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$475 for GFX card, what to choose?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 10, 2005 2:17:11 AM

I know that PCIe has better upgrade path but what I was wondering is if the PCIe has any better than the AGP counterparts. The cards I'm looking at are the X800pro VIVO, X800XT, 6800GT, and 6800 Ultra. I'm leaning more towards AGP because I can find it for cheap. I don't care about SLI. The CPU I'm upgrading to is the A64 3000.

If I go AGP this is the setup so far:
Mobo: Abit AV8, or the Epox 9nda3j
GFX options:
<A HREF="http://store.yahoo.com/c-depot/pnyvideocards.html" target="_new"> PNY 6800GT $370</A>
<A HREF="http://store.yahoo.com/c-depot/ati.html" target="_new">ATI X800Xt $450</A>
<A HREF="http://www.provantage.com/buy-7abit03t-radeon-x800xt-vi..." target="_new">Abit x800xt $465</A>
<A HREF="http://www.gogocity.com/product_details.asp?dept_id=331..." target="_new"> X800XT $480 AGP or PCIe</A>
<A HREF="http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Sc..." target="_new"> 6800 Ultra $480</A>
<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?submit=Go..." target="_new">Abit x800pro VIVO $425</A>
<A HREF="http://store.yahoo.com/str8buy/abgef64ti4ag.html" target="_new">Sapphire x800pro Toxic model $470</A>


If I go PCIe:
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 or Abit AX8
I can find X800 Pro PCIe for around the $450 range.
<A HREF="http://www.provantage.com/buy-7abit03u-radeon-x800xt-pc..." target="_new">X800XT $475</A>
<A HREF="http://www.d-compute.com/product_info.php?products_id=2..." target="_new">eVGA 6800GT $448</A>

If I was to go to the SLI side, I was thinking of doing dual 6600GT's for around $400 with the Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe. Would 2 6600GT's in SLI give me comparable performance to the other cards listed?

I like to play the usual games, Doom3, MOHPA, Shellshock Nam'67. I would like to play on the 1280x1024 with really high quality and all the possible filtering on. I've never been able to play with all they eye candy turned on, so I would like to do so now.

I would like this new system to last for hopefully 2 years. You might be asking why I'm upgrading from my current system. My brother needs a computer so I'm giving him my Mobo, CPU, and Video card that way I can upgrade.

Would anybody be able to shed some light on my situation? I'm looking to get high performance from this. Would either the AGP or the PCIe be better for me since I don't want to upgrade for a while after this? Would the Video In on the x800 cards allow me to hook my personal video camera and record my home movies to the computer? Thanks in advance for any help.

Xaser 3 case with 420W TT PSU
AXP2500 (11*200 at 1.85v)
9800 Pro 128MB (418/372)
NF7-S v2.0
PDP DDR400 1GB(2-3-2-5)2.6v
Lite-On SOHW-832S
WD 80GB 8mb buffer caviar edition.

More about : 475 gfx card choose

January 10, 2005 2:53:29 AM

AGP and PCIe are just about the same at present.

AGP with a high spec GC will last 2 years and more easily. Buy either - the cheaper of the two.

<font color=red>DCB</font color=red><font color=white>_</font color=white><font color=blue>AU</font color=blue>
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2005 8:02:33 AM

Quickly cause it's almost sleepy time.

To answer your first question: "<i>I was wondering is if the PCIe has any better than the AGP counterparts</i>", The only thing PCIe offers you that AGP doesn't graphics card choice wise (other than SLI) is the X800XL. It should be the GF6800GT value killer. If you're looking at VIVO some like the HIS model come with VIVO. The X800XL should be showing up in the $300-350 range in the near future. Of course if you gotta build this instant then it's not a realistic option, but if you can wait a week or two, then I'd recommend that.

Second, don't buy 2 GF6600GTs in SLI right NOW, get a GF6800GT for future SLI capabilities. Buying 2 GF6600GTs now offers you no future benifit, and the two together aren't a wise use of your money. This has been stated a few times by people here. With 1 GF6800GT you can buy another later and increase your power while keeping the current card, with 2 GF6600GTs you have to completely replace the cards to get any additional boost.

Now if you want this system to last 2 years from today, then GET SLI, and GET the GF6800GT. While the X800XL and such are great deals, the only long LONG term option is that IMO. OF course another wise choice would be to go with the X800XL, take the money you save, then sell the X800XL anduse the saved money and proceedes to buy a next generation R5xx/NV5x card later. But if you don't want to consider trading-up in the future, then the GF6800GT, later paired with an SLI brother would be the best long term plan. Although for the price of the GF6800GT and it's brother (even without figuring in the cost of the SLI mobo), I think you could get that X800XL and it's eventual replacement.

