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AGP x8 - Which out of 2 is best for my need?

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April 23, 2009 11:08:06 PM

Hello,
First I'd like to say that I'm very appreciative of this website and the abundance of useful information I have already utilized.

I currently have 2 Video Cards picked out for my system and I'm looking to get some advice on which one to pick.

I am an avid player of Everquest, I box three accounts on one pc and I'm looking for the fastest, no- lag performance I can get with my current system.

I have a Dell, XPS Gen 2, Intel Motherboard, 478 Pin, Chipset 875P, Pentium 4, supports hyperthreading. Serial ATA(SATA) Interface port. 1 AGP Slot supporting 2x/4x/8x AGP Slot and 4 - pci slots total.
I'm running Windows XP Home Ed.

I'm replacing the ATI Radeon 9800 XT (256MB DDR SDRAM) Video Card.

Since my primary slot is an AGP, I have narrowed it down to 2 cards.

http://www.visiontek.com/products/cards/retail/2600XT_A...

ATI Radeon™ HD 2600XT
Memory path - 128-bit interface
GPU Clock – 800MHz
Memory Clock - 1400MHz effective (1.4GHz)
Memory Size - 512MB Ultra High Speed GDDR3
120 Unified Stream Processors
Optimized for Windows Vista with comprehensive DirectX 10 and DirectX 9 support

OR........

http://www.visiontek.com/products/cards/retail/3850_512...
ATI Radeon HD 3850
GPU clock = 670MHz
Mem clock = 1400MHz effective GDDR3
High Speed GDDR3 memory
Superscalar unified shader architecture
320 stream processing units
256-bit memory interface
DirectX® 10.1 / Shader Model 4.1 support
AGP 3.0 Support
High-speed 128-bit HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering
___________

I notice the clock and memory speeds are pretty different in these cards as well as the stream processing units.

I'm not worried about the cost difference between the two, I am more concerned about having a card that can perform better in extreme gaming that can run 3 accounts at once.

I've narrowed it down to these two cards but I'm stuck on the final decision and would appreciate any suggestions or advice.

Thanks Much!

More about : agp

a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2009 11:24:01 PM

Well, the 3850 is as good as it gets for AGP, but they tend to have inflated prices.

Also. you wont be doing any extreme gaming on that system these days.. Might be time to save some cash and think of a new build. you can get a very respectable gaming system for not too much money these days.
April 24, 2009 12:29:26 AM


What's your PSU look like?

AGP upgrades used to be a good option...but they're getting to not-so be anymore. You probably won't be able to handle extreme or even medium gaming on them, and your CPU will probably hold you back.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 2:23:30 AM

The 3850 is the best you'll ever get on an AGP bus, so if money isn't an issue then that's the one to go for.

Just playing Everquest a 3850 might be able to handle that on 3 accounts. It will be a helluva lot better than the 9800xt for sure.
a c 185 U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 3:29:17 AM

I agree, the HD3850.

In fact, the HD3850 has hardware decoders for AVC and VC-1 (not sure about MPEG2).
I use to watch my rips (my own, i swear on a stack of comics) of BluRay movies, or even some trailers using the latest K-Lite codec pack with WMPC-HC. WMPC needs to be setup (DXVA selected etc; you can likely Google). Without it my X24800+ CPU usage for Hellboy2 1080p/AVC/MKV was 55% and 3%, yes THREE PERCENT using the graphics card decoders.

When BluRay readers drop in price your system should handle it (advanced audio would require a supported audio card, but all BluRay discs should have a supported audio track such as 5.1Dolby).

Other:
You haven't said how much RAM you have. You can get severe stuttering in games without enough RAM. 1GB should be enough for that game. 2GB might eliminate some stutter (unsure). 2GB will produce a lot snappier multitasking experience.

