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AGP card for the "last hoorrah" before upgrading.

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March 30, 2008 8:24:56 PM

My EVGA 7600GT happily died of overheating (which I found out is apparently a common problem with that card), so I am looking for an up to 160$ card to hold me over 'till 2009 to replace my computer fully. The 6600GT I have from older times isn't cutting it at all.

Unfortunately, the computer in question is rather old, so I want to get a card that will give reasonable performance on games from 2006-2008 that aren't high end (CnC3, NWN2, Source based, etc.) that isn't severely limited by the rest of my system. I don't know nearly enough about computers to be able to make a good estimate myself, so asking for help.


Motherboard: ASUS P4PE (4x AGP slot)
CPU: Intel Pentium 4, 2.8GHz
PSU: 500 Watt (Basiq)
RAM: 2.0 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (this is the upgrade I am getting along with a new card, my current ram is 1 GB)

So I picked out this one as I think will work fairly well on this computer:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Will it work well enough on this computer? Or should I pick something weaker/cheaper?




March 30, 2008 10:08:20 PM

Hmm, the 3850 is more then I am willing to pay for and will clearly bottleneck even more then the 1650.

How much of an improvement would the 1650 be over the 7600GT? Would it be worth paying 100$ for it? Or should I use something weaker but even cheaper, like this:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Would the bottlenecking bring the 1650GT down to the 1650 Pro level?
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a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2008 10:23:16 PM

The X1650GT is basically a slightly slower clocked X1650XT. These are basically equal to the 7600GT, although have a feature advantage and do perform alot better in some newer games. But in general an X1650GT is not an upgrade from a 7600GT, they are the same level.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
The 2600XT is your best bet to surpass the 7600GT and stay within Budget. The iceQ will stretch your budget and costs alot more than the basic HIS model. At a bit over $100, that's the best you will do the HIS 512MB for $100 AR. Also consider a used X1950 pro that is a bit better, especially with fsaa enabled.

I don't think the HD3850 would be worth you money with a P4 2.8GHz. Too bad your 7600GT died as with that system you really won't do alot better. But HD2600XT > X1650GT/7600GT if you are looking to buy.
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2008 10:25:51 PM

Oh 2600 pro is a good option for those prices listed. Forget the X1650 pro GDDR2 as it struggles to keep up with a 7600GS never mind the GT you had.
March 30, 2008 10:39:54 PM

Another option is to get yourself a Motherboard like the Asrock 4Core Dual VSTA, use your same parts and get yourself an EVGA 7600 GT PCIe, I think the total for that would be like $130. That way you're moving forward with your purchase and don't have to leave anything behind and can upgrade a little at a time.

J.
March 30, 2008 10:48:13 PM

Go for an AGP HD2600XT....
March 30, 2008 10:57:00 PM

If you do go for the x1650xt, which i've got and i'll recommend - good balance between price and performance for just a hold-over card make SURE you get the ddr3 version!
I can't tell you how many people i know that went ahead and got DDR2 versions and wondered why their games ran so much slower than mine.
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2008 10:59:16 PM

^ are there any GDDR2 X1650XT's? I thought all XT's were GDDR3 and the pro is the one to watch. A GDDR2 X1650XT simply isn't a X1650XT at all IMO. If such a card exosts, skip it for sure.
March 30, 2008 11:09:54 PM

pauldh said:
^ are there any GDDR2 X1650XT's? I thought all XT's were GDDR3 and the pro is the one to watch. A GDDR2 X1650XT simply isn't a X1650XT at all IMO. If such a card exosts, skip it for sure.



There aren't any. 1650XTs are all ddr3, 1650pros can be ddr2 or ddr3. HD 2600 pro is the best bang for the buck for an aging AGP system. 2600XT is only slightly faster, and doesn't justify the higher price.
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2008 11:30:36 PM

These charts have a GDDR3 X1650 pro, GDDR2 2600 pro, GDDR3 2600 pro, GDDR3 2600XT, and GDDR4 2600XT. Now only two of these are available in AGP at newegg and their 2600 pro GGR2 has higher clocked memory than neweggs, but still fun to compare.
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/index0710....

Too bad they didn't test medium details in crysis, but at least we can see the cards space themselves: 800/1400 XT > 600/1000 pro by 60% at these unplayable settings.
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/1007/itogi...


Playable settings in SCCT puts the 2600XT way ahead of the GDDR2 2600 pro too at almost 50% gains.
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/1007/itogi...
March 30, 2008 11:33:47 PM

It has craptacular reviews on Newegg though. Thank you for the help, though, everybody. So, based on suggestions here I have picked out 3 plausible ones:

110$; 2600XT, 512 GDDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

120$: 2600XT, 512 GDDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

95$: 2600PRO, 512 GDDR2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The first one seems best... although, the not-too-hot review score is scaring me. Should I go for the HIS 2600 or Sapphire 2600? They seem more powerful then the 2600PRO, but the 2600PRO seems to have reliable reviews and is cheaper. Does the difference between GDDR2 and GDDR3 matter that much?
March 30, 2008 11:35:48 PM

Why are all your examples HIS? Favorite brand? :p 
March 30, 2008 11:38:48 PM

dagger said:
There aren't any. 1650XTs are all ddr3, 1650pros can be ddr2 or ddr3.


