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AGP "should I care?" dilema

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 27, 2007 1:22:33 AM

Hi!
So I'm at this point with my 4 year old system.
Specs: 3.0ghz P4, 1gb ddr ram, radeon 9600xt AGP, 340W psu.
So my computer don't really play games... at all anymore. I can play C&C3 and World in Conflict demo at low settings, but won't play anything using unreal engine 3 (gpu not supported by engine).
So the most obvious reply from you would be "dude get a new system", I am but I can't afford it until ~jan08.
So the second rational option would be to upgrade to a PCI-e motherboard and get a real graphic card, but my cpu is s478 so can't do that.
Then the 1950pro would be a nice uppgrade, but then I have to buy a new PSU too. And I just don't want to spend that much money on the system.
So I've narrowed down my options to buy a HD2600pro 512ddr2, then I can at least play the most games at low settings. My needs arn't that high, I aim to play hellgate london smooth (I don't really care about graphics settings, I can play through the game on low settings if I have to). I get hardware acceleration for h.246 and hdmi port + audio through that. Ok before I reveal the price and shock all of you keep in mind that I live in Sweden, the card cost ~170USD (if you think in ratios and compare to the 1950pro at 200USD, then you can figure out the value of that card).
Or I can just save my money and complete diablo 2 (again) through hell difficulty with every character on hardcore until I can afford a new system :/ .

So what do you think? to buy or not to buy?
thanks for your help in advance...

More about : agp care dilema

a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2007 2:51:29 AM

Wow, I didn't even know that there was an AGP version of that card. I did a little searching around at the sites in Canada I frequent and couldn't find it. I did find a VisionTek card similar to the one you spec'ed at Best Buy though. Interesting card, especially for someone with old kit lying around that they would like to turn into a HTPC. As for gaming though, I've gotta check around for some benchmarks, give me a minute. Well I just checked Tom's VGA Charts and compared the X2600XT (albiet in PCI-E flavor) and the card I was going to suggest (7600GT) and they are very comparable. The X2600XT is going to faster than the HD2600Pro, so some conclusions can be drawn. In general the 7600GT will probably outperform the HD2600Pro in most situations. The one exception maybe Oblivion, where it looked to really outperform the 7600GT.

So if you aren't going to play Oblivion, and by the looks of it neither card is going to play it well unless you run it at it's lowest settings. And if you can give up the HDMI (video + audio) connector, and the 7600GT can be found in your area for the same or less money, I would suggest the 7600GT. Either card should fit within your power requirements. As for DX10, forget it (even if you have Fista), it will suck on that card, hell it doesn't work very well on any of the DX10 cards/games in this generation of hardware. If your aim is to play Hellgate London in DX10, then I suggest you aim for next year when you get your new system. This cards not going to cut it, as many of the cards that support DX10 now aren't. Hellgate will have a DX9 rendering path though, so that option would still be open to you.

I have to admit though, since your machine will be retired in the new year and if you have any inclination of turning your old system into an HTPC, the HD2600Pro is a pretty tantalizing card. So that's my opinion. The other option as you mentioned is to save your money and wait until next year when you build your new system. It's easy to say but hard to do. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2007 3:26:07 AM

What can you afford for the upgrade? I would 2nd the opinion of techgeek that you should save and wait, but depending on how much you can spend now, could change my opinion.
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a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2007 3:37:08 AM

zhaf said:
Hi!
So I'm at this point with my 4 year old system.
Specs: 3.0ghz P4, 1gb ddr ram, radeon 9600xt AGP, 340W psu.
So my computer don't really play games... at all anymore. I can play C&C3 and World in Conflict demo at low settings, but won't play anything using unreal engine 3 (gpu not supported by engine).
So the most obvious reply from you would be "dude get a new system", I am but I can't afford it until ~jan08.
So the second rational option would be to upgrade to a PCI-e motherboard and get a real graphic card, but my cpu is s478 so can't do that.
Then the 1950pro would be a nice uppgrade, but then I have to buy a new PSU too. And I just don't want to spend that much money on the system.
So I've narrowed down my options to buy a HD2600pro 512ddr2, then I can at least play the most games at low settings. My needs arn't that high, I aim to play hellgate london smooth (I don't really care about graphics settings, I can play through the game on low settings if I have to). I get hardware acceleration for h.246 and hdmi port + audio through that. Ok before I reveal the price and shock all of you keep in mind that I live in Sweden, the card cost ~170USD (if you think in ratios and compare to the 1950pro at 200USD, then you can figure out the value of that card).
Or I can just save my money and complete diablo 2 (again) through hell difficulty with every character on hardcore until I can afford a new system :/ .

