This may turn out to be in the wrong section, so please bare with me.
I have just bought a new X1950 PRO for my ageing AGP system but I'm not sure which of my other components will be holding it back, my rig is as follows, I'm shopping for a new PSU as I write this so I will detail that as & when;
Pentium P4 650 3.4Ghz (OC'd to 4.08)
ASUS P5P800S MOBO
1.5G Corsair 400Mhz RAM
250Gb SATAII HDD (I know the MOBO is only SATAI)
Club 3d X1950 PRO
V.old 19" Packard Bell CRT Monitor
I am thinking that the P4 may be a bottleneck but I'm not sure if the RAM is more of a limiting factor. The games I play most are Oblivion, NWN2, CIV4, PREY, Rome Total War, Space Force and I'd like to play X3.
Are any or all of the above games optimised for Dual Core, I'm looking to upgrade my MOBO to one with AGP & PCI-e (as a stepping stone) but I'm not sure whether to get a new CPU to go with it or some DDR2 RAM.
Is that P4 a dual? Thats the only thing, your cpu, that isnt so hot, but, that card isnt the best of the best. Id say its a good match, especially if your cpu is a dual core. If you can, get another half gig of memory, if your mobo supports it. Just make sure you dont lose dual channel mode, check to see if itll work
I'm looking to upgrade my MOBO to one with AGP & PCI-e (as a stepping stone) but I'm not sure whether to get a new CPU to go with it or some DDR2 RAM.
I would not recomend that.
You can get a new P45 motherboard, E2180, 2Gb of DDR2 800 4-4-4-X, an aftermarket CPU cooler and a 4850 for around $365 in a single step.
You will be limited to a few not so nice motherboards if you insist on keeping the AGP standard.
Even the above simple E2180 will put a hurting to your overclocked P4, and that would be at stock.
With a little work, you should be able to take it to at least 3.0Ghz and it will then smoke your current CPU.
x1950 Pro => 4850 would be like comparing a Cobalt to a Porche.
A 4850 will will wipe the floor with your old x1950 Pro in every game.
That CPU probably is becoming a bottleneck at this point, yes. If the board is socket 775 and can support a Core2 Duo, you may want to consider that as a nice stopgap until you can get a more modern board with PCI-E (which you can then drop the exact same processor into).
If your board is socket 478, though, single core Prescott 3.4 is as fast as they made.
A athlon 64 at 2.2 maxxed these cards out, and hes near its performance..To me, its a balanced system as it is, and going in one direction or another wouldnt benefit his system, unless he used it as a carryover for his next setup, whther its a better gpu, or like was said, if its a skt 775, a better cpu, but currently its pretty well balanced as is