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Should I upgrade this rig with a HD3850 AGP or HD2600XT AGP?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 26, 2008 8:16:33 PM

Hi there,

Looking to breathe a teency bit of life back into my aging desktop gaming station and squeeze another year or so out of it. Just started running Age of Conan and the performance sucks rocks on my current rig:
  • i865PE chipset
  • P4 Northwood 3.2GHz HT CPU
  • 2gb DDR400 dual-channel RAM
  • nVidia 6800GS AGP video

    I know that my CPU is going to be a bottleneck even with the graphics updated, and I can't put a new dual-core chip on my board as the chipset doesn't support it. This upgrade is just as I said to stave off a full mobo/cpu/ram/video upgrade for awhile (about a year).

    I'm wondering if I should get the Radeon HD3850 AGP card for $218CAD or the Radeon HD2600XT AGP for $134CAD...

    Will my system not be able to realize the full potential of the HD3850 due to my CPU and is it thus better to get the HD2600XT? Or will I actually get a dramatic increase in performance out of the HD3850? I have no problem spending the money on the HD3850 if it's going to be head and shoulders better than the HD2600XT, but at this point in time a full mobo/cpu/ram/vid swap is out of reach so I'm not going to be spending more than just one of the two cards listed.
    May 26, 2008 8:19:37 PM

    I was going to say 3850 but you really need to upgrade, I would not invest any money in AGP anymore
    May 26, 2008 8:32:48 PM

    If you are going to do the AGP upgrade, then go with the 3850, its quiet, runs cool, and uses less power than the 2600XT.
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    May 26, 2008 8:34:25 PM

    HD 3850.
    Even CPU limited, it will let you run more eye candy than the 2600XT.

    If it were me, I would not even waste the $134 on the 2600. It would be much better saved towards a proper upgrade.

    My 0.02€
    May 26, 2008 8:54:08 PM

    i'd still get the 3850 , but i would overclock the cpu as much as possible so it wouldn't be a bottlekneck. if you're not planning on kaving your system for a while longer, then upgrade to 3850. but if you are not gonna keep you system more than six months, then i would try to build a brand new system. at least new cpu, mobo and ram. hdd you have, psu and case you have. your upgrade wouldn't be all that expensive. think about how long you wanna keep your system.
    May 26, 2008 8:57:37 PM

    Definitively, I agree with Col-P-Todd. You'll get a good upgrade with a 3850 AGP, but in 1-2 years you'll be at the same point that you are now, and have to buy a whole new system as the 3850 is the best AGP card available.

    I really think that the wise choice is investing on a new system, mainly a good Mobo, a not so bad Video Card, and maybe cheaper other parts that you could upgrade later, as your budget goes.

    You should probably wait until G200 and Radeon 4870 are out, so you could build a system that will handle the new GPU that you'll prefer (SLI or CrossfireX). Patience can pay sometime!
    !