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Need advice on Sapphire ATI Radeon X1600 Pro 256MB or other

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August 10, 2006 4:05:03 PM

Hey all,

My aging computer's old video card just melted on me - my power supply blew the other day and when I replaced it my computer wouldn't boot. POST beeped eight times and doing some reading online revealed that this means the problem is with the video card. I used an ancient GeForce 2MX temporarily and everything worked fine, so it seems that I need to replace my video card.

My computer is pretty rusty (and it's AGP) so I'm not looking for anything fancy.

I've got:
AMD Athlon 2500 XP+
1.0 gig RAM

My old video card was an MSI GeForce 4200 Ti - I've had it for three years now and it's a shame that it blew. It's not all that great, but I had no problem running most new games at decent settings (Dreamfall, HL2, etc.,).

I'm looking to get the most bang for my buck, but I don't want to spend any more than $130-$150 - I'd originally set my limit at eight bucks, but then I figured that even though I shouldn't be spending the money, if I'm going to spend eighty I may as well bump in an extra sixty to get a good card (isn't that always the way with video card upgrades?). I live in Canada, Toronto, so using american online sites seems too prohibitive.

Thus far I've been leaning towards a Sapphire ATI Radeon X1600 Pro 256MB for $145.99 CDN:
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

Which I can buy in a store and install right away - the warranty is also attractive. The problem is that after doing a little research I learned that this might not be such a good idea.

I became excited when I saw the great deals at ATI's Canadian site. I was really interested in Radeon® X800 XL AGP 256MB for $139.99 CDN, but it seems that they're all out and who knows if/when they'll ever get more:
http://shopati.ca/product.asp?sku=2984012

I was even tempted to go for the All-in-Wonder® X800 XT 256MB AGP for $199.99 CDN (exceeding my budget), knowing that it would probably be the best power-for-price, but that too is sold out and no word on if/when it'll come back:
http://shopati.ca/product.asp?sku=2588471

I would get one of those if only I could.

So now my problem is determining what I should go with. At the moment I'm leaning towards the X1600, even if it isn't the best deal. The problem is that I don't have any other options. I can't find any stores that sell better cards for as much or cheaper, and it doesn't seem like I have any other options online as HSIX.com doesn't seem to have better deals.

And so I'm drawn to these message boards. I was hoping someone out there could provide some advice. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated - not having access to my computer for the few days it will take me to get this resolved will be a killer (that's another reason I don't want to get anything from an online US site, the shipping will take probably two weeks at least and I need my computer back ASAP).

Thanks in advance for your help!

More about : advice sapphire ati radeon x1600 pro 256mb

August 10, 2006 4:57:48 PM

Thanks a lot for the help. I hadn't previously considered the 7600.

However, I'm looking for something that I can get in Canada.

You think one of these from NCIX.com would be a good alternative?

http://www.ncix.com/search/?quicksearch=7600+agp&minpri...

(The images make it look like they don't have the best cooling. Given my recent problem, cooling has become a concern).

Anyone have any other suggestions? Again, price/performance and Canadian availability are priorities. Thanks!

(Edit: Do you think the XFX GeForce 6800XT(350Mhz) 256MB(1GHz) 8-Pixels Dual DVI AGP would be worth considering?
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

I'm not sure that the Toronto store has the card in stock, sadly).
Related resources
August 10, 2006 5:52:19 PM

I'd go for the XFX 7600GS. As long as you're not going to overclock it, I think the stock cooler should suffice. DO NOT get the 6800XT. It's a POS.
August 10, 2006 6:40:38 PM

You know eBay might be a decent place to look for a 6800GT or perhaps an X800XT or similiar. Just look for people who ship to Canada.
August 10, 2006 7:00:46 PM

I also have a XP 2500+ but with 1.5GB of memory. I bought the X1600 Pro 512 a few months back and it's working fine for me with current games like Far Cry, BF2, Fear, AOEiii, (just not always the highest game settings). It will extend the life of your old system without blowing a wad of cash. Unless you can find a 6800GS up there? If you aren't heavy into gaming I wouldn't put any more that that into it. Better to save for the next system.
August 10, 2006 7:09:33 PM

Why spend the money on a semi-crappy card (for gaming), when he could spend the same, if not a little bit more to get a much better card?
a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2006 7:25:05 PM

The GS is not a 'much better card' it's a better card, but it's equal to the XT, so it's not that much better.

A GF7600GT is a much better card, but the GS is no GT.

Anywhoo it depends alot on price since he doesn't have access to NewEgg.
August 10, 2006 7:28:00 PM

It's almost easier to pick a high end card than it is to pick a low end card.
a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2006 7:30:31 PM

Yeah, but really it's difficult all over because there is so much crossover, it depends alot on price in the buyers' area.
August 10, 2006 7:38:07 PM

7600GT supposed to be available for AGP sometime this month isn't it?
August 10, 2006 8:21:50 PM

1) Consider the games you want to play and whether or not your processor will handle them. If not then get a cheap 'stop-gap' GPU and wait until a new build to get a decent GPU as a part of a whole new gaming system, if games are what you desire.

2) The x1600 cards aren't worth the expenditure. As many people in this thread have said, the 7600 series of cards are better.

3) Second hand GPUs are worth looking into. I just bought an nVidia 6800 card on eBay and it is serving me well for the games I wish to play (Doom3, Quake 4 and HL2 EP1). It set me back only £40 which is probably between 75 and 85 US$. The money you would save would get me enough petrol to go to work and back for a week or 2.

