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Nvidia Graphics Card Upgrade - help please

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Dirtschmooz, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Dirtschmooz

    Dirtschmooz
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    I have an AMD XP Athlon 2600, 2.1ghz. 1 gb Ram and NvidiaFX5600(personal cinema) 128mb graphics card.

    I can play all the lastest games on low/medium inc. half-life 2, Far Cry and CSS.

    I want to improve the performance when playing games and would welcome your advice on what graphics card i should upgrade to.

    I prefer a Nvidia (as had no probs with them) and also have the same functions of my existing personal cinema one.

    thanks for reading
     
  2. MPK

    MPK
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    Well, since you don't mention any cash restrictions I would go for 2 GeForce 6800 Ultra via PCI Express port in an SLI configuration (2 cards . However, you'll need a new motherboard for that which allows an SLI configuration, best the new Nvidia nForce 4 SLI. Doesn't get any faster than that and your graphics processor will probably outperform your CPU :)

    Alternatively, it depends on your motherboard. Doesn't look like you have a PCI Express slot and would need an AGP x8 card, which are now pretty much obsolete. So you'd have to think about whether it's worth investing in old technology.
     
  3. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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    are you seriously having a laugh obsolete. AGP is still outselling PCI-E by the bucket load, loads of AGP cards are still being manufactered and it wouldnt suprise me if the new nvidia 7th series is out in AGP version as well, as they would just be cutting away 90% of their own market with not giving AGP people a chance for latest GPU tech :rolleyes:

    assuming budget is no limit id say a nice 6600GT or 6800NU. think 6800 ultra or GT would be abit overkill as the other components would struggle like hell to keep up. good think is 6 series GPU's take most of the calculations on board giving the CPU abit more rest so you can get away with it. if you budgeted for a 6800Ultra say knock it down abit and save yourself some money
     
  4. MrFurious

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    ive got a 6800256mb gt in my system and its runs new games l;ike gta san andreas and bf2 at full settings,highly recomended
     
  5. MPK

    MPK
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    Of course AGP cards are currently outselling PCI-X cards, but if you look at all new motherboards, none of them have an AGP slot anymore. And obviously if you did your statistic on newly built PCs then I bet 90% of those would have PCI-X cards...
     
  6. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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    of course they dont have AGP slots because they are PCI-E mobo's :confused:

    yes if you did do my statistic on new build pc it probably would be correct becuase if your spending that sort of money you want new tech, but your our totally missing the point of what im getting at. your telling this guy who wants a new gfx card to play games at a decent level of performace to get a total system over haul because he is buying old technology. thats just stupid im sorry mate there is no other way to put it. AGP is not obsolete i can tell you that !!!!! ask all the pc gamers on this very forum and i'll stick my neck out and tell you most will be still on AGP with a nice system like my very own.
     
  7. Dirtschmooz

    Dirtschmooz
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    thanks for all the responses. I should have mentioned that my budget is under £100 (as i don't want to spend anymore on my current set up).

    Cheers
     
  8. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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  9. MPK

    MPK
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    That's what I meant with obsolete. New motherboards don't have AGP slots anymore. You would probably also argue that IDE harddrives are not obsolete either.

    He didn't say he wanted to play games at a decent level of performance but wanted to improve performance. Obivously, the best performance he'd get with two cards in SLI mode. He can of course buy an AGP card now and in 18 months time finds himself in the same position again. By then he will have no other choice than throwing out his AGP card as well as his mobo. Alternatively, he can spend about £80 quid more now for an SLI mobo and get a PCI-X card for the same money as an AGP card (which has a throughput of 4GB/s vs. AGP's 2.1Gb/s) and in maybe two years have more options. He can then simply add a second card to double the performance or buy one new card or even two new cards, whatever provides the best performance per pound spent.

    When I upgrade I want to make sure I leave a path open for future upgrades, but that's me. I wouldn't call your opinion stupid.
     
  10. broona

    broona
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    I'd also argue that IDE hard drives aren't obsolete, as I beieve all mobo's still have IDE capability, and every manufacturer still makes IDE hard drives?
    As for your figure of an extra £80, did you forget to cost for a new processor too, as I don't recall seeing any Socket A PCI-E mobo's, so realistically it's £200+ for mobo and CPU, then £100 for a graphics card?! :suicide:

    Back on track, I'd also recommend the 6600GT if you can afford a little extra, well worth it. :smashin:
     
  11. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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    While I can see your point of view MPK I think that doing a complete overhaul of your system by changing the motherboard (to improve graphics performance) is a bit extreme. While PCI-e has double the bandwidth of AGP-8x I doubt you'd see twice the performance in games or 3dMark or even much difference at this moment in time.

