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Would an X1950 PRO be bottlenecked by a 2.6C P4?

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August 2, 2008 11:29:17 PM

I know that asking about CPU/GPU bottlenecking is grossly oversimplifying a hotly debated topic, but I am asking in the broadest, most general, sweeping terms:

Can a 2.6GHz Northwood fully utilize an X1950 PRO, or is the card too strong? This is an AGP 8x bus we're talking about, not the PCI-e.

If the answer is no, the CPU is not fast/strong/robust enough for that card, then what about a 7600GT? Is that better matched?

I decline to provide other details because this is more or less a theory/numbers/benchmarks question, lol. Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for the help.

More about : x1950 pro bottlenecked

August 3, 2008 10:10:45 AM

nope it should be fine , i gave my m8 one of those cards on his 3.0ghz northwood setup , albiet a pci-e one , the bottlenecks actually the agp slightly tbh , stick with the 1950 , better card than the 7600gt by far imo.
a b U Graphics card
August 3, 2008 4:51:18 PM

There is no simple answer. Without question the P4 2.6C will hold it back in many games depending on your resolution. The P4 2.6C is below minimum spec for many recent titles, so expect to play at the lowest details in these titles regardless of the GPU. But in a single threaded game like FEAR, the CPU will be fine and you'll find you will want a hefty GPU to crank res/eye candy. I don't think it's a waste overall, but you certainly won't allow the card to shine in many games with that CPU. if a 7600GT was half the price, go for it. If it's a matter of $80 vs $100, go for the more powerful Card.
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August 3, 2008 7:52:09 PM


^ +1 exactly my feelings on the subject.
Yes it will be held back but how much i couldnt say. You will get a better experiance out of the 1950 pro regardless. As pauldh said it comes down to price vs performance.

Mactronix
August 3, 2008 8:04:47 PM

aye but thats relative , the card comes from that generation of machines so its not gonna be held back hardware wise but game spec wise , the x1950pro isnt exactly a new card is it?. but as a match for the machine its fine , if he wants to play all the latest stuff at top spec , then a whole new machine is required
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August 3, 2008 8:34:44 PM

OP: seems like a good match to me, if I remember correctly my X1900XT did n`t improve with a overclock of my 3.06 GHz, northwood P4 (on a AGP motherboard) by more than a few fps.
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August 3, 2008 9:09:13 PM


@ Ruu,
Welcome to the forums (sorry didnt notice you were new earlier).

@ samuraiblade.
On the contrary the card (1950 PRO) will almost certainly be held back Hardware wise as you put it. As a rough guide over the years and going on countless forum posts and benchmarks i have read a P4 at 3ghz is about right for a 1950 pro.
The thing is there are lots of ifs and buts as Ruu seems to know but not giving us the specs of his other hardware we cant really answer the question properly.
As myself and pauldh are both saying its not going to be completly wasted on the ops system but on the same note you will never see the full potential FPS wise. The eye candy you can cranck right up but the FPS will be capped in most cases by the CPU.
Mactronix
August 18, 2008 7:24:58 PM

Hey all, thanks for the input. Very helpful... but has forced me to reconsider the whole business of getting a new GPU, lol.

@ pauldh, mactronix (thanks for the welcome!)

With the AGP market pretty much dead, the 1950 PRO is actually cheaper than the 7600GT at this point (second-hand sources and eBay). I understand and agree with what you're saying about the price vs. performance; I wasn't intending to take the upgrade card on to the next system build, so either card would be a buy-it-and-leave-it purchase. Guess it makes sense to just get the best performance for the least amount of money, CPU/GPU balance be damned. :D  Still, doesn't it seem a shame to drop the 1950 into a system that can't fully utilize it, even if it is going to stay there until the whole computer dies? I just get the feeling that the 7600GT would be more matched to the CPU....

Suppose I really should give some other details, lol. I just wanted to see if a hard-and-fast answer existed for the CPU/GPU question; guess not. ;)  I have 2 GB of RAM in, and I mostly play WoW.

@ coozie7

You wouldn't recommend trying to overclock the CPU, then? Would rather not deal with overclocking if it doesn't make much of a difference. The mobo's definitely not an OCer.

And, final question that might get me laughed at....

