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stovepipe
March 8th, 2008, 11:08 AM
Hi,

My 4-yr old PC GPU (ATI Radeon 9800XXL 128mb) has given up the ghost. It's connected via 8x AGP.

What options do I have to replace/upgrade the GPU? I think the PSU is only 350w, I run 2 HDDs already.

Is there anything suitable out there still or am I simply stuffed?

I really don't want to a new Vista PC. Was hoping to stretch current PC and miss vista completely. Am reasonably happy with Trainz performance on this PC.

Any help much appreciated,

SP

Specs:
Pentium P4 3.0GHz
2gb RAM
Windows XP SP2
2x HDD

john259
March 8th, 2008, 12:09 PM
SP,

AGP is going to be tricky but they are still available. A 7600GT is quite a reasonable compromise, definitely not state of the art but a fair price and likely to be ok regarding power supply and ventilation requirements.
You might like to try searching these UK online retailers:
http://www.dabs.com
http://www.ebuyer.com
http://www.maplin.co.uk
http://www.play.com


HTH, John

johnwhelan
March 8th, 2008, 02:53 PM
Hi,

My 4-yr old PC GPU (ATI Radeon 9800XXL 128mb) has given up the ghost. It's connected via 8x AGP.

What options do I have to replace/upgrade the GPU? I think the PSU is only 350w, I run 2 HDDs already.

Is there anything suitable out there still or am I simply stuffed?

I really don't want to a new Vista PC. Was hoping to stretch current PC and miss vista completely. Am reasonably happy with Trainz performance on this PC.

Any help much appreciated,

SP

Specs:
Pentium P4 3.0GHz
2gb RAM
Windows XP SP2
2x HDD

ebuyer have a 1650 512 Mb of memory video card AGP, for 90 quid. ATI have a 3850 in AGP if you can find it, its very new. I'd stick to ATI if possible saves problems with the drivers. Power supplies tend to be a standard size so switching one isn't that difficult. The difficulty is more that brand X variety made have 350 on the outside but may not deliver the same watts on the lines you need on the inside as a new Antec earthwatts etc. I'd probably suggest 450-500 watts.



"The graphics card does not consume more than 75 Watts at peak during 3D gaming.I suggest you need a 350 Watt PSU minimum but better is always recommended especially if you keep Crossfire in mind as a future upgrade. When you buy a new PSU please look at the packaging and check amps on the 12 volts rail. 18 Amps should be fine for a mid-range PC."



The 9800 drew a fair bit of power the newer cards are more powerful but need less power especially the 3850 so something like a 256 mb 1650 would probably be OK.

www.tomshardware.com will show you comparisons between your 9800 video card and others for performance.

Cheerio John

stovepipe
March 9th, 2008, 05:36 AM
Thanks Guys.

I'm a novice in this area, I find the specs confusing to say the least. I have done a fair bit of reading since posting, and I'm going to stick to ATI as suggested.

I liked the look of the ATI 1650 256mb on one the sites mentioned by john259. Looking through Wikipedia (!) the GB/s of this card seem to be twice what I've got, 10 versus 20-ish. Does that mean I could expect a doubling in frame rates? Or am I missing something?

Also does the closer fabrication distance (90nm versus 150nm) account for lower power consumption?

Cheers
SP

john259
March 9th, 2008, 06:08 AM
Trying the understand the video board specs can be very frustrating as there are so many factors listed. In addition ATI and nVidia use different terminology and different ways of stating things.

An independent source such as Tom's Hardware which John Whelan linked to is probably the best method of comparison, then look up the jargon on Wikipedia as necessary and if you've like me get even more confused! Tom's usually have a fairly up-to-date video board comparison article on their site.

The main factors, as I see it, are:
Is it AGP or PCI-E?
How powerful is the graphics processor?
How much video ram has the board got?
Power supply requirements ok?
Ventilation requirements ok?
Reputation of the manufacturer (not sure if that really makes any difference, they're all highly unreliable as they all run very hot)
The cost.

As far as I've been able to figure out here's the list of ATI suffixes from least powerful to most powerful: SE, LE, GT, RX, (no suffix), GTO, PRO, XL, XT, XT PE, XTX

For nVidia the suffixes are SE, LE, (no suffix), GS, GT, GTO, GTS, GTX, GX2, Ultra

I might not have everything precisely in the right order in both lists but AFAIK they are both roughly correct.

BTW I had no problems at all switching from ATI to nVidia but that's just my experience.

John

fran1
March 9th, 2008, 06:13 AM
my system is similar to yours, i upgraded to a x1950 pro 512mb. minimum power 450 watt or for xfire 550 watt PCI only. if you need to get a PSU get one that will cope for when you eventually have to upgrade computer. Note that a x1950pro needs 2 power pins supplying power.
if your desperate I've got an ATI 9250 256 mb with driver disc you can have.

stovepipe
March 9th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Right........done some more investigations...