Yes with the Pros it usually relates to the amount of memory. The 512mb ones tend to be the DDR2 versions (I have one) and the 256 are DDR3.
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2008 11:44:42 PM

One thing to keep in mind, the AGP 2600's that have been available longer will have worse ratings. Reason being, too many people struggled with drivers for AGP 2600's from the start. And it was easier for them to post a negative review vs grabbing drivers that worked. That's both ATI and the noob users fault IMO. Back then official drivers did not work and you needed omegas or a special hotfix driver if you wanted to step newer than the CD release drivers. I myself would be confident in getting any of them to work now unless the card itself is faulty. Pay attention to comments on noisy fans if that matters to you. And of course, just test it right away and newegg will rma a bad card with little hassle. Your main gamble is wasted time and shipping charges. Just my opinion. If you hate rebates and/or are scared of the His comments, go with the Sapphire or a different card.
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2008 11:46:34 PM

For AGP, it got really hard to find a X1650 pro GDDR3. I bought one way back when only Sapphire had one available. And yes, it was 256MB and They seemed to dissappear from etailers not long afterwards.

Actually, the His iceQ X1650XT Turbo AGP became hard to find too. That was a nice card if you had a capable PSU. A little higher clocked than the GT available now.
March 30, 2008 11:57:02 PM

Eh, my computer is already incredibly noisy as it is, I am used to it. My only real concerns are if it runs the games I have right now without turning it into a slide show and if it won't randomly crash and burn due to overheating or other problems.

I guess I'll go for the HIS though. From the comments, the Sapphire card has almost half the memory clock speed.

March 31, 2008 12:17:15 AM

Go for a Sapphire HD2600XT.... great cards for the price... and you'll be happy with the peformance over your old card at the same time.

Dont let the reviews worry you, I owned one, then two (crossfire) of the same card back in July 07 till October 07 and they performed nice considering the drivers weren't optimised.

For AGP there's no better card in my opinion, without spending a fortune I mean.
March 31, 2008 12:30:12 AM

I actually have a major question related to the driver for the HD2600XT. Which one, HIS or Sapphire has better driver support for it?

I looked at the ATI.AMD driver list, and they specifically put 2600PCIe for their HD2600... Which worries me as I don't think drivers for a PCIe card work as well for the AGP version of that same card. Probably means I will have to use the manufacturer's driver.
March 31, 2008 12:39:12 AM

I will be putting my old ATI X850XT on ebay in a few days.They seem to be going for around 50 bucks used.(A-lot more for new ones).So if your interested I'd be more than happy to try and make sure you get it for no more than 50.00 TOTAL.Let me know if you want it.Or not.Oh and by the way I currently have my old Gecube X1950XT on there with 1 day left .current bid is 75.00. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=2702...
March 31, 2008 1:41:42 AM

when i said get an x1650xt that was ddr3, i meant the x1650 gpu in general, not the xt, i don't know why i stuck it on there. (probably because i'm too used to typing it)
When i bought my x1650xt (i have the HIS iceQ version, too) there were plenty available, but that was a little over a year ago. I wouldn't go lower than it, though. if you can't find one, i suppose go with the 2600, but as noted, i've heard the drivers are sketchy at times (though, lots of ATI cards seem to be getting that problem..hmm. blah. oh well.)
March 31, 2008 2:19:06 AM

i agree with whoever said used x1950pro. you can fin a ton of those on eBay.
March 31, 2008 1:28:30 PM

Check this out as an option. It is only about $60 more than your budget... but it is a full upgrade. Also, it is a AM2+ mobo, so at some point, you could get a Phenom (I know... not as good as C2Q, but the setup is cheaper).

Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
49.99

GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
74.99

Ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
38.99

CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
55.99

I know this isn't the greatest stuff anymore. But, it is a lot better than what you currently have and with the AM2+ socket mobo, it leaves a lot of options open for future upgrades. The only possible bad thing is the board is a mATX, but I am sure you could find a full size board for a similar price.
April 1, 2008 12:53:04 AM

Get the Sapphire 2600XT agp .I just ordered the card for a friend of mines wife and she's pretty happy with it.shes into oblivion.
Unless you could get a used 1950 Pro/XT.
Hey Pauldh! giving good info out as usual I see!
Heres a long thread if your interested in Blue Ray/HD dvd working through this one dudes reg hacks http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=872538&...

!