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What kind of video card should I get for my system? (Bottleneck?)

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September 13, 2008 12:00:31 AM

I've been looking to get a better video card for a while. However, I would rather not spend much at all, because I am possibly thinking of upgrading to a new computer of some sort eventually, but I do not believe that would be too soon. My computer is currently 5.5-ish years old...nearing 6.

Specs:

AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2.0ghz)
Asus A7N8X-E (I believe)
1gig ram (DDR-333...I believe...but I'm not 100% sure at the moment, if it matters, I can find the exact.)
200gig harddrive (main)
40gig harddrive
GeForce 2 MX 400
350W power supply

The reason I'm looking to upgrade (and it wouldn't be that hard to beat it at all) is because my video card is a Geforce 2 MX. Just about anything is better than it. I would hopefully want something I can get cheap that should last.

I've been looking on eBay for a while. A Radeon X800 Pro 256MB AGP went for, including shipping, $41 which seems a decent amount. I'd basically be looking at an amount around there. That seems like a pretty good upgrade to me, but I was hoping to get your guys' opinions of some cards you might suggest to me. I also looked at a X850 Pro as well.

Also, from reading another thread I got thinking about if my computer would serve as a bottleneck for a faster card (since someone brought that up, I wonder if that would be an issue.

So, yeah, I'm hoping I could find a video card I could get. eBay has good prices so I've been thinking of buying it there. I just figure I'm going to upgrade my computer in some massive way sooner or later (either a new desktop/laptop, haven't decided fully yet.), so I was just hoping I could get something cheap enough that would do well enough, since just about anything is better than my current one.

I saw another post talking about someone else with a 350W power supply, but the reason to make my own was to make sure if you guys would know if I would run into any bottleneck because of my other computer specs.

I believe I saw someone say that their ATI might've been conflicting with their motherboard which had nForce on it (which is of course Nvidia). Does this usually happen? I believe my motherboard has nForce 2 stuff.

I guess my price limit would be around $50 maybe...although cheaper would be nice as well. Maybe slightly, slighty over. Hopefully I wouldn't have to get a new power supply, but, I guess we'll see what gets suggested.

Thanks.
September 13, 2008 12:11:44 AM

I wouldn't get an X800, it doesn't have SM3.0 which happens to be the standard for many games lately. Try an X1650 AGP and be done with it, I don't think it would be worth it to put much more money on it.
Related resources
September 13, 2008 12:18:32 AM

Because, yeah, I forgot to add that I don't really play the most intensive games ever (I mean, I've kindof thought about maybe trying Spore eventually here, but, yeah.) I mean, heck, I typically play Warcraft III (although it would be cool to play some of the other games I play with decent graphics, of which those other ones certainly have better graphics than WIII.) I mean, I wouldn't need the most amazing card in the world, just one that would work well enough. You don't think either of those cards would be bottlenecked or anything though?

Thanks for the input.
September 13, 2008 12:21:19 AM

Vakl said:
Because, yeah, I forgot to add that I don't really play the most intensive games ever (I mean, I've kindof thought about maybe trying Spore eventually here, but, yeah.) I mean, heck, I typically play Warcraft III (although it would be cool to play some of the other games I play with decent graphics, of which those other ones certainly have better graphics than WIII.) I mean, I wouldn't need the most amazing card in the world, just one that would work well enough. You don't think either of those cards would be bottlenecked or anything though?

Thanks for the input.


They shouldn't bottleneck too severely. It depends on how cpu intensive the particular game is.
a c 140 U Graphics card
September 13, 2008 12:23:57 AM

The X800 Pro might be pushing your power supply too far. Trying to run an X800XL (AIW) on my old system (comparable to yours), I was running into constant shutdowns while gaming.

Thinking (at the time) that the card I purchased was defective, I RMA'ed it for a 7800GS and that card was definite overkill for my Athlon XP3200+ system. Given that the X800Pro is a couple of bins lower than the 7800GS, you might be ok, but again, you still have the power supply concerns.

Given your limited funds, I'd probably be looking a little lower than the X800 series; maybe a Geforce 6600 and I would definitely recommend getting a second Gig of RAM in there.

You won't be playing Crysis on this rig, but it should be a decent step up.

