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X1950pro APG and an AMD 3200+

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
April 17, 2007 2:57:49 PM

Hi

Im gonna probably buy a X1950 AGP 512MB graphics card for my system whic at the moment is

3200+ AMD64 Socket 754
1.5GB Ram 3200
x800Pro
Abit Kv8Pro

I was wondering is there large proformance increase between the 256MB x1950Pro or 512MB and would i get any bottlenecks putting such a card in the system. Or should wait 8 months until a total upgrade. Any advice would be appreciated.

More about : x1950pro apg amd 3200

April 17, 2007 3:04:39 PM

performance increase between the two are minimal. The 512 mb version will however handle higher resolutions just slightly better, but not worth it if the price is a fair bit higher.

and your cpu will bottleneck the card to a fair extent but it will easily outperform your current set up by miles :wink:

now wether you want to wait or not is up to u to choose. The card does great for what its worth, the question is do you really need a better card just now, or could you wait till you get yourself a complete system change and possibly go dx10 aswell.
April 17, 2007 3:16:20 PM

thanks for the advice,

my ultimate aim would be at the start of next year to do a complete overhaul of the system, get a quad or dual core processor with a Dx10 card such as the X2900.

The problem I suppose is I like many people i like to play a game at its best, and the X800 and 3200+ is starting to show quite a few limitations.
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April 17, 2007 3:56:08 PM

As long as your PSU can handle it, it'd be a good upgrade.
April 17, 2007 5:08:51 PM

Quote:
As long as your PSU can handle it, it'd be a good upgrade.


what he said :wink:

Since you need an upgrade to last you till next year, the x1950 will do you just fine.

But yeah, whats your PSU like???
April 17, 2007 5:49:08 PM

well I have had the idea of upgrading for a while, and cause of costs I have aleady got a PSU and case that should be capable of higher end systems next year.
I have the Thermaltake toughpower 750W modular PSU.

Im thinking about this x1950 its 256MB and £115 (£105 if i use google checkout)
http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/119300


The sapphire 512MB version is £127 after the goole discount.


There is also this OC x1950 card See here
April 18, 2007 9:05:33 AM

is the oc x1950pro worth the £20 than the standard X1950Pro considering this card is just a stop gap measure.
April 18, 2007 9:20:07 AM

Some games depend on CPU.

Example, STALKER, I use to have AMD 3500+ with X1950pro 256mb.

You can only set static lightning with high setting.

if u go beyond static lightning(lowest setting for lighting), the games will be unplayable. Not even with low setting on dynamic ligthing, I think.

After I upgrade to X2 5600, I can set to FULL DYNAMIC LIGHTING(Something like that, not sure haha) with high setting.

Games like Company of Hero, need a faster CPU too for highest setting for Loading. but if u plan to play on medium setting, don't bother to change your CPU.

My conclusion is most games(new games) are design to run better with X2 CPU with a good Graphic card. Older games like Half life 2 doesn't need X2 CPU to run better. for New games, if you plan to play on low-Medium setting, I don't think u need to change CPU too.

One thing I notice is the loading times is ridiculously SLOW(Especially new games) at HIGH SETTING for AMD althon 3500+. If u have X2 5600, the loading will cut in half or even more.

Hope this clear ur doubt.
April 18, 2007 9:23:40 AM

If u plan to upgrade ur CPU too. I suggest to get PCI-E graphic card as most motherboard use PCI-E for new Processor.

Plus, it is cheaper too. Use AGP only if u not planning to change motherboard, i guess.
April 18, 2007 9:31:12 AM

well like i said in my previous post I want to avoid a full upgrade at the moment as the new AMD processors are near and so are the R600's wo which ill probably wait till the end of the year to upgrade,

I really just need something that will keep me going until then with a price tag of around £150 although reading the apg single core article on TomsHardware I noticed that the X1950 seemed to do pretty well and still does considerably better than my X800Pro
April 18, 2007 9:36:22 AM

Performance between the 256 and 512 is negligable,however,many new games are using more video memory all the time,especially at higher resolutions.The 256 version is slightly faster,but the 512 version is more capable.

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.6 TOLEDO
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X EVGA 7950GT KO IN SLI
4X 512MB CRUCIAL BALLISTIX DDR500
WD300GIG HD/SAMSUNG 250GIG HD
ACER 22IN WIDESCREEN LCD 1600X1200
THERMALTAKE TOUGHPOWER 850WATT PSU
COOLERMASTER MINI R120
3DMARK05 13,471
April 18, 2007 4:05:26 PM

hmmm so that begs the question is an overclocked x1950 620MHz core/ 1.48Ghz mem with 256MB ram outproform the standard x1950pro 580mhz core/ 1.4Ghz mem with 512Mb Ram

cause it will be between the 512 sapphire and the 256 HIS x1950Pro
April 18, 2007 7:59:22 PM

