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Would a new video card be worth it?

941 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  okay player
Hey guys,

With my plans to acquire an LCD/TV shotdown, I'm looking for other ways to enhance my gaming experiences.

Here's my current setup:
AMD Athlon XP @ 1.8 ghz
512 RAM
Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM IDE (300gb)
Asus Radeon 9600XT
SilverStone SST-ST56F Strider 560W

I'm generally limited to 800x600 with medium detail settings in most games (Halo, Fear, Doom3, NFSMW), Halflife 2 and Far Cry are a little better at 1024x768, though they can get choppy at times.

I've been happy with my video card, save for one thing: the asus drivers don't work very well. One of the reasons I first bought the card was its ability to easily overclock.. however I can only overclock with the asus drivers installed, and where they're installed, Fear is unplayable...huge, blinding flashes of white with the smallest mouse movement.

I'm wondering if a new AGP card will provide a reasonable performance increase for the price, or if the athlon is such a bottleneck that it just won't be worth it. (I looked briefly into a processor upgrade, although it seems CPU's compatible with my motherboard generally aren't for sale anymore...and I think in a year or so it will be time for a massive upgrade anyway.)

Any input here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much
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I think you would notice a nice improvement if you looked into the X1650Pro for about $125.

Or the 7600GT for about $190:

One thing I would think about before buying: If you are going to do a larger scale upgrade, you will probably end up with a PCIe board, so remember that you will have to get a new video card as well
I recently upgraded from an AGP Radeon 9800 to an X1300 which meant I could increase games settings from medium to high without the need for overclocking. That was on an Athlon 1500 and 512mb RAM, so you should get similar results.

How much are you thinking of spending? The X1650Pro will give better performance, but the X1300 is only $73 and might be good enough until your next upgrade.
Thanks for the quick replies, guys.

I'd like to keep it around $150 canadian.

Those links were good to check out the cards, but unfortunately until Newegg starts shipping to Canada I'm going to have to shop somewhere else...

I see there's a BFG 7600GS at canadacomputers for 155 after rebate.

512 megs of RAM, but ddr2...

I'm kind of leaning away from ATI cards at this point....not thrilled with their driver support (both from asus and ati)

But I'm beginning to think I'd be better off just being patient and doing the whole big upgrade all at once. As TheMatt mentioned, not being able to transfer the AGP card into the new system isn't exactly the pinnacle of value. And I'm a bit of a cheapskate, so the more I think about this, the more I think I should wait. Maybe it's finally time to pick up a new case as that's at least something I could use in an upgrade...

Anyway, thanks for answering my main question about the bottleneck effect... I was quite curious about that.

I'll keep thinking about this...
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