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PCI Express - worth waiting for?

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May 19, 2004 11:01:29 AM

Just made this post in the CPU forum as well, sorry about that, but would you guys think it is worth waiting for PCI Express to buy a new graphics card? I'm caught between the 6800 Ultra and the X800XT. But should I wait for PCI Express graphics card to come out instead? And does anyone have any probable release dates?

My system: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ / Corsair 2Gb DDR400 / MSI K8T Neo FIS2R / ASUS Radeon 9800XT / Antec TruePower 550W / Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 120 Gb / Pioneer DVR-A07
May 19, 2004 4:14:39 PM

you have a freaggin 9800XT, don't bother upgrading, on this gen's cards i highly doubt the difference'll be noticable, especially the fact that the 6800ultra is gonna be bridged, probably decreasing performance from its native solution.

<A HREF="http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/myrig.php?do=view..." target="_new">My PC</A>
May 19, 2004 5:15:53 PM

But the 9800XT stands completely pale in comparison to the X800 Pro and XT cards ;)  Far Cry and Painkiller are only two games that demands my upgrade...hehe :p 

I'm definitely gonna upgrade, the question is if it's worth the wait for PCI Express...probably not then.

Well I think I'm heading for the the X800XT or Pro, the 6800 Ultra is also an option, but I'm probably gonna upgrade again before PS 3.0 is out anyways...

Yeah I read somewhere that ATI would offer a "clean" solutiuon, which would be incompatible with AGP motherboards, which would as you say most probably yield a noticeable better performance, while Nvidia would offer a compatiblity mode, that would offer worse performance.

My system: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ / Corsair 2Gb DDR400 / MSI K8T Neo FIS2R / ASUS Radeon 9800XT / Antec TruePower 550W / Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 120 Gb / Pioneer DVR-A07
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May 19, 2004 7:59:09 PM

do you know if u upgrade can i have ur crappy old components :-)

athlon 2500
512mb corsair xms 3200
radeon 9800np
80 gig hd
May 20, 2004 12:11:16 AM

Rich? Most of my saves are gone because of this...computer ;) 

My system: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ / Corsair 2Gb DDR400 / MSI K8T Neo FIS2R / ASUS Radeon 9800XT / Antec TruePower 550W / Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 120 Gb / Pioneer DVR-A07
May 20, 2004 12:16:45 AM

Well my intentions are not to boast about my system...it's fun to compare systems, but I don't mean to do it to boast about it...but I guess it's easy for others to take it that way...but anyways, it's really nothing to boast about that you waste most of your money on computer stuff :p 

My system: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ / Corsair 2Gb DDR400 / MSI K8T Neo FIS2R / ASUS Radeon 9800XT / Antec TruePower 550W / Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 120 Gb / Pioneer DVR-A07
a b U Graphics card
May 20, 2004 12:24:13 AM

Like I mention in <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">THIS</A> thread, it depends on what your plans for upgrades are.

Are you building a fresh rig with an eye on the future (not to replace the mobo for a while? If so wait for PCI-EX, it will give you more longterm options.

If you are simply building a computer now, with the possibility of another complete upgrade in a year or so, stick with AGP. Then you can buy a mature PCI-EX mobo to go with your next card.

No matter what you will be replacing whatever you buy this summer with a PCI-EX card next time, so the question is whether you want to buy a brand new mobo with very nascent technologies/parts/chipsets, or whether you want to wait for those issues to reach maturity and buy a mature MOBO and graphics card NEXT time. Considering your current MOBO, I'd say stick with the short term because if you're already thinkng about upgrading what yo have now, then you'll likely be looking at a new mobo and graphics card by this time next year also.

The safe thing is to go AGP, the forward looking but riskier thing would be PCI-EX.

I'm going the risky route because I don't mind testing the waters, and maybe I'll keep my mobo for 2 years, I've been waiting about 2 years for the Clawhammers to get here, so we'll see. Still haven;t decided which chipset is the most future 'proof' though, just some personal observations about the chipsets and sockets.

Of course, what do you want to spend your money on, some people need to move from an R9700Pro to an R9800Pro to and R9800PRO-256 to an R9800XT. Those people (which you may be among) just keep upgrading all the time, and thenit would simply come down to top performance, and upgrading every 6months makes little difference. If that's the case, get the X800Pro now, and then sell it once the right PCI-EX solution comes along to replace it and your mobo.

Hope that helps somewhat.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
May 20, 2004 1:37:14 AM

How can his 9800XT not play Far Cry? When I can play both Demos with my ole little TI4200.
a b U Graphics card
May 20, 2004 2:28:39 AM

Well his R9800XT doesn't have the advantage of FARTCry. :wink:

He's probably talking about maxing his settings, which does choke a system with the top graphics cards of the last generation, even overclocked.

The difference is quite dramatic too.

Look at FirignSquad's review which shows huge leaps for that type of upgrade;

<A HREF="http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_radeon_x800/pag..." target="_new">http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_radeon_x800/pag...;/A>

But like Cleeve also pointed out, when using a slower CPU you won't see much difference, thankfully he has the power... of grey skull, err I mean of AMD64.

