View Full Version : Upgrading video card, need opinions

06-12-03, 02:38 PM
Well, I'm going to be upgrading my video card within the next week or two, and I'd like a few opinions before I go and spend the money.

Here's my current setup:
Abit VP6
Dual P3 1.1GHZ
2GB cas2 SDRAM @ 150
2 Matrox 40gig 7200 rpm 8mb in striped raid
Audigy1 Gamer
Standard Geforce3
Planar PX171M LCD @ 1280x1024

I'm able to play most current to next gen games (star wars galaxies) at max screen res with low to medium options for graphical eye candy. For a few games (planetside) I've had to drop down to 1024x768 and lowest options for eye candy. Granted the framerate isn't always smooth sailing, but I get by.

What I'd like is to be able to run these games at 1280x1024 with medium to high eyecandy and 4x AA and AF. Of course, I'm not sure how much my processor speed is going to hold back some of the beefier cards. Will the 5900Ultra or 9800Pro hold up well in my system, or am I better of snagging a 5600 or 9700 instead?

Thanks in advance,


06-12-03, 03:08 PM
Since you have a LCD i will recomend that you buy a card that has enough muscle to play games at 1280x1024.

You options you should consider are

Radeon 9700Pro - 300$
Radeon 9800Pro 128MB - 399$
Geforce FX 5900 128MB - 399$

There is no need for you to have a 256mb card at all.

All of them will be great for you.

06-12-03, 03:16 PM
The dual P3 1.1GHz processors just don't have the muscle to power any of them cards. More so if you play any games as games don't support muliple processors. Are you looking for more of a professional approch?

06-12-03, 04:01 PM
Welcome to the nvnews forums, curtis!

Re: your question: Judging by the style and specs of your current setup, it sounds to me like you don't have much trouble putting high quality components in your rig... To get what you're asking for, you will definitely need a card that is pretty much *top of the line* at this moment, and the 5900U, 9700Pro, and 9800Pro will pretty much fit what you need...

Question: Is your box gonna stay the same for a while, or are you upgrading that sometime as well? I ask because to get what you want out of these newest games, you're REALLY makin them 1.1's chug a little bit much... is there any way to get 1.4 out of them (seems to really help the tualatin)? Or are they 733's already OC'ed? ...Is this setup kinda like a workstation cuz IT IS a workstation?

... that is pretty dang p0werful tho, still... I'll admit I am kinda drooling over your setup...


06-12-03, 04:06 PM
Yeah, one thing is, are they Tutalies-S the ones with 512k cach?

My friend has a p3 tutali-s dualie and they are like 1.2ghz and it runs circles around my p4 in smp app's such as AutoCad.

The Baron
06-12-03, 04:07 PM
Hm. Radeon 9800 non-Pro would work, I think, and not cost too much coin. Then again, I haven't seen any reviews of them yet (just saw a ticket for one at Best Buy, was not in stock), so I don't know how it compares to a 9700 Pro.

You desperately need to upgrade your proc. SMP on a gaming rig is iffy at best in terms of any sort of speed boost. Basically, it's like you have a 1.1 Tually.

06-12-03, 05:08 PM
Well lets see if I can get these all answered...

Clarification on specs:
Processors are 1ghz (133mhz bus) w/ 256k cache, intel p/n RB80526PZ001256

When I first built this pc, it was a gaming box that I could do some work on at home. I never expected it to last this long, but I've been so happy with its performance and stability that I've been putting off making a new system. In a year or so, I'll work up to a new system, but until then this is it. I do a lot of non gaming on it, and the dual processors help a lot for running server software and testing apps at home. In the future it'll make a happy little server I'm sure.

Over the years its gotten minor hard drive, sound, and memory upgrades. I may upgrade the processors to dual 1.3-1.4ghz at some point in the next few months, we'll see how the cash flow pans out. And yes, I could prolly push the current chips a bit higher, but I'd rather have stability over speed, and at the current overclocking setup I can leave it on all day, every day, for months.. no reboots, no crashes, no problems.

Oddly enough, two of the games I end up playing the most (NWN and SWG) both support multiprocessors quite well. Heck, SWG has 4 threads of execution, and one dev has it running on a quad box of some sort.

Currently I view my choices as either the 5900 128 meg, or 9800 128 meg. I really love nvidia's drivers and I'd love to snag a 5900, but I'm hesitant every time I see the price. I really need to do this upgrade before the end of the month however, so if the 5900 doesn't start showing up for sale soon it'll be a moot point.

06-12-03, 05:23 PM
SWG is multithreaded?


how is the game? makes me want to build another SMP system, i usto have a athlonmp till it burnt out.

im gonna look into 2x xeons with HT enabled, ill show those 4 threads a thing or 2 :P get it haha.

06-12-03, 06:27 PM
On a side note, does anyone have any past experiences using a FC-PGA2 to FC-PGA adapter for the tulatin core p3s?