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Video card upgrade suggestions (WoW)

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March 5, 2007 10:16:55 PM

I mainly play WoW and it can bog down at times, which will annoy me to great lengths... :twisted: So I was looking to see what I could do as far as an upgrade for my system. It's pretty dated and I know that I could upgrade the entire thing, which I'm planning to do in a couple months (once things settle down dx10 prices come down and the april intel c2d drops)

My system:
Asus A7V8X
Athlon xp 3000+ (Barton core I think, whichever had the bigger cache. Pretty much all the board can handle)
Corsair xms pc3200 2x512MB (mobo doesn't support dual channel 8O )
ATi Radeon 9700 pro
pair of Hitachi drives in raid 0
power supply: not sure, I'll check when I get home

I play WoW in 1280x1024 and have everything but AA turned all the way up. It plays around 20fps for the most part.

I borrowed an X1300 I think it was, and it just BSOD my system after trying to load WoW. This might have been a driver issue, I didn't have a ton of time to test with it. Anyway, I think that card would be more of a side-step than an upgrade, I was just testing with it.

So, suggestions on just upgrading the video card? It would have to stay AGP.. and I'm wondering how much of an upgrade I could really get from that. I've also had some major driver issues with this card, I've had to stay with really old drivers so the system stays stable. Every once in a while I would try the newest ones and then revert because I had nothing but problems.

Sorry for the long post, I apparently write a lot when I get going... I'll stop now.

Thank you anybody who has a comment.
March 5, 2007 11:12:35 PM

Nvidia 7600gt
March 5, 2007 11:16:42 PM

Well if WoW is the only game that matters, you only need a minor upgrade. But just in case... I'd get a 7600 GS and if I got a few extra bucks a 7600 GT.
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March 5, 2007 11:24:18 PM

Look for an X1650 XT or 7600 GT AGP if you have a decent power supply.

If your power supply is 350w or under, go with a cheaper 7600 GS.
March 6, 2007 12:31:36 AM

Alright, well I've had a chance to get home and read all of your helpful comments.

My PSU is a 350W 16A on the +12v. So it would seem that I'm looking at a 7600 GS.

Do you all think that's a reasonable upgrade still? price/performance wise? or should I just stick it out and wait 'til may and upgrade the whole thing?

Thanks again for any information!
March 6, 2007 12:39:44 PM

9700 PRO to 7600 GS? You'd see a nice boost there, but maybe not earth shattering.

Hard call. I don't think you can go wrong either way.

Best bet might be to look for an X800 XL or 6800 GT on ebay, see if you can get one for under $100. Both are quite a bit better than the 7600 GS.
March 6, 2007 3:51:12 PM

Alright, well I've looked at the video cards a little bit and it seems as though the easiest to find and best price would be a X800 GTO, I'm not sure what's different about a GTO from the GT though. Here it is though http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... It's open box, but it's about $90.

Re: logainofhades

I thought about the extra gig or RAM and looked at it a little bit. I have Corsair XMS PC3200 CL2. That sort of RAM seems to be pretty rare now and therefore has a premium on it. I checked all the brands on Newegg and most of the C2 stuff is out of stock too. I also currently have 2x512 and the mobo only has 3 slots, so it would have to be a 1gb stick.

The only 7300gt agp on newegg is from leadtek and I'm not familiar with that brand at all. I'm also worried about the PSU if I go that high. It's a pretty generic 350W with 16A.


The more and more I think about it, it's probably best to just wait it out... even though I'm itching to do SOMETHING :D 
March 6, 2007 4:04:05 PM

Here's the thing...
That X800 is going to use alot of juice, too. And a stock X800 will be on par with the 7600 GS. You'd need a nice X800 XL to really make a difference.

On a 350 watt PSU, the 7600 GS is looking better.

I'm just wondering what kind of difference you'll actually see in WoW with a new card.

logainofhades is right and WoW is pretty easy on the videocard, your lag might be caused more by internet and server hiccups. If WoW is all you play, a new card might not give you the bang you're looking for...
March 6, 2007 4:13:37 PM

:evil: 

That's it... I'll just wait. lol

Thanks for all the input, I've been reading these boards for a couple weeks now. Work gets really boring and I have to find something to bide my time. Perhaps I'll start posting more... the overclocking of the new c2d series has caught my eye and that's what I plan on playing with when I eventually upgrade.

