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Best upgrade to replace 9500 Pro

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
November 27, 2006 12:50:18 PM

I have a PC I built a few years back and it's been a real workhorse for me. It's based on a 2.8 mhz P4 and an ASUS 800Deluxe mobo and it currently has a ATI 9500 pro graphics card in the AGP slot. I play a lot of games and I find my once "cutting edge" graphic card is pushing the limits. The trouble is, I don't really want to replace the entire system and I haven't been keeping up with the technology the way I used to. I'd like to put in a new graphics card that would buy me a bit more time on my old system. What do you guys suggest for a decent replacement for the 9500 pro card? Would it make a noticable difference?

November 27, 2006 1:02:33 PM

7600 or 7800 will give much improvements. Carefull about their prices though...
Most people says that 7800GS is just a waste and overpriced while 7600 can have nearly the same performance as 7800.

But if you want to stick with ATi...errr...i can't help you much. There are too much numbers and XXX letters which drive me crazy... :) 
November 27, 2006 1:13:37 PM

I don't feel any loyalty to ATI. I want to get the best card that will still fit into my AGP slot.
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November 27, 2006 1:19:43 PM

A 7600GS would be my recommendation. Something like this. If you want an ATi, an X850 pro or XT would do the job very well.
a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2006 1:42:45 PM

I don't feel any loyalty to ATI. I want to get the best card that will still fit into my AGP slot.

That would be the new X1950 pro AGP. Only USA site I have seen them is BestBuy retail chains. But, they should be hitting other sites very soon. You'll have to check prices as they may end up being close to $300. Hopefully some can be found for $250. IF this is too expensive, the next step down is much lower in performance. 7800GS and 7600GT for close to $200. Keeping the prices lower, the X850 pro for $140 is still amazing compared to the 9700 pro and 9800 pro.

As far as performance, take this chart for an example:

Your 9500 pro is about equal to the 9600XT.
A $130 X800 GTO is about equal to the X800 pro
A $140 X850 pro is about equal to the X800XL
The $180 7600GT and $200+ 7800GS are about equal to the X850XT(although a bit behind in Farcry)
The $250-300 X1950 pro would be way off the top of the chart - Here it is the (X1950 pro PCI-e should perform identical to the AGP version) at those same settings:( don't compare the numbers directly, look at how it compares to the 7600GT.)

Anyway, looking over those two charts, you can get a feel for how most of the available AGP cards compare to your card. Huge increase, all depending how much you want to spend. To be simple, I could have said, X1950 pro >>>7800GS/7600GT/X850XT>X850 pro>X800GTO>>>9500 pro. :roll:
November 27, 2006 2:10:37 PM

I see that Newegg has a BFG 7600GS 512mb card for $149. Is the GS better than the GT or is it the other way around?
November 27, 2006 2:46:08 PM

Look at the clock speeds. The GT is usually higher clocked, so the GT is faster.
November 27, 2006 3:18:43 PM

I found a XFX Geforce 6800XT 256 MB DDR3 AGP 6800 GT card on eBay for $100. It's in an opened box, but unused. The thing I don't understand is, is it an XT or a GT? Or, is there such a thing as a 7800XT GT? The seller has 100% feedback on 171 deals. Is this a good price for the card? Would it be better to hold out for 512 MB?
November 27, 2006 3:27:11 PM

The GT is much better than any GS. If you'd like to stay around $150 or less, your best option would be this X850pro.

It's the best bang for the AGP buck in that price range. Some people would argue against it because it doesn't support sm3.0 or open EXR HDR, and the 7600GS does. The problem is that the 7600GS isn't powerful enough to fully utilize those features. IMO anything less than a 7600GT isn't really worth buying JUST for sm3.0.
November 27, 2006 3:29:34 PM

Just to be safe, stay away from the 6800XTs. There are versions out there that are OK, but the majority of them are crap.
November 27, 2006 3:32:05 PM

You should browse this forum section a bit, there are countless other threads that are very similar to yours (people asking for advice on upgrading their AGP cards). These threads often end up being very informative with links to good deals on the discussed cards, etc. In other words, it's worth the 5-10 min search.

But just off the top of my head, in your case I'd say go with a 7600GT or a x800-x850 class card. These can be found for a reasonable amount (around 150$ish for AGP version) and will give you a very nice boost in performance. I believe the top AGP card that can be found on the market currently is the x1950Pro, but it currently retails for around 300$ ... making it a poor deal for that price.