So depending on how you interpret your own question you have two clear options, but only one choice to make.


- 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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January 10, 2005 12:21:07 PM

Have you looked at BFG 6800GTOC? Best Buy sells it for $399. Plus Lifetime warranty.
January 11, 2005 12:36:26 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone. From what I see it looks like it would be best to go with the PCIe route. I haven't really payed any attention to the NVIDIA cards the past few years so i'm not sure as to what manufacturer to look at for them. I want one that is good for OC'ing to the Ultra speeds and maybe a little more. I'm not worried about the lifetime warranty on the BFG because their cards usually cost more and I see that a lot of people have problems with them. The other reason I don't care about lifetime warranty is that I will probably buy the NV Silencer to help the OC'ing along anyways and I'm pretty sure that changing the cooler will void the warranty.

What are some of the better OC'ers on the NVIDIA cards? Is the extra money for the NVIDIA PCIe really worth it when compared to the ATI cards? I noticed that I can find the X800XT for around the same price as the 6800GT, both are PCIe. The only reason I am leaning towards the x800xt is because I know it's a better performer than the 6800gt and it seems that I would get more bang for my buck with the x800xt.

TheGreatGrapeApe, I understand what your saying about the SLI and a 6800gt for right now and then getting another one later down the road, but I also like the idea of getting the x800xl in a week or two and then later down the road getting it's replacement. If I don't go SLI, which mobo would you suggest for around $150?

Xaser 3 case with 420W TT PSU
AXP2500 (11*200 at 1.85v)
9800 Pro 128MB (418/372)
NF7-S v2.0
PDP DDR400 1GB(2-3-2-5)2.6v
Lite-On SOHW-832S
WD 80GB 8mb buffer caviar edition.
January 11, 2005 1:19:51 AM

Going with PCIe. You need new Mobo, Cpu, and Ram. X800XT can be OCed to X800XTPE speed. I have not read anywhere. Where people don't like the BFG vid cards. The 6800GTOC is OCed from factory. Plus it is a great OCer.
January 11, 2005 1:25:04 AM

Are u sure I would need new RAM? I thought the PC3200 would be good for those systems? I have also seen some reviews on my memory that it overclocks very well with relaxed timings.

Xaser 3 case with 420W TT PSU
AXP2500 (11*200 at 1.85v)
9800 Pro 128MB (418/372)
NF7-S v2.0
PDP DDR400 1GB(2-3-2-5)2.6v
Lite-On SOHW-832S
WD 80GB 8mb buffer caviar edition.
January 11, 2005 2:48:10 AM

I wouldn't mind going for the x800 xl, but i'm just affraid that it's going to have a low availability like the other x800's. I do agree with you that the 6800gt PCIe is too much when compared to the x800xl.

Xaser 3 case with 420W TT PSU
AXP2500 (11*200 at 1.85v)
9800 Pro 128MB (418/372)
NF7-S v2.0
PDP DDR400 1GB(2-3-2-5)2.6v
Lite-On SOHW-832S
WD 80GB 8mb buffer caviar edition.
a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2005 5:35:39 AM

I like Gigabyte for a MOBO, and I think your choice is a nice one, but I prefer the <A HREF="http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Products/Products_..." target="_new">K9NXP-9</A> which has some minor tweak advanatages, especially if you're into overclocking and such (like the idea DSP for stability), plus nice having the faster HyperTransport and SATAII for some added future-focusing, and RAID if you plan on any HD sensitive aplications (games not so much). I haven't seen many out there yet though so not sure how prices compare.

You won't need new ram, I plan on migrating my Corsair PC3200XMS to my new rig as well.

The X800XT is usually slightly better than the GT, but like the XTPE and Ultra the differences are minor. However I've noticed more availability of X800XTs and therefore more choice than the GF6800 PCIes.

Your justified in worrying about the availability of the X800XLs, but considering the availability of the GF6800s in PCIe form, I'd say the concern for that is about equal in weight IMO, of course they could be even more rare for all we know.


- 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: 
January 11, 2005 11:07:00 PM

Thanks for the info TheGreatGrapeApe, your post are always helpful. For the website that I can find that list that mobo it looks like it's got a pretty high starting price. It's Actually higher than the Asus SLI board. I'm sure prices will go down, but i'm not sure how long it will take. Thanks again for information. If I can't find the x800xl I will probably go for the x800XT instead.

Xaser 3 case with 420W TT PSU
AXP2500 (11*200 at 1.85v)
9800 Pro 128MB (418/372)
NF7-S v2.0
PDP DDR400 1GB(2-3-2-5)2.6v
Lite-On SOHW-832S
WD 80GB 8mb buffer caviar edition.
a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2005 11:22:12 PM

Yeah the DSP boards are usually a slight premium because they are built for overclocking, have extra features (even bigger BIOSs on the older models [now all have 4mb it seems]), etc.

