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yeah, upgrading. Damn you Bioshock

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 22, 2007 6:48:05 PM

I just got Bioshock yesterday, and it is not running at an acceptable level of awesomeness. Immediate remedy is required!

So: I have squandered essentially my entire work day researching graphics cards in the quest to upgrade my Geforce 6800 GS. I have it narrowed down to:

X1950 Pro 256MB (currently around $140 from Zipzoomfly)
X1950 Pro 512MB ($170 from New Egg with tax and shipping)
X1950 XT (around $185 from eaglebit, which I have no experience with. Free shipping, albeit 7 day ground. Did I mention I want to be playing as soon as possible?)

OR

I take the plunge and go with a eVGA 8800 GTS 320MB from zipzoomfly for $290/270 after rebate (the crowd goes wild).

After all, what, in the grand scheme of the cosmos, is another hundred dollars? Consider: I expect to have money left when I die. This money would traditionally go to my heirs. These heirs do not, at present, exist.

Am I to be beholden to nonexistent loved ones? Fictional family members?

I SAY THEE NAY!

Still, there's no need to go completely insane. Here's the issue: I'm only running a Athlon 64 3700+ processor (with 2GB of RAM, at least). Do I cheap out now and possibly get yet another video card when I upgrade the processor/motherboard (hello PCI-Express 2)? Or do I go hogwild knowing this will last me through the next major upgrade?

Then there is this "step-up" program from eVGA....what are the chances there is going to be something worth upgrading to in the next 90 days?

The other problem is I can't for the life of me remember what my PSU is. I need to look when I get home.
August 22, 2007 6:49:47 PM

The X1950 XT is the obvious best bang for the buck.

But if you can afford the 8800, you won't be dissapointed, either.
August 22, 2007 7:07:36 PM

XFX PVT80GGHF4 GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported HDCP Video Card - Retail Free Lost Planet DX10 game w/ purchase, ends 8/31

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

$279.99 with $30 Rebate = $249.99

You get the great performance of the 8800GTS for $250 and a Lost Planet disc! And I simply love Lost Planet for PC :D 
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a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2007 12:56:35 AM

Yeah I agree with Cleeve and Emp.

Either the X1950Xt or the GF8800GTS on sale.
a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2007 7:29:56 AM

Oh what a shock NIZ complains about someone recommending the best options from both companies instead of just his favourite. :sarcastic: 

And Bioshock is DX9 & DX10.

As for your data did you even read it? Look at the information in the link again;
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=724&model2=778&chart=318

Thanks in advance for providing evidence against your own choice.

According to your chosen data the GTS achieved an overall FPS of 1827.8 which divided by the cost of the GTS in EMP's link ($249.99) gives us 7.31 fp$ , now compared to the X1950XT with 1494.9 FPS divided by the OP's price of $185 that gives us 8.08 fp$; proving with the data you yourself provided that the X1950XT offers more Bang/Buck. :sol: 

Man, I bet you feel like a real nVidiot right about now dontcha? :hello: 

Ah no matter, I still think either one is a good choice regardless of NIZ proving that some GF8800 owners are idjits. Don't worry it's not the card's fault, he started out that way before he bought one. :pt1cable: 
a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2007 8:07:05 AM

Oh snap.

Yea, find out your PSU dude :) 
August 23, 2007 2:04:35 PM

lol niz...why dig your own grave?

@OP: Someone on this forum has been running it on the x1950XT at max settings at a reasonable resolution without a problem, so that would be your best bang for the buck option.

However, if you can afford that 8800 then that would probably prove more usefull in the future.....who knows...

oh and as randomizer said....psu details please :) 

we wouldnt want you buying a card just to find out you need to fork out another $100 on a psu now would we :) 

August 23, 2007 2:40:32 PM

AMDZone shows the game is barely playable @1600x1200 for a 7900GTX averaging 22 fps and the 7900GT was unplayable with 14 fps.
a c 143 U Graphics card
August 23, 2007 3:00:33 PM

What about his CPU, would that need an upgrade too to keep up with the 8800 GTS?
August 23, 2007 4:34:41 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Oh what a shock NIZ complains about someone recommending the best options from both companies instead of just his favourite. :sarcastic: 

And Bioshock is DX9 & DX10.