Quote:
hmmm so that begs the question is an overclocked x1950 620MHz core/ 1.48Ghz mem with 256MB ram outproform the standard x1950pro 580mhz core/ 1.4Ghz mem with 512Mb Ram

cause it will be between the 512 sapphire and the 256 HIS x1950Pro

Depends on what resolution you plan on playing at. There won't be much, if any, of a difference at 1280x1024 and below, but above that you'll notice the larger amount of ram helping out, although it probably won't be much more noticeable.
April 18, 2007 9:02:38 PM

then its the HIS x1950Pro for me.

looking at your sig you have it as well. Is the the cooler quiet?
April 18, 2007 11:46:28 PM

Paul87 writes:
> Im gonna probably buy a X1950 AGP 512MB graphics card for my system whic at
> the moment is

That's what I bought, Sapphire version in my case. Very nice card. Get the 512MB
version, it'll handle higher resolutions & higher quality settings better, and you'll get
more out of it if you up the CPU in the future.

Oh, and even more importantly, if you get a Sapphire, replace the stock cooler with
an ACCELERO X2. For all the rave reviews of the Arctic solution, I was nonetheless
amazed at the huge decrease in GPU temperature. The card used to idle at 50C, shoot
over 75C under load. Now it idles at 35C or less, never goes over 55C under load,
even with Oblivion/Stalker. This should sound even more impressive when I say I've
overclocked it from 580/703 to 641/783; was not remotely expecting to be able to
push it that high once the new cooler was fitted. Has anyone seen oc'd numbers for
an X1950 AGP higher than that? Was I just lucky? I bought the same model for my
brother's system, same new cooler, but can't get his one to go over 627/735 reliably.

Overclocking tip: install Catalyst Control Center and ATI Tray Tools (ATT). Use Catalyst
to unlock the overclocking feature, then use Tray Tools with Driver Level overclocking
to speed up the card. Increase the clocks in steps of 6.75 _only_ (rounded up to 7
if the Apply button doesn't pick up the requested change). Test on each change,
focus more on the core clock than the RAM clock. Works great!


> 3200+ AMD64 Socket 754
> 1.5GB Ram 3200
> x800Pro
> Abit Kv8Pro

Very interesting, kinda similar to my brother's original system that I was upgrading
for him as a present (I bought him the X1950 for xmas :D ) His PC had an ASUS mbd
with AthlonXP 2GHz 2400+ which I overclocked to 2.24GHz (outperforms a 3200+
easily), but through a wierd quirk of parts trading (swapped the system's original
GF4 MX-440 for a complete base unit with a guy who wanted a simple gfx card
for use with Gentoo Linux :D ), I was able to replace the system with an Asrock mbd
and Athlon64 3400+ 2.4GHz which overclocked easily to 2.64GHz with a better
cooler.

Anyway, point is, my old system was a dual-XEON P4/2.66 2GB RAM, in theory
much more crunch power than the Athlon64, but in practice the XEON's older
& slower RAM (PC2100 ECC) holds it back, ie. RAM speed is important for games.
In tests, the oc'd 3400+ setup is 50% to 100% faster for running 3D games,
3DMark, Cinebench95, etc., with the same gfx card, mostly because it has PC3200
RAM (running at DDR440 with the overclock).

So, you have a system that can make good use of the X1950, if specced accordingly.
Are you running the CPU at default 2.2GHz speed? With better coolers, I was able to
o.c. the 2GHz 2400+ to 2.24GHz, and the 2.4GHz 3400+ to 2.64GHz. Thus, you
should be able to up your 2.2GHz 3200+ to around 2.45GHz reliably, which will also
make the RAM go faster - every bit helps! 8) Best part is, a better cooler doesn't
cost much, and the fan is quieter too (orig AMD cooler on the 3400+ sucked dead
bunnies through a bent straw). I bought a Thermaltake TR2-M3 SE for the AthlonXP
Socket-A, and a Thermaltake TR2-M6 SE(K8) for the Athlon64 Socket 754, with
of course Arctic Silver 5 (though I didn't have the Silver5 when I did the SocketA
cooler swap, so maybe I should redo it, see if I can get even higher o.c. numbers,
though it matters not as I'll likely sell the AthlonXP setup soon).

Also, I see your RAM is 1.5GB. Is that set up to enable dual-channel? If not, but
the feature is available, change the RAM to enable it, eg. 2 x 1GB or whatever is
appropriate. Note that the better speeds with my brother's system were done with
only a single DIMM! Am now awaiting delivery of a 2GB (2 x 1GB) OCZ kit which
should be another speed bost, and the final part of the upgrade for his system. After
seeing the results I was getting with the 3400+, I decided to replace my XEON
system, and so have just bought an Athlon64 X 6000+ which has only become
viable because of the recent huge price drops (the CPU cost 156, less than half
the cost of a Core 2 Duo E6700), along with an Asrock AM2NF3-VSTA nForce3
mbd, 4GB of OCZ Platinum DDR2-800 RAM, new Asus TA861 black case and
Atrix 700W PSU.

