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Mid Level Gfx


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#1 Gothmog

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 05:40 PM

my comp is running into the wall of obsolescence, but I want to put a little more into it to give it a couple more years. I have a P4 Northwood 2.8GHz 1 GB of Ram (DDR) and an AGP Radeon 9000 Pro 64Mb gfx card on Win XP Home. I was looking into a new gfx card to meet the reqs for Aero Glass in Vista and came up with Geforce 6800XT and Radeon X1600PRO. I was wondering if you could recommend one over the other or a different one maybe. I was looking at sub $150 since this machine doesn't really warrant any more $ than that. I was looking for something that could handle some of Vista's Premium features as I said before and also to get decent performance out of the current games like HL2 etc. I was leaning towards the ATI card because it looks more powerful and is less $ and I already have an ATI card.

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#2 Klinkaroo

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 06:37 PM

You can't with either of those two. The reason is that they are PCI Express and you have an AGP slot.

May I suggest the ATI Radeon 9600 Pro. This is what I got under the hood and does me very well.

#3 Jrand26

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 06:23 AM

A mid range 9--- series is a good choice, I have a 9550 256mb its pretty good, depend what you use it for. I get 1200 in pcmark05 but thats only with 512 ram and some crappy processor, and its not overclocked. you can get them for 120$ (Australian) Also there are AGP models of the X800 etc that are descent.

#4 stevealmighty

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 08:29 AM

You could always go with a Nvidia 6600GT AGP. Here's a link to one. It's $129, AGP, good clock speeds and won't break your bank. This particular card (from newegg.com) has 82 ratings with an overall 5 "egg" rating (5 star). Only "downfall" is that it's 128mb.

If you want a 256mb card, try the 6800 xtreme (from tigerdirect.com). Good ratings and is just under your budget ($144). It's got the same memory speed as the 699gt listed, but the core clock speed on this one is a little slower than the 6600gt (6600gt=500mhz/6800xtreme=350mhz). The trade off for the speed is in the amount of memory on the 6800xtreme.

Either one of these cards should extend the life of your machine. The latter of the two should extend it a little longer :thumbsup:

Hope this helps!
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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#5 Gothmog

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 12:11 AM

Klink, erm I know that AGP has got as much race left in it as Barbaro, but the cards are definately AGP. The item titles are
XFX PVT42KUDE3 Geforce 6800XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X Video Card - Retail
and
SAPPHIRE 100148L Radeon X1600PRO 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP 4X/8X Video Card - Retail
I understand that you might assume that cards of that generation were exclusive to PCI-E, but they are at newegg and still instock as of today. I always find that ATI jumps around with respect to their card naming system. Is the 9600 Pro a lot better than the 9000 Pro? They are both 9k series so I thought that the upgrade wouldn't be worth as much as going into the X series or the nvidia line.

Jrand, the X800 series seems a little more pricey than the ATI card I referenced. Am I confused by the afore mentioned ATI naming scheme and this POWERCOLOR X800GTO 256MB AGP Radeon X800GTO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X is actually newer and therefore more powerful. I don't mind paying the extra $45- $50 as long as I know that it is well spent.

Steve, ironically I think that the 6800 xtreme you mention is the same card I found on newegg, just $2 cheaper. I was looking to go with something of that quality for longevity, but do you think that the PowerColor card I have here is better since it is the same as the extreme with 12 pixelpipes (as compared to 8)? Should I avoid comparing specs and look through old benchmarks only to see performance?

I was also looking for advice on whether any of these cards would be too much and have their additional power wasted by a bottleneck in another area like the proc. (I guess I forgot to type that) Lastly do certain games really run better on Nvidia or is this just some licensing deal they cooked up? I know Nvidia has owned fps in the Doom engines forever, but besides that....

#6 Gothmog

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 01:06 AM

I think I might have answered my own question. I read this in a review of the PowerColor card

thought I should mention one of the reviews says it runs like a 128mb thats probably cause you need to change your agp arpeture(might be spelled wrong but its something to that nature) size from 128 to 256 if your mobo supports it. its in the BIOS I believe in the advanced chipset features.

I looked in my BIOS and saw something that was set to 64MB, but it was next to shared video memory (disabled of course). Is this something that I can fix with a BIOS flash and not worry about?

#7 stevealmighty

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 06:49 AM

No, no need to fix that if you have a video card. Most BIOS will default to "auto agp detect" (or something to that effect), which will turn off the shared or integrated graphics, forcing the mobo to use what's in the AGP slot to render graphics.

On the flip side, if you don't have an agp card (or pci/e or whatever) then if you have enough memory, then I reccomend that you do up the shared graphics to the max settings (usually 128mb). Not reccomended if you only have 128mb or 256mb.

Hope this helps!
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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