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Should i use Athlon XP 2200+ with 7600 GT AGP?

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October 29, 2006 12:46:34 PM

i know how surreal this may seem to all you Athlon 64/FX-60 people but here i am stuck with Athlon XP.

As you can see, my current specs are:

Athlon XP 2200+
MSI K7N2 Delta-L MCP2
Samsung SyncMaster 930BF TFT LCD Monitor 4ms
MSI NVidia GeForce FX 5200 128 bit
1.5GB PC3200 DDR 400
Realtek ALC650 6-channel audio
Maxtor 120GB

I would have upgraded my CPU but i was tad bit late, the next thing u know, Socket A (462) is no longer "in". So i'm stuck with the Athlon XP CPU and the AGP motherboard.

So i've been eyeing the only AGP 7600GT that's out now from Leadtek
and it looks really sweet! It's even faster than the 7800GS (AGP)!!!

So i'm ready to fork out $200 bucks here but is it worth it?

i've read the ridiculousness of coupling a fast GPU with a slow CPU, but
how bad could it be?

Should i buy the 7600GT or should i forget and save up for a brand new Athlon 64 + PCI-E system?

I badly want to play half-life 2 with optimal settings minus filtering at 1024*768 (i'll be cool with the black borders on my 19in) and the vga chart here did say 7600GT puts out a cool 94 FPS. But we are talking bout FX-60 system here, not my lame 2200+.

I'm just hoping for the holy grail of 60 FPS at all time during gameplay.

Is this possible or am i screwing myself over here?

Please advise...

More about : athlon 2200 7600 agp

October 29, 2006 2:54:18 PM

Just consider that you'd be paying a $80 premium for an AGP 7600GT compared to its PCIe counterpart, on a tight budget, that can make a big difference.

BTW, it won't be faster than a 7800GS, even though the 7600GT is clocked faster, you need to keep in mind that the GPU is equiped with four less Pixel Shaders, one less Vertex Shaders and the memory bandwidth is 10GB/s lower due to the 128bit bus, while overclocking can offset that, keep in mind that 7800GS, especially those with a G71 90nm GPU, have a lot of overclocking headroom and respond very well to overvolting (see my sig).

While you won't be able to afford an entry level C2D on that tight budget, a low end S939 CPU (A64 3200+), NF4 motherboard and a PCIe 7600 would add up to the 200~250$ range.
October 29, 2006 3:50:26 PM

Quote:

BTW, it won't be faster than a 7800GS, even though the 7600GT is clocked faster, you need to keep in mind that the GPU is equiped with four less Pixel Shaders, one less Vertex Shaders and the memory bandwidth is 10GB/s lower due to the 128bit bus, while overclocking can offset that, keep in mind that 7800GS, especially those with a G71 90nm GPU, have a lot of overclocking headroom and respond very well to overvolting (see my sig).


That's not so linear as you think. Pipelines, 128bit, clocks, bla bla bla...
See some real benches :wink:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/article.aspx?page=7989&he...
Related resources
October 29, 2006 7:12:13 PM

You clearly misunderstood me, the faster clock on the 7600GT just barely offset what it lacks in shader units and memory bandwidth compared to a 400MHz 7800GS, once a G71 based 7800GS is overclocked to its full potential with a simple Vmod, there is no way a single 7600GT, even after being Vmodded and OCed can come close to it since both cores, being fabbed on the same process, are likely to top out in the same range of frequencies given the same voltage.

After thorough searching, This would be the closest clock for clock comparaison for a single 7600GT to one of my own Score, my highest score would be 5501 @ 771/715 but I can only publish a single one at a time.
October 29, 2006 7:55:47 PM

Well it is time to make a decision and it will depend on how much money you have. To upgrade to a better system and using your current memory, power supply case it will run you about $300.00 bucks. And that is on the cheap side.

For 135 bucks you can get a X850 Pro at NewEgg. That will give your system a nice boost and won't put you in the hole as much as a 7600GT. AGP card.

