* +5V and +3.3V combined output: 230Watts max.
* +5V, +3.3V and +12V combined output: 330Watts max
My main concerns when considering a new card are:
Can my PSU handle it?
Will my CPU bottleneck it?
Based on some trusted vendors I've looked at, here are my available options:
HD 2600 XT
HD 2600 Pro
HD 2400 Pro
I'm not concerned about cost, yet. I'd rather get my other concerns squared away first. From what research I've done thus far, the HD 3850 and x1950 Pro appear that they would be limited by the CPU and may not even be suitable given the PSU.
To sum up, I'm looking for the best card I can get given the limitations posed by the PSU and CPU. Any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated. I'd be glad to provide more system info if needed.
An X1950 Pro or the 3850 will not run on that system because your PSU is too weak. I have a 1950GT paired with my athlon 3000+ and that thing sucks power let me tell you. Anyway I had a PSU with 16A on its single 12v rail and while it would boot, any attempt to play a game would result in the trip protection on the PSU to activate thus shutting the thing down. Right now I'm using the PSU that came with my X-Dreamer instead since it has two 12v rails and seems to hold up pretty good.
It's not really worth it to upgrade your PSU so that your system can support the 1950 Pro or the 3850. The Radeon 3650 or the Radeon 2600XT would be your best bet as your Antec PSU should be able to handle those cards well enough and the performance difference between that and a 1950 or a 3850 would be small due to the limits of your CPU. The 2600XT is a little faster while the 3650 uses less power.
No 7600GS? If I'm reading what you wrote correctly, you have a 350W PSU with 16A on the 12V rail. I would not get the x1950 or any 3xxx card. (3450 would be ok, but its weak.) Good midrange AGP cards are the x1650pro, and the 7600GS. Buy whichever is cheaper. If your looking for performance on the cheap, either overclock one of those cards, or get the 7600GT/x1650XT. (or buy one of the ones that will fry your PSU.)
I'd just like to add that you shouldn't consider the 7300GT since its performance wouldn't be all that different from your 9500 Pro, while the 6200 would be a downgrade. The performance of the x1550 is also pretty sad so don't even bother with it.
After doing some more digging, the major differences I see between the Radeon x1650 pro models and the HD models are:
12 pixel pipelines vs 120 stream processing unitls (I assume the latter is better).
DirectX 9 vs DirectX 10 or 10.1 (I assume which is better depends on the game and/or OS; The PC is running XP, so I believe 10 would be useless though not harmful).
Another difference - GDDR2 vs GDDR3 - I assume that all other things being equal, the GDDR3 would be better?
Here is a quick summary of the cards I am pondering at newegg:
The overall fastest of the cards listed is one of the 2600XTs. I'm not sure about the power draw of them however, so your PSU might need help. As far as price vs performance goes, the second x1650pro listed is probably your best bet. $20 cheaper then the 3650, but 25% less expensive. With your current setup, I doubt you'd notice much difference.
well, what resolution are (if your kids are) playing games at?
If you play at 1280 x 1024 then get the 512mb
if less then just get the 256mb version
but if i were you i would just get the 512mb version anyway
The native resolution of the LCD is 1680 x 1050. Gaming resolution varies. I should clarify at this point that all family members currently share it. I'm planning a new i7 build later this year for myself & the wife but am keeping this one around for the kids. I've given up keeping up with the latest and greatest games, I just don't have time for it anymore. For gaming, I'll occasionally play older games (Starcraft, Warcraft 2-3, Starfleet Command 1-3, Star Trek Legacy, the Roller Coaster Tycoon series, etc.) and my son plays Monster Jam and browser based games. We all watch the occasional DVD on it too.
After debating this in my head for the past 24hrs or so, checking some benchmarks, etc. I am leaning more toward the HD 2600 XT.
Any preference between HIS and VisionTek?
I think the PSU has been acting a little weird lately anyway, so I'm considering an upgrade to one of these just to be on the safe side:
The Antec one is the one I'd get. Its either made by SeaSonic or Delta, I have no idea who makes the Coolermaster PSU. The 2600XT is a good card, but you probably won't see the full performance of that card due to your slow CPU.
yeah its your choice on the psu side, both of them would run your system perfectly fine, and the 2600xt will also be great but may be held back by the single core cpu. Also its your choice on the brand of the video card ,as i dont think there will be any difference, unless there is a different heatsink or overclocked version that you want, but both of the manufacturers will be fine
Ordered the Antec PSU today in hopes that my PSU is what's causing my minor troubles of late. (No keyboard detected at power up using 2 different keyboards and 2 different interfaces. When this occurs, turning the PC off, then switching the PSU power off then on, and then re-starting the PC seems to resolve it.)
I can always re-use a PSU. I don't want to waste $$ on an AGP GPU if the mobo is going bad.
That sounds more like a flaky PS2 port to me. Try switching to a USB keyboard and see if the problem goes away. The Earthwatts 430 is a good psu, you should use it just because of how good it is. $40 isn't a bad price for quality clean efficient power.
Tried a USB one. No dice. The problem has come and gone for a couple of weeks now. That's not the only issue either. Sometimes after pushing the button to power up, the PC will start to come up, and then within a couple of seconds, just quit and shutdown. It won't even make it as far as the POST screen. That's why I'm thinking (hoping) it's the PSU.
But yeah, I saw no downside to that PSU. I can always use it for a modest PCIE build if the mobo is the problem.
You have an NForce 2 chipset: I would go for an Nvidia card. But the choice is not good. Hope you won't have problem with ATI AGP card, specially with NForce 2 board. ATI driver are not so good since Catalyst 7.8 for AGP bus. I change the ATI X800XT AGP, which was a decent card, to an NVidia AGP 7800 GS AGP and since that change, I can play any recent games without glitches.
A guy got good results with Catalyst 8.11 and NForce 2.
Hope it will work for you.