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GeForce 3/4 and ideal CPU

By iv_ · 8 replies
Jun 3, 2002
  1. At the moment I am running a regular GeForce 3 with a Athlon Thunderbird 1.2, which works well for todays games. However, soon UT2003 will be released ( where is that demo?! ) and I was thinking it might be a good time to upgrade.

    I suppose all the hype of the next Unreal engine is getting to me. Also, after reading all the DOOM3 gossip ... GeForce 3 users with a reasonable system would get around 30 frames/sec, which is a huge dip for me personally.

    My question: what would be the *ideal* gfx card and CPU speed combinations? For instance: is it still usefull to run a GeForce 3 with a 2ghz CPU or should one consider saving for a GeForce 4 in that case?
  2. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    UT 2003 would run fine with a GeForce 3, or at least there's nothing really new in the GeForce 4 over the GeForce 3 (Bar the speed & dual vertex shader obviously). You'd be best off "now" with getting a much faster CPU than geforce 4.
  3. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Definitely a faster CPU. The fastest CPU on the market tends to last longer than the fastest video card on the market. Your setup now shouldn't have that much of a problem running UT '03, minor lag problems I'm sure but nothing drastic.

    And, as Thomas said, there isn't that much of a difference between the GF3 and GF4.
  4. iv_

    iv_ TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the input. I think getting a faster CPU will indeed be the smarter choice.
  5. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 210


    Since you are looking towards 'future' games & FPS is the concern, I have to say I don't think a CPU is going to give you the gains a GF4Ti will in quaility or FPS.

    Here is a benchmark using Aquanox, a DX8 game which both the GF3 & GF4 Ti are 'optimized' to run:


    The GF3 is 48.7FPS & the GF4Ti4400 is 75.8FPS. That's a gain of 27.1FPS or 50%+. The Ti4200/64MB is faster than the Ti4200/128mb listed & is becoming available from PNY for~$179US. :grinthumb

    I think that t-bird oughta crunch the #'s of any 'new' game quite well. I also think I'd run the GF3 'til it becomes unplayable & by then NV30's, Parhelia's, VPU's & ATI's latest & greatest should be readily available, & who knows what else. ;)

    Just my thoughts,
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I have to argue for the CPU deficiency here.... Both a new video card and a CPU would be useful, but you can always lower the resolution if necessary.. Or turn down the detail a notch. Your CPU will likely not be as easy to accomodate.

    There are games currently that are very capable of saturating your maximum processor speed.... Jedi Knight II and Serious Sam SE just to name a couple.

    An upgrade to a Geforce 4 will definitely yeild better performance than what you have (albiet not much as far as raw power goes), but I think Unreal is going to hit your processor harder than your video card. There is always the off chance that a newer card will offer "new technology" that may ease processor strain, but that's quite a bit of a gamble. Unreal's going to be increasing the polygon count in games by a considerable margin.. In some areas, almost ten fold from some games out... This will inevitably make even new processors break a sweat.

    My recommendation:
    Wait until you get the demo to decide. By the time the new Unreal is actually OUT, there will proably be better technology and lower prices for better equipment.
  7. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 210


    FWIW: I have JKII & run it on my 500Celery/GF2MX400 quite well. Absolutely no stagger/lag/blank spots at all. Highest details, 32bit, 1024x768 & trilinear filtering: 23FPSmin & 87FPSmax. Just some info. :cool:

    It seems to me the Open GL games are less CPU sensative & tend to render much higher frame rates than DX games. Open GL gets simpler & better & DX gets better & more complicated/demanding. Yea Microsoft! Not. ;)

    Anyway, just wanted to give some 'real life' experience/info. on JKII & a very slow CPU. :)

    Have a good one,
  8. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    I think that a newer CPU would be a better investment, as A top end Geforce 4 is around £300 and is still basically just a faster GF3. For the equivalent money you could get a top speed Athlon chip and the required HSF combo and still problably have change for a couple of pints of beer. :D
  9. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    OpenGL games games stress the CPU a bit less because it is capable of using the TnL unit. That's how the original GF had a speed advantage over the V5 which had more fillrate then the GF1 but ended up with less FPS ( not to mention the V5 had far better image quality & a working s3tc ).

    Some games use that extra "free" CPU power though, as SS:SE.
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