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AGP Card Recommendations

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May 13, 2009 8:30:19 PM

My computer is admittedly old, but replacing it isn't in my budget at the moment. I'm running Windows XP Pro, I have plenty of RAM (3 gig), and the processor actually isn't too bad (2.8 GHz dual-core), so I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card so that I'm able to play some more recent games. My current card is a GeForce FX 5200 (no shader model 3.0 support and only 128 MB memory), which severely limits what games I can play.

What I need is something that is 8x AGP compatible (since I have no PCI-e port) that can handle current games on (at least) medium settings at a reasonable framerate. Cost isn't all that important since APG cards aren't likely to be expensive anymore. Any and all suggestions/recommendations are welcome. Thanks in advance.
May 13, 2009 8:39:54 PM

im thinking a 3650 would be good for you.
a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 8:42:02 PM

i wouldn't spend the money honestly, save your money and get a new system, you would be suprised what you can make with even $600 if all you need is a tower
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May 13, 2009 8:48:49 PM

well depends if you could get say a use 3850 for say 30 id do that .

But i agree with mindless dont waste money buying new stuff for old hardware save up.
a c 130 U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 9:20:54 PM

HD4770. Cheap powerfull (maybee to much) but its the same price as a 3650 in the UK where i am based so why not ?

Mactronix
a c 130 U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 9:59:40 PM

PCSoul said:
The 3850 is the best you can get for AGP

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 3650 is a little slower and cheaper.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Either one of these cards would crush your current video card in the performance area. I think your dual core could make good use of the 3850.


Um no i did post that the op should get a 4770, which is definatly a better card than a 3850.

Mactronix
a c 236 U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 10:02:41 PM

try reading the entire post mactronix, he has an AGP GPU slot not a PCI

and the 3850 was the top AGP card made
a c 130 U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 10:03:51 PM

Yes i can read thank you ;) 

Mactronix
a c 130 U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 10:05:34 PM

Oh and you missed the "E"

Mactronix
May 13, 2009 10:08:15 PM

The 3850 will suit you if your CPU is a dual core. My 3650 runs nicely with my P4, only a single core.
May 13, 2009 10:17:53 PM

mactronix said:
Yes i can read thank you ;) 

Mactronix

Ha well it seems we can all read but only some of us can search ;) 

Emm this is kinda nice...i may get one of these if i can for cheap :D 

OP keep in mind that just because your pc runs at such and such speed if its a single core or p4 its rather slow compared to other cpus at that speed....as recommended you would be best off just saving the money you have to spend on this card and opening a bank account to pile it in for a few months...

although this link worries me :( 

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

Edit:o k a follow up...it would seem the 4770 WAS just a mis-listing and that it does not and will not exist...that blows

http://en.expreview.com/2009/05/13/powercolor-tries-out...
a c 130 U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 10:20:47 PM

Ok so what the specs of the whole rig and the main thing that everyone has left out is the PSU. The 3850 uses quite a bit of juice, normally more than an older AGP generation PSU was designed to handle. The +12v rail either in Watts or Amps is the important thing as far as the PSU goes.
So what CPU is it etc and what resolution do you play at ?

Mactronix
a c 130 U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 10:26:36 PM

rewindlabs said:
Ha well it seems we can all read but only some of us can search ;) 

Emm this is kinda nice...i may get one of these if i can for cheap :D 

OP keep in mind that just because your pc runs at such and such speed if its a single core or p4 its rather slow compared to other cpus at that speed....as recommended you would be best off just saving the money you have to spend on this card and opening a bank account to pile it in for a few months...

although this link worries me :( 

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

Edit:o k a follow up...it would seem the 4770 WAS just a mis-listing and that it does not and will not exist...that blows

http://en.expreview.com/2009/05/13/powercolor-tries-out...



Hmm thats interesting, could be a typo and the long ago anounced 4670 AGP was what was meant and not the 4770. I read two differant sites today that said powercolor were making a 4770 in AGP flavour.
So i guess we can hold fire on the 4770 AGP . But does that mean the 4760 will be coming in AGP instead ?

Mactronix
Links http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/video/display/200905121842...

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/12151/powercolor_launches...
May 13, 2009 10:47:18 PM

w.e you can find that's ATI if you can find it sub 75$ a 3000 or 4000 series probably got a decent card there that isn't too horribly price grouged.
a c 176 U Graphics card
May 13, 2009 11:16:32 PM

Try your local Craigs list. I see on mine within the last 30 days a 6800GT AGP card for $40. I've also seen an x1600something for about the same. Either of these cards would be a massive upgrade from your 5200. Take a look around and see what you can find for cheap. Spending $150 for a new AGP card is dumb, as with careful shopping you can get a new motherboard and CPU for that.

