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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/7/2005 9:14:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 9:22:45 AM EDT by drewucf]
Hey all. I have some extra cash so I want to upgrade my computer a little for the newer games. First up will be the graphics card. Im currently running an ATI 9000 all in wonder. I really want to play BF2 with some graphics settings on as Im currently running it with the lowest possible settings. What would be a good AGP card for no more than $150 I could use? Id get it from an online source such as newegg or tigerdirect to be able to get a better card for the same price.

Also I have 512 ddr for my memory and the card would need to be able to run well with that for now as I wont be able to get better ram for a while.

ETA: Thought I saw a bunch of good reviews for the 6600 gt. Can anyone elaborate on its qualities and if its the best for me?
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 9:36:23 AM EDT
6600GT is a damn good card, probably the best out there for your money in the roughly 150 dollar price range.

There isn't a lot out there that will touch it for the money.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 9:44:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 9:46:18 AM EDT by blueshockey]
spend the extra hundred and get the ATI Radeon X800 XL 256MB DDR, PCI-E Video Card, TV-Out, Dual Display

www.maximumpc.com/2005/07/ati_x800_xl.html
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 9:48:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 9:50:04 AM EDT by BB]
^^^What he said^^^

Here it is for $200:
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102532R

The X800 is far better than anything else out there in that range. And it will spank a 6600.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 10:28:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BB:
^^^What he said^^^

Here it is for $200:
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102532R

The X800 is far better than anything else out there in that range. And it will spank a 6600.



Refurbished? Hell no stay away.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 10:36:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 10:54:29 AM EDT by BB]

Originally Posted By WildBoar:

Originally Posted By BB:
^^^What he said^^^

Here it is for $200:
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102532R

The X800 is far better than anything else out there in that range. And it will spank a 6600.



Refurbished? Hell no stay away.


I've bought so many refurbished parts from newegg I can't remember how many. My current system is almost completely newegg refurb: Mainboard is an ABit refurb, as is my Raptor hard drive, and my 9800Pro graphics card. Overclocked and running pretty much nonstop since 3/04.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 11:00:18 AM EDT
cgi.ebay.com/Sapphire-Radeon-X800-XT-PE-Platinum-Edition_W0QQitemZ5239161683QQcategoryZ80190QQssPageNa­meZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

What do you guys think of this? Good deal? Worth the risk of going ebay over the $200 from newegg? I think Ill also need a new power supply as I believe mine is only 250 W and they suggest 300. ANy advice on that?
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 11:02:54 AM EDT
I never trusted refurbs. Glad its working well for you though.

I am kind of anti ATI anyways. I was a big supporter of them when the Radeon first came out and after 4 different cards up to the 9700, I had nothing but trouble with their drivers. After getting burned that many times I guess I lost all faith in their abilities. Maybe they are finally squared away and develpoped stable good drivers finally, I dont know and dont care to find out the hard way again. I just think its stupid that beta 3rd part drivers were the only drivers that would run with any kind of stability.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 11:13:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 11:21:48 AM EDT by BB]

Originally Posted By drewucf:
cgi.ebay.com/Sapphire-Radeon-X800-XT-PE-Platinum-Edition_W0QQitemZ5239161683QQcategoryZ80190QQssPageNa­meZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

What do you guys think of this? Good deal? Worth the risk of going ebay over the $200 from newegg? I think Ill also need a new power supply as I believe mine is only 250 W and they suggest 300. ANy advice on that?



Well, that card has the sinks which is nice, and he says it's guaranteed not to be DOA; I'd ask him if he would guarantee OEM performance as well but if he's into phase change cooling he probably knows what he's doing. maybe worth a chance; 4 other guys think so.

For a power supply I highly recommend Fortron (FSP); what CPU are you using, are you overclocking, what other cards do you have installed, how many disk drives, etc? What current power supply are you running, do you plan to upgrade your mainboard/CPU in the future and use whatever PSU you get now?
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 11:16:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:
I never trusted refurbs. Glad its working well for you though.

I am kind of anti ATI anyways. I was a big supporter of them when the Radeon first came out and after 4 different cards up to the 9700, I had nothing but trouble with their drivers. After getting burned that many times I guess I lost all faith in their abilities. Maybe they are finally squared away and develpoped stable good drivers finally, I dont know and dont care to find out the hard way again. I just think its stupid that beta 3rd part drivers were the only drivers that would run with any kind of stability.



