First off, thanks in advance. I am not the most educated person when it comes to computers. I like to turn it on, get on-line, and play games. So I bought 3 years ago, a system from ABS, AMD FX-61. I just upgraded the out of print registered memory from 1 gig to 2, and now I am looking to upgrade the 9800XT.
This is what the ABS forum mod reccommended:
"" This motherboard "ASUS SK8N NFORCE3" has 1 x AGP 8X -5x PCI slot, the best video card option is "RADEON X1950PRO" with AGP 8x interface. ""
Is this the best advice out there? Is he steering me towards something I will need or don't need?
If you have an FX-51 and 2GB of RAM on an NF3 mobo, yeah the X1950 pro is the best AGP card available...the best you can do on your motherboard. Be sure to have a beefy power supply as ATI recommends a 450W with 12v rail(s) rated at 30 amps. Check the label on your power supply for the details. The X1650XT isn't a bad performer either, cost less, and uses less power. While not a X1950 pro, it is still a huge leap over a 9800XT and is basically tied for the second best (7600GT, 7800GS, X850XT) in AGP that we can buy in North America, with the other cards costing quite a bit more money now.
The original Truepower 480W has a single 28 amp 12v rail. I'd personally think you are fine for any AGP card, even with an aging PSU and your dual optical drives.
Funny, I have a HIS iceQ X1650XT and it also recommends a 450W PSU with 30 amp 12v rail. They assume a loaded system, but even so it seems high for a X1650XT. Anyway, mine has been completetly stable on an Antec smartpower 400W with just a single 20 amp 12 volt rail. Granted I am running just 1 hard drive, and one optical drive on a 2.2GHz Athlon XP. Anyway, just my opinion, but I think you have adequate power.