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AGP Upgrade Worthwhile?

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August 4, 2006 6:43:30 PM

About two years ago I put a Radeon 9600 Pro in my aging sytem (already 2 years old at that point) and am finding myself in need of an upgrade again. Currently, I'm sitting with an older motherboard (no PCI-e slot), 512 MB of RAM (I plan to upgrade that with another 512) and a 1.9 Ghz P4 processor. The system has held up quite admirably, as far as I'm concerned and plays Half-Life 2 well enough to suit me.

Having picked up Oblivion recently, I found my system saddly lacking now and am trying to decide if the aging tower is worth upgrading. I've been looking at some of the AGP cards currently in the sub $200 price range (most notably, the Radeon x850 Pro / x850 XT). Would one of these (or a similarly priced card from the Radeon X or GForce 6/7 family) plus an extra 512 MB of RAM be worth it to keep my computer respectable for the next generation of games over the next year or two? Or would I be better off just replacing the system completely for one with a more modern motherboard and faster processor?

I'm usually quite content to play games at 800x600 or 1024x768 resolution when necessary and don't mind turning down AA / AF features for better performance, but I'd still like something that'd be capapable of running next-gen games (on par with Oblivion) with most of the shader/lighting features enabled.

Any suggestions?

More about : agp upgrade worthwhile

August 4, 2006 6:46:18 PM

Given that the minimum requirement to play Oblivion is a 2ghz processor, I say get a new motherboard/cpu. It's a good time too with all the price cuts going on.
August 4, 2006 7:08:05 PM

i have an oldie pIV 1.7 512 mb ram, and an oldie radeon 7500AIW i got this system in 2001 it was then enough for everything i did on it, but nowedays i cant do much more than i used to do, and i cant realy expand it , an new gpu , and a new cpu might bring a bit of life to it but i think its not worth it thats why im planing to just get a new mobo, ram, cpu, and gpu when the new ati dx10 gpu's come out, i was planing to build a new system in january or so, its sometimes beter to invest in a more"expencive" aproach than feed more $$ into an existing, and an outdated system , lol ur pc is still beter than mine :wink: lol , to be honest i dont think oblivion is worth even geting (just my opinion) looking at some ganes that will come out in the begining of 2007 or even later that year, i would say its beter to save some $$ for beter games, or "upgrades" , even if i would have the right pc to run oblivion and if someone handed it to me for free, i woubt that i would have installed it at all, but thats just me(no offence), i think even that "titan quest" might be more interesting, not mentioning games that look amazing like project offset, and crysis, and haze that if im not mistaken all will come out in 2007 mid to late 2007.
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August 4, 2006 7:13:11 PM

What are you talking about? Don't buy Oblivion, instead wait until 2007 for a better game?

Oblivion is well worth the $50, espescially if you like open-ended, free roaming RPG's with huge seamless worlds to explore and incredible graphics. Don't worry about upgrading, just get a new mobo/cpu/ram/gpu and you'll come out better in the long run.
August 4, 2006 7:21:09 PM

Quote:
What are you talking about? Don't buy Oblivion, instead wait until 2007 for a better game?

Oblivion is well worth the $50, espescially if you like open-ended, free roaming RPG's with huge seamless worlds to explore and incredible graphics. Don't worry about upgrading, just get a new mobo/cpu/ram/gpu and you'll come out better in the long run.


I guess we can't ALL be lucky enough to be RPG afficionados *grin*. Anyway, thanks for the advice. Now I just need to begin the arduous process of doing all my homework for all the various hardware I'll need to pull togeather. I'll admit, I've never actually built my own system from scratch before or upgrade anything more complex than a video card.

So, any advice on a solid PCI-e equipped motherboard for a reasonable price?
August 4, 2006 7:24:55 PM

Quote:
What are you talking about? Don't buy Oblivion, instead wait until 2007 for a better game?

Oblivion is well worth the $50, espescially if you like open-ended, free roaming RPG's with huge seamless worlds to explore and incredible graphics. Don't worry about upgrading, just get a new mobo/cpu/ram/gpu and you'll come out better in the long run.


I guess we can't ALL be lucky enough to be RPG afficionados *grin*. Anyway, thanks for the advice. Now I just need to begin the arduous process of doing all my homework for all the various hardware I'll need to pull togeather. I'll admit, I've never actually built my own system from scratch before or upgrade anything more complex than a video card.

So, any advice on a solid PCI-e equipped motherboard for a reasonable price?
Depends on what processor you want. I'd post something in the General Homebuilt section saying you're looking to build a new system for the first time. Tell them what you'll be using it for and what you're total budget is. They'll steer you in the right direction.
August 4, 2006 7:35:38 PM

I am in a similar case as yours and just upgraded from a 9600SE to a refurb X800XL (120$US). A valuable upgrade, but in your case I fear your P4 1.9Ghz will start to bottleneck your system (I have a 2.8Ghz).

