X1900XT on a 3200+, will it benefit me enough?

ryuen

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I'm looking for some info from the experts here, I'm wondering if upgrading to an X1900XT will benefit me enough to warrant spending the money.

Current system:
AMD Athlon64 3200+
MSI K8N Neo4 mobo
2 gigs Gskill HX RAM (PC3200)
ATI X850XT

Main game I play is Everquest 2, which I'd like to run at a higher eyecandy level than I do now, other games I play are FEAR & HL2 for some diversion (and soon: Oblivion)
All games are played in 1280*1024 as that's my LCD's native res.

I've read the reviews but most are done on with highend CPU's so it is harder to gauge the improvements I may get with such a slower processor due to these card being CPU limited.

I don't mind spending a little over 550€ (yes that's €, hardware is a bit more expensive this side of the pond) on my hobby just as long as it's good value... so opinions from the [H] gurus are much welcomed.

A second question I have concerns the heat output of this card, is it over 180W? As that's the rated heat dissipation max for my waterblock (Koolance GPU-180-L6)

Thanks in advance for any input you guys can give me.

Ryu
 

trek554

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ryuen said:
I'm looking for some info from the experts here, I'm wondering if upgrading to an X1900XT will benefit me enough to warrant spending the money.

Current system:
AMD Athlon64 3200+
MSI K8N Neo4 mobo
2 gigs Gskill HX RAM (PC3200)
ATI X850XT

Main game I play is Everquest 2, which I'd like to run at a higher eyecandy level than I do now, other games I play are FEAR & HL2 for some diversion (and soon: Oblivion)
All games are played in 1280*1024 as that's my LCD's native res.

I've read the reviews but most are done on with highend CPU's so it is harder to gauge the improvements I may get with such a slower processor due to these card being CPU limited.

I don't mind spending a little over 550€ (yes that's €, hardware is a bit more expensive this side of the pond) on my hobby just as long as it's good value... so opinions from the [H] gurus are much welcomed.

A second question I have concerns the heat output of this card, is it over 180W? As that's the rated heat dissipation max for my waterblock (Koolance GPU-180-L6)

Thanks in advance for any input you guys can give me.

Ryu
well i think the x1900 would be a waste of money since you cant go past 1280x1024. with your cpu you would get the same fps at 1600x1200 as 1280x1024. you would never be able to take advantage of the x1900 with your current monitor.
 

Trimlock

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your cpu would be holding you back marginally, your monitor is whats holding you back the most, with an X1900 i wouldn't even consider running any game with less then 1600x1200 with a ton of eye candy turned on, at 1280x1024 its just over kill

get a X1800XL, or 7800GT, those are both bad ass cards, and you'd love them

heat output on these cards aren't really a problem, the X1900 pulls the most wattage but i think its under 120, theres some reviews that showed the power being drawn by the card in intense gaming but forget who did it
 

Rocco123

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I run an X1900XT with an Athlon 64 3000+ and I'm doing fine. The posts above are correct, if you can't go to 1600x1200 then it's a waste of money. That res is where the card really shines the most.

I believe the X1900XTs GPU draws about 58 Watts max, and the memory ~50, max draw is about 120. For the output I'm not sure, but it's probably less than 180 watts.
 

pandora's box

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with 1280x1024 res and a x1900xt you will be able to keep the card longer and not have to buy a new video card for atleast 2 years.
 

DeChache

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I think I would do it because of the fact the 1900XT will just be warming up at that res and in a year or two that card will still be more than capible at that res and you wont have to upgrade. I wish i could afford it or even a second GT for my rig
 

solideliquid

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pandora's box said:
with 1280x1024 res and a x1900xt you will be able to keep the card longer and not have to buy a new video card for atleast 2 years.


Exactly whats the problem with running games at 1280x1024??! I do that with my X1800 XT and a 19" LCD. Not only can you keep playing future games longer (as the above poster mentioned), but you can also turn on more features like higher AA/AF and HQ AF/AD AA when you run games a a lower than 1600x1200 resolution.


The way those guys are talking, its almost like 1280x1024 is being compared to 640x480
 

Stellar

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solideliquid said:
Exactly whats the problem with running games at 1280x1024??! I do that with my X1800 XT and a 19" LCD. Not only can you keep playing future games longer (as the above poster mentioned), but you can also turn on more features like higher AA/AF and HQ AF/AD AA when you run games a a lower than 1600x1200 resolution.


The way those guys are talking, its almost like 1280x1024 is being compared to 640x480

..because anything from an X800GTO2 to a 7800 GT can handle that resolution easily, and it's more CPU bound. An X1900XT is way overkill.

Most people will invest $500-600 on more screen space (e.g. an LCD that does 1600x1200+) before they go slapping down $500-600 on a GPU. The monitor is more important.
 

Trimlock

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Exactly whats the problem with running games at 1280x1024??! I do that with my X1800 XT and a 19" LCD. Not only can you keep playing future games longer (as the above poster mentioned), but you can also turn on more features like higher AA/AF and HQ AF/AD AA when you run games a a lower than 1600x1200 resolution.


The way those guys are talking, its almost like 1280x1024 is being compared to 640x480

problem with running 1280x1024 vs 1600x1200 is 1600x1200 is obviously better IQ, if you could who wouldn't? not exactly rocket science

1280x1024 is pretty much the 640x480 of the original 3d game days, why run 640x480 when you can run 800x600? its extremely obvious, buying a $600 card to run a resolution it can handle more then easy is a bad purchase, i'd never recommend it, you buy a card to run it to its max and enjoy what you can get out of it

and the X1900 already handles 1600x1200+ resolutions extremely well with eye candy turned on, so in this case a card that costs more then $150 less will be more then enough for him

if he wanted longevity, get a mid range card ($200+) be happy with playable 1280x1024 performance, then in a years time get another, and still save, getting a $600 card for the sake of longevity doesn't make sense anymore
 

tesfaye

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If you had a 20" or 24" monitor like I do then hell yes. Even at 1280x1024 you will be able to step up the visual effects in some games. I