    If they get a new AGP graphics card now, in 18 months they can go for PCI-e when PCI-e 32x may have come out. If they buy into SLi now (which may be left in the wake of ATi's CrossFire quite soon) they'll have to buy new memory, a new PSU, a new CPU and have hands on experience of building their own PC - hardly an easy or cost effective upgrade.

    Especially as SLi doesn't really deliver on its promises - at best twice the performance but only in some games and with twice the noise, heat and power. Anyway all this is academic as with £100 to spend, SLi or an upgrade to PCI-e are not viable options.

    EDIT: Totally agree with your simultaneous posting broona. IDE is not dead yet, especially as SATA doesn't yet, in its current early stage, provide a noticeable boost in performance over IDE.
     
  12. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN
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    Sorry MPK but i'd go with Kopite4Ever on this one every time. If he needed a Mobo upgrade as well as a graphics card then fair enough go for a spot of future proofing. He doesn't need that though and just wants to upgrade his graphics card.

    He should therefore go for the best option in his price bracket to fit in with his existing system, which would be a 9800 pro.
     
  13. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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    not to start bullying but ATi's new R520 core out later 2006 early 2007 WILL be on the AGP bus! so tell me now if its obsolete. remember with HDD's SataII is actually in out and in use as well but still IDE cont.. to get manufactered and used!
     
  14. Ryderage

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    LOL,

    MPK really when was buying any GFX card ever considered an 'investment' regardless of old or new.

    I agree with CAS FAN on this one... 9800pro will serve you nicely. Get yourself a card which will do the job for now as such. A whole new range of ATi and nVidia cards are just around the corner, so wait awhile before your next 'investment' because prices will be dropping quickly over the next few months.

    My advice to you is to get yourself a 256bit 9800pro.

    If you're daring enough you can get plenty of bang per buck. Most 9800pro's are now shipped with the R360 core which is the same as the 9800xt (But I would advice that you take off the heatsink and check before you do this!) If you've got the R360 you're in luck because all it takes is a simple Bios flash and hey presto, 9800xt power for under £80. Worked a treat for me ;)

    Rikki
     
  15. broona

    broona
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    If you're going for a 9800Pro (great choice, I've got one!), then for £88 this one's a steal, as it's a TV card/basic PVR too! :thumbsup:
     
  16. Dirtschmooz

    Dirtschmooz
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    Thanks for all the help so far, very much appreciated.

    Refering to some of the comments about making it 'future-proof', I only need to get about another year or 2 max out of my system b4 I buy a new PC. I won't/don't need to change the motherboard etc. Just want to get a few more fps and more detail to games. As I've said my crappy FX5600 128mb still manages to churn out half life 2 and even far cry and the Battlefield 2 demo. But settings are reduced and fps are nothing spectacular.

    Therefore I'll stick with AGP. Looks like the 6600GT or 9800pro.

    But which one?????? and does 128mb or 256mb make a great deal of difference to performance.

    Cheers for all your time and help.
     
  17. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    On the 9800pro the 256 vs 128 memory made 1 or 2 fps difference a few years ago when all the tests were done. Maybe today games make more use of the memory availible (maybe doom 3) but you'd probably see a massive price hike that wouldn't be worth it. Remember to get a 256 bit version though as the 128 bit memory bandwidth of the 'lite' versions really stangles the card (like using 66mhz edo ram instead of DDR 400mhz on your pc)

    If you can get a 6600gt for about £100ish thats your best bet as it is newer technology than the 9800pro, so although the performance is simialr it has the newer shaders and stuff, so the newer games will look pretier.

    You could if you were willing to risk it get a 6800le, has similar performance to the other two mentioned, but has the potential to be soft moded to a 6800GT or even ultra (it has slower memory ect.. but it does come very close to an actual gt and ultra). There are quite a few guides about this around so you could do a quick search if you'd be interesed in that, and the cards can be had for about £100.

    I have a 9800Pro and a 2500 cpu, I have no problem playing the latest games, on medium or even high if i feel like it. In a year or 2 time though you will be in the same situation, but by then I think a total upgrade will be a safer bet as pci-x, sata and SLI will al be more mature and their advantages can be seen.

