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***The AGP & PCI-E Graphics Card Buyers Guide***

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by melbourne720, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. gt_junkie

    Underboss

    Joined: Mar 20, 2006

    Posts: 8,090

    Location: The Lakes

    Great stuff Melbourne! Price of the 1950pro's probably has something to do with the SFF market and the fact that there performance/power usage proportion is so excellent. If i had a shuttle it'd be the card for me... until 8600 or ATi's answer to it comes out! ;)

    Again, great job! This really should be stickyfied dons!

    Star rating you now Melbourne! :D

    gt
     
  2. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,945

    Location: West Bridgford

    Cheers gt_junkie, a bit late of me but I like the new sig :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2007
  3. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Sep 27, 2004

    Posts: 25,832

    Location: Glasgow

    It all looks pretty good at the moment, no idea how I missed it the first time round. I take it you haven't included all the variations on the AGP cards to save on space and lessen confusion? Just because I can think of quite a few more although placing some of them might be a bit difficult. Also in the PCI-E section it might be helpful to place an X1650 card or two in there just to possibly forestall people asking about how it compares since you have mentioned a few non-DX10 cards anyway. :)
     
  4. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,945

    Location: West Bridgford

    Thanks semi-pro! :)

    I was mainly limiting it to the cards I would recommend people buying, rather than all AGP and PCI-E cards. Frankly there are other lists on other forums which list all cards, so I wanted to limit it the best cards for a particular price point.

    I was thinking I'd be always adding new cards but since the 8800 GTS 320MB, nothing new has come out!

    If anyone thinks there are any cards which are good value for money that I have missed please let me know and I will put them in.
     
  5. gt_junkie

    Underboss

    Joined: Mar 20, 2006

    Posts: 8,090

    Location: The Lakes

    Thanks pal! Incidentally, like the Sopranos theme of yours too... very Bada Bing! ;)

    gt
     
  6. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,945

    Location: West Bridgford

    Thanks. I love the show and *had* to have that font.

    I may use it for my companies next header font! :D
     
  7. Mitch007

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 8, 2004

    Posts: 1,104

    Location: Romsey/Hampshire

    Sticky!

    Yeh its a sticky but only while AGP is in season! Lets hope we see a 8600GT AGP from Gainward or Leadtek....
     
  8. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,945

    Location: West Bridgford

    PCI-E could be the new AGP one day...
     
  9. snowdog

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 27, 2005

    Posts: 13,542

    Location: Netherlands

  10. Tute

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 24, 2004

    Posts: 22,019

    Location: Devon, UK

  11. snowdog

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 27, 2005

    Posts: 13,542

    Location: Netherlands

    it existed 4 days ago, and thats when the op last edited his post.
     
  12. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,945

    Location: West Bridgford

    This is true. The new cards on the AGP list are generally taken/updated from the OCuk website. I'll include this AGP card though. If someone could point me at a review that would be handy...

    Update follows.
     
  13. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,945

    Location: West Bridgford

    Price updates: The x1950 Pro is quite cheap now on PCI-E, only £111. Shame the cheapest 8800 GTS/GTX are out of stock!
     
  14. mishima

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 10, 2006

    Posts: 4,721

    Great stuff keep up the good work Melbourne :) Still pleased with my 320MB 8800 although on some games which have crazy hi detail textures like Oblivion I think I would benefit more from the 640MB, tends to lag a bit at some parts which is gutting. :(

    Still though, nVidia are definately leading in the graphics card market.
     
  15. Marshy

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 5,620

    Location: On holiday


    :)
     
  16. mishima

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 10, 2006

    Posts: 4,721

    :) nice one Marshy.
     
  17. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,945

    Location: West Bridgford

    Many thanks Marshy, I'll try and keep it up to date :)

    Yes! :D :cool:
     
  18. honestjohn

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 28, 2007

    Posts: 150

    http://www.gecube.com/products-detail.php?prod_cat_pid=9&prod_cat_id=166&prod_id=65116

    OK, here are a few my not so quick impressions of the Gecube X1950XT TEC/Turbo-Fan 256MB AGP. The first thing that struck me even before getting to the card was the Box it came in. It's huge with a very nice picture of Ruby I might add. (I dig redheads) It reminds me of the good old days when men were men and graphics cards came packaged in boxes the size of a small piece of luggage. Anyway, after opening the box I could see why. The card was massive, taking up the AGP slot plus 2 PCI slots. The pictures really don't do it justice and I think if I put it on top of my FX 5200 (tweener card) it would probably crush it. Luckily I have plenty of room in my case. The next thing I did was to examine the card to see if everything was attached properly and to my horror I immediately noticed they did not have any ramsinks attached to any of the memory chips and that there is about 3/4 inch of clearance between the memory chips and the cooler. So at this point I had visions of my 2 faulty HIS cards dancing around in my head. Luckily my worries were unfounded.

