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Is it time for a Video Card upgrade?

SaarutoSaaruto Registered User regular
edited July 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey all, its my first posting in H/A, and I just wanted to know if I should think about upgrading my video card and whatnot.

My system specs:

Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.40GHz
RAM: 3 GB
Video Card: RADEON 9800 PRO
Resolution: 1680x1050
Operating System: Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2

If I want to play some of the newer games that are coming out (like Bioshock or something ), what kind of video card should I get? I was thinking about the Radeon X1950 Pro and a cheaper Crossfire compatible model. I've got about $200 to spend, so any help would be appreciated.

Saaruto on
If you can chill, chill.
Steam ID

Posts

  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Honestly, you're better off with one of the new midrange nVidia 8-series cards. They're where it's at in terms of bang for your buck. ATI's fallen pretty far behind lately.

    Stay away from any SLI solutions unless you have a ton of money to burn.

    edit: if you can scrape up another sixty bucks, this will still be rockin' long after the rest of your PC is obsolete. If not, you can get an 8600GTS for well under $200.

  • SaarutoSaaruto Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    thanks a lot :)

    If you can chill, chill.
    Steam ID
  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm going to assume here that you have an AGP motherboard, rather than one that supports PCIe... Mainly because I don't think they ever even made a PCIe version of the 9800 Pro. Unfortunately, this means that the nVidia 8 series card aren't going to be compatible with your motherboard (They only come in PCIe flavors).

    qwlru.png
  • SaarutoSaaruto Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I snapped a picture a while back, and it looked like an AGP. Upon further inspection, it is. For some reason, I thought I had a PCI and an AGP slot...back to the stone age I suppose.

    My slot in question:
    Spoiler:
    Now, there is an identical slot right below it (which is hidden by my video card) that is empty, and thats why I was thinking about the Crossfire, but I'm guessing good AGP cards aren't too common anymore.

    If you can chill, chill.
    Steam ID
  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    AGP cards aren't common in the first place, and I can't really think of any that I could honestly recommend as good in the modern market.

    In my opinion your best bet would be to buy a new PCI-e motherboard and get a decent midrange card like a 7900GT or something.

    SLI or Crossfire is going to be a waste of money

  • SaarutoSaaruto Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Scosglen wrote: »
    AGP cards aren't common in the first place, and I can't really think of any that I could honestly recommend as good in the modern market.

    In my opinion your best bet would be to buy a new PCI-e motherboard and get a decent midrange card like a 7900GT or something.

    SLI or Crossfire is going to be a waste of money

    If I get a new motherboard, I can still keep my processor right? Provided I pry it off and reattach it somehow (I read somewhere about some Artic Stuff)? Also, if I get a new motherboard (I have a Sony VAIO, prebuilt.....), do I need to modify my case and such?

    If you can chill, chill.
    Steam ID
  • devoirdevoir Registered User
    edited July 2007
    You can, as long as the socket type of the processor is supported by the motherboard you're upgrading to.

    I'd seriously consider waiting a few more months, saving some more money and starting fresh with processor/motherboard/memory/graphics card all in one hit.

  • ElectricTurtleElectricTurtle Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Saaruto wrote: »
    Scosglen wrote: »
    AGP cards aren't common in the first place, and I can't really think of any that I could honestly recommend as good in the modern market.

    In my opinion your best bet would be to buy a new PCI-e motherboard and get a decent midrange card like a 7900GT or something.

    SLI or Crossfire is going to be a waste of money

    If I get a new motherboard, I can still keep my processor right? Provided I pry it off and reattach it somehow (I read somewhere about some Artic Stuff)? Also, if I get a new motherboard (I have a Sony VAIO, prebuilt.....), do I need to modify my case and such?

    lol Sony. I've only worked with a couple Vaio desktops, they're kinda rare due to being overpriced, so I couldn't tell you from memmory how proprietary or not they are inside, but my instinct is be really damn careful about thinking you can put any board in there. It's important to remember that in addition to any proprietary case design, most manufacturer built systems have power supplies that can only barely run the parts originally included. If you put in a a new motherboard and PCIE card in there you are probably going to need a new power supply to run them. And so begins the hardware upgrade domino effect...

    Spoiler:
  • trixtahtrixtah Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Do NOT get an 8600. It's such trash that you're better off going with a 7950 or 8800

  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'd recommend saving up some more cash and switching to PCI-e at the same time. Something as expensive as a good video card is something I'd like to keep for a few years, and if you have to replace your PC before then you'll probably have to switch to PCI-e, which would mean getting another vid card at the same time. When I got this PC I looked for AGP to keep my old card, and options were limited and hard to find, and that was like 2 years ago.

    If you feel confident building your own you could do that, or just buy a cheap, basic prebuilt and then transfer over your harddrives/ram/etc to the new one. Moving hard drives is probably a lot easier than trying to switch boards in a prebuilt, and it'll probably be an upgrade to pretty much the whole system as well.

  • SaarutoSaaruto Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Scooter wrote: »
    I'd recommend saving up some more cash and switching to PCI-e at the same time. Something as expensive as a good video card is something I'd like to keep for a few years, and if you have to replace your PC before then you'll probably have to switch to PCI-e, which would mean getting another vid card at the same time. When I got this PC I looked for AGP to keep my old card, and options were limited and hard to find, and that was like 2 years ago.

    If you feel confident building your own you could do that, or just buy a cheap, basic prebuilt and then transfer over your harddrives/ram/etc to the new one. Moving hard drives is probably a lot easier than trying to switch boards in a prebuilt, and it'll probably be an upgrade to pretty much the whole system as well.


    My computer is about 3-4 years old now, and it doesn't really seem like a bad idea to get a cheap computer and salvage out the "good" guts out of my current one. That seems like the best option thus far. Any recommendations on cheaper prebuilt machines?

    If you can chill, chill.
    Steam ID
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