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Athlon XP 2500 + 4X AGP slot: Video card suggestions

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August 6, 2007 6:54:10 PM

Hi folks,

I have a simple (and by today's standards obsolete) system. Its based around an XP2500 CPU and an ECS motherboard combo from Fry's. with 512Mb RAM, and a 60 Gig HD. To be honest, it works perfectly for my document editing, web surfing, VPN connection to work, and even for some older games like Age of Mythology.

I don't game much, but I'm currently on a PCI-based GeForce MX4200 with 64 Mb video memory, and I believe I can do better than the slide show it provides on more intensive games. I don't have a PCI-E slot, so the AGP 4X is my only option.

Does it make any sense to upgrade the card and system memory? I'm hoping to be able to play NFS Carbon and maybe Tomb Raider once in a while. The max resolution I'd play at is 1280x1024. If you guys think its worthwhile, then I'd really appreciate some suggestions for a suitable replacement.

Thanks for your time.

More about : athlon 2500 agp slot video card suggestions

August 6, 2007 7:24:01 PM

If you're happy with it a little better video card and another 512 stick might be just the ticket. The only problem is older boards sometimes don't recognize newer generation video cards. But even upgrading to a $50 9600pro would make a difference in the way your pc works (and games).
August 6, 2007 7:51:31 PM

I agree with the 512 extra ram.
As for a vid card i would go with a
ATI AGP X1650PRO (180$ CAD) , you should get some good mileage out of this system for a few years more.

myself I just upgraded from a 2600 xp, 1 gig ram with an ati 9700 aiw and its still a good system. Will probably sell it for a max of 400$
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August 6, 2007 9:00:10 PM

The additional RAM is the best upgrade you can do, if your motherboard accepts it. However, keep in mind that patching up an old computer is always more expensive than it's worth. Buying old SDRAM chips and AGP cards is a waste these days. You should really think about getting a new PC. Maybe a $500 or $800 box from BestBuy? You can get something pretty amazing these days for that money. Keep the old PC around for Internet access, so you don't risk the new one...


August 6, 2007 10:08:47 PM

Thanks everyone for the reply. Certainly lots of good varied inputs. I should be able to get a 512 Mb DDR stick for free from a friend, so it boils down to the video card.

I don't really have any motivating factors (apart from gaming) for a new machine as I do most of my work on my company laptop, which is refreshed every 30 months, but sucks for gaming. The desktop is a backup for all of those. If I go for a new system that is reasonably future proof, it will run me upwards of $500. Honestly (and some of you will kill me for it) a gaming console starts looking pretty attractive at that price point.

Will I be able to play Carbon at decent FPS (offline gaming only) at reasonable resolutions with an ATI X1650Pro? Any other cards that you can recommend given my restraints?

BTW, budget is $150, and a quick Newegg search showed the 256 Mb versions of the 7800GS and 7600GT as options...

Thanks again!
August 6, 2007 10:37:21 PM

I'd look at the X1950Pro AGP. It's a bit over your budget though, and it needs a PSU with 30A on the 12V rails (don't know if yours can do that).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814241041
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161081
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161082

The ATI X1650Pro gets 3.7 fps in Oblivion in some benchmarks. I'm guessing here that it will do better in Carbon, especially at lower resolutions and quality settings, but I wouldn't expect much.
August 6, 2007 11:08:43 PM

Thanks,

That definitely answers my questions :)  I also found just the type of article I was looking for:

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


It seems I should be able to hit 25-30 fps in Elder Scrolls and a few more in Carbon. The 1950 Pro seems like an excellent suggestion, before I decide on a new machine....thanks for all the replies :) 
August 6, 2007 11:16:34 PM

CheapoGamer said:
Thanks everyone for the reply. Certainly lots of good varied inputs. I should be able to get a 512 Mb DDR stick for free from a friend, so it boils down to the video card.

I don't really have any motivating factors (apart from gaming) for a new machine as I do most of my work on my company laptop, which is refreshed every 30 months, but sucks for gaming. The desktop is a backup for all of those. If I go for a new system that is reasonably future proof, it will run me upwards of $500. Honestly (and some of you will kill me for it) a gaming console starts looking pretty attractive at that price point.

Will I be able to play Carbon at decent FPS (offline gaming only) at reasonable resolutions with an ATI X1650Pro? Any other cards that you can recommend given my restraints?

BTW, budget is $150, and a quick Newegg search showed the 256 Mb versions of the 7800GS and 7600GT as options...

Thanks again!

