Amateur Techie with AGP Issues

By WoundedWolf · 12 replies
Dec 19, 2003
  1. I'm an amatuer techie who enjoys upgrading my PC at home. I often jump into the technical side of PC hardware head first without a life jacket. I'm hoping that some of you folks can help me out when I get in a jam.

    Currently I am running:
    Duron 1300
    Gigabyte 7IXE4 motherboard
    768MB RAM
    RADEON VE (7000) 64MB

    My goal is to max this machine out and then retire from the PC upgrade world. I make enough money now that I can afford to buy a nice new laptop every few years that should get me by (at least until the next big 3D game comes out, then I'm sure I will lapse back into my techie ways).

    Anyway, I'm currently struggling with the world of AGP. My mobo was manufactured back in 2001 and I'm trying to figure out what video card I can use to max it out. I want DirectX 9 compatibility, but my board has a 3.3v AGP 2x slot. I've read a lot of bad news about putting a new 8x AGP card into an old slot, so I want to be sure I get a new card that won't fry my mobo. Right now I'm looking at GeForce FX5200 and RADEON 9600 cards. If anybody has any experience with putting the latest AGP cards into older slots then give me a reply. I'm trying to determine if the AGP slot on the Gigabyte 7IXE4 is AGP 1.0 or AGP 2.0 compliant.

  2. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    You have an AGP2X slot on the motherboard as pointed to on the Gigabyte page for your motherboard,

    which is AGP rev 1.0 spec as pointed to here in the beginning of the AGP 3.0 spec documentation here.

    Personally I wouldn't bother with anything more than a GF4 MX or at most a TI4200 in that motherboard. I think either of those will be starving for data from your system.

    And Welcome to Techspot. Hope you hang around.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    The TI4200 would make a good choice, as well as a mid-range flavor of Radeon, such as the 9200 or 9500 perhaps.
  4. WoundedWolf

    WoundedWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply, guys. I realize that my slot is probably only AGP 1.0, but I'm still holding out hope that I can get a DirectX 9 compatible card.

    I think I will focus on the FX5200, since it is on the low-end of the DX9 compatability spectrum and I'm sure will be plenty fast for my rig. I just want to be sure that the card I choose will work in an AGP 1.0 slot.

    I have another machine with no AGP slots that I just installed a PNY Verto FX5200 w/ 128MB DDR and it works great, and thats just with PCI!

    I appreciate any more suggestions, thanks!
  5. tripleione

    tripleione TS Rookie Posts: 154

    I should point out to you that with your current setup, there is really no point in needing DX9 capabilities unless you just want it as a novelty.

    A GeForceFX 5200 is terrible at DX9 with any system. They are shown to be slower than the GeForce4 Ti 4200 in just about any benchmark comparing the two. In fact, I believe I remember seeing a test in which even the GeForce4 MX 460 beat it (I believe it was SS:SE... if I can find the link, I'll post it here).

    Even if you decided to upgrade to a card capable of handling DX9, your system is still going to run it quite slowly because of the aforementioned AGP 1.0 spec your motherboard uses. The card will be transferring and recieving more information that your AGP can handle, resulting in slowdowns.

    If I were you, I wouldn't bother with any DX9 card at the moment. I would personally settle with a GeForce3 Ti 200 or Radeon 9100. Both are cheaper than any current DX9 card and will probably offer you the same amount of performance due to your system's bottlenecks.
  6. Scol

    Scol TS Rookie Posts: 88

    Yah, with only those capabilities stick to the lower end. What kind of laptop are you saving up for (specs)?
  7. SubKamran

    SubKamran TS Rookie Posts: 166

    Look at my board:

    Biostar M6TSU Pentium III motherboard

    I'm running a SapphireTech Atlantis 9800 Pro 128MB @ AGP 4X on it and boy, what can I say :D

    I would reccomend a 9600 as it will support all games so far :)
  8. tripleione

    tripleione TS Rookie Posts: 154

    Wow, you are seriously bottlenecking that Radeon 9800 Pro! I would get a new motherboard and processor ASAP!
  9. WoundedWolf

    WoundedWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply SubKamran. I appreciate your feedback. I haven't had luck finding a 9600 that supports a 3.3v (AGP 1.0) slot. However, the 9500 and 9700 do support this, so I'm actually thinking about holding off a few months until the prices come down and just getting one of those. They seem to be the last Radeon cards that will support 3.3v and DX9. After reading more about the GeForce FX line, I realize now that their DX9 support is pretty sketchy.

    Tripleione and Scol, thanks for your feedback too. I know you guys probably think I am nuts, but I have a bad habit of falling for the old domino trick, buy a new mobo, then a new processor, then new ram, then new video, then new case, then new hard drive, then new mobo again... and on and on. At this point, I have been upgrading my home machine(s) for 10 years and I have come to the realization that for all the time, effort, and money I could just buy a new Dell every three or four years.

    My idea is to max out my current desktop, and all I need is the max video card that I can get. I realize that at a 2x AGP bus speed the benchmarks won't be all that impressive, but at least I know that I've got the maximum capability for this machine, even if the video card is starved for data from the slow AGP speed.

    For example, I got 768MB of PC100 SDRAM in this board. Did I see a big performance boost from 256MB to 768MB? No, but at least I know I have the max amount of RAM available, even if it only gives me a marginal performance edge. I guess that is just my upgrade philosophy, I'm weird like that.


    Anyway, if anyone has seen a Radeon 9500 or 9700 successfully work in an AGP 1.0 (2x) slot, then please let me know.
  10. PreservedSwine

    PreservedSwine TS Rookie Posts: 325

    According to ATI on the R9700 system req. spec page:
  11. tripleione

    tripleione TS Rookie Posts: 154

    If that's the case, might as well go all the way and get a Radeon 9800XT :grinthumb
  12. SubKamran

    SubKamran TS Rookie Posts: 166

    It's a coming soon :D

    But hey, I'm able to play Max Payne 2 :p
  13. WoundedWolf

    WoundedWolf TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Video Upgrade Successful!

    Just in case anyone is still monitoring this thread, I did successfully upgrade my video card to a DX9 compatible video card last night.

    I got a good deal on on a Powercolor Evil Commando X Radeon 9500. The Radeon 9500 is ATI's lowest end DX9 compatible card and is actually discontinued now, but the Radeon 9700 is almost an exact duplicate. After much research, I decided that the 9500 and 9700 are the only ATI DX9 compatible cards that support a 3.3v AGP 2x slot, as found in the 7IXE4. None of the NVIDIA cards advertise this, and as I said before they seem to be pretty sketchy with DX9 support anyway.

    I've only used it for a few hours but it looks great! I was able to turn up all the video and 3D options on Everquest and it ran smooth as silk. My Radeon 7000 would have choked.

    One word of warning, the Radeon 9500 requires its own power connector from the power supply and Powercolor suggests a MINIMUM 350w power supply. So before I installed it I junked my measly 250w power supply that came with my case 5 years ago and bought a new Antec 350w SmartPower. I even sprung for the one with blue LEDs to be cool.

    So far I'm very satisfied!
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