I know technology moves fast. I paid $450 dollars for my ATI HD2900XT 512MBwhen they first came out. It works great, but I think its now 2 generations behind current tech.
I was looking at the ATI 4850 and 4870 cardsm which are 200 and 300 dollars respectively. I know they are better and faster cards, but is the performance gains going to be worth it. and is my CPU limiting me? I would want to buy a new card if its only going to marginally increase my performance.
I have a Abit FP-IN9 SLI board with a (according to CPU-Z) Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 at stock speed 2.13 Ghz. I think I am going to try and increase the multiplier from 8 to 10 to get 2.66 Ghz. I tried increasing the FSB once. I would appreciate and advice about overclocking the cpu , because I think thats bottlenecking my 2900 for this current generation of games, like Crysis Warhead, and STALKER: Clear Sky. I am running clear sky on medium setting at 1680*1050. Will a newer graphics card help it run at higher detail settings at high res, even with a cpu bottleneck?
Whenever you spend $400 on a video card, you're either thinking ahead and want it to last at least 3 years, or you've got money to burn and constantly need the top of the line. In my old rig, I paid $400 for my ATI x1800xt 512mb (this was right when it came out) and it lasted me up until a couple months ago...I was really happy with the performance it gave and how long it lasted me (oh soo long).
I say your best bet is trying to OC that CPU...I really think a 2900xt is pretty sufficient, even for today's standards...and don't ever let crysis make you think your rig is crap (even though its tough not to do so...lol...)
A 4870 will about double your gaming performance (FPS). Personally even though a 100% seems like alot, I don't think it's worth shelling out another $300 for. I generally will only upgrade my videocard when the current generations are atleast 4x stronger then what I am using at the time.
Doubling the performance will only allow you to either turn on a few more bells and whistles while maintaining similar FPS, or increase FPS on setting you play at but find the FPS too low to play well. (ie. 30FPS to 60FPS with the same settings).
I can feel you goldenshadow. I also have the same problem because I am using 2600xt(ha even lower than your) and i play game at 1900. i'm looking for a very good deal right now or wait till nvidia 3xx.
I'm a little further behind the tech than you are with my 1900XT 512MB. So far it has served me well for the past 2 years. While I can afford to upgrade, I think I stick with it a little while longer 'cause I think it's still capable of handling the games I want to play at acceptable graphics quality level.
I'll probably wait for the next gen when I'll buy a next gen or the current gen which would be phased out.
You're fine. Heck I run Crysis on Medium in 1024x768 while I can use higher settings on everything else at my current stock speeds. You have a good motherboard. I think you are better served right now upgrading the BIOS and upgrading your CPU. I think your board will support Wolfdale CPUs with a BIOS update. If you want to hold out then overclock your CPU and save more money in the meantime so you can upgrade your CPU and video card in a few months when you feel the need to.
Ok, it is totally worth it. I took the plunge and stopped at Fry's on the way home today and picked up a visiontek Radeon HD 4870 for $270 and it has a $40 dollar mail in rebate. First thing I noticed when I get home is that the 4870 is a inch or so longer than my 2900xt. I was barely able to make it fit in my case without removing the hard drive cage. And the 2 6 pin power connectors are on the side of the card pointing towards the front of the case, which means with the connectors installed, there's even less room for it. I was curious why the 2900xt used a 8 pin and a 6 pin, but the 4870 only has a 2 six pin connectors. I have a 750 watt power supply, and it has the 8 pin and a couple of 6 pin connectors for PCI express power, so it wasn't a problem before.
Anyway I boot up and install the latest drivers, then reboot and try out my games. I cranked it up to 1680*1050 and max settings DX 10 mode on Stalker clear sky, and its was actually playable, steady 30+ FPS. Those same settings were a slide show on the 2900xt.
I tried Crysis Warhead, and went to the Gamer (high)setting and pumped it up to 1680*1050 and it ran pretty good also. I was using the medium setting on 2900xt to make it playable. and I had to run the original Crysis in DX9 mode to get a decent frame rate at high settings.
After I finish off these 2 awesome games, I'll be waiting for Far Cry 2. Who is with me?
I was surprised at how much improvement I got without upgrading the cpu at all.
My whole system specs are.
Vista Home Premium 64 bit
Abit Fatality FP-IN9 SLI
Intel Core 2 duo 2.13 Ghz
4 GB RAM
Asus Xonar D2X
2- DVD drives and 3 hard disks, with about 850GB total space
Dual display- main: 22" widescreen LCD panel. secondary: 32" LCD HDTV for Windows media center.
Sound 7.1 analog out from Xonar D2X to a Sony STR DG2100 home AV receiver. and Harman/kardon HKTS 18 100 watt satellites and a 200 watt sub.
Windows Media Center fed by a time Warner set top box, and a HD homerun digital cable.
This is a multi-purpose PC. I do a lot of gaming and I used it at a DVR to record HD TV shows off cable. One of the HDD is a 500 GB that is dedicated just for the DVR. and I actually need to pick up another new HDD because my other 2 drives are nearly full due to all of the games I have installed.