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Mobo/graphics Upgrade Suggestion


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#1 Sadistic

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 03:02 PM

I am currently running a Compaq 2019 'prepackaged' computer, and am looking to upgrade from PCI to PCI-E, replace the video card and consider switching from DDR to DDR2.

Here are the specs of the 2019 Desktop:

AMD Athlon 64 Mobile Processor 3500 (2.2 ghz)
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center
1GB DDR RAM
160GB Hard Disk Drive
Dual Layer DVD Re-Writer Drive
256MB nVidia Geforce 6150 Graphics
9-In-1 Media Card Reader
7 USB Connections
4 PCI Slots (no pci-e )
17" TFT Flat Panel Monitor

While I have no interest in running any web/server hosting; photo/imaging tools or other miscellaneous media applications, I am interested in running games like FarCry, EQ II, Elder Scrolls IV, at least on high image quality settings, with hopefully a turn over of 30-40 FPS solid.

Lastly, I am led to believe the Radeon 1700 PCI, is the last of the (what was) top of the line PCI cards. Is this true, and if so, cost effective wise, would it be better to just use the 1700 for the three games mentioned above, or continue with the upgrade of hardware.



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#2 Mr Alpha

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 04:26 PM

A PCI graphics card isn't anything great. It is limited to the lowest echelon of stand-alone graphics cards due to bandwidth limits. PCI has 133MB/s of bandwidth while the PCIe x16, currently used for graphics, has 8000MB/s.

You also already have one of the better integrated graphics chips, and so wouldn't see a big improvement in performance from a PCI card. The games you've listed a graphics heavy and you won't be able to get high-quality with a PCI card.

A PCI card is $100 or less, though, while getting a new motherboard and a more high-end graphics card would run a lot higher.

So it becomes a question of budget. And getting a new motherboard a graphics card would be a lot more work.


PS. What is the Radeon 1700 PCI?
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#3 Sadistic

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 05:10 PM

The 1700 PCI is probably the best of the remaining PCI cards. But there is a 1700 PCI-E.

I've done some more research and I think for about 300-350 I can get a new AM2 board bundled with a 4200 Athlon, SLI, 2x 512 DDR2 ram, and a Radeon X1600 512 DDr2 card. (accompanied by required 420 wattage pwr supply)

I'm sure some people might argue on a bit higher card, but I don't believe I'll need it. Not with it being PCI-E.

#4 Mr Alpha

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 06:47 PM

I cannot find a Radeon 1700, neither PCI nor PCIe. The closest thing I can find is the Mobility Radeon x1700, but that one is only for notebooks.

A Radeon x1600 will not run Oblivion at high settings. Linky

Oh, and PCIe does not make a card faster.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#5 Sadistic

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 02:00 PM

I had hoped you would just put the 'x' before the 1700 and it would be self-evident, :/

The reports you presented are for Oblivion on max image settings. Now, that's a pretty rough benchmark to be working with.

Just compare to HL2 under same conditions, or worse +AA conditions and it's considerably slower.

Unfortunatley EQ II nor Far Cry were tested.

I can achieve 20-40 FPS in EQ II and Far Cry with the Nvidia 6150 at 1024 res with manual graphics/sound tweaking. 75%+ aimed towards image quality.

Based on that, the 1650 should provide enough, however, since I am replacing the board, and also changing out the ram from DDR to DDR2, I've decided to use a x1900GT DDr3 as I secured one for 20 more dollars.


More and more as I'm catching up to date with the current technology, I'm finding that ignorance has taken precedence over gamer's remarks and comments.

There are far too many kids fraggin away with 8800s, who A) Probably didn't pay for the card (thanks mom!) :thumbsup: Have done none, or very little system, software or hardware tweaking (excluding overclocking...bad) and C) Like to spout off about how any card less expensive or less current then theirs, HAS to be utter crap.

