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Upgrading video card - what do you guys think about this?

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September 15, 2006 11:48:51 PM

Hi,


Thinking about upgrading my rig with a new video card.

Current setup:
AMD 64 3000+
1024Mb+512Mb DDR 400
6800GT 256Mb
3 HDs
SB Audigy 2
Socket 754 AGP
PSU Antec TruePower 380W


One option I’m exploring is to get a cheap socket 754 pci express motherboard, pick up a faster video card, and wait a while with CPU + memory upgrade.

Thinking about getting an x1900xt 256 or 512Mb, or a 7950GT 256 or 512Mb. Anything else I should consider?

What do you guys think - would my current setup (CPU, Memory) bottleneck those cards much? To the extent it makes it a useless upgrade (compared to sticking with the 6800GT I have now)? I usually game at 1600x1200, preferably with details on high and some AA/AF.

And will my PSU be able to feed the x1900xt enough power? Or do I need to go with the 7950GT instead (for this reason)?

I know the x1900xt is a tad faster than the 7950GT. The question also is, will that even show any on my rig (if it’s already bottlenecked a bit by CPU/Mem)?


Many questions, I know, thankful for all the help you might be able to offer.

And I assume all hope is lost in regards to any of the newer and faster video cards being released on AGP?


Cheers,

Attackboll
September 16, 2006 12:35:44 AM

If you dont mind straying from AMD for a bit... may i suggest A cheap Core 2 duo build, using this MOBO, http://www.asrock.com/product/775Dual-VSTA.htm

Now you can keep that GFX card you got as i believe it's still really good. THE MOBO supports DDR-2 and DDR 400mhz so you can keep the ram you have now and upgrade later to DRR-2(533), the mobo also supports PCI-E for later GFX upgrades.

I mean this MOBO is great for wanting to Upgrade, yet, keeping what you currently got usable. it costs around 50-60 bucks a great price. So you will go current gen W/O leaving the Old gen behind!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Here is the cheapest Core 2 on the market yet it outperforms all the single, and some, Duel core AMD's you can buy.

Total cost: 250 dallors. now how can you beat that? if your a gamer on the a budget i recommend this, simply because is allows for later ups.
a b U Graphics card
September 16, 2006 12:58:29 AM

i would just stick with your current sys. for now
and upgrade to a whole new sys in or around the end of
the year or early next year.
Related resources
September 16, 2006 1:48:17 AM

Quote:
i would just stick with your current sys. for now
and upgrade to a whole new sys in or around the end of
the year or early next year.

Agree.
September 16, 2006 6:34:16 PM

Ok, yeah that's also an option I'm considering... :)  . Kinda depends on how Battlefield 2142 will run with my current card...if it runs really bad, I don't think I can wait with an upgrade...

If I DID get a 7950GT for my rig, what kind of performance increase could I expect?

And do you guys think the Antec TruePower 380W would be able to feed the 7950GT enough power? Is that card much more power hungry than the 6800GT I have now?


/ Attackboll
September 16, 2006 7:14:37 PM

Quote:
Ok, yeah that's also an option I'm considering... :)  . Kinda depends on how Battlefield 2142 will run with my current card...if it runs really bad, I don't think I can wait with an upgrade...

If I DID get a 7950GT for my rig, what kind of performance increase could I expect?

And do you guys think the Antec TruePower 380W would be able to feed the 7950GT enough power? Is that card much more power hungry than the 6800GT I have now?


/ Attackboll


If you got a 7950GT, you could expect a significant performance increase. A 7950GT shouldn't use any more power than a 6800GT; you'll be fine with your current PSU. But I'll second that recommendation to just wait it out with your current card, and then build a new system next year.
September 16, 2006 7:21:54 PM

Quote:
i would just stick with your current sys. for now
and upgrade to a whole new sys in or around the end of
the year or early next year.

i`m agree too...
Quote:
If I DID get a 7950GT for my rig, what kind of performance increase could I expect?

