Is my videocard holding me back?

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce' started by rturro, Mar 14, 2003.

  1. rturro

    rturro Guest

    I have the following configuration:

    MB ABIT KT7 RAID
    CPU AMD Athlon 850
    RAM - 768 SDRAM
    HDD - 35 7200 rpm
    Video - Inno3D GeForce 2 GTS 32 MB (runs in AGP 4X mode)

    Although I seem to have a nice configuration (not high-end, but...) recent games such as NOLF 2 or Battlefield 1942 run really slow (about 10-15 fps), not to mention Unreal 2: Awakening.
    Question is: which component holds me back, the videocard (which I suspect is the case), CPU, or motherboard? Or all of them at the same time? In other words, in order to make my machine fast enough to run new generation games (including the above mentioned, or even DOOM 3 et al.), which of the components should I replace? If so, what kind of upgrade would you recommend: if AMD, then what AMD: 1 Ggz, 2Ggz? If Nvidia, what Nvidia: GF 3, GF 4, with 64 MB, 128 MB? In other words, a balance between the power and the price.

    I'd appreciate straight-to-the-point comments or thoughts!
     
  2. Glidefan

    Glidefan Don Booze Staff Member

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    Thimk its the CPU to be honest.
    At some scenes of NOLF2, i got about 20 - 25 FPS on my T-bird (1000Mhz) with a GeForce3.
     
  3. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    Yes, I'd say ur gfx is holding u back abit, a cheap gf3 ti200 or gf4 ti4200 would help alot. Thought, u're cpu is also weak, and of course the sdram is too, but a cheap gfx upgarde, as I said, will help.
     
  4. radosuaf

    radosuaf Maha Guru

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    The GF2 GTS is just about right for CPUs up to 1.2 Ghz, so better invest in a Athlon 1200 if you can find one or something similar...
     

  5. Upke

    Upke Member

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    Sd-sdram will hold you back to. I don't know if it holds my system back though...
     
  6. vasot

    vasot Guest

    768 Sdram will hold him because it is 133??? Do not be silly people...What are you telling to these guy are you crazy??????
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    The sdram will not hold you back....The Gpu and these card is the problem

    You have 768 which is more than enough...(though i have 1Gb Sdram in my system)

    Memory speed in Games does not play any big role it's the quantity that counts...Have you seen in any Game requirements to say that you must use example DDR or Sdram etc???

    The answer is no

    Game requirements are only saying the quantity that you must have in your system and that is the important in games and not the speed of memory as some say....So you not need to change the type of memory as you will not see any Big improvement (not even little improvement i would say in your games)....768 Sdram 133 is very nice So keep that for now....

    You must buy a processor that will be more that 1 Ghz and a Gf3 type of card at least to see improvement..That must be your primary concern
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2003
  7. Emanon75

    Emanon75 Guest

    Yes..

    I am a little crazy :p

    Sdram will affect performance quite a bit.
    Look at it this way, sdram only sends data once per cycle..
    DDR on the other hand, sends data twice per cycle.

    So, in essence it's twice as fast.

    Besides, I can guarantee you this...

    If we had 2 similar setups, one running 1 gig of pc133 sdram, the other running 512mb of pc2100 ddr, all else being equal, the ddr equipped pc will easily outperform the sdram based pc by a fair margin.

    Sometimes, quality is far more important than quantity ;)

    In the case of the original poster, IMO a video card upgrade wouldn't help too much, simply based on the fact that most games out now are far more cpu dependant than gpu dependant.

    For example, an 800 Celeron and R9700pro wouldn't be as fast in games as a faster cpu and slower card. The cpu simply wouldn't have the power to take advantage of the massive bandwidth offered by the card.

    You can see exactly the opposite in a pc with a 3gig P4 and Gf2mx, the mx bottlenecks the cpu in this case..

    I think the best solution for rturro would be to upgrade the mobo to one that supports ddr, and processor to something at least 1gig or so. Sure, then the vid card would bottleneck the proc, but the effects won't be as obvious, and it'll perform better in most cpu limited games.

    Just my 2 1/2 cents.
     
  8. Glidefan

    Glidefan Don Booze Staff Member

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    @ vasot: Re file, believe me, PC133 do make a difference.
    I have them and systems just like mine but with DDR instead are faster.
    But the main thing in this case is the CPU i guess
     
  9. Upke

    Upke Member

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    See, I'm right, I'm always right :cool:

    Best is to buy a new CPU+mobo+memmory and when you got new money, buy a Radeon 9600 or something like that.
     
