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AGP: from WoW to Oblivion

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  • Graphics Cards
  • World Of Warcraft
  • Oblivion
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 5, 2006 3:09:16 PM

I have an aging Radeon 9800 and wanted some advice on a new graphics card. I play WoW 98% of the time and the 9800 has been just fine for that. I do want to also try Oblivion but the 9800 doesn't cut it.

I was wondering what the best AGP card for ~$150 would be for:

1. Playing WoW and getting a bit better performance and effects than the 9800 provides currently

2. Play Oblivion decently with minimal bells/whistles.

3. Try some other newer generation games at half decent frame rates

I am not interested in upgrading my whole rig just yet to PCIe.

Any advice on the right card is appreciated.

Thanks!

More about : agp wow oblivion

December 5, 2006 3:16:33 PM

The 7600GT is your best choice if you can find it in AGP, but the X800 and X850 do fairly well in Oblivion. I use an X800XL for Oblivion and play at 1024x768, 2xAA, 4xAF, with a couple mods for optimisation, and it plays pretty well. Nothing very smooth, but decent. The advantage of the 7600GT is support for SM3.0, which means Oblivion HDR; though you might be forced to disable it anyway to get a playable framerate.

If you want to stretch and get the best there is, the X1950Pro can certainly do MUCH better than the mid-range cards I suggested. But then you might get seriously CPU-bound, depending on what's your current CPU. Anything slower than an Athlon 3500+ is, well, slow for Oblivion.
December 5, 2006 3:21:36 PM

Anything from an X800GTO to an X850pro would be good. The X800GTOs range from $110-130 on newegg. Your best bet would have been the X850pro for $139 in newegg, but they are currently out of stock. The only 7600 series card worth getting is the 7600GT, but that's a bit out of your price range.

A lot of the good deals for AGP in your price range have disappeared lately, so you'll have to look around.
December 5, 2006 3:42:48 PM

Quote:
The 7600GT is your best choice if you can find it in AGP, but the X800 and X850 do fairly well in Oblivion. I use an X800XL for Oblivion and play at 1024x768, 2xAA, 4xAF, with a couple mods for optimisation, and it plays pretty well. Nothing very smooth, but decent. The advantage of the 7600GT is support for SM3.0, which means Oblivion HDR; though you might be forced to disable it anyway to get a playable framerate.

If you want to stretch and get the best there is, the X1950Pro can certainly do MUCH better than the mid-range cards I suggested. But then you might get seriously CPU-bound, depending on what's your current CPU. Anything slower than an Athlon 3500+ is, well, slow for Oblivion.


My CPU is a 2.8 Intel - so it seems Oblivion might be out of reach even with a minor video card investment. I looked at the X1950 Pro but that was a bit too pricey for me and probably would be a waste in my current system.
December 5, 2006 6:16:55 PM

Another vote for the X800 XL. Great Oblivion card on the cheap.

Your 2.8 should handle oblivion passably.
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2006 6:46:49 PM

I'd say consider the X1650Pro too, as it'll give you extra options, allow you to play some games that will end up being SM3.0 minimum (like Splinter Cell) and for longer term hold I'd say X1650 and GF7600 over the X800 series, just for features and better driver benifits from future updates.

For WOW likely the X800 will perform better, but for Oblivion I'd prefer the X1650.
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2006 10:31:30 PM

It's a tough one. The X800XL will outperform the 7600GT and X1650 pro in Oblivion. According to FS, it's 20-25% faster at 10x7 2x/8x with bloom compared to a 7600GT and X1600XT. Obvious problem, no option for HDR. But running HDR instead of 2xaa/bloom, the 7600GT lost another 14% and the X1600XT lost 20% of it's framerates. So in the end, the X800XL should be playable with a bit higher details. Or is it better to tweak settings down a bit more and get to enjoy HDR on the X1650 pro?

I think in the end I personally would rather play Oblivion on the X800XL/X850 pro, but surely wouldn't argue with anyone who would rather enable HDR. But your point about games like the new Splinter Cell, makes ya wonder just how many more stupid games will soon come out and be SM3.0 only. In the end yeah, it's good to mention the X1650 pro as an option too, although in many games the X800XL would just put a whooping to it, so I have a hard time considering one for similar money. 7600GT would be nice, if they weren't so stinking rare and expensive in AGP.
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2006 10:56:40 PM

Yeah I don't disagree with the perfomance, my only caveat is long term use (if he's starting now he's at the end of the DX8 to early 9 era) and heading into the DX9/SM3.0 era of utility. I'd say that performance being within range of each other the feature list for future games might be worth considering. Although of course raw fps will go to the X8 series.

I'm just wondering though if SplinterCell isn't the early (way too early) sign of things to come considering that the hardware feature level will be at the SM3.0/OGL2++ level for most of the platforms out there (X360, PS3, Wii, and PC). That is likely the path that will become standard, and while I say that the X800 is a solid card, it may be time to be looking for longer term. And if this card is mean to last until 2008, then I'd personally consider the feature set of the X1650/GF7600 over the raw performance of the X800s, kinda like the GF4ti being solid, but eventually just not useable due to feature limitations, although in everything else it could still wallop an FX5200/R9200.