Depends how much you want to invest in gaming I guess. A 1.9Ghz P4 with 1Gig of RAM and a X800XL or X850Pro (they're your best deals on ATI.com's clearance) will do fine in Oblivion, by your standards ("fine" in most reviews meaning 1280x1024 2xAA 16xAF so don't rely on that). I guess that system will hold on one more year, as I don't think we'll see much worse than Oblivion in terms of hardware torture. Modern video games are much more taxing on the video card than on the processor, so you might be surprised (positively) of what performance you will get from having an outdated CPU with decent video card.

2008, though... I can't guarantee :wink:
August 4, 2006 7:38:35 PM

To be honest i dont realy like oblivion, graphically it looks relativley nice, but honestly i saw beter graphix, no offence, but its just a game if ur into walking around in the game and soch go for it, im more of a strategy gamer, ocasionally fps :wink: ok , now in regards to the mobo, the asus p5w dh deluxe is nice aofers suport for xfire for the future (or physix cards) and its core 2 duo compatible, but i wouldnt say its reasonably priced (im planing on geting it, unles something beter somes out)
August 4, 2006 7:40:36 PM

Quote:
I am in a similar case as yours and just upgraded from a 9600SE to a refurb X800XL (120$US). A valuable upgrade, but in your case I fear your P4 1.9Ghz will start to bottleneck your system (I have a 2.8Ghz).

Depends how much you want to invest in gaming I guess. A 1.9Ghz P4 with 1Gig of RAM and a X800XL or X850Pro (they're your best deals on ATI.com's clearance) will do fine in Oblivion, by your standards ("fine" in most reviews meaning 1280x1024 2xAA 16xAF so don't rely on that). I guess that system will hold on one more year, as I don't think we'll see much worse than Oblivion in terms of hardware torture.

2008, though... I can't guarantee :wink:


True. I don't need my games be flawlessly anti-aliased or running at max res. Mostly I'm just looking for smooth framerates with fairly sharp textures and the ability to enable most "eye-candy" type effects.
August 4, 2006 7:48:04 PM

Quote:
I am in a similar case as yours and just upgraded from a 9600SE to a refurb X800XL (120$US). A valuable upgrade, but in your case I fear your P4 1.9Ghz will start to bottleneck your system (I have a 2.8Ghz).

Depends how much you want to invest in gaming I guess. A 1.9Ghz P4 with 1Gig of RAM and a X800XL or X850Pro (they're your best deals on ATI.com's clearance) will do fine in Oblivion, by your standards ("fine" in most reviews meaning 1280x1024 2xAA 16xAF so don't rely on that). I guess that system will hold on one more year, as I don't think we'll see much worse than Oblivion in terms of hardware torture.

2008, though... I can't guarantee :wink:


True. I don't need my games be flawlessly anti-aliased or running at max res. Mostly I'm just looking for smooth framerates with fairly sharp textures and the ability to enable most "eye-candy" type effects.
You won't get that in Obilivion with your system and an upgraded video card. My suggestion is to not waste money in your old system and build a new budget gaming rig.
August 4, 2006 7:51:34 PM

Quote:
You won't get that in Obilivion with your system and an upgraded video card. My suggestion is to not waste money in your old system and build a new budget gaming rig.


Yep, that's the understanding I've come to. *grin*. Thanks for all your help and advice.
August 4, 2006 8:32:38 PM

I've hanged out long enough on the elderscrolls tech support forum to know that people with configurations roughly similar to:

Athlon 64 3000+
1 Gig RAM
Radeon X800Pro/XL; 850Pro/XT; GeForce 7600GT

...can enable most eye-candy (except HDR of course) at 1024x768 or even 1280x1024. I'll be testing this myself as soon as I get my new video card and I'm pretty confident about this.

Now the difference with your system is the slower processor, aka P4 1.9Ghz. As far as bottlenecking issues go, Oblivion is essentially a graphic-card hog and doesn't require a fast processor to run well: both the low cpu minimum requirement (P4 2Ghz) and the Athlon64 tests on firingsquad.com have demonstrated this enough.

This is also true of most modern video games. As long as you keep your computer clean and optimized, you're in the long run saving money by getting a small upgrade now and a full upgrade maybe early 2008, which at that time will be superior to what you would be getting with a full upgrade now (including DX10 support, for example).

But if you have a bit more money on your hands right now and want to get a more serious upgrade now... I'm not objecting.
August 4, 2006 9:07:50 PM

We are getting close to the DX10 cards and I would recommend spending as little as possible on a video card, but still try to get as much as possible for your money. If you upgrade all of your stuff, I'd recommend this X850XT. It should provide enough power to hold you over until DX10 capable cards become available without spending too much at this point. You can focus more on a good motherboard/CPU/PSU/Mem setup and worry about the video card a little later.

