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AGP upgrade? or Mobo and new PCI-e card?

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January 10, 2008 10:00:02 PM

OK - first of all my apologies. I'm new to the forum and it looks like 50% of the threads on here are individuals asking advice on what they should buy. Well... here's another....

I'm still on AGP. I've been considering upgrading my old 6200 (totally useless now) to a spanking new X1950 Pro 512MB AGP.

Now I've seen this card for £105 delivered (~$200), which is just about the limit of what I wanna spend. However, seeing as though a new PCI-e capable mobo would only be around £30 -£40 (I don't need anything too fancy), is there anything in the PCI-e range in the region of £70 that could outperform the AGP X1950 Pro?

Also, how do the AGP and PCI-e versions of the X1950 compare to one another?

I want something that's capable of playing the most recent games with moderate settings at a smooth framerate. Ideally I don't wanna spend much more than £100

Many Thanks in advance.

System Spec;
OS: Vista Home Premium 64-bit (what a mistake that was!)
mobo: AsRock AM2NF3-VSTA
CPU: Athlon 64 3800+ (~2.4 GHz)
RAM: 3GB DDR2 533MHz
Gfx: GeForce 6200 AGP
PSU: 450W generic (with 18A on the 12v connector for PCI-e)
HD: 250GB WD Caviar 2500KS
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January 11, 2008 3:41:53 AM

I'm guessing that 2900GT is better. I just thought I remembered the X1950 Pro being about that price in the article so I linked to that.

Rob, use the VGA Charts and Best Video Cards for the money to find a card in your price range.
January 11, 2008 3:47:41 AM

Does anyone have any benches on the 2900GT? I would really like to know how it performs, because at that price point, it looks amazing, especially considering it was at the HD 3850's price point not too long ago.

Edit: I found this, it's CF, but not too bad of a score for such a cheap card. http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16...

I can't find any single card benches though.
January 12, 2008 11:44:07 AM

Cheers Guys.

I've actually bottled it and plumped for a cheap X1650 Pro AGP. I saw one for £30 and thought it would keep me going for 6 months or so pending a complete re-build. I'm fancying a completely new quad-core system once their price drop a little.

Not installed the new card yet - I'm hardly expexting to be blown away but here's hoping it will suffice. Gotta be a significant improvement on my old 6200
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2008 12:10:08 PM

And you'll be able to power the x1650pro with your currently PSU. If you ever want to run a x1950agp card, you'll need about 25 A or so on the 12v rail to even consider power it up. It's a beast, especially the AGP version.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2008 12:17:35 PM

IndigoMoss said:
Does anyone have any benches on the 2900GT?

This 8800GT review was the first I saw to quietly sneak the 2900GT in. It performs on par with the X1950 pro, sometimes a bit behind and sometimes pulling ahead. Quite crippled compared to the 2900 pro.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800...
January 12, 2008 12:22:25 PM

x1650 will dust that crappy 6200 easily. i was in your spot this time last year and bought the xfx 7600gt and was in gaming heaven ever since (as far as playing on medium settings solid that is!)

the x1650 is the same as my 7600gt (though i think my 7600gt is a touch bit better) so you will be happy with it until your new build.

by the way, did you see this where you're from:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

actually this might be a better choice at the price range.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2008 12:27:07 PM

The 7600GT is about like the X1650XT or 1650GT. The 1650 pro GDDR3 is like a 7600GS and a X1650 pro GDDR2 is a below those. Still a large leap over a 6200 though.
January 12, 2008 2:55:15 PM

Well damn, the 2900GT for $115 dollars is quite a good deal then. It's just a little bit under a 7900GT, and you can still overclock it pretty high since it has that nice 2900 cooler on it. I think I might get one to see how far I can OC it, and then give it to my friend.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2008 4:14:13 PM

It(2900GT) will destroy the GF7900GT in most new games like UT3, COD4, Crysis, the orange box, etc. The X1950 pro and even HD2600XT(without fsaa) leaves the 7900GT behind in these games. I don't agree with recommending the GF7's anymore based on how bad they tank in these new shader heavy games. It started back with Oblivion and NFS:carbon, but the trend has now continued. The 7900GS and GT are no longer X1950 pro equivelents and would need to be priced way under $100 to make me even consider one for newer games.

example: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800...
January 14, 2008 4:08:00 PM

This thing's a nightmare.

Whacked the new X1650 in ready to re-visit FarCry and Quake4, hoping I'd be able to crank them up to playable settings with the new card.
... 6 hours of blue screens and blank displays followed.