If you get the X1950 and later decide to replace the system & keep the gfx, feel free
to email me and I'll fill you in on the speedups obtained with the newer setup, ie.
compared to my brother's Athlon64 with the same card (for fair testing, I can make
both systems run at stock speeds). Heh, and my brother is a lucky git, because the
new mbd is an Asrock K8Upgrade-1689, which can be upgraded to take Socket 939
or AM2 CPUs if required, so if he needs more speed then he can upgrade all the
way up to the same 6000+, and double the max RAM aswell.

Oh!! And here's something I've not seen mentioned anywhere: during my mbd
hunting, while I was still pondering a Core 2 Duo (the E6600 price is more reasonable),
I could not find a _single_ LGA775 DDR2 AGP mbd that supportedthe DDR2 RAM
running at full 800 speed! Every one I looked at had its RAM crippled to no more than
667 or 533. Why?? Maybe there is a mbd out there that can run at 800, but I couldn't
find one, and since RAM speed is important, well, that was it, Core2Duo was out the
window. So, if you have a good AGP card and want a better DDR2 system to put it in,
an AMD setup makes far more sense as you get to run the RAM at max speed.


> I was wondering is there large proformance increase between the 256MB
> x1950Pro or 512MB and would i get any bottlenecks putting such a card in

Not at lower resolutions and/or with fewer visual quality features enabled, but
if you want to run a game at a decent res with AA, AF, etc. then having the
512MB version will definitely help. Would you like me to post some FPS
results for Oblivion for my brother's system once the new RAM arrives? Where
should I post the data? Note that I find the X1950 is able to have various
quality features turned on without affecting frame rates much at all, something
which numerous reviews have shown aswell.

Anyway, all I can say is, you should get good results with an X1950Pro AGP.
Oblivion is glorious, though I think Stalker looks even better.

What model is your mbd btw?


> the system. Or should wait 8 months until a total upgrade. Any advice would
> be appreciated.

Even with my XEON system I was getting very decent results for Oblivion
and Stalker, so I don't think there's any need to wait.

The only thing I would say though, and I'm sure others might agree, is that
there's now at least one company which offers the X1950Pro AGP already fitted
with the ACCELERO X2 cooler, so that might be a better option than the
Sapphire version, unless Sapphire has started to offer the same thing. And
that's another point: the Sapphire stock cooler is loud, whereas the ACCELERO X2
is so quite I can't hear anything at all even with the fan at 100% and card under
heavy load. 8)

Lastly, for reference, my dual-XEON (Dell Precision 650) with the X1950 gives
3DMark06 = 4605, and PCMark2005 = 5419. I should get much better numbers
with the 6000+ though. Can't run these with the Athlon64 until the new RAM
arrives, but I was able to run 3DMark2003: XEON/X1950 gives 14250,
3400+/X1950 gives 15521; at high-res/detail this changes to 7984 and 8904
respectively. The CPU scores in each case were 50% higher on the Athlon. For
3DMark2001, XEON/X1950 = 14250, 3400+/X1950 = 24282. For PCMark2002,
dual-XEON = 6511, 3400+ = 8536 (see what I mean?)

Cheers! :) 

Ian.
April 18, 2007 11:55:09 PM

Quote:
If u plan to upgrade ur CPU too. I suggest to get PCI-E graphic card as most motherboard use PCI-E for new Processor.

Plus, it is cheaper too. Use AGP only if u not planning to change motherboard, i guess.


Geez thanks man, Lucky we have well's of wisdom like you around to save our asses.
April 19, 2007 12:42:59 AM

Quote:
Are you running the CPU at default 2.2GHz speed?

The speed at the moment is more or less stock at 2244Mhz but has the Artic Cooler 64 Pro with the AC Mx-1 paste and idles pretty low about 27-32degrees C and at load at about 39 Degrees C.


Quote:
Also, I see your RAM is 1.5GB. Is that set up to enable dual-channel?

The 3200+ I use is unfortunately a socket 754 so can only go to single channel for the RAM.

Quote:
What model is your mbd btw?

The motherboard is this one

Quote:
The only thing I would say though, and I'm sure others might agree, is that
there's now at least one company which offers the X1950Pro AGP already fitted
with the ACCELERO X2 cooler


I think I may have found it. It’s the
The PowerColor x1950 Pro

Overall my thought in waiting for 8months is due to the new technology coming out this year such as the r600, the new amd and Intel processors. I realise if I keep waiting for the next best thing Ill never upgrade it’s just that I can start to see my system strain which a new graphics card could temporarily solve until I really need to upgrade everything.
April 19, 2007 2:11:49 AM

Paul87 wrote:
> The speed at the moment is more or less stock at 2244Mhz but has the Artic Cooler 64
> Pro with the AC Mx-1 paste and idles pretty low about 27-32degrees C and at load at
> about 39 Degrees C.

Excellent! In that case you should be able to whack it up to at least 2.4, probably 2.45
or more.