I have a system with that same mother board that you have the K7N2. It is a fairly good over clocking board. I have a 2500+ barton cpu over clocked to a 3200+. Have you tried over clocking your cpu? That would help some. At least get the FSB up from 133 to 166? Maybe?
October 29, 2006 8:17:25 PM

If you want to continue using this system as a "current" gaming system, then I think it would be in you best interest to upgrade your processor and motherboard before getting a new video card. Here is a suggestion - one that I want to follow for myself:

ASROCK 939 Dual SATA (VSTA) motherboard + Athlon 64 - 3700+. You can get them together from newegg for under $200. The motherboard supports AGP 8x and PCI-E x 16, plus it has an upgrade slot for an AM2 processor board. Check it out. Seems like you want to make your current investment last - this might be the way to do it.

Take care.
October 29, 2006 8:21:41 PM

Quote:
You clearly misunderstood me, the faster clock on the 7600GT just barely offset what it lacks in shader units and memory bandwidth compared to a 400MHz 7800GS, once a G71 based 7800GS is overclocked to its full potential with a simple Vmod, there is no way a single 7600GT, even after being Vmodded and OCed can come close to it since both cores, being fabbed on the same process, are likely to top out in the same range of frequencies given the same voltage.

After thorough searching, This would be the closest clock for clock comparaison for a single 7600GT to one of my own Score, my highest score would be 5501 @ 771/715 but I can only publish a single one at a time.


But you can´t assume everyone wants to vmod a gfx card. So, this way a 7600gt would be a little faster and a better buy. Or like caamsa said, the 135$ x850pro (little slower) it´s a great bargain.


I advise you to overclock that 2200+ and see if the system is stable before you buy anything. If it runs stable, cool, bring in a new agp card.
October 29, 2006 8:43:04 PM

More misunderstandings...

I wasn't recommending the 7800GS over a 7600GT nor advocating that the world+dog should get into Vmodding and overclocking, I simply corrected the OP who assumed that a 7600GT, given its higher stock clock than a 7800GS, would be faster when, as you pointed out previously, they fall within the same performance range out of the box.

You can't blame me for putting things in perspective from an overclocker's standpoint, given the same amount of tweaking and hardware mods, a 7800GS will pull ahead of a 7600GS due to its "factory underclocked" (IMHO) GPU and "wider" shader architecture.

Now, getting back on topic, an AGP FX5200 doesn't justify buying an AGP/PCIe hybrid motherboard and pairing an upper end AGP GPU with a borderline obsolete Socket-A platform doesn't make much sense when a NF4 based S939 platform along with a PCIe 7600 can be had for under $250.
October 29, 2006 9:01:41 PM

Sid is correct about the budget. Here is prob the best/cheapest system you can get for gaming right now. You could get a cheaper video card but.........

Athlon 64 3000+ $65.00
Asus 939 motherboard $53.00
7600GT PCI-E after rebate $120.00

Approx budget $250.00


Or if you really are broke get the X850GT AGP card and live with it for a while. Save your money and do an upgrade in 6 months.
October 29, 2006 9:08:07 PM

Quote:
Sid is correct about the budget. Here is prob the best/cheapest system you can get for gaming right now. You could get a cheaper video card but.........

Athlon 64 3000+ $65.00
Asus 939 motherboard $53.00
7600GT PCI-E after rebate $120.00

Approx budget $250.00


Or if you really are broke get the X850GT AGP card and live with it for a while. Save your money and do an upgrade in 6 months.


sure that´s the best option, but not everyone likes to wait a few months to spend more money and change all the setup and/or install 100 programs at a time. That´s what hang agp user, like me :) 

But let me say something. If upgrading all, upgrade well.... 775 or AM2, not 939...for many reasons...
October 29, 2006 9:29:22 PM

It really does not matter to me if he keeps his current system or not. I was just making some suggestions. There is nothing wrong with an AGP system. I was the one who told him to pick up the X850pro which is a decent card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...


There is also nothing wrong with a 939 system that way he can recycle his memory. If he goes to an AM2 then he will need to pick up DDR2 unless he can find a board that take both. Again it all depends on how much he does or does not want to spend. Pretty much any new video card he gets at this point is going to be an upgrade from what he has.
October 29, 2006 9:37:57 PM

Being an AGP user, I'm in the same boat, I elected to overclock the crap out of my hardware so I wouldn't "feel" the need to upgrade until 2Q07, things would be completely different if I had went for a nF4 mobo last year but that would have meant ditching my 9700 back then.

