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9800SE to 6800XT or 7600GS

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December 18, 2006 6:23:26 PM

I'm looking to prolong the life of my aging P4 3.2GHz machine for a while yet. I like to play games and the 9800SE as everyone knows is quite crappy. I'm thinking of going with the 6800XT 256MB 256-bit. Would this be a decent upgrade as I have found one for $109.99? Also, I soptted a 7600GS on buy.com for $112.00. I know there are nice ATi cards out there but with the troubles I have had with mine I'd really like to get an nvidia as I have always had good luck with them. Any info or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

More about : 9800se 6800xt 7600gs

December 18, 2006 6:59:11 PM

The "SE" is to the 9800 series like the "XT" is to the 6800 series. While a small number of "XT's" can be decent, the majority are crippled pieces of $hit. What is your budget?
December 18, 2006 7:03:33 PM

I've been seeing X800XLs on ebay from $80-100. It'd be MUCH better than what you have now, and that "XT" you're considering.
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December 18, 2006 7:14:26 PM

I saw an X1650 PRO on newegg for $109 after a $10 rabate...

But a used X800 XL would be better.
December 18, 2006 7:20:22 PM

Thanks for the info. I just found a 7600GS for $112.00 on buy.com so I'm thinking I'd go with that instead.

Trying to stay around $120.00 but cheaper is better.
December 18, 2006 7:35:41 PM

For a new card and the price, the 7600GS AGP would be the best bet of your 3 choices. It even supports SM 3.0 and isn't particularly power hungry.

I've used one on a P4-2.4GHz with 1.2GB ram and I'm able to play BF2142 at medium/high settings.

If you don't need SM 3.0 support for your games then the X800XL is more powerful and cheaper (when bought used).
December 18, 2006 7:48:12 PM

Cleeve has a good buy for 120. The 7600GS is a few frames quicker according to the VGA charts however.
December 18, 2006 8:08:01 PM

Quote:
For a new card and the price, the 7600GS AGP would be the best bet of your 3 choices. It even supports SM 3.0 and isn't particularly power hungry.


IMO anything less than a 7600GT isn't worth buying JUST for sm3.0.
December 18, 2006 8:16:30 PM

Quote:

IMO anything less than a 7600GT isn't worth buying JUST for sm3.0.

Yea. It's is gonna become powerless quite quickly.
December 18, 2006 8:46:55 PM

It'd be a pretty slide show. :D 
December 18, 2006 8:58:48 PM

Heh heh. "was that a rock or a person...? i gotta stop moving so fast"
Yeah. Go for something with a little more punch, you've got power in your PSU.
December 18, 2006 9:26:10 PM

Quote:
Heh heh. "was that a rock or a person...? i gotta stop moving so fast"
Yeah. Go for something with a little more punch, you've got power in your PSU.


It was a pretty rock. Gotta love that sm3.0.
December 18, 2006 9:48:17 PM

Thank you thank you. Critisizm was what I was looking for because I want to make a good purchase.
December 18, 2006 10:30:52 PM

I would suggest the 7600GT as well, unless you want to wait for the 1950pro AGP to come out. The GS is alright as well, and for the price, it isn't a bad buy, but personally, I think its worth the extra money for the GT.
December 18, 2006 10:41:12 PM

The 7600is better. It is practically the same chip design as the 6800 but its built on newer manufacturing process.

The 6800XT is built on 130 nm and the 7600 GS is built on 90 nm, so it has a lower thermal footprint thus using less electricity generating less heat.
December 19, 2006 4:36:15 PM

Yeah, they haven't started shipping those cards yet. I haven't heard when they will either. Supposedly it is supposed to be "soon", but who knows what that means.
December 19, 2006 5:09:18 PM

Quote:
The 7600is better. It is practically the same chip design as the 6800 but its built on newer manufacturing process.


Not the same chip at all. The 7600's are 12-pipeline cards with 128-bit memory, and the 6800 GT/Ultra is 16-pipeline 256-bit memory. The plain 6800 (and AGP 6800 GS) have 4 pipelines disabled for 12 pipelines, and the 6800 XT has 8 pipelines disabled for a total of 8 pipelines.

Regardless, the 7600 GT performs closely to the 6800 Ultra.

The 6800 GS ferforms a little worse than a 7600 GS at stock clocks

The 6800 XT will perform worse than all of them, roughly the speed of a 6600 GT.