For performance the X1950XT is the best AGP. Your problem is the 4X AGP slot may bottleneck that GPU. I would suggest no higher than the X1950GT for high performance. If you want compatibility I hear sapphire has the HD2600pro/XT for AGP which is the only AGP choice for DX10. The HD2600XT will get lower FPS than even the X1950GT that is unless the X1950GT is bottlenecked by the 4X AGP.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102093
http://www.sapphiretech.com/us/products/browseproducts.php?pcat=3
August 7, 2007 12:21:17 AM

Just my .002 cents, I would'nt invest top much in that system, I would DEFINATELY! upgrade to 1gigabyte of memory, after that I guess you could go with a radeon 1650, nvidia 7600gs, or even the ancient but still effective 6800xt(it's 256 bit, the others are 128 bit) all can be had for about 100 dollars or less. My nephew actually games on a 2500xp with 768 megs and a 6600gt, and it works great for him even on a few newer games.
August 7, 2007 12:21:27 AM

Just my .002 cents, I would'nt invest top much in that system, I would DEFINATELY! upgrade to 1gigabyte of memory, after that I guess you could go with a radeon 1650, nvidia 7600gs, or even the ancient but still effective 6800xt(it's 256 bit, the others are 128 bit) all can be had for about 100 dollars or less. My nephew actually games on a 2500xp with 768 megs and a 6600gt, and it works great for him even on a few newer games.
August 7, 2007 12:44:13 AM

I have an FX5900 that I would be willing to get rid of for cheap. I wouldn't put too much money into that system. Don't put in a x1950, your system will seriously bottleneck it. My old x800xl was bottlenecked significantly by an AMD 2400+. Plus, I'm willing to bet your PSU wouldn't be able to handle an x1950.
August 7, 2007 1:06:23 AM

You guys are dead on about 2 things:

1. The PSU I have is 350W, and I doubt it will have the 30 Amps /12 V rails. So, I'd need to factor the cost in, unless I want to rule out the 1950Pro.
2. The 4X AGP might be a bottleneck in itself, apart from the CPU.

I think the recommendation of not spending too much on an old system makes sense. I'll try to make up my mind (am terribly confused now) about this soon.

Thanks to all for reading/replying. This sure is a friendly forum.



January 9, 2008 2:52:38 AM

These Guys are on Crack with there Dumb Bottle neck theory.
I went from a 9800xt to a x1950 pro on 4x agp and the boost was huge.
I can Play any game made, 99.9999999999% on max settings @1600res.
Bioshock max, COD4 max, Unreal Max, BF2142 Max, Oblivion Max Etc, Etc, Etc.
The thing there overlooking is on a 4x agp the key to performance is to keep as much as possible off the agp bus, this means get a 512mb fast card.
Also for gaming I recommend 2gigs of ram, This will make your rig responsive and reduce any hesitation during all tasks including gaming.
I have an Asus a7m266d Dual 2800 Cpu's @3200 with sata2's in raid 0 , 4 gig of ram, radeon x1950 pro 512mb on a 4x agp slot.
I'll smoke any of the rigs posted on this page in Multi tasking and Probably gaming too when it comes to serving or running Voip along side the game which every 1 does Online.
My settup Smokes My Brother Inlaws 6600e w/7900gto.
This 4x agp will get Me another 2 years of top performance and ATI is releasing the x3870 and the x2900 in AGP w/1gigddr4.
Can You Say S-M-O-K-I-N............
A 7 Yr Old Rig and I still Run With The Big Dogs.
January 11, 2008 8:38:16 PM

WTF??????? OBVIOUSLY SOMEONE MOLESTERED YOU AS A CHILD...........What everyone is talking about on this before your idiotic post IS 100% acurate and reliable.

My pc would piss your P.O.S agp 4x slotty job, and i dont even have a top of the range system. Everything in your pc would be bottlenecking, becuase its so old, id doubt you can run oblivion or even crysis at full, Do you even understand how a pc works? do you even understand what a bottleneck means, Everything in your pc would be bottlenecking, becuase its so old, id doubt you can run oblivion or even crysis at full.

Do you even know the alphabet? or better still i suggest you count to 10?.
January 11, 2008 9:21:04 PM

CheapoGamer said:
Thanks,

That definitely answers my questions :)  I also found just the type of article I was looking for:

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


It seems I should be able to hit 25-30 fps in Elder Scrolls and a few more in Carbon. The 1950 Pro seems like an excellent suggestion, before I decide on a new machine....thanks for all the replies :) 


Don't forget part 1

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/10/agp-platform-ana...

Is that an Nforce2 board you have? I would be willing to bet that if you put in some DDR400 and set the FSB to 200 in the bios you could easily get that 2500+ Barton chip to run as a 3200+ I was able to do it with mine when I had one.
!