Should i upgrade graphics card?

  prodway 19:59 19 Nov 05
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Hi,Im thinking of upgrading my graphics card which is a ati radeon 9600 pro Atlantis.Id spend up to £150 but would i be wise in doing this?The card is about 2 years old and i know how fast things move with computers so would a new card make a significant diffence in my games?Should i go for geforce or ati again?What type?Any advice would be great as theres that many cards around these days.
Cheers Paul.

  polish 21:55 19 Nov 05

if your current card is doing what you want why spend any money at the moment when it doesnt do what you require that is the time to change.
i have a geforce 5700 and plays games very well on decent settings call od duty half life etc

  Starfox 22:34 19 Nov 05

Agree with polish,if your current card is capable of doing what you require of it save your money,it will be better spent on upgrading to a more powerful pc at a later date,especially as graphics cards are going to be pci-express in the future.

  Cybermaxx 11:53 20 Nov 05

AGP is dying, being rapidly replaced by PCI Express. It doesn't look as if there are going to be AGP versions of the latest X1800/7800 cards. It might be worth waiting until the best AGP cards available (X850/6800 ranges) are at their cheapest, and then buying one.

Alternatively, there are loads of cards out now that outperform the 9600 Pro, from the cheapo X700 upwards. I have a 9600XT, and there are certain games out that I would like to play, but I won't buy because I know they aren't going to run very well (stand up Quake 4, F.E.A.R. and Doom 3 (which has been out for ageas already!). I dunno, it's your cash! I'm in the same boat......

  Mr Beeline 17:11 21 Nov 05

Cybermaxx

Hi... the only flaw in your suggestion about waiting for existing cards to drop in price, is that this is unlikely to happen. At least in terms of ATI X800/850 AGP cards at least. As no one is any longer manufacturing these, the only sites with any stock left, have bumped the price up (in some cases by a ridiculous amount). In fact, just you try and find a site selling a medium/high powered ATI AGP card!

There is some hope that the new ATI X1600 may "eventually" be produced in AGP flavour. But don't hold your breath.

prodway

It also depends on what the rest of your system is like. IE. no point in fitting a high power graphics card is you only have a P4 2.5 processor etc. As the latest cards tend to require processors with a fair bit of poke to get the best out of em.

One possible solution might be to consider buying secondhand. A decent 9800pro (and this can cope with FEAR and DOOM3, as this is what I had before recently upgrading to an X800pro) is available secondhand for around £50.

Good luck...

  Totally-braindead 17:57 21 Nov 05

If your card does all that you ask at the moment then just stick with it as the others have said, if you do need a bit more power then the 9800 Pro as suggested would probably do you until you get a new PC with PCI Express, I'm in the same boat too I've only AGP. PCA printed a letter from me a few months ago when I complained about their charts only having one AGP card in it and they said they would do an AGP roundup of available cards for all of us that don't have PCI Express. I'm still waiting for this article and the charts all have PCI Express cards now. No use to me I'm afraid.

  Cybermaxx 18:17 21 Nov 05

Mr Beeline

I wasn't even aware that they'd stopped making AGP X800/X850s! Those sneaky sons of *******! Thanks for the info. I had noticed that PCI high end cards hhave become a lot cheaper than their AGP counterparts, but hadn't realised the cause.

I'm not planning on changing motherboards, though, so my original plan still stands!


Totally Braindead

Tom's Hardware site did a round-up of most of the available AGP cards this summer. One or two missing, but still worth a browse through the benchmarks.

click here

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