I'm a die hard ATI guy myself. Funny I had troubles with Nvidia drivers! LOL I guess all these manufacturers have issues at one time or another.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 11:21:43 AM EDT
get yourself a gig of ram to use also i just ordered a gig from new egg for about 95 bucks should be here today or tommorow
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 11:38:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By treemydawg:
get yourself a gig of ram to use also i just ordered a gig from new egg for about 95 bucks should be here today or tommorow



Care to share what you got? All the gig sticks are running around 190.

As for my computer its just a Dell with a 2.6 ghz, 512 ddr, and the 64mb ATI 9000. I dont do anything special with my computer like overclocking or special cooling methods. I just like to play games once in a while and thats why I wasnt looking to get a very high end card. Ill try the Ebay deal and if that doesnt work Ill try the 6600gt or get some money for the refurb 800.

Will the 256mb cards slow down my 512mb comp. Ill upgrade it soon if I can keep it fairly cheap, but until I do would I have problems? Should I just go with a 128mb card anyways?
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 11:50:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By drewucf:

Originally Posted By treemydawg:
get yourself a gig of ram to use also i just ordered a gig from new egg for about 95 bucks should be here today or tommorow



Care to share what you got? All the gig sticks are running around 190.

As for my computer its just a Dell with a 2.6 ghz, 512 ddr, and the 64mb ATI 9000. I dont do anything special with my computer like overclocking or special cooling methods. I just like to play games once in a while and thats why I wasnt looking to get a very high end card. Ill try the Ebay deal and if that doesnt work Ill try the 6600gt or get some money for the refurb 800.

Will the 256mb cards slow down my 512mb comp. Ill upgrade it soon if I can keep it fairly cheap, but until I do would I have problems? Should I just go with a 128mb card anyways?



More memory on the card will not slow down the PC. Just let you run at a higher detail level.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 11:54:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 11:55:53 AM EDT by treemydawg]
i got two 512 mb sticks forgot the company name on them they are pc2100 i have a three yr old macine
also i'd get the 256 mb vid card 128 teally doesn't cut it
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 11:56:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 11:57:40 AM EDT by BB]
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 12:02:23 PM EDT
So will the corsair 1 gig ram and the ATI X800 refurb give me a leap forward to enjoying the newer games again? I mean if I have to spend $300 upgrading this thing, I want to at least play new games with more than just minimum settings for a while.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 12:05:01 PM EDT
on newegg crucial is havin a one day sale on 1 gig sticks of pc 3200 for 99 dollars
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 12:07:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By drewucf:
So will the corsair 1 gig ram and the ATI X800 refurb give me a leap forward to enjoying the newer games again? I mean if I have to spend $300 upgrading this thing, I want to at least play new games with more than just minimum settings for a while.



It will play everything out now at the highest settings. You may need a power supply, like a fortron 350 watter for $30.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 12:56:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 1:00:46 PM EDT by uglygun]

Originally Posted By drewucf:
What would be a good AGP card for no more than $150 I could use?




This is the kicker....

Don't think any of the Radeon X300 or whatever cards are in anything other than PCI-express so those suggestions for PCI-e cards goes right out the window.


Of the AGP capable cards, the 6600GT is the best value out there in my mind. Things like the 6800GT or 6800Ultra are great cards but his system specs are likely to be huge bottlenecks. His system is likely a 400 or 533mhz front side bus, that's why the clock speed of the RAM is so slow. He probably has a 4x AGP slot, not even an 8x AGP slot(my Dell was one of the last to use a 4x AGP slot).

I have a PIV 2.4ghz Dell running a 6600GT right now and am running well. Dell tends to rate their power supplies as being nominal or continous power, compare to all the rest of the power supply companies out there who rate their PSUs as peak power rating. A 250w Dell PSU is a little closer to something like a 315-330w PSU because of how they rate their PSU.


I run BF2 on all medium settings with 1024x768 with AA and AF turned off.

System specs, Dell Dimension 4550.
CPU is a 2.4ghz 533mhz fsb
1 gig of Crucial PC2700 DDR ram(as high as I can go).
Geforce 6600GT

BF2 looks pretty darn decent on those settings. A friend of mine with a nicer system couldn't run terribly much better with his 3.2ghz 800mhz fsb computer and PC3200 DDR ram, he too was running a Geforce 6600GT but atleast his system could benefit the use of something like a 6800GT because he has fewer bottlenecks.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 1:32:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 1:35:15 PM EDT by BB]
All the X800 cards we've been talking about are AGP. Good points though.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 3:36:37 PM EDT
How would I go about getting detailed specs about all my stuff? Motherboard, RAM, and all the other stuff you guys are talking about. Would I have to open it up, or is there some maintanence program that I can see all the stats. That way I can post everything and hopefully you guys will know what would be best for me. Thanks for all the help so far though.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:09:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 4:10:06 PM EDT by BB]
open up the machine or call Dell and find out what front side bus you have. Sometimes you see this info on bootup. If it's not 800MHz, you may not want to spend any more on that machine and save up for a new system.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:15:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By uglygun:
6600GT is a damn good card, probably the best out there for your money in the roughly 150 dollar price range.