-Wolf sends
September 13, 2008 12:30:49 AM

People suggested the POWERCOLOR X1650 and POWERCOLOR Radeon HD 3650 (earlier in the thread). Both seem to have quite a huge share of negative reviews (A lot of 1's.) Are you sure those two are safe? I mean, certainly, some people just get unlucky and some might have no idea how to work them, which could be the reason for a lot of those 1's, but I'm just making sure, because you guys seem to know a lot about these things.
September 13, 2008 12:33:43 AM

Vakl said:
People suggested the POWERCOLOR X1650 and POWERCOLOR Radeon HD 3650 (earlier in the thread). Both seem to have quite a huge share of negative reviews (A lot of 1's.) Are you sure those two are safe?


They're safe. The AGP versions of those cards always have negative reviews, from people running on single core cpus slower than yours, that bottleneck massively. PCIE version get better reviews.
September 13, 2008 12:35:15 AM

I certainly wouldn't say my funds are limited, because I certainly can afford a much better video card, however, it just doesn't seem quite worth it because I'm not the hugest PC gamer, but one that works better than mine would certainly be nice.

I mean, I know my processor isn't the fastest in the world, but it runs just fine and fast.

http://www.gpureview.com/show_card [...] &card2=562

This link seems to show that the POWERCOLOR versions are severely weaker than most version like the ATI one. Should I find them done by companies other than POWERCOLOR?

(For example, it says the memory clock on ATI's X1650 Pro is 700mhz, and it says it's only 330mhz on POWERCOLOR's, which is severely lower. Seeing as my card apparently has something like 166mhz, that isn't the greatest step up at all...)

In fact, from that website, basically I should only get ATI's, Diamond Viper's, or GeCube's, because the others seriously lower the strength of the card, right?
September 13, 2008 12:49:19 AM

Vakl said:
I certainly wouldn't say my funds are limited, because I certainly can afford a much better video card, however, it just doesn't seem quite worth it because I'm not the hugest PC gamer, but one that works better than mine would certainly be nice.

I mean, I know my processor isn't the fastest in the world, but it runs just fine and fast.

http://www.gpureview.com/show_card [...] &card2=562

This link seems to show that the POWERCOLOR versions are severely weaker than most version like the ATI one. Should I find them done by companies other than POWERCOLOR?

(For example, it says the memory clock on ATI's X1650 Pro is 700mhz, and it says it's only 330mhz on POWERCOLOR's, which is severely lower. Seeing as my card apparently has something like 166mhz, that isn't the greatest step up at all...)


Those are wrong. They're listing ddr2 ram as single channel. 330mhz x2 = 660mhz. Still lower than 700mhz, but difference is small.

Also, note that those are ram clock, and not gpu clock.
September 13, 2008 12:57:42 AM

Ah, right. If I can pay slightly more from like eBay or something to get an official ATI one do you think I should? Or do you think I'm better off with NewEgg or some place like that so I could possibly return things if they didn't work out.

Also, which would you suggest? The X1650 Pro or the HD 3850?
September 13, 2008 1:01:17 AM

Vakl said:
Ah, right. If I can pay slightly more from like eBay or something to get an official ATI one do you think I should? Or do you think I'm better off with NewEgg or some place like that so I could possibly return things if they didn't work out.

Also, which would you suggest? The X1650 Pro or the HD 3850?


3850 will certainly far outperform x1650, but it'll be bottlenecked by your cpu. Consider a cheaper 3650 or below.

If it's from eBay and cost more, don't buy it. Reputable retailers like Newegg is more reliable, backs up their sales. A 40mhz difference in ram speed makes no dent in real world performance.
September 13, 2008 1:18:12 AM

dagger said:
3850 will certainly far outperform x1650, but it'll be bottlenecked by your cpu. Consider a cheaper 3650 or below.

If it's from eBay and cost more, don't buy it. Reputable retailers like Newegg is more reliable, backs up their sales. A 40mhz difference in ram speed makes no dent in real world performance.


Oh, sorry, I meant the link sent earlier, the 3650. Not 3850. Sorry.

I mean, I suppose as a basis, I'd hope, if possible, to do better than my friends' iMac, which has an ATI X1600 PCI-E (Pro or XT is anybody's guess. It didn't say on the computer from what we could see.) To which the X1650, obviously, hardly outperforms it (and possibly underperforms it because of how the POWERCOLOR one is slightly slower. However, it does have 512mb of RAM, whereas his, I believe, is only 128mb. Would that make a huge difference in performance?

