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7th gen Geforce on a 1st gen P4 system

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December 17, 2006 1:18:46 PM

Hi! :D 

My friend wants to squeeze an additional 6 months to 1 year out of her 5yr-old P4 system.

She's a moderate gamer, playing CS, Warcraft TFT, PangYa and Need for Speed.

Recently she got a widescreen LCD as a gift, so she's planning on getting a new videocard for her to enjoy games on mid details at a minimum of 1280 x 1024/ 1280 x 768 resolution.

Her current specs are:
Intel P4 Willy @ 1.7GHz
KT266 Mobo w/ AGP 4x
1 gig Kingston DDR266 ram
GeForce 2 Ti
a 300watt 12v+/ 15a PSU of dubious quality.


Is it worth getting the 7600GS AGP (6100php, about 122USD) considering that it will definitely be bottlenecked by the CPU and the AGP slot is only 4x?

We are also considering other cards like the 6600GT (5750php, 115USD) but with only 350 php difference here (about 7 USD) from the 7600GS, we thought that the 7600GS will be a better buy. She has around 200USD to spare in this interim upgrade, including the budget for a new PSU.

Should she just make with what she has right now as she'll eventually be overhauling her entire system in the next 6 months or so? I for one, think that her system is "EBU" Economically Beyond Upgrade.

Any inputs and suggestions will be most appreciated.
Thanks in Advance!
a b U Graphics card
December 17, 2006 7:17:06 PM

I'll add my 2 cents. A P4 1.7 willy is below minimum spec on alot of games. I know for sure that NFS underground 2, Most wanted, and carbon, will have to be put on low details levels with that CPU. So the CPU can at times definately be what's holding her back with a card such as the 6600GT or 7600GS. In my opinion, she would be better off finding a cheap used 9700 pro or 9800 pro for half that money or less if possible. But of your two card choices, yes, spend the extra $7 for the 7600GS.

BTW, not that this matters much, but KT266 is a Via socket A chipset for AMD Athlon/Duron CPU's.
December 17, 2006 8:06:50 PM

A GF2 TI is definitely antiquated, so technically a GPU update will improve her gaming a LOT.

However, with her weak CPU it doesnt make much sense (in my opinion), to get even a 7600GS. I agree with the above poster that you/her should look for deals on cards a generation (or two) below.
WoW is surprisingly not demanding in terms of requirements, so it's not a shock to me that she can still play it (probably at 5-10fps) with her current hardware. WoW would definitely benefit from a moderate graphic card upgrade. The best compromise (in my opinion) between improved performance and price, since this is not a system you should expect to keep gaming on for many years to come (thus any upgrades will soon result in discarded hardware), would be something of the order of a 9800Pro or at most 6600GT. With those cards, she would be able to get a decent framerate in WoW @ 1280, with a good amount of details. This is coming from someone who used to play WoW with an Athlon XP 2100+ and a 9600Pro.

My suggestions for her system (quick search on NEwegg) :

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

43$ for a 9800SE. Not a powerhouse by any means, but fitting for her system (imo) and cheap. If you go into the 90-100$ range you might be able to snipe a good deal on an 6600GT/6800XT or x800 AGP type card, which is a much better performer (maybe overkill for her system).

EDIT : My bad, I didnt realize you probably won't be buying from Newegg or the like. For your particular situation, know that the 7600GS will outperform a 6600GT normally, so if you plan on gaming at 1280 (the difference is more pronounced at higher res, especially with a slow CPU), it may be worth the bit of extra $. A 7600GS PCI-E version draws far less than 65W, so I doubt the AGP version can draw much more. You should be able to get away with your "dubious" 300W PSU :) 

Cheers
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December 17, 2006 8:31:37 PM

I'd get the 7600gs. It would be the best thing to do with that amount of money. You wouldn't really need to upgrade the power supply if you buy a 7600gs, but if you want to be really safe go ahead.
December 18, 2006 2:49:55 AM

Quote:
BTW, not that this matters much, but KT266 is a Via socket A chipset for AMD Athlon/Duron CPU's.


Oops. My bad. Its a P4X-266A :D 

Anyway, my boyfriend said he has a 6800LE AGP lying around somewhere and he agreed to give it to me. Maybe this is just what my friend needs! He said that we can unlock the pipes and OC it to GT standards.

How does a 6800LE with unlocked pipes fare against the 7600GS?

Thanks for the replies!
December 18, 2006 4:49:01 AM

Perfect solution. A 6800LE (or 6800XT) is slightly better than a 6600GT. If he manages to unlock the extra pipes, your friend will have a vanilla 6800 - a high end card of 2 generations ago :) 

GJ on doing all this research for your friend, I hope she appreciates it :) 
a b U Graphics card
December 18, 2006 11:15:49 AM

Oh no problem on the chipset; like I said it doesn't matter. :) 

The 6800LE would be great for her. It's pretty close to performing like a 6600GT for starters. Unlocking it to 16-pipes would put it above a 7600GS. It probably won't obverclock to GT speeds on the memory, but the core may go beyond GT speeds, so overall performance close to a 6800GT. Does your boyfriend know for sure the card will run 16-pipes without artifacts? Anyway, if he is willing to part with the 6800le, problem solved. Good luck.
!