> The 3200+ I use is unfortunately a socket 754 so can only go to single channel for the RAM.

I got my specs muddled before - my brother's new mbd doesn't support dual-channel:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=K8Upgrade-1...

but the upgrade boards for it do:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/spec/939CPU%20Board.asp
http://www.asrock.com/mb/spec/AM2CPU%20Board.asp

The AM2 one is obviously better as it permits the use of Athlon64 X2 modules.


> The motherboard is this one

Hmm, I guess you're in that classic position of knowing that a mbd change would
also bring improvements, but that adds more complications, cost, effort, etc. Yet
even with your existing CPU/mbd, an X1950 would still give good results. To give
you some idea, my brother's system gets between 25 and 50fps for Oblivion at
1024x768 with medium quality settings, 4X AA, 8X AF, higher for internal areas.
Good example: standing on the rock by the shore behind the Wawnet Inn, facing the
Inn: 45fps; facing the city: 80 fps; facing the hills: 50fps; facing the end of the
pier: 26fps.


> I think I may have found it. It’s the The PowerColor x1950 Pro

That's the one! A pity Sapphire didn't offer the same thing, I'd have gone for it. However,
the cooler doesn't cost much and installation was easy.


> Overall my thought in waiting for 8months is due to the new technology coming out
> this year such as the r600, the new amd and Intel processors. I realise if I keep waiting

Thing is though, few games really exploit the most out of the features that the next gen
cards will offer, or even the current cards for that matter. Given the time it takes to
develop a game, the newer cards will really only offer speed improvements until
developers can learn the new features and DX10. The X1950 AGP is available now, it's
low cost, and runs what everyone says are the current two most 3D intensive games
pretty well (Oblivion/Stalker).


> ... it’s just that I can start to see my system strain which a new graphics card could
> temporarily solve until I really need to upgrade everything.

I think if you overclock your CPU, then with an X1950 you'll have a very decent setup
for quite some time. If I can be of any help supplying benchmark info, feel free to let me
know. I could run tests on my brother's system with the CPU set to match your setup,
see what it does for Oblivion/Stalker via FRAPS, and the various 3DMark tests, etc. I
would be surprised if you couldn't get at least 2.45GHz with the cooler you have.
Running at the stock 2.4GHz, my brother's PC gets 9206 for 3DMark2005 (8984
without o.c. the gfx).

Oh, one important thing though, make sure your system has a decent PSU, ie. 30A
on the 12V rail. I bought a COLORSit Golden Silent 550W for 22 UKP ($44), partly
because it has _six_ molex connectors (ideal since the X1950 needs two for
power) and it also came with 2 free molex splitters, leaving plenty of connectors for
other devices. I see peope posting about uber gaming PSUs, but such expense
is completely unnecessary.

Cheers! :) 

Ian.
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2007 2:51:40 AM

8O
April 19, 2007 12:28:32 PM

Quote:
8O


i agree...

long and very detailed....always helps :lol: 
April 19, 2007 1:19:28 PM

Good upgrade, very happy with mine. Not a big diff between the 256mb and 512mb versions. If budget is a concern and you don't game above 1280x1024 then the 256mb is probably fine. I got the 512mb because it was the first in stock I saw in AGP. I had to go with aftermarket cooling for the Sapphire card but otherwise it runs well and beats the snot out of my old 6800GT :)  Enjoy!!
April 19, 2007 2:20:24 PM

blade85 wrote:
> long and very detailed....always helps :lol: 

:D 

Full details/report here (written before I'd decided to get a new system).

Oh yeah, forgot to mention, HyperThreading sucks for systems with more than one CPU.
If turned on, it slows down games by about 4%, but some tasks suffer as much as 40%
with HT on. It's only generally beneficial if a system has just 1 CPU. Otherwise, Windows
seems to be too dumb to work out how best to allocate threads.

Ian.

PS. 6000+ just arrived. 8)
April 19, 2007 7:13:13 PM

I dont really want to buy alot of equipment at the moment as at the moment I cant really afford doing a motherboard CPU upgraded, one of the reasons for the 8 month timeline


Quote:
Excellent! In that case you should be able to whack it up to at least 2.4, probably 2.45
or more.


what would be good clock and voltage setting for 2.4Mhz, Its around 220Mhz just the voltage needs sorting.


Quote:
Oh, one important thing though, make sure your system has a decent PSU, ie. 30A
on the 12V rail. I bought a COLORSit Golden Silent 550W for 22 UKP


I have the thermaltake toughpower 750W PSU should be more than a x1950 will ever need.

I think the graphics card I will but when i get my cash in a week will be HIS X1950 Pro

It has a better clock and mem speeds as stock than the sapphire, which will save me modding the card.
April 19, 2007 7:16:31 PM

Quote:
then its the HIS x1950Pro for me.

looking at your sig you have it as well. Is the the cooler quiet?