I mean, I'm certainly not saying I have to beat my friends' video card at all. It's not a competition. I'd just want something around it at least, or slightly better if possible.
September 13, 2008 1:21:56 AM

3650 should do fine. Although for games like WIII and Spore, a cheaper and lower performing x1650 will still be enough.
September 13, 2008 1:30:11 AM

dagger said:
3650 should do fine. Although for games like WIII and Spore, a cheaper and lower performing x1650 will still be enough.


But, yeah, of course I'm not going to pay more on eBay. I just meant if I might find things cheaper there or something.

If you were making the decision and you didn't want to spend much money, would you think the 3650 is that much more worth it than the X1650? Do you think the 3650 will be bottlenecked as well, while the X1650 wouldn't?

Also, we're sure my 350W power supply (It's LC-B350ATX I believe, which I believe, looking it up, is 350W. I didn't actually open it yet, but I could read that much from the clear side-panel of my tower, so that should be 350, just by title alone.) will work?

Also, I see from a page like this: http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=562&card2...

that...it seems...it says 500 (but it's x2, so that makes it 1000) for the memory clock, whereas...on ATI's...it's 800. Does that mean that POWERCOLOR's is better than ATI's? Could it be a typo of somebody's?

Do you feel it would be even worth it to upgrade my power supply to get faster cards?

Also, how about the noise level? I see a review saying the 3650 is super loud. How would the noise level of each be? The 3650 is better obviously, but would it be way too loud?

Thanks for answering all these questions. You've been really helpful.
September 13, 2008 1:46:52 AM

romulus47plus1 said:
what about 46xx?


Would the 4600 ones take way too much wattage though? I mean, I can upgrade my wattage if necessary, but it sounds like, looking at the 3650, it's not wholely necessary.
September 13, 2008 1:49:04 AM

Vakl said:
But, yeah, of course I'm not going to pay more on eBay. I just meant if I might find things cheaper there or something.

If you were making the decision and you didn't want to spend much money, would you think the 3650 is that much more worth it than the X1650? Do you think the 3650 will be bottlenecked as well, while the X1650 wouldn't?

Also, we're sure my 350W power supply (It's LC-B350ATX I believe, which I believe, looking it up, is 350W. I didn't actually open it yet, but I could read that much from the clear side-panel of my tower, so that should be 350, just by title alone.) will work?

Also, I see from a page like this: http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php?card1=562&card2...

that...it seems...it says 500 (but it's x2, so that makes it 1000) for the memory clock, whereas...on ATI's...it's 800. Does that mean that POWERCOLOR's is better than ATI's? Could it be a typo of somebody's?

Thanks for answering all these questions. You've been really helpful.


3650 is quite a bit more powerful than x1650, and can hang around the performance of x1950 at lower resolutions. Performance differ among different games, look through all pages on that review
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_3650/6...

350w with good 12v rail ratings should be enough for at least x1650, most likely 3650.
Power consumptions:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_3650/2...

That site list some fuzzy specs, for some, ram clock is listed as single channel, for others, full overall speed. It's hard to tell which from which. Just ignore that site. Get specs from retailers instead. Newegg specs all list full overall speed for ram, so no multiplying.

Edit: No 4600s. You have AGP, 4600s only run on PCIEx16. It's not compatible.
September 13, 2008 2:05:29 AM

Do you feel it would be even worth it to upgrade my power supply to get faster cards?

Also, how about the noise level? I see a review saying the 3650 is super loud. How would the noise level of each be? The 3650 is better obviously, but would it be way too loud?

The only thing I can see though is that some say that the HD3650 does not work on XP. I'm trying to search more into it, but I was wondering if you might know if it does work on XP or not and if you could help me search for it to find out. I certainly want to make sure it will work for my computer before I get it.


dagger said:
3650 is quite a bit more powerful than x1650, and can hang around the performance of x1950 at lower resolutions. Performance differ among different games, look through all pages on that review
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_3650/6...

350w with good 12v rail ratings should be enough for at least x1650, most likely 3650.
Power consumptions:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_3650/2...

That site list some fuzzy specs, for some, ram clock is listed as single channel, for others, full overall speed. It's hard to tell which from which. Just ignore that site. Get specs from retailers instead. Newegg specs all list full overall speed for ram, so no multiplying.