Thanks again guys.
March 6, 2007 4:41:31 PM

Yea, I know RAM would probably help and it wouldn't require a new PSU. I'm just thinking more and more that I should save that ~$100 and put it toward a new system when the time comes (hoping that means May). I'll likely wait for dx10 cards to come down in price. As you can see, I keep my stuff for a while, lol. I bought that 9700 Pro when they were around $330... so it's definitely been a while, I think the only thing upgraded from the original build was the CPU and maybe adding 512 RAM.

I might borrow some RAM from my brother and set the timings back up so I can run with his (cl 2 vs cl 3), that's the only reason I haven't tested it so far, the timings are different... and possibly the fsb. I'm pretty sure my cpu has a 333 though, so I don't even need the 400. Oh well, perhaps I'll get a chance to test that out tonight.
March 6, 2007 5:24:55 PM

I run WoW on a laptop with an ATI Radeon 1400. It runs just fine for me with most of the graphics turned up... and this particular video card just utilizes 4 pixel pipes... so based on my experiences, ANY card with 8 pixel pipes (6600GT, 7300 GT, etc) should do you just fine if WoW is your only priority. I was afraid the graphics were going to be upgraded considerably going to the expansion pack and that would limit my laptops ability to play it... but that wasn't the case (thank god). That's not to say that the next upgrade won't boost the graphics requirements... after all WoW dates back to 2004.
March 6, 2007 5:45:38 PM

Just to say I know a bunch of people that run WoW on Thinkpad R60's. The Thinkpad has a 1.83GHz CORE DUO (Not Core 2) and integrated graphics. (Whatever the mobile 945 chipset comes with. Also note that the CPU speed is clocked down to 1GHz when on battery mode, and they still play it.
March 6, 2007 6:13:17 PM

I'd heard of people playing WoW on the integrated Intel chipsets at the lower graphics settings. My Core Duo (not C2D) thankfully has the X1400, but the GMA950 that I opted against is generally considered enough to play WoW. However, the OP said he wants the graphics settings turned up and that pretty much tells me that he won't be happy with an integrated video solution.

Like you mentioned... there is a tremendous slowdown when unplugging the laptop from AC power. When I'd first installed the Burning Crusade upgrade I was ready to cry because it was running so poorly... but then I realized I was on battery power. Yes, I'm sure I can adjust these settings, but that would come at the expense of battery life.
March 6, 2007 7:01:51 PM

Sorry to burst your bubble but i was in the exact same situation before i upgraded about some 18 months ago... I had a barton 2500, 2x512 ram in dual channel and a 9700 pro card. Now that machine ran wow quite good i'll say, (as does yours) but i did have to sacrifice some detail to get it to run smoothly enough, and i was considering a graphics card upgrade to a x800 series but then along came a deal on some hardware that i couldn't pass up so i bought a Athlon64 3200 and a board and waited... Till the geforce 7800GT came out which i bought the day it came out and put it all together. Honestly the wait was worth it in hindsight. Tough it out... i know it will be tough but the payout will be much more worth it. You'll have to spend about 200 plus for a video card you might as well spend it for a pci-e card on a new system that will have a better upgrade path than the one your utilizing right now. And what will a graphics card buy you in terms of usability time on gaming another few months? A whole new system opens lots of new oportunity in the future to upgrade and afterwards you will come to the same conclusion that i did after i put my new hardware together. You'll be glad you did.
March 6, 2007 7:18:29 PM

Also forgot to mention... If you do build a new machine to play WoW then please get 2GB ram. The game will run wonderfully on 1GB but when i upped my configuration to 2GB i did notice that WoW used more ram when running, went from about ~450MB to ~600MB. Also there was a bit of a performance increase as well and it just 'seemed' much smoother running on the 2GB config as well. Ram has been going down in price over the last couple months and now it is not uncommon to find 2x1GB dual channel sets for less than 200 US.
March 6, 2007 7:42:03 PM

Yea, I know about the RAM. My new system would be something along the lines of:

E6300 (overclocking a little bit)
2x1gb ddr 800
mid-range dx10

The other parts are pretty much up in the air. I haven't decided if I'm going to re-use parts, like my sata drives, which aren't sataII, but still nice. I would obviously be getting a new mobo, decent-good OC'er and PSU that's up to the challenge.
!