I don't notice the cooler, but that's because I have 3 80mm fans on my case that are pretty loud.
April 19, 2007 7:29:32 PM

I was in your position a little while ago, I had the same setup and upgraded my motherboard to a used gigabyte 939, for $35, a amdX2 3800 for $100 and an AGP HIS x1950 PRO for $219. All works well and I'm using 2GB of Corsair XMS DDR400.
April 19, 2007 8:32:31 PM

Forget the X1950Pro im gonna get this card.

This has to be one of the most powerful AGP, I think it can clock higher than the X1950XTX
April 19, 2007 8:34:46 PM

I'm not positive, but won't you be held back by your CPU anyways, so you won't see much of an improvement over an X1950Pro?
April 19, 2007 8:51:01 PM

might bottleneck it, i suppose it would be close and might only bottleneck in high resolutions.

If only I could get my hands on a 3400+ or 3700+ processor for skt 754
April 19, 2007 8:58:11 PM

Quote:
Forget the X1950Pro im gonna get this card.

This has to be one of the most powerful AGP, I think it can clock higher than the X1950XTX


Hehe, I note that page says, "93 Overdue". ;) 

Certainly looks good though! Pity it doesn't have 512MB however.

Ian.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2007 1:20:36 AM

For the sapphire card with the reference cooler, does the fan speed remain constant or is it controlled based on heat? My powercolor card uses the same cooler but its fan speed is constant. My guess is that if the fan is throttled on the sapphire card, then my card is just screwed up. I cant even monitor temps on my card.
April 20, 2007 1:55:14 AM

randomizer writes:
> For the sapphire card with the reference cooler, does the fan speed remain constant or is
> it controlled based on heat? ...

It varies and is based on GPU temperature I think. Very loud though when the temp
goes up, which it does if one so much as thinks about running anything with the
stock cooler fitted. :}


> My powercolor card uses the same cooler but its fan speed is constant. My guess is that
> if the fan is throttled on the sapphire card, then my card is just screwed up. I cant even
> monitor temps on my card.

I think I read somewhere that a couple of brands didn't implement the temp monitoring.

Either way, replace it with an ACCELERO X2; rare indeed is it that I buy something that
surpasses the praise heaped upon it in reviews. It's worth it just for the noise reduction,
but the better cooling is amazing. My Sapphire was idling at 50, hitting 70+ under load.
With the ACCELERO X2, it idles at 35 or less, doesn't go over 53 under load, and that's
with the card 10% overclocked to 641/783. Wrt noise, I can't hear it at all now, even
with the fan at 100%.

Note that for those in the UK, the newer supplies of the cooler now already include
the thermal heat spreader module for the voltage regulator ICs - I had to buy these
separately, but they were very cheap nonetheless, just $1 each + shipping direct from
Arctic ($8 total, about 4 UKP), and the delivery from Hong Kong was surprisingly
quick, only about a week. For reference, I bought the coolers from Blackcatpc for
13.57 UKP each (approx. $27 each), getting a discount price for getting 2 units
in order to beat a competitor (Aria).


Here's a good installation guide which saved me a lot of worry when executing the
cooler replacement:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ArcticCooling/Accele...

and a guide specifically for the Sapphire version which was also very useful:

http://www.ricklafay.com/sapphire_x1950_pro_agp_card.ht...

Some people suggest replacing the preapplied thermal grease with AS5, but that's
not remotely necessary.

Ian.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2007 2:01:07 AM

Thanks, I am thinking of getting the X2. My fan runs at 100% all the time and it gets really annoying. As for the temp monitoring, even with a BIOS flash from another powercolor x1950 pro it still doesnt work. Others have the same card and they can monitor temps. Maybe I should try flashing with the sapphire BIOS... but setting the correct voltage, timings and clocks of course.
April 20, 2007 2:14:23 AM

Quote:
Thanks, I am thinking of getting the X2. My fan runs at 100% all the time and it gets really annoying. As for the temp monitoring, even with a BIOS flash from another powercolor x1950 pro it still doesnt work. Others have the same card and they can monitor temps. Maybe I should try flashing with the sapphire BIOS... but setting the correct voltage, timings and clocks of course.


If you fit the better cooler, I reckon the temperatures won't actually matter that
much anymore. :D  ie. overclocking the card would reach the limit of what the
GPU/RAM can handle in a general way long before heat becomes a problem.

After I fitted the cooler and sorted out the o.c., I was using ATT/OSD to monitor the
GPU temp and fps rates, but the temp just never went that high anymore, so I turned
off the temp monitor. It was great not to have to worry about the gfx being too hot.

Ian.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2007 2:35:23 AM

Problem is that unless I get artifacts or the card permanently burns out, I wont know if I fitted the cooler properly. Btw did you have any issues mounting the heatspreader? The guy who wrote that article (took ages to get through it) had issues mounting it and had to cut it a bit.
April 20, 2007 8:02:03 AM

randomizer writes:
> Problem is that unless I get artifacts or the card permanently burns out, I wont know if I
> fitted the cooler properly. ...