Edit: No 4600s. You have AGP, 4600s only run on PCIEx16. It's not compatible.

a c 106 U Graphics card
September 13, 2008 2:06:44 AM

Well I remember something about the ol nForce 2 drivers not liking Radeon cards but they got that issue hammered out. Of course it's interesting to note that nVidia cards at the time ran faster on nForce2 boards than they did on nvidia or intel chipsets, and yet the ATI cards ran slower, almost as though they were artificially limited, though slightly of course.

Anyway if you're looking at used cards I say get something like an nVidia 7600 series card. ATI isn't exactly supportive of any AGP varients of their cards past the X800 series, and even then I don't believe they are updating those ol X800 AGP drivers. You will likely have to use the Omega Drivers, which is what I had to use on my ol Athlon 3000+ with it's 1950GT AGP. If you're getting a new card and don't mind the lack of official drivers then I think you would be fine going with a 3650. I believe the 2600XT though is basically the same thing on an older manufacturing process, and thus may use too much power if you have a weak 12v rail.
September 13, 2008 2:15:57 AM

Vakl said:
Do you feel it would be even worth it to upgrade my power supply to get faster cards?

Also, how about the noise level? I see a review saying the 3650 is super loud. How would the noise level of each be? The 3650 is better obviously, but would it be way too loud?

The only thing I can see though is that some say that the HD3650 does not work on XP. I'm trying to search more into it, but I was wondering if you might know if it does work on XP or not and if you could help me search for it to find out. I certainly want to make sure it will work for my computer before I get it.


30.3 dba loaded isn't too noisy. Use this as reference:

TYPICAL SOUND LEVELS
Jet takeoff (200 feet) 120 dBA
Construction Site 110 dBA Intolerable
Shout (5 feet) 100 dBA
Heavy truck (50 feet) 90 dBA Very noisy
Urban street 80 dBA
Automobile interior 70 dBA Noisy
Normal conversation (3 feet) 60 dBA
Office, classroom 50 dBA Moderate
Living room 40 dBA
Bedroom at night 30 dBA Quiet
Broadcast studio 20 dBA
Rustling leaves 10 dBA Barely audible

3650 will work in XP just fine. There are lots of noobs out there. Don't listen to them.

X1650, although less powerful, will be enough for WIII and Spore. It does not support dx10, but your XP don't use dx10 anyway. If you can find one for significantly cheaper than 3650, get it instead.
September 13, 2008 2:35:05 AM

What about the person saying that ATI might run slower on Nvidia motherboards? Do you think that would happen?

dagger said:
30.3 dba loaded isn't too noisy. Use this as reference:

TYPICAL SOUND LEVELS
Jet takeoff (200 feet) 120 dBA
Construction Site 110 dBA Intolerable
Shout (5 feet) 100 dBA
Heavy truck (50 feet) 90 dBA Very noisy
Urban street 80 dBA
Automobile interior 70 dBA Noisy
Normal conversation (3 feet) 60 dBA
Office, classroom 50 dBA Moderate
Living room 40 dBA
Bedroom at night 30 dBA Quiet
Broadcast studio 20 dBA
Rustling leaves 10 dBA Barely audible

3650 will work in XP just fine. There are lots of noobs out there. Don't listen to them.

X1650, although less powerful, will be enough for WIII and Spore. It does not support dx10, but your XP don't use dx10 anyway. If you can find one for significantly cheaper than 3650, get it instead.

September 13, 2008 2:37:18 AM

Vakl said:
What about the person saying that ATI might run slower on Nvidia motherboards? Do you think that would happen?


That's bs. Nvidia cards will also run just fine on Intel boards. It doesn't matter.
September 13, 2008 3:29:01 AM

I figured it was just BS, but I really, really want to make sure this card will work, that's all.

On a somewhat unrelated note, how come they can produce two cards of the same build, one AGP, the other PCI-Express, and both be seemingly just as good as each other? Both are just about as good as each other, right? If so, why is there PCI-Express?

Also, is there any chance you could give me some pointers on what I should do to make sure the video card I choose will be a smooth install? (I'm thinking the 3650 right now.) A smooth install both in putting the card in physically and setting it up on the computer, as I have not put a video card in before, or had to switch them.

Thanks so much for the help.

dagger said:
That's bs. Nvidia cards will also run just fine on Intel boards. It doesn't matter.

September 13, 2008 3:36:53 AM

Vakl said:
I figured it was just BS, but I really, really want to make sure this card will work, that's all.