A S939 platform is viable in that particular scenario since one can fit a decent PCIe GPU in a ~$250 budget and migrate 1.5GB of PC3200 from a previous system while AM2 requires DDR2 (an unnecessary expense on such a tight budget) and LGA775 isn't worth it, even an entry level C2D would cost too much (Call me a fanboi but I'm not inclined to recommend a Netburst POS), leaving barely enough money to afford a motherboard, let alone a GPU.

An AGP GPU would just delay the innevitable by a couple of months at most, no point in wasting money on "upgrading" a moribond Socket-A system...
October 29, 2006 9:43:53 PM

Quote:
It really does not matter to me if he keeps his current system or not. I was just making some suggestions. There is nothing wrong with an AGP system. I was the one who told him to pick up the X850pro which is a decent card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...


There is also nothing wrong with a 939 system that way he can recycle his memory. If he goes to an AM2 then he will need to pick up DDR2 unless he can find a board that take both. Again it all depends on how much he does or does not want to spend. Pretty much any new video card he gets at this point is going to be an upgrade from what he has.

well, now that´s nothing wrong, but in one year, this upgrade was like upgrading to socket 478... cpus and ddr1 will vanish...so, not able to upgrade.
Use his ddr? no problem: pentium 4 501 3.0Ghz and asrock 775 dual-vsta. (can upgrade till 2008/9?)
feel free to correct me if I´m wrong.
October 29, 2006 9:47:51 PM

and we are forgetting one thing. Judging by that cpu (3/4 year system), and if he didn´t upggrade since he bought the pc, his old psu won´t handle any new gfx card... I think.
October 29, 2006 9:59:58 PM

Go for it dude :)  It'll be so much better than your current card :) 

You can upgrade your pc next year when the processor war has settled :p 
October 29, 2006 10:03:33 PM

^^ or do that :) 
October 29, 2006 10:26:38 PM

Quote:
New egg has a great deal get a AMD 64 3400+ with a free motherboard for 100$ and then use the rest 100$ to buy a 7600gs or something in that price range, i think that would be faster than your cpu with a 7600gt and still under 200& u would still be able to reuse your memory and o ther computer parts. here some links

http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...


Great find !

I second that, there would be enough money left to squeeze a new PSU into his budget...
October 30, 2006 1:25:42 AM

You are right he has several upgrade paths. If he spends a little more he can get an intel system that is good with the 775 socket that will allow him to upgrade to a better cpu later and will allow him to recycle his memory.

I just think if he can't go with a core2 upgrade now an AMD 939 would be a better choice than an older intel chip in regards to a gaming system.
October 30, 2006 8:26:44 PM

Dang! talk about choices...

thank you all for your comments. just felt like someone b**** slapped me 17 times over.

while i totally agree wit you all how crappy my system has become for neglecting my cpu n gpu, it looks like i'm on the verge of a transition like djgandy said.

by getting this card i'll obviously lose out on newer games but how bad could it really be? i got a stock of old games here i would like to replay the way it was meant to be like Far Cry and Halo. I got through it with the 5200 on my previous 15in non-flat crt, n i can tell you the experience was anything but pleasant. Buying the 19in lcd actually helped in making the 5200 completely useless. I couldn't play Far Cry and Halo even at 640*480.

Talk about smart investment, huh?

i had been bitter since then. I actually wanted to get the 6600 GT when i started on this quest last week, if u can believe dat. A few price list later, the 7600 GT seems like a gift from heaven itself. i mean cmon! 560/1400, GDDR3, SM3.0, 256MB all in one card for just $50 over the 6600 GT?
somebody spank me.

SidVicious, my man, when i said 'It's even faster than the 7800GS (AGP)!!!' i wasn't being an ignorant, naive/punk-ass since u assumed i just looked at the stock core/memory speed (i'm not being disrespectful here by the way,...peace). i did read up on the other stuff too n i got that
info from here

http://xtreview.com/review140.htm

now, unless these people were on dope during the review n are employed by ATI under Special Division: Screw Nvidia 7800 GS (AGP) Sales for World AGP Domination, i'm taking their word for it. (sorry, couldn't help myself over there)

And isn't it a bit unfair to compare an overclocked high end card wit a stock mid range card to prove a point? no offense.

And Caamsa, thanks for the x850 Pro idea. I'm kinda tempted but i don't know how fast it is compared to the 7600 GT. Notice its absence from the VGA chart? sure, the core/memory speed is slower but it has a 256-bit interface, so i'm gonna have to find out first which one is faster bcoz the x850 is an even sweeter deal.

