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Is the AGP versions worth the money?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 23, 2007 3:49:10 PM

Hi,

I'm currently considering buying a new graphic card but I'm not sure if I'll be able to reach the the performance I want.

I'm thinking of buying a 7600GS or GT but I don't know if the AGP versions are different from the PCI-E and if my CPU won't bottleneck my system.

My system is:
Abit AI7 (chipset 865)
P4 2.8
ATI 9800 PRO
2GB Kingston DDR 400

I would really appreciate any advice. (whether I should buy, save some money and buy a new computer...).
I want to be able to play games like Supreme Commander and Mark of Chaos at a reasonable quality.

Thanks
Uri
March 23, 2007 3:55:33 PM

I'm going to buy a new AGP card soon too, to keep live in ye old machine so i've done some research.

From what i know, the geforce cards aren't your best choices here.
The Sapphire x1950 512Mb RAM card is the one i'm going for, as i heard thats what will give me the best bang.

I read a rumor that an AGP flavor of the 1950XT chip will hit the market, but as far as i know, no news of that.

Refer to this for a comparison of nVidia and Radeon chips.
http://www.pollardbanknote.com/_demos/heiarchy.gif

Hope this helps!
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2007 4:05:24 PM

Quote:
Hi,
I'm thinking of buying a 7600GS or GT but I don't know if the AGP versions are different from the PCI-E and if my CPU won't bottleneck my system.


IMO the GF7600GS will not offer you enough advantage to bother.

Get either a GF7600GT or X1650XT at least.

Now the question is the prices as to whether they are worth it.

Tough call with a system like that, the P4 2.8 even if HT, is pretty weak.

I thought Supreme Comander and Mark of Chaos was very CPU intensive.

It might make more sense to upgrade your CPU and MoBo to something that handles both AGP/PCIe and a new Processor. Like the ASrock SATA2 board. While I'd prefere a C2D upgrade for you, that means new memory, and I'm trying to thing same price range as an AGP GF7600GT/X1650.

If you were playing FPS or other graphically intensive games, then I'd say go with the new graphics card, but at this point for you I'd say new CPU, then new Graphics.
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March 23, 2007 4:15:49 PM

Quote:

It might make more sense to upgrade your CPU and MoBo to something that handles both AGP/PCIe and a new Processor. Like the ASrock SATA2 board. While I'd prefere a C2D upgrade for you, that means new memory, and I'm trying to thing same price range as an AGP GF7600GT/X1650.


Yeah yeah, heard it all before :D 
Being a student (a very poor one too), i will just be going for the AGP upgrade for now, as my father has hinted he'll buy me a new computer if i (ever) graduate :)  .

If Uri's situation is anything like mine, maybe he would prefer the simple AGP upgrade too :)  .
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2007 4:47:05 PM

I know, I'm just saying for the games he plays, the R9800 is likely fine, but the CPU is holding him back. And then you get the CPU benefit of dual coe AM64 X2 in day to day use.

Just another approach, because I doubt even putting an X1950P on his P4-2.8 is going to do much for the games he mentioned. Had he mentioned games like F.E.A.R., Rainbow6 LV, Oblivion or future games like Crysis or UT3, then maybe graphics would be a bigger focus, but for those 2 RTS, aren't they primarily CPU bound? IIRC I remember seeing Supreme commander where a simple X1600 on a relatively low end C2D beat the GF8800 on an X2 series. That seems to me that a GF7600GT (or even X1950P) won't offer much on that CPU he has compared to the R9800 on a more game-worthy CPU.
Sure some features will scale with the graphics card but it seems nowhere near the effect of the CPUs.
March 23, 2007 4:58:17 PM

Supreme Commander will run so much better if you invest in a dual core processor over a new graphics card. When I'm playing it one core is maxed out and the other is near 80%. My simulation score on GPG's built-in performance test more than doubled going from my old Athlon XP 2500+ to my current C2D at its stock speed of 1.8GHz.
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2007 5:06:42 PM

Yeah, that's what I thought. I don't play the game but alot of people here do, and I'd seen a few benchies, and that's what I remmebred in passing.

