1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Graphics Card Upgrade for gaming

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by lisag, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    I am thinking of upgrading the AGP card in my main PC in about a month's time to maximise gaming performance. I currently have a Radeon 9800 pro 128mb (sapphire with HSI aftermarket cooler).

    I want to spend about £150 and was thinking of something in the Nvidia 6800 range.

    Would I get significant improvement by this upgrade (is it worth it?) if so which specific card would give me the best gaming performance (128mb, 256mb, GT, LE plain, Ultra)?

    fanx
    lisa
     
  2. snow-munki

    snow-munki
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    655
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +17
    something like a 6800 GT or AT X800 XT last time i looked both around the £200 mark.

    however not sure on how much better it wil lbe for you, depends how you play your games really ( what res and what detail, AA etc )

    I still got my 9800 Pro but don't have the cash to upgrade atm :(
     
  3. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    Thanks for the reply, I play on a 19" monitor which is 1280 x 1024, I would love all the detail turned up high, but GTA SA really struggled, had to turn everything low and run it at 800 x 600 :(
    lisa
     
  4. meansizzler

    meansizzler
    Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7,588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +266
    Hey Lisa, I recommend getting the Ati X800XL, it's good value for money at just under £200, and has the ful 16 pipelines, but does not cost as much as the XT version, it's the best mid range-high performance card, go for the Sapphire Version though, I wanted to get want a month or so back but the place i went to never stocked them...

    Link

    since you got an 9800 in this machine and a 6600Gt in the other, no point in getting anything lower than a 6800, would not justify the cost, so spend the extra cash and get the x800xl.., i'm kinda regretting spending £130 on my X700 Pro and then another £30 on a Zalman cooler for it, considering I had a 9600Xt before...

    Performance wise you should be able to run it at 1280*1024 no trouble with all the settigns up on high, I usully run my X700 Pro at 4*AA, 4* AF, on all the newer titles and have the other settings on High and get no trouble at 1024*768, so the X800xl should pretty much run all the newer titles to the max...
     
  5. snow-munki

    snow-munki
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    655
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +17
    what CPU have you got, as on my 9800 pro i'm pretty sure i can play GTA just fine on 1280 * 1024 res...

    i've only got an athlon xp 2100 @ 2.3ghz
     
  6. meansizzler

    meansizzler
    Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7,588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +266
    Hey Lisa, your Luck Day, X800XT by Asus for under £200 at overclockers, go grab one now before there gone...it the first card on the page..

    LINK

    Available This Week Only for just £159.95 +VAT.
     
  7. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    Huh? That's not fair - I have a P4 2.66 and 1gb DDR333 Ram, wonder what I am doing wrong?

    Thanks meansizzler, will check out those links.

    lisa
     
  8. meansizzler

    meansizzler
    Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7,588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +266
    Hmm..I would of thought even my 9600XT would cope with that game..
     
  9. snow-munki

    snow-munki
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    655
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +17
    hmmm it could be the detail level set. I'll try it tonight and report back. does your system run fine normally ?

    might be worth downloading and trying 3d mark 2001 / 2003 / 2005 and seeing what score you are getting, and compare it with others.

    maybe your system just needs a bit of a spring clean :thumbsup:
     
  10. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    Ok, I'll do some maintenance and run some benchmarks at the weekend, maybe I could compare them to yours - see if there is something amiss.... thanks
    lisa
     
  11. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    Well these are my 3D Mark 03 results after some defragging...

    This is with a P4 2.66 ghz, 1GB DDR333 and a Radeon 9800 pro 128mb AGP8x, sound ok, or is somthing horribly wrong?

    lisa
     

    Attached Files:

  12. snow-munki

    snow-munki
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    655
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +17
    haven't ran mine in ages but i got 6560

    not sure how the p4's compare to the athlon's but bare in mind my cpu is over 2 years old now.

    http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=2900539

    have you got your gfx card running on high AA / AF or other bits and bobs like that ??
     
  13. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    Hmm, thats a bit worrying, our CPU scores are very similar but your other scores are way higher than mine with the same card! I have the lastest drivers and everything left at the default settings, and recommendations on what I should change?

    lisa
     
  14. KoThreads

    KoThreads
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,979
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +165
    Lisag

    Something must be up as I play GTA SA with the settings wacked up with hardly any judder at all.

    3200 Athlon (o'cd)
    Asus A7N8X Deluxe
    1GB DDR400 Corsair
    6600GT (coolbits tweak)
    twin 120gb SATA
    19" Acer TFT @ 1280 x 1024 75hz

    Nothing really flash for these days.
     
  15. Cable Monkey

    Cable Monkey
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    3,494
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Ratings:
    +205
    Lisag, your scores are consistent with a 9800SE. Where did your card come from? Also, your P4 speed (2.66) amd memory suggests you have the older 533 fsb P4. I had a 2.4 that struggled with the CPU requirements for some modern games causing poor perfomance. I fear a 6800GT or X800XL or XT will be seriously bottlenecked by your CPU and your best option would be to confirm if your 9800pro is genuine and look at a major upgrade or limit yourself to a 6600GT. Still a very good card.
     
  16. meansizzler

    meansizzler
    Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7,588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +266
    Lisa you can try dropping the resolution in the game to 1024*768 and see if that makes a difference, I don't think even my CPU would cope with the latest games at 1280*1024 with all the settings on high..and I have a P4 2.8GHZ with Hyper Threading...what's the max speed your mobo will take, maybe it's time to consider a CPU upgrade, but i wouldn't get anything less than a 3.2GHZ P4, as it would not justify the cost.., also if you have a 478 chipset then your pretty much in out of luck, as 478 Cpu's are hard to come by, you might be able to fin a 3.2GHZ one for aroun £160..
     
