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What graphics card do i buy?

griphook

Standard Member
Hello there,well as title says really. I really dont have much understanding about graphics cards but i do feel its time i had a new one. I am currently using an
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128mb AGP (what ever that means) which im sure you have probably gathered is not very good. Addittional information about my Pc that i no is that it has a 450w power supply,2gig of ram and intel pentium 4.. (ancient i no) cant afford a new pc so just want to upgrade it best i can. So what would be best for me? Ideally a card that is not too expensive and handle every day chores and games.. Thanks.
 

majorwedgy

Well-known Member
really have to say mate save your momey and save for a new mobo/cpu/ram and graphics card. your cpu is too slow to really play any modern game anyway. You could get the whole lot for about 100 notes, look at something like an AM2 athlon 64 X2 cpu along with 2gb ddr 2 and a 7900gt and your games will fly compared to what you have now
 

Clunk

Well-known Member
If you have a higher end Pentium 4 (around 3ghz or more), then you would manage to play many of todays games if you bought a HD3850 AGP. This remains the best AGP card since it's release and as it uses the AGP bus to its maximum, there is unlikely to ever be a better AGP card.

You can generally manage to find them new for about £85 if you look, BUT...

With your current setup, you would still only be playing on low-medium settings in most modern games, and if you upgrade to a dual core system later on, you're very unlikely to be able to re-use this card as you'll then have a PCI-e slot instead. Depending on how good your 450W power supply is, it may also struggle with this card. For these reasons, and with it already being over your budget, I'd have difficulty recommending it to you.
 
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Clunk

Well-known Member
Anyway, to properly answer your question...

If you can't see yourself upgrading your motherboard and processor (or whole system) for a long while, then fair enough, get a high end AGP card. I'd suggest looking for a second hand one though to save yourself some money, as the fact they are no longer in manufacture makes new AGP cards very expensive. For example the PCI-e version of the HD 3850 can be found £30 cheaper.

If you'd be happy to just play the games on lower settings and lowish resolution until you can upgrade your system, then it may be worth you looking for a 7600GT, 7800GS, HD2600XT or HD3650. These all offer about the same performance as each other, which is not on the level of the HD3850 but still a massive jump up from your FX 5200. They'll certainly get you playing some of the more system friendly modern games like Call of Duty 4 on okay settings. If you've been limping along in older games with your 5200 (I know I was at one time), then you'll enjoy revisiting them with any of these cards as they'll fly :).

Again though, with AGP versions of these cards being expensive or rare, second hand might be the better way to go.
 
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HellRazer

Standard Member
I would recommend you upgrade to a Geforce 7600gt for now as like all the previous posts have touched upon, you're better off saving money and buying a completely new system.
 

majorwedgy

Well-known Member
something like this:
dabs.com - Asustek Socket AM2 AMD 690G PCI-E (V3-M2A690G)
get some memory, and a cheap dual core cpu and you are away :) look on ebay or on here for a 79** series gcard for about 30 quid - in honesty that is a quick look if I was buying myself I could do the system much cheaper, a bit of searching and you will get some good deals - have seen the case above on ebay for 45 + postage check it out
 

griphook

Standard Member
Thanks guys,some good advice/options there.Has opened my eyes a bit to the world of graphics cards. Once again thanks and i will look into the options.
 

Patonki

Standard Member
Actually Pentium 4 processors are awesome for their age, as they can beat most single core AMD processors that have under 3 GHz. I suggest that you get a new mobo, but if you really need a new card then get a nVidia 7600/7800 or 7900.
 

CP-PC

Active Member
Actually Pentium 4 processors are awesome for their age, as they can beat most single core AMD processors that have under 3 GHz. I suggest that you get a new mobo, but if you really need a new card then get a nVidia 7600/7800 or 7900.


you have to be joking??? there is no single core amd that runs at 3ghz or over mate. that was amd's "advantage" they could do more work when compared clock for clock but as a result could not be clocked as high as pentium 4's

hence amd's origional athlon xp scoring system (athlon xp as these where p4's rivals) an amd athlon xp 3200 only ran at 2.2ghz but could get the same amount of work done as a p4 3.2ghz

and yes i agree amd athlon 64's wiped the floor with p4's take the amd athlon 64 3200...... the "64" amd's where about 25% faster than the athlon xp's
so with the xp's designed and proved to be a good competitor for the p4's then the 64's would be miles ahead (and indeed where proved to be)

but back on track. if your sticking with your current system then i would probably get either an nvidia 7800 or 7900 or if your going ati then a x1900, you should be able to find them about within your budget and they are all avilable in AGP flavours
 
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Patonki

Standard Member
I've had much better performance on Pentium 4s than any AMD single core processor. I'm not really into the techical info, but from past experience I've had better performance on Pentium 4s.
 

