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AGP video card for SocketA Athlon systems

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December 10, 2008 1:49:43 PM

hey guys


My brother would like to upgrade his AGP video card!!! and the graphic card i found (apprently the best one available from local pc shops)is the Sapphire HD 3850 512MB GDDR3


will this Work on his Current system?
Will i need to upgrade the PSU also?
will there be an improvement in perfomance?
Does it by any chance suffer from over heating ?


Current System:
Asus A7N8X-E
Athlon +2500 Socket A
Coolermaster 450w Power supply
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600Pro 128MB
Kingston HyperX 1GB Ram Dual Channel

1 IDE Hard Disk
1 DVD-Rom
1 CD-RW

Windows XP with SP2 (incl post sp2 update untill March 2008)

all Input is accepted. Any additional info please ask for it

thanks
juvealert

a b U Graphics card
December 10, 2008 2:17:57 PM

What game(s) does he hope to improve the performance of? Given his overall system, getting the "best AGP card" would be a waste of money. For gaming, changing the whole system will be inevitable in the next year (most of us would even say it should have been done last year).

If you really want to go ahead with a GPU upgrade, maybe something along the way of a X1650 would be a good gain/$, but you should ask for second opinions.
December 10, 2008 2:33:50 PM

well my brother plays Pro Evolution Soccer most of the time but he likes to play first person shooter games such as call of duty

BDW in addition to my previous post he has an LG 22inch Monitor with HDMI running at 1680x1050 resolution

thanks forthe reply

all input accepted
juvealert
Related resources
December 10, 2008 2:35:08 PM

agreed (with dilbert) - X1650pro, 2600pro or 3650.

3850 is a waste of money for that system.
December 10, 2008 2:45:18 PM

sorry for the double-post, it won't let me edit.

no game made in the last year will play on that system at full res based on the CPU bottleneck, regardless of the GPU.
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 10, 2008 2:46:10 PM

Ok lets start by finding out where you are from and where you will be shopping so we can get the right pricepoint. Some cards in say the UK would be a value option while in the US they may not be. This whole thing comes down to value for money as far as what to get. I think the 3850 would possibly be too much for the psu anyway. How old is the system/Power supply ?

Mactronix
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 10, 2008 2:50:13 PM

KyleSTL said:
sorry for the double-post, it won't let me edit.

no game made in the last year will play on that system at full res based on the CPU bottleneck, regardless of the GPU.


Please define at full res ? Depends on the monitor doesn't it, my old athlon used to play Crysis ok on the 15" screen it was connected to :kaola: 

Mactronix
December 10, 2008 3:01:16 PM

Yes, it will probably work although the 450 watt PS is at the edge of acceptability...you really need 28-30 amps on the 12 volt rail, minimal. Also, Zenthar makes sevaral good points, that few would argue with.

In essence, with the system in question, the card would be severely "bottlenecked" by the processor and you would not be able to see the true capability of the 3850, although with modern games this GPU would be woefully lacking regardless of CPU (eg. Crysis, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3). Another issue is the 1 Gig of RAM...he really needs 2 Gigs for gaming.

Notwithstanding these points, the 3850 variants do represent the most powerful AGP option out there, will allow him to turn up the eye candy, and play older, but more graphically demanding games such as Titan Quest, Fear, the original Far Cry, etc. on medium settings, and the new hotfix drivers seem to work well enough (I know because I have the Sapphire 3850 mated to a P4 3.2 processor on one of my machines). I might also mention that the Sapphire seems to have fewer problems across a wide variety of chipsets.

However, for around $300, you could buy an Intel e5200, mb, memory, and a Geforce 9600GT, overclock the processor to 3.0 Ghz, which in combination would work far better across a wider spectrum of games. However, money is tight, and you wouldn't have to reload the operating system, updates, data files, and all the other programs he has on his machine, if you went with the 3850.

That said, the best bang for the buck would be to do a complete rebuild. I am not in a position to criticize whichever route you take, but for less than $200 more than what you would spend on the 3850, you could have a new build with new warranties, and much better capability.

Good luck!
December 10, 2008 3:03:30 PM

mactronix said:
Ok lets start by finding out where you are from and where you will be shopping so we can get the right pricepoint. Some cards in say the UK would be a value option while in the US they may not be. This whole thing comes down to value for money as far as what to get. I think the 3850 would possibly be too much for the psu anyway. How old is the system/Power supply ?