And thanks for the laugh BTW. "Cost isn't all that important since APG cards aren't likely to be expensive anymore." Its called supply and demand. There aren't many new ones being made, so the supply is pretty small.
May 13, 2009 11:54:36 PM

Update with more info that I should have included to begin with:

The power supply is 250 Watts, which eliminates at least one of the links PCSoul posted. I was concerned about the power requirements being an issue, but I forgot to add it to the original post.

The processor is an Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (Intel 875P Chipset). I realize it's extremely underpowered compared to a lot of processors on the market right now, but it is dual-core, which can be a blessing and a curse depending on what I'm using the computer for.

As far as resolutions are concerned, I'd be pretty happy at 1280x1024, or even 1024x768. Resolution isn't nearly as important as a smooth display and good framerate. Any game I can actually run right now is likely to be 2-3+ years old, has to be run on minimum settings or close to it, and is likely to have a somewhat choppy framerate during graphics-intensive moments of the game. High resolution is most important in FPS games for accuracy, etc., but I don't tend to play many FPS because a lot of them (not all of them, though) tend to give me motion sickness (yeah it's weird, and I don't know why, but that's the way it is).

As far as cost is concerned, I know how supply and demand works, but I've yet to see an AGP card listed online for more than about $120 (unless it was listed somewhere else as well cheaper). Most seem to be in the $40 - $90 range, which is more or less within my budget. That said, I do intend to take your advice and check Craigslist.

I realize that in the long term, it makes sense to save my money for a new system, but I'm pretty much out of games that I can actually run on my computer, and I likely won't be able to afford a new system for another year or so. Right now, I'm just trying to find a way to extend my computer's life by another year so I have something to use until then. My biggest problem right now is my graphics card's lack of support for shader model 3.0, which means I can't play any game that doesn't also have support for shader model 2 (I had to play Oblivion with a 3rd party hack, and lots of other games won't run at all).

So far, the 3650 and the 3850 have been suggested. (The 4760/70 won't count until you can show me one!) The 3850 would definitely be powerful enough, but I'm wondering if my CPU is good enough to make good use of it. The 3650 seems like it's a good card as well, and I'll consider it as well. Also, a friend of mine was wondering how the X1650Pro or 2600 Pro (or similar cards) might compare to the 3650 (the 3850 is obviously much more powerful than any of those). I thought I'd bring it up here and see what you all had to say about it.

Thanks a lot for your feedback so far. It's much appreciated.
a c 176 U Graphics card
May 14, 2009 12:26:34 AM

If you go with the 3850, you'll need a new PSU. If I remember correctly these cards need 30A on the 12V rail, which yours doesn't have.

You also don't have a dual core CPU. All the P4Ds were on the S775, I don't remember any being on the S478. What you have is a P4 that supports hyperthreading. Subtle difference, but its not as powerful as a true dual core. If your willing to put out the money, the best upgrade would be something like the x1950pro, and a new PSU. The nice thing about the new PSU is if you pick a modern one, it should carry over to a new build. This way the only money your spending that won't carry over to a new build is the card.

Whats the total upgrade budget? Can you buy both a PSU and GPU?
May 14, 2009 2:26:51 AM

Pentium D are side by side Prescotts for the most part...not exactly Dual Core...sort of there....Um, well depends on your budget, you can get a GeForce 6200..which is admittedly old, but it can do the trick..they are around $50, but I do not know your situation too well.
May 14, 2009 3:46:04 AM

I'll have to agree with Mindless. Unless the replacement would be dirt cheap, it would be wiser to save up. You can build a brand new budget computer for <600 and it would run new games just fine. I did the same thing. I had an old P4 system with an X1300 Pro in it, I waited an entire year than dumped 1k into a new system, and I'm incredibly glad I waited.
May 14, 2009 4:18:53 AM

go the 3850

to those saying wait for a new system NO WAY

i have a 3.4 northwood(OC to 3.8), 4gb ram and just put a 6800 in it

damn thing runs brilliantly....i did need a new psu....but i have got my machine running for cs4 without spending over $400 (australian so around $250 US)

i7 builds are WAAAAY expensive and why would you go a 775 socket when they are outdated

upgrade your machine till it can be upgraded no more i say.....its fun and mine runs win 7 faster than its runs xp pro
May 14, 2009 4:45:42 AM

Aright, so, after a little research, it seems that replacing the power supply may not be a great option, but for reasons other than I'd expected. Sure, a new power supply would raise the cost, but there seems to be another potential problem. My computer is a Dell, and apparently Dell used proprietary PSU's on at least some of their computers. I found some reports online of people replacing their proprietary Dell PSU's sucessfully and other reports of system instability and problems. I might possibly consider replacing the PSU as part of the upgrade, but there's no point if I have to buy something I can't reuse when I build my next computer in a year or so. I don't intend to get another Dell if I can avoid it. This one has been quite reliable, but I can do better at a much lower price by building my own.

