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7600GT - 256 GDDR3 or 512 GDDR2

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 17, 2007 1:57:37 PM

Hi.

I have a rather old system (Athlon XP 3000+, 1.5 GB RAM DDR400) that I'm still not willing to pay for an upgrade.
After all, it handles most of my needs just fine, that is, all except my gaming needs.

I wanted to play some of the newer games, "Neverwinter Nights 2" in particular and think the weak link is the GeForce 5700 I have...

Anyway, my system has AGP 8x so the choices are not all that great: 7600 GT from vendors like Gainward, XpertVision and Galaxy.

All the above are GeForce 7600 GT with 256 GDDR3, the price difference in all cases being non-existant.

I also found an MSI 7600 GT but that one has 512 GDDR2 instead.

My question is twofold.
The first one is whether I should get the 512 GDDR2 version or a 256 GDDR3 version would suit me better (provided the rest of my system and the game I mostly want it for in particular, NWN2) and, is it worth it or should I better leave it like that and after a year or so go for a full upgrade?

Thanks!

P.S. On another note, I ran the www.systemrequirementslab.com test to see if the rest of the system is enough and it said:
CPU
Recommended:
Pentium 4 3.0 GHz/Athlon 64 or better
You Have: AMD Athlon(tm) XP 3000+
FAIL: Sorry, your computer does not meet this requirement.
CPU Speed
Recommended:
Athlon CPUs require a performance rating of 3.0 GHz
You Have: 2.09 GHz Performance Rated at 3.00 GHz
PASS

Which one should I trust?
a c 130 U Graphics card
August 17, 2007 2:10:06 PM

Right ok the first thing is what is the rest of your system?
I know for a fact that its not that bad im not familiar with "Neverwinter Nights 2" and its requirements but will go look while awaiting your reply.
Basically unless you have a really weak PSU (under 300 watts)then you will be able to run a 7600GT fine.
To answer your actual question stay away from the GDDR2 version,the card dosent have the musscle to use the extra ram anyway and the 256 GDDR3 card will eat it for breakfast.
Mactronix
August 17, 2007 2:24:56 PM

Ok, full specs:
- 550 Watt Q-TEC Dual Fan PFC (although one fan, the one looking inside the machine is dead so I get overheats in the summer...)
- 1 WD 250 GB SATAII 16MB Cache Chaviar (but the controller is a Sil 3112 so it runs it as a SATA 1), this is where the system is.
- 1 Seagate 200 GB SATA 1 8MB Cache Barracuda. This is where I install most of my games so that theyr'e not on the Sytem HD.
- 1 WD 80GB IDE. This one is used for backup purposes.
- LG 16x DVD-RAM (HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4163B)
- Plextor 16x DVD-ROM (PX-130A)
- A really old, hardly-ever-used floppy...

I don't think I'll have PSU problems wattage-wise unless it requires external power.

So, which of the 256 GDDR3 variants that I've found would you recommend me? (Their names on my first post also have the links to the products themselves...)
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August 17, 2007 2:36:33 PM

For the record, there are far more powerful AGP 8x choices, like the X1950 PRO and the X1950 XT.

It's a safe bet an AthlonXP 3000+ will run NWN2. You'll be wanting a better video card for sure though. The 7600 GT is a good choice for your system.

If you want to save more money, look to ebay for a used 6800 GT or X800 XL, both almost as powerful as the 7600 GT but probably cheaper.
August 17, 2007 2:46:55 PM

Hmm, I live in Greece, eBay or other on-line solutions aren't a choice for me, plus, when the most expensive I found a 7600 GT was 123 euros, I found the Sapphire 1950 PRO with 512MB GDDR3 for 175 euros.

I'm really not comfortable paying that much of a difference.
Juts for the record though, is it worth it?
August 17, 2007 2:49:09 PM

I used to have a 256MB 7600gt with a slight overclock and it was slow as hell with NWN2 when everything was set to max. It has been a while but I seem to recall setting the shadow resolution down a little and it gave me playable framerates, but it did look a little crappier.

In answer to you question I wouldn't bother with 512MB on a now lower end card like the 7600gt, as the gpu itself will bottleneck you long before you run out of VRAM in almost every case. If you want to spend more then go for an X1950 pro of 7900 gs instead, even if they only have 256MB.

As for the comments about going for a 6800 or X800, I wouldn't do that since you will get similar performance with much less stress on you psu with the 7600gt.

edit @KeeperOS: I see you just posted, well yes it probably is worth it, especially if the 1950 PRO has 512MB. Take a look at some reviews and you'll see that the 1950 pro smokes the 7600 gt, regardless of VRAM.
a c 143 U Graphics card
August 17, 2007 2:57:17 PM

Read this thread, it may help. It looks like you're better off with the 256 MB version because it's a real GT, while the 512 MB version is only a GS with the wrong label.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/244285-33-help-card-mobo

And yes, I think you should save enough for a new computer instead of buying a new AGP card. There are lots of threads on this site about building the best $700 computer (or $1000, etc.), read them.

August 17, 2007 3:06:07 PM

Right now I'm REALLY tight on money, I want to get a new guitar instead (that goes for 900 euros), thus a new PC will have to wait until then.

I either get the AGP card now or a new PC in a year or so, these are my options...

So should I get the 7600 GT or should I search more for a 1950PRO/7900GS?
(I'm really not comfortable on paying more than 135 euros on it though and I only found it at 175...)
a c 143 U Graphics card
August 17, 2007 3:45:05 PM

I like the 7600 GT. Something more powerful may need a new PSU too. Yeah, I think I'd get the 7600 GT.
a c 130 U Graphics card
August 17, 2007 3:50:06 PM

Right you dont need 512 stick to 256,your psu should handle a 1950 pro/7900 card ok. It really is worth trying to get hold of one as it will let you run your game to a better level,the 7600GT while a good match for your system will run it at about medium+ settings
Totaly agree with homer dog on this that he posted. "As for the comments about going for a 6800 or X800, I wouldn't do that since you will get similar performance with much less stress on you psu with the 7600gt."
Not just for psu more the fact that with the x800s at least (im not that up on nvidea)are only SM2(old tec)the 7600GT is SM(shader model)3.
So to sum up If you do get a 7600GT must be a GT and GDDR3 only need 256mb RAM.
If you can try to get a 7900 or 1950 card again 256 you wont be dissapointed and as said it is worth the dif but a budget is a budget :(  .
At the end of the day the 7600 is a great card and you wont regret getting it its just that the others are that bit better.
Good luck
Mactronix
a c 143 U Graphics card
August 17, 2007 3:54:13 PM

900 euros for a guitar and only 135 for the graphics card? I hope you're talented, at least :) 
August 17, 2007 4:36:55 PM

Could you please go HERE

Thanks!!!

@ aevm:
Heh, musical instruments are even more expensive here, actually a 900 euros guitar is an upper-mid end guitar. Korean made (the cheaper are China). It's a hell of a good guitar for a great price (which I can't pay yet :p )...
!