Is this a laptop?
If this is a laptop, I find it highly unlikely that there's a laptop version of the HD3850 AGP.
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 7:39:11 AM

Hi Penelope, welcome to the forums.
The first thing is definitely your PSU the 3850 uses a lot of power compared to the 2600xt and you may find the CPU will limit the 3850. What speed is your P4 running at ?

As someone else said having 2gb of memory would serve you better than a faster card as you want to run 3 accounts at once.

Something like a 3650 with 512mb of GDDR3 would work well with your system and im guessing but would think its cheaper than the 3850, which would allow for some memory perhaps ?

Mactronix
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 10:24:02 AM

Neither card would get my vote...

I honestly wouldn't spend more than $60 on an AGP card. Anything more than that would be better put towards a new system. A much faster AMD AM2+ or Intel LGA-775 motherboard, CPU, RAM, and far more powerful PCI-Express card could be had for $200... It's something to consider.

I worked this AMD-Based system up on Newegg:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 Brisbane 2.7GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO5200DOBOX - Retail - $56.00
GIGABYTE GA-MA74GM-S2 AM2+/AM2 AMD 740G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $54.99
SAPPHIRE 100255HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail - $69.99 ($59.99 w/ $10.00 Mail-in Rebate)
WINTEC AMPO 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 3AMD2800-2G2K-R - Retail - $20.99

AMD-Based System Total = $201.97 + Shipping (UPS 3-day to continental US ~$9) (And there are cheaper CPUs and Motherboards available...)

If you'd need a new Power Supply:
Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $54.99

AMD-Based System w/ Power Supply Total = $256.96 + same shipping, as the PSU has free shipping.


Intel-Based System:

Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E5200 - Retail - Retail - $69.99
GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $52.99
Same Memory
Same Video

Intel-Based Total = $213.96 + same shipping as AMD System

W/ Power Supply = $268.95 + same shipping as AMD System


Now, go ahead and buy a $100 to $150 VisionTek HD3850 512MB AGP video card if ya want. I just wanted you to see that you could build a new, faster overall system for only $60 to $100 more.


Edit: Changed Intel CPU from E2200 Allendale to E5200 Wolfdale as their prices are identical and the E5200 outperforms the E2200.
April 24, 2009 3:19:20 PM

Note that if you are going to build a new machine you will also need a case. Dell cases are specific to their own builds.
You would however be able to move the hard disk and DVD drive over.

In my opinion, if you have the budget, a new build would serve you better. Pick whichever one is most easily upgraded into the future.
Someone might know how easy it is to drop more powerful AMD chips into the AM2+ system and whether there are restrictions.

Also note if you fancy trying you're hand at overclock the E5200 is well regarded, as most Intel CPU's are. Just add an aftermarket cooler and new thermal paste at a later date.
April 24, 2009 3:33:50 PM

Thank you all for the replies.

The memory is 2GB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 400MHz with a 74GB Serial ATA Hard drive (10000 RPM).
It's an Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3.20 GHz. Core Voltage 1.529v, core speed 3192.2mhz, multiplier x16.0.
System clock 800-MHz data rate.

I can not specifically find any tags on my pc showing the power supply unit information, inside or out.
From reading the technical specifications online from Dell's XPS Service manual, it's showing that the Wattage: 460W.
Heat dissipation: 1000 BTU/hr. Voltage: fixed-voltage power supply - 110V at 50/60Hz.

I looked into the Radeon HD 3650. Tigerdirect has 2 of them listed.
One is HIS Radeon HD 3650, 512MB DDR2, AGP 8x/4x, (2) Dual link DVI, HDTV, VGA support, HDMI Support
The other one is Sapphire Radeon HD 3650, 512MB, GDDR2, AGP 8x, Dual DVI, HDTV.
Again, It would be a toss up between the two cards.

RazberyBandit: Thank you for taking the time to work up those new systems on Newegg. I did check out those links and it would be something to consider for sure. However, I am pretty lame when it comes to doing all that. It's overwhelming to me. I don't doubt that I couldn't do it, I'd just be hesitant to do that because I don't have the knowledge and never did it before. Dozens of questions come to mind that are probably basic to someone else. For example, would I have to buy a new case? I have basically only taken out simple plug and play devices, I'm hesitant to build a new system myself.