I'm glad you can confirm this. I think your XP2500+ is likely a close competitor to his P4-2.8 (especially if it's not HT and not 800mhz), so I'd say keep the R9800, go to a new proc.

Didn't know there was a C2D that supported everything, but ASRock does it again with this board seems to be the perfect option IMO;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

C2D, Quad Core, DDR, DDR2, and PCIe plus AGP.

I'd do some more research before buying, but that could give him everything for a good upgrade path for quite some time.
March 23, 2007 5:27:49 PM

What about my P4 3.0 ghz with HT?

Is my situation as "bad" as Uris? I mostly play World of Warcraft (I'll be running that on highest graphics for sure), but i might look to other games (FPS, and RTS).

Edit: When i say FPS and RTS, i mean GPU and CPU intense games respectively.
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2007 6:17:20 PM

Well it depends on the games specifically.

The old P4s are really slow compared to the new C2Ds and X2s/AM2s.

Of course it also depends on the game, some are CPU intensive, some are GPU intensive. And also the resolution you need to or like to play at.

WOW is pretty much in the same boat as the other two games, sure graphics can influence it but it's like 30% graphics influence, 70% CPU.

HT isn't quite like dual core since it's rare that you'll get any boost from HT because usually it's a question of greater than 50% useage for great than 50% useage wihich means HT doesn't come into play compared to true dual core.

A P4 3ghz is good enough for alot of FPSs that really stress the graphics more than the system, and there it favours the graphics as to what gives you the biggest improvement.

The best thing to do is look at the benchmarks for the games you're looking at. Some games still require heavy CPUs to get the last bit out of the top settings, but for the mid level what you're looking at is what offers the most improvement.
March 24, 2007 2:16:20 AM

Thanks everybody.

Well... the two games was just an example that I chose because I've installed them yesterday... but you realy got me thinking about a new PC... (even thought I'm a student as well...)

Thanks again
Uri
March 26, 2007 7:17:11 PM

uri, dont listen to these guys telling you to buy new stuff. How can anyone tell you to start all over when you did not mentioned your intended resolution for thses games.

I am waiting for an AGP DX10 card to put in my P4 2.4. I am going to overclock the hell out of it since my P4 is known for being the most overclockable CPU ever.

I will then build a new PC with a PCIe DX10 card and will thus have a PC with lower rez maybe 1280X720 resolution capability and, another PC that has 2500 resolution capabilities.
March 27, 2007 10:01:41 AM

Hate to break it to you but Supreme Commander runs better at any resolution with a dual core processor over a single core processor. Supreme Commander is using a full 100% of one of my cores and about 80% of the other, granted the second core is also running my mundane Windows tasks which amount to >2% load. :roll:

Also, you might want to stop being such a tightwad and get a decent motherboard with a PCIe slot. The chances of you getting your DX10 capable card in an AGP format are basically nil.
March 27, 2007 2:31:20 PM

Arrowyx, do you work for Compusa, Intel, any other computer parts and/or periphrals manufactuer ?
March 27, 2007 2:34:11 PM

Are you a reseller of any kind or do you, any cousins, parents, close friends, business partners, significant others, school freinds, college buddies, etc., etc., etc., have any financial association with any of the above categories of businesses.

Please contact all associates, familiy members, friends and all others above to verify.

Get back to use asap.
March 27, 2007 2:36:19 PM

I'm not cheap. Why should I throw away a good CPU, Mobo, etc.

I'll have two PC's. One will be able you run your Supreme Commander at 1280X720 and the other new one will do much better.
March 27, 2007 7:40:31 PM

uri, I would wait and keep the PC as it, the 9800 is a good card still for your system
March 27, 2007 8:27:39 PM

Lets be realistic about this and your old processors. I am in the same boat with a P4 2.6. The fact is, with this type of processor, its the 7600GT or nothing. Any better video card will bottleneck because of the processor, such as the X1950PRO. Check out this article from a little while ago.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/02/01/agp-platform-ana...