And do you guys think the Antec TruePower 380W would be able to feed the 7950GT enough power? Is that card much more power hungry than the 6800GT I have now?

i don`t know about 7950GT ,but 7950GX2 is as power Hungry as HELL...
you will need at least a 450 watt PSU (maybe 500watt) to run a 7950GX2...
as for performance,your performance will be double or even triple... but i Highly recommand to stick with your current system... 6800GT is still a Powerful card, i think you can play everything fine... wait until the next generation cards...wait... 8)
September 17, 2006 1:36:03 AM

Quote:
i would just stick with your current sys. for now
and upgrade to a whole new sys in or around the end of
the year or early next year.

Agree.

same here, just upgrade later when DX10 comes out, not saying that u get DX10, cuz they are prolly gonna be VERY power hungry and expensive, but DX9 cards will prolly go down in price, and by then more Core 2 Duo mobos are gonna be out and u dont need to get an ASrock... not saying their bad, but they aint the best, ur 6800 is fine, unless u are an addict that thinks u can actually notice a difference between 70 and 80fps.. the human eye cant differ. so yeah, do that, keep ur system and then upgrade to something that would pwn anything u get now..
September 17, 2006 2:20:57 AM

Quote:
Ok, yeah that's also an option I'm considering... :)  . Kinda depends on how Battlefield 2142 will run with my current card...if it runs really bad, I don't think I can wait with an upgrade...

I was playing the BF2142 tunning beta with mid settings(The beta let you chose between low, mid and high settings) and I had no problems or frame lag. This with my AGP X800Pro, AMD XP3000+ and 1.5GB.

I think you should wait until the game gets released, give your 6800GT a shot and then decide.

Good luck.
September 21, 2006 11:02:26 AM

Xazax310 I suggest NOT recommending people motherboards, especialy when you dont know crap about them... that ASROCK doesnt NOT support PCIe x16, only PCIe x4.


If you want to stick with AMD you can get a ASROCK 939Dual VSTA. You have all the support for cheaper 939 AMD Athlons, and more expensive Athlon FX's and X2's, and still keep your DDR, and still keep your AGP. If you want to upgrade to DDR2 and move to AMD socket AM2 you can buy a add-on card. If you want to move to PCIe it has a PCIe x16 port.

Its a good motherboard for now, and the future of AMD and PCIe x16.
a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2006 11:56:14 AM

Quote:
Xazax310 I suggest NOT recommending people motherboards, especialy when you dont know crap about them... that ASROCK doesnt NOT support PCIe x16, only PCIe x4.


If you want to stick with AMD you can get a ASROCK 939Dual VSTA. You have all the support for cheaper 939 AMD Athlons, and more expensive Athlon FX's and X2's, and still keep your DDR, and still keep your AGP. If you want to upgrade to DDR2 and move to AMD socket AM2 you can buy a add-on card. If you want to move to PCIe it has a PCIe x16 port.

Its a good motherboard for now, and the future of AMD and PCIe x16.


SanderElite I suggest NOT recommending people motherboards, especially when you don't know anything about them... that ASROCK is supporting a dead socket, so the OP would have to buy a new chip now, and a new MOBO later when the supplies dry up, or buy top of the line CPU now and future proof himself at great expense. I'd imagine that the add-on card greatly reduces cooling options, and would be tricky to find in 9-12 months time.

There have been tests comparing full PCI-E and AGP up to 7600 and they show no difference. And PCI-Ex4 has only slightly less bandwidth than the AGPx8. Given that PCI-E is an extendable system, i.e. you can use a x16/x18 in a x4 slot and it accepts the reduced bandwidth.

Also you could use 775DualVSTA to migrate to PCI-E, SATA and DDR2, and re-use the CPU on a better mobo once you have migrated and the MOBO prices are not so extreme. So its not such a bad suggestion.
September 21, 2006 2:54:20 PM

Upgrading your Motherboard and CPU for a Conroe system would be a waste, unless you game at 1024x768.