There isn't a lot out there that will touch it for the money.



I got mine a while ago and it made a marked improvement. I recently got 1 gig of dual channel 3200DDR and WOW, big boost in proformance.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 5:02:24 PM EDT
Ok I opened it up and also have the boot up menu on. Here are the specs

Dell Dimension 8300
P4 2.6 ghz
800 mhz FSB
Dual channel memory at 400 mhz (not sure what that ones for)
AGP slot for graphics card
No PCIe that I see but 4 normal PCI slots
L2 cache at 512kb

Also looked at the power supply and it says 250W max and in another place it has 170W but doesnt mention what that is.

So with all that I guess Im good to go on some upgrades. I may also buy another power supply since they are relatively cheap and it may help. So do you guys think my system could take full advantage of the X800 after a RAM upgrade or should I stick with the 6600gt?

Hopefully Ill be joining you guys on the BF2 battlegrounds shortly
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 7:22:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By treemydawg:
i got two 512 mb sticks forgot the company name on them they are pc2100 i have a three yr old macine
also i'd get the 256 mb vid card 128 teally doesn't cut it



Its not the memory amount as much as the speed of the memory that makes a difference. Tehre are many 256mb cards that blow when compared to some of the faster 128mb cards.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 10:18:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By drewucf:
How would I go about getting detailed specs about all my stuff? Motherboard, RAM, and all the other stuff you guys are talking about. Would I have to open it up, or is there some maintanence program that I can see all the stats. That way I can post everything and hopefully you guys will know what would be best for me. Thanks for all the help so far though.



START ==> RUN... ==> type "DXDIAG" in the [Open:] ==> CLICK OK
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 10:38:15 PM EDT
1 gig RAM (2 512mb sticks Dual channel DDR 3200), Geforce 6600GT 128mb Vid card.

New egg has the card for $138.00
and the memory for $79.00

Best two upgrades of 2005 for me.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:30:20 AM EDT
I just upgraded my LAN Party machine, and I have an extra Asus 9800XT lying around, that I might be willing to get rid of, if a local buyer doesnt come through with the money.



The bottom card is the 9800XT, and the top one is the one that replaced it (6800 Ultra). Anyways, if the guy that is interested in it doesnt want it, I would even consider a trade for it.

The card has VIVO functions, with the ATI rage theatre chip (same chip that does all VIVO on an All-in-Wonder card, has a solid copper cooling fan (heavy), and I also replaced the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 4:55:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 5:40:38 AM EDT by BB]

Originally Posted By drewucf:
Ok I opened it up and also have the boot up menu on. Here are the specs

Dell Dimension 8300
P4 2.6 ghz
800 mhz FSB
Dual channel memory at 400 mhz (not sure what that ones for)
AGP slot for graphics card
No PCIe that I see but 4 normal PCI slots
L2 cache at 512kb

Also looked at the power supply and it says 250W max and in another place it has 170W but doesnt mention what that is.

So with all that I guess Im good to go on some upgrades. I may also buy another power supply since they are relatively cheap and it may help. So do you guys think my system could take full advantage of the X800 after a RAM upgrade or should I stick with the 6600gt?

Hopefully Ill be joining you guys on the BF2 battlegrounds shortly



Your system is good to go for an upgrade.

You need the 1GB RAM upgrade; dual channel memory means your system supports two memory pipes, which is a huge improvement over a single stick (do you have one 512MB stick or two 256MB?); so get a matched pair of 512MB 400MHz (PC3200) sticks, the link I posted earlier is a good choice, and sell what you have; your motherboard probably has no way to change your memory timings to take advantage of faster (ie higher priced) memory like OCZ or Crucial.

I cannot stress highly enough that you NEED a 256MB video card. Do not settle for less! You WILL regret going with a 128MB card! Whats the point in an upgrade if you can't get all the eye candy? I would go with the X800 either on ebay or the refurb from Newegg.

Power supply; Fortron FSB is the way to go.
Least expensive one
Quiet one

This will be a huge improvement in gaming.

