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1GB GPU & 512MB motherboard?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 23, 2010 11:24:57 AM

System: XP-MCE, 661FX-M7 512MB RAM, Celeron D330 @ 2.67GHz, EVGA GeForce 6200 512MB w/ 4.4GB/Sec B/W

The GPU is a recent upgrade. Although it was a major step up from the old MX4000-T128, some gaming animations are still out of reach and the recommendation is for a 1GB GPU. Since the motherboard limits me to AGP 8X, my only choices appear to be ATI---HD4670 (which is out of stock everywhere I've looked) and HD4650, which has lower power consumption (just as well, as my Corsair 400W PSU is also recent and I'd rather not have to toss it). The 4650's specs show about double the clock speeds (600MHz; 500/1000MHz) and four times the bandwidth and fill rates, so I think I'd be in good shape for what I'm doing.

Question is, will it also be necessary to increase the system RAM? The m/b's specs show 1GB max, but if it's not really needed, I'd rather not spend $ or 'toss' the existing DIMMs. Any advice?
Thanks up front;

Gregg
October 24, 2010 9:00:39 AM

Thanks, dipankar2007ind, for the quick reply; I received no email notification so I was unaware you had responded. I was wondering if the 'unbalanced' memory would cause problems when Hardware Render was applied.
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October 24, 2010 9:23:22 AM

Upping the system memory is far, far more important than increasing your video card memory.
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October 24, 2010 9:52:16 AM

Hmmmm....maybe I'll look into the RAM first, then. A pair of used DIMMs should be cheaper than an $80 card. But then there's Bandwidth....and OpenGL 2.1 over 2.0....Oh boy....decisions, decisions. I thank you both.
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October 24, 2010 1:47:13 PM

Have you considered just upgrading your system? Frankly your computer is ancient and spending money making it slightly better really doesn't make much sense. Upgrading would, of course, cost more than the $80 card you are talking about probably not as much as you think. Something like this;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Will cost you $150 and is simply worlds better than your current system. Even the integrated graphics on the motherboard is more powerful than your GeForce 6200. The processor can also usually be unlocked into a quad core.
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October 24, 2010 3:27:16 PM

Well, jyjjy, I just wasted over an hour trying to find performance specs for that combo; I like gpureview.com for making comparisons but I guess they don't put integrated graphics in their database---and if anyone else does, I sure haven't found them yet. Thanks, by the way, for the suggestion; I wasn't aware that a decent board and processor had come that far down in price.

Alas, this old stats-junkie nightowl had better get some sleep before football starts; it's almost 8:30 AM here and my vision's starting to blur. Thanks again;

Gregg
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October 24, 2010 3:51:12 PM

I'd have to agree with jyjjy the system you have is getting pretty outdated and spending another $100 or so on it is still going to leave you with an outdated poor performing system -- the prices have really dropped for what performance you can get and if you are comfortable with upgrading the system you can use a few of the components from your current system and piece together a new system for a reasonable budget that will do much more for your money. If you want to go that route check out the new buid sub forum of the systems forum and fill in a post with your budget and what you currently have and there are several members here that will assist in picking out the best deals that fit your needs and budget -- you might also want to look over the system builders Marathon article on the $400 gaming PC build -- for some starting points (figure by reusing some of your existing parts like the Case,PSU,mouse and keyboard,possibly HDD,DVD drive - you can even further reduce the cost so it can be done on a pretty low budget and that $100 that you are spending on an AGP GPU can go pretty far toward getting started.)

Figure if you use the $400 build as reference - drop the Case, PSU, DVD drive and reuse yours you are down to around $275 from there you could swap the MOBO CPU combo Jyjjy linked and temporarily use the onboard video (it is quite a bit better than your current 6200 in performance and you can always add a discrete GPU later when you save the funds) and that takes off another $110 (-$75 CPU, -$89 Video card,-$60 MOBO +116 for the MOBO CPU combo =$108) from the $270 leaving you only spending around $160 to get a decent newer system to build on later if needed but that will get you much better performance than merely buying a new AGP video card !
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October 24, 2010 9:15:15 PM