Still might be a good deal for $50 though. Some 680 XTs have high clockspeeds, and the 256-bit memory might be good for overclocking.
December 19, 2006 5:13:56 PM

Your system would benefit from a better card than a 6800xt/7600gs.
It still has some juice in it.

If I were you, I'd consider extending your spending range a little more (by 20-30$) and look into the AGP versions of

7600GT
850XT (or close derivatives)

These cards offer much better performance than the cards you're currently considering (albeit at a small price pemium), and will likely be the last video card upgrade you'll need on your current system.
Saving 20-30$ now and getting a 6800xt (or somethign similar) will give you a boost, but you'll always be limited by your GPU and you'll start thinking about upgrading again soon (making your 6800xt wasteful).
In my opinion, one of the cards mentionned above is more suitable for a system with your specs, giving you optimum performance and not costing you an arm&leg.

Cheers
December 19, 2006 5:37:05 PM

All right, so with all that's been said, it looks like I'll be going with either a 6800 Ultra or 7600GT. Thanks for all the info, haven't kept up with hardware lately and now that I'm caught up on CPU's and Mobo platforms I'm trying to get caught up on GPUs.
December 19, 2006 5:47:19 PM

Quote:
I'm looking to prolong the life of my aging P4 3.2GHz machine for a while yet. I like to play games and the 9800SE as everyone knows is quite crappy. I'm thinking of going with the 6800XT 256MB 256-bit. Would this be a decent upgrade as I have found one for $109.99? Also, I soptted a 7600GS on buy.com for $112.00. I know there are nice ATi cards out there but with the troubles I have had with mine I'd really like to get an nvidia as I have always had good luck with them. Any info or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


There was a Jaton 7600GT on NewEgg last night for $99. It was used. If you hurry it might still be there. :-) Easily kiks the 7600GS and was actually a tad cheaper. If you ask me, you should spend a bit more and get a 7900GS or an X1900GT
December 19, 2006 6:14:23 PM

I don't think you can get either of those cards in AGP :wink:
December 19, 2006 6:22:44 PM

Quote:
I'm looking to prolong the life of my aging P4 3.2GHz machine for a while yet. I like to play games and the 9800SE as everyone knows is quite crappy. I'm thinking of going with the 6800XT 256MB 256-bit. Would this be a decent upgrade as I have found one for $109.99? Also, I soptted a 7600GS on buy.com for $112.00. I know there are nice ATi cards out there but with the troubles I have had with mine I'd really like to get an nvidia as I have always had good luck with them. Any info or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


dont you think you might bottle neck something with a 7600 and a pentium4??
December 19, 2006 6:25:33 PM

Huh? He's not going to bottleneck a 7600GT with a 3.2GHz P4.
December 19, 2006 6:43:04 PM

Quote:
I don't think you can get either of those cards in AGP :wink:


Oh, he said he had AGP? Well fuk! :-\ 1650 anyone?
December 19, 2006 6:45:16 PM

Despite your name, you don't seem to know very much. Couldn't resist, too easy.
December 19, 2006 10:36:35 PM

There is another option for you, I see you have overclocked your radeon.

The best overclocked videocard at the moment is the 7900 GS. If you really want to extend the life of your computer this is it. You can get huge bang for your buck with this card.

Stock Speed is around 450mhz and can be overclocked to 630mhz for alot of bang for your buck, $20 mail in rebate presently.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

If you still want the 7600 gs get this biostar sigma-gate.
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2051
It says you can overclock to around 680 mhz which is a huge boost in bang for your buck potential.
December 19, 2006 10:41:58 PM

AGP
December 20, 2006 11:22:06 AM

It seems that some people miss that part of the post. Hehe, well thanks again.

I had no idea what all the model differences were and if I had known what the SE models were when I built this thing I never would have bought it.
December 20, 2006 12:40:02 PM

Its still early morning where I live and I'm waiting on my coffee (ok I lie, I'm just delaying the inevitable departure for work), so I decided to think a little about your situation and think of possible upgrade options.

I understand the main factor here is cost. You want to upgrade your video performance while keeping the cost as low as possible (your original estimate was 120$, but given you're willing to consider better cards, I assume you want to stretch it a little).