Has anybody ever run the X1950 PRO on a 300W PSU? :D 

Thanks again, guys!
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August 18, 2008 8:49:45 PM


There is one other thing to take into account here and that is the RAM on the cards. This 7600GT we are talking about, it is a GDDR3 card isnt it ? If its only GDDR2 then dont touch it with a barge pole.

long story short. If you want a card to slot into your system as is then its got to be the 7600GT (As long as its GDDR3)
A power supply of 300 Watts would run that ok but it wouldnt haev a hope of running a 1950 PRO.
You need a 450 Watt PSU with about 26/28 Amps to run a 1950 PRO.
Do check on the WOW forums though before you get the 7600GT. I dont play it myself but rember reading about the card having some issues with the game. Chances are they have all been sorted now but its worth checking.

Mactronix :) 
August 18, 2008 11:15:21 PM

@ mactronix

Hunting down a GDDR3 7600GT will put its price a solid $30 (at least!) over just getting a 1950 PRO, which is faster and would have 512 MB RAM to boot (versus the 256 MB for the 7600GT). Is it really worth paying more money for a weaker card? Lots of people over at the Sudhian forums report no problems running the 1950 PRO with a 240 watt PSU and multiple HDDs, so now I have no idea what to think. Buh.

Then again, I suppose it's more about stability than numbers....

Ideally, I'd just spend the money on the next system build, but the next system build is literally years away, and my 9800 Pro is just not cutting it. ;) 
a b U Graphics card
August 19, 2008 1:25:40 AM

Oh man, the X1950 pro is so much better than the 7600GT, I could not get myself to spend as much (never mind more) for the 7600GT. With your CPU I may agree don't spend a ton more for the X1950 pro, but surely don't pay a premium for a slower 7600GT either.

To be honest, the whole GF7 series is worth less and less IMO as the trend is they stink at newer games. UT3 for example, the X1950 pro beats the 7900GTX, never mind the 7900GT/GS that it should compete with. The 7600GT is a slug in comparison. http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3128&p=4

And they do recommend 30 amps 12v for the X1950 pro although I'd image it should run on 25 amps if the system isn't loaded.
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August 19, 2008 6:57:58 PM


Well the thing is a GDDR2 7600GT is nowhere near the same thing as a GDDR3 7600GT performance wise. Thats what i was trying to get across. If you can get a 1950 PRO cheaper then its a no brainer, except i really dont see your PSU being upto the job. If you could tell us your location, im guessing USA but others do use dollars) and give us an idea of budget we could maybee have a scout about for you.

Mactronix :) 
August 26, 2008 12:50:33 AM

@ mactronix

Yeah, I understood what you were saying; thanks for the clarification, though. GDDR2 to GDDR3 doesn't exactly seem to be a linear progression, and I was definitely going to stay away from a card with the former.

I ended up picking up an HIS IceQ3 X1950 PRO on eBay for like $70. 512MB GDDR3, 256 bit, 590MHz GPU clock, 1.54Ghz memory clock. It's significantly quieter than that 9800 Pro with the stock fan. No crashes yet, and I've only got 17A on my 12v rail. 300w PSU. I'll let you guys say I told you so when the whole rig goes down in flames in a couple of months, but for now, this card is amazing!

(I was looking at $120+ for the GDDR3 7600GT, and that just seemed a little ridiculous to me.)

What's totally nuts is that my CPU temps have dropped like 2-3 degrees with this card. Completely inexplicable; were the 9800 Pros that hot?

Anyway. Even if my sad little P4 is bottlenecking the crap out of the card, it was still a helluva good deal and a helluva good upgrade. I'm happy. :D 
a b U Graphics card
August 26, 2008 3:43:56 AM

ruu said:


I ended up picking up an HIS IceQ3 X1950 PRO on eBay for like $70.

.....

What's totally nuts is that my CPU temps have dropped like 2-3 degrees with this card. Completely inexplicable; were the 9800 Pros that hot?

Your iceQ cooler is an extra exhaust fan in itself, and is venting hot air out of your case. Gotta love em'. :) 
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August 26, 2008 8:48:38 AM


@ ruu,

Nice find, i have had HIS for my last couple of cards. Wouldnt dream of saying told you so, some of these cards will run on less than the recomended spec as the makers add some to cover themselves. An X1650XT ICE Q TURBO from HIS AGP is currantly running in a rig upstairs with a generic PSU 400 Watts and a single 18 Amp +12 V line, and has done for a while now. The box says 450 Watt minimum and 30 Amps. If i had the option i would have upgraded the PSU but it wasnt an option so its running the most i knew i could get away with.
Thing is the chances are that it wont work out like that for everyone and we cant advise others to do that kind of thing.

Glad it worked out for you, enjoy the card
Mactronix :) 
!