As for your data did you even read it? Look at the information in the link again;
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=724&model2=778&chart=318

Thanks in advance for providing evidence against your own choice.

According to your chosen data the GTS achieved an overall FPS of 1827.8 which divided by the cost of the GTS in EMP's link ($249.99) gives us 7.31 fp$ , now compared to the X1950XT with 1494.9 FPS divided by the OP's price of $185 that gives us 8.08 fp$; proving with the data you yourself provided that the X1950XT offers more Bang/Buck. :sol: 

Man, I bet you feel like a real nVidiot right about now dontcha? :hello: 

Ah no matter, I still think either one is a good choice regardless of NIZ proving that some GF8800 owners are idjits. Don't worry it's not the card's fault, he started out that way before he bought one. :pt1cable: 



8600Gt 962fps overall, $100 9.62fp$

I wouldn't suggest it for gaming though, just like I wouldn't suggest a 1950xt if you can afford a 8800gts

On a side note my 8600gts runs bioshock at 1600x1200 DX10 in vista 32 with 2x AA&AF over 40fps
a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2007 5:09:07 PM

Yeah, just like I wouldn't suggest the GTS-320 for a DX10 future if you can afford to get the GTS-640 or better.

There's of course other considerations than just fp$ , but as NIZ's own 'data' it doesn't support his reco / criticisms which is what's just so laughable. :lol: 
August 23, 2007 5:28:50 PM

hmm, with the CPU, is it dual or single core? if it's a singe core I'd hold off on the graphics card until a complete system overhaul, if it's a dual core you should be OK. I say this with respect to future games, like Crysis and apparently valve will start using multiple cores better in future. As for current games that are build for dual cores, i say lies, Supreme Commander still has a 98:7 CPU usage for my dual core.

Otherwise if money is an issue the X1950XT, but if you have the cash why not the 8800GTS and get the eye candy of DX10?
August 23, 2007 6:37:36 PM

"step-up" program from eVGA' May be a good reason to get the 8800GTS right there. It dosnt sound like money is a big deal here get the better card. If the 9800 comes out in Dec, you at least have a choice of an upgrade. It may be the only time the step up program would make a good choice.


Cheers
August 23, 2007 6:49:33 PM

If you're upgrading because of Bioshock then go with 8800's or 2900's because the 7900's and 1900's are like midrange now for this game.
August 23, 2007 7:19:31 PM

I think all those choices would be good for Bioshock (and probably crysis too). It probably wouldn't hurt spending 100-150$ on a new dual core CPU either. Hell, from the sound of your post, you should do that and get a 8800GTS from evga (just in case nvidia comes out with a card that is GTX speeds at GTS price) if you're not really that concerned about money.
August 23, 2007 11:55:53 PM

bill gates?
a b U Graphics card
August 24, 2007 12:24:56 AM

So a 8600 GT with x2 3800 AMD and 2 gigs of RAM would be okay for decent settings on Bioshock? I'm in the process of doing a small upgrade on my son's computer which is a p4 3.2ghz Prescott w/2gig ram and 9600xt 128mb video card. Don't want to spend more than $300 if possible. Looking to buy 939 x2 and re-use 2gig's of RAM and thus save $80 on memory. BTW I'm using a 450W PSU w/28A on 12V rail (says 336W combined on 2 rails).
a b U Graphics card
August 24, 2007 12:44:56 AM

My other option (Which might be better) is to do a AM2 upgrade, using 3600 AM2/mobo/2Gig DDR2 800/and video card, for about $325 and getting $45 back on MIR's. Which would put cost at about $278. That is using the $115 8600gt evga card in that budget. What do you think?
August 24, 2007 2:26:08 AM

I hear the Geforce 9 series is coming out in November, its still a rumor, but if you can wait that long it'll at least lower the prices of everything else.

But if you need something now, an X1950 should be good. If you spend less money now, you'll be able to get into a 9 Series card quicker when they do eventually come out. (But if you do buy the EVGA and the 9 series comes out within 90 days you can do a step-up)
August 24, 2007 2:45:38 PM

I just had a thought, maybe someone should ask nvidia whether or not its a rumour? I have never heard that suggestion before (I mean why bother keeping it quiet)? (though I probably missed something important in my logic)
(\__/)
(+'.'+)
(")_(")
August 24, 2007 3:35:28 PM

8600gt with an x2 processor and 2gigs of ram would yield the best results for your money in my opinion.