Funny thing I just saw this Hexus review of the ECS NF4-S939 mobo and it shows that the nV NF4 and ATI X200P are neck and neck, they pick a winner but I say they are neck and neck. So really it looks like there's alot of options out there. Still I prefer Gigabyte, but ASUS and MSI are nice, I'd avoid ECS personally (cheap brand IMO).

Just some more info.

Anywhoo, happy hunting. I'll probably be doing the same in a few weeks' time.


- 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: 
January 11, 2005 11:27:31 PM

I agree with you about ECS, I would only consider putting them in a budget computer and not one for overclocking. How are the Epox boards? I know they made some pretty good Socket A overclocking boards, but i'm not sure about s939. Have you heard anything about how successful softmodding the x800pro VIVO into the XT or XT PE is? I was thinking about doing this as an alternate the XT and save my self quite a bit of money?

Xaser 3 case with 420W TT PSU
AXP2500 (11*200 at 1.85v)
9800 Pro 128MB (418/372)
NF7-S v2.0
PDP DDR400 1GB(2-3-2-5)2.6v
Lite-On SOHW-832S
WD 80GB 8mb buffer caviar edition.
a b U Graphics card
January 11, 2005 11:36:34 PM

Damn forgot to post the link to the Hexus review (packing up to go home at work);

<A HREF="http://www.hexus.net/content/reviews/review.php?dXJsX3J..." target="_new">http://www.hexus.net/content/reviews/review.php?dXJsX3J...;/A>

The soft moding of the PRO VIVO to the XT is ok succesful with the right boards. There's a number of threads at Rage3D about this. From what I know it's the R420 not the R423 that's modable, and therefore only AGP. I'd check Rage3D and see what you find there, they're suually all over that with people buying boards just to see if they can be moded.

Epox isn't bad, but not in my top tier of MOBO mfrs.

The only one I'd add that I hadn't already would be ABIT, but those are my preferences based on features, past tweakability, and word of mouth.


- 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: 
January 13, 2005 11:31:51 PM

unfortunately I had some unexpected expenses come up and I will not be able to go with the PCIe upgrade right now. If I was to go for a high end AGP card like the x800xt, or the 6800gt, would it be held back by my current processor too much? Or would you suggest I just wait until I get the funds again and go with PCIe? Thanks GrapeApe

Xaser 3 case with 420W TT PSU
AXP2500 (11*200 at 1.85v)
9800 Pro 128MB (418/372)
NF7-S v2.0
PDP DDR400 1GB(2-3-2-5)2.6v
Lite-On SOHW-832S
WD 80GB 8mb buffer caviar edition.
a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2005 3:25:19 AM

The Top end cards are bound to be somewhat limited.

Here's a look at some of the limitations in HL2 (alot of tests look at the whole picture for each link [next pages]);

<A HREF="http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/half-life_2_athlon_..." target="_new">http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/half-life_2_athlon_...;/A>

<A HREF="http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/half_life_2_cpu_sho..." target="_new">http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/half_life_2_cpu_sho...;/A>

and other games;

<A HREF="http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/x800_pro_athlon_xp/" target="_new">http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/x800_pro_athlon_xp/...;/A>

<A HREF="http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/geforce_6600_GT_sca..." target="_new">http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/geforce_6600_GT_sca...;/A>

That might help give you some idea of the benifits.

You're bound to see improvement, but is it worth the full price? Minimum $350, I dunno. Of course you could sell it when you decide to upgrade.

Now the way I see it is short term not a good idea, but if you have to wait a long time before getting the scratch together, you ca nget some boosts in some games and at least enjoy some benifits now while waiting to get the money together for the CPU/system.

It's really a tough call you have to make based on your favourite games. Also how good is your monitor with higher resolutions? If you're best playing at 1280x1024, then you won't get as much benifit as if you can clearly play at 1600x1200.


- 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: 
January 14, 2005 4:51:18 AM

my monitor is the LG L1720P and it's native resolution is at 1280x1024. Thanks for those links, they show me what I was afraid of. I think I better just wait until I have the funds available to do the complete overhaul. Thanks again for all the help GrapeApe and everyone else.

Xaser 3 case with 420W TT PSU
AXP2500 (11*200 at 1.85v)
9800 Pro 128MB (418/372)
NF7-S v2.0
PDP DDR400 1GB(2-3-2-5)2.6v
Lite-On SOHW-832S
WD 80GB 8mb buffer caviar edition.
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