Current setup: 2.6 Northwood P4 O/C to 3.14Ghz, 6800LE non O/C(couldn't unlock the pipes w/out artifacts), 1 gig ram. I'm planning to get a Conroe setup next year around May for Vista/DX10. I was thinking about getting a faster AGP card to hold me over till the next build. What's a low budget solution that will work well w/ my aging P4, or am I already CPU limited? I just don't want to get a card and then realize that the gains are minimal cause of my slow CPU. I mostly play GTR2 (driving game) and occassional battlefield 2 on my 20" Dell. Thanks!
In AGP there is not a low budget card worth buying as you are already at about what $100 gets you in AGP. (6600GT, 6800XT). The 7600GS isn't enough of a jump to bother IMO, so you are basically looking at over $140. I wouldn't worry about a P4 2.6C being a bottleneck, especially OC'ed to 3.0GHz+. Best AGP card is a X1950 pro for $240-300. Next best is a huge step down in the 7800GS/7600GT/X850XT range. These cards are about $180+ right now. The X1650XT is due out in AGP shortly and is about equal to those others. It may end up being in the $150-170 range. Cheapest I'd go for is a X850 pro, X800XL, 6800GT( used).
1950 is a good card but not exactly low budget. Check E-bay for someone who did exactly what you are planning to do - buy and AGP graphics card until they upgrade to a new Mboard.
P.S. You have the upgrade bug!! I'll give you two months before you go ahead and get a new system even though you don't need one. Once those parts start coming in the mail they just seem to keep coming as your bank account starts to fall exponentially. 8O