If you game at higher resolutions than that, stick with your setup and get a video card. Your A64 3000+ is fine.

The X1900 XT for $240 on newegg will beat the 7950 GT in almost every scenario, and for less money.

I can't think of a single reason for you to choose anything but the X1900 XT. You will see a life-altering difference from your 6800 GT.

Good luck & have fun with it!
September 30, 2006 12:31:14 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Ok, yeah that's also an option I'm considering... :)  . Kinda depends on how Battlefield 2142 will run with my current card...if it runs really bad, I don't think I can wait with an upgrade...

I was playing the BF2142 tunning beta with mid settings(The beta let you chose between low, mid and high settings) and I had no problems or frame lag. This with my AGP X800Pro, AMD XP3000+ and 1.5GB.

I think you should wait until the game gets released, give your 6800GT a shot and then decide.

Good luck.



Alrite, I'm staying on my AGP system a while longer.


I however picked up a Gainward GeForce 7800GS+ SilentFX Golden Sample 512Mb DDR3 AGP...to help ride out the storm..(to be able to play some of the current games, like Oblivion, and it will prob help a bit in BF2142 as well. Just couldn’t help myself… :) 

The card I bought is the version with the 7900GT core (default at 450Mhz core/1250Mhz RAM, 24 pipes/8 vertex shaders). Have it clocked at 490/1360. Can go up to 530/1440 at least, but want to play it safe. I don't think it makes that much of a difference in most games anyhow, especially since it’s coupled with a A64 3000+..what do you guys think? Or will that extra Mhz still make a major difference?

The card is working fine with my current Antec Sonata - 380W True Power PSU, no problem there. The temp inside the Sonata also went down about 10 degr C (about 18 degr F), maybe the dual slot solution is to thank for this? My old card was a PNY 6800GT 256Mb (single slot).


In most games, I seem to at least have doubled my fps (and I can game at a higher detail level than before), which kinda makes the card a worthwhile purchase. I can actually play games like Oblivion and Prey now.. :cool:


/ Attackboll
October 4, 2006 5:03:50 PM

Quote:
Upgrading your Motherboard and CPU for a Conroe system would be a waste, unless you game at 1024x768.

If you game at higher resolutions than that, stick with your setup and get a video card. Your A64 3000+ is fine.

The X1900 XT for $240 on newegg will beat the 7950 GT in almost every scenario, and for less money.

I can't think of a single reason for you to choose anything but the X1900 XT. You will see a life-altering difference from your 6800 GT.

Good luck & have fun with it!



Running my 7800GS+ at 550Mhz core/1400Mhz RAM now, not to far off (well)from a 7900GTO stock (650/1320). Same speed as a stock 7950GT, altho the 7800GS+ has a better cooling solution and 512Mb RAM.. Haven't noticed any increase in temps since I clocked the card a bit higher, either.

Now I hear some rumours of Diamond releasing a Radeon x1900xt on AGP. But the Q is if it will ever be out, and prob then it would be a LOUD one (the Gainward 7800GS+ is very quiet..the way I like it in my Antec Sonata)..and more power hungry ( = I would have been forced to upgrade my PSU).

Anyway, I'll keep the 7800GS+ for a while I think... until I upgrade to a 2nd gen dx10 card + dual core CPU + speedier RAM.. :) 


Hopefully, this card will give me decent performance for at least the next year or so?



/ Attackboll
October 5, 2006 3:42:58 AM

I faced the same issue (wanted to play BTF 2142 on my AGP rig), but you don't need to spend so much for a decent AGP card.

Personally I'm just going to buy a card that'll do what it needs to right now, and then upgrade everything with the Vista release.

