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CaptNKILL
03-22-05, 01:16 PM
Ok here goes...

Im actually considering going PCI-E :eek:

I was pretty hardcore about staying with AGP just because I didnt want to have to buy another video card of the same speed\chipset but after some looking around on Ebay, I realized that if I say the right things in an auction, I can probably sell my current card for $350 (or more) which is about $30 more than I originally payed for it in June. PCI-E 6800GTs seem to be dropping in price now so itd cost me maybe another $25 on top of that to get an SLI-capable card.

So the big question is, do you guys think its worth it?

*I know im getting a 3000+ 90nm to overclock (hoping for 2.5\2.6).
*I wont settle for a video card slower than my current one.
*I want a good motherboard with speed, features and stability.

That last one is where the Nforce 3 chipset seems to choak, especially now that they are getting harder and harder to find. So thats what made me consider an NForce 4.

Its really difficult to decide though. Im not sure what the major benefits are going from an Nforce 3 Ultra to a Nforce 4 Ultra or SLI. I know SLI is a major MAJOR plus, so Im keeping that in mind for the future (TES4, STALKER, BF2... you know what I mean ;)), but what do I get with PCI-E Nforce 4 SLI system that I dont get with an AGP Nforce 3 Ultra system? And is it worth the hassle (and extra money) of selling my card, buying a new one and buying a more expensive board?

I could look up specs and things, but I know a lot of people here have made the switch from NF3 to NF4 and I'd like to know what you guys noticed.

Thanks for any input. :afro2:

BTW, the thought of getting a second 6800 GT for ~$250 in a few months is really making me lean toward an SLI system. I still want input though ;)

EDIT: Also, Id like to add that I dont have a job yet but I'll be working in a few weeks as a computer tech. Probably bringing home roughly $330 every 2 weeks... not much, I know, but thats the budget Im working with, so I'll have money to play, but I dont want to spend a whole crap load of money if I dont have to. That said, Im also hoping to get a set of Gigaworks S700 speakers some time... thats another $300 :o

Gator
03-22-05, 01:37 PM
Keep the 6800GT AGP, there is little to no difference between the AGP and PCIE performance when comparing the same chipset/specs. Furthermore if you only make $165 a week I'm not sure how you intend to purchase a good NF4 SLI board, a 2nd PCIE card, new speakers, and anything else you were considering.

Just get a cheap S939 board and call it a day for now. I say cheap because that way when you are ready for a new video card that's PCIE you won't feel bad getting rid of your motherboard for it.

zoomy942
03-22-05, 01:43 PM
the only real difference between an nforce4 and an nforce 3 is the SATAII and the PCIX. if you arent going SLI (its too expensive) and you dont need SATA II, then get the nforce3. besides, you are going to see such a large performance increase going to athlon64 that pcie wouldnt be a big deal. trust me, keep you trusty 6800AGP and get an nforce3. i upgrade my machine like every month and i still havent gone nforce4. mainly cause my nforce3 is the same, and i dont feel like messing with a new video card yet. my 6800gt still has tons of life in her.

CaptNKILL
03-22-05, 02:01 PM
Keep the 6800GT AGP, there is little to no difference between the AGP and PCIE performance when comparing the same chipset/specs. Furthermore if you only make $165 a week I'm not sure how you intend to purchase a good NF4 SLI board, a 2nd PCIE card, new speakers, and anything else you were considering.


Well I dont have any bills, I live at home, and I have money in the bank. Ive been living fine with no income at all :p

But it is sounding pretty good to just go with an Nforce 3 and be done with it. The board I was looking at isnt in stock at newegg any more though (Gigabyte K8NS Ultra or something like that... the one with Dual LAN and a low price tag). I cant believe they are dropping production on these things so quickly, I guess I should probably just buy a board as soon as I see one for a decent price before they go out of stock.

zoomy942
03-22-05, 02:07 PM
i didnt like the gigabyte cause it skewed the nvidia idea of nforce. they put the gig nic on the PCI bus and the 10/100 not on the pci bus. that takes away from the advantage of the nforce chipset.