Yeah, finding meaningful numbers for both old cards like the 6200 and for IGPs like the HD 4250 can be difficult. The raw stats on a site like gpureview.com are only marginally useful. If you are very experienced with video card architecture you can use them to get a rough idea of performance but benchmarks are what really matters. To give you a rough idea check out this list;
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php
Passmark gives your card a rating of 58 while giving the HD 4250 a 164. That's only one synthetic benchmark and if I had to guess it is probably overstating the difference a bit but as you can see the difference is pretty large in any case. It isn't going to come near matching a decent discrete card like the HD4670 but you can't just consider a card to be isolated from the rest of the system. Just throwing a good video card in an ancient system is not going to give you results anywhere near pairing it with a modern one. The processor and ram speed/amount upgrades are simply enormous. Also when you do add a discrete card you won't need to overpay for one with an obsolete interface(AGP.)
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October 25, 2010 1:57:57 PM

Several hours in stat-junkie heaven, and I still haven't made up my mind. I did check out PassMark Software's benchmark chart and I wonder what they smoke down under for lunch; that score of 58 that they gave my current card (GeForce 6200) is a point lower than what they gave the GeForce 4 MX4000---which is the card that my 6200 replaced! With 20% faster GPU, 66% faster memory clock and bandwidth, faster pixel and texel fill rates, two versions higher DirectX, and OpenGL 2.0 instead of 1.0---plus the 6200 has me playing things that made the 4000 cough up text boxes of errors---well, I guess you know where I'm coming from.

Regarding meaningful numbers, I finally found some; Wikipedia has a mile-long chart of AMD/ATI GPUs, including the IGPs. Turns out that the discrete HD 4650's CPU has 514 million transistors compared to the integrated 4250's 205 million, eight times as many texture units and Unified Shaders, understandably higher fill rates and 384 GFLOPS to the 4250's 48. Might do some math and see if all that stuff will fit through an AGP 8X interface. One strong point for the 4250 is the HT 3.0 interface, which is faster than AGP 8X, although I'm not sure by how much since I don't know which figure to use for comparison....bandwidth is either 10.4, 20.8 or 41.6 (GB/Sec) depending on how it figures in.

More on this later....still lots of stats to be in heaven with, and it's getting tired in here.


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October 25, 2010 4:29:54 PM

The AGP interface isn't going to be the issue. The problem is your processor is simply inept at this point and 512mb is the minimum you want to run a modern operating system, much less play games on one. A new video card will not fix these issues. The reasonable point at which to upgrade that computer came and went several years ago. Putting it off again and spending too much on a card the system can't utilize properly is just the wrong way to go here.
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October 29, 2010 10:04:57 AM

Still up-in-the-air, but some non-computer, non-gaming issues have popped up so I won't have time to pursue this for a bit, but thanks to JDFan for the reference to the Builders' Marathon article and to jyjjy for the look at what's available.....

I now agree with the upgrade suggestion, but I don't think that that particular combo (at Newegg) is the answer; 1GB of video memory is strongly recommended, but the specs for the motherboard---at the Biostar website---list the maximum memory share as 512MB. I'll look into some other combos or whatever, and post a 'progress report' if and when there is progress.

Thanks, all;

Gregg
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November 8, 2010 9:02:15 AM

With apologies to Alex Trebek, "This.....is (not).....(the game show) Jeopardy!", so I shouldn't have phrased my question as a question.

After receiving multiple requests to select a Best Answer (perhaps so an apparent dead thread could be closed), I posted my dilemma;
Quote:
aford10 * 11-07-2010 at 11:59:56 PM
Moderator

GSGregg wrote :

Re: My thread, "1GB GPU & 512MB Motherboard?";

'Best Answer' selection is difficult; my thread-opening question was answered, plus I received valuable input from two responders who called my attention to things of which I had been unaware. I neglected to consciously designate 'question' or 'discussion' when I posted; if multiple awards (three) cannot be given, then I guess the question should be changed to a discussion. My apologies to those who answered.

GSGregg


(aford10's reply):

That thread is a question thread. You can select the answer you feel was the most helpful. However, only 1 answer can be selected.

I had seen a post to the effect that a moderator could change a question thread to a discussion thread, but didn't find it when I searched a second time. So, while my thread produced valuable suggestions, it originated with one question, which was answered. I therefore selected accordingly. When I finally select my upgrades, and if I think it'll interest anyone, I'll re-post here if the thread's still open. If not, I'll open another thread---as a discussion! ;)  Thanks, all!

GSG
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November 8, 2010 9:04:36 AM

Best answer selected by GSGregg.
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November 8, 2010 9:13:13 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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