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Can't decide on a new card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 3, 2006 4:04:57 AM

Alright... so here's my story:

I want to upgrade my vid card. I currently have an AGP 8x slot and cannot afford to upgrade to a PCI-E mobo. If I do that, I'll need a new mobo/cpu/vid card & ram... so that's out of the question. Here are my current system settings:

Mobo: MSI KT4 Ultra
CPU: AMD Athlon 2400XP+
Ram: 1.75GB DDR400
Vid Card: ATI X1600 512mb 128-bit DDR2 AGP 8x

I went out about 2 weeks ago and bought this ATI X1600 512mb 128-bit AGP card that was on special. Well, I was so excited about the special and really didn't read the reviews. So when I got home, I started testing the card and wasn't really impressed with what I was seeing. Simple games like Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 @ res 1024x758 was chopping like crazy after a little while. Another game like GTR2 ran pretty damn good at that res. Overall, the games I tested really didnt' make that much difference over what I use to have (ATI Radeon 9000Pro 128bit). Improvements, yes... Impressed, no!

So basically what I'm looking for is a card thats not gonna cost over $200CDN and that is AGP 8x. This is simply a temp fix to play games at reasonable res and doesn't have to be super insane high res. I just want it to look good and run smooth. I'm looking to jump from ATI to Nvidia, since people have been telling me it's better.

I've been looking at a few cards... Please let me know if these are good or if I should consider buying something better that is not over $200CDN:

1. XFX GeForce 6800 Xtreme 350MHZ, 256MB 256BIT 1000MHZ GDDR3 AGP Dual DVI TV Out Video Card (so far my top pick)

2. XFX GeForce 7600GS 256MB 128BIT DDR2 DVI TV AGP 8X


Let me know what you guys think... Thanks :D 

More about : decide card

November 3, 2006 5:19:00 AM

Well if you want the the best you can get for AGB then you have 2 options

1- ATI X 1950 Pro
2- NVIDIA 7800 GS

ATI performs slightly better than the NVIDIA card and both costs similar

now some tips :

If you are using AGP any RAM over 256MB is overkill cos the bus can not handle such high bandwidths... so dont bother with any 512MB card

I think one of your problems (next to weak CPU) is that you have 1.75GB Ram which surely blocks the performance of your dual channel mainboard... If you are not going to use the RAM banks in dual channel mode.. you are better of with a single large RAM module than 2 in different sizes...


A better option would be to sell your AGB Board and New V-Card on Ebay (which I did myself last week) and go for a new PCI-E board and a card

You dont need to change ram or cpu.. just the board and the v-card...

For PCI-E you can find better and cheaper cards than for AGB

Greetz

X
November 3, 2006 7:00:59 AM

Quote:
Alright... so here's my story:

I want to upgrade my vid card. I currently have an AGP 8x slot and cannot afford to upgrade to a PCI-E mobo. If I do that, I'll need a new mobo/cpu/vid card & ram... so that's out of the question. Here are my current system settings:

Mobo: MSI KT4 Ultra
CPU: AMD Athlon 2400XP+
Ram: 1.75GB DDR400
Vid Card: ATI X1600 512mb 128-bit DDR2 AGP 8x

I went out about 2 weeks ago and bought this ATI X1600 512mb 128-bit AGP card that was on special. Well, I was so excited about the special and really didn't read the reviews. So when I got home, I started testing the card and wasn't really impressed with what I was seeing. Simple games like Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 @ res 1024x758 was chopping like crazy after a little while. Another game like GTR2 ran pretty damn good at that res. Overall, the games I tested really didnt' make that much difference over what I use to have (ATI Radeon 9000Pro 128bit). Improvements, yes... Impressed, no!

So basically what I'm looking for is a card thats not gonna cost over $200CDN and that is AGP 8x. This is simply a temp fix to play games at reasonable res and doesn't have to be super insane high res. I just want it to look good and run smooth. I'm looking to jump from ATI to Nvidia, since people have been telling me it's better.

I've been looking at a few cards... Please let me know if these are good or if I should consider buying something better that is not over $200CDN:

1. XFX GeForce 6800 Xtreme 350MHZ, 256MB 256BIT 1000MHZ GDDR3 AGP Dual DVI TV Out Video Card (so far my top pick)

2. XFX GeForce 7600GS 256MB 128BIT DDR2 DVI TV AGP 8X


Let me know what you guys think... Thanks :D 

I wouldn't go with the GF6800XTreme because its just a crappy card.
and the GF7600GS is just as good as your ATI x1600. your only options are the ATI x1950pro that should be out for agp sometime soon. Other wise you need to just upgrade. your motherboard and and all the other crap... But I can tell that you don't feel like doing that, So stick with your card for now and then see the prices of the x1950pro when it comes out ... If not save your cash tell you can afford a full upgrade.
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November 3, 2006 7:10:24 AM

Quote:
and then see the prices of the x1950pro when it comes out ...


its already out :) 
November 3, 2006 7:15:50 AM

Quote:
and then see the prices of the x1950pro when it comes out ...


its already out :) 
Oh it is... well I missed the memo... Then just go for that. But I think it costs more than $200CDN
November 3, 2006 8:11:15 AM

Quote:

I wouldn't go with the GF6800XTreme because its just a crappy card.
and the GF7600GS is just as good as your ATI x1600. your only options are the ATI x1950pro that should be out for agp sometime soon. Other wise you need to just upgrade.


First of all... thanx for the replies.

I know the GF 6800XT isn't the greatest but it sure beats on the X1600 pretty good (comparing frames on the vga chart), like 30+ frames more on average if I'm not mistaken. That seems like a way better jump on a video card that is $20-$30 cheaper then for what I paid for, for the X1600. The GF 7600GS does seem like it's just as crappy as the X1600.

I'm pretty much screwed and if I do want better performance I'll have to go w/ a PCI-E card. I've tried looking for the X1950Pro AGP but haven't found a place that is selling it.
November 3, 2006 8:53:37 AM

I don't think you'll get much improvement just by changing your graphics card... you'll spend a lot of money upgrading from your X1600 (high end AGP cards are overpriced) and you may be bottlenecked by the rest of your system.

Quote:
I think one of your problems (next to weak CPU) is that you have 1.75GB Ram which surely blocks the performance of your dual channel mainboard... If you are not going to use the RAM banks in dual channel mode.. you are better of with a single large RAM module than 2 in different sizes...


KT4 Ultra mobo is based on Via KT400 chipset, that doesn't support dual channel (anyway dual channel didn't bring much improvement on AthlonXP) and doesn't even really support DDR400...
November 3, 2006 9:02:19 AM

Quote:

KT4 Ultra mobo is based on Via KT400 chipset, that doesn't support dual channel (anyway dual channel didn't bring much improvement on AthlonXP) and doesn't even really support DDR400...


Yup... I never recalled reading about my mobo having dual channel support so I knew that couldn't be it. DDR400 does work if you have 1 chip that is supported by the mobo.. after that it downgrades to DDR333.

I guess I should just stick with this crappy card and save my money and hopefully during the Christmas season, get me a kick ass new system and use this one for a file server or something.
November 3, 2006 10:19:40 AM

Maybe you might be interrested in Asrock Dual motherboards.

They support both AGP and PCI Express. Some of them even support DDR and DDR2. It can be a good choice for upgrading (you would just have to buy the motherboard and a CPU)
!