    At the moment pci-x gives no benifit except for the ability to sli as 8x agp hasn't been maxed yet, SATA provides no benifit as hard drives can't even get a constant 100mb/s never mind ther 133mb/s threshold of IDE, so SATA is more about future proofing than current advantages. Also SLI doesn't provide the performance it should, altohugh crossfire might change that, and anyway the next gen of cards is just arround the corner and they will provide 2-3x the performace of the current best any way (if you believe the rumours).
     
  18. MPK

    MPK
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    In that case I would go on ebay and get myself a 6600GT for about £70 or you get a used 6800GT for about £120.
     
  19. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    Fair point,
    If you could get a 6800GT for £120 that would be value for money!
     
  20. Dirtschmooz

    Dirtschmooz
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    any particular make eg.. Leadtek, Asus, XFX?
     
  21. MPK

    MPK
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    Doesn't really matter, they are all very similar. The key specs will be AGPx8, 128Mb 6600GT, 6800, 6800le or even 6800GT.

    Just saw a 6800le (see gazbarber's reply) new on ebay for £116 (Leadtek). And if you look at completed listings you can even see used 6800le for as little as £80 or several 256Mb 6800 for £120. A used one should do just fine for the next 2 years.
     
  22. Dirtschmooz

    Dirtschmooz
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    What's the 6800LE all about? is it alot worse that the GT?
     
  23. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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    basically a watered down version of the GT. clock speeds are lower and only have 8 pipelines i wouldnt get it (LE edition) if it was me.
     
  24. MPK

    MPK
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    Apparently it's meant to be an OEM card (i.e. not available through retail) and slightly less powered than the 6800. It's got about half the pixel pipelines of the 6800 Ultra (8 instead of 16) and about the same specs as the 6800, but cheapers. Also, with a software called Rivatuner from CP4U you can "set free" another 4 pipelines and therefore get a faster performance than the 6800. On top of that you can overclock it and it runs stable at up to 400MHz, which is not bad. Not exactly sure how it compares to the 6800GT, but seems to be better value for money for £115.
     
  25. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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    this card is retail mate. AOpen & LEadtek both do retail bundles the AOpen one includes Doom 3 in its bundle

    seeing the bench marks its hardly fair to compare them the Gt blows it out of the water. it just cannot come near a 16 pipeline GT. i personally feel the 6600Gt is the best option but go take alook at some benchmarks and have a look yourself. another plus point in the 6600 court is MSI do a fanless version of the card which by all accounts in near on silent. many people in the HTPC forum use them. think this isnt a GT model but its something to look up
     
  26. MPK

    MPK
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    Kopite4Ever: You're right, it's retail now. There were articles that originally Nvidia wanted it to be OEM.


    Dirtschmooz: If you're into overclocking and fiddling around with hardware, here's an article of how to turn a 6800LE into a 6800GT.
     
  27. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
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    seen an artical of a guy who tried that ended up borking the card. from what ive gathered the cooling on the LE's cannot handle the speeds the GT's runs at! not the same as taking the GT and running at ultra speeds as the GT's cooling systems are superb especially the Leadtek's. its still not truly a GT as GT runs at 16 pipelines and the memory clock speeds are not close to the GT. seems like abit to much trouble for some guy who just wants to improve the FPS an his games slightly. this will be the last of me on this thread for the time being ;) and my final reccomendation is a 6600GT. enjoy what ever you decide it will blow that exsisiting card out of the universe :)
     
  28. Dirtschmooz

    Dirtschmooz
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    6600GT is what i'll aim for. I'll get the leadtek version as soon as i see it for good price.

    Thanks again everyone who contributed. It's been a pleasure. :thumbsup:
     
  29. jon bda

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    I'd go with the 6600GT, my kids have a Leadtek in thier PC, upgraded from a 9700 Pro. Nice cards the 6600, probably the best value for money card at the moment...
    :)
     
  30. overkill

    overkill
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    Go for an ATI 9800 pro. Try and get a decent marque either Sapphire or one of the other names (ie ASUS). Do NOT get a Powercolor (I speak from bitter experience), or Connect version.

    The 6600GT is worth getting but not the 6600. Avoid the 'LE' versions of Nvidia cards as the pipelines are cut back. Leadtek, ASUS, and Aopen cards are good. The BFG OC 6600GT is the card to have though.

    At the higher end the X800 XL is the current winner. However, at £260-80 its overkill for a 2600 based system.
     

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