Video Card/CPU balance

See if this sounds about right...

I have a media center system that I recently upgraded the motherboard and the video card (PCI-E) and ran some benchmarks. These are the specs:

Gigabyte GA 945GCM-S2C matx motherboard
Intel 3.2G PD Presler (no overclock)
PNY 9600GT 512MB video
2Ghz Patriot 800mhz memory
Ultra 500 watt psu
Windows XP Media Center 2005

I ran futuremark06 immediately after getting everything set up and scored 3750. This seems low but I know the CPU is a bottleneck. But does this sound like a normal score? I think the CPU score was around 985. I dont remember the video score but it was much higher.

My main reason for posting this topic is when I purchased the video card, the EVGA brand was 20.00 higher. I got the PNY home and opened it and the cooler cover has a very cheap feel to it compared to the EVGA card. A good friend of mine bought the EVGA card for 179.99 and I looked at it and it seemed to have a better quality appeal to it to me. When I went to get this card the EVGA card was 199.99 and the PNY card was 179.99 and they had identical specs. I had the rep at Microcenter to compare them online.

Im tempted to package this card back up and go back to Microcenter Monday and return it and pay 20.00 to get the EVGA brand. I have EVGA everything in my main rig and feel confident about that brand. I know if I installed a Core 2 Duo chip it would drastically improve my score but it will be a while before I buy one. My thoughts are to wait until the price goes down on a better chip than my Q6600 and move it to my media center pc and upgrade my main rig.

Another reason for my concern on this is my friend benchmarked his system with the EVGA card, and obviously a much better chip (AMD 6000+) and scored 9000. Does it seem right his score is nearly 3 times my score just from the difference of the CPU's?

This likely is correct and maybe the video card is good but I am regretting not getting the EVGA card in the first place.

Any reputable thoughts are appreciated... :hello:
5 answers Last reply
More about video card balance
  1. im not sure if the CPU is a bottleneck (probably is) you should consider getting a duo or quad
    everything else is great
  2. IIRC a e2160/e2180 for around $70 will do better than the 3.2 gHz Pentium Duo will. Plus you should be able to OC the e2160/80 to about 2.8-3 gHz, which will smoke the PD that you have. Don't know if this is an option for you or not, but I'd be willing to bet that your scores would go up and your game play might increase a bit too. It all depends on how you look at it. Does your games right now lag or get jaggy? If not, than I wouldn't worry too much about it. Otherwise just upgrade to a e2160/80 and be done with it for now.
  3. This system is primarily used for a media center system and playing movies is the hardest thing it actually does, other than decoding dvds. Tbh, it does everything I want it to do, the scores just concerned me and using the PNY 9600GT instead of the EVGA 9600GT seems like a mistake. I wasnt positive on how much of an impact the CPU had dragging my 3Dmark06 scores down vs the brand of the video card Im using.

    I didnt really want to replace the CPU just yet and I was thinking about taking this card back and paying the difference and getting the EVGA card since this is the cheaper avenue atm.

    I was wondering if anyone else here had a similar configuration and if a score of 3750 seemed normal. I dont want to later upgrade the CPU and be surprised to still get a low score and it end up being a card problem.
  4. I understand what your saying. I think the warranty on the eVga card is worth the extra $20. The PNY card has 1 year warranty, unless you fill out the warranty online and extend it another 2 years. Not sure how their support of this works, but I know eVga stands by their warranty pretty well (from what I've read). Not sure if the eVga card would perform better, especially if it has the same reference speed, but it is probably something that you've been thinking about.
  5. Yeah, I think Im decided on taking back the video card and getting the EVGA card. I do feel better about having that brand and you can get on their support line and be talking to a human in <5mins. More like 1-2mins.

    I will check to see what CPU's are on sale and who knows, I may walk out with an E2160/80 since they are priced so low.
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