On a somewhat unrelated note, how come they can produce two cards of the same build, one AGP, the other PCI-Express, and both be seemingly just as good as each other? Both are just about as good as each other, right? If so, why is there PCI-Express?

Also, is there any chance you could give me some pointers on what I should do to make sure the video card I choose will be a smooth install? (I'm thinking the 3650 right now.) A smooth install both in putting the card in physically and setting it up on the computer, as I have not put a video card in before, or had to switch them.

Thanks so much for the help.


Assuming no cpu bottleneck, AGP versions should perform about the same as PCIE versions. There may be slight difference, but it shouldn't be anything noticeable. Those are not powerhouse cards, the aging AGP bus can still mostly keep up with them.
September 13, 2008 3:42:48 AM

I see that some versions of the 3650 have DDR2 and some have GDDR3. The POWERCOLOR one is DDR2, and it seems there's a Sapphire one with GDDR3 but it needs 550W or something. Will it be bad that I'd only have DDR2? Would GDDR3 make a huge difference?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

All of those are 3650s that are around the same price. Any idea how to pick the best of them?
September 13, 2008 3:54:07 AM

Vakl said:
I see that some versions of the 3650 have DDR2 and some have GDDR3. The POWERCOLOR one is DDR2, and it seems there's a Sapphire one with GDDR3 but it needs 550W or something. Will it be bad that I'd only have DDR2? Would GDDR3 make a huge difference?


Ddr3 will perform better, although I don't believe by a large amount. If they cost around the same get ddr3 version.

And no, it definitely won't eat up 550w. Power consumption should be around the same.

Those listed are all ddr2, and should perform around the same. Just pick the cheapest one.
September 13, 2008 4:09:40 AM

Some Sapphire GDDR3 3650 card said 550W for some reason. Which version of the card did you find to be quiet? Did it say a certain one?
September 13, 2008 4:15:58 AM

Vakl said:
Some Sapphire GDDR3 3650 card said 550W for some reason. Which version of the card did you find to be quiet? Did it say a certain one?


That has to be a typo. As for quiet, I don't know, never tried them. :p 
September 13, 2008 4:47:45 AM

I have a similar system to yours. I just upgraded from a Radeon X600 to a Radeon 2600XT PCIe (it was $20 after rebate on newegg), and I'm very happy with it. I can play Crysis on high at 1024 x 768 (my monitor only goes to 1280 x 1024, so 10 x 7 is fine with me), and that pretty much sums it up...

Pretty much anything will be an upgrade from your GeForce 2, but I'd go with one of the newer cards as opposed to the X800, because of the power issues mentioned earlier.
September 13, 2008 6:08:41 PM

Vakl said:
Would you guys suggest a 2600XT: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or the 3650? : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The only reason why 2600 might be better on the surface is that it uses GDDR3, while the 3650 that I can get for AGP, I believe, only does GDDR2.


That 2600XT, with both higher core clock and higher memory clock plus same architecture, will outperform the 3650, but not by a large amount. It also cost more.
September 13, 2008 6:13:53 PM

dagger said:
That 2600XT, with both higher core clock and higher memory clock plus same architecture, will outperform the 3650, but not by a large amount. It also cost more.


It's surprising to think the lower-numbered one beats the higher-numbered one, but that's probably because the 2600XT is probably the best of 2600 basically.

So it is actually better? I guess I have to think about if I want to spend the extra. Is there any chance you could see if the 2600XT would even run on my power supply? I'm having a tough time finding how much wattage they need. (It seems very, very hard to find the wattage necessary for most things.)
September 13, 2008 6:54:39 PM

Vakl said:
It's surprising to think the lower-numbered one beats the higher-numbered one, but that's probably because the 2600XT is probably the best of 2600 basically.

So it is actually better? I guess I have to think about if I want to spend the extra. Is there any chance you could see if the 2600XT would even run on my power supply? I'm having a tough time finding how much wattage they need. (It seems very, very hard to find the wattage necessary for most things.)


Here's a power consumption chart, including both 3650 and 2600XT. At peak load, it's only a 5w difference.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_4670/2...
September 13, 2008 7:35:49 PM

dagger said:
Here's a power consumption chart, including both 3650 and 2600XT. At peak load, it's only a 5w difference.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_4670/2...


I suppose it's not too much more, but you're 100% sure that the 2600XT is in actuality better than the 3650, and it's not worse than it in any? And, also, since the 3650 is only, like you said, a 5w difference between the 2600XT, my 350W should be able to run it?

