I'm considering upgrading my aging system and wanted to get some advice.
AMD Athlon XP 2400+
ASUS a7n8x-e Deluxe
Dell 21inch widescreen (1680x1050) Prolink PixelView GeForce FX 5700
I could use a new full system, but I'm trying to stall as long as possible until I can get a 'low-mid end' DX10 card, perhaps in a year's time. This video card upgrade would probably be the last upgrade for this PC, and if I get myself a new system I'll give this to my SO and hopefully we can play NWN2 together.
Games I played in 2006
Guild Wars (looks great in 1680x1050)
Neverwinter Nights (looks good in 1680x1050)
Civilization 4 (runs so-so in 1680, slow after a few hours)
Star Wars Battlefront II
Half Life 1 (CS, TFC, NS)
Rise of Nations
I tried Rise of Legends, playable on minimum settings, but it pounded my PC and didn't look that good. I also tried Company of Hereos, playable on minimum settings, it pounded my PC and looked amazingly good.
Games I'd like to try in 2007
Supreme Commander (don't mind going to minimum settings ;-)
Neverwinter Nights 2
Half Life 2 (Single Player and other Steam engine games)
Medieval Total War 2
I had a read over the AGP Platform Analysis and the Best Gaming Videocards for the money but was wondering if anyone had any other opinions or specific comments about SupCom, NWN2, or my system.
Main options I'm considering:
* Give up! This PC won't be able to handle Supreme Commander no matter what I do.
* 4 steps up, US$100: Geforce 6600 GT
* 5 steps up, US$125: Geforce 7600 GS
* 9 steps up, US$180: Geforce 7600 GT
* 11 steps up, US$240: Radeon X1950 PRO
It isn't expected that anyone will release a DX10 generation card in a AGP format. Even if they did, it would cost an assload of money and would be very bottlenecked by your older system. If you really need your 2400+ to last at least a year, get a 7600GT. That should let you run what you want, even if it's on lower settings. You could get the 1950 but your CPU in most games won't let the 1950 acheive it's best performance. But if you can get it for about $200 then do that. The 1950 is your last best hope. Another 512 of RAM could help also.
If you're determined to keep you present computer for a while, then get the X1950 card and look for a better cpu. It may take some looking, but as I remember, there were cpu's offered up to a 3200 model for your board. A 2700, 2800. or 3000 would all be sifnificantly better than your 2400.
By the way, I have an old machine similar to yours, but with the 2700 cpu and I am also considering as to whether or not to upgrade to a X1950 card. It does some things very well, and as a back up computer to when the main one is down or just using it for simple stuff, its nice to have around. On the other hand, its old and has seen its day, so maybe its best just to let it go the way of the dodo bird.
When I mentioned the whole 'low-mid end DX10 card, I was picturing getting a new video DX9 card now, and a whole new system (probably low end everything, with hopefully an affordable DX10 card) next year.
Thanks for the suggestions, it sounds like most people agree the X1950 would be a waste without other upgrades, I don't really want to do a minor CPU/RAM upgrade now - every dollar I save now can go into the new PC.
You're fairly close in the same boat i'm in. AMD 2600+ and a geforce 6800. I've considered the x1950 pro, but I knew the cpu would hold me back some (and I see tom's proved it). I thought of getting the dual939-vsta board, but it's no longer sold, but then the 939 cpus are useless now because of price gouging. (The dual939 did have a upgrade slot for am2 cpus as well).
So my best choice is to upgrade the system completely. I'm sick of the geforce nv4_disp errors, so i'll probably go with ati video. Only problem there, fairly limited choice in motherboards except the few ati chipset ones (for dual video cards). The newer 3200 chipset doesn't seem too bad, not a bad price either. But need one with 2 IDE (4 devices) instead of only 1 (2 devices). I've only seen one motherboard with 2 IDEs. The X2 cpus would be a better choice to help spread out the power (windows on one cpu, game on the 2nd). Need 2gb of memory (DDR2 800-no choice there really), then the 1900 XT (faster than the 1950 Pro at about the same price).
Debating about the Core 2 cpus, but haven't seen any dual pci-e slots for crossfire yet. MB prices seem a bit high compared to the amd family.
I can't believe you confess to play SW: Battlefront 2.
Actually I think it's a pretty enjoyable game. I don't play online games very much, mostly small-scale LAN scales, usually with 2-10 people. Not everyone who goes to our LANs is a hardcore FPS'er, which made BF1942 and Desert Combat really popular in my group (you could take it seriously objective-wise, solo it, or screw around with helicopters).
Battlefield 2 seemed like it would be the logical follow up but the game is simply not designed for 4 on 4 LAN games. I thought all the 16 player maps were boring (often less air & sea).
For us, Battefront II filled the void of an 'FPS-lite' in our LAN lineups and I'd recommend it to anyone holding small LANs with friends who have a mix of FPS skill.