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Need help to asses the performance of my rig! PLEASE

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March 10, 2009 7:20:23 PM

Hi there!

I'm really new to this PC stuff so please be patient with me.'

I have a pretty dusted old rug of a pc.
P4 3GHz Prescott HT
OLD uATX ASrock mobo with AGP 8x graphics.
2 x 512 MB Aeneon DDR1 400MHz Ram
ATI Radeon 9600 series 256MB

Since i have little money to invest in a proper rig a friend came up with a quite interesting alternative for me that i can afford.

I basically have to buy this new mobo (which has a PCIe 16x slot and supports DDR2 4GB 667MHz) and 4GB (2 x 2GB) Corsair Value KIT DDRII 667MHz and the ATI Radeon 3870 512MB DDR4.
http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=proddesc&mainca...
I only have to pay around 160$ for all the parts.

My exact question is: Will the graphic card be able to get decent fps rates in modern games like they show it does in benchmarks? I mean will the P4 CPU be able to keep the card under control and not bottleneck and cause the game performance to drop considerably... I'm asking this cuz they all benchmark these cards with the newest CPU that i will never be able to afford so i never know what to do.

Thank you for your time in advanced.. It really matter to me to get a answer.


More about : asses performance rig

a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2009 2:09:33 AM

Go for it. You won't get the results in the benchmarks, but it will be close and anyway a major improvement over what you have now. What kind of power supply do you have?
March 11, 2009 10:00:13 AM

aevm said:
Go for it. You won't get the results in the benchmarks, but it will be close and anyway a major improvement over what you have now. What kind of power supply do you have?



I had to install a 550W (i think it's a TS Power or something, basically a no name) because my old 330W stopped working one day. Thenew one has one PCIe 6+2Pin Jacks for new graphic cards models so it should be OK i hope.

Really appreciate your time investment to answer my questions.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2009 12:42:10 PM

No problem. That PSU should be powerful enough, no worries. Sapphire recommends 450W or more for their HD 3870 and you have 550W. I haven't seen MSI's recommendations but it's the same card, just with a different cooler.

You only need a 6-pin PCI-E connector, and the 6+2 you have can be used as a 6-pin all right.

That being said, I'd suggest dumping the HD 3870 and getting a HD 4830 instead. It has twice as many stream processors, the same PSU requirements, and it costs the same (at least at Newegg in the USA).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161260

March 11, 2009 2:38:29 PM

aevm said:
No problem. That PSU should be powerful enough, no worries. Sapphire recommends 450W or more for their HD 3870 and you have 550W. I haven't seen MSI's recommendations but it's the same card, just with a different cooler.

You only need a 6-pin PCI-E connector, and the 6+2 you have can be used as a 6-pin all right.

That being said, I'd suggest dumping the HD 3870 and getting a HD 4830 instead. It has twice as many stream processors, the same PSU requirements, and it costs the same (at least at Newegg in the USA).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161260


Thank you for your reply....

I forgot to mention that for that amount of money i'm getting a 1TB Samsung F1 drive as well. This offer is only available in the current setup... it basically not new from what my friend told me. I think it belongs to a friend of his but promised that all parts have not been used more than a couple of weeks and that they are basically new. So i really don't have the option to change anything. I have done some research on hd 4830 and seems to be like 10% faster than the hd 3870. The 4830 is what i would have went for in the first place. But i guess in some CPU intensive games not even a 4870x2 will make any difference with my P4 3GHz CPU.

I want to thank you again for your quick feedback which has proven decisive in my decision making process. i will go for it. :) 

PS: if there is anything else i should be aware of please let me know... and if u are curious about the benchmarks i'm gonna do on the new setup, i know its quite odd to even consider benchmarking that kind of pc that pretty much belongs in a museum, i'll post them later inhere :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2009 3:01:31 PM

You're very welcome.

Yeah, I'm very curious to see your benchmarks. Then we can compare with the HD 3870 benchmarks from reviews and see exactly how badly the P4 bottlenecks it. I hope it won't be that bad...
April 14, 2009 10:02:34 AM

aevm said:
You're very welcome.

Yeah, I'm very curious to see your benchmarks. Then we can compare with the HD 3870 benchmarks from reviews and see exactly how badly the P4 bottlenecks it. I hope it won't be that bad...



Hallo!

Sorry it took me so long to reply. Like i promised here are some benchmarks for my PC. Since i didn't go through all the trouble to install windows vista i only used 3dmark 2006 as main benchmark tool and obtained around 5700 points. ATI HD 3870 can go all the way up to 10000 points but there is a long story to that. The first thing i noticed is that, after being a bit disappointed by the results obtained in 3dmark2006 i expected the performance due to cpu bottle necking to be cut in half in games as well which couldn't be farther from the truth. The lousy performance in 3dmark is due to the cpu related tests and not gpu. After i installed more than 50 of the latest games i noticed that the card performed flawlessly averaging between 19 and 45 FPS with low setting in all games. This is almost 90% of the performance u usually expect this card to obtain with a powerful quad or even extreme quad. There were a couple cpu-intensive games where the card performed miserably due to the cpu bottleneck issue. Surprisingly enough titles like Crysis Warhead, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, Far Cry 2, Bioshock ( this one proved very ATI friendly since my FPS count hovered around 35 with settings set above mainstream close to highest ), Fallout 3 and many more ran perfectly averaging between 25 and 39 FPS with a CPU usage of no more than 70% at times. Conclusion: I never been more content knowing i spent just a small sum for such a huge performance gain. and even if i'm a noob i think 3dmark 2006 doesn't reflect at all the real graphic power of you computer since more than 80% of the games are NOT cpu taxing and allow you even with an old p4 3ghz and a decent gc to run the latest titles smoothly enough to enjoy.

Thank you for your patience and hope this feedback was useful in some way.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 14, 2009 1:57:40 PM

Wow... Good work! Thanks for posting back.
May 5, 2009 8:29:44 PM

hey there again!

uhmm.. i think you might want to hear this. I recently went to a friend of mine who has a really powerful desktop. Here are the specs: i7 920 , asus p6t se, 6gb ocz platnium triple channel cl7, 1tb samsung f1 and of course nvidia gtx 295. I took my ati 3870 with me just to see the difference in benchmarks between an old p4 3ghz with 4gb of ram ddr 2 667mhz and the performance of my ati on his desktop. Like i said before on my desktop, 3dmark 2006 my card only scored 4940 almost 5000 and here comes the surprise. His gtx 295 scores around 18500 points in 3d mark 2006 and when we swapped cards mine obtained a score of 11900 points. I couldn't believe my eyes. I just want to say that the ati 3870 512mb, which is worth about 55euros around here could score so high compared to a gtx295 that only does around 18500 and costs 8 to 9 times the amount of money i spent on mine. Any idea why this huge difference in price and relative fair difference in performance. I mean after all we could just think about the potential of the ati 4870 worth not more than 145 euros and wonder why ppl go for the extreme priced cards in the high-end segment. I don't want to criticize ati or nvidia but from my inexperienced point of view i think that ati 3870 or even 3850 would cope with any game on a monster platform like the i7.

Thank you for spending some of your time reading my "nonsense".

Best Regards B.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2009 8:58:32 PM

Yeah, 3D Mark does weird things like that. That's why we need game benchmarks to make smart decisions and can't rely on 3D Mark alone. Send it to the program's authors, maybe they'll fix it.


May 5, 2009 9:01:36 PM

I would look at some better ram too...
May 6, 2009 2:20:31 AM

^ +1
May 6, 2009 2:31:57 AM

I agree with everything aevm said 1st to last ,I couldnt have said it better.
!