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Old 10-23-2004, 07:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Geforce Ti4200 upgrade

My friend has a GeForce Ti4200 (128mb). He want's to upgrade, but like many of us he doesn't want to break the bank either. I recommended either a Radeon 9800 Pro (example:, or a 9800 XT. Either that or wait for the 6800's or X800 XT's to drop in price...

Anyway, 3 questions:-

1) In the 9800 series, what is the difference between the Pro and the XT? I also notice there is the 'Ultimate' version, again what is this?

2) His MoBo is a Gigabyte GA-7DXE, and only features AGP 4x bandwidth. So, if he were to go out and buy a top-of-the-range AGP 8x card, would it be crippled necessarily?

3) Silly question, but what EXACTLY does more virtual RAM on a graphics card do? So it's faster than system memory, but at the present what advantage does a 256mb card have over a 128mb card? Would I be right in saying that we're entiering an era when games will take advantage of more virtual RAM (Doom 3, Half-Life 2, Quake 4, Unreal 3)?...

EDIT: The rest of his vital specs are: AMD Athlon XP 2000+ @1.67 ghz, 1gb of DDR, 300w PSU.


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Old 10-23-2004, 07:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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#1 dunno
#2 yeah the performance would be a bit less
#3 not sure

lastly he might want to check up on a new psu becuase those cards might need a little more than that.

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Old 10-23-2004, 07:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1: Everytime a new card is released they have 1 million variations of the same thing, basically the XT is a little more powerful than the PRO and the Ultimate is a little more powerful than the XT in that case, but ultimately it's not worth the price difference in the little performance increase you'd get buy spending another however much to get the XT or even 'Ultimate edition'

2: Yes the performance would be basically...half of what it should be in terms of the information from the CPU to the AGP, that bus line would be halved compared to an 8x so upgrading the mobo might also be something to consider.

3. the games like Doom3 are going to be taking advantage of 512mb of VRAM. That's what the Ultra settings are intended for is a user with a 512mb card so yes in the future especially these will really be taxed.

Also yeah you might want to get a 420w PSU instead of 300w
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Old 10-23-2004, 10:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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1. Nubius is right.

2. The performance difference is only about .1 of a frame and thats only in a few applications. contrary to what would pass as logic, the extra bandwidth of 8x doesn't give it much more performance, there was an article written at tomshardware about it, i can't find it at the moment, but i can remember - i was shocked as well.

3. Nubius is probably right, but i wouldn't have a clue anyway
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Old 10-23-2004, 10:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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1) Agreed with Nubius

2) Agreed with Raekwon

3) More RAM gives you better performance, that's no doubt. A video card , w/ 128MB running Doom 3 will not get the superior performance of a video card w/ 256MB. It has been said that in order to run Doom 3 Ultra Quality you would need 512 video RAM, but that's a different story. Bottom line is more RAM equals better performance.
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Old 10-24-2004, 04:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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yup, that vram is loading the images drawn. In Ultra settings on doom each page is 512mb or something along those lines. Hence why it needs that much space. Otherwise you'd see a little bit of 'image tear'
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Old 10-24-2004, 05:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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it is not worth going for the 9800 XT against the pro, because there is not much difference in performance; if you get a 9800 Pro with the R360 core, it is possible to softmod them to an XT, and not have spent the extra money

the difference between AGP 4x and AGP 8x is not big..... when using the early AGP 8x cards
those cards were basically the same as their AGP 4x brothers, which couldn't even use the full AGP 4x bandwith
although with the newer cards like the 9800 or even the X800's or 6800's they will be severely restricted if put in an AGP 4x slot, because they use more bandwith than AGP4x has to offer

the advantage of having a video card with more RAM, well what is the viedo RAM used for?
it's used for storing all the images, textures and all that kind of stuff. video cards have their own RAM because if they were to use the system's RAM, it wouldn't load the graphics as fast, and the system would be slower because more of the system RAM would be used
having more video RAM means you can store more graphics, textures and what not in your video card for higher end games, like Doom 3
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah you can actually softmod the 9800SE to PRO speeds if you're lucky enough to have one that simply had 4 pipelines disabled and not have 4 flawed pipelines.
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Old 10-24-2004, 11:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, that clears things up

P.S- As it happens I run Doom 3 on Ultra quality anyway, runs pretty well
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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1. the cards go from steps. basically each one has something new to it w/ higher clock speeds. Also they might have the latest drivers included and anything new the company has to offer.
Like the XT has a diff. chip than say the 9800 AIW or PRO. Hince the mention of an R360 chip. Plus bandwidth is also a diff. too.
2. It is not merely dropped by half performance but it IS severly crippled on the latest cards I.E. 9800XT to the X800 latest. Its like putting a 4x card on a 2x slot. Also some of the little features might not be enabled like fast writes, higher AGP aparature(?) and so on. Finally a slower mobo w/ a 4x slot cant handle an OC'd card as good as a new mobo w/ an 8x slot. Like you wouldnt be able to OC my 6800GT to ultra speeds on a 4x slot.
3. Well apokalipse put what i was gonna say but to add on to that it dosent matter if you have a 256 card or 512 card on doom3. I mean it does but your video card and setup should run perfectly fine on doom3. Plus the technology is advancing and everything is gonna get bigger like 256 cards to 512 cards and 1 cpu to 2 cpu's and so on. Its just gonna get bigger and faster as the years go on. Its natural look at the history on computer hardware.
Oh and i would look into an antec psu(420) and a new mobo.

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