Had the case open - I've got a FSP PSU with 19.5 Amps on the +12v rail, with 3.3v+5v+12v=320W Max, and 3.3+5v=180W Max. I reckon that's about 230W available for everything on +12v. From what I read, FSP seem to make a decent PSU, so reliable figures too?

Not sure where that quote come from JohnW, but seems PSU is potentially ok? Or is the 75W 18A just for the GPU?

ATI are saying 400W required for HD 2600 PRO/XT (as recommended by Tom's H), but frustratingly nothing on what amps are drawn. Not sure I need DirectX10 any time soon, and maybe potentially some driver issues with these cards?

So maybe GeForce 7600 series would do the job - I can't find anything on power requirements on Nvidia site though.

Would rather avoid expense/hassle of a new PSU, as I said earlier quite happy with the performance I had. Not really looking for a massive upgrade, just a decent-ish machine for Trainz. It'll get turned into solely a music server sometime after Vista dies. Gives me 18mths or so to rip all my CDs.....assuming TRS doesn't eat all my time first.....;)

Any further ideas?

Thanks for replies so far,

SP

johnwhelan
March 9th, 2008, 07:54 PM
Right........done some more investigations...

Had the case open - I've got a FSP PSU with 19.5 Amps on the +12v rail, with 3.3v+5v+12v=320W Max, and 3.3+5v=180W Max. I reckon that's about 230W available for everything on +12v. From what I read, FSP seem to make a decent PSU, so reliable figures too?

Not sure where that quote come from JohnW, but seems PSU is potentially ok? Or is the 75W 18A just for the GPU?

ATI are saying 400W required for HD 2600 PRO/XT (as recommended by Tom's H), but frustratingly nothing on what amps are drawn. Not sure I need DirectX10 any time soon, and maybe potentially some driver issues with these cards?

So maybe GeForce 7600 series would do the job - I can't find anything on power requirements on Nvidia site though.

Would rather avoid expense/hassle of a new PSU, as I said earlier quite happy with the performance I had. Not really looking for a massive upgrade, just a decent-ish machine for Trainz. It'll get turned into solely a music server sometime after Vista dies. Gives me 18mths or so to rip all my CDs.....assuming TRS doesn't eat all my time first.....;)

Any further ideas?

Thanks for replies so far,

SP

Personally I think 320 watts is a bit light to do anything much with. I'd go with the high end ATI card and a new power supply however there are 9800 cards available on ebay.co.uk and that might be your simplest option.
The first option should keep the machine suitable for Trainz for roughly two years comfortably. 75 watts was just for the graphics card.

Avoid switching to nVidia unless you feel like reloading the operating system from scratch or are very confident you can remove all traces of the old ATI drivers.

Cheerio John

fran1
March 10th, 2008, 07:24 AM
reading off the X1950 pro 512mb box, 30 amps on 12 volt rail recommended on a 450 watt or greater PSU. going off that might give you something to compare.

stovepipe
June 14th, 2008, 07:16 AM
Just to follow up on what I went for, in case it is any use to others......

Sapphire HD2600 PRO 512mb 8x AGP
450W PSU

total cost about 85.

Using FRAPS, I get 12-20fps on Hawes Jct,with everything turned up. turning down a little bit I get 15-35fps.

On something like Angelah's Cranby Town, a compact highly detailed layout, I get around 8-20 fps with the draw distance sliders about 40%, with a little bit good weather fog.

Maybe a bit more to come with the latest drivers, but I can only get the ones that came with the Graphic's card to work at the moment. Maybe I'm not un-installing the old ones properly.

PSU change-over was a doddle. In fact, so much so, that I might have a crack at building my next machine. Maplin were pretty helpful along the way.

So overall, I'm happy for my outlay, and I got up and running quickly. I know I could have got a better card, but funds were short at the time. Whether it'll run TC3 Ok, I will just have to wait and see.

SP

collinsl
June 14th, 2008, 11:47 AM
Just to follow up on what I went for, in case it is any use to others......

Sapphire HD2600 PRO 512mb 8x AGP
450W PSU

total cost about 85.

Using FRAPS, I get 12-20fps on Hawes Jct,with everything turned up. turning down a little bit I get 15-35fps.

On something like Angelah's Cranby Town, a compact highly detailed layout, I get around 8-20 fps with the draw distance sliders about 40%, with a little bit good weather fog.

Maybe a bit more to come with the latest drivers, but I can only get the ones that came with the Graphic's card to work at the moment. Maybe I'm not un-installing the old ones properly.

PSU change-over was a doddle. In fact, so much so, that I might have a crack at building my next machine. Maplin were pretty helpful along the way.

So overall, I'm happy for my outlay, and I got up and running quickly. I know I could have got a better card, but funds were short at the time. Whether it'll run TC3 Ok, I will just have to wait and see.

SP

If you do decide to bould your own PC, then I would recommend ebuyer or misco.co.uk. Maplin are a high street store, and as such they may not have as good a price:product ratio as some online companies. Not that I'm saying Maplin are bad, or anything...