The trouble is that your graphics port is AGP. Any AGP version of a certain card at this point costs as much as twice the price of it's PCI-E version... ridiculous profiteering.
A 7600GT, after a quick search of NEwegg/Tiger goes for 175-180$ for the AGP version ....

I remember seeing the PCI-E going as low as 100$.... So I decided to check again. Lo and behold :

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

That's 79$ (after rebate) for a 7600GT PCI-E. That's a card that's considered midrange now, and will likely serve well for DX9c based titles for a good time to come (assuming you're willing to sacrifice somewhat in image/aa settings and game at 1024 or 1280 at most ... but thats a given anyway in your situation).

So I went and tried to see if there's any cheap MB for socket 478 that has a PCI-E port, so you can basically port your current system on the new board and take advantage of the PCI-E GPU pricing. I couldnt find one...

Instead I found this :

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

A cheapo socket 754 board bundled with a Sempron 3000+, and support for PCI-E and DDR, for 69$.

THen I thought, how does a 3000+ sempron (or mobile sempron, which I hope is basically a lower heat version of it) compares to a 3.2Ghz Northwood ? Turns out it's not as good, but not by a large margin.
Compare the two processors here for quick reference :

http://www.tomshardware.com/2004/12/21/the_mother_of_al...

As you can see, your current CPU is roughly 15-20% faster in these gaming benchmarks. SO technically, aside from the PCI-E support this is a slight downgrade for you.

Normally I wouldnt recommend jumping through all these hoops, and just save some more money and get a Core2 system when you can. But in your case, I look at it this way :


Pros :

You re-use your old ram. You basically have a new s754 setup with PCI-E support and a 7600GT (a good video card) for a grand total of 150$ (before shipping), which is LESS than the price of a 7600GT AGP card.
WHen you decided to build a completely new computer you can re-use your 7600GT PCI-E if it's still adequate (and if you build a PC within a year, it should be).

If you want to spend a little more money (and I mean a little, likely <50$), you can get a used athlon 64 for socket 754 on the cheap and really give your system a boost. It wont compete with the current dual core Core2 based rigs, but it will be a faster rig than you have now.
So at that point, you'd have gone from a 3.2 Northwood with 9800SE to a 3500+ or something athlon 64 with a 7600GT PCI-E for a grand total of around 200$. That's what I call "on the cheap".

On top of that, you have an extra 3.2Ghz p4 + mb + video card (all it needs is some cheap memory) that can form the backbone of a secondary rig if you can find an old case and PSU.

Cons : A lot of work required for not a very significant upgrade. Hassle to re-build your system. You might not easily find a socket 754 athlon CPU easily, even though they're not worth much nowadays... maybe your best bet is ebay or something.


Not the most trouble-free and simple solution, and not something I'd usually recommend - but something you might wanna consider :) 
Cheers.


p.s. If you see a 130-150$ AGP 7600GT or x850 card, just grab those instead ... less hassle :) 
December 20, 2006 12:55:40 PM

Lol nm, now that I think about it it sounds a little far fetched.
Better wait for a deal on a good AGP card :) 
December 20, 2006 3:59:49 PM

Redwing, your effort is appreciated but at the same time it leaves me scratching my head still. What is this guy to do? What are any of use to do who are in the same situation? And from reading this forum, alot of people have this same question, including myself.

I currently have a 1.5 year old rig of similar quality: 2800+ Sempron Socket A, 1 GIG PC3200 and a Radeon 9700 AIW. There are a few games I'd like to run faster on my machine, but I don't want to buy a whole new rig because, well, frankly this is still a powerful machine and its very stable and works fine for me for the most part.

I was excited to see this article when I began my search to solve this problem… http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/12/12/the_best_gaming_...

But the article really has failed me. I was looking for a 100-120 upgrade for AGP, and they don’t even have a recommendation in that price range. Their recommendations for the sub 100 market, the GF 6600 and ATi x700 are really only marginally better then what I have already and not very exciting. Their recommendation for around 140 is the ATI x850Pro, but almost nobody has it and definitely nobody is selling it for anywhere near the 140 range. Some are selling it for as much as the 8800GT for crying out loud. So the article is basically useless for what I assume most people are looking for: a stopgap card that will extend the life of a powerful AGP system for a year or so until people are willing to go PCI-e.

