Video Card upgrade debate

By Greenmachine
Dec 5, 2005
  1. I have been shopping on newegg and have narrowed it down to a few choices. I only play HALO so I do not need anything to intense. I do not want to upgrade my power supply right now either, so please take that into consideration.

    PNY 6600GT
    Sapphire X700
    Sapphire 9800Pro

    What do you guys think??? My budget is around $100 but I am open to more suggestions as well. --->It has to be AGP.

    AMD Athlon 64 3000+
    512 MB Corsair XMS PRO PC3200
    300 Watt Power Supply
  2. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    The 6600GT should blow away the X700 in a head to head FPS comparison, the 9800 is a "forget about it". I'm just not sure about PNY quality. Your 300W PSU might struggle with either the 6600 or X700.
  3. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    I'd take the 9800 Pro it is still an excellent card I have one in my kids 2.6 ghz machine and they play the latest games at high settings with no problem.

    the 6600Gt has 128 Bit memory bus andthe 9800 Pro is a 256 bit memory bus.
  4. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    I'd probably go the 6600GT route myself. It is the only card of the ones you list that has pixelshader 3.0 support and HDR rendering.

    The other cards are about the same speeds (depending on what game you are playing) but the 6600GT uses newer technologies to give you better graphics.

    But I do worry about whether you have enough power to juice the newer card. It'll all depend on the quality of the PSU you have in there now, and what other hardware you have installed.
  5. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 149

    I have a CompUSA 300 watt powersupply
    CD-rom drive
    Cd-RW drive
    Creative Audigy Soundcard
    56k PCI modem
    PCI USB card
    Printer connected USB
    60gb Hard drive
    AMD Athlon 64 3000+
    512MB Corsair XMS PRO PC3200
    That is it...I need to install 2 case fans as well.
    I am not sure if that CompUSA psu is any good. I have had it in my comp for 4 years though with no probs.
  6. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

  7. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 149

    Shows 288 for 6600GT or 292 for x700.
    What do you think? Am I pushing it?
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    That PSU calculator assumes 80% utilization. In other words, it is assuming that your CPU and video cards are running at 80% of their full potential (and all other parts at 100%).

    So when you are not gaming (for example) you should be fine. But the second you go to play a game, your system is going to be power hungry and that PSU is going to be stressed right to its upper limits. PSUs don't like being stressed. They get grumpy really easy when they have to work that hard, and start crashing your system.

    For $30 you can get a good 350w PSU

    It has 30a on the (dual) 12v rails. For that price, amazing.

    Or even better, for $37 you can get a 400w
  9. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 149

    Thanks DonNagual

    That $37 psu looks pretty good to me..thanks for all the help.
    --->I have one last question...currently I do not have any case fans installed. My case has 2 80mm slots one in the front and one in the back. Any suggestions for 2 good 80mm case fans?
  10. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Further to the discussion of video cards, here's a link to Tom's Hardware guide, he does excellant reviews:

    As you can see the 9800 isn't even on the scale and the 6600GT blows away the X700. I also really like the Nvidia drivers and cards in general, I find more ppl have more probs with ATI cards and drivers then do Nvidia ppl.

    Thermaltak, MassCool and Artic all make some nice 80mm 2 ball fans:
  11. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    of course the 9800 PRo which is a AGP card doesnt appear in a review of PCI Express cards.
  12. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    You're right iss, I can't find the Tom's article which showed AGP vs PCI-e and it listed some many of the top cards. PCI held a small lead over it's APG brother in almost all tests (but this is off topic). Here's a link with AGP cards, now the X700 doesn't make the list.

    Again the 660GT out performs the 9800 with 82 FPS vs 55 FPS, with no AA and 8XAF. That's pretty significant and the 6600GT is just a shade under the X800Pro. I'm not saying the 9800 is crap, just for the same price (which started this thread) I'd choose 6600GT every day. Like I said I'm partial to Nvidia driver stability and frequent updates. Just my humble opinion.

  13. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    if the choice is between the 6600Gt and the x700 I would agree with Kirock, go with the 6600GT. Nvidia makes good cards, my only grip with themis they are so stinking long and cause problms with the placement of hard drives in some cases. ( I would have to remove my hard drive cage to get an Nvidia card into my rig.)
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