Does the 2600XT also have the good shaders and HD support and DX 10 and all that that the 3650 has?

Basically, I wouldn't mind going a little over the little over amount I was going for already if it's totally worth it and the 2600XT defeats the 3650 in every way.
September 13, 2008 7:42:28 PM

Vakl said:
I suppose it's not too much more, but you're 100% sure that the 2600XT is in actuality better than the 3650, and it's not worse than it in any? And, also, since the 3650 is only, like you said, a 5w difference between the 2600XT, my 350W should be able to run it?

Does the 2600XT also have the good shaders and HD support and DX 10 and all that that the 3650 has?

Basically, I wouldn't mind going a little over the little over amount I was going for already if it's totally worth it and the 2600XT defeats the 3650 in every way.


If the psu can handle one, it'll be able to handle the other.

Yes, the 2600XT is faster (only slightly), support dx10, and has basically everything 3650 has. It use identical architecture, but higher clocked. And no, I don't believe 2600XT is worth the extra in price.
September 13, 2008 7:51:53 PM

dagger said:
If the psu can handle one, it'll be able to handle the other.

Yes, the 2600XT is faster (only slightly), support dx10, and has basically everything 3650 has. It use identical architecture, but higher clocked. And no, I don't believe 2600XT is worth the extra in price.


http://download.hightech.com.hk/manual/HD2600/radeon_hd...

This manual says though that the 2600 series requires a 550W or better power supply though.

Perhaps it's talking about a GDDR4 version. I don't know. I just want to make 100% sure this'll function in my computer before I try and mess something up.
September 13, 2008 7:55:49 PM

Vakl said:
http://download.hightech.com.hk/manual/HD2600/radeon_hd...

This manual says though that the 2600 series requires a 550W or better power supply though.

Perhaps it's talking about a GDDR4 version. I don't know. I just want to make 100% sure this'll function in my computer before I try and mess something up.


No idea why that is. But there is no way 2600 requires 550w psu. Ram don't eat up much power anyway, so that can't be it.
September 13, 2008 8:05:13 PM

dagger said:
No idea why that is. But there is no way 2600 requires 550w psu. Ram don't eat up much power anyway, so that can't be it.


I'm just really trying to find solid evidence that my computer can run it before I get it. I see others have suggested an X1950 AGP too. That's better that the 2600XT as well? However, chances are it'll end up way too expensive.
September 13, 2008 9:54:36 PM

Vakl said:
I'm just really trying to find solid evidence that my computer can run it before I get it. I see others have suggested an X1950 AGP too. That's better that the 2600XT as well? However, chances are it'll end up way too expensive.


X1950 was once the top performer of its generation, but that was quite a while ago, and it's getting hard to find. Its generation was the last that ATI reigned over Nvidia before the current hd4000s generation. It's also the last batch that used specialized processors instead of unified stream processors.

Performance against 2600xt
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3666
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3667
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3668
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3669
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3670

And consider upgrading from that 350w unit. Low range psus are so dirt cheap those days.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=P...
September 13, 2008 10:03:23 PM

dagger said:
X1950 was once the top performer of its generation, but that was quite a while ago, and it's getting hard to find. Its generation was the last that ATI reigned over Nvidia before the current hd4000s generation. It's also the last batch that used specialized processors instead of unified stream processors.

Performance against 2600xt
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3666
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3667
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3668
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3669
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1128&pageID=3670

And consider upgrading from that 350w unit. Low range psus are so dirt cheap those days.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=P...


However, I mean, I hear some saying 3650 is better it seems, some saying the X2600 XT is better, so it's really hard to tell. You're 100% sure that X2600 XT is in every way better and not lacking any of the good features of the 3650?

And, so, are you saying that the X1950 isn't worth it?

I could upgrade the PSU, but, yeah, like I said, I'm trying to keep costs down. Sure, my computer could use a lot of new things to run better, but it'll all add up. And are you suggesting that it probably works with my power supply, so might as well choose one and see if it works on it?
September 13, 2008 10:22:56 PM

Vakl said:
However, I mean, I hear some saying 3650 is better it seems, some saying the X2600 XT is better, so it's really hard to tell. You're 100% sure that X2600 XT is in every way better and not lacking any of the good features of the 3650?

And, so, are you saying that the X1950 isn't worth it?