Hmm, good point. Is the card still under warranty? Maybe it would be better to get it
replaced and then fit the better cooler on the replacement card?


> ... Btw did you have any issues mounting the heatspreader? The guy who wrote that
> article (took ages to get through it) had issues mounting it and had to cut it a bit.

Yes, I had to cut a corner of the heat spreader too, and was expecting to have to do
so having read the reviews, but it was pretty easy to do; the metal was quite soft,
cut no problem with a normal hack saw blade. Note that this applies just to the
Sapphire model I think, as it uses 2 molex power connectors. Other models don't
need to have the VR heat spreader modified in this way.

Ian.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2007 8:17:13 AM

I have flashed the BIOS a few times so that technically voids the warranty, but I flashed it back to stock today because I had no luck getting the temp sensor detected. My guess is that there is no actual connection to the sensor at a hardware level, as opposed to BIOS. I dont know how I am going to be able to send it back if it isnt faulty tho.
April 20, 2007 8:54:49 AM

Quote:
I have flashed the BIOS a few times so that technically voids the warranty, but I flashed it back to stock today because I had no luck getting the temp sensor detected. My guess is that there is no actual connection to the sensor at a hardware level, as opposed to BIOS. I dont know how I am going to be able to send it back if it isnt faulty tho.


Hmm, if that's the case, and given what I said earlier about the low load temperatures
once the better cooler is fitted, I'd say just go ahead and fit the new cooler anyway.
Once done, the temps are never again going to go high enough to be a worry, so much
so that I don't bother monitoring the temp anymore - it never goes over 53, or 55
if the ambient room temp is higher (and this is after testing with everything - Oblivion,
Stalker, 3DMarks 01, 03, 05 and 06, Cinebench, etc.) I even ran Oblivion with every
setting set to max at 1600x1200 just for the hell of it, but the gfx temp still stayed at
53. I expect it varies from card to card, but you're definitely not going to see the temp
go over 55 to 60, which is much less than the stock cooler (about 10 to 15C less).

Cheers! :) 

Ian.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2007 8:59:43 AM

And my pc will not sound like a jet engine anymore! Think of the sapphire stock cooler running at a constant 100% and thats my cards noise level. Thanks.
April 20, 2007 10:07:40 AM

Quote:
And my pc will not sound like a jet engine anymore! Think of the sapphire stock cooler running at a constant 100% and thats my cards noise level. Thanks.


Beats me why Sapphire didn't offer the card with the ACCELERO X2 fitted in the first
place, or at least an option of the same card with it fitted for a suitable amount extra.
Once fitted, the end result is oodles better in all respects than the card in its default state.

There is just one thing to be wary of: the cooler's fan sticks out quite a ways, so the
case really needs to be 20cm wide to have enough room. It might fit with 19, but
definitely not with a case only 18cm wide.

Ian.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2007 10:12:46 AM

Mines a 20cm wide case, I should be good.
April 26, 2007 8:04:16 PM

Ive got 3 options for a small upgrade

1. Get a X1950XT AGP with my current system and hope it doesnt bottle neck witha 3200+
£140

2.
MSI K8N Neo4-F SKT939 nForce4 chipset Dual DDR400 PCI-E ATX 98137 £32.96
AMD 3700+ 939 £23
1 x Sapphire X1950Pro 256MB 256bit GDDR3 Dual DVI TVO HDCP PCI-E £100

Total Cost £155

3.
MSI K8N Neo4-F SKT939 nForce4 chipset Dual DDR400 PCI-E ATX 98137 £32.96
AMD 3700+ 939 £23
Sapphire ATI X1950XT 256MB GDDR3 VIVO dual DVI PCI-E
£137

£192

They all seem tempting but i dont want to spend alot cuase of the intended upgrade early nect year. But then the last 2 option hasa PCI-E card which when I do upgrade fully I wont be in such a need for another one. :S
April 26, 2007 9:35:49 PM

Paul87 writes:
> 1. Get a X1950XT AGP with my current system and hope it doesnt bottle neck
> witha 3200+ £140

The 2GB RAM for my brother's DDR400 system is being delivered tomorrow
morning. Thus, if you can hold off for a couple of days, I'll setup his older system
with the new RAM and my oc'd X1950Pro AGP, see what results I get. That should at
least give you a baseline as to what to expect from the XT (and am I right in thinking
the X1950XT is faster?) The tests would be with a 2400+ oc'd to 2.24GHz, at which
it outperforms the stock review results for the 3200+, so a reasonable comparison
for a minimum. Presumablly you could o.c. your 3200+ to around 2.4 or so.


