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AGP Upgrade Opinions

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 5, 2007 11:43:58 PM

Hello!

I have an older computer. It is sufficient for most of my needs,
but is sluggish when it comes to the latest games. While I have
considered upgrading my entire system, I feel that it is a waste
of money simply to satisfy the gamer in me.

I've been reading various reviews about the latest AGP cards
from Nvidia and ATI. It seems that they can give a system
a respectable boost in gaming performance. However, I am
concerned that my system may limit this perfomance boost.

Here are the important system specs:

AMD Athlon XP 2600+
1GB DDR RAM (333Mhz)
Radeon 9800 Pro (AGP 8x)

The native resolution of my LCD monitor is 1280x1024. I
would like to run the games at that resolution with decent
graphic settings.

So I am looking for opinions. Would I get much of a boost
from a new AGP card?

A local computer store has the BFG Geforce 7600 GS OC
512MB and the EVGA e-GeForce 7800GS 256MB on special
for almost $100 off. Those are the two I am considering,
but I am up for suggestions. I am looking to spend a
maximum of about $200.

Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

More about : agp upgrade opinions

September 6, 2007 12:15:30 AM

I would recommend getting a 7600GT/GS or X1650Pro/XT. Putting anything more in that system will bottleneck it, and would be putting money into a dying interface. You CPU is becoming rapidly outdated for gaming, and probably will be below minimum spec of the higher end games within a year. 1GB of ram is fine in XP for games as the moment, but as you try and turn on more settings, you will run into issues with having only 1GB of ram.
a c 140 U Graphics card
September 6, 2007 1:15:53 AM

Yes, you will get a boost, but no where near what you'd expect. I had a similar setup:

AMD Athlon XP 3200+
2 Gig RAM DDR333
ATI Radeon 9200

I went out and bought a 7800GS and got, roughly, a 10-15% performance boost. Not at all what I was expecting for a $300 card (at the time). It wasn't until I upgraded the motherboard/CPU that I saw what the 7800GS could do.

My recommendation is wait until you can afford a new rig.

-Wolf sends
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September 6, 2007 2:55:10 PM

I just recently upgraded my rig from a FX5200 to a 7600GS. I score 2611 on 3DMark06. For about $80 after rebates, a very good investment (since I'm not a huge gamer). Don't expect it to play Bioshock or anything next-gen, though. If that's what you want, go another route.
September 6, 2007 4:21:17 PM

If the 7800 GS is cheaper than a 7600 GT, go for it.

They have identical performance.
September 6, 2007 7:45:13 PM

Wolfshadw said:
Yes, you will get a boost, but no where near what you'd expect. I had a similar setup:

AMD Athlon XP 3200+
2 Gig RAM DDR333
ATI Radeon 9200

I went out and bought a 7800GS and got, roughly, a 10-15% performance boost. Not at all what I was expecting for a $300 card (at the time). It wasn't until I upgraded the motherboard/CPU that I saw what the 7800GS could do.

My recommendation is wait until you can afford a new rig.

-Wolf sends


I find that hard to believe. Something else must have factored into that. I've got the same set-up as the OP, and went from a 9800pro to an X800XL, and got a huge boost in performance ( almost 2X ).

To the OP: I agree with Cleeve, if the 7800GS is cheaper, go for it, otherwise get a 7600GT. Either way, you'll see a huge difference from your 9800pro.
September 6, 2007 8:02:34 PM

Thank you all for your responses. The upgrade seems worthwhile, I am going to purchase one of the cards. Fortunately the local store has a 30 day guarantee, so I can return it if there is any problem.

I do plan on upgrading my entire system sometime in the new year. I am a bit of a AMD fanboy and want to wait to see if their next processor is all that it is suppose to be. The video card is just something of a stopgap.
September 6, 2007 8:31:47 PM

On another note, very nice comparison article cleeve. I found it very helpful, though now I am tempted to wait to find a good deal on an ATI X1950 PRO.
September 6, 2007 11:33:19 PM

nVidia will be releasing a chip that will make the 8x00 series GPUs compatable with the AGP interface, however, what is not known is which GPUs they will put this chip with in their reference designs and what GPU it will support. Personally, I don't think that will ever be worth it to have a 8800 on the AGP interface. Maybe the so-called 8700 would go nicely on it, but both remain unseen, and who knows what the prices will be. My guess? Astronomical!
September 7, 2007 6:38:01 AM

they 'could' put the 8800 series on an agp 8x interface, but the upper half of its performance would in fact be bottlenecked, similar to using anything less than a high end C2D with it, again, a bottleneck; in most cases you simply wont notice the performance difference, unless you go to benchmark it. whichcase, the bottleneck then becomes very appearant.

the 8800 series were the first single gpus to fully saturate agps bandwidth, and able to make real use of what 16x pcie had to offer.
!