which card in the xseries is best? x600 x700 x800...

By Ronin ยท 13 replies
Sep 8, 2005
  1. I have an ATI Radeon 9600xt 256 mb agp card that doesnt impress me one bit that i bought for 90 bucks. I play source and get 40 fps tops and thats when there is noone shooting at people next to me. That just plain sucks. I have similar graphics lag in a lot of my other games. I was looking at a 124 dollar x700pro agp 256 card and i was wondering if there was a better card for that money. Or should i just save for something better? I'll only spend $200 tops. Thank you in advance for your input.
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    The x800 series is faster than a x700, but also costs more.

    You might find a x800(regular) agp card for less than $200 if you look around.
    Here's one, although not in stock.

    Are you only considering ati options? The nvidia 6600gt is pretty good in that price range, or a ati 9800pro would also be good, even though it's older.

    Here's a benchmark, to help compare some cards.
  3. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi Ronin,
    If you're a CS:Source or other source online player, a 9600XT can do a lot better than 40 fps with bigger nosedives. It could very possibly by the rest of your system.

    CS:Source is VERY system intensive as it's not coded too well for an online, multiplayer game. There are tons of folks on the Steam forums with 25-40fps with even brand new videocards (X800, 6800GT's and even 7800GTX's).

    I've gotten the best performance out of CS:Source by souping up the rest of the system. High performance PCI soundcard, pci network card, fast cpu with fast/fast dual-channel ddr memory. With this, I can get better framerates on a crappy 9700 versus my roomie's other system which is an XP 2500+ and an X850 XT PE.

    Buying a newer videocard WILL allow you to crank up higher settings "for free" but likely your overall performance may not improve. What's the rest of your system like?
  4. Ronin

    Ronin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks guys for responding. I thought that my graphics card should be running better than that. I know my cooling kinda sucks so i put a giant fan in the case and cooled it by 20 degrees. but i get massive graphics lag still. if my graphics card isnt bad then what else can i change? I will also consider Nvidia cards too. I used to have a gforce fx 5200 ultra. i got a new one because the 5200's heatsink blew and i wanted to upgrade.
    Also every now and then my computer randomly restarts in-game, y is that? Thanks again for your help.

    windows xp pro service pack 2 (pirated).
    20 gig and 160 gig Western Digital HD's
    ATI radeon 9600 xt, 256 mb (brand new)
    A-bit NF7 mother board (brand new)

    2x512 PQI ram (brand new) and value ram 256 (old mother board ram) PC- 3200, ddr-400

    built in sound card with 5.1 surround sound
    AMD athlon 3000+ processor
    POWMAX 480 watts power supply
    sony cd drive 52x write
    lite-on dvd drive 4x write
    all drivers i could think of downloaded and installed.

    anything else you need to know, please let me know.
    thank you for responding.
  5. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Ugh.. You're not alone Ronin...

    There are several people on the Steam forums with NForce2 + AMD XP 3000+/3200+ processors getting absolutely horrible FPS in CS:S. Most are indeed mirroring a 40fps dive mode happening often.. even with top of the line X800 or higher videocards.

    If you'd like to pinpoint if a video upgrade may help, try reducing the game settings dramatically (like 800x600 resolution) and see what improvement you get. If it's the same framerate at 800x600 as like 1024x768 or higher... you'll get some indication that adding more videocard power may not help.

    One other thing to test on your system would be memory bandwidth. This can have pronounced impact on CS:S performance (CPU->cache->memory speed and latency helps CS:S performance). If you are on broadband, hit www.guru3d.com and grab SiSoft Sandra:

    Run it's memory bandwidth tests. In some cases, these NF-2 chipset mainboards have issues with proper memory bandwidth or BIOS settings for the ddr memory installed. That system should be hitting 2300-2500mb/s bandwidth (top values in the benchmark) minimum.
  6. Ronin

    Ronin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ya, so i checked out that benchmark thing and i found that it was under your benchmark about 500. and this problem with framerate is not only in CS source, it does it in all games. The program suggested i change the FSB and when i tried changing it from 166 (which was where it was at) to 200 (which is the highest setting) it wouldnt POST. so i cant overclock, i cant change anything, or my system complains about it. i cant get any higher than 35 fps on low settings (so low that it sucks) and i have talked to many people and all my friends who know anything about computers. I swear im doomed to get crappy un-overclockable hardware that i buy over the internet and assemble myself. My friend has similar parts, minus 512 mb of ram and add a 3200+ amd cpu and ATI 9800 graphics card and an Asus MB, but everything of ours is the same. He gets 60 to 70 fps and runs full graphics on a lot of his games without random crashes. and i know its not the power supply because his is the same as mine and his works fine. Y cant i enjoy good graphics hassle free....? :(
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    I think your power supply is suspect. IMO, it is not a quality unit. While your friend's is working fine, yours may not be. Can you try another?
  8. Ronin