Gator
03-22-05, 02:16 PM
Ok, didn't realize you lived at home. Anyways you donot want the Gigabyte board, I built two systems with that board and I was not overly impressed. And like Zoomy said they detracted from the Nforce ideals. Finally I should make mention that Gigabyte's warranty is absolutely awful, my friend's board died for no good reason, and both boards had to have the CPU HSF hardwired or they wouldn't spin properly.

I hear great things about the Epox Nforce3 Ultra boards:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-123-230&depa=0
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-123-222&depa=0

And I hear this Asus board is good, but I hate VIA chipsets. It's up to you if you're a VIA hater or not:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-131-510&depa=0

CaptNKILL
03-22-05, 02:20 PM
i didnt like the gigabyte cause it skewed the nvidia idea of nforce. they put the gig nic on the PCI bus and the 10/100 not on the pci bus. that takes away from the advantage of the nforce chipset.
Yeah I've heard about this.

I just noticed the EPoX EP-9NDA3J is only $88 at newegg. I guess I dont really need Dual-Lan, it just sounded like a cool thing to have. I dont need all the extra SATA (or any yet... I have an IDE drive) or Firewire, so maybe I should just go with this one.

Its the cheapest NF3 Ultra board I have seen and the reviews are good at newegg, even for overclocking.

I could get that board and a retail boxed 3000+ for $242 shipped. Thats not bad at all, and itd be pretty much hassle free. Id lose surround sound until I got a new speaker system, but I think I can live with that.

Also, what should I do about the CPU cooling? I really dont want to buy a $50 heatsink just to overclock another 100Mhz. How will the retail sink hold up, and if it isnt any good, what sink should I get?

zoomy942
03-22-05, 02:25 PM
that board is a good one. i have it and i love it. keep in mind, that if you need extra SATA in the future... you can just add a PCI SATA. i know its not great, but most SATA plugs outside the nvidia ones are on the pci bus anyway, so this is the same thing. yeah, that dual nic is what got me too, but once i saw that they didnt follow the nvidia ideas, out she went.

firewire is okay, but its overrated. USB 2.0 is just as fast

JoKeRr
03-22-05, 02:48 PM
no brainer...

Gator
03-22-05, 02:52 PM
no brainer...

Eh??? :confused: :confused: :confused: So in your opinion he should purchase... what... ?

$n][pErMan
03-22-05, 03:03 PM
Keep the AGP man. With a 64bit AMD system... that AGP will have a long life ahead of it ;)

SH64
03-22-05, 03:10 PM
Get a 6800GT PCI-E & nForce 4 SLi . your are going to move to PCI-E sooner or later .. so do it now & save yourself the trouble .
as for the SLi .. you'd never know , the next gen video cards might be SLI complaint as well so you will be ready for it .

HighTest
03-22-05, 03:20 PM
I differ only in terms of upgradeability. Sure the nVIDIA 6800 and ATI X850 chipsets are currently available in both PCIe and AGP flavors.

The point is, and entire speculation at that, what will be happening down the road? We see both nVIDIA and ATI releasing multi-GPU capable setups that allow a consumer to purchase a single card now and then add a second one latter for improved performance.

Sure 6800 users may question the benefit of SLI now, but what about in another 6 months? I see that if you need to really stretch your dollars, you want to get a slightly more expensive setup, so as to enjoy it for a longer period of time and possibly have the bases covered for future hardware.

The problem with nForce3 and other AGP boards is that you also miss out on PCIe x1 expansion cards. While not a factor yet, and it's support dependant on gaming industry, there is already prototype PPU cards that will be eventually released to hardware accelerate the physics calculations for games that may be a desired item. While it's possible that PCI version may be released, you still have to deal with the 133Mbs through put of the PCI spec, just won't compare to the 2.5Gbs PCIe through put.

If you purchase one 6800 GT PCIe now, you can add another 6800 GT later, especially when the pricing drops in the future. The likelyhood that the next generation cards are "twice" the power of a single 6800 GT is not really likely, more like a 60% improvement or so. SLI can give you that same level of boost and using last years cards save you money (last years as in respect to the yet unreleased 6800 replacement).