4) If you decide to stick with your current MoBo then the highest you can go GPU-wise is Gainward's 7800 GS+ which is a 7900 in disguise.
a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2006 8:47:15 PM

Quote:
7600GT supposed to be available for AGP sometime this month isn't it?


Potentially, but it's not yet. First place I'd expect to see one for him would be NCIX though as they are a launch partner.

For now there is a rare Visiontek X1600XT on AGP, but I wouldn't recommend it cause it's pricey from the only dealer I've seen carry it here and now they're out of stock.
August 10, 2006 8:52:05 PM

Anyone know of a good site or Toronto-based store to get the 7600 GS?

I'm somewhat hesitant to use eBay if only because I doubt I'd get a real return policy.
August 10, 2006 9:11:08 PM

While some people on eBay may be out to screw you, most are just trying to sell their stuff. Most listers will indicate how they handle refunds and what not. Just scrutinize the ad carefully to look for anything that sounds dodgy.

When dealing with eBay, if it sounds to good to be true, it is.
August 10, 2006 10:12:53 PM

I guess it depends on what you're looking for.

6800GT AGP

X800XT

One of those would compliment your system quite nicely and will be loads of improvement over your old GeForce 4200 Ti and better than an X1600Pro IMHO.

Depending on how much longer you plan to keep this system, you could also look into a used 6600GT AGP. They're on par with an X1600Pro.
a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2006 10:51:22 PM

Yo dementia13, Torontonian!
AGP cards are getting rare, a lot of vidchips don't do AGP (people forget).
I can get:
Asus N6800/TD GeForce 6800 512Mb DDR2 8X AGP Retail Box - $199.99
and
Sapphire Radeon X1600Pro 512Mb DDR2 8x AGP - $169.99
here in the west end. (Mississauga boy.)
They had a third possibility at my local shop, GeForce 7800 AGP but very expensive ($375 bucks or something) so special order now.
I bought the X1600 and put this sweet Zalman cooler on it...
Anyway, wish I bought the GeForce - better specs, probably a little faster, but both pretty affordable.
I will give you this link, even if you are not close, just to check Toronto prices if it will help you:
http://www.pccanada.com/default.asp
Great place,
Regards
a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2006 11:06:09 PM

I think you had your sites set on the right two cards. Stinks they are out of stock, still in stock in the USA. Maybe that's a sign there are more to come?
http://shop.ati.com/product.asp?sku=2984012
http://shop.ati.com/product.asp?sku=2588471

If possible, I'd wait a few days for those to come back in stock or for ATI to stick something else up there. Even the X800XL far outperforms the X1600 pro and the 7600GS as well. Obviously the higher clocked XT is even better.
a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2006 11:08:45 PM

Actually, you made the better buy. That crappy Asus has slow clocked memory crippled over a 128-bit bus; It's a disgrace and nothing like a real GF6800 vanilla. I bet ya the X1600 pro would beat it out, so you saved money and got equal to better gaming power, and avivo.

Both seem way overpriced to me though. :cry: 
a b U Graphics card
August 10, 2006 11:32:20 PM

Yeah - but Canadian dollars (we're used to it :^)
So the Sapphire X1600 is okay, right? It's sweet in my old XP3200+ rig, it plays Far Cry, Quake4, all the Steam stuff ie. Half-Lifes (Half-Lives?) etc.
Lemme see here, $169 CDN is ~$149 US or 85 Pounds Sterling...
But it's a good vidcard for the money, seems nice & fast.
L8R
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2006 4:53:00 AM

Quote:
Anyone know of a good site or Toronto-based store to get the 7600 GS?


If you live in T.O. then go check out computer Alley at College and Spadina that's where CanadaCompters and a ton of others are located, best prices and selection in the city IMO.

But it looks like no one has a GF7600GS yet, ETAs seem to all be in a few days for everyone. Go saturday there's alot of parking near UofT.
August 11, 2006 5:45:50 PM

^ Yeah, that's where I usually go but I always go to Canada Computers; I haven't checked out any of the other places.

My concern is that if I find the card it will probably be a good 30% (at least) more than it is online.

I'll hopefully check some stores today and at the same time I'm hoping that shopati.ca updates it's site. It's just really annoying not knowing what to do.
August 11, 2006 7:36:12 PM

I live in Canada also; I ordered that X800XL about 2 weeks ago. I phoned the company twice just to get some info and on my last call they said it was supposed to ship this week (tomorrow at worst :? ) so I should receive it next week.

If you're ready to wait up to one month, take the X800XL, it's way better than the X1600Pro. But the X1600Pro will do well in Far Cry, Quake 4 and and the Source-based games. Don't expect it to fare well in Oblivion though...

That 7600 should be a better choice than X1600Pro.
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2006 8:24:33 PM

Actually it's quite competant in Oblivion, and one of the few games where it truely shines for thaking advantage of it's unbalanced design.

In Oblivion X1600P > GF7600GS.
August 15, 2006 3:07:08 PM

w00t!

Looks like the X800XL is back in stock! I knew that if I waited, it would be okay. (Actually, no, I didn't, I was just paralyzed with indecision).

http://shopati.ca/searchresults.asp?dept_id=38

Can someone who is "hard core" please check out the above link and confirm that the X800XL is the best deal on that page?

Is that what I should ultimately go for?

The X800XL is the best (or one of) AGP card that you can get, right?

Has anyone gotten this refurbished one? I'm a bit wary that it might break down on me after the 1-year warranty is over - any comments or thoughts?

Thanks a lot for everyone's help - I REALLY appreciate it. You guys all certainly know a lot more than the dudes at Canada Computers (what's the physical difference between an AGP and PCI-E slot?) and Future Shop (What's... a video card)?

Thanks again!
!