The only other upgrades I would suggest for your system, later on, is the fastest disk drive you can afford (like a 72GB Raptor) and maybe a processor upgrade, but those are pretty high-dollar upgrades too, like $200 for each, and more complicated, but a really fast hard drive will make a dramatic improvement. At that stage you may want to consider a new mainboard though, as your mainboard won't support a 64bit platform and that is the way of the future.

In the meantime, defrag your hard drive and try using the tricks in this thread to improve game performance.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 8:08:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BB:

Originally Posted By drewucf:
Ok I opened it up and also have the boot up menu on. Here are the specs

Dell Dimension 8300
P4 2.6 ghz
800 mhz FSB
Dual channel memory at 400 mhz (not sure what that ones for)
AGP slot for graphics card
No PCIe that I see but 4 normal PCI slots
L2 cache at 512kb

Also looked at the power supply and it says 250W max and in another place it has 170W but doesnt mention what that is.

So with all that I guess Im good to go on some upgrades. I may also buy another power supply since they are relatively cheap and it may help. So do you guys think my system could take full advantage of the X800 after a RAM upgrade or should I stick with the 6600gt?

Hopefully Ill be joining you guys on the BF2 battlegrounds shortly



Your system is good to go for an upgrade.

You need the 1GB RAM upgrade; dual channel memory means your system supports two memory pipes, which is a huge improvement over a single stick (do you have one 512MB stick or two 256MB?); so get a matched pair of 512MB 400MHz (PC3200) sticks, the link I posted earlier is a good choice, and sell what you have; your motherboard probably has no way to change your memory timings to take advantage of faster (ie higher priced) memory like OCZ or Crucial.

I cannot stress highly enough that you NEED a 256MB video card. Do not settle for less! You WILL regret going with a 128MB card! Whats the point in an upgrade if you can't get all the eye candy? I would go with the X800 either on ebay or the refurb from Newegg.

Power supply; Fortron FSB is the way to go.
Least expensive one
Quiet one

This will be a huge improvement in gaming.

The only other upgrades I would suggest for your system, later on, is the fastest disk drive you can afford (like a 72GB Raptor) and maybe a processor upgrade, but those are pretty high-dollar upgrades too, like $200 for each, and more complicated, but a really fast hard drive will make a dramatic improvement. At that stage you may want to consider a new mainboard though, as your mainboard won't support a 64bit platform and that is the way of the future.

In the meantime, defrag your hard drive and try using the tricks in this thread to improve game performance.



Awesome. Thanks for all the help guys. I think I have all the info I need to upgrade this thing. I cant wait to see what Ive been missing out graphics-wise on HL2 and BF2.

Also I currently have 2x256. I have 4 DIMM slots though.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 7:32:06 PM EDT
I'm looking on Newegg right now at the 6600GT as an upgrade since I just picked up BF2 today and my nvidia integrated gpu ain't gonna cut it. Which one should I get?? There are 16 different ones that fit my specs and I have no clue what the difference between each is lol. I can't even play right now because I don't have enough RAM, I forgot this stupid setup draws the memory for the graphics from the RAM so it doesn't even recognize that I have a 512mb stick. I'm going to go ahead and get another 512mb while I'm at it also. One other question, my computer uses PC2700 333 DDR SDRAM, can I use PC3200 or does it have to be 2700?
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 8:20:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RRTX:
I'm looking on Newegg right now at the 6600GT as an upgrade since I just picked up BF2 today and my nvidia integrated gpu ain't gonna cut it. Which one should I get?? There are 16 different ones that fit my specs and I have no clue what the difference between each is lol. I can't even play right now because I don't have enough RAM, I forgot this stupid setup draws the memory for the graphics from the RAM so it doesn't even recognize that I have a 512mb stick. I'm going to go ahead and get another 512mb while I'm at it also. One other question, my computer uses PC2700 333 DDR SDRAM, can I use PC3200 or does it have to be 2700?



Im obviously not the most knowledgeable when it comes to computers but Ill take a crack at it.

For the card, first look at whether its OEM or retail. OEM just comes with the card and the retail comes with all the wires and installation cd just liek youd get at the store. Second make sure you get the right type of slot. If you have an AGP slot, get an AGP card. Same goes for if its PCI or PCIe (though I dont think the 6600gt comes in that). Then it just depends on who made it such as Sapphire or XFX or any of the others.

As for the RAM, I believe it will only run it as fast as the motherboard is capable of. If PC2700 is its limit, no matter what you put in it, it will only run it as though its PC2700. Might want to wait for someone else to confirm that one though.

