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buying a new AGP graphic card: need advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 27, 2007 12:26:35 AM

I owned an XFX Geforce 6800 GT and i was quite satisfied with it, but it started crashing about 2 months ago. So I sended it to the shop since it was in warranty, and they have just given me a ticked of the card value to buy whatever i want. So there starts my dilema, which graphic card should I pick? Here are my system specs:

Asus K8V SE Deluxe
AMD Athlon64 3400+ (real clock is 2.4 GHz)
2GB - DDR400 CL3
free AGP slot <--- Here goes my new graphics card
Creative Audigy 2
2 x 160 GB SATA hdds on RAID 0 (performance)
480W power supply (from Thermaltek)

Installed OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista x64, Ubuntu

So what should i go for? I was thinking on a 7600 GT since i saw it is a bit more powerful than my old 6800 GT. But i just saw that XFX has a 7950GT for AGP. So now i wonder: is it worth buying a 7950gt for this system, or i am just going to give away my money?

Another good question is: will the AGP version of the 7950GT work as good as the PCI-E one? I personally think it should be pretty close, but i'm not 100% sure. My belief is it could work almost as good with an old PCI tbh. Those cards should be able to handle it all alone without needing any help from the cpu or the main memory. Am i right on this?

Oh and btw, if you hadn't guessed it, I'm quite a hardcore gamer.

Thanks for your help in advance :wink:
June 27, 2007 3:49:33 AM

Quote:
Neither, get this: X1950pro
He can only buy from XFX, which only sells Geforce cards.
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a b U Graphics card
June 27, 2007 3:51:26 AM

The 6800gt and the 7600gt are about the same performance wise.

But if you can get (as mentioned) it go for the x1950.
if it is in your price range.


Quote:

will the AGP version of the 7950GT work as good as the PCI-E one?


Yes there is hardly any difference between agp and pci-e.
If using the same type of card.
a b U Graphics card
June 27, 2007 3:53:20 AM

Quote:
Neither, get this: X1950pro
He can only buy from XFX, which only sells Geforce cards.

Ah yes just noticed that myself.

He should go for the 76gt.
June 27, 2007 3:55:44 AM

get a geforce card... return it and then get a 1950
June 27, 2007 4:02:39 AM

Quote:
Neither, get this: X1950pro
He can only buy from XFX, which only sells Geforce cards.

Failed to notice that. Oops. Buy the 7600GT, get a refund and add 20-50 bucks and then buy the 1950pro.
a b U Graphics card
June 27, 2007 4:03:38 AM

Quote:
get a geforce card... return it and then get a 1950


Well getting a 76gt and returning it for a 1950pro is not worth the wait.
It is not that much better.
June 27, 2007 7:33:13 AM

Well i would definetly buy a tnt riva2 that is a very powerfull card. :p 



Just kidding gett the 7950 it's better then the x1950pro but im not shure your system will not bottleneck it.
June 27, 2007 8:30:03 AM

Quote:
get a geforce card... return it and then get a 1950


Well getting a 76gt and returning it for a 1950pro is not worth the wait.
It is not that much better.

excuse me, i think you mean the 7900gs... the 7600gt whimpers in comparison to the 1950pro

as seen here:

http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...

etc...

it is of course worth the bloody wait, lol
June 27, 2007 9:58:01 AM

Get the 7950gt as it is a very fine performer for just about any game.I have 2 of the pci-e version(one is away on RMA),and although I notice a difference with one card as opossed to 2,it still runs my 22in widescreen LCD with no problems on all games I own,even oblivion.My resolution is 1650X1080 amd 2 of these babies in SLI just rocks.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2 5600+ @ 2.8ghz(stock)
M2N32-SLI DELUXE MB
2 GIGS DDR2 800 RAM
THERMALTAKE 850WATT PSU
7950GT KO(WAITING FOR MY OTHER TO COME BACK FROM RMA)
ACER 22IN. LCD
SMILIDON RAIDMAX GAMING CASE
80GIG/250gig SATA2 HD's
XP MCE
June 27, 2007 10:18:47 AM

i second the above ^^
June 27, 2007 11:43:42 AM

If you have Ubuntu installed, Nvidia is your only choice anyway. The 7950 should perform equally well on AGP, there is hardly a difference between AGP and PCI-E at least for the previous generation of GPUs. The rest of your system might be bottlenecking your VGA though, depending on the games you play. If you were planning to upgrade your system (CPU, mobo etc), now is a good time to attend to it.
A cheap, highly overclockable core two duo costs around $115(E4300), your ram can be reused with an Asrock 4CoreDual-VSTA($65) and with the addition of a PCI-E video card you can make a very cost effective transition to the dual core world! You probably won't need to reinstall your OSs either...
Link to a review of the mobo
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2006/asrock/4coredual-vsta/g...
http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=4CoreDual-V...
Anandtech still favors the mobo as a budget solution
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2964&p=1

Also, again depending on the games you play, the 7900GS is a good and balanced choice for your current system.

Good luck :D 
June 27, 2007 11:56:57 AM

Firstly, let me clear one thing. I contacted my local shop for the warranty, and they were the ones to contact XFX. So, now i have 388€ to spend in anything they sell. That includes any graphics card (nvidia or ATI), or even parts of a new pc. So yes, i'm still considering a lot of things.

Let me check some prices and I'll get back to you if there's anything new.