    Next, the install. Took 5 minutes and even as big as the card is, it fit fine and had plenty of clearance on all sides. Now for the part you've been waiting for, the performance. This is probably going to disappoint you as it did me briefly but it is not a whole lot faster than the HIS X1950 Pro ICEQ3 Turbo, at least on my rig anyway, but at least this card works CPU bottleneck and all! The default clocks on the card are 648 Mhz. Core and 700 Mhz (1400 mhz. Effective) for the memory. I have only done a few runs of 3DMark05/06 so far and the results are below. Note, you can't expect the same performance from this card as you would get from the PCI-E card. The PCI-E X1950XT's generally have their memory clocked at 1800 Mhz. - effective as the default.


    Gecube X1950XT TEC/Turbo-Fan 256 MB AGP / Gecube Recommended OC - Core 675 Mhz. (default is 648 Mhz.) / Memory 1400 Mhz. effective

    3DMark05: 9526
    3DMark06: 4683


    The next thing I tried was to see how far I could push the card and to be honest I didn't have much hope for the card considering the memory does not have any ramsinks as I mentioned before. I first used ATI's Cat.7.3 Overdrive but that did not allow for memory overclocking as the slider only went from 701-702 Mhz. So I loaded up ATI Tray Tools. After a little trial and error I found stable clocks of 675 Mhz. for the core which is actually the recommended maximum by Gecube and they're right, pushed it up a few notches to 683 Mhz. and the GPU shut down. As far as the memory goes, I was pleasantly surprised and managed 800 Mhz (1600 Mhz. effective). Artifacts began appearing around 850 Mhz. and decided to back it off a bit since perfromance gains are nominal. I'm actually pretty amazed I could overclock the memory at all. For testing stability I ran ATI Tray Tools 3DRenderer all night long with maximum temps reached 72c which is normal and given as the average temp under 3D load by Gecube. I also bumped up the FAN speed to 90% with ATI Tray Tools with no noticeable noise from my already noisy case. Overclocking results below.....


    Gecube X1950XT TEC/Turbo-Fan 256 MB AGP / Core 675 Mhz. / Memory 1600 Mhz. effective

    3DMark05: 9763
    3DMark06: 4860


    I'd love to see what this card could do with a better CPU and a socket 939 motherboard in dual channel mode.....

    Enough of that, now how about gaming. Tested so far using Prey, Quake 4, Doom 3 and my son's Marvel Alliance. Graphics quality is outstanding as is the X1950 Pro. I'm gaming at 1680x1050 whenever possible and have all game settings maxxed. Everything plays smoothly and haven't encountered a glitch yet. One thing I noticed almost immediately was, I'll call it “perceived speed. Everything I played just “felt” faster with movements appearing much more fluid and realistic.

    So am I happy with the purchase. Hell yeah. It's cheaper than my old HIS X1950 Pro ICEQ3 was, it's faster, but most importantly the bloody thing works!

    .....and as for all you guy with "working" X1950 Pro's. Keep'em, they're great cards and I wouldn't even think about upgrading to this one unless you have money to burn. For those sitting on the fence right now about buying the Pro. Jump off and buy THIS card instead. Although if we were talking bang for the buck, I would still recommend the Sapphire X1950 Pro 512MB AGP.


    Just for reference, here are a few other cards I've recently owned:

    Visiontek X1950 Pro 256MB (my 1st X1950 Pro) - returned for full refund

    3DMark05: 8756
    3DMark06: 4034

    Sapphire X1950 Pro 512MB (my 2nd X1950 Pro) - sold on EBay for $50 more

    3DMark05: 9119 / OC'd to HIS ICEQ3 Rev.1 - 9261
    3DMark06: 4232 / OC'd to HIS ICEQ3 Rev.1 - 4356

    HIS ICEQ3 Turbo 512MB Rev.1 (when it worked, 3rd & 4th X1950 Pro) - refunded after 2nd bad card

    3DMark05: 9231
    3DMark06: 4390


    Edit: 4/11/07

    Gecube X1950XT scores have gone up a bit because I was running out of Hard Drive space so I just dumped my old PATA IDE drive and put in a new 500GB SATA Drive today, also got rid of my crap ram, and put in some good G.Skill stuff, Had $300 in Birthday money to blow.


    Gecube X1950XT TEC Turbo Fan 256 MB AGP / Gecube Recommended Overclock - Core 675 Mhz. (default 648 Mhz.) / Memory 1400 Mhz. effective

    3DMark05: 9812
    3DMark06: 4789

    Gecube X1950XT TEC Turbo Fan 256 MB AGP / Overclocked / Core 675 Mhz. / Memory 1600 Mhz. effective

    3DMark05: 9957
    3DMark06: 4982
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  19. melbourne720

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006

    Posts: 1,945

    Location: West Bridgford

    Dude! :cool:

    Excellent post, you have enhanced this thread still further, I'll put a link in the OP.
     
  20. honestjohn

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 28, 2007

    Posts: 150

    Thanks very much. At least someone else other than my Shrink and VISA can benefit from my insanity. :p