AGP upgrade from Radeon 9800PRO on my old Dell XPS Gen2

Hey everyone. My first post here so be gentle. =)

My 4 year old Dell just had its AGP Radeon 9800 PRO video card die, so I'm looking to replace the card until money allows for a new system. *fingers crossed*

The CPU I'm running is the original P4 3.2Ghz:
Dell 3.2GHz 800FSB 512KB Cache Intel Pentium 4 Processor Upgrade Mfr P/N D0116

What would you recommend? My main uses are World of Warcraft, Picassa/Photoshop and general use (web etc.).

Is the Sapphire Radeon HD 3850 a good choice or too much for the CPU?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102730

Thanks in advance?

-Eric
32 answers Last reply
More about upgrade radeon 9800pro dell gen2
  1. I would say that a 3xxx series should be okay. You might want to consider getting a new psu unless the one in there is very good. Otherwise, what I'd do, is get one of the 4xxx series that you can use for a potential media center pc. Just don't go over $170 for a card for that rig. a 4xxx series will be bottlenecked, however you will still have the capabilities of the 4xxx series if you ever want to hook it up to a tv for media purposes... Just an idea.

    Otherwise, a 3850 should be decent if that's what you really want to do. Double check the psu you have, the wattage and the amps on the 12v rails. Someone should be able to tell here if it is capable of running your card.
  2. id go for the 3850, its the best card you can get for AGP
  3. Thanks for the replies so far...from what I can tell of original specs found on the web, the power supply is below. Any concerns?

    Power
    DC power supply:
    Wattage
    460 W

    Heat dissipation
    1000 BTU/hr

    Voltage
    fixed-voltage power supply—110 V at 50/60 Hz
    manual selection and auto-sensing power supplies—90 to 135 V at 50/60 Hz;
    180 to 265 V at 50/60 Hz; 100 V at 50/60 Hz for Japanese computers
  4. I don't think there is a 4 series Rad eon AGP your max I believe is HD3850 AGP which should be around the strength of a 2900 PRO and around the 4670 (which is better with AA on)

    3850 > 8800 GTS 640 > 8800 GTS 320 > 2900 PRO etc... It varies alot. And AGP version might have a 1-4 frame decrease.



    Its very up and down.
  5. sorry, i didn't look at the 3850 that was posted, so I didn't know the OP was stuck on agp...:(
    Well, then looks like that's the best bet, the 3850.
  6. Thanks people. I appreciate the confirmation, and will probably scoop up the 3850 from newegg on payday. =D
  7. yes, but I'll say with al honest your better off upgrading now your system, and paying less for the video card. A cheaper PCI exp can yield better results than the 3850 AGP, and not be bottlenecked:)

    either way its your choice...

    300$ and you can have a mainstream gamer:P with the little more future proof 4670 :)

    For example a 120$ 8800 GT (compared to 135$ 3850) can pulverize the 3850 by enough frames to make your head spin in most of the other games.
  8. #1 choice if you can afford it, it looks like your power supply can handle it
    HD3850 512MB 256bit DDR3 AGP $120 after rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131090

    #2 choice if budget is a problem
    HD 2600XT 512MB 128bit DDR3 $80 after rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161207
  9. There are a lot of us AGP'ers still out there.

    I'm considering the 3650 - 512mb as a more cost effective solution (newegg) to upgrade my current 9500Pro 128mb. About half the cost of the 3850. But the 3850 is certainly the flaming HOT radeon solution.
  10. Sorry guys, im not trying to be harsh here…

    There comes a time when you have to face facts… you need to upgrade, wasting any money on that machine is silly, even $1 !

    P4 < core duo < core 2 duo < core 2 quad < Nehalem (next month)
    -when was the last motherboard with an AGP slot built? (3 or more years ago at least)
    -It’s likely you are running 1gig 233MHZ ram…

    I understand not everyone has hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend on a PC… However there simply comes a time when fixing that old POS car in the driveway is not worth it anymore, and for your P4 that time was 2 years ago.


    Try to save $400 and buy an entry lvl PC that will cripple that dinosaur P4.
  11. grieve said:
    Sorry guys, im not trying to be harsh here…

    There comes a time when you have to face facts… you need to upgrade, wasting any money on that machine is silly, even $1 !

    P4 < core duo < core 2 duo < core 2 quad < Nehalem (next month)
    -when was the last motherboard with an AGP slot built? (3 or more years ago at least)
    -It’s likely you are running 1gig 233MHZ ram…

    I understand not everyone has hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend on a PC… However there simply comes a time when fixing that old POS car in the driveway is not worth it anymore, and for your P4 that time was 2 years ago.


    Try to save $400 and buy an entry lvl PC that will cripple that dinosaur P4.