I must've tried every driver under the sun to no avail - drivers from the installation CD, new and old drivers from ATI's website, drivers from the manufactures website (PowerColor). And, yes - I did fully remove all previous nvidia gfx drivers beforehand, even running a driver cleaner sweep.

Now I know PowerColor may not be the manufacturer of choice for the connoisseur, but hey - it was cheap and I could pick it up off a shelf rather than having to wait for delivery.
However, I don't think it's a defective card as it does put out a VGA signal and the fan powers up. Installing drivers results in BSOD or simply no display at all after the Vista splash resulting in a foray into safe mode to uninstall them.

I think the problem is my board. Scouring the web I've found a couple of references (albeit non-official looking), stating that the card is incompatible with my NF3 chipset (I gather this is now quite outdated). Others say that 3.3v cards are incompatible with my AM2NF3-VSTA and may even damage the board. (Don't know the v'age of the card).
Unfortunately I don't have another box handy to test the card in.

Either way - the card's going back and I'm taking the long overdue plunge into the world of PCI-e. So.....

Can anyone recommend me a PCI-e card and AM2 board (maybe with Quad Core support?) for ~£100 - £120? Preferably one that will run on my existing no-brand 450W PSU or am I asking too mnuch for my budget?

Cheers Guys.

a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2008 5:39:46 PM

With 18 amp on the 12v rail in a generic PSU, I suspect your power supply is the problem and the card is fine. I've run an X1650 pro AGP in an NF3 and an NF2 mobo without problems, but I had alot more 12v on a name brand PSU in both rigs. The same card would not run with an Antec true 330W (18 amp 12v) PSU in my kids Athlon XP rig.
January 14, 2008 6:00:53 PM

Cheers,

PSU eh?

Any way to confirm that without jamming the card into a new box, or installing a new PSU on my current machine?
I don't suppose disconnecting optical drives, case fans, my spare HD, and/or memory would make a difference to the available power (I want more amps not watts right?)?

Or... is it possible to up the amps?
January 14, 2008 6:39:37 PM

Amps is watts. Voltage +watts = amps. Amp draw is the key. You prolly need more amps, a better PS.
January 14, 2008 7:16:51 PM

ya might wanna try and do a custom install and select gpu driver only instead of going with a normal install. see if that fixes the prob.
January 14, 2008 8:39:44 PM

"Amps is watts. Voltage +watts = amps. Amp draw is the key. You prolly need more amps, a better PS. "

So unplugging all those non-essentials aint gonna help me?

Back to the shops I go. This is looking more and more like I'm gonna part with more cash than I originally wanted. Although I was planning on overhauling my system a few months down the line anyways.
a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2008 10:23:08 PM

Well if you at least get a PSU than you can transfer it over to the newer rig down the line. Get one from Tier 3 or above, see my signature for the link.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2008 1:31:27 AM

lunyone said:
Well if you at least get a PSU than you can transfer it over to the newer rig down the line. Get one from Tier 3 or above, see my signature for the link.

Exactly my thought. I would start with a new power supply and see if the X1650 pro machine is then stable. If not, consider it a much needed part of the upgrade to PCI-e. A generic PSU with 18 amp 12v isn't much to work with for a stable gaming system.

And although unlugging all extra drives would spare some 12v consumption, that doesn't mean it would be enough to make things stable. Wouldn't hurt to try, but if it fails it doesn't rule out the PSU as the problem. New PSU or trying the card in another machine is the way to test that card.


January 15, 2008 6:36:53 AM

OK Cheers Guys,

I was looking at a Corsair 520W HX series PSU anyway. I like the modular cable system and it's tier 2 in your link list. And they're supposed to be pretty quiet (though I'm not sure I beleive the 20dB it's specced to).

Or is it worth future-proofing to some extent and going for 700W?


Also, I must say - It's quite refreshing to find a site/forum with people who can actually offer decent informed advice without resorting to sarcasm or bashing the new guy.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2008 7:57:59 AM

The 520w will do you fine for future proofing too. I like it over the OCZ, but that is just my opinion, since I don't own either one. The Corsair has 5 yr. warranty to the 3 yr. warranty that OCZ has. Both are nice PSU's and will do fine. The 520w has almost the same output as the OCZ and is generally cheaper, so that is why I would recommend it over the OCZ one.

Quote:
Also, I must say - It's quite refreshing to find a site/forum with people who can actually offer decent informed advice without resorting to sarcasm or bashing the new guy.


We were all in your position at one point or another, so bashing a new guy to the forum would only be childish. Now if you came across different than I'm sure someone would say/write something about it, believe me this happens alot.
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