I'm going with this...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Another way to look at it is, if it can play BTF2, then it can play BTF 2142, since there are no differences in the graphical quality of the two games. Personally, I think you just wasted about $120 more than you needed to on some dying technology.
October 5, 2006 4:09:25 AM

It's not an AGP card though, which I believe is what he is looking for.
October 5, 2006 4:09:30 AM

Battlefield 2142 uses the same game engine as battlefield 2

so any current card will run it great, even a 6800gs
October 5, 2006 4:12:23 AM

Quote:


One option I’m exploring is to get a cheap socket 754 pci express motherboard, pick up a faster video card, and wait a while with CPU + memory upgrade.

Thinking about getting an x1900xt 256 or 512Mb, or a 7950GT 256 or 512Mb. Anything else I should consider?




:D 
October 5, 2006 4:13:35 AM

Yeah I mentioned that earlier. I'm gonna just jam a X800GTO AGP 8x into my system and it should run fine.
a c 107 U Graphics card
October 5, 2006 4:45:26 AM

Three weeks ago I took a 6800gt off a similar machine to yours and put a "faster" card on. There was NO improvement. Don't piss the money away on an old setup. It's too slow to reap any benefits.
October 5, 2006 8:50:53 PM

Quote:


One option I’m exploring is to get a cheap socket 754 pci express motherboard, pick up a faster video card, and wait a while with CPU + memory upgrade.

Thinking about getting an x1900xt 256 or 512Mb, or a 7950GT 256 or 512Mb. Anything else I should consider?




:D 

Yeah I know, was thinking that earlier, but then realized that I couldn't buy a really cheap motherboard cuz it needs to have firewire...for my DV-cam..and would I even be able to use my regular Soundblaster Audigy 2 (PCI) on a pci-express MB (never did bother to find out tho ;)  ). And then maybe a new PSU. And then..RAM .and then..CPU...

And re-installing everything again (after having resinstalled Windoze), software for Ipod, scanner, dv-cam, digi-cam...et c et c...naaaah. Everything is working FLAWLESSLY right NOW and I knew it was gonna take some considerable effort to get back to that point after a reinstall..with all the stuff I use this rig for =) . So I kinda got lazy and thought it alrite to pay a li'l premium for just being able to plug that 7800GS+ in. No hassles. Next time I upgrade, I really upgrade. Maybe I'll buy an entirely new system (that's what I've done in the past), and let someone else inherit this one :) 


It really is one cool card, tho. And it REALLY performs much better than my old 6800GT. Ref to the other comment above. It has def taken gaming on this rig to a whole new level.. in all games, basically. Much more raw power and much less tweaking. Just set stuff to max and game, more or less.


But yeah, the CPU seems to be a bottleneck....in 3dMark'06!!! =) . Yeah. From what I understand (from reading some review, tests et c) , you're more than good with an A64 for now, when you turn detail levels and RES up...which was the whole point with getting a new card in the first place.. Anyway, from 3dMark'06:

SM2.0 Score 2091
HDR/SM3.0 Score 2110

Don't know if thats good or bad, really, but looks quite reasonable?


Still njoying da card, now I can relax and watch from the sidelines as all the new tech will hit the market...dx10...Vista...dx10 gen cards.. And make some good buying decisions once the dust settles..ideally 6-12 months after Vista has landed...and look into getting a pretty high-end CPU + GPU + RAM, then..


Thanx for all the advice you guys have provided with, so far.


/ Attackboll
October 6, 2006 2:30:33 AM

Personally I would say that the 7800GS is a little high for a AGP card price wise. I would've saved a hundred bucks or so and gone with a mid-range option, and then upgrade your whole system for Vista.
October 6, 2006 11:34:55 AM

Quote:
Personally I would say that the 7800GS is a little high for a AGP card price wise. I would've saved a hundred bucks or so and gone with a mid-range option, and then upgrade your whole system for Vista.


7800GS+ !! It's all in the ' + ' 8) .

