TechSpot

AMD 1.33 and Radeon 9700

By bretty
Sep 8, 2002
  1. Hey.

    Will my current CPU do this card justice? I mean I would love to get one bad, but I worried my CPU will end up being a bottleneck.

    Would It be worth it?
     
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    There are a few games where FPS will drop due to the bottleneck of your processor.

    If you have the money though, I wouldn't worry about it. I like to encourage getting video cards "better" than you CPU because better video cards look a lot better.

    For example, your video card will be better suited non/low-CPU dependant things, such as textural goodies and higher resolutions.. Anisotropic filtering.. FSAA.. etc..

    Your FPS will increase.. I'm sure of that.. but in next generation games and a few ahead of their time right now, you can expect your processor to be the limiting factor. Without a better CPU, you will experience wild swings of ups and downs, rather than a steady FPS... But image quality will be better and that's what counts in my opinion.
     
  3. bretty

    bretty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 138

    well I understand that all the eye candy is handled by the video card sure....

    Although as the games become more advannced, like the new UNREAL game. That has a lot more calculating to do.

    The rag doll physics, the AI and drawing all the texture maps. At the moment though, all I would see is huge increases in FPS, and with all the AA, and Ansio filtering.
    Nice, thats enough for me.

    Would you suggest a format before I install it? I mean for drivers and things like that?
     
  4. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 394

    Look at it this way :)

    Ur obviously not short of a few quid to even entertain the idea...

    So, given what Rick's already said, should you decide to upgrade the innards of your PC anytime soon, you'll have a kickass g/card ready and waiting :)
     
  5. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 875

    You can get an AMD 2000+ XP for under $100. It will make a big difference in gaming. Even with that really really really nice video card.

    I have a 1.33 and I have been waiting for the 2000+ to drop to its current price but Im thinking that I may wait a little bit because I havent been using my desktop at all lately. I have been on my laptop and playing games on the XBOX.
     
  6. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 794

    I think that your CPU will probably limit your graphics card's capability, but not to an extreme extent.

    There is some kind of relationship between CPU/Gfx which is not obvious to most people, but I have seen this occurance several times.

    For example a GF2MX scores around 1000 3dmarks with a P2 400Mhz, yet with a Duron 1Ghz scores over 2500 3dmarks. A Geforce 3 Ti200 is limited to about 4500 3dmarks on an Athlon 700Mhz Chip, yet increases immensely when placed in a 2.0Ghz system.

    Cards such as the GF3/GF4/R8500/R9000/R9700 do not make heavy demands on the CPU, but I expect that the games you are likely to want to play using that card probably will. Cards which emulate DX8 features using Software (GF2MX/GF2Series/GF4MX/R7500/etc.) benefit a lot by changing the processor in Dx8 applications/games. In theory a GF2MX in a very fast P4/Athlon system could probably beat a Hardware DX8 card at the Vertex Shader test in 3DMark, as that seems to depend mainly on your CPU speed. However Pixel Shaders cannot be emulated through software and so must use relatively little CPU time.

    Also, what memory do you have PC133 SDRAM or 200Mhz/266Mhz DDR, as the GFX/RAM transfer speed may be more of an issue with the R9700 than CPU speed ...
     
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,568   +103

    My 1.4GHz Athlon C is limiting my Geforce 3 cards performance. So much so with Soldier of Fortune 2 that I am seriously considering an upgrade. A cheap 2000+ or 2100+ might be the short term answer I am looking for since I am really trying hard to hold out for either hyper-threading enhanced P4s or the AMD Operton/Claw Hammer... Should I, Shouldn't I????

    If you do a search on "CPU limiting" or a similar phrase you should find links to a tomshardware article that looks at performance limitations with video and cpu pairings. It uses athlons up to about 1.3Ghz paired with a GF2 but it should give you a better understanding of how your 1.33Ghz Athlon would be hobbling an ATI Radeon 9700. Still as Svt pointed out it will improve things visually over the GF3Ti200 that you are using just now and will allow you to transfer this to an AGP8x motherboard that supports better ram and CPUs in the future and give you outstanding performance... ;)
     
  8. bretty

    bretty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 138

    My system specs are in the sig.

    So what your saying is if I have a hardware based dx8 video card, combined with a slower CPU; it would perform less then a faster CPU, with software calculating pixel shading?

    It makes sense. I have a average CPU with dx8 capabilities. So really all I am doing is upgrading speed.
    I was think about getting the 9700, and waiting till my bank is freinds with me again and then get a 2600+

    OR in respect to both posts, maybe it would be better to get the faster CPU first?
     
  9. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    I would go with the CPU right now a they're dirt cheap. In a few weeks / months the R9700 should lower its prices a bit, then you could purchase it & have a system worthy of its performance.
     
  10. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 794

    You need to decide why you really want a R9700?

    To play the new Unreal game I think the whole of your machine will probably need upgrading, or Definitely if you are planning on Doom 3.

    As Arris states that his 1.4Ghz Athlon chip is limiting his Geforce 3, and my Dual 1Ghz PIIIs are definitely limiting my GF3, then I would advise you not to bother, unless you are thinking about upgrading the rest of your system later. But then I would recommend that the Gfx Card would be one of the last things to buy, so that you can get either the very latest model, or benefit from possible price cuts, before the launch of the next cards.
     
  11. Tweakster

    Tweakster TS Rookie Posts: 224

     
  12. bretty

    bretty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 138

    What about goiing from the 1.33 to a XP2200+ (1.8)

    Would that be a worthy upgrade, untill I get the Radeon?
    I have seen a new MOBO, and a CPU that I can get for around $590....I think that should make a difference.
    It might even make the GF3 run better


    Opinions?
     
  13. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    Well, getting a CPU is a good idea.

    Few games allow you to adjust the the geometry (CPU), but every game allows you to adjust the quality (vid card). So if the game is too much for your video card, you can just turn down the textures etc.. But if it is too much for your processor, then there won't be much you can do.

    If current games are already giving you this problem, then a new CPU would be recommended.
     
  14. bretty

    bretty TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 138

    I am not getting any problems, although I would like to play the games I play at high res....

    I do at the moment, due to my 21"er, although I would like to have all the eye candy on..... 4xAA and the filtering thingy too. I dont think the CPU is limiting my gaming pleasure.
    I think the CPU is going to set me up for a while.

    For example I had the leaked Unreal2 demo, (the 900MB one) and no matter what res I was running I was getting a limiting frame rate. I know that this is a CPU issue, because it is not throwing the geometric information quick enough. So if I get a quicker CPU then I should get more performance from the GF3.

    Does this make any sense?
     
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