However, you could also keep your existing stuff and try either the X850Pro or X800XL (Refurbed) that are on clearance at ATI. These will probably hold you over long enough to let you save your money up for a new AM2 or Conroe system.
August 4, 2006 9:21:24 PM

Quote:
However, you could also keep your existing stuff and try either the X850Pro or X800XL (Refurbed) that are on clearance at ATI. These will probably hold you over long enough to let you save your money up for a new AM2 or Conroe system.
My opinion exactly.
August 4, 2006 10:03:11 PM

when will the dx10 cards come out, if it will be in january 2007 i would wait with my curent setup, and just wait for it, i see no point in geting a gpu just for that 4/5 months spending that 100 on it and then not using it, hopefuly the e6600 will drop a bit down in price as well by that time, will a dx10 card lets say for 400 outperform the 1900xt, just loking at the past ati lignup? or not really? i know the ddr4 memory will be a nice upgrade in speeds and size(hopefully) and the sm 4.0 will ad a lot to the quality of gaming, but i was wonderign more in the ftp's area and quality?
August 6, 2006 8:26:47 AM

Unfortunately nobody (perhaps Cleeve, GW, TGGA might????) has a clear date as to when the DX10 capable cards will be available.

IIRC rumors do place them to come out before the end of the year. In a gee golly world they would be in stores in time for the holiday shopping season. But we don't live in a gee golly world.

It depends on how bad you want to play Oblivion. If you can wait, then wait. If you can't wait, then buy. Sorry I cannot give you a better answer.
August 6, 2006 11:54:09 AM

Quote:
Unfortunately nobody (perhaps Cleeve, GW, TGGA might????) has a clear date as to when the DX10 capable cards will be available.


Unfortunately they do not know. - Not one single person here does. Its rumored a DX10 compliant GPU from Nv to be launched around late Sept. But we'll see how that holds up. Its up to the manufactorers on how quickly they set realese dates. Seeing as how Vista has been delayed well into the holiday season, its going to be quite some time.
August 6, 2006 12:41:20 PM

The 850xt would be ok but you would have to adjust your setting a little.....Also the bottleneck would be the rest of the system....however upgrading just your card is the cheapest solution........

Oblivion is a real video card crusher anyway........It even puts mine through a workout.....as for most other games........you would love it
August 6, 2006 1:13:54 PM

Quote:
The 850xt would be ok but you would have to adjust your setting a little.....Also the bottleneck would be the rest of the system....however upgrading just your card is the cheapest solution........

Oblivion is a real video card crusher anyway........It even puts mine through a workout.....as for most other games........you would love it


if you consider oblivion ..x850xt is only surpassed by x1800xt and x1900xt...so....
August 6, 2006 1:23:49 PM

And the X1800GTO(2) X1800XL, (aiw X1800 and 1900) X1900GT, 7800GTX and the 7900GT and the 7900GTX and the 7950....so....... :lol: 

Simply becuase its a Radeon GPU with Oblivion doesnt make up for the fact its 3 generations old...
August 6, 2006 1:34:21 PM

Quote:
And the X1800GTO(2) X1800XL, (aiw X1800 and 1900) X1900GT, 7800GTX and the 7900GT and the 7900GTX and the 7950....so....... :lol: 

Simply becuase its a Radeon GPU with Oblivion doesnt make up for the fact its 3 generations old...


I do agree..........I am just trying to be budget oriented with the dude.........
August 6, 2006 1:38:48 PM

I know, I was just replying to fainis...

The X1800GTO if you can find a nice rebate would be a considerable step above that X850 without much more premium.
August 6, 2006 1:41:06 PM

Quote:
I know, I was just replying to fainis...

The X1800GTO if you can find a nice rebate would be a considerable step above that X850 without much more premium.


I do have a bfg 6800gt agp that just sits in the closet collecting dust.......lol
August 6, 2006 1:48:32 PM

Sell it....
August 6, 2006 1:51:14 PM

Quote:
Sell it....



Na......I'll just give it away when the time comes......its not really worth anything now.......have a nice day....my motorcycle is calling my name
August 6, 2006 2:23:37 PM

wouldnt getting a 6800 or 7800gs be better? cause they have SM3?
August 6, 2006 3:07:14 PM

Depends.

@ Jackie

Yeah, makes me wish I didnt sell my bike. Just remember kids, even if you need to put some $$ into your bike...its worth it. Right now i'm feeling withdraw and I dont think I'll last.
August 6, 2006 10:50:39 PM

lol honestly i plan never to play oblivion, od just dont think its a game worth buying at all, just not my kind of a game.
August 6, 2006 10:59:30 PM

im looking for a cheap gpu that would alow me to play some games till i get a dx10 card :D 
August 7, 2006 4:06:58 PM

One more year till I get my bike. :( 
August 7, 2006 11:37:47 PM

ill take that 6800 gt off your hands ;) 
August 8, 2006 12:24:23 AM

If you're willing to wait 1 year for DX 10 card, invest in a 7800GS card.
Or find some cheap x800 card.
I am personally holding on tight for at least 8 months.
!