I like to use my "Horse vs the Pony" analogy. $240,000 Ferarri F-40. Beautiful machine, having it's doors blown off by a finely tuned 1988 Saleen Mustang, which you could probably afford for a bit cheaper...just a LITLE bit :huh:

#6 Mr Alpha

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 09:22 AM

I had hoped you would just put the 'x' before the 1700 and it would be self-evident, :/

Be vary careful with the ATI GPU model names. ATI has over a hundred different GPU's floating around out there, all with very similar names. The smallest change in name and might be a huge difference in hardware. You need to be very specific to avoid buying something you were not meaning to buy, and for anybody to understand you.

As an example: First you were talking about the x1600, then the x1650. There is a huge difference between those two. The x1600's are mostly glorified x1300's at a higher price, while the x1650XT is a good value, competitive, mid-range card.

That being said, there is no such thing as a Radeon x1700.

The reports you presented are for Oblivion on max image settings. Now, that's a pretty rough benchmark to be working with.

Just compare to HL2 under same conditions, or worse +AA conditions and it's considerably slower.

My point was not that you couldn't run oblivion on a x1600. Rather that to go from 8 fps at max settings with a low (1024x768) resolution to 30-40 fps would require more drastic measures than going down to high-quality settings with some tweaks.

Another article which discusses GPU performance in Oblivion in much more depth, and at different quality settings.

Unfortunatley EQ II nor Far Cry were tested.

I can achieve 20-40 FPS in EQ II and Far Cry with the Nvidia 6150 at 1024 res with manual graphics/sound tweaking. 75%+ aimed towards image quality.

About EQ II; it doesn't really look any better even at very high sittings. Sure, it has all the cool graphical technologies, but there is more to looking good than technology. WoW looks better, even if it is technically inferior.

Based on that, the 1650 should provide enough, however, since I am replacing the board, and also changing out the ram from DDR to DDR2, I've decided to use a x1900GT DDr3 as I secured one for 20 more dollars.

A x1900GT at such a price is probably quite a find.

More and more as I'm catching up to date with the current technology, I'm finding that ignorance has taken precedence over gamer's remarks and comments.

There are far too many kids fraggin away with 8800s, who A) Probably didn't pay for the card (thanks mom!) :thumbsup: Have done none, or very little system, software or hardware tweaking (excluding overclocking...bad) and C) Like to spout off about how any card less expensive or less current then theirs, HAS to be utter crap.

I like to use my "Horse vs the Pony" analogy. $240,000 Ferarri F-40. Beautiful machine, having it's doors blown off by a finely tuned 1988 Saleen Mustang, which you could probably afford for a bit cheaper...just a LITLE bit :huh:

Your preaching to the choir here. There is a definitive case of diminished returns in the graphics card market. With reasonable expectations you can go far without emptying the wallet. Although there has been a hugh focus on graphics theses last few years, making the graphics card the slowest link in many a gaming computer, and that has been driving up the average price of a graphics card. We can hope that the advent of multi-core gaming and the recent focus on physics will help break that tradition.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
Intel Core 2 Quad | XFX 780i SLI | 8GB Corsair | Gigabyte GeForce 8800GTX | Auzentech X-Fi Prelude| Logitech G15 | Logitech MX Revolution | LG Flatron L2000C | Logitech Z-5500 Digital

#7 Sadistic

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:19 PM

True, there are many models, but I did say 2019 DESKTOP. With all the supposed models you speak of, I cannot see how you only ended up with one 1700 being that a notebook card.

http://www.endian.net/details.aspx?ItemNo=4148

X1700...thanks.

"About EQ II; it doesn't really look any better even at very high sittings. Sure, it has all the cool graphical technologies, but there is more to looking good than technology. WoW looks better, even if it is technically inferior."

You are correct here, however I like being able to run with full rendering distance, and max model render distance. Two things that can weigh heavily.


"A x1900GT at such a price is probably quite a find."

Hope you know I meant twenty more than the 1650s. So a total of 88.00.
But still a good sale price.


I am finding that PCI-E desipte it's glory, allows for cheaper cards. And that's fine with me, while PCI and AGP still grasp at the straws.




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