Buy an EVGA 8600gt and in november you'd have the option to use the step up program to get a 9series.

1950xt wouldn't be able to match the combined processor, ram and 8600 performance. Plus you get dx10
August 24, 2007 3:54:55 PM

Get the XT and a newer proccesor, preferably a x2, your current one wont let a 8800 work. 8600 GT is a terrible buy for bioshock
August 24, 2007 4:43:56 PM

Yeah, the x1950pro can run it at high settings just fine with the rest of your system.
My 2nd computer is similar:
x2 3800 @ 2.5ghz
2gb DDR 400
x1950 Pro AGP 256mb @ 620gpu/740mem

I played the whole game on the highest settings 1680x1050 resolution without a hitch. I think there were 4 times in the entire game where I noticed a slowdown for a second. I am amazed how well this game is programmed!
a b U Graphics card
August 24, 2007 5:14:10 PM

With the X1950 XT you are going to need a 450W power supply or better.
I hope you have one.
August 24, 2007 5:17:26 PM

I installed Bioshock to both XP and Vista and could tell almost no difference between Direct X9 and 10 with my 8800GTX.
August 24, 2007 5:34:58 PM

Firing squad has nice screens, only difference is softer particle effects, really hard to see any difference.

Nvidia doesn't want to tip it's cap yet, because they'll have to start offering discounts or rebates on current cards to keep sales going. It'll be a year in November, so it's not hard to figure out when to expect the next round. Whether they announce anything soon, or wait a bit.
August 24, 2007 6:05:20 PM

GeoMan said:
hmm, with the CPU, is it dual or single core? if it's a singe core I'd hold off on the graphics card until a complete system overhaul, if it's a dual core you should be OK. I say this with respect to future games, like Crysis and apparently valve will start using multiple cores better in future. As for current games that are build for dual cores, i say lies, Supreme Commander still has a 98:7 CPU usage for my dual core.

Otherwise if money is an issue the X1950XT, but if you have the cash why not the 8800GTS and get the eye candy of DX10?


Sorry Geo, I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree. It is true that a 3700+ may bottleneck a GTS 320, but it will still be a very nice upgrade. In most games, the GPU is by far the most important component in terms of performance. Of course there are exceptions to that, namely Supreme Commander, FSX, etc., but I haven't heard that Bioshock is one of them.

I personally wouldn't recomend anything less than a GTS for ~ $250.

Then again, what's another $100. Drop an Athlon X2 4200+ while you're at it. same speed, less cache, 2 cores i believe.
August 26, 2007 11:17:03 AM

chief5286:

Notice i didn't disagree with anything you've just said, although i should have added to the last line that if it was an upgrade for the sole purpose of playing Bioshock then my recommendations would have been what they were.

True for current games a faster GPU will give by far the best performance improvement

click here (check for the quake benchmark)

but I said multi cores (dual or quad) for future games, games that are only 2 or 3 months away

click here

I know ubik didn't mention it in the opening thread, but i still think it's something to consider when upgrading your rig. Is it better to slap in a new graphics card, or overhaul your rig? Nobody can give a definitive answer to that question. I'm just saying it's worth putting some thought into before you go and spend your hard earned money.
August 26, 2007 6:18:41 PM

A quick note about dual cores and Bioshock - it only uses one. Someone above said to go for an overhaul... but if the upgrade is specifically for Bioshock, they a dual core processor won't help you out one bit, unless you want to, I dunno, calculate digits of pi in the background.

I could be mistaken, but I had all sorts of monitoring tools open that showed my second core virtually idle during gameplay - the first was always between 50 and 100%. I'm running a Core 2 Duo T7200. I was playing the DEMO, not the full version.
August 26, 2007 7:49:37 PM

Good choice on PSU.
August 26, 2007 8:07:59 PM

@rawwrbag

I'm not sure if the demo would make a difference but I'm seeing the best dual core usage I've seen in any game yet. I'm often seeing total usage generally stay between 80 and 95%.
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