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Upgrading to DX10 on an AthlonXP

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 21, 2007 3:32:29 PM

http://labs.pcw.co.uk/2007/10/first-directx-1.html

I posted the URL above to prove DX10 AGP is real and now.. My PS2 died on me and my GF6600 isn't doing a great job with the latest crop of games either. So having looked into budget-y options (namely the Wii and the 360 Arcade) I came to the conclusion that the Wii is definitely not for me (no, not even NiGHTS will make me buy it!) and that much of the 360's library is already available on the PC. Certainly I'd love to play Ace Combat 6 and GTAIV they moment they're released, but I waited three years for the PS2 and it did no harm.

I have an AthlonXP 2800+ with 1.5 gig DDR and a Soltek mobo whose model I can't bother to look up right now. I noticed SupCom ran slow on my machine despite lowering visual detail, and I figured my single core CPU was the bottleneck. But having played and finished some UE3 titles (mainly Bioshock and MoH Airborne) I was surprised that my PC still packs a punch, regardless how weak it is. Will DirectX10 bring me up to speed? I haven't even tried Vista on my machine to be honest. Is there a chance DX10 will be r.e.'d to work on XP?

The reason I'm holding my (eventual) upgrade is that I'm waiting for AMD's triple/quad cores to become mainstream. I have little reason to invest in a dual core CPU at the moment. Of course when I do upgrade my vidcard will be redundant but I'd likely find someone with an archaic AGP-only mobo who'll take my vidcard.

So is it worth it or should I get a 360 Arcade instead? I don't like investing too early in a console that doesn't have the Japanese support that differentiated the PS2 from its predecessor. Thanks for any opinions!
October 21, 2007 5:10:53 PM

It sounds like you'd be better off with a 360 for now; it's hard to justify spending any money on upgrades for a system that old.

If you are dead set on a new GPU, DX10 should not be a factor. Vista will not be a pleasant experience on your rig, and the whole DX10 on XP thing sounds like a waste of time. That being said, it still looks like the HD2600pro is the best option for AGP now. In the past the x1950pro and 7900gs were the go to AGP cards, but they seem to be scarce now and their prices are too high. Newegg has an AGP HD2600pro right now for a little over $100. That should get you decent performance on non-CPU intensive games, just be sure to overclock it a little ;) 

edit: Whoops, I just noticed that that card has GDDR2 memory, so I will now revoke its recommendation. Just enjoy your 6600gt (great card) and save up for a new build. The 360 Arcade looks like a good deal, and Halo 3 is a blast online :pt1cable: 
October 21, 2007 5:50:37 PM

Don't waste your money on that system. HD2600 Pro with GDDR2, that's just asking for poor performance. With PCI-Express motherboards so cheap, and AMD CPUs so cheap, I'd highly recommend buying an AMD AM2 socket motherboard, and the cheapest dual core you can find. Also, in addition to extremely low prices on the motherboard and CPU ends, DDR2 RAM is also relatively cheap. I'd say for the amount you'd spend on an XBOX 360 you could purchase upgrades for your PC that will give you much better performance.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ABIT AN52 AM2 NVIDIA nForce 520 MCP $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS Hightech H260XTQT256DDN-R Radeon HD 2600XT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 $142 w/ $20 Mail In Rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



And you should still have money left over...take a girl out or something. ;) 
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October 21, 2007 6:07:55 PM

Im gonna put this down in points as it will be easier to read:

1- Yes AGP does have a dx10 card
2- Its too damn slow for any good dx10 gaming (you'll have to use dx9 any way), unless your gonna play at 800x600.
3- Your better off with a faster AGP dx9 card.
4- If you want dx10, dont bother looking any lower than a hd2900 pro or the 8800 cards to be able to play at good settings.
5- Getting one of the higher dx9 card models will mean you will need a new psu aswell.

Personal opinion:
- For dx10 gaming upgrade your entire system
- For dx9 gaming get a good dx9 card and a psu
- If thats too much hassle, get a console :) 
October 21, 2007 6:46:17 PM

http://www.fallingleafsystems.com/compatibility/

DX10 will be released on XP, just unofficially. At least I hope so.. The reason why I want a quad core CPU is because 6th gen emulators like PCSX2 will soon outspec dual cores, and since I'm not planning on buying any old consoles a new 4x core PC will serve retro play just fine.

I'm now convinced DX10 will run too slow using a DDR2 card and will have to resort to DX9 anyway, even if it's on XP. I'll just have to keep lowering the visual detail for the next 12-18 months :p 

Thanks to everyone who responded.
October 21, 2007 7:26:04 PM

If you got work to do with a computer that could use the speed (video encoding/decoding) or graphics, get a new comp.

I'd just pick up a Phenom x4 and an 8800GT in a few weeks if I were you.
October 21, 2007 7:32:42 PM

What's the expected price range of the Phenom, the triple and the quad core versions respectively? Will the triple core be any good, or are developers going to struggle (or not care) to write apps to take advantage of it?

Also, when is DX10.1 hardware bound to appear?
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