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1950 with older setup (how big of an improvement would I see?)

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November 21, 2007 3:04:06 PM

Here is mycurrent build:

Processor: AMD Athlong FX-51 2.2 Ghz
Mobo: Asus SK8N
RAM: CORSAIR TWINX1024-3200C2 512MB x 4
GFX: Radeon 9800 XT 256 mb

I was planning to just do a complete rebuild as my system is several years old and most of the video cards I was looking at were PCI -express (which is incompatable with my motherboard)

Here is my thread on the new build I was considering:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/246625-31-once-proud-...

Someone suggested that instead I could upgrade to a 1950 AGP card, and save myself quite a bit of money. I had some questions about the card.

I cannot find a 512 mb version of the 1950XT on AGP, would the 256 MB XT version be better than a 512 Pro?

My problem with my old build is that my 9800XT does not work with a lot of newer games such as Bioshock, the 1950 should fix this but spending ~200+ on an AGP card I want to be sure it is worth it. Will the rest of my system slow me down, or would replacing the GFX card be a noticeable improvement. I have a 26" monitor, and like to run on decent if not high settings, would I be able to do this on many of the newer games just upgrading the GFX card or should I bite the bullet and start over from scratch.
November 21, 2007 3:14:37 PM

Start over from scratch, ESPECIALLY if running a big screen with a res of or above 1920x1200. You are going to need dual card setups to run that big of a res with high settings properly on the high profile games.
November 21, 2007 3:18:52 PM

I don't plan to run resolutions that high,

while it would be nice I just can't justify it for me since in a year of aging I would probably have to start scaling back.

My idea of high resolution is 1600 x 1200. Sometimes I go higher than that, but I can accept running at 1280x1024 to be honest as long as it is high quality.

Keeping that in mind, would the rest of my system still be a big bottleneck, with newer or future games?
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November 21, 2007 3:24:33 PM

A 256mb X1950 XT will make a colossal difference in your gaming experience, but it'll top out at 1650x1080. On a 22" LCD monitor that'd be great for you, but if you have a 26" monitor... and on that beast, 1650x1080 might not cut it.

I don't know the native resolution of your 26" monitor, but if it's 1920x1200 or therabouts you're going to need one of the heavyweights - say a Geforce 8800 or Radeon 2900 XT or 3870.

The one thing you might want to consider - supposedly the Radeon 3850 is coming to AGP. If it does, I'll be testing it for Tom's Hardware on a single core Athlon64 3400+... that might give you an idea how it'd work with your system.
November 21, 2007 3:40:21 PM

I think you can get around $300 for your system at least, add another $300-400 to that and you can get a pretty good rig to run Crysis at high on 1280x1024 to 1680x1050
November 21, 2007 4:14:45 PM

1600x1200 is the native resolution (it is a CRT monitor maybe that is why).

Thanks for the tip, any idea when your review might be out? :D 
a b U Graphics card
November 21, 2007 4:53:17 PM

^ Seems like a good time to upgrade to a LCD (esp. during black Friday) too.
November 21, 2007 5:12:10 PM

I don't mind my monitor for now, I'll upgrade it a little later (probably not until after Christmas).

From the replies here I think I will try to milk a few more months (maybe even a year) out of my current system by just buying a new GFX card. I can afford a hundred dollars now, and most of what I am looking forward to playing hasn't been released yet anyways. So it should tide me over until then.

For AGP cards is the 1950XT 256 mb my best option at the moment? Better then the 512 pro version? Or is there something better out there. Or I guess if it is not too long I could wait for the review on the new AGP cards, anyone have an idea of how long that will be or if it will be a major improvement (or if not at least a price reduction on the 1950)?

November 21, 2007 5:59:47 PM

A 26" CRT? Holy hannah, that must be HUGE.

At 1600x1200, an X1950 XT will certianly play new titles and be wayyyy faster than your 9800. On the newest stuff like Crysis though, you won't be able to run full detail of course... but then, I can't do that on my E6750 paired with a 2900 XT, either.

With a CRT, it's a viable option for you, to be sure. But with 256MB, you won't be able to use the 'very high' texture settings in games that can utilize 512 MB texture sets.
November 21, 2007 6:00:00 PM

Get the 1950PRO512mb, AGP for the mem. It's worth it. O.C. it w/stock cooler and you get scores very close to the XT and of course better w/higher res. At the res. you play at the most (1280x) you'll see a huge diff. w/1950XT 256mb... however you're gonna be surprised by the ability to use 2 mon. at the same time for games like Supreme Commader or to watch the Simpson's at the same time that you play Oblivion etc. The 512mb is good for that. I have another rig. similar to yours w/1600PRO512mbAGP and do the mentioned multi tasking w/it (768mb sys. RAM,AMDathlon2600xpSTOCKspd.,350wPSU,AsusA7N8X-Deluxe) BTW!!! all settings MAXED "!"
November 21, 2007 6:29:51 PM

Do you have any problems with your processor on that computer, someone in the processor forum said that my Athlon 64 FX-51 wouldn't cut it for new games. (also when searching for the 1950 saw a similiar comment saying something about new games requiring 2.8ghz +P4's)
November 21, 2007 6:59:52 PM

Depends on the game. I haven't had a problem with any game except supreme commander (which really needs aa dual processor) on my Athlon64 3400+ yet, although I haven't played crysis on it yet...
a c 1408 U Graphics card
November 21, 2007 7:32:48 PM

I swapped from a fx5900xt to a 1950pro six months ago. I used the opportunity to pick up a new MB for Pci express on ebay at the same time. It was cheaper because of the price difference between the agp and pcix on the GPU and then later I sold my old MB for the same money I paid for the new one. I am still happy with that upgrade on 22 inch LCD with 1680 x 1050
November 21, 2007 8:03:41 PM

Just out of curiosity, none of you have heard about the huge problems some 1950 pro/gt agp users (including me, unfortunately) are having? Basically it boils down to this: any driver newer than 7.6 won't work in 3D mode for me (and many others). There's a ton of threads on this subject all around the net, use google to find them if you want to.

Just a heads up..
November 22, 2007 1:35:14 PM

Haven't mentionede it because I haven't experienced it, my X1950 PRO AGP seems to work fine.

Not saying there's not a problem, just that I haven't seen it...
November 22, 2007 2:30:31 PM

Ya, I haven't heard of/seen any problems. I'm using 7.10 drivers on my AGP sys. w/7.11 drivers on my PCI-E sys. I will put 7.11 on the AGP soon, today, and I don't anticipate any issues. I have beaten Oblivion twice at MAX settings all across the board, w/ my AGP sys. It runs Quake 4 w/o any issues w/all settings maxed out. (not ULTRA) WILL run in Ultra but does skip sometimes. Either way, AGP is not dead. The ATi "solution" is far superior to that of NV, for AGP.
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