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XP2600+ to 3000/3200 Venice on Nforce 3 worth it?

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June 22, 2005 12:45:57 PM

Yesterday my new AGP Gainward GS 6800GT arrived to replace my 9800 Non-Pro (clocked to pro), however despite the high benchmark scores (3d mark '03 5700 to 11200, 3d mark '05 2000 to 5000+) I am a little dissapointed about its games performance, particually in the Battlefield 2 demo. I know the demo has its problems but I was really expecting a bit more. In most games I have gained roughly 10-20fps but I can either max the graphics or add a load of AA with little reduction in performance.

Anyway to cut to the chase I'm wondering whether my XP2600+ T-Bred B 333FSB CPU and nForce2 mobo are holding back the graphics card too much. As I have bought a new AGP card (because it seems like theres no gain going to PCI-E) I don't want to switch to PCI-E and as my nForce2 mobo can't support 400FSB, a NF3 mobo would probably be best.

However this upgrade would cost even more than the graphics card as I'd have to buy a new CPU/mobo/RAM and I wonder what your opinions are on the benefit this would have in the newer games and whether it is worth the money. If I was to buy a new CPU it would either be a 3000+ or 3200+ AMD 64 bit Venice and would probably buy the Geil 3200 value RAM which is supposed to be good for overclocking).

(I don't really want to shed out a load more cash, hence I didn't upgrade to PCI-E!)


Thanks in advance
June 22, 2005 3:26:11 PM

Hrm, i have a 9800 np paired with a 2500 333 and a 6800gt 3000 oc to 2.1. The difference between the 9800 (agp) and the 6800gt (pci-e) was pretty close to night and day in all my high end games. All the games were playable (except doom only at 640x480) with the 9800, but i could play at any resolution with the 6800gt. I don't think the 3000 made more then a 5-10% difference. But then i don't have a good way to check either. If i had my buddies 6800gt agp i'd throw it in and test out that 2500 with it.

edit: i can however say, there isn't much of a difference between using the 3500+ with a 9800 pro and the 2500+...I have benches if you'd like to have a link to them.

F@H:
AMD: [64 3000+][2500+][2400+][2000+][1.3][366]
Intel: [X 3.0x3][P4 3.0x2][P4 2.4x5 down][P4 1.4]

"...and i'm not gay" RX8 -Greatest Quote of ALL Time<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by apesoccer on 06/22/05 11:27 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 22, 2005 3:33:24 PM

You don't need to get a new vid card. That vid card is great. I have the same one running on one of my rigs, I can't notice the difference between it and a PCI-e 6800GT. I would start looking at some of the other components.

What RAM do you have currently... and which of the NF2 mobos?
June 22, 2005 4:20:57 PM

Re: apesoccer

Well the difference is noticable, but not as noticable as I would have hoped. Doom3 timedemo 1 runs about 15fps faster at MQ 1024x768 (as I had it on the 9800) but I can crank it all the way up to HQ 1280 and 2x AA and only loosing 3fps.

Again HL2 is about the same, no fps increase (As HL2 seems to prefer ATis) but I can crank up the graphics alot higher with negilible fps penalty.

BF2 Demo, runs about 10fps higher than before and I can turn up the graphics to max with or without AA with little fps change.

Now better graphics is nice, but I'd prefer a bigger fps gain, especially in Battlefield 2 in which in multiplayer the fps still drops below 30fps from time to time with the graphics slightly higher than I had on the 9800.

I doubt there would be much of a difference with a 9800 on a 2500+ or 3000+ as the processor is probably adequate in many games for the graphics card.

Re: Starfishy

No, no I wasn't gonna change the graphics card again :)  Its a 256MB version too which I hoped would help in the newer games and clocked to 400/1100 (Gainward garantees this).

My RAM is 2x512MB sticks of 2700 (333) one of which I think is Crucial the other cheap Elixir RAM. I once tried overclocking the CPUs FSB, which lowered the RAM speed automatically and occasionally the PC wouldn't boot first time (Evidently the RAM doesn't like being underclocked!). The motherboard would only let me change the multiplier from 12.5 (stock) to 13, but as the chip is locked I can't do this anyway.
My mobo is (probably quite an early NF2 mobo as it was bought when it had only been out a short time) a MSI K7N2-L and only supports 333FSB. I've seen some 3000XP 333FSB Bartons but I doubt they would give much of an increase in performance.
June 22, 2005 4:29:09 PM

New RAM couldn't hurt you, that's for sure. RAM often has cooperation problems when you start mix matching different brands. This might be a possible upgrade path that I would take next. I haven't had any experience with that Mobo but I have been impressed with my other MSI mobos, and especially there ability to OC. As such I would be surprised if the mobo was your problem.
June 22, 2005 8:33:35 PM

Yeah I might do that, it could explain the slight stuttering I get from time to time in BF 2 demo as that game just seems to eat RAM. I'd probably get the Geil 3200 Dual Channel Kit (2x512), even if it doesn't make much of a difference it should enable me to overclock the FSB and if I do decide to get a A64/NF3 I could use it in that too.
June 22, 2005 10:32:33 PM

Yep... looks like a pretty good choice to me.
June 23, 2005 12:33:20 PM

Well after much 'umming' and 'aaaahhhing' I have finally taken the plunge and ordered a Venice 3200+ with a MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum SKT 939 Nforce3 Ultra. A bit more expensive than I would have hoped (not being PCI-E) but it should be the business.

I don't suppose I can complain really, I've had my Athlon XP 2600+ for 2 1/2 years and my NF2 mobo probably 3! I just hope my now nearly completely new computer knocks my socks off when I get it all setup :) 
!