The best solution, and the one that everyone seems to recommend is the 7600GT, but at 180 for the AGP version it is a full 100 more then the PCI-e version that I found and that you pointed out here again. That 100 dollar difference represents almost enough money to get a basic PCI-e MB/CPU combo of about the same power as my current rig, but is still more then I wanted to spend either way and requires a ton more work to perform the upgrade with potential stability issues from a cheap-ass MB.

Arggh!

Compounding this issue is that even though there is a slew of offerings in the 120 range, there is little information how well they perform because it is difficult to match up the actual card to performance ratings. On newegg, basically the most informative site I can find, how can one tell the difference between a ATi X1650Pro CF and an ATi X1650Pro HM? Do 6800 Ultras even exist anymore? Or GTs for that matter? I can’t find them. There are a ton of XTs, but they seem like crippled versions basically meant for OCing.

Its insane. Really hard to figure out what to do.
December 20, 2006 4:10:08 PM

Right on the money man. For what I do my 3.2GHz HT is fine. In fact until more software is multi-threaded I'm going to stick with it. The problem is these AGP cards being so high priced.

But, I suppose for a decent performance gain, even a 7600GS wastes my 9800SE ($hitty Edition).
December 20, 2006 5:03:24 PM

I had a 9800pro with my 2600+. I added 1GB RAM, and went to an X800XL. It made a huge difference, and should get me by until my new build this spring-early summer. Something like this should add a bit of life to your aging PC.
December 20, 2006 5:08:14 PM

With a Socket A Sempron, I'd upgrade the system.

You'll noticve a speed boost in EVERYTHING with, say, an Athlon 64 or Core 2 Duo... not just games.
December 20, 2006 5:26:04 PM

OK....,

How about if we upgrade the MB/CPU and deal with the video later? I could not find a comparison of this setup's video would compare with the 9800SE, but it has DX9 and SM 3.0.

MB:
Socket 939 http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681... $60 after $10 rebate

CPU:
Single core 4000+ http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681... $80

This is a combo deal for a total of $130 after rebate (would need a CPU HS/Fan)

This would allow the purchase of a lower cost PCI-e card, now OR later.

OR, don't let the experience with this 9800SE poison your view of ATI based cards. Check out the VGA charts and make your choice based on bang for the buck, not on the color of the bar. Those who argue for the used X800 or X850 make a good point.
December 20, 2006 7:14:48 PM

Quote:
With a Socket A Sempron, I'd upgrade the system.

You'll noticve a speed boost in EVERYTHING with, say, an Athlon 64 or Core 2 Duo... not just games.


I know, but even then the choices don't seem that great. Sure I could dump everything and get a shiny new Core2Duo, but I'd need a new everything except case and maybe hard drive so it quickly gets pretty pricey. If I get a 939 MB so I can keep my RAM (and maybe my 370 PSU) then the overall difference won't be so big and I'll probably be in the same situation again next year needing to go AM2 or intel and having to upgrade the MB again, which is a bit of a pain in the rear.

I guess it just feels like a little damned if I do, or damned if I don't right now. I'm pricing out different options and not finding that any of them appeal greatly to me, which is a strange experience in my long history of machine building and upgrading.

Anyone have an opinion about this card...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Much of an upgrade from a 9700 AIW?
December 20, 2006 7:23:18 PM

It's comparable to the 7600GS.
December 22, 2006 4:24:50 PM

Too bad you can't find that card anywhere.
December 22, 2006 4:34:12 PM

Yeah no kidding... that would be a great buy.
December 22, 2006 4:54:57 PM

I know that it's not available yet, but could ATP777 be getting this generation's version of the 9800SE with a 7600? Waiting a month is a small price to pay. I also know that the X1950 Pro is over the budget but I believe that this card could extend the life of this system the most.
December 22, 2006 5:07:52 PM

Quote:
Sure I could dump everything and get a shiny new Core2Duo, but I'd need a new everything except case and maybe hard drive so it quickly gets pretty pricey.


You can get a PCIe socket 939 mobo with a Sempron 3000+ CPU bundled for about $100.

Unlike the Socket A Semprons, the Socket 939 semprons are pretty damn good. A socket 939 Sempron 3000+ will perform very close to an Athlon64 3000+.

My buddy even has one, and it makes for an excellent gaming rig on the cheap if paired with a good videocard. And you should even be able to use your old RAM and everything...
!