But, how bout the specs? SM3.0 n new things like HDR that the 7600 GT is loaded with because we r talking bout a 1-2 year old card here.

Like PMR said 'well, now that´s nothing wrong, but in one year, this upgrade was like upgrading to socket 478... cpus and ddr1 will vanish...so, not able to upgrade',

I'm just thinking instead of spending more money to setup a new system, AM2 cpu and sc940 motherboard and lets not forget the requisite ddr2 rams, at this time isn't such a good idea because the technology is so recent that i'll b overpaying for it now. Perhaps next year, when the cpu and motherboard war has settled down i'll built a new system from the ground up.

Sc939, tempting SId, but already 940 cpus are flooding the market n 939 r getting to look like 462s. instead of canninbalising my current lame-ass system to build a slighty better but still lame system n paying a premium all round for the new stuff 4 being so new, i'd better stick with my agp set.

Heck i'm even contemplating of maximising my motherboard. I want to get a Sempron 3000+ (there r sc462 versions out there, believe it or not) n since DDR1s r getting obsolete, by next year i'll get two sets of 1GB DDR400 2 replace my 256-256-1gb config.

talk bout maximising, huh?

Sempron 3000+ / 7600 GT / 3GB RAM should last me another couple of years right???

by then, new sockets would have been out, DDR3s n DX10 GPUs will be taking over things n all this will mean shite then, wouldn't it?

i'm sorry, just got a bit emotional there...now i know why people stick to consoles..........................
October 30, 2006 10:35:43 PM

Quote:

SidVicious, my man, when i said 'It's even faster than the 7800GS (AGP)!!!' i wasn't being an ignorant, naive/punk-ass since u assumed i just looked at the stock core/memory speed (i'm not being disrespectful here by the way,...peace). i did read up on the other stuff too n i got that
info from here

http://xtreview.com/review140.htm

now, unless these people were on dope during the review n are employed by ATI under Special Division: Screw Nvidia 7800 GS (AGP) Sales for World AGP Domination, i'm taking their word for it. (sorry, couldn't help myself over there)

And isn't it a bit unfair to compare an overclocked high end card wit a stock mid range card to prove a point? no offense.

In fact, I was comparing both clock for clock at what seems to be close to the upper end overclocks (750MHz) one can expect from both the 7800GS and 7600GT after a Vmod, otherwise, they perform very close right out the box.

Quote:

Sc939, tempting SId, but already 940 cpus are flooding the market n 939 r getting to look like 462s. instead of canninbalising my current lame-ass system to build a slighty better but still flame system n paying a premium all round for new stuff being so new, i'd better stick with my agp set.

S754 would be the "new" Socket-A in your example, S939 still is a contemporary platform

Quote:

Heck i'm even contemplating of maximising my motherboard. I want to get a Sempron 3000+ (there r sc462 versions out there, believe it or not) n since DDR1s r getting obsolete by next year i'll get two sets of 1GB DDR400 2 replace my 256-256-1gb config.

talk bout maximising, huh?

Sempron 3000+ / 600 GT / 3GB RAM shoull last me another couple of years right???

by then, new sockets would have been out, DDR3s n DX10 GPUs will be taking over things n all this will mean shite then, wouldn't it?

i'm sorry, just got a bit emotional there...now i know why people stick to consoles..........................

but cannibalising my current sys for a 939 sys

Some food for thought, the AGP 7600GT cost $80 more than a PCIe 7600GT, that's enough money to buy either a S939 CPU or NF4 motherboard right there, if you go with the Combo Deal Santino came up with along with one of the cheaper PCIe 7600, you'll end up with a major upgrade for $200, that's as good as it gets.
October 30, 2006 11:27:10 PM

Sid is correct. :wink:
October 31, 2006 12:19:28 AM

in reply to caamsa

about overclocking and athlon xp my home computer xp is a 2400 and its pushing 60c at boot and 65c when running so dont ever overclock an xp unless you have wicked cooling and the pc that im on is the xp system and it has a 6000rpm fan and it runs 20c hotter than my sempron 2800 64 via 754 that one runs at 40 when overclocked from 1.6 to 2.045 and it heats up to 55c on load after about an hour use of 100% . in reply to guy who wants a 7600 gt agp upgrade to pcie im runnin a pci local bus 5200 overclocked at 350 core and 500 memory which runs about 55c idle and 75c load and next im getting a 7600 gs cause im only 14 and i dont have a lot of money and all of you who dont think im 1337 guess again
October 31, 2006 12:28:09 AM