  17. KoThreads

    KoThreads
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,979
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +165
    What cooler are you using to crank a 2100 to 2.3? And what temp under load?
     
  18. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    You are right - I just did some hard gaming and quickly switched back to desktop, and the cpu had been maxed out - and yes it is a 478 socket - hmmm :(
    lisa
     
  19. meansizzler

    meansizzler
    Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7,588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +266
    Hmm...when playing far cry on max settings my CPU is around 70% whilst recording two tv shows at the same time, hey Lisa in a month or so I want to get a new mobo so you can have my P4 2.8GHZ it has Hyperthreading and 800MHZ FSB, just make sure your motheard supports all that, it is the socket 478 version....
     
  20. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    Ok, yes I might be interested in an upgrade for a second hand CPU, but I have nearly got the fastest my mobo supports here so not worth spending £150+ for a few more mhz... give me first refusal though!

    lisa
     
  21. meansizzler

    meansizzler
    Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7,588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +266
    OK, looks like your board won't take my CPU, make there is a bioss upgrade...i'll check for you...
     
  22. meansizzler

    meansizzler
    Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7,588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +266
    HAHA, funny only two bios updates, Gigabyte really does suck when it comes to updates, I stay well clear of them anyay, if you want a M/B get it from Intel or Asus, guess the only real option for you is to get a new mobo, eg. motherboard/cpu/ram

    I recommend an Intel Pentium D 2.8GHZ (2*2.8GHZ cores), and Asus MATX 945G Motherboard and 1GB Adata DDR 667 RAM, Sapphire X800GT

    CPU - £180
    M/B - £85
    RAM - £65
    Graphics Card - £90

    so £420 on a new Mobo, but at least you have the upgrade potential for a few years, and the Asus board is pretty much top of the line for it's class, it includes the Intel HD Audio chipset..
     
  23. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    Yeah - I wish!

    Just been browsing the online 3d mark results and people seem to get a significant increase in performance by going to the Geforce 6800 series with the same CPU as mine, so still might consider that.

    I got significantly better results on my HTPC with 3d mark 03, that is with an Athlon XP2700+, 1GB DDR333 and the 6600GT.

    Now is not the time for a massive re-build, I will wait until I can comfortably afford 4ghz, I might keep my eye on ebay for a second hand 3.06ghz CPU though...

    lisa
     
  24. snow-munki

    snow-munki
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    655
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +17
    haven't read all the updatyes but lisa,

    overclockers are doing an x800 xt pe for £190 which i believe is VERY good value for money if you are going to upgrade.

    I'm using a zalman flower btw, temps are find at under 50 on load. think mine is at 200 * 11.5 if memory serves me right.

    haven't had time last couple of months to bother too much about it though
     
  25. rdhir

    rdhir
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    471
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ratings:
    +8
    Have you had a look here for comparative benchmarks. Generally its the GPU which is the determinant for gaming performance, with MODERN games. The older ones become more CPU bound because they try and do less with the GPU.

    http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/vga_charts.html


    Also an X800 is supposed to run quite a bit better than a 9800.

    Would check out the SE vs Pro thing. Bit puzzled about your CPU though a 2.66GHz P4 ought to be good enough.The other possibility is that your P4 is too hot. P4's have technology to throttle back the speed automatically if they get too hot. Read about this on Tom's Hardware when they found some P4 machines had really strange benchmarks, but this was a long time ago when P4 (Northwood - which ever was the original one) came out. The technology is still there though.

    You could try a benchmark test for say a short period from cold, then leave the machine for four, five hours and see if you got a different result.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  26. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    OK, thanks for all the input.

    I have one of those funky Lian Li brushed steel cases, with a temp monitor in a 3.5" bay at the front :rolleyes: The CPU temp always seems to stay in low 40's, sometimes peaking at around 45 degrees, so that should be ok, shouldn't it?

    In a months time I complete an OU degree that has taken 6 long years, and my reward to myself is this upgrade to maximise my enjoyment of the extra gaming I will be able to fit in to the no more studying free time :clap:

    So, prices may drop a little in the next month, maybe. And I have seen a 256mb 6800GT for just under £200. I have always had Nvidia cards before I bought this 9800 pro, specifically to play Half Life 2 (had a ti4200 before, very old) and am less than impressed with it... HL2 looked good, but it looks better on my HTPC with the 6600GT.

    Are you all convinced that the X800XT PE for £190 is a better buy than a 6800GT at the same price?

    lisa

    EDIT: rdhir - yes I have been looking at toms hardware benchmarks, but it seems that at around this price the cards are pretty interchangeable depending on settings etc... It is MODERN games that I want to be playing...
     
  27. meansizzler

    meansizzler
    Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7,588
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +266
    Go for the X800Xt it is a better deal...., only wish i would of bought one, and yes you get better performance out of the 6600Gt than the 9800 cause it is a faster card..
     
  28. snow-munki

    snow-munki
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    655
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +17
  29. rdhir

    rdhir
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    471
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ratings:
    +8
    Are you sure that it's reading CPU temperature and not case temperature?

    Anyway it sounds like a graphics card upgrade is yout best bet, wouldn't have thought a CPU change would make a lot of difference. Sorry by MODERN I just mean HL2/Doom3 and beyond, as these two mark a generation change in game engines, and the number of game engines will keep reducing, promise I wasn't trying to be patronising, just guilty of being too brief in response.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  30. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,012
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +399
    No worries - I didn't take offence, I appreciate your help/input.
    Just put my 9800 pro up for sale on ebay, they seem to be fetching fairly reasonable prices, and bundled it in with a couple of old games I had lying around. I have a spare FX5200 to use to finish my degree - then go proper shopping for my new AGP toy when the final assignment has left the building! :D
     

Share This Page

Loading...