I could upgrade the PSU, but, yeah, like I said, I'm trying to keep costs down. Sure, my computer could use a lot of new things to run better, but it'll all add up. And are you suggesting that it probably works with my power supply, so might as well choose one and see if it works on it?


2600XT has both higher core and memory clock, while using the same architecture. So it's faster, although not by much.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...

I don't think the small performance gap is worth the price. If you're trying to keep cost down, 3650 is better.

X1950 certainly a good performer, but you're unlikely to find it on the cheap.
September 13, 2008 10:46:22 PM



So if anyone upgraded from a 2600XT to a 3650, they'd be making things worse for themselves?

Keep in mind, it appears in this review, 3650 = GDDR3 and 2600XT = GDDR4, however, I guess if you look at it another way, the one I'm looking at is a step down for each (3650 GDDR2, 2600XT GDDR3), so I guess it still would hold true that the 2600XT is better.
September 13, 2008 10:48:15 PM

Vakl said:
So if anyone upgraded from a 2600XT to a 3650, they'd be making things worse for themselves?

Keep in mind, it appears in this review, 3650 = GDDR3 and 2600XT = GDDR4, however, I guess if you look at it another way, the one I'm looking at is a step down for each (3650 GDDR2, 2600XT GDDR3), so I guess it still would hold true that the 2600XT is better.


It's the XT tag. It means higher clock than standard 2600. That's where the small difference came from.
September 13, 2008 10:59:46 PM

dagger said:
It's the XT tag. It means higher clock than standard 2600. That's where the small difference came from.


I've probably asked this a million times now, so sorry to repeat myself again, but, are you 100% sure my 350W Power Supply will power both the 2600XT or the 3650?

I don't mind spending slightly more again to get the better one here, since this'll probably last me for a while again. So, as long as I can power it, I think I'd go with the 2600XT. (Apparently the 3650 is more power efficient or something, but oh well.) So we're 100% sure the 2600XT is better than the 3650, and that my power supply can support it?
September 13, 2008 11:05:09 PM

Vakl said:
I've probably asked this a million times now, but, are you 100% sure my 350W Power Supply will power both the 2600XT and the 3650? (Of course I don't mean at the same time, you know what I mean.)

I don't mind spending slightly more again to get the better one here, since this'll probably last me for a while again. So we're 100% sure the 2600XT is better than the 3650, and that my power supply can support it?


No I'm not sure. Lol. Most likely it can. :p 
September 13, 2008 11:22:39 PM

dagger said:
No I'm not sure. Lol. Most likely it can. :p 


Okay, so I think I've decided on the X2600 XT. Now...which one though?:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

After rebate, for 13 more dollars, you get the Ice-Q fan on top. That appears to be the only difference. Seeing as my computer seems to like running hot anyways (for instance, I'm idling at about 66 celsius, and that's good for me.), and the environment I'm in currently can get very, very hot (top floor of an apartment building), I wonder if I should go for it. I keep going up and up in price, but I should protect my investments, you know?

Also, from the reviews, some guy is running the fan-included one (which probably obviously draws more power) and he only has a 295W power supply.

Although then some other guy says you need at least 400W for the one without a fan, but who knows if he's making that up.

What's your suggestion? Extra for their fan? Especially given my environment, it might help. However, I'm not 100% sure if I'd have the space then. I'm not sure how to tell without trying it. Any suggestions?
September 13, 2008 11:47:04 PM

dagger said:
Does a 2600xt even run hot enough to warrant a dual slot cooler? Considering 3650 runs to 53C loaded, probably not.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/msi-hd36...

The 3650 was $68 after rebates. The costs just sneaks up on you, don't they? :na: 


I'm not sure, is the thing. Coupled with my computer usually running too hot when it's under hardly any load and being in a hot area quite often, I wonder if it's worth it. I don't even think the GeForce 2 MX 400 I got has a fan or anything, so it's hard to tell how necessary it is.

I mean, I can pay for the fan, but I just wonder if it's necessary (and if it won't take too much power so that it would cause the card to fail because of my power supply)

Then again, who knows if I have the space (but let's assume I do) looks like I have my sound card there, some big white plug of some sort, and the video card. I assume there's a way I could fit things in, but yeah.

Yup, the costs sure went up.

I'm going to make a new post for this because it's gotten very long and it would probably be easier if I made a new, more focused thread.
!