I would also personally recommend the 7800gs for agp as it far surpasses the 7600 in performance.But the 7600 is a good card and even thogh it's crippled with the 128 bit mem.interface,with a bit of oc'ing you would also have a decent card.Although the 7800 is a bit more in dollars,it's ability to oc is quite good making it quite wanted.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.4 S-939
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X7800GT IN SLI
2X1GIG DDR IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR 1280X1024
ACE 520WATT PSU
COOLERMASTER MINI R120
November 1, 2006 11:59:16 PM

alrighty i agree you should get the 7800gs but if you dont have the money get the ati HIS x1600 ice q pro for 149.99 and it even out performs the 7800gs agp and that x1600 is 512 ram ddr2 6 billion pixel fill rate which beats the 7800gs by 300 thousand pixels fill rate
November 2, 2006 9:11:11 AM

Quote:
alrighty i agree you should get the 7800gs but if you dont have the money get the ati HIS x1600 ice q pro for 149.99 and it even out performs the 7800gs agp and that x1600 is 512 ram ddr2 6 billion pixel fill rate which beats the 7800gs by 300 thousand pixels fill rate


Worst post ever...
November 2, 2006 10:13:08 AM

I'm having the same dilemma.

Currently i'm running:
Athlon XP3000+ (slightly overclocked)
(1GB) 2x512MB PC2700
XFX 6600GT 256 gfx card

I've been planning a new system for the past week, but I'm keen to maximise my upgrade, like someone else mentioned, if you are going to upgrade, upgrade well. So my upgrade would be to the best I could afford. (About £1200)

Based upon the recent release of quad-core cpu's, newer motherboards supporting 1333MHz fsb and DirectX10 gfx, I'm thinking it would be better to wait a little longer (there's always something better around the corner), but last time I upgraded to DirectX8, I was in this situation and missed out on DirectX9 gfx for about a year.

Bearing this in mind, I think an upgrade of another Gig of memory and wait for the Radeon 1950 pro agp to arrive (soon), would help tie me over until DirectX10 hardware establishes itself.
November 2, 2006 8:25:48 PM

£1200?

Money is no object then.
November 3, 2006 12:16:47 AM

you have no problems exept for athlon xp my sempron 64 out performs that by so much im sad to say it even out performs my uncles old system
November 20, 2006 2:02:33 AM

i know it's been awhile n you guys must b dying 2 know what have i done with all your effort in advising me.

i was so close to getting the 7600gt AGP during my last reply but SidVicious my man, you n the others did something to my brain.

i just got fired up last week. This is what happened in chronological order:

Tue = spent that nite researching n calling the retailers for price
Wed = took half day leave n bought it
nite was spent on preparing the casing
Thu = installation commenced
Fri = Testing n Troubleshooting
Sat = IT'S ALLLLLIIIIIIIIIIVVVEEEEE!!!


Notice the tension buildup? So, WHAT THE HELL DID I BUY?, you might b asking. Hold your breath...

My old spec:

Athlon XP 2200+,
MSI K7N2 Delta-L MCP2,
Samsung SyncMaster 930BF TFT LCD Monitor 4ms (that's 19 INCH PEOPLE!!!),
MSI NVidia GeForce FX 5200 128 bit,
1.5GB PC3200 DDR 400,
Realtek ALC650 6-channel audio,
Maxtor 120GB

My NEW spec:

AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+ Sc 939 (2.2GHz, 512Kb L2 Cache)
Asus A8N5X nforce4
Samsung SyncMaster 930BF TFT LCD Monitor 4ms (that's 19 INCH PEOPLE!!!)
Galaxy 7900GS Premium (OC to 540/1500)(256MB, 256bit)
1.5GB PC3200 DDR 400
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Value 7.1
Maxtor 120GB

i know, i know...i've splurged quite a bit. so how much did i spend?