This morning I went on Dell's website to look more into my power supply and I did see how to take that all apart easily, but how do I know if the new items will fit and work with the case I have? Would I be able to keep my current Hard drive ? I really wish I had more knowledge and could be less hesitant about it because you do have a valid point.

I guess I'm also trying to hang on to this system because my initial cost was about $3,600.00 back in 2004. Figuring back then that I bought a system that would last and be upgradable. I would definately try to build my own before spending that kinda money again. I was hoping it would be later then sooner though.

After typing this reply out I see now that Jpdykes answered my question about the case and hard drive.

Thanks again everyone for all your shared knowledge.
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 6:34:55 PM

As far as the graphics cards are concerned GDDR3 is important. If you cant find a GDDR3 3650 but you can find a GDDR3 2600XT then get that instead. You dont need more Ram as you have 2gb already.
Without knowing the +12v rail Amperage its hard to say if it will power the 3850. Dell PSU's are pretty good but its all guess work with out the numbers.

Mactronix
a c 236 U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 7:30:22 PM

RazberyBandit said:
Neither card would get my vote...

I honestly wouldn't spend more than $60 on an AGP card. Anything more than that would be better put towards a new system. A much faster AMD AM2+ or Intel LGA-775 motherboard, CPU, RAM, and far more powerful PCI-Express card could be had for $200... It's something to consider.

I worked this AMD-Based system up on Newegg:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 Brisbane 2.7GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO5200DOBOX - Retail - $56.00
GIGABYTE GA-MA74GM-S2 AM2+/AM2 AMD 740G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $54.99
SAPPHIRE 100255HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail - $69.99 ($59.99 w/ $10.00 Mail-in Rebate)
WINTEC AMPO 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 3AMD2800-2G2K-R - Retail - $20.99

AMD-Based System Total = $201.97 + Shipping (UPS 3-day to continental US ~$9) (And there are cheaper CPUs and Motherboards available...)

If you'd need a new Power Supply:
Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $54.99

AMD-Based System w/ Power Supply Total = $256.96 + same shipping, as the PSU has free shipping.


Intel-Based System:

Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E5200 - Retail - Retail - $69.99
GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $52.99
Same Memory
Same Video

Intel-Based Total = $213.96 + same shipping as AMD System

W/ Power Supply = $268.95 + same shipping as AMD System


Now, go ahead and buy a $100 to $150 VisionTek HD3850 512MB AGP video card if ya want. I just wanted you to see that you could build a new, faster overall system for only $60 to $100 more.


Edit: Changed Intel CPU from E2200 Allendale to E5200 Wolfdale as their prices are identical and the E5200 outperforms the E2200.


make sure you send the bill for all those upgrades to this loser idiot who thinks money grows on trees and decides to post answers that dont answer the question.
a c 199 U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 7:57:08 PM

@ Penelope: Do n't be too worried about the PSU, Dell units are generally very good and the HD3850 only draws a little more power than the 9800XT anyway, see here:

http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=264

If you feel the urge to build your own, why not check out the Homebuilt Forum?
It's really not much harder than assembling a flat pack wardrobe and far easier than using a video/DVD player/recorder remote:) 
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 10:56:40 PM

ct1615 said:
make sure you send the bill for all those upgrades to this loser idiot who thinks money grows on trees and decides to post answers that dont answer the question.


Why don't ya read what my post actually says before you get all high and mighty with me about it? The builds I suggested only run about $50 more than the $150 video card option Penelope was already considering, dipsh*t. Learn to read. Gah!

That said...