I agree about price, but being AGP the choices are very lean, and the X1650P can be had for $110 now, so it's reasonable, since finally it's not as crippled as the X1600Pro, but still not the X1650XT that was needed at launch.
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2006 11:10:22 PM

No arguements on any of that. For $110 the X1650 pro looks nice. Cheapest X800GTO will still be $20 above that. I know you're not a ludite, but I'd love to see a $150-$170 X1650XT AGP to go along with $250 X1950 pro's.
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2006 11:34:04 PM

I agree, I have nothing against the luddites, I just love to poke fun.

I never blamed them for the slow-down it was always Intel's poor launch of the Prescott that IMO slowed PCIe push and adoption dramatically. Of course that left nV and ATi floundering looking for stopgaps, which IMO wasted alot of their R&D money and continued having people move to the new S939 and 775 solutions with AGP, instead of cutting free to PCIe. Had the C2D or even the S939 been the socket to push for PCIe back then I doubt we'd have half the AGP buyers we have now.

I hope those S939 owners get all the options they can this generation, but I do hope that this is the end, because I'd rather have seen improvements in other areas (surround gaming for example) than spending R&D on getting stuf to keep working on AGP.

We'll see what happens next generation, but I have a feeling there won't be anymore AGP card in the DX10 era, but then again I thought the same about the high end of the GF7/X1K generations too. I doubt there'll be an AGP R600/G80, but maybe an entry level bed for the workstation market, but I'm even somewhat sceptical of that.
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2006 11:40:11 PM

You know, now that X1950 pro AGP is out, I am happy. I wouldn't ask for anything higher end, just a decent supply so prices don't get outrageous. I also doubt we shall see G80 or R600 in AGP, and I'm perfectly happy with that. I didn't like ATI ending AGP with the X850XTpe and NV's best AGP in North America being a crippled yet still expensive model.

You know what, I'm being drawn toward that Sapphire 512MB AGP X1950 pro. :roll: :oops: 
December 5, 2006 11:40:33 PM

The X1600xt is a great card for around 150 dollars.But the x1950pro is the best agp card you can buy at this time.I think it's around 250-300 dollars,but if you want to play oblivion with any seriously decent framerates then I suggest the x1950pro.In my case i run two 7800gt's co from EVGA and I get great frame rates.Even with the eye candy enabled.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.4 S-939
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X EVGA 7800GT IN SLI
2X1GIG DDR IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR 1280X1024
ACE 520WATT PSU
COOLERMASTER MINI R120
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2006 11:51:35 PM

Quote:

You know what, I'm being drawn toward that Sapphire 512MB AGP X1950 pro. :roll: :oops: 


LOL! So is this for PC #2 or 22? :mrgreen:

Yeah I agree that if things had been left with the X850 and the crippled GF7800 for AGP that would've been pretty ridiculous.

I'd still love for Cleeve or someone to do a throughput test on the X1950Pro for AGP versus PCIe, and for the sole purpose of aperture versus HyperMemroy test maybe make sure they are 256mb models.

I have a feeling that when the onboard craps out that the PCIe will show more abilities to outlast than the AGP at higher resolutions and AA levels because it can access the hypermemory.

Anyways, I think the GF7600GT and the X1950P are my two favourites of the last of the AGP-hicans.
a b U Graphics card
December 5, 2006 11:54:25 PM

Quote:
The X1600xt is a great card for around 150 dollars.


The X1650Pro is 10/10 mhz faster than the X1600XT and only costs $110 making it attractive for his price range. I would recommend the X1950P too (as I think games will get much more stressful very soon), but it depends on if that's a realistic price range.

I'd say if he's looking to hold on for another 2 years, then go for the X1950P to increase longevity, but if he's considering a system upgrade anytime soon (like in 1 year) then I'd say by cheaper and use the savings towards the next PC.
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2006 12:27:27 AM

Quote:
LOL! So is this for PC #2 or 22?

:oops:  no comment.

really it's just to sit and stare at. Oh, and use for benchie comparisons against the X800XTpe and 6800U at various CPU speeds. I love to have the time to run it through some games at various CPU speeds on the mobile AXP. Say 1.4 to 2.6 GHz. And maybe 5-6 cards (9800 pro and up) in a few games at real world gaming settings. Shoot, then do it again with an A64 4000+ and various speeds. I think that would be very useful info for many, and just the kinda thing I'd enjoy doing. But because of time, that will never happen, so basically it would be like i said... just to look at. :roll:
December 6, 2006 3:02:40 PM

Quote:

I'd still love for Cleeve or someone to do a throughput test on the X1950Pro for AGP versus PCIe.


Working on it now, homes. Probably won't be up for a while though. :) 
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2006 3:52:25 PM

COOLIO and the GANG, MANG!

I knew you'd be a good choice, thanks to the ASRock. (Also you and Crash seem like the only guys interested in the old skool 'just curious' investigations that used to be standard around THG).

While you're at it if you get AGP+PCIe Xfire working like HKepc I'll send you a bonus. :trophy: :mrgreen: :trophy:
!