Mactronix



i'm getting it from http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143873/show_product_speci...

re: power supply must be 3-4 yrs old :S
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 10, 2008 3:49:49 PM

Well that power supply will have lost some of its efficiency over the last 3-4 years, as has been said you want about 28 Amps on your +12v rail/rails. If you are not sure its printed on a label on the side of the PSU itself. Chances are it will run it ok but its hard to recomend you do so as the worry is if it dosent then well you get the idea....I hope :) 
Coming from a 9600 pro i would say a HD 3650 makes the most sense, you wont have PSU worries and it will be a better fit with the CPU. The differance will be night and day, your brother will love it.
It basically comes down to
A. Budget, the 3850 is about £20-30 more than a 3650 depending on which card you get. Did you see this one ? http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152981 At that kind of price its almost madness not to get the 3850, but thats where point B comes in.

B. Do you fancy taking a chance on the PSU ? If you can tell us the numbers we can give you a better answer on if it would be ok or not.

Mactronix :) 
a c 132 U Graphics card
December 10, 2008 3:53:02 PM

Base on the comments above, I'd probably recommend this ATI X1650 Pro AGP

@ Mac - I'd have to disagree with you on the HD3650 making the most sense, based on my past experience.

A while back, I had a similar system as the Juvealert:

A7N8X-LA (skt A)
Athlon XP 3200+

I tried to upgrade that system to an Geforce 7800GS (AGP). It was severely limited by the processor. So much so, that I actually went back to the previous card (ATI Radeon 9200). I didn't move over the the 7800GS until I built my next system with an ASRock 939Dual-SATAII and an Athlon X2-4800+.

Looking at Tom's Graphics Card Hierarchy, and seeing where the X1650Pro stands against the 7800GS, I couldn't recommend going with anything better on a system that old.

-Wolf sends
December 10, 2008 4:06:48 PM

If you can find one, I'd say that a 2600 XT would be a pretty good option. It provides a decent level of performance at reasonable price. The price on Newegg varies from 60-120. AT 120 it's a bit too expensive but you get a double slots model if you care about that.
December 10, 2008 4:52:31 PM

mactronix said:
Please define at full res ? Depends on the monitor doesn't it, my old athlon used to play Crysis ok on the 15" screen it was connected to :kaola: 

Mactronix

1680x1050, as the OP posted. Thanks for reading. :kaola: 
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 10, 2008 6:31:48 PM

KyleSTL said:
1680x1050, as the OP posted. Thanks for reading. :kaola: 


Yea my bad when i posted i was faffing about doing other stuff and those couple of posta just passed me by :) 

Mactronix

@ Wolf AH the vagaries of PC soft/hardware :lol:  I was basing my advice on my own experience with a X1650XT running a 3000+ and 1 GB RAM. The card was definitely not Bottle necked and as you will know is a better card than the 1650 Pro.

Mactronix :) 

December 10, 2008 6:38:46 PM

In a few words you guys are suggesting to get a less demanding video card or purchase a new system, right ?!!


a c 132 U Graphics card
December 10, 2008 6:56:29 PM

That would be my recommendation, yes.

:sol: 

-Wolf sends
a b U Graphics card
December 10, 2008 8:24:51 PM

Yup, everything exceeding the CPU bottleneck will be wasted.

Put the saved money toward in a "new system fund". Search this forum, there are a couple of "help me build a cheap gaming rig" threads. Given the price of some components now, I think someone could probably build something 2-3 times better than your brother's PC for less than 500$ (with some components reused).
December 10, 2008 8:46:55 PM

Zenthar said:
Yup, everything exceeding the CPU bottleneck will be wasted.

Put the saved money toward in a "new system fund". Search this forum, there are a couple of "help me build a cheap gaming rig" threads. Given the price of some components now, I think someone could probably build something 2-3 times better than your brother's PC for less than 500$ (with some components reused).

+1

Reuse - HDD, ODD, case (maybe).

You could probably do:

P45 ~$100
E5200/E7200 ~$80-110
4GB DDR2 800 ~$40
HD 4850 ~$150
(insert good PSU) (as little as $40 - read: Antec)

for less than $500 (my estimate numbers add up to $440 w/E7200)
December 10, 2008 8:49:39 PM

thanks guys for the input

Zenthar i have already build a couple of pcs and did some repairs too, so i'm not a 100% noob


thanks anyway

juvealert
!