Krakin

Active Member
Do yourself a favour and download the video driver before you get the card, that way you know you have the latest version ready to install and that it's available for your operating system.

You can still get AGP cards from Scan, one of the very few places. The 6600GT has Windows 98se drivers if you're still using it. The 7300GT is better but needs XP or better.

Check out the Scan Deal of the Day page:
128MB XFX 6600GT AGP £35.24
512MB ECS 7300GT AGP £34.06

The previous suggestion of getting another better AGP card from Ebay is still probably your best bet, just don't pay too much. Compare it with the PCIE prices and you'll see what I mean.
 

jetinder

Active Member
I have an E6600 + 2gb PC6400 ram + ATI 1600 pro, the PC feels slow so today got my self a Gforce 8600 GTS which i hope will be better than the Ati 1600 pro.
 

Clunk

Well-known Member
8800gt good allrounder
But not available in AGP flavour...

Mind you, whilst this thread's re-opened, if anyone's interested I know of somewhere that an AGP X1950pro 512MB is available for £49+delivery (new).

That's an excellent card (AGP wise) for the price. Let me know if you need a link. :)
 

AnthonyG

Distinguished Member
The obvious choice AGP card to go for, in my opinion for almost all instances, would be the ATI 3650.

Firstly this is because it is using the latest 55nm process technology, not available in Nvidia's AGP cards, it is also fairly decent for gaming.

The next card up, the ATI HD3850 AGP would be serious overkill for practically all people with AGP based systems as largely the other parts they have will bottleneck its abilities.

The next card down is the 3450 which is really just good for hidef movie watching nothing more.

The 3650 cards performed better than almost all of Nvidia's 7xxx series, but not as good as the 8600 or 8800 series, which aren't available as AGP.

Ebuyer had the AGP ATI 3650 for sale last week for £50 but have seemingly sold out.

It may be worth checking to see if they are getting any more in, or if Scan will be as that would be a very nice upgrade, and likely best you can sensibly do to upgrade to your systems graphics.
 

Clunk

Well-known Member
The obvious choice AGP card to go for, in my opinion for almost all instances, would be the ATI 3650.

Firstly this is because it is using the latest 55nm process technology, not available in Nvidia's AGP cards, it is also fairly decent for gaming.

The next card up, the ATI HD3850 AGP would be serious overkill for practically all people with AGP based systems as largely the other parts they have will bottleneck its abilities.

The next card down is the 3450 which is really just good for hidef movie watching nothing more.

The 3650 cards performed better than almost all of Nvidia's 7xxx series, but not as good as the 8600 or 8800 series, which aren't available as AGP.

Ebuyer had the AGP ATI 3650 for sale last week for £50 but have seemingly sold out.

It may be worth checking to see if they are getting any more in, or if Scan will be as that would be a very nice upgrade, and likely best you can sensibly do to upgrade to your systems graphics.
Actually, the DDR2 version of the 3650 (most common) is slower than a 7600GT, and the DDR3 version isn't that much faster. They do offer DX10 support which the nVidia 7***'s don't, but it's a moot point as a single core machine and a card of that level aren't good enough for DX10 gaming anyway.

The X1950pro, whilst being older technology than the 3650, is a great deal faster - and grabbable for the same £50. Not as good as the 3850, but as we've both said, that would be overkill and over budget.
 
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eaglemmoomin

Well-known Member
you know if you can't upgrade the PC, then it might be worth forgetting about it and picking up an Xbox 360 deal for Xmas, As far as games go it won't beat a PC with all the setting maxed out, but you will get a high level of quality and guarenteed performance levels. I'd be a bit dubious of what you will achive with your current PC set up even with a 'better' AGP card and a modern game.

As others have said with some research you could spec up a new mobo, gpu and cpu and rebuild the PC if you are ok with system building.
 

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