3500+ = $ 97
A8N5X = $ 74
7900GS = $208
S.Blaster = $ 29

Total = $408

N i had to get a new PSU, Cooler Master Extreme Power 550W (12V1=16A, 12V2=16A) at $69 and a Phillips Headphone SHP2500 at $19 to replace my defective Labtec (the mic keeps dropping n its not the fully ear covering type like the Phillips).

So all in...$408+$69+$19= $496

(i know the price might be more expensive bcoz i didn't buy it on newegg. i'm a malaysian by the way, sorry if i mislead you all. so add import tax n you get this price)

N man oh man OH MAN!!! i'm playing Half-Life 2 at 60FPS on average!!!
n plus the sound card with the headphone? somebody please kick me in the nuts for not doin tis long ago!


Thank you so much all of you all for steering me away from the disaster that i almost made of myself...

i know i was talking bout $200 but like i said after a hard look into everything dat nite (i was eyeing the 7600GT PCI-e at first but the 128-bit was bugging me like hell), i just went for it.

n every single penny/dime is worth it!!!

NFS Underground was so shiny n the rain dripping from the top of the screen was so real i nearly fainted the first time i saw it.

n Halo? man! it actually came to the point that my sys was too powerful for the game n i put everything high with video n audio (EAX n all) but it was smooth as butter....at 1280*1024!!! (remember my 640*480 unplayability?)


THANK YOU ALL OF YOU ALL SO MUCH AGAIN!!! finally my 19in lcd has a sys deserving of it.

n i know my gpu n cpu is not even high end hre but it really is the best performance against value deal i could think of. Care to disagree? :) 

n the stock of games i have now dat i just can' wait to play...

Deus Ex Invisible War
Vampire Bloodlines
Bloodrayne 2
Prey
F.E.A.R.
Doom III
Far Cry
Halo
Indigo Prophecy

but i'm sticking to my gravity gun for now.


thanks again...see u in City 17
November 20, 2006 12:43:56 PM

Now it's OC time!

Cool system.

ps: 7900gs overclock like hell. You can get at least 625/830.

I managed a 3dmark 05 score of 11.xxx at that freqs.

edit: I see you kept the 1.5Gb ram. Try to get more 512 and run it in dual channel mode.
November 23, 2006 12:50:20 AM

thanks PMR.

but i'm not so sure about the OC part. I'm using stock HSF for the CPU as it is plus my computer is not in an air-conditioned room. And if you ever been to malaysia, you'd know how hellish the weather here is.

N since replacing AMD's HSF will only void their 3 year warranty, i dont feel like being adventurous.

I know the GPU can be pushed a bit more but why stress it, rite? Galaxy has already upped it from 450/1320 to 540/1500 n fitted it with a Zalman
Cooling solution.

Plus i'm already getting sweet-ass frame rates with Half-life 2 at 1280*1024, 4*AA and 8*AF.

Like my pappy used to say, if it ain't broke, why fix it?

http://img329.imageshack.us/my.php?image=d1canals060000...

peace...
November 23, 2006 1:56:55 PM

If you dont have the money, id opt for a 6600 or 6600gt, and in the meantime, start saving for a newer sytem based on socket 775 or am2. Also, you could get a cheap dual core chip and a motherbaord with onboard video, which would cost you about the same as a agp version of a 7600GT(180 BUCKS) , if you have about 220 bucks do that and upgrade everthing else as you can
November 23, 2006 2:12:52 PM

My bad, only saw the first post, good deal, and congrats
November 23, 2006 11:43:56 PM

thanks.
November 24, 2006 1:00:02 AM

Quote:

i've read the ridiculousness of coupling a fast GPU with a slow CPU, but
how bad could it be?

Should i buy the 7600GT or should i forget and save up for a brand new Athlon 64 + PCI-E system?

I badly want to play half-life 2 with optimal settings minus filtering at 1024*768

Well I know I'm a bit late, but maybe it will be useful for others:

As games are much more gpu-dependant, it's not that ridiculous.
Athlon xp is not as weak as you think.
The weakest part of your system was the video card. I have a
Barton-core 2400+ running at 175 fsb instead of 133, and even with
a lowly 9600Pro, I got 40+ frames in HL2 and CSS at 1280x1024.
I'm getting an x800gto for it soon 8)
(something to hold me over till 8600 or r600's cheaper version, when
I'll make the upgrade).
!