Dump that 6800 AGP while it's still worth more than $300, because by the time you wish you had you'll get less than $150 even less.

We are just on the cusp of what PCIe will be providing for expansion, so to limit yourself to no PCIe support is not a good plan in my opinion. Granted what you upgrade to won't be much faster, at the moment, than the AGP setup you could purchase but the potential to add in more power is there where it's not in AGP (without a whole new GPU card, if released in AGP format next year).

HighTest
03-22-05, 03:35 PM
Or maybe go with this one: http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=13-138-249&depa=1

nForce4 chipset, AGP and PCIe support. No SLI features, but you are future proofed with PCIe at least.

Gator
03-22-05, 03:38 PM
Or maybe go with this one: http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=13-138-249&depa=1

nForce4 chipset, AGP and PCIe support. No SLI features, but you are future proofed with PCIe at least.

That's a great idea except that it's made by Biostar :(

I really wish some bigger names like Asus or MSI would make a S939 NF4 AGP & PCIE board that we could all recommend. Biostar has always been an econo-based. :(

CaptNKILL
03-22-05, 03:46 PM
I differ only in terms of upgradeability. Sure the nVIDIA 6800 and ATI X850 chipsets are currently available in both PCIe and AGP flavors.

The point is, and entire speculation at that, what will be happening down the road? We see both nVIDIA and ATI releasing multi-GPU capable setups that allow a consumer to purchase a single card now and then add a second one latter for improved performance.

Sure 6800 users may question the benefit of SLI now, but what about in another 6 months? I see that if you need to really stretch your dollars, you want to get a slightly more expensive setup, so as to enjoy it for a longer period of time and possibly have the bases covered for future hardware.

The problem with nForce3 and other AGP boards is that you also miss out on PCIe x1 expansion cards. While not a factor yet, and it's support dependant on gaming industry, there is already prototype PPU cards that will be eventually released to hardware accelerate the physics calculations for games that may be a desired item. While it's possible that PCI version may be released, you still have to deal with the 133Mbs through put of the PCI spec, just won't compare to the 2.5Gbs PCIe through put.

If you purchase one 6800 GT PCIe now, you can add another 6800 GT later, especially when the pricing drops in the future. The likelyhood that the next generation cards are "twice" the power of a single 6800 GT is not really likely, more like a 60% improvement or so. SLI can give you that same level of boost and using last years cards save you money (last years as in respect to the yet unreleased 6800 replacement).

Dump that 6800 AGP while it's still worth more than $300, because by the time you wish you had you'll get less than $150 even less.

We are just on the cusp of what PCIe will be providing for expansion, so to limit yourself to no PCIe support is not a good plan in my opinion. Granted what you upgrade to won't be much faster, at the moment, than the AGP setup you could purchase but the potential to add in more power is there where it's not in AGP (without a whole new GPU card, if released in AGP format next year).
Although a bit long winded (;)), this is the only thing that has stopped me from going with an Nforce 3.

Getting Nforce 3 stuff for cheap now is nice, but ill have to pay for a LOT of new stuff all at once later.

The way games are going now, a single 6800GT wont be that great next year (or even late this year). And when I upgrade mine, I'll have to buy a PCI-E motherboard and then find a card (or 2) thats significantly faster to make it worth the upgrade.

BUT, I dont think a 6800 GT AGP will drop as low as $150 that quickly, in fact, it might even level out if they stop producing them. They will probably be worth MORE than PCI-E cards eventually, simply because of supply and demand (lots of good AGP systems will still be around). Still, it is a really tough decision.

SLI will be necessary later, I know it will. But I think PCI-E cards will be selling like bulk candy by this time next year. AGP 6800 cards on the other hand will be sought after to max out older AGP systems. So its likely that if i go with a cheap NF3 now, that by the time I actually need 2 6800 PCI-E cards my AGP will be worth enough to pay off 1 1\2 PCI-E cards of the same speed (just look at how expensive PCI cards are compaired to AGP).

