• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Which entry level graphics card.

DavidPeat

Established Member
Hi

I'm running an Athlon XP 2000 with 512MB and an NVidia 5200 Ultra gfx card. I am looking to upgrade piece by piece starting with the card and an extra 512MB.

My budget for a card is upto about £150.

So, the question is, what to go for (most of my gaming is FPS - Fear - which just runs on my system and no more, Doom 3, HL2 etc).

I had thought about a 256Mb 6600GT or an X800GTO (if I can find an agp one) but now I see the ATI X1300 and X1600 at around the same price point.

Any recommendations? I am wary that with the exisiting m/b and cpu any new card may be under utilised but I hope to upgrade to at least an AMD64 3200+ sooner or later (can you tell I'm doing all this on a budget :D ).



Cheers
David
 

DavidPeat

Established Member
Well.... when I say 'play' - I mean that it runs. Everything is at minimum though so it's not very pretty.... Anyone remember Alone In The Dark?

Which is why I'm upgrading ;)
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
David, it is probably a false economy to start with the graphics card, you will get some performance improvements but you will be bottlenecked by your CPU. You really need a new motherboard and CPU, upgraded RAM and video card. Sorry!
 

Darko

Prominent Member
I am afraid that you need to face the facts as all of us have of late in this forum,, it is time to upgrade your system.
A new graphics card in your system well be waisted as your ram and cpu will fight to keep up, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad tiedings but I am afraid that with todays FPS you need alot more power all round.

Sorry Darko
 
L

luke.a.jones

Guest
Also there is no point upgrading your GPU anyway as you will need to upgrade it again when it comes around to doing your motherboard and CPU as its all PCI-e now.
 

semiskimmed

Distinguished Member
well youre not going to get all the new stuff for £150.

if it were me, id got for another 512mb of ram as that will help running games smoothly alot. then plump for a 6800LE that will hopefully let you unlock the extra pipelines and just use that. i think theyre about £90 new and unlocking is as easy as running a piece of software on your pc and ticking 2 boxes, its completely software based so the warranty isnt broken.
if you manage to open the extra pipelines on the card, it will out perform the 6600gt with ease. its said to be the best budget AGP card around and has been for a while now, purely based on the benefits you get from unlocking it.
 

DavidPeat

Established Member
Thanks Semiskimmed

Know any where I can get my hands on a 256MB 6800LE AGP?

I was not going to spend £150 upgrading - that was just for the card. I will be spending ~£200 on a m/b/cpu upgrade (probably a 3200+ or 3400+) and then later on a bigger SATA hard drive.

So assuming I upgrade the cpu/m/b first and I have an Athlon 64 3400+ with 1GB RAM, what sort of graphics card makes sense now? (Still for £150 or less). Is the tweaked 6800LE still the best option?

I'm not trying to build a ninja PC, just get the best out of the limited funds I have available.

Cheers
David
 

Dfour

Prominent Member
I would still recomend leaving it until you have the funds for a MB and chip upgrade as well or with AGP you are limiting yourself to the old boards ie nforce 3 and Via 800 chipset instead of the newer Nforce 4 and Via 890 and the new ATI crossfire boards which are all PCI-e.

£200 will get you a Asus/Abit/Epox ultra or Sli board/crossfire board from Abit or any of the older via boards. Then the 3200+ is the best bargain because fo the *10 multiplier :devil: and 512 meg of ram. Then you £150 will buy a ATI GTO2 in pci-e and a simple bios flash (some can already be got flashed) and overclock, then you have the power of a X850XT PE ready to go. :devil:
 

booyaka

Moderator
personally not heard of a 3400+ chip (maybe wrong!!)

U can get a 3500+ OEM (ie no fan etc) for £120 from overclockers and pick up a Asus A8N-SLi SE nForce4 SLi motherboard for £80 (both prices include vat).

This will be a fair good upgrade from your current system. You will still need some decent ram mind you!! (1 gb min)

As for the gfx card you would be able to buy one for £150. or you could strech to £199 ?? (budget smudgit!! - i started with £600 and spent £900!!)