> 2. MSI K8N Neo4-F SKT939 nForce4 chipset Dual DDR400 PCI-E ATX 98137 £32.96
> AMD 3700+ 939 £23
> 1 x Sapphire X1950Pro 256MB 256bit GDDR3 Dual DVI TVO HDCP PCI-E £100
>
> Total Cost £155

Given that CPU speed is important for feeding a mid-range card like this, especially
if it's only single-core, wouldn't it make sense to get the 2.4GHz 3800+ instead? It's
only an extra fiver, ie. sacrifice 2 beers. :)  That means you could overclock it to about
2.65, as opposed to oc'ing the 3700+/2.2 to maybe 2.45.

Not sure about the precise differences between the latter two X1950s you mention.
Best to trawl the review sites for info on those. One thing though - a review I
read yesterday was saying that atm in some cases the standard PCIe version of
some X1950 cards costs the same or barely any less than the Crossfire version. So if
the cost is indeed about the same, wouldn't it make sense to get the Crossfire
version? Or would a corresponding Crossfire-capable mbd be too much and thus
not worth it? Dunno, didn't check out any Crossfire boards since I already had a
standard AGP X1950Pro.


> They all seem tempting but i dont want to spend alot cuase of the intended upgrade
> early nect year. But then the last 2 option hasa PCI-E card which when I do upgrade
> fully I wont be in such a need for another one. :S

True enough, though whichever card you get, I think it would be wise to get the faster
3800+ instead. Like I say, it's just a coupla beers... :) 

But anyway, if you can wait until next week, I should be able to run some tests with
a very representative system, and also run the same tests in the later S754 setup with
a 3400+, at both stock 2.4GHz and o.c. 2.64GHz.

Ian.
April 26, 2007 10:05:13 PM

ill need to wait till next week anyway when I get paid but the differences between the option 2 and 3 are the card model the XT is more powerful than Pro

This is the XT Here

Compared to a Pro Here

I cant really find the 3800+ although I would like an X2 I cant find any inexpensive ones for a 939 socket to to make do with.
April 26, 2007 11:54:17 PM

Paul87 writes:
> and 3 are the card model the XT is more powerful than Pro

Ah, ok.


> I cant really find the 3800+ ...

Scan has the 3800+ for 28.19 (VAT included) on pre-order, but it's OEM so a heat sink
& fan would be separate (sorry, didn't spot that before). Here's the ref anyway:

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

and just an example mbd:

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(14250)Asus-A8VVM-AMD-Skt939-VIA-K8M890-PCIE-x16.aspx

Hmm, snooping around, it does kinda look like most stores are not bothering to stock
much 939 stuff anymore. However, I didn't check many sites (just Scan and Microdirect)
so perhaps there's better, and places which do have them in stock.

Perhaps it's just the case that, for what your budget is, you're expecting to be able to
get just a bit too much? Mind you, I checked eBay and it wasn't much better.


> although I would like an X2 I cant find any inexpensive ones for a 939 socket to
> to make do with.

Yeah, the AM2s, even the single cores, are a fair bit more costly.

I did check Intel, but the only vaguely sensible CPU seemed to be a dual-P4/2.8,
but that was about 45. Ironically, the 1st mbd that came up was AGP...

Ian.
April 27, 2007 12:08:51 AM

thanks for the find. The heatsink i have is amd universal so thats cool. Ive emailed them to know when there getting stock for it if they actually are bothering to.

I had a look at a few site the x2 939's are about £80 where the am2 equivalent is just £40 I would get am2 but dam RAM is differen t :x ahh nvm :D 
April 27, 2007 12:20:34 AM

Paul87 writes:
> thanks for the find. ...

Anytime! If my net connection wasn't so shafted atm I'd search some more. Downstream's
been hosed since Sunday. Ruddy Virgin Media... (7KB/sec atm. Whoopdedoo). 35/month
for 10Mbit and I get slower than a modem. 8\

Sorry, I'll stop ranting now... :) 


> ... The heatsink i have is amd universal so thats cool. ...

Very handy!!


> ... Ive emailed them to know when there getting stock for it if they actually are
> bothering to.

Probably best to phone. In my hunting for parts in recent weeks, I never had much
luck with email responses from companies.


> I had a look at a few site the x2 939's are about £80 where the am2 equivalent
> is just £40 I would get am2 but dam RAM is differen t :x ahh nvm :D 

Looks like they want S939 to go away, and yeah I think the whole point of AM2
is to support DDR2 plus a couple of other things.

Ian.

PS. Wanna know something funny? The mbd you originally quoted in options 2 & 3
is the same one I ended up finding. :D 
May 5, 2007 1:29:46 AM

Back again! And I have news. 8-)

Paul87 writes:
> ill need to wait till next week anyway when I get paid but the differences between the
> option 2 and 3 are the card model the XT is more powerful than Pro

DId you buy your card in the end? How did it go?