So what do you think? to buy or not to buy?
thanks for your help in advance...


Funny thing is my son's computer has almost the same specs: P4 3.2Prescott, 2gigs DDR, 9600xt (was 9800pro until it died). I was considering upgrading to a s939 x2 processor/board, so I could use the existing 2gig's of DDR and save some $. I figured with new mobo (PCIe capable), CPU (while still available), video card (around $100), and HSF (since 939's on newegg are OEM) would cost about $230ish USD. I don't know if you have those options, but newegg still has the s939's in stock for now.

My 2cp's
a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2007 3:45:11 AM

Techgeek - did you look at reviews of the HD2600Pro or are you drawing most of your conclusions from the HD2600XT? I know little about these two cards except that the XT uses 47W power while the Pro uses only 18W - which tells me there is a huge difference between the two.

It seems to me that the primary issue is the size of the power supply and I think your PSU may be right on the margins. I think you should consider two cards and go to a power supply calculator and plug them in with the rest of your system and see if they work. The two are the 7600GT which requires about 36W of power (PCIe version) and the 7900GS that requires about 45W (PCIe version) but is about 50% faster.

I could not find specific information on the AGP card power requirements but the calculator should take care of that. On one machine with a 350W PSU, I have a 6600GT which uses 48W along with a power hungry P4 3.2Ghz, HD, 2 optical drives, sound card, and 4 sticks of DDR2 RAM.
a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2007 4:02:27 AM

lunyone said:
I was considering upgrading to a s939 x2 processor/board, so I could use the existing 2gig's of DDR and save some $. My 2cp's


I think you are going at this backwards. Right now memory is EXTREMELY cheap. You are proposing to build an entire new system - using almost obsolete technology - to save the cost of cheap memory. If you are being a new MB, CPU, and GPU - take the opportunity now to upgrade to a P35 MB and inexpensive C2D and lay out $50 for 1GB of DDR2 memory (preferably $100 for 2GB). Will you be able to reuse the PSU and transfer your OS?


:bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce: 
a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2007 4:03:28 AM

Staying with the AGP setup would be cheaper. $110 for 7600gt and about $150 on 7900gs (which would be the best way to go, if your PSU can handle it). I'm seeing by this link:
http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2&c=7&t=9354
That would only be about 9 watts difference from a 7600gt and 7900gs, of coarse this is with a PCIe card, but should be close to an AGP one.
a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2007 4:07:16 AM

1740065,6,125538 said:
I think you are going at this backwards. Right now memory is EXTREMELY cheap. You are proposing to build an entire new system - using almost obsolete technology - to save the cost of cheap memory. If you are being a new MB, CPU, and GPU - take the opportunity now to upgrade to a P35 MB and inexpensive C2D and lay out $50 for 1GB of DDR2 memory (preferably $100 for 2GB). Will you be able to reuse the PSU and transfer your OS?
said:


Yep was considering that too. I would probably use a Allendale core if I had to purchase online, but I have a connection were I work that I could get a 4400 for cheaper than an Allendale core :sol:  The only thing is finding an inexpesive mobo to mate up with it. Most of the 775 mobo's are expensive! compared to AMD's.
August 27, 2007 3:09:06 PM

hey thanks for the replies so far.
Upgrading my mobo isn't a option as I can't re-use any old parts... except from my HDDs. So it'll be too costly.
The 7900gs is really expensive around here, xfx 7900gs 256ddr3 ~260USD : Gainward 7900gs 512ddr3 ~275USD.
Do you think it's still worth to buy at that price?
I used the "eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite v2.5" and it says that my psu should handle that card. Besides if it can't handle it I could just return it.
The 7600GT is at the same price range as the HD2600pro, but between those two cards I'd choose the HD2600pro as I can use this old system aas a HTPC later when I get my new system.
But if you think that the 7900gs is worth the price (again please think in ratios... as Swedish prices are higher than the US prices) then I'll strongly concider buying one.
a b U Graphics card
August 27, 2007 3:40:45 PM

Since you are planning to use this system as a HTPC, then get the 2600Pro.
August 27, 2007 5:03:50 PM

Since you don't have too many choices I will second the 2600.
August 28, 2007 12:57:39 AM

another question,
will my system bottleneck a 7900gs? if it do then it makes no sense getting one.
!