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How far should I upgrade graphic card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
February 24, 2003 10:30:06 PM

My gaming rig is a few years old now with a PIII750. I have been able to upgrade my video card a few times (currently at a GeForce3 Ti200) and still be able to play yesterday's games at reasonable/playable framerates (my last PC game purchases were SoFII & MoH:AA.)

I've recently turned to my Xbox for my gaming needs (both online and offline) but see some interesting games for the PC on the horizon (did someone say DoomIII?) which my current setup will probably not run unless I turn all the features down to a wireframe-only mode.

My question is this: how much more can I gain in terms of performance by upgrading my video card one more time to the latest and greatest, in this case a Radeon 9700 or GeForce FX? Will it be worth doing this knowing that now my bottleneck really is at the processor or will the jump in performance (however much that will be) be worth it this one last time.

I know eventually I'll have to upgrade my rig but I was hoping I could hold that off at least until after one more video upgrade. Someone please enlighten me. Thanks! :) 

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February 25, 2003 3:20:15 AM

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This is a good read for you. The short answer is that it depends on the game. If I were you I would not buy a new card without a new CPU though. I don't think it'll be worth the money spent if you don't upgrade the CPU as well.

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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2003 5:35:33 AM

Read tom's CPU guide. You'll find that your old, weak CPU is still good enough for most games with that card. You'll want a big powerfull power supply though.

You could also try running your PIII 750E as a 1000EB by overclocking your bus speed to 133MHz. If you need advice there, I'm the expert on that (and there are other experts in here too).

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February 25, 2003 8:33:07 AM

As Crash suggested, attempt to overclock it to 1ghz by upping the FSB - this will give you a very good performance boost. However, you wont get very far if your board doesnt support voltage changes. I had this problem with my pIII 750. after chucking the eMachines board I asked for reccomendations (Crash reccomended an Asus CUBX - very good board) which in my noobiness, I ignored. Went out and bought a shitty Gigabyte 815 board with no voltage adjustments and minimum of features, and then cried (j/k) when I could only get it to 840mhz.

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February 25, 2003 2:16:38 PM

I don't think a good idea to put a 9700 on a p3-750, some games won't work fine, take war-craft3 for example, when I had my old t-bird 900MHZ sometimes the game became slow due to processor weakeness, same for battlefield, gta3, etc, etc, etc
February 25, 2003 4:29:45 PM

Exactly, that's my point, but people seem to think that ALL games will play fine with a 1 Ghz processor. Take it from me (or the article above), not all games will.

What's the point of only spending $300+ on a video card when the CPU is ALSO important for many games today? Do people who buy a R9700 Pro really want to play at lower resolutions and quality settings? He's going to have to but a PSU most likely as well just to run the 9700 Pro. It makes little sense to not spend the extra money on a motherboard AND XP1700+ at least. Even if it's at the expense of "only" being able to buy a R9500 Pro. Buy a board that supports SDRAM if neccessary.

If all you play are graphics card dependent games, that's one thing, but for most of us that's not the case.

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February 25, 2003 10:59:20 PM

Warcraft 3?...the Direct X 7 game?? dad plays that on a gateway P3 and a VooDoo 3 5000!

AMD Athlon "ThunderBird" 1.2Ghz/ECSK7S5A/BBA Radeon8500LE 290-301Mhz/256DDR 2100/Maxtor40Gigger/PhillipsSurround/Vantec digital display/Enermax Lan case with blue cathodes and fans.
February 26, 2003 12:58:56 AM

What is a voodoo 3 5000?

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February 26, 2003 1:56:56 AM

Don't forget that your memory and your cpu will be the bottleneck. I think you will gain performance in some games but not as many as you would want from a $250-$300 card.

Crap, all the good ones are already taken.
February 26, 2003 1:17:11 PM

voodo 3 5000? there's no such thing,

the problem is when you play war3 aggainst a lot of other races or people, or when you play counter-strike on a big server or you when you play it against bots for example, at least a xp1500+ is necessary at my opinion if you want to play nice