  10. ApostolicFire

    ApostolicFire Member

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    GPU:
    Gigabyte GTX760
    how much are you willing to spend?

    (prices from pricewatch)

    under $100:
    AMD Athlon 1.4GHz - $73
    i doubt you will notice much difference, but that is the fastest cpu your motherboard can handle

    $240
    AMD Athlon XP 1700+ $50
    Asus A7N8X - $108
    Crucial 512 MB PC2700 $82
    very nice combination, just your video card will be lagging. also the cpu is not able to take advantage of the extra fsb speed.

    $332
    Same as above plus:
    ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 128 $92
    you should be cruising with this set up. i'd hold off until the 9200 came out though

    $452
    Same as above except change the cpu to:
    AMD Barton 2500+ $170
    this will take advantage of the memory's fsb speed and should give you a nice improvement on games. now the limiting thing is the video card. perhaps one of the new GeForce FX cards or the faster ATI cards that are coming out soon.
     

  11. ApostolicFire

    ApostolicFire Member

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    i agree. memory speed makes a big difference. i've seen so many benchmarks comparing each type (pc133, ddr, rambus)
     
  12. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    I still say his gfx is holding him back, on my old tb900, i doubled my performance when i switched from gf2mx to gf4 ti. So changing his gfx will increase perfomance alot more than a cpu change!
     
  13. Emanon75

    Emanon75 Guest


    Sure, it'll increase his performance in benchmarks, like 3dmark2k1...

    But in games he'll still be limited by his processor.
    The fastest video card in the world won't do much good without a fast enough processor to take advantage of it.

    I know...
    Trust me.

    I had a willamette P4 @ 1.8ghz, and a Ti4600.
    Games ran ok, but still there was some slowdown and lag from time to time.

    Then I upgraded to an Athlon 2100+ @ 166fsb @ 2.17ghz.
    The difference was easy to see.
    everything runs faster now then it did before...

    Why?

    Because the P4 didn't have enough power to fully utilize the Gf4.

    Like I've said, an 800 Celeron and R9700pro wouldn't be as fast in games as a faster cpu and slower card. The cpu simply wouldn't have the power to take advantage of the massive bandwidth offered by the card.

    Most games now are cpu limited, not gpu limited. ;)

    I think a new modo and proc would enhance performance in everything, not just games. The same can't be said of a new vid card.
     
  14. pitydafoo

    pitydafoo Ancient Guru

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    I saw a very nice increase in UT2k3 going from a GF2 Pro 64MB to my Ti4200 128MB, even on my old rig, so I wouldn't say it won't help to upgrade the vid card. BTW putting a Radeon 9000 in would be dumb. It barely beats his old card. ATi's aren't that great till you get to the 9500 (although the 8500 was pretty good for its time).
     
  15. John

    John Ancient Guru

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    D'oh, I meant both in games and benches, I seriously doubled my fps in almost all games. My point is that it will be much cheaper for him to get a cheap good gfx instead of upgrading mobo/ram/cpu, and it will give better performance, cos when he get a new cpu etc his gfx will be a huge bottleneck.
    Anyway, it's his choice :rolleyes:
     

  16. radosuaf

    radosuaf Maha Guru

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    Well, I had a Duron 1 Ghz @ 1.2 Ghz and a GF2 Pro. Then I switched to GF3 and didn't see much difference, moreover, my girlfriend's Duron 1300 + GF4 MX440 was actually FASTER!!! (she had the DDR and I had SDR also)
     
  17. ApostolicFire

    ApostolicFire Member

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  18. rturro

    rturro Guest

    Thank you to everybody!

    ApostolicFire, thanks for the break-down, I will definitely take it into consideration when upgrading.

    I think I will change the mobo, CPU, memory and card (after all, upgrade is not something that happens every day :)).

    The thing is my PC has a nice working configuration (as much as Windows can be nice), and I would have never thought of upgrading if there had not been these new-generation games. A friend of mine told me to have a look at Battlefield 1942, and now I have two disks and can't play them because the game requires way too much in terms of calculating power! I guess this is how those guys from M$ (and hardware manufacturers) make us spend more :(

    Best regards,
    rturro
     
  19. ApostolicFire

    ApostolicFire Member

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    Its one of those double-edged swords. We want games that are just stunning, yet it requires us to upgrade. One thing that could be overlooked when upgrading is your power supply. Would it handle the upgrade?
     

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