    Not trying to be harsh or anything, but I would trust anything coming from a guy with a single 8800GTX with a 1000W PSU. I understand future-proofing and all, but that's rediculous.

    I still enjoy my P4, since then I've built two computers (4000+X2 - girlfriend's, and E5200 - media center). My desktop still does everything I need it to, no reason to replace it now. Honestly though, if he could get another year or so out of a 3850 for $140, why not? A 8800GT will be $80 by then (if you can even find it) and C2Ds will be a entry-level item for nothing. You can't buy a new build for $140.
  12. KyleSTL said:
    Not trying to be harsh or anything, but I would trust anything coming from a guy with a single 8800GTX with a 1000W PSU. I understand future-proofing and all, but that's rediculous.


    #1 I dont have a 8800GTX anymore and when I did I had the 1kw power supply for two simple reasons.. a) the store didn’t have the brand/type I wanted so I had to get that one because I am impatient. b) I had planned to SLI when the price dropped on 8800GTX (I could not predict that the 8800GTX would maintain a $400 tag for years)

    #2 when was the last time you looked at my profile as I sold that machine long ago?

    #3 A good reason to trust me Is because I build a lot of new machines for myself, others and through my employment where I am in IT (Infrastructure to be specific)

    In my opinion spending 1/4 to 1/3 the price of a new machine on a video cardhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_card is a waste of money.
    If your $10,000 car was going to cost $5000 to fix, would you fix it? Or would you sell it, get 1k for it and buy a new car?

    Below is the machine your are mocking, which BTW was/is a killer rig even with an overkill power supply. Also... It is my old machine which i sold for $1600, two years after i built it.

    http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll262/Grieve666/th_good1.jpg
  13. Yup, that 3850 would be a good match for your system. Since you are rather limited by your CPU it would probably be the same for you as getting a 1900/1950 series AGP card, but of course you can't find those anymore :D.
  14. grieve said:
    #1 I dont have a 8800GTX anymore and when I did I had the 1kw power supply for two simple reasons.. a) the store didn’t have the brand/type I wanted so I had to get that one because I am impatient. b) I had planned to SLI when the price dropped on 8800GTX (I could not predict that the 8800GTX would maintain a $400 tag for years)

    #2 when was the last time you looked at my profile as I sold that machine long ago?

    #3 A good reason to trust me Is because I build a lot of new machines for myself, others and through my employment where I am in IT (Infrastructure to be specific)

    #1 OK, fair enough

    #2 It's in your signature

    #3 It's not that I don't trust you but you fail to realize that a simple upgrade in video card MAY be enough to keep the OP happy for the next couple of years. By the time his current rig can no longer handle what he requires of it, he'll replace it and mid-to-high-end equipment now will be dirt cheap and he'll end up spending less money in the long run. In IT do companies replace equipment when new stuff comes out? Or do they wait until a need is no longer fulfilled by their current systems? If needs never change, there may no longer be a reason to upgrade/replace except for the case of system/component failure.
  15. Nice looking Rig there Grieve
  16. KyleSTL said:

    #2 It's in your signature


    That’s hilarious!

    I Have Signatures turned off; I never realized I had a sig still :)

    I did update my profile with the new machine, just not my sig.

    Anyhow, all fixed now.. Thank you for pointing it out.
  17. No offense was intended, but I hope you understand my point about the lifespan of his system. On a side note, if I were in his shoes I'd save more money by throwing a 2600Pro/XT or 3650 into it for half the price (depending on what resolution he games). My next rig will undoubtedly be Nehalem-based, which is a pretty impressive lifetime for my Prescott.
  18. I see where you’re coming from, but I don’t view it the same way…

    I see a machine that is worth maybe $300 and we are informing him to spend half that on an obsolete upgrade. There comes a point when purchasing new is the way to go and in my opinion this is the time.

    It is just my opinion, seems everyone else in this thread agrees on the upgrade. All good…

    **edit**
    I think the upgrade money is better spent towards a new low end rig.
  19. Hey Eli, Let me know how that card turns out. I have the same exact setup as you and want to make the same change. This will be a hand me down for my nephew and I want him to be able to play his games smoothly. I was mainly playing RACE Sims (SIMBIN GTR series) on it and the 9800 pro was bare minimum for that.

    If you have any advice or issues with the swap please let me know. Thanks.

    -JJ
  20. anyone install one on that setup? how's it run?
  21. I was having the same problem with my old XPS Gen 2 same specs as yours. I got the Sapphire HD3850 and sha blam! A shot of oxagen to a drowning man. I can now play Far Cry 2 at High settings, runs Fallout 3 on high @ 1280x1024. It was the best thing I could have done for that old beast. I call it the tombstone, it weighs a ton! hahaha I think like 47 lbs.