Leadtek GeForce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 VIVO TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) £199 with overclockers this would be a monster of a increase in your existing system.

Otherwise XFX GeForce 6800 GS Extreme XXX Edition 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail (GX-056-XF) is a this week only special for £124 plus vat.

I'm no expert and the other guys will i'm sure give you some better guidance but that's my 2p worth!!:D
 

semiskimmed

Distinguished Member
DavidPeat said:
Thanks Semiskimmed

Know any where I can get my hands on a 256MB 6800LE AGP?

I was not going to spend £150 upgrading - that was just for the card. I will be spending ~£200 on a m/b/cpu upgrade (probably a 3200+ or 3400+) and then later on a bigger SATA hard drive.

So assuming I upgrade the cpu/m/b first and I have an Athlon 64 3400+ with 1GB RAM, what sort of graphics card makes sense now? (Still for £150 or less). Is the tweaked 6800LE still the best option?

I'm not trying to build a ninja PC, just get the best out of the limited funds I have available.

Cheers
David


if youre upgrading the cpu and mobo then forget about what i said above.
£350 is a decent amount of funds. i wouldnt bother with buying a socket 754 cpu as thats the only form the 3400's are in btw.

heres a very fast list for you

mobo - cheap asus mobo with pcie
cpu - either a 3200 or 3500 both amd64's.
more ram - 512mb to make it up to 1gb for gaming, make sure to try and get the same as what youve already got to run dual channel.
gfx - i would strongly advise you to try and scrimp another £40 together and plump for a more top line card such as the 7800gt which is as little as £180 now brand new if you look around and it will really drop your jaw with great visuals. if not the x800/6800 series of cards were great aswell.
this will give you the perfect platform to upgrade later on as it will allow dual core cpu's and newer gfx cards to be used in it
 

booyaka

Moderator
?? A few edited post Semi???:rolleyes:
 

DavidPeat

Established Member
Thanks Dfour - what do you mean by the *10 multiplier?

Semiskilled - nevermind what?

Oops - Freudian slip - sorry Semiskimmed

Cheers
David
 

booyaka

Moderator
DavidPeat said:
Thanks Dfour - what do you mean by the *10 multiplier?

Semiskilled - nevermind what?

Oops - Freudian slip - sorry Semiskimmed

Cheers
David

*10 multiplier means that the FSB (Front Side Bus) of the processor is multiplied by 10 to get the overall speed of the processor.

I.e the standard for the AMD64 processors is a FSB of 200MHZ, thus times that by 10 and you have - 2000 Mhz speed of processor. (or 2Ghz)

Similarly if you look at my sig below - my processor is the 3700+ (standard of 11 multi x 200mhz) but i have overclocked it to run @ 245Mhz x 11 = 2.7 ghz.

hope this helps
 
D

Deleted member 39001

Guest
I agree with everyone else in that you need to save that cash and buy it all in one go as the latest tech isn't really compatible with your old equipment. But just remember to consider which graphics card you want I.E. an ATI or Nvidia, as this will decide what motherboard you buy. Also try and stretch to a motherboard that'll support dual core CPU's and has SATA2 on board as well. Asus and Abit are good quality.
Is your new PC going to be used primarily for gaming only?
 

DavidPeat

Established Member
Yep - gaming mostly.

I think I have been persuaded - I am going to go for a m/b + processor bundle - probably a AMD 64 3200+, certainly no less, 1 GB RAM and a 7800GT.

Will probably stick with the current HD just now but add a big SATA one later on.

