AGP 8x Card & PSU Question

:hello:Hello All,
I'm new here and i have searched and read in this forum trying to answer my question, but don't feel i have a good enough answer, so i'll ask it now.

I would like to know your opinion on which AGP 8X video card would give the best gaming performance in this system:
Mobo: MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (nForce3 250) AGP 8X
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (2GHz) Stock Cooler
Memory: Patriot 1GB (2 x 512MB) DDR 400 (PC 3200) 2-2-2-5
1 X PCI Sound Card (bluegears b-enspirer)
2 X WD 750GB HDD's
1 X Optical Drive
2 X 120mm Fans
PSU: Antec Smartpower SL350 350W [+5V@35A, +12V@16A, +3.3V@28A Single Rail]

This System is about 3 years old and has run perfectly since i built it, but the video card in it is an old Hercules 4500 Kyro II 64MB that i got for free, and it has to go.
I know the PSU is the major factor here, and from what i have read the 7600GS seems to be my best bet due to low power consumption, but i have read some saying it will work fine and others saying it may be too fast and bottleneck the 2 Ghz CPU, or 16A is not enough to run it comfortably.
So my question is what video card would you put in this system as is? forget about buying a new PSU or CPU, would a 7600GS work here or maybe something older that doesn't require external power. ATI or nVidia doesn't matter.
I actually bought a 9600PRO, but it got lost by UPS and now Newegg is going to give me a refund and me a chance to second guess which card to buy.
Not really game specific, but mostly FPS games and movie watching.

Thanks in advance and sorry if i left out any info, or just don't make sense ;)
9 answers Last reply
More about card question
  1. That CPU would be fine with a much more powerful card like an X1950 PRO, or even a 3850.

    The 7600 GS is a fine card, and a good match for the PSU as well. Might also consider a 2600 PRO with that PSU.
  2. The 7600gs would be your best bet. The 7600gt would perform even better, but you would be pushing your PSU to the limit. Not a good idea.
  3. Yeah, I considered the 2600 PRO, but read bad things about drivers and Win XP so i kinda ruled it out.
    Is there a big difference in amps needed between 7600GS, 7600GT, and a 2600 PRO?
  4. if your Monitor is 17 inch or less i think 7600GS will be enough if it is bigger or you like to play at high res i would recommend 7600GT but it is much easer to find cheap 7600GS for AGP than 7600GT ,and i think in some games 7600GT will be a little bit bottlenecked by your CPU so i reccomend 7600GS or X1650 Pro :)
  5. No chance no way will a 7600GT get restricted by the ops CPU.
    I would check the power requirements but i think that the 7600GT will be fine on your psu,i recon its the best card you could run.
  6. The 7600GS will be fine with ur psu, it only needs 27W:

    I'm running a ~60W 6800gt on a similar setup, first with a 3000+@2.34 GHz and now with a X2 3800+ @ 2.7 on a Vantec 350W, 15A 12v psu for combined over 3 years now. Since u have a decent psu, i think u could go with a higher power card like the 1650 pro or 7600gt if u want.
  7. You know... yeah, 16A on the 12v, and a brand name PSU, the OP could do a 7600 GT.

    Having said that, the Omega drivers are suppoesed to work well on the AGP 2600 XT, and you can get those for $112 on newegg... faster than the 7600 GT in a lot of stuff for sure, and alot cheaper too.
  8. Actually now you mention it Cleeve, and i think about it for a while i guess the 2600XT would be a good way for the op to go, As far as the Omega Drivers go i heard they were the only ones that did work, Are you planning on doing any testing with them Cleeve it would be nice to know if they are any good especialy as far as the AA goes, ie does it still take a big drop in FPS with the AA on.
    To jhardee7
    Cleeve has it about right once more,well the guy does test them for a living so he should know what he is talking about. Also the 2600 will give you the built in video support so you could run the rig as a HTPC as well if you wanted.
  9. I had the same mobo for a while with a power hungry 6800U. Nice mobo. I've also used that PSU countless times since it came in the SLK3700 case (a personal favorite for a while). But I sure wouldn't go beyond a 7600GS with that PSU. 16 amp is wimpy.

    (I know you don't want to hear this, but) Actually in all honesty, I think you're crazy to let the PSU limit you. You can get an earthwatts 380W for $20 AR + $7 shipping that has 27 amp 12v rail. With that you could run almost any AGP card out there with possible exception of the X1950XT and X1950 pro. Plus, I used enough antec smartpowers to have some die out after in under 4 years. I have had one exactly like yours and a 400W original smartpower go in the past 6 months in customers rigs. One running a 9800 pro and one an AIW 9700 pro. It's 3 years old and served you well, but IMO you push it too high on a new card and you may find it'll be a gonner soon. Then you still need a new PSU and you end up with an overpriced underpowered 7600GS too. New that card will probably run you $80-100. Not worth it when a HD2600XT is under $120 and is many levels above it. Shoot, in some new games the HD2600XT easily beats the 7900GS and even 7900GT, never mind a 7600GS. (want links just ask) And you could have one with a new PSU for under $150.

    I say for movies and games on that system, this is worth it for sure:
    - plus -

    or on the cheap .....
    And even though it's GDDR2 so usually not as fast as the 7600GS(i bet some new games it would beat it), it's priced much better from what I have seen. I would take this card for $50ish AR and a brand new earthwatts for $20ish AR, over paying nearly $100 for a 7600GS. If you don't mind rebates this would be as cheap or cheaper and set you up better for the furture than continueing to use a 3 year old 16 amp 12v PSU. If however you find a 7600GS for $60 AR, that's a different story.

    Anyway, just wanted to give you something to think about.
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