

Quote:
The 7800GS is probably the best bang for the buck in terms of the AGP platform.

I couldn't disagree more. Best high end AGP(X850XTpe performance and better features), sure, best bang for buck, at $260+...not even close IMO. Hard to swallow 7800GS prices when a new NF4 mobo and much faster X1800XT can be had for about the same price AR as a 7800GS. To me 7800GS is tops in AGP, but has never been a good value.

If he has $260+ and refuses to go PCI-e, get a 7800GS. If he wants best bang for buck in AGP, get a X800XL refurb for $119 from ATI, or a X850 pro brand new for $139 from ATI. These are both 6800GT level performers, for half the price or less than a 7800GS. Here's a link to some performance charts of X850 pro/x800XL/6800GT. http://www.ixbt.com/video2/sapphire-13-d.shtml

pauldh..strikes again...open your eyes kids..
July 7, 2006 8:45:27 AM

Quote:

The x800 lacks HDR


here we go again.....x800 does not lack any hdr my friend ..it just lacks the type of hdr introduced by sm3......
in case you did not hear my friend there are many types of hdr

to give you a clear image on that imagine that there are 5 games supporting different types of hdr...well x800 can detect lets say half of them....
ex half life, chaos theory, hitman blood and money...these are just few that came into my mind now...


good luck
July 7, 2006 8:49:13 AM

7800gs and many new nvidia cards cannot do ... any type of hdr + AA.....which is very dissapointing.......

like many humans :D  i have time .... to play same games and i enjoy it ..but even if i choose low resolutions...like 10x7 or 12x10 etc ....i can`t imagine playing without AA

peace
July 7, 2006 10:04:43 AM

Quote:
Ok I'm going to ask the same old question. I have a Ti4600 and I want to upgrade. And NO I'm not going to PCI-E. What is the best bang for the buck in a AGP card. Will I SEE a difference? Not just numbers, but in game play.

AMD 64 3000+ @ 2.0 Ghz
512k L2 cache
Mobo ECS 755-A2
2 Gig DDR400
GeForce4 Ti 4600 128mb
80 Gig 7200rpm SATA HD
12 Gig 7200rpm HD (back-up)




"The unknowing, leading the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"


Technically speaking game play is dependant on the programming ability of the game developers not graphics card manufacturers.

Anyways, your computer is a lot like mine. Let me guess you brought your system say 2 ½ years ago at a time when we all thought we could have CPU’s running at a stock 5 ghz in three years time and nothing was going to de thrown AGP. Boy technology sure is a funny thing, these days the next processor I’m looking at is actually going to be running slower then my current P4 (I’m looking at buying the 6400 Core Duo).

Now 2 ½ years on your computer has hit a mid life crises. It’s still powerful enough to run modern games at a decent res with some of the features turned on but the days are gone were you didn’t have to bother looking at system specs on the latest FPS game. The crises is worsened by the fact that most modern AGP cards are poor value for money and they don’t give the same bank for buck as their PCI express equivalent.

I know you don’t want to upgrade to pci express yet, but it is advisable. However if you have set your mind on getting another AGP card, then I would recommend the 7800GS abiltet reluctantly due to its bad value for money. Or buy yourself a 6600GT AGP second hand for £60 (look on ebay), this should see you alright for another 6-8 months. Long term though the path is PCI express.
!