On another note, one of my weak points with computers is actually power supply and distribution, so I'm sure I don't understand everything completely. I'm studying for my EE degree, but my classes have focused on logic and architecture (and E&M Field Theory) instead of power so far. Any knowledge or wisdom you want to share regarding power for my current computer or when I build my next one would be appreciated.

I actually just took a closer look at my computer's power supply. It has 2 groups of wires going to the motherboard: a 20-pin connector (only 19 wires attached to it) and a 4-pin connector (square shape) secured near the CPU. There's several 4-pin (Molex) peripherals attached to my hard drive and DVD drives (all of them are PATA drives), leaving two 4-pin peripheral (Molex) connectors and one 6-pin connector (for providing additional PCI power?) unused. I'm still not sure if my PSU is proprietary or not, and I don't know if that information helps, but at least it's a start. If anyone can confirm or deny that Dell Dimension 8300's use a proprietary power supply, please let me know (I found conflicting reports online).

Also, thanks for the info on my CPU. The Task Manager has always showed independent graphs for 2 separate cores under "CPU Usage History", so I naturally assumed it was dual-core. I saw the term "hyperthreading" somewhere in the documentation, but I never made the connection.

Sorry this got so long; I'll wrap it up now. For the total budget, I'd initially hoped to keep the cost below $100, but I knew to begin with that I'd be willing to go higher if there was a good reason like finding a really great deal, aproblem with power requirements, etc. At this point, I've gotta decide if it makes sense to upgrade my PSU. If so, then what sort of card makes sense and can I afford? If not, what's the best card that will run on my current PSU?
May 14, 2009 4:46:29 AM

whitewhale1 said:
go the 3850

to those saying wait for a new system NO WAY

i have a 3.4 northwood(OC to 3.8), 4gb ram and just put a 6800 in it

damn thing runs brilliantly....i did need a new psu....but i have got my machine running for cs4 without spending over $400 (australian so around $250 US)

i7 builds are WAAAAY expensive and why would you go a 775 socket when they are outdated

upgrade your machine till it can be upgraded no more i say.....its fun and mine runs win 7 faster than its runs xp pro


CS4 is not gaming....anything can run CS4

And you probably don't tweak your os's do you? i bet you buy into all the hype on that win7 runs as well as xp to right? learn to tweak your os...

XP without tweaks is faster than win7...xp with tweaks is severely faster than win7

May 14, 2009 4:47:51 AM

whitewhale1 said:
go the 3850

to those saying wait for a new system NO WAY

i have a 3.4 northwood(OC to 3.8), 4gb ram and just put a 6800 in it

damn thing runs brilliantly....i did need a new psu....but i have got my machine running for cs4 without spending over $400 (australian so around $250 US)

i7 builds are WAAAAY expensive and why would you go a 775 socket when they are outdated

upgrade your machine till it can be upgraded no more i say.....its fun and mine runs win 7 faster than its runs xp pro



Hey Ahab,
The 478 platform you are using is outdated, 775 is still current, and i7 is cutting edge. If you'd get something more than a paper route, a newer computer might not be the mountain you're not able to climb.

Hey Mactronix,
Learn to use a spell checker, or have your MOM edit your spew before posting!
May 14, 2009 6:04:36 AM

A few more thoughts before I go to bed:

@lauxenberg: The 6200 is an improvement (at least it's pixel shader 3.0 compatible, my current card isn't), but its GPU isn't all the much better. If I'm going to spend some money, I want to see noticeable results. There's no point in spending $50 to display 3.0-shaded-pixels at 5-10 FPS. Thanks for your input, but I think there are probably better options out there.

@killerzuchini: Yeah, my plan is to wait, but I need to have something semi-decent until then. My current card isn't even pixel shader 3.0 compatible, so 90% of the games from the last 3+ years won't even load. The X1300Pro is pixel shader 3.0 compatible and has a FAR better GPU than my FX 5200. If I had that card, I might not buy anything at all until next year.

As I'm getting ready for bed, I'm leaning towards getting just a graphics card and no PSU so I can save for the future, but I'm still open to hearing suggestions and opinions. Anyone have ideas on what's the best AGP card I can run on a 250 Watt PSU?
a c 176 U Graphics card
May 14, 2009 3:23:34 PM

Dell USED to use special PSUs. They stopped doing this around the time the P4 came out. What you are seeing is the normal 20 pin ATX bundle, and the 4 pin "P4" bundle. (newer motherboards like my P35 chipset board use an 8 pin bundle instead) You should be able to put any modern ATX PSU in there, just make sure its a quality unit, and its 20/24 and not 24 pin only.