Thats my theory anyways. As much as Id love to be all ready for SLI when the new games come out, I think itl be more cost effective for me to keep my 6800 AGP and sell it later when they arent producing them any more. Plus, there will probably be better SLI motherboards and chipsets by next spring.

Im still keeping an open mind about all this ;)

jAkUp
03-22-05, 04:06 PM
Get the PCIe. You will get futureproof with the PCIe slots, not only that, you can purchase a PPU later on and run it in the 4x PCIe slot, not the slow PCI slot. Getting a PCIe capable board is much more futureproof. Also, SLI support.

Since I work in the industry as sales, I can see that PCIe is catching on, we are selling a suprising amount of PCIe video cards. Next year it will be the more popular card. DDR2 on the other hand... nobody wants it.

HighTest
03-22-05, 04:34 PM
The only thing about your price speculation on the AGP, is the assumption that there won't be a significant dump of AGP product. If on the other hand, ATI and nVIDIA have over manufactured for AGP, and a number of AGP owers dump their cards during a PCIe upgrade, the price won't be stable.

I think it's like the stock market, you make the best guess possible, but it's still a guess. You may be more accurate in the guess and your card will be worth it's current value for a while. Or, I may be right, and you'll see lots of AGP 6800's on ebay and the pricing will be gutted.

You roll them dice and see the results.

Although, either way, waiting for an upgrade may be your best bet for another couple weeks to see what additional PCIe boards come to the market and what their impact might be.

zoomy942
03-22-05, 04:41 PM
i still stand by the 6800gt and nforce3. i agree that pcie is catching on, but remember that there are TONS of agp boards out there. nvidia and ati will, at least for a while, do like the 6600 and use a HSI chip to ensure agp owners can have their products. they will never just stop cold-turkey. come on, we still have relatively modern cards made on PCI. AGP is dying but it fighting with all its might. save a few bucks (for the big upgrade) and get a 3000 and nforce3.

jAkUp
03-22-05, 04:44 PM
Yes but keep in mind nVidia makes motherboards... they make video cards. They could slow production of AGP cards/raiser prices/ faster to get people to purchase nForce 4 motherboards. Intel does it all the time.

Sooner or later you are gonna need a PCIe capable board, why not now? Getting PCIe slots on your board is a good investment, the PPU is a good example.

zoomy942
03-22-05, 04:51 PM
true true. but i am waiting for boards with more pcie slots in them and adin cards that are pcie. right now, i may get an nforce 4 with a pcie slot i can use later but by the time something is out that i could add in there, i will be buying a new setup anyway, that has more than 1 pcie slot.

but thats just me in my cursed world of constanly upgrading :)

CaptNKILL
03-22-05, 05:13 PM
Well as it is right now, Im not going to even consider upgrading to PCI-E unless I get a board that can do SLI in the future. Are there any reasonably priced SLI boards out now that are good quality? It seems like they are all in the $200 range which to me is pretty rediculous for a motherboard.

Id probably have the money to do it, but I dont like spending a lot of money unless its worth it. And the extra $200 id have to spend to go PCI-E (between the motherboard and getting another 6800GT) just doesnt seem to be worth it yet.

If someone can find me a great deal on a good SLI board, and a great deal on a good PCI-E 6800GT, then I'll go that route. Otherwise, i dont know if i can make myself spend that much more money.

jAkUp
03-22-05, 05:29 PM
$124 is the cheapest mobo I can find:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-128-269R&depa=0

CaptNKILL
03-22-05, 05:39 PM
$124 is the cheapest mobo I can find:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-128-269R&depa=0
Eh, I dont think Id want to worry about a refurb on top of all the other things thatd be going on.

I guess Im a bit more concerned about the cost of the video card. I think if I could get a real nice deal on a PCI-E 6800GT that might overclock well (since mine overlocks like a dream considering the price and warranty) PCI-E would look a lot better to me.

Im just having a tough time justifying spending more money when theres no guarantee that there will be any good PCI-E add-in cards in the next year, or that any current boards will function well.

einstein_314
03-22-05, 05:40 PM
$124 is the cheapest mobo I can find:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-128-269R&depa=0

Umm, don't you mean $142?