Views on a graphic card upgrade

  Jonathan314159 21:24 16 Jul 2006

I'm wondering about upgrades, particularly around the graphics. For example, Crucial sell a Radeon X800 GTO 256MB AGP for around £115.

I currently have an Evesham computer bought in late 2002 which has been wonderful. It's a 2.4GHz P4, with 1GB RAM and a 128MB ATI 9700 graphics card (ie a good one at the time I bought this). The motherboard is AGP 4x (its an ASUS P4B533-V).

I'm not planning on changing the computer for, say, 18 months.

The main things that test the limitations of this computer are flight simulators and video editing, My concern is my limitation to 4x AGP ie I could get an all singing all dancing card that in theory can do lots, but it won't on my machine because of the interface.

Any views from someone who knows about this sort of thing. Would an upgrade be a total waste of money or would I see benefits?

  gudgulf 22:03 16 Jul 2006

I have an X800XT with a P4's running at AGP 8x,but in response to a similar question I Benchmarked it at both AGP 8x and 4x.

The results of all the graphics Benchmarks I threw at it (Aquamark3 3DMark 2001,2003,2005 , X3 Reunion Demo and Quake IV) were identical.

I ran them at least three times each to be sure.

Your cpu is more likely to be a bottleneck to performance than running the X800GTO at AGP 4x.

  Jonathan314159 22:13 16 Jul 2006

gudgulf - thanks. Interesting result on the 4x and 8x - I wouldn't have thought that the results would be the same, and I did think I had been missing out a bit all these years just having 4x! Hopefully PCI Express is more impressive.

I think you may well be right on the cpu - the problem I have is that it seems to be very hard to find out the answer to the question as published tests are (naturally) done on the latest hardware - obviously so that the graphics card itself can be tested rather than limitations elsewhere in the system. The problem for people like me is that it is hard to know if it is worth upgrading components.

I did see a difference moving from 512MB to 1GB RAM, but I suspect there aren't really any more worthwhile performance upgrades.

  sean-278262 22:27 16 Jul 2006

To be honest I wouldnt bother with the upgrade as the computer is now heading into a point in time where the money wouldnt be recouped in any way when it comes time to sell. Personally I would consider selling the computer you have and buying or building a new system. Second hand systems are quite often selling over price this time of year and go up a bit as the start of Universities in the UK there is a boom in demand for systems. So maybe it is worth taking out an ad and seeing what you can get.

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