Oh, and thanks for the many replies! :D 
June 27, 2007 12:13:57 PM

oh oh...in that case....x1950 pro :lol: 

maybe even an 1950xt if you want that.
June 27, 2007 12:21:26 PM

Quote:
Firstly, let me clear one thing. I contacted my local shop for the warranty, and they were the ones to contact XFX. So, now i have 388€ to spend in anything they sell. That includes any graphics card (nvidia or ATI), or even parts of a new pc. So yes, i'm still considering a lot of things.

Let me check some prices and I'll get back to you if there's anything new.

Oh, and thanks for the many replies! :D 


388 Euro can buy you way more than a video card! I would definitely look at upgrading the cpu-mobo along with a new vga card. Wow, XFX's policy is really great :D  But do not consider ATI for an Ubuntu system, it really has lots of problems...
June 27, 2007 12:39:50 PM

I'm not too worried about Ubuntu. I just use it for studies, and programming. As long as it can boot up and can run any graphical text editor it'll be fine.
June 27, 2007 1:01:14 PM

Quote:
I'm not too worried about Ubuntu. I just use it for studies, and programming. As long as it can boot up and can run any graphical text editor it'll be fine.


Ok then. Your options are open...
a b U Graphics card
June 27, 2007 1:22:35 PM

Quote:
it is of course worth the bloody wait, lol


Not to me.
June 27, 2007 2:39:52 PM

Well 388 euros is rougly the equal of 460 dolars so i would sugest putting another 100euros and buy a new sistem.
My opinion is going for:
Intel core 2 duo e4300 wirh an aftermarket cooler and overclock it
Gigabyte GA-965GM-S2
Geil Ultra 2GB DDR2 800MHz CL4 Dual Channel Kit
And an x1950pro from his with iceq cooling
And if you have the power suply and case and you ad as i stated another 100 euros to your budget you will be on the budget
June 27, 2007 5:54:48 PM

Quote:

Another good question is: will the AGP version of the 7950GT work as good as the PCI-E one? I personally think it should be pretty close, but i'm not 100% sure. My belief is it could work almost as good with an old PCI tbh. Those cards should be able to handle it all alone without needing any help from the cpu or the main memory. Am i right on this?

Oh and btw, if you hadn't guessed it, I'm quite a gamer.

Thanks for your help in advance :wink:


If you are not going to build a new PCI-E system then if I would go with the Sapphire X1950 Pro 512MB Card, I was able to overclock mine to HIS X1950 Pro V1 clocks without issue. However, if you're current PSU isn't up to it, then I would go for the XFX 7950GT. Below is a list of some of the cards I've owned over the past year with a few pros and cons. Hope it helps.

As far as the 7950GT goes, yes it will be as fast as the PCI-E one and whether you are throwing your money away is in the eye of the beholder and you are probaly asking the wrong guy. :D  In all honesty though, I've probably lost only $50 or so through all my card swapping. Returned half of them and sold the other half on Ebay, so I'm not totally nutz.

Gecube X1950XT 256MB AGP

Pros:

The absolute fastest AGP card you could own.

Cons:

Uses 3-slots due to massive Petier Cooler (TEC)

Uses a ton of power. Manual Addendum recommends 550w. 3 Molex connections required or 1 PCI-E & 1 Molex Connection.

No ramsinks/heatsinks are used on the memory chips.

Default memory clocks are 1400 Mhz. effective. Most PCI-E cards are set at 1800 Mhz. I was able to overclock to a maximum of 1600 Mhz. however.

Many reports of users needing to send these back due to overheating issues due to a poorly installed cooling solution. This is a user fixable problem however and it may be remedied by removing the heatink backplate and adding padding with electrical tape or other material so proper contact bewteen the heatsink and GPU can be established.

XFX 7950GT 512MB AGP

Pros:

Just slightly slower than a Sapphire X1950 Pro in 3DMark05, but slightly faster in 3DMark06.

Single slot cooler with minimal power supply requirements. A PSU with 400w and 20a on the +12v rail is recommended. Only 1 molex connection for power and most won't need to purchase a new power supply to run this card.

Lifetime Transferable Warranty for US customers which includes by overclocking,.

Cons:

The price is $269 US

The XFX 7950GT and 7900GS AGP are currently not included in the standard Nvidia Driver Sets yet. Users must hack setup .inf file by adding 2 lines or wait for XFX to modify Nvidia Driver set and download from them. XFX just stated on their support site that they are working with Nvidia on this and it should be fixed in the next official release.

Sapphire X1950 Pro 512MB AGP

Pros:

The price is excellent almost everywhere and in my opinion it's the best bang for your buck card on the market for AGP.

Not far behind the Gecube X1950XT in performance. Scored around 400-500 points lower in 3dMark05/06 on my rig.

Single Slot Cooling Solution.

One of the few Pro's, if not the only one designed with native Molex Connections (2) rather than a PCI-E connector/Molex Splitter.

Cons:

A healthy power supply is required for this card. Manufacturer recommends 30a sustained/continuous power on the +12v rail or combined rails. In reality you may get by with a bit less, but it's a crap shoot depending on your system and quality of current PSU.


Have also owned and honorable mentions go to:

Visiontek X1950 Pro 256MB AGP - performance not as good as some of the other Pros. No readable temp diode, but a solid well built card.

HIS X1950 Pro ICEQ3 Turbo 512MB AGP - Version 1 - had 2 bad cards. HIS later addressed the issues with the Version 1 card and created Version 2 (V2) of this card with lower core clocks and better memory.

Gainward Bliss 7800GS+ (20-pipe) GLH 512MB AGP - expensive as hell. Nicely designed card, but the performance was much less than that of the Sapphire X1950 Pro.
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