    But I hope you go with the HD3850 you wont regret it. Might want to upgrade your ram though.
  22. Lancealot469 said:
    I was having the same problem with my old XPS Gen 2 same specs as yours. I got the Sapphire HD3850 and sha blam! A shot of oxagen to a drowning man. I can now play Far Cry 2 at High settings, runs Fallout 3 on high @ 1280x1024. It was the best thing I could have done for that old beast. I call it the tombstone, it weighs a ton! hahaha I think like 47 lbs.

    But I hope you go with the HD3850 you wont regret it. Might want to upgrade your ram though.

    Just curious, what are the specs for your whole system, and what kind of framerates are you seeing?
  23. KyleSTL said:
    Just curious, what are the specs for your whole system, and what kind of framerates are you seeing?



    P4 3.2 HT
    1GB x4 OCS DDR PC3200
    Sapphire Radeon HD3850
    Vista Ultimate x86 SP1
    Creative 24bit 5.1

    Make sure to update to the latest Catalyst Drivers.
  24. The OP clearly indicated they couldn't afford a new machine at the moment. Just because it is old, doesn't mean it doesn't work for them and an HD3850 will make a huge difference over a 9800Pro.

    Here's a Powercolor 3850 for a little less money than the Sapphire card.
  25. So what kind of framerates and settings, Lancelot?
  26. OK eil2017
    I have good upgrade idea for you see
    CPU (alot better then the old P4)
    AMD Athlon X2 BE-2300 1.9GHz AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor - Retail :$37.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103232
    MOBMO (cheapest one)
    BIOSTAR A780G M2+ SE AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G Micro ATX ($49.99 after $10.00 Mail-InRebate) (with IGPU HD 3200)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186143
    video card (u have two choice)
    HIS Hightech Radeon HD 3450 ($29.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate )(run it with IGPU HD3200 in crossFire mode, will increase GPU power by 40%)(and u will have here More Power then HD 3850 that run on old AGP mode)
    or Go for more Power with
    Apollo AP-HD4670 256MB Radeon HD 4670 256MB 128-bit GDDR4 ($59.99 after $10.00 Mail-InRebate )(Just if u don't Play Over 1280X1024)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814140095
    as u see it's about 117~147 can you believe that .
    Important Note the HD3850 in AGP mode will run in half speed as PCIe 16X Mode (Like u say AGP = PCIe @4X)
  27. Sorry i can't edit my post this is the link for
    HIS Hightech Radeon HD 3450 .
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161231
  28. Salem, add in memory and possibly a new power supply (not only because of capacity, but more than likely the OPs PSU is a 20-pin connector and any modern MB needs 24- or 20+4-pin). That puts the upgrade closer to $200
  29. KyleSTL said:
    Salem, add in memory and possibly a new power supply (not only because of capacity, but more than likely the OPs PSU is a 20-pin connector and any modern MB needs 24- or 20+4-pin). That puts the upgrade closer to $200

    If U HAVE DDR2 u can use for the new rig
    if u don't see this one
    Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $23.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134117
    and th PSU
    Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W ATX12V Power Supply - Retail ($30.99 after $10.00 Mail-In)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153023
    thats mean +55$ to 117$~147$ =172$~202$ as u see and it's up to u .
    maybe HD3850 will be fine to u :sarcastic: .
  30. KyleSTL said:
    So what kind of framerates and settings, Lancelot?


    Here ya go.....

    Fallout 3 - Medium settings @ 1280 1024 with about 23 fps notice some lag when ever I enter a large map. i.e. Wasteland.

    Tombraider underworld - High settings @ 1280 1024 smooth play, no lag. seeing about 27 fps

    Sacred 2 - hahaha.... the xps will bearly play this release. Although it will play it on low settings @ 1280 1024. tweaking the grass and terrain detail.

    Red Alert 3 - High settings @ 1280 1024 seeing any where from 25-27.5 fps

    It was a great way to keep this aging system breathing. But I am sure it wont be long before this rig has become a internet browser.
  31. salem80 said:
    If U HAVE DDR2 u can use for the new rig

    No 478 chipset ever had DDR2.
  32. Salem would also have to add in the cost of a new copy of Windows since the OP's Dell OEM XP CD won't install on a new system. You would also have to add in the cost of a new case because the Dell's XPS power supply is unlike any standard ATX power supply and no new standard ATX power supply will fit in the OP's existing XPS case. All of which add to an "upgrade" that really isn't worth it just to play WoW, use Picassa and Photoshop or browse the internet.

    Stick with the HD3850 for now and build a new machine when you can afford it.
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