I'm using an HIS 9250 card (AGP-2x-supporting, for my AGP 2x slot) in a dual-processor Pentium III/600 machine, and I have often been told how ancient the 9250 is (and that it was low-end to begin with). I'm wondering, however, that even as old as it is, it might be total overkill for my even-older CPU setup. This wouldn't surprise me considering it came out in 2004 (according to Wikipedia) and my processors date back even further to 2000 or so, running on an even older motherboard.
Plus I got the 9250 to replace an old Matrox G400, but 2d performance did not improve in any noticeable away. That's not a problem, since I bought the 9250 mainly for the DVI port and it was super cheap anyway. I just figure it's added evidence the 9250 is not able to live up to its full potential in this box. It does seem a little weird to me, though, that basic Windows XP window drawing operations aren't snappier with the 9250, since I thought such tasks would be handled by the 9250's graphics primitives and hence require relatively little CPU involvement or bus bandwidth consumption. Is it just because the Matrox was amazing for its time, as I've read in a few places, so the 9250 is no better at 2d?
I'm just wondering if anybody with more ATI experience can corroborate or explain any of this (I'm especially curious about whether it's the PIII CPUs, the AGP 2x bus, or the 9250 that is the biggest bottleneck in my config).
Also, I'm a bit confused because Wikipedia's article on ATI GPUs says the 9250 was designed for AGP 8x and PCI. If that's the case, how did HIS build an AGP 2x card around it, since I am quite familiar with the inconvenient fact that newer AGP standards are not electrically backwards compatible? Maybe this is an ignorant question, since I'm not a hardware designer, but I was wondering. All things considered, it's a fairly beefy card for AGP 2x -- 256-MB, 128-bit.