Yeah, price alone was not the deciding factor for me..so we might have different preferences there.. And I already had pretty much a midrange card (6800GT)...getting anything less than the 7800GS+ prob would have been a waste/pointless. It might make more sense for you - depending on what card you are upgrading from?

I think I'll wait with Vista, I want something that works pretty much perfectly out of the box..and I, personally, have my doubts about the 1st gen of dx10 cards (loud, needy for power, heat..?). Think the 2nd gen will be more fine-tuned. Maybe I will be proven wrong, but that won't negate the fun I'm having with this card NOW, and hey...life's short :D 

/ Attackboll
October 6, 2006 12:01:22 PM

POOWADD this is not wonderland and u are not Alice, are U?
October 6, 2006 12:16:19 PM

Guys i own a core 2 duo e6400 @ 2.4 GHz overclocked 1.5Gb ddr 333mhz ram a western digital raptor 74 GB and a geforce 6600gt agp.All these are on an ASrock 775 dual vsta.I am thinking though of upgrading my graphics and purchase one of the following.

GEFORCE 7900 GS PCI-E

RADEON X1900 GT PCI-E

How much performance gain should i expect with these two cards and which one of those two would you recommend me?
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2006 12:28:53 PM

Quote:
Guys i own a core 2 duo e6400 @ 2.4 GHz overclocked 1.5Gb ddr 333mhz ram a western digital raptor 74 GB and a geforce 6600gt agp.All these are on an ASrock 775 dual vsta.I am thinking though of upgrading my graphics and purchase one of the following.

GEFORCE 7900 GS PCI-E

RADEON X1900 GT PCI-E

How much performance gain should i expect with these two cards and which one of those two would you recommend me?


going from a 6600GT on an E6600 on that same board, to a 7900GTO (bit bigger than what you are going for) I went from 3100 3dmark05 to 10500, I went from BF2 1280x1024 all medium no AA 50ish FPS, to 1280x1024 all high 4xAA 80ish FPS depending on map.

hope this helps...
October 6, 2006 6:39:32 PM

Quote:
Guys i own a core 2 duo e6400 @ 2.4 GHz overclocked 1.5Gb ddr 333mhz ram a western digital raptor 74 GB and a geforce 6600gt agp.All these are on an ASrock 775 dual vsta.I am thinking though of upgrading my graphics and purchase one of the following.

GEFORCE 7900 GS PCI-E

RADEON X1900 GT PCI-E

How much performance gain should i expect with these two cards and which one of those two would you recommend me?


almoust 3* better if U mean to play games :) 
i had 6600gt and upgradet to 7600 gt and a score in 3d mark is almoust 2* better
from 2000 and a chanege to 4000 3dmark 06
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2006 10:04:52 PM

Quote:
Battlefield 2142 uses the same game engine as battlefield 2

so any current card will run it great, even a 6800gs

Compared to other new games, very true. But you still won't be cranking the eye candy with a 6800GS at anything above 10x7. http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/battlefield_2142_ma...

Note, that is a PCI-e 6800GS...faster clocks/better performance than the AGP 6800GS.
October 6, 2006 10:59:57 PM

Quote:
Battlefield 2142 uses the same game engine as battlefield 2

so any current card will run it great, even a 6800gs

Compared to other new games, very true. But you still won't be cranking the eye candy with a 6800GS at anything above 10x7. http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/battlefield_2142_ma...

Note, that is a PCI-e 6800GS...faster clocks/better performance than the AGP 6800GS.

That's still not bad. Anything above 40FPS in max is pretty decent in my eye. Remember that commercial movies are only 30FPS, so almost 50 is awesome.
a b U Graphics card
October 8, 2006 3:00:30 AM

That's average fps remember. And for a online multiplayer game like BF2 (or 2142), I prefer to stay 45-50 minimum. But the PCI-e 6800GS just may stay in the 40's and higher 10x7 max; not bad at all compared to COD2, Oblivion, fear, etc.
October 9, 2006 1:09:13 AM

6800gs overclock great =]
!