Good luck with that though. Im still waiting to order my x800 (or possibly PRO or XL). Although I reformatted my computer the other day and reinstalled BF2 and it runs sooo much better without all the crap that was bogging down my memory.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 10:57:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By drewucf:

Originally Posted By RRTX:
I'm looking on Newegg right now at the 6600GT as an upgrade since I just picked up BF2 today and my nvidia integrated gpu ain't gonna cut it. Which one should I get?? There are 16 different ones that fit my specs and I have no clue what the difference between each is lol. I can't even play right now because I don't have enough RAM, I forgot this stupid setup draws the memory for the graphics from the RAM so it doesn't even recognize that I have a 512mb stick. I'm going to go ahead and get another 512mb while I'm at it also. One other question, my computer uses PC2700 333 DDR SDRAM, can I use PC3200 or does it have to be 2700?



Im obviously not the most knowledgeable when it comes to computers but Ill take a crack at it.

For the card, first look at whether its OEM or retail. OEM just comes with the card and the retail comes with all the wires and installation cd just liek youd get at the store. Second make sure you get the right type of slot. If you have an AGP slot, get an AGP card. Same goes for if its PCI or PCIe (though I dont think the 6600gt comes in that). Then it just depends on who made it such as Sapphire or XFX or any of the others.

As for the RAM, I believe it will only run it as fast as the motherboard is capable of. If PC2700 is its limit, no matter what you put in it, it will only run it as though its PC2700. Might want to wait for someone else to confirm that one though.

Good luck with that though. Im still waiting to order my x800 (or possibly PRO or XL). Although I reformatted my computer the other day and reinstalled BF2 and it runs sooo much better without all the crap that was bogging down my memory.



Yep, but to clarify some things -

The 6600gt is made in PCI-Express, but not in PCI. The fastest standard PCI card you will ever find is a radeon 9100, and they only get slower from there. There hasnt been a decent PCI video card to some out in a long time. But yes, make sure you get the right card for the slot you have, be it AGP or PCI-Express.

The ram will only run the speed the motherboard or processor is capbable at running, but that does not mean you should only get the minimum spec ram. PC3200 should be a minimum, regardless if you are running PC2100 or 2700. The price will be pretty much the same, and by putting PC3200 in an older system (or PC3500, PC4000, or PC4400 in a PC3200 system), you will be giving yourself headroom for overclocking, in the case that you might ever want to try that to squeeze a bit more performance out of your system. Its worth it to get the good RAM.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 12:25:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By drewucf:

Originally Posted By RRTX:
I'm looking on Newegg right now at the 6600GT as an upgrade since I just picked up BF2 today and my nvidia integrated gpu ain't gonna cut it. Which one should I get?? There are 16 different ones that fit my specs and I have no clue what the difference between each is lol. I can't even play right now because I don't have enough RAM, I forgot this stupid setup draws the memory for the graphics from the RAM so it doesn't even recognize that I have a 512mb stick. I'm going to go ahead and get another 512mb while I'm at it also. One other question, my computer uses PC2700 333 DDR SDRAM, can I use PC3200 or does it have to be 2700?



Im obviously not the most knowledgeable when it comes to computers but Ill take a crack at it.

For the card, first look at whether its OEM or retail. OEM just comes with the card and the retail comes with all the wires and installation cd just liek youd get at the store. Second make sure you get the right type of slot. If you have an AGP slot, get an AGP card. Same goes for if its PCI or PCIe (though I dont think the 6600gt comes in that). Then it just depends on who made it such as Sapphire or XFX or any of the others.

As for the RAM, I believe it will only run it as fast as the motherboard is capable of. If PC2700 is its limit, no matter what you put in it, it will only run it as though its PC2700. Might want to wait for someone else to confirm that one though.

Good luck with that though. Im still waiting to order my x800 (or possibly PRO or XL). Although I reformatted my computer the other day and reinstalled BF2 and it runs sooo much better without all the crap that was bogging down my memory.



I bought a X800 Pro when it first came out. I am happy with the card. Mines a ATI build. I have had problems with Catalyst 5.7 and 5.8.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 3:38:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2005 3:39:53 AM EDT by BB]

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:
The ram will only run the speed the motherboard or processor is capbable at running, but that does not mean you should only get the minimum spec ram. PC3200 should be a minimum, regardless if you are running PC2100 or 2700. The price will be pretty much the same, and by putting PC3200 in an older system (or PC3500, PC4000, or PC4400 in a PC3200 system), you will be giving yourself headroom for overclocking, in the case that you might ever want to try that to squeeze a bit more performance out of your system. Its worth it to get the good RAM.



Keeping in mind that your mainboard has to be capable of overclocking and/or manual memory timings. Just thought I'd add that :-)
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