Dont forget, with this old of a processor, you probably have an old PSU too! Make sure your PSU is good enough to handle the new AGP card.
March 27, 2007 8:58:52 PM

There is a review over at hardocp that benchmarks / compares single/dual/quad core performance in Supreme Commander with the 8800gtx.

Quote:
"SupCom & Intel Core 2 Quad Gameplay Advantages" @ enthusiast.hardocp.com"]Supreme Commander is one of the first games to feature out-of-the-box multi-core processor support. Will a quad-core CPU really show better gameplay? Real world gameplay results plus Vista versus XP performance findings with SupCom.
[/url]
It was inevitable that software will eventually catch up with hardware technology. Well except 64-bit - that is still largely broken but getting better as well.
March 27, 2007 9:56:29 PM

Seriously, $350 would get you an Athlon x2 3600+, a Biostar Tforce550 motherboard (used to be a combo on Newegg but they changed it to a DFI and an ECS motherboard), 1GB of DDR2-800 RAM, and a Geforce 7600GT. Throw in $10-15 for shipping and add sales tax if you live in CA, TN, or NJ and you have a respectable upgrade on the cheap. I don't see how hard it is to save a meager $350, something that I as a college student paying my way managed.

Also, don't triple post there is an Edit button for a reason. :roll:
March 27, 2007 10:53:55 PM

Overclock that 2500+ I got mine to 200fsb and was equal to a 3200+. Not all college students have that kind of money. I remember having $20.00 that needed to last me all week for food. I shopped at the local grocery store and only purchased what I needed. It was amazing how much food I was able to get for $20.00 when I knew it had to last me all week.

Im not sure if it would be worth it to get an agp card for that system. Might want to hold out a while longer and save your pennies. Tighten that belt. :wink:
March 27, 2007 11:23:46 PM

Yeah well the stock AMD heatsink at the time wasn't great for overclocking, unless you wanted to melt your processor into the socket! 8O In any case I had needed to build a new computer for a while and Supreme Commander gave me the excuse I needed to justify it to myself. :) 
a b U Graphics card
March 27, 2007 11:26:07 PM

Gaming at less than the recommended system requirements sux IMO. In this case minimum cpu is a 1.8GHz, but recommended is a 3.0GHz. Below this expect to dumb things down.
March 28, 2007 12:20:20 AM

Quote:
What about my P4 3.0 ghz with HT?

Is my situation as "bad" as Uris? I mostly play World of Warcraft (I'll be running that on highest graphics for sure), but i might look to other games (FPS, and RTS).

Edit: When i say FPS and RTS, i mean GPU and CPU intense games respectively.


World is Warcraft is a pussycat for hardware to tame. It is a efficient game that does not need a crazy computer to run well. A P4 3.0Ghz and decent videocard will play it no problem with max setting and resolution. (Decent card meaning: 7600GT or x1650XT and above.)
a b U Graphics card
March 28, 2007 4:48:00 AM

Quote:
I'm not cheap. Why should I throw away a good CPU, Mobo, etc.


Because the weak points are those parts, not the graphics.

Whether you get it or not, the best option is to get a better system in this case regardless of resolution (BTW the lower the more the CPU is a factor, and the larger the resolution the less the GF7600 differs from the R9800 so your argument is pointless). And the benefits spill into non-gaming side as well, unlike the graphics upgrade that has no spill over benefits.

We're not trying to get him to spend more more, but if he feels he needs better performance, he should spend it wisely, and not throw it away.

And your st00pid statements accusing Arrowyx of ulterior motives make you look like a NUT. You're saying the OP should buy a graphics card that will provide very little performance boost, instead of a better cpu+Mobo at the same price that will offer far greater performance boost in the game and in other areas. The only person here showing a blind allegiance is you to your crap PC. And how would your recommendation not fit the exact same ulterior motive from a graphics card mfr perspective?
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