AGP 8x card in an AGP 4x slot

It's time to upgrade the old Ti4600 to a nifty new graphics card, and I'm eying some of the top end boards - either a GeForce 6800 or a ATI X800 (still mulling over the flavors of each atm).

However, both these boards specify an 8x AGP port. The AGP in my computer is a 4x AGP port. I've read enough that it seems like the 8x boards will work in my 4x slot, but does it make sense? Would I get a better bang for my buck to go ahead and buy the best 4x board I can get, or should I spring for the 8x board, given that (I think) it will be limited by my 4x slot?

FYI, money isn't so much an issue here. What is an issue is that I'd rather just upgrade my video card, don't really want to go through the hassle of upgrading my motherboard.

Thanks in advance,

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  1. you can run a 8x card at 4x but that's half the bandwidth it would like to have, so I would recommend upgrading your motherboard as well, but you don't need to do that if you really don't want to

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  2. It will work fine. You will be limited *Slightly* by the 4x, but the general consensus is that most video cards (even the newest 6800/x800/etc afaik) don't use all of an 8x slot's capacity anyways, so you're not losing much if anything.

    Yes, a new mobo might give you an improvement, but not having a new mobo won't 'break' your gaming experience or bottleneck your GPU.

  3. A top of the line (as long as it has 256MB of RAM...the 6800nu and X800se might be more bottlenecked by the 4x bus) card will run probably at 90-95% of its potential on a 4x bus at worst. I have a highly OCed 9800Pro on a 4x bus and I get the same FPS as people with 8x. There really is little reason to get a new motherboard...afterall: .90*(X800) is still very good (and that is likely the max performance loss you'll encounter).

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  4. Blasphemy is half right (Sorry Blasphemy). AGP 8x is approxmately twice the bandwidth, however, no card out right now can fully use the 4x bandwidth, therefore the is no difference between 8x and 4x, so keep your board if you want.

    At least you already on the right track, as the TI4600, 4400, 4200 were really good cards, and to really justify an upgrade the new card should be a higher end card, like a 6800 or x800.

    I personally upgraded my 4600 to a 6800 and was impressed.

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  5. Thanks to everyone for the replies.

    I think I've settled on the 6800 GT, primarily because it's the highest end card I can get that doesn't require me to upgrade either my motherboard or power supply.

    Mr5oh, seeing as you did the same upgrade that I'm planning on, what were the specific things that impressed you? And what version of the 6800 did you get?

    As for me, I primarily play MMORPGs (which don't stress the card as much as, say, Doom 3 or Far Cry) but want to be able to max out the graphics on them. Also, I play with the FPSs enough that I want them to run well. Plus, it's gettin' to be the end of the year, and I need a few tax write offs, lol!
  6. Mainly the benchmarking scores. I reviewed several articles about 5700 and 9600s and such, and they scored roughly the same as my 4600 in DirectX8 stuff.

    You made a good choice on the 6800GT, I actually got an eVGA regular 6800, though the card runs very well, I am still kicking myself for not getting the the GT, for a little more, its a much better card.

    If I did it over again, I would have gotten the LeadTek 6800GT. Probably what I will do when I upgrade again here sometime soon, and just eBay the old stuff.

    Mainly the big difference will be in DirectX9 stuff. My TI4600 didn't really have problems playing stuff (Even ran Doom3 fine), but my FPS (frames per second, not first person shooter) were a little low in DX9 stuff. The new card boosted the FPS rate considerably, so I think it was money well spent.

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  7. Cards as new as the 9800 Pro showed no noticeable difference between 4x and 8x, while newer cards show a barely noticable difference, I wouldn't let a 4x slot discourage me.

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  8. heya abadoozy;

    You are more likely to find you are CPU limited, then you are limited by your AGP 2.0 slot. Especially in MMORPG where you can have up to 100+ avatars on your screen in large raids, with particle effects (magic effects) all trying to be rendered in real time all at once. This can be very very demanding on your hardware, and is equaly demanding on both your CPU and GPU, and arguably as demanding as any FPS out there. I think you will find there is a good size improvement in performance with a 6800GT, however a good core upgrade wouldnt hurt either, i recommend you spend another $450 on top of the $400 you are spending for the 6800GT and get a new A64-939pin 90nm core, trust me its worth every dime, and then some. Now i know you dont really want to spend the money or expend the effort, but you really cant believe the performance difference, its pretty amazing. It will literally be like COMMING OUT OF THE STONE AGE, and transform your gaming experiance, and no im not exaturating :wink:

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  9. I appreciate the advice, but at this time all I'm planning on upgrading is the video card. I currently have a 2.53 Ghz Intel machine, and although I'm OK with changing out the video I've vowed never to switch out motherboards or chips ever again. When it's time for a CPU upgrade, it'll be a whole new box for me - I'm way past the time in my life where fookin' around with hardware was fun.
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