Cheers
David
 

booyaka

Moderator
We know how to strech a budget on here!!!:D :D

Just watch that the 3200 is not going to be a bottleneck for your graphics card. Anything slower than about a 3500 will be a bottleneck on the gfx card.
 

semiskimmed

Distinguished Member
apolloa said:
I agree with everyone else in that you need to save that cash and buy it all in one go as the latest tech isn't really compatible with your old equipment. But just remember to consider which graphics card you want I.E. an ATI or Nvidia, as this will decide what motherboard you buy. Also try and stretch to a motherboard that'll support dual core CPU's and has SATA2 on board as well. Asus and Abit are good quality.
Is your new PC going to be used primarily for gaming only?


i have no idea what youre reffering to about the decision on the mobo will effect the gfx :confused:
if he wanted to go for xfire or sli then yes, but as we're talking single cards here its not worth the extra expense trying to accomodate future plans, imho ofcourse. and any new 939/pcie mobo will support dual core cpu's.
 

semiskimmed

Distinguished Member
booyaka said:
We know how to strech a budget on here!!!:D :D

Just watch that the 3200 is not going to be a bottleneck for your graphics card. Anything slower than about a 3500 will be a bottleneck on the gfx card.


my 3200 is fine with my 7800GT, no problems at all, i see no difference at stock 2ghz or at 2.4ghz which is more than a 3500. i reckon a 3000 would bottleneck very slightly though but you should be good with a 3200. the 3500 is only a little more though so if you have spare cash possibly go for it, but a 3200 should be able to clock to a 3500 with minimal effort, if overclocking was on the cards.
 

mercapto

Standard Member
Hmmm...

I've been looking to upgrade my 4600ti to a xfx 6600gt 256mb agp, is that even a worthwhile choice ? My 4600ti lasted me quite long, it can still handle most stuff very nicely. How long can a 6600 last me when im playing at 1200ish resolution with medium texture detail...? I could buy a PCI-E mobo and a matching card, though i'd rather focus on my 360 and buy a sammy 26" ;)
 

Dfour

Prominent Member
mercapto said:
Hmmm...

I've been looking to upgrade my 4600ti to a xfx 6600gt 256mb agp, is that even a worthwhile choice ? My 4600ti lasted me quite long, it can still handle most stuff very nicely. How long can a 6600 last me when im playing at 1200ish resolution with medium texture detail...? I could buy a PCI-E mobo and a matching card, though i'd rather focus on my 360 and buy a sammy 26" ;)

It might be better to go to a 6800 instead of the 6600 depending upon budget.
 
D

Deleted member 39001

Guest
semiskimmed said:
i have no idea what youre reffering to about the decision on the mobo will effect the gfx :confused:
if he wanted to go for xfire or sli then yes, but as we're talking single cards here its not worth the extra expense trying to accomodate future plans, imho ofcourse. and any new 939/pcie mobo will support dual core cpu's.

Simple, if you are going to ever have a dual ATI graphics setup then you need an ATI chipset board, if you want an Nvidia SLI then of course you will need a chipset that supports that. As far as I know any current decent motherboard based on either chipset will offer the capability of a dual GFX setup, IMO it's worth getting a board that supports it in case he wants to add another card in the future, otherwise he would have to buy another mother board again!
 

semiskimmed

Distinguished Member
apolloa said:
Simple, if you are going to ever have a dual ATI graphics setup then you need an ATI chipset board, if you want an Nvidia SLI then of course you will need a chipset that supports that. As far as I know any current decent motherboard based on either chipset will offer the capability of a dual GFX setup, IMO it's worth getting a board that supports it in case he wants to add another card in the future, otherwise he would have to buy another mother board again!


i think its pointless going for the idea of buying one card now and one later tbh. with the way this tech is going, 1 card is always going to be faster/more efficient than 2 of the older generation cards. imho, its a false economy to go this route as when you really start to crank up the settings on bleeding edge games in 12-18 months 1 of the top gfx cards will outperform 2 7800's say. not to mention that fact that youre paying a premium for a sli equipped motherboard now and not using it, pushing the cost up, and even if someone took your advice about doing the sli/xfire in the future, it would only incur more costs with buying a new PSU to cope with 2 gpu's.
 

The latest video from AVForums

SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speakers - Review Coming Soon
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom