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Graphics card to match P4 Prescott 3ghz socket 478

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July 3, 2008 7:32:31 PM


I have an old system that i'm looking to partially upgrade. This is a system that I have periodically upgraded bits and pieces over time. I originally built this system as a P4 1.4ghz socket478 like 8 yrs ago when it first came out. I've upgraded about all of it over time.

Currently I have a Soyo mobo socket 478 w/ AGP, 2gb DDR RAM, P4 Prescott 3.0ghz, and a GeForce FX 5900 (non-ultra).

I'm going to be playing mostly older games, such as Everquest and strategy type games, but may play some of the older FPS. I don't care about playing the latest FPS games - I don't want to spend a lot of money to do so.

I was hoping to upgrade my mobo (to PCIexpress) and graphics card to something newer. What would be a decent match for the processor I have? I'm hoping to do an upgrade for under $200. Just something to tide me over until I can save up for a proper machine.

What would you suggest my best bet be for an upgrade? Thanks in advance!!!
a c 130 U Graphics card
July 3, 2008 8:10:16 PM

What you could do is make something that is known on another forum i use as a "Dave special" Named after the guy who first introduced them to the forum.
Asroc make this Motherboard. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .
It has an AGP slot and a X4 only pcie slot. now this wont affect you speed wise if you do intend to only play older games. It will however give you access to lower priced PCIE cards. :) 

Then you also but this CPU to go in it http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .
Its a nice cheap CPU that will easilly be better than your P4 and will also overclock really well if you want to. :) 

If you look at the specs you will see that you will be able to use your old Ram and Drives, which is also a bonus.

I would recomend that as your system is about 8 years old you replace the power supply.
This should be ample. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .

Graphics wise this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .
will give you all te hpower you need for older games and let you play some newer ones also.

It all comes in just over the $200 mark but is the cheapest way i know of getting from AGP to PCIE and Core 2.

Some of the others may have alternative ideas so hang on for a few more replies.

Mactronix

a b U Graphics card
July 3, 2008 8:50:01 PM

I am currently using a system that is very similar to your's:

P4 3.0 Northwood
2G DDR 400
ATI X800 XT

This system can play Doom3, Half Life 2, Diablo 2, and Tiger Woods Tour 2006 at max settings. I have not played Everquest or Oblivion on this rig.

The weakest component in your system is the video card. I would first try to upgrade it to an ATI 3850 AGP and see what happens (you may need a new power supply too): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102730

For power supply needs: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp

A new mobo means you gotta reinstall Windows and everything. IMHO your only other option would be a new system.
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July 3, 2008 9:05:09 PM

BTW, since several of you mentioned my power supply, I bought a "good" power supply when I bought my graphics card. It's a Thermaltake "smartpower" (i think) with a wattage of approx 480w. Not sure if that's enough - I've had no problems so far!

But yeah, those are the type of games I'd like to play. on my FX 5900 even everquest is a bit slow. I'd love to play Half Life 2, which i've heard is good, but I figure my current graphics wouldn't suffice.

Thanks for your suggestions!
a b U Graphics card
July 3, 2008 9:15:56 PM

Consider saving ~$300+ and doing a full CPU,RAM,Motherboard,PSU upgrade. You are trowing money at a ancient rig.

My recommendations:
EP35-DS3L = $83
E2180 = $70
1GB DDR2 = $20
8400GS = $30
Antec EA430 = $30 (after MIR)
Total = ~$203
July 3, 2008 9:46:27 PM

I can tell you from my own experience that you hardly need a cpu-upgrade. I upgraded from a P4 2,8 to a athlon 64 x2 5000+ and ONLY in games REALLY built for multicore--like the unreal engine 3.0 the is a differece. Otherwise 3.0 GHz is still a fast cpu whatever the 'must have latest gizmo'-guys say.
Your real bottleneck is the memory and its subsystem though but thats not such a big deal. That Asrock mobo Mactronix talks about seems like a good idea.
July 3, 2008 10:14:46 PM

I'm looking at keeping the CPU if I can, I think it's probably fast enough (although a power hog) and I have a nice Zalman heat sink.

How about:
Mobo: BIOSTAR P4M900M4 478 VIA P4M900 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $45 open box
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphics: SAPPHIRE 100218L Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP $83
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: CORSAIR 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory - Retail $49
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's under $180 shipped. Would my power supply suffice, or would Shadow703793's Antec EA430 be better for the additional $30?
July 3, 2008 10:22:09 PM

i was in a similar situation as you at the beginning of this year. i put so much money into my old P4 rig and it still wasn't performing well. after all the upgrades i only managed to get around 20fps on low graphics in crysis. i later decided that enough is enough. i put together a fairly cheap amd-based system. With everything, (everything being a 780G chipset mobo, an athlon x2 4200+, 2GB PC6400, and a seagate 7200.11 500GB, along with some really cheap asus case), i spent about $300, and the difference was huge. the integrated graphics on that motherboard was almost as fast as my old 7600GT! as sad as it may sound, even the IGP on today's motherboards (mostly amd rather than intel) may be faster than your 5900.
July 3, 2008 10:22:13 PM

Your power supply will not work with that mobo, because it takes a 24 pin connector.
July 3, 2008 10:24:04 PM

An AMD 780G with 2 gigs of ram and a cheap AMD dual core processor would fly circles around your current build.
July 3, 2008 10:30:44 PM

Very good advice all. I appreciate it!
July 3, 2008 11:08:42 PM


Okay, I came in looking for a video card and now I am looking to buy a whole system. We gots some salesmen here! =)

I'm looking at:

RAM $49 – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO $88 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU $100 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

POWER $30 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE $82 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL $349

The graphics is integrated, but I could always add a video card later to get a boost.

Thoughts?
a b U Graphics card
July 4, 2008 12:46:33 AM

^Looks good. However be careful with DDR2 1066 RAM, the 1066 RAM are known to have compatibility issues.
July 5, 2008 1:10:39 AM

hi, im almost on the same situation, saving for a new system.

my current system is a P4 Prescott 3.0E ghz, 1 GB DDR 333, msi fx 5500 256TD OC.

I play some "old" games such Counter Strike Source (several hours per day), half life 2, ep1 ep2, portal. Source games FAN i am. At MED settings or high settings but using low dxlevel: 8.0, and 8.1

And i thinking about buying this cheap card (ATI HD2600 PRO 512 AGP),
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8538843&t...

will this card and my CPU let me run those games on "high" settings @ 1024*768 or higher resolution, on direct level 90 or 95, getting a pretty decent amount of fps? (>60 )?**

source based games dont use the multi cpu features.
a b U Graphics card
July 5, 2008 7:56:53 PM

That card should be fine. However AGP is now pretty much dead. Imo, you will be better off with a new build if you don't mind spending ~$450+ for a new CPU,GPU,Motherboard,RAM.
!