On a different forum I've collated fps results for Oblivion running on the three different
systems I've mentioned in previous posts: my old dual-XEON P4/2.66GHz Dell-650 with
2GB PC2100 DDR266 (@266MHz), my brother's Athlon64 2.64GHz (oc'd 3400+) Asrock
K8Upgrade-1689 with 2GB DDR400/PC3200 (@440MHz), and my new Athlon64 X2 6000+
3.15GHz Asrock AM2NF3-VSTA with 4GB DDR2/800 PC6400 (@788). In every case,
the _same_ gfx card was used, namely my Sapphire X1950Pro AGP, oc'd to 641/783.
I thought you might be interested in the results, to put it mildly. ;)  Full details on the other
forum, but here's the main numbers and test descriptions for the benefit of all:

1. Dense forest location at night, focus on the centre of the ruins.

2. Bottom of the stairs in Merchants' Inn, focus on the inn keeper.

3. At wooden door to City Isle (inside), Market District, N.E.
corner, focus between the two vertical red flags on far building.

4. Talos Plaza, west city entrance, inside the plaza, focus on the
head of the dragon statue.

5. Behind (north east) of the Wawnet Inn, standing on the rock,
facing, a) the Inn, b) east to the city, c) north to the horizon
above the hill texture 'seam', and d) the end of the pier.

6. Signpost outside the city, facing S.E.

And here are the results:

MEDIUM DETAIL: 1024x768, 4X AA, no AF, Texture Preference = High
Quality, MipMap Detail = Performance, in-game settings at default
eg. Window Reflections OFF, Grass Shadows OFF, Tree Canopy Shadows
OFF, Water Detail normal, Water Reflections and Ripples OFF (all
results are fps, and remember this is with the same gfx card!):

[code:1:50e2408e7f]
| Dell650 Dual- | Athlon64 3400+ | Athlon64 X2 6000+
Test | XEON P4/2.66 | 2.64 (220/12) | 3.15 (210/15),
Num | DDR266, PC2100 | DDR400, PC3200 | DDR2/800 (394)
----------------------------------------------------------
1 | 36 | 48 | 48
2 | 25 | 39 | 63
3 | 18 | 26 | 40
4 | 21 | 34 | 49
5a | 28 | 45 | 71
5b | 50 | 80 | 125
5c | 61 | 91 | 149
5d | 36 | 54 | 89
6 | 26 | 53 | 67
[/code:1:50e2408e7f]

HIGH DETAIL: 1600x1200, 6X AA, 16X AF, Texture Preference = High
Quality, MipMap Detail = High Quality, Window Reflections ON, Grass
Shadows ON, Tree Canopy Shadows ON, Water Detail High, Water
Reflections and Ripples ON:

[code:1:50e2408e7f]
| Dell650 Dual- | Athlon64 3400+ | Athlon64 X2 6000+
Test | XEON P4/2.66 | 2.64 (220/12) | 3.15 (210/15),
Num | DDR266, PC2100 | DDR400, PC3200 | DDR2/800 (394)
----------------------------------------------------------
1 | 6 | 42 | 45
2 | 25 | 38 | 50
3 | 14 | 24 | 37
4 | 19 | 32 | 50
5a | 13 | 42 | 58
5b | 31 | 74 | 81
5c | 23 | 86 | 88
5d | 14 | 46 | 53
6 | 6 | 36 | 48
[/code:1:50e2408e7f]

Conclusions:

1. As I said early on, and on other forums, the Dell650 gave perfectly playable
results at a medium resolution and medium detail, but the 3400+ and 6000+ already
show what a major difference having better RAM makes. But what's really
amazing is what happens when the resolution is upped to something much higher
and the visual effects switched to high detail (6X AA, 16X AF, high quality
textures, etc.) : the 6000+ gives astonishingly good frame rates, but even more
interesting is just how well the 3400+ is doing, namely very well indeed. I was
certainly never expecting to be able to play Oblivion at 1600x1200 at high detail
levels! 8) The point is Paul, your system should give results not that unlike
the 3400+, ie. very good indeed overall. So, buy with confidence!

2. Look again at the HIgh Detail table above. The 6000+ results are anywhere
between 2X and 8X faster than the Dell650, using the same gfx card. But in
an earlier post I mentioned that the Dell's 3DMark06 score was not really all
that bad (4781) compared to the 6000+ (5571). Conclusion? The 3Dark06
scores are only any good for judging how well a system will run games with
a lowish resolution and medium/low realism settings. If one wishes to use
a higher res and better detail, then the real-world results are nothing like
the differences impled by the 3DMark06 results.

Overall, I'm gobsmacked at how well the 6000+ is running this game. From what
all the reviews said, I was fully expecting only to be able to play comfortably
with medium quality settings at 1280x1024 at best. In reality, the system flies!


Lastly, I took some screenshots to show the locations and viewpoints used for each test.
You can download them here (direct links):

http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/misc/obliviontes...
http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/misc/obliviontes...
http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/misc/obliviontes...
http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/misc/obliviontes...
http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/misc/obliviontes...
http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/misc/obliviontes...
http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/misc/obliviontes...
http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/misc/obliviontes...
http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/misc/obliviontes...

Cheers! :) 

Ian.