Penelope, I can understand your concerns and hesitations regarding making a leap into the DIY PC realm. Mac is right on about the importance for GDDR3. If you cannot find a 3650 GDDR3, the 2600XT w/ GDDR3 performs almost identically, and would outperform a 3650 w/ GDDR2. The 3850 gets expensive, so to save a few bucks and still get very good performance, the 2600XT or 3650 GDDR3 would be excellent choices.
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 12:21:42 AM

+1 to building a new system
It's really not as hard as you might think. Putting the parts together is actually quite easy if you can follow simple instructions and use a screwdriver. It's picking out the parts that is the tricky part, but then, that's what sites like this are for. In general it's a good learning experience as well.
Basically a computer consists of about 8 basic components. CPU, motherboard, ram, case, power supply, video card, hard drive(s) and an optical drive. If you are going to do it I would recommend doing it right and using a budget of $300-400. With that you can build a very nice system that will be great for any gaming short of Crysis on high settings and be worlds faster than your current system for everything else.
The builds Raz put together are pretty much what you would want on a budget. The only change I would make really is the cpu in the AMD build. The 7750 kuma for $3 more is a much better choice;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
However, there's no doubt you'll need a new case and want a new power supply to go with it. This combo deal looks like the best thing around on a budget;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Good brand and good price, $77 - $12 mail-in rebate
I'd also say definitely get 4 gigs of ram. RAM is cheap and it's worth the extra $20. This 2 x 2gb kit is a good choice for $42;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If your current system doesn't have a dvd burner you'll want one. They are cheap($20-25) and nice to have. If there is one is the Dell it should be easily transferable. This is a good choice if you don't have one;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The video card Raz chose is pretty much what I would recommend. The only other option you might want to think about is this card;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The other card is fine for your needs but this one is $15 more and well worth it imo.
That's pretty much it. You can use the hard drive from your old computer, but keep in mind you will have to reinstall windows for the new system. If you'd rather just get a new hard drive it will cost you about $60 for a 500gb drive, or there are terabyte drives(1000 gigs) for $85. Also then your old computer will still be functional.
a c 236 U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 4:49:40 AM

RazberyBandit said:
Why don't ya read what my post actually says before you get all high and mighty with me about it? The builds I suggested only run about $50 more than the $150 video card option Penelope was already considering, dipsh*t. Learn to read. Gah!

That said...

Penelope, I can understand your concerns and hesitations regarding making a leap into the DIY PC realm. Mac is right on about the importance for GDDR3. If you cannot find a 3650 GDDR3, the 2600XT w/ GDDR3 performs almost identically, and would outperform a 3650 w/ GDDR2. The 3850 gets expensive, so to save a few bucks and still get very good performance, the 2600XT or 3650 GDDR3 would be excellent choices.


because you are a loser.....idiot...that is why
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 4:56:19 AM

LMAO. That's your reason? Please... Go flame someone else who cares and would bother to feed the trolls. Or better yet, keep it up and get banned. Your choice.

I'm sure everyone here is thankful for your contribution to the topic...
April 25, 2009 5:07:27 AM

+ 1, RazberyBandit. You GO man!!wo0t! Anyways he was just trying to help. Even when I buy older components i calculate the price of a newly built pc, in my case it was only 25.00 more.
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 5:29:15 AM

Right. I was just trying to show how little more, in terms of dollars spent, that it would take to get into a more modern system. Best part of it is, I didn't even use the absolute cheapest parts, other than the RAM. The motherboards, CPUs, graphics card, and power supply I recommended were all based on price vs quality/performance/feature basis.

If Penelope felt comfortable enough making the changes herself, or could get someone experienced to assist, it may have been a more appealing choice. Isn't it better to know all your options?
April 25, 2009 5:48:39 AM

+ 1, I always do the same. It ends up saving me more money in the long run. If the extra 50.00 is spent she would be able to upgrade a little more, than if she/he had a AGP card and in a couple years they are COMPLETELY extinct than well you'll need to get a new system anyways lol. But I have a H.I.S HD 3650 and I am loving it, great H.264 offloader and good gaming card. For games NOT like crysis. LOL.
!