If your bound and determined to not get a new PSU, your probably best getting something like the 7600GS. I don't think I'd go any faster then that.
May 25, 2009 10:44:13 AM

For an AGP card upgrade, doesn't it depend on the motherboard on whether you can upgrade the video card or not... for example, memory type (DDR or DDR2), memory interface (128bit or 256bit), and if it can deal with a high memory clock or core clock speed?

I've asked a few people around and they say memory type/inteface/clock speed/etc., doesn't matter as long as the card is compatible with the PSU/mobo amp/wattage stuff...

My bro has a very good computer but wants to upgrade his AGP card. It currently is:
http://ati.amd.com/products/radeon9200/radeon9200/specs...

Thanks
a c 176 U Graphics card
May 25, 2009 4:58:17 PM

You can use a video card that uses DDR2/3 even if your motherboard uses DDR. The reason is all the specs you listed are internal to the card, the motherboard doesn't see/use them. As long as it fits in the slot, it should work. The motherboard will transfer the data through the slot, after that it doesn't care.
May 25, 2009 8:54:51 PM

I have the same problem as the original poster. My 6 year old Dell Gen-2 XPS runs fine (for my needs), but needs a new video card. Abuse me if you want. I don’t want to buy a new system until Win7 sorts out. Also, this new OnLive looks interesting. Will we even need graphics accelerators in the future? (not intended as thread highjack)

In my case the 256 MB Radeon 9800XT has blown its fan for the second time. The first was replaced under warrantee. This time it fried a memory chip or something. 2D video is fine, but go into gaming and I get triangles shooting all over the place. This is really interesting to look at, but not playable.

I was looking at the ATI 3850 most are recommending here. I believe this is called the Sapphire Radeon HD when in AGP configuration. I’ve heard there are driver problems with the AGP version. You need something called “hotfix” drivers.

My favorite game is TF2 which is lite on video resources. Does anyone have specific experience with this card, hotfix drivers, or any Dell AGP quirks? How does the 3850 compare in performance to the 9800?

Thanks

Dell Gen-2 XPS, 3 GHz, 2 GB SDRAM, 460 Watts
a c 176 U Graphics card
May 26, 2009 1:06:10 AM

The 3850 is many times faster then the 9800XT. Its four generations newer, and is still the fastest AGP video card that I'm aware of. (has the four series hit yet?) I to have heard of driver issues, I'm not sure what causes it. Most likely a configuration issue between the card and the chipset, but I'm not sure. Try it if you have the $$$, but I'd make sure whoever you buy it from has a good return policy.
May 27, 2009 11:28:38 PM

i have a 3850 borrowed from a friend and yes there are some driver issues but once you figure it out it runs great

to those doubting the 478 socket.....i betting this PC can handle anything i throw at it....p4 3.4 4gb ddr400 ram and 512mg 3850

all for less than the price of an asus i7 mobo (p6t deluxe)

and yes i tweak xp and for some reason windows 7 runs faster though i dont use it as driver support for my mobo is lame
a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2009 11:36:27 PM

whitewhale1 said:
i have a 3850 borrowed from a friend and yes there are some driver issues but once you figure it out it runs great

to those doubting the 478 socket.....i betting this PC can handle anything i throw at it....p4 3.4 4gb ddr400 ram and 512mg 3850

all for less than the price of an asus i7 mobo (p6t deluxe)

and yes i tweak xp and for some reason windows 7 runs faster though i dont use it as driver support for my mobo is lame


You must throw nothing but Pac-Man at it lol
a c 176 U Graphics card
May 28, 2009 9:53:25 AM

As much as you love that system, just imagine what a E6600 and 4GBs of DDR2-800 can do. I'm almost tempted to try a Quad, but that E6600 is fast enough for me.
January 28, 2010 1:21:29 AM

I currently have a P4P800-E with a 3.0GHz CPU OC to 3.3GHz S478. I have a 650W Ultra PSU with 2GB of Corsair DDR400 RAM and the HD3850. I can play L4D High settings with 2xAA at 20-40fps. Counter-Strike Source High settings 30fps, BF2 high settings 60fps, Killing Floor high settings 2xAA 30+fps, Crisis at low to med settings 10-20fps. My resolution is 1680x1050. Even with a TB drive that's full, I get amazing performance out of it. The HD4000 series is out now for AGP, Ive thought about buying the 4650 but I see the 4770 are around. I love this system and will ride it to the end. I can see myself waiting for whatever comes after the i7 before I spend any serious cash on a new system.

For myself to be satisfied with a new system I would need almost $2000 for the tower. So for now, $150 on a new video card for good ol'AGP seems like the smarter option.

As for the issue you were having hippocrates, what did you decide to do? I would have recommended you get the 3850 if you had at least a 450W PSU.
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