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AGP Card for Dual Xeon H.P. XW6000 Workstation

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 18, 2009 2:02:43 PM

Hi All,

I've inherited an old H.P. workstation, a model XW6000, and after putting in a larger (100 GB) HD, and reinstalling XP with my own newbie problems, I've finally got it running.
Here's a link to the basic model: http://www.shopping.com/xPF-xw6000
It's got dual-Xeon 2.8 processors and 2GB of Ram and has an AGP slot but no PCI Express slots.
Right now I've got a 7600 GT (512MB RAM) running and it performs pretty well, but I'm thinking about a last GPU upgrade before I need to go to another build altogether.
I'm not very tech-savvy, so I turn to you all for help....
What do you think about the Sapphire 3850 AGP as advertisted on Newegg-- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've noticed a big frame rate increase over my old computer with a single-core CPU and the same 7600 GT video card; will upgrading to the Sapphire 3850 be a workable solution?
I'd like to be able to play some newer games are medium resolutions with decent (40FPS) frame rates....
Thanks for your help and advice!

-Ben
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 22, 2009 7:42:23 PM

I see no reason why it shouldn't give you quite a nice boost. You can test this yourself by running a FPS test with FRAPS (free download). Run about 3 games and record the FPS you get, then reduce your resolution and detail levels AA/AF. If you see a nice increase in FPS your CPU's still have some legs left in them, if not then it probably wont help much to upgrade the graphics card. If your not sure just post your screen size/resolutions and results and i will advise. Now i will be totally honest with you in as much as i know next to nothing about Dual CPU server boards and any limitations they may or may not have.
Looking at this old (2003) review. http://techreport.com/articles.x/5649/1
They did add some gaming results and it shows up pretty well against the fastest of its day,even if the GPU used wasn't the best.
Given today's games and the fact that the latest drivers are working in an increased usage of Dual cores i can only see it doing really quite well.
I have heard rumours that the HD4670 may be available on an AGP bus but have heard nothing concrete yet. This card would perform slightly better than the 3850 but use less power. This brings me to the next point which is the power supply and if it has enough juice to run the 3850 or not.
Do you know what the +12V ratting of your PSU is by any chance ?
Failing that if you could let me know the make and model i can see if i can find it on the net somewhere.
Glad to be able to help
Mactronix :) 
May 6, 2009 5:02:56 AM

I've got exactly the same rig, and tried to upgrade the nvidia quadro that was in it to a powercolor 3850 agp so I could run some pixel shader 3 games.
Unfortunately I have not been able to get it to work. The system seems unable to see any of the 3d hardware on the card and it runs real sluggish just moving windows around. When I ran the DXdiag utility it said that Direct draw, Direct 3D and AGP texture acceleration were not available. The drivers I used were the ones that came in the package. I tried upgrading to the latest but the installer can't find any related hardware. I tried the hotfix drivers and they made it worse with the screen alternately blacking out on boot. I am going to try manually loading the latest drivers to see if that works. I haven't been able to find any definative info about the problem or how to fix it.
The Power supply is a 460 watt unit and should be able to cope with the current. I connected it to its own lead with nothing else hanging off it, which is recommended.
The AGP slot is an AGP pro slot which has extra pins to supply more current to the quadro cards, though it should in theory be compatible with any 4/8X AGP card.
I was originally contemplating an nvidia 7600 gt agp, but got seduced by the specs of these cards.
Everyone I know said don't get ATI.
At least You have confirmed for me that a 7600 GT would work.
Its a shame nvidia dont have a higher specced agp solution, as these xw6000s are a decent build with quality parts and a bit more life in them yet.
mungers
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May 10, 2009 11:19:45 PM

I have now got the card to work flawlessly and it was actually pretty simple to fix.
After contacting Powercolour support, i was given a few tips and all I had to do was change the AGP apeture setting in the bios to 256 (it was set to 64) and install the catalyst 9.4 agp hotfix drivers and it worked no trouble at all. I have been playing half life 2 ep1 and ep2 where I have now got glorious hdr lighting and cool reflections at 1920 x 1080.
I also tried Colin McRaes dirt (bit of a resources hog) which works nicely at at a lower resolution and lower graphic settings.
May 10, 2009 11:25:26 PM

mungers said:
I have now got the card to work flawlessly and it was actually pretty simple to fix.
After contacting Powercolour support, i was given a few tips and all I had to do was change the AGP apeture setting in the bios to 256 (it was set to 64) and install the catalyst 9.4 agp hotfix drivers and it worked no trouble at all. I have been playing half life 2 ep1 and ep2 where I have now got glorious hdr lighting and cool reflections at 1920 x 1080.
I also tried Colin McRaes dirt (bit of a resources hog) which works nicely at at a lower resolution and lower graphic settings.

There are a ton of tweaks for dirt...its a power hungry title...all of my systems hate it but thats too bad since im a rally fan :D 
May 21, 2009 6:30:15 PM

Hi again all,

I'm glad you got a card to work!
Well, I'm a glutton for punishment-- jyst ordered a Gigabyte 4650 AGP card and am going to try it out. I hope it works, and this card isn't a "open box' special, so it'll have a better chance.
My AGP Aperture is set so that my 7600GT works fine-- I'll have to check what it's set at. I think it's either 256 or 512....
My Dell BIOS (updated a month ago or so) has very few features to tweak, but I'm going to see what hapens when the card arrives.
I'll post then!

Ben
!