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Upgrade steps-first CPU then video card?

Discussion in 'ATI' started by Don F, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. Don F

    Don F Guest

    Years ago (before on board video card processors) performance was largely
    a function of CPU speed.
    I owned a Voodoo 3 3000 until about a year ago and I noticed a jump in
    performance when I went from an 800 Mhz CPU to a 1.2 Ghz CPU. I replaced
    the Voodoo card with a Radeon 8500 (same system) and the performance
    improvement was unbelievable which brings up a question.
    If someone is on a limited budget, is it better to upgrade the video card
    first an then later upgrade the CPU/motherboard.
    I get, from reading the posts here, that the 9700 pro when used in a slow
    system, is not going to perform well.
    I guess my question should be "are the present video card with on board
    processors as dependent on system speed as the older video cards?"
    My apologies if the question seems trivial but I am still in the learning
    Don F
    Don F, Sep 16, 2003
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  2. Don F

    Ben Pope Guest

    That depends on their current processor and vido card.
    How slow is slow?
    Yes, to an extent. A lot of the newer games use much more complicated AI
    and other stuff that cannot be offloaded to the GPU (Graphics Processing
    Unit). Additionally, all of the data has to start off at the CPU - cards
    now do T&L, which means you can dump world co-ordinates at the GPU and it
    converts (transforms) those into screen coordinates and deals with the
    lighting. They also do all of the trickery with respect to textures.

    It's my understanding that the CPU still has to convert object coordinates
    into world coordinates which is probably a 3x3 matrix applied to each point
    in the "world" as any changes in the game require the models or camera to
    move and this is usually under control of the AI or user. So the CPU still
    has quite a bit or work to do with respect to 3d manipulation.

    It's possible that object -> world coordinate conversion is done on the
    video card, but the CPU still has to deal with interactions / collision
    detection etc.

    Ben Pope, Sep 16, 2003
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  3. Don F

    Don F Guest

    Thanks for the informative reply, Ben.
    You asked mentioned that 9800 pro performance improvement depended on my
    present speed and my present video card.
    My present system:
    Windows XP Pro w/SP1
    MB - Asus A7V133-BIOS 1006
    CPU - Athlon 1.2 GHz
    RAM - 768 MB
    Video- ATI Radeon 8500
    Sound- SB Live MP3+
    I guess my new question would be "which should I upgrade first -- my
    MB/CPU/RAM or my video board to 9700 - 9800".
    I am not a serious gamer but I am looking forward to HL 2 and now enjoy MS
    Flt Sim 2004. I would like to be ready for HL 2 when it finally arrives.
    Don F
    Don F, Sep 16, 2003
  4. Don F

    Ben Pope Guest

    I wouldn't expect you to be able to play HL2 on a 1.2GHz Athlon, but I may
    be wrong. HL2 is suppsoed be able to scale quite nicely for older Vid cards
    though, although I also wouldn't expect you to be able to play HL2 all that
    well with the 8500.

    I'd say go for new CPU / RAM / Motherboard first. That'll give the 8500 a
    new lease of life. then go for the video card - at that time the R360
    should be out and the price of the 9800 may come down.

    If you want to go with just a CPU you may find the motherboard to be a
    little restrictive... what version of the AGP does it support, and does it
    do DDR?

    Ben Pope, Sep 16, 2003
  5. Don F

    Don F Guest

    Don F, Sep 16, 2003
  6. Hmmm...

    Prices on mobos and cpus are sorta stable right now...

    I'd go with the MB/CPU/RAM, and wait on the 9700/9800...

    They say that there may be ATI bundles with include HL2, but irregardless
    the prices on videocards are still falling.

    I just got a 9800pro for $329, but I really wanted the 9800pro DDR2 256mb


    I couldn't justify $329, much less $449!!!
    John David Carter, Sep 16, 2003
  7. Don F

    Ben Pope Guest

    I'm happy with my A7N8X Deluxe / XP 2500+ combo.

    The Abit NF7-S is supposed to be good too.

    I highly recommend nForce2

    Ben Pope, Sep 16, 2003
  8. Don F

    Don F Guest

    I'm happy with my A7N8X Deluxe / XP 2500+ combo.
    Don F, Sep 16, 2003
  9. I've had both the asus deluxe and the Abit nf7-s, they are both very good
    boards but I had issues with my asus. You shouldn't buy anything except an
    nforce board at the moment, it cant be beaten for performance.
    The nforce and Barton 2500 is a wonderful combination.

    Les Ross
    Certified by a
    Lester Piglet, Sep 16, 2003
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