Alright, well, my x1650xt died. So, I got an HD 2600xt. After hours of changing drivers and moving things, I ended up reinstalling windows to get HIS's 8.5 catalyst drivers to work. My old x1650xt posted a 3dmark05 score of 5701 (with omega drivers) and my hd2600xt is posting a score of 4903. It lowers to 4689 with the Omega drivers installed.
Stock drivers don't work. I increased my overclock 50MHz from the state with the x1650xt, too. I can't figure out why the 2600 isn't performing at least to it's former's reputation. Ideas?
I played COD4 with it, and with the same settings as my x1650xt, it lagged - a lot. I had to take almost everything down to low to get things above 30fps. The former card could take it all at medium and deliver above 30fps.
I was just thinking driver when he said an older Athlon XP rig. The problem is I don't think cleaning will help. Rumor has it that the AMD AGP cards don't perform like they should, due to bad drivers. The grumblings started with the x1950pro (not all brands/models) and got rather loud with the 2600pro/xt. I'm not 100% sure if its due to drivers or the PCIe to AGP bridge chip that is used.
I'm not sure if there is any help in this troubleshooting forum, but perhaps you can look and see.
Seeing as your system does seem to have the problem, perhaps you can return this and get something else? Perhaps another x1650xt or a 7600GT. Make sure you get a 7600GT, the 7600GS would be slower then your old x1650XT.
In an attempt to troubleshoot my x1650xt, I had reset my CMOS. I guess those settings are default on this board...I haven't seen it's default values in years. I just glanced over it I guess, never noticed it, I was paying attention to my FSB speed, attempting to get more performance out of my 2600.
That 5989 seems to be a miracle value, though, I'm having trouble reproducing it/improving it. I'm getting 5400-5700 scores, which still doesn't make me happy. This card should trump my x1650xt.
Call of duty framerates are back in the 30's, but it's noticeably slower than my x1650xt's performance.
Frozen, you are extremely CPU limited in COD4 with an AXP2800+. Are you sure no other system changes happened? Try a few resolutions at the same settings and I think you'll find the same performance regardless.... the 2600XT isn't holding you back.
I'll try the other resolutions, but really, it just doesn't feel as fast as my old card. by the numbers it's only 5-10fps by any means, and my CPU is the 50MHz faster than it used to be, not that I'm expecting a boost of value out of it.