    Ronin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again guys for responding.
    I can't really, unless i buy another one. Is there any way to check if it is bad? Or should i just go out and spend money on a new one even though mine might be fine? Thanks for responding in advance.
  9. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    Please throw away that Powmax. I have heard many horror stories about them. Throw in that they have terrible performance, i highly doubt you could get a x800 or 6600GT running on that. Stick with well know brands (antec enermax etc) or if your on a strict budget, go with a hipro. Yea, its OEM stuff, so no fancy lights or sleeved cables, but they are a decent (at least reputiable) brand.
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    Well, there are relatively inexpensive power supply testers on the market. I've never used one so I can't recommend any in particular. Do a search for ATX power supply tester.
  11. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi Ronin,

    Can you try one test to see if this adds any help?

    --2x512 PQI ram (brand new) and value ram 256 (old mother board ram) PC- 3200, ddr-400--

    Can you remove the value ram 256 so as you only have the 2x512? Place the two 512's in DIMM1 and DIMM2 slots.

    Don't worry about setting the FSB higher as this is the limit of your particular CPU. What you CAN do is try running the memory timings (once you have only the 2x512) in the BIOS to Turbo or By Spd (moving off By Spd and back again will-requery your now 2x512 only memories. You'll want to Save and EXit BIOS after this).

    With the By Spd or Turbo set for memory in the BIOS, as well as saving this and rebooting.. try running the Sandra memory bandwidth benchmarks again and let's see how it comes out. This SHOULD enable the dual ddr mode, which should help memory with any luck.
  12. Ronin

    Ronin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well you were right sharkfood the turbo mode did give a much better band width but at the expense of restarting itself at least 6 times. i try entering games and it restarts itself. as long as i stay in normal windows and dont run to many applications or games it seems to work fine. I think i tried doing this once but after the 4th restart i gave up. Y is my system being such a *****? I will attempt to find a new Power supply. I have heard from other people that this power supply sucks badly. I will find one that is name brand and looks nice with a little blue light up action maybe if thats possible. anyway if there is anything else you could suggest because now that im in turbo mode i cant play games. thanks again guys.
  13. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi Ronin,
    Try the "By Spd" mode with the old 256 missing (just the 2x512) and see what that yields.

    Turbo "undertimes" the memory. Memory performance is usually attributed to the CAS timing of the memory installed. Cheaper, budget memories can be CAS 3 or 4, whereas higher quality memories can be CAS2. Many CAS3's will run stable at CAS2, some do not (as you experienced).

    The "By Spd" reads the memory modules and sets timing according to how they are rated. (they send back a sense return for what timings they can run at). Unfortunately, due to the method of memory management, all memory is timed to the HIGHEST of all memory installed. So if your 256mb stick is ugly/old with CAS 4-5, even a pair of CAS2 memories need to be timed up to CAS 4-5. This is why "By Spd" set after removing the 256, as well as SAVING the BIOS after removal and setting "Turbo -> By Spd" (to force the BIOS to reprobe/save) should yield a bigger improvement in performance.

    I'd try the 2x512 + By Spd if Turbo wont yield stability. This SHOULD yield stability. If not, then we have further work to do.. and it could very possibly be the power supply if By Spd + 2x512 (revisited and re-saved in the BIOS) wont run stable. This should still yield a big boost in Sandra memory bandwidth IF your 256 is indeed screwing up the entire memory pool by being an older, slower module (thus forcing your 2x512s to run crippled).
  14. Ronin

    Ronin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    today is, a good day!

    well, after months of ****ty performance, threats to throw this computer out the window, and a thousand lags a game, the problem is finally solved. I am a complete ***** and should be shunned as so. All i had to do was update the bios! after 5 minutes of updating the bios, i was in turbo mode, with all my memory, and my powmax, and the thermal throttling to 87.5% and an extra fan, and I was pulling 60 frames per second! My bandwisth was at 2300 to 2400 as you said it should be, and stable with out a restart. After two days of this it did restart once and i dont know y but everyhting works great. Doom 3 never looked better and now i know that my hardware isnt the problem. thank you all for the help and time spent to help me. please tell others of my solution so they dont have to go throught the same thing as i did and thank you again.

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