<A HREF="http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/x800_pro_athlon_xp/..." target="_new">CPU diff no AA/AF</A>
<A HREF="http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/x800_pro_athlon_xp/..." target="_new">CPU diff w/ AA/AF</A>

Even in this case look at Full AA/AF, just exposing the differences even more dramatically.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
May 24, 2004 5:40:23 PM

What I really love about those numbers is how many people will decided they have to buy the x800XT because "the x800 pro won't have an acceptable framerate at 2048 X 1536!!" I think pretty much you have to choose price range, choose a date, and then buy what you can afford then. Otherwise, you'll always be looking past the horizon, for PCI Express, DDR 2, AMD 4000+.
May 24, 2004 7:15:07 PM

Quote:
But the 9800XT stands completely pale in comparison to the X800 Pro and XT cards ;)  Far Cry and Painkiller are only two games that demands my upgrade...hehe :p 

I'm definitely gonna upgrade, the question is if it's worth the wait for PCI Express...probably not then.

Though Grape has been a pain in (my) butt lately :lol:  , his posts on PCI-Ex are thorough and you should take heed.

My personal opinion, however, is that your system kicks serious butt and unless you really-really need to play Far Cry at 2048 X 1536 with 16xAA and 32xAF there is no need for you to upgrade any time soon. You can easily skip the current generation of cards and wait for the true PCI-Ex.

<font color=green>"The creative powers of English morphology are pathetic compared to what we find in other languages." (Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct)</font color=green> :cool: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Slava on 05/24/04 03:16 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 24, 2004 10:20:37 PM

Heh...my current situation (no whining) is that my computer just doesn't allow smooth framerates in Far Cry when playing on 1600x1200 resolution, even with FSAA and Aniso turned off. I also need to go down to medium detail quite a few times in the game (again, no whining from me). Your opinion certainly counts, but as for myself, I think I really need one of those X800 cards right about...now ;) 

Painkiller is by the way another game which doesn't allow me to play smooth all the time. For me, an upgrade now would be much needed...


My system: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ / Corsair 2Gb DDR400 / MSI K8T Neo FIS2R / ASUS Radeon 9800XT / Antec TruePower 550W / Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 120 Gb / Pioneer DVR-A07
a b U Graphics card
May 25, 2004 2:42:06 AM

I respect that. Nothing is better than running Morrwind at 16x12 for me (although the mouse is F'in slow in menus!).

So for you you would see benifit. As much as alot of people say 'only if you're playing ridiculous res...', well hey if you like that and do use it, more power to you. I respect that far more than people just looking for more bunholio marks. If you want a view of someone who does both see SpeedUK's stuff/posts. He has been playing FarCry with his new X800pro (oc'd) and AMD64(oc'd), and he seems pretty happy.

For your case, I'd say the 'buy now sell later and buy again' scenario might work very well. And selling your current card now will likley get you better dollar than 4-8 weeks down the line when the X800SE and X600 series cards are out there or on the horizon.

MAybe even wait for the X800XT if it comes quickly. At least you're buying for a CURRENT gaming issue, and not looking forward to what you think you MIGHT need for D3/HL2.

Good Luck!


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheGreatGrapeApe on 05/24/04 08:53 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 26, 2004 3:57:32 PM

I agree completely. Actually I think that using a higher resolution is one of, or possible, the most important thing if you want great image quality.

Anyways, (I'm not feeling sorry for myself here) when it comes to games like Far Cry and Painkiller, I know for sure, that I sometimes must either go down sharply in resolutions to the like of 1024x768, or even 800x600 to get perfectly playable framerates in the most demanding situations, I know for instance in Painkiller, at level 5-3, I get very bad framerates, and this can only be remedied by going down to 1024x768, even 800x600 is necessary to stay above 50-60 FPS. I don't know if PK is badly optimized at times though...

And I know that in Far Cry (I'm still not whining cos I know I have a good computer, and shouldn't complain), I will need to go down to Medium detail as well as shrinking down in resolutions when playing some of the more intensive levels.

So there's definitely a need for a better graphics card than the 9800XT if you want to play Far Cry or Painkiller. Because even in lower resolutions, those games sometimes becomes a bit on the heavy side for the card to handle. And now, we're talking disabled FSAA and Aniso as well, enabling those in Far Cry is not even to consider, if you enable those stuff in Far Cry, 1024x768 res would be the max resolution that is even playable. 4x FSAA and 8x Aniso at 1600x1200 in Far Cry would yield about 15-20FPS in general, and down to 10 or below when you're playing more intense levels. Not even going down to 1280x1024 or 1152x864 would make it playable, on my computer.

So I'm definitely upgrading soon. The question is when though...I read over at Hexus.net, that Nvidia seem to be increasing the core speed of the 6800 Ultra to 440 MHz, which in turn could put the 6800U on par with the Radeon X800XT. Since I live in Sweden, I can't expect to be able to buy any of those two boards until the end of June. Weren't the PCI Express cards about to be introduced around then? If so, I might actually wait until those boards surface (which would probably be another month and a halfs wait), but at least then we would have an exact release date. Guess I'll have to wait and see.

I've also come to think of another thing. Because the Intel Grantsdale platform and S775 processors are on their way out, maybe switching to Intel would yield a shorter waiting time for PCI Express. Depending of course on
the release date of the PCI Express graphics cards. I'd prefer to continue using the Athlon 64 but I guess the S775 P4 could still be an option.

My system: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ / Corsair 2Gb DDR400 / MSI K8T Neo FIS2R / ASUS Radeon 9800XT / Antec TruePower 550W / Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 120 Gb / Pioneer DVR-A07
a b U Graphics card
May 26, 2004 6:22:19 PM

Yeah, if you're looking at a mid+ JUNE timetable for yourself, Intel should be releasing a whole Crappload of products then during an expo around June 15th-ish (forget the name as there are so freakin' many nowadays).

Expect to see alot of Graphics cards out then too. Supposedly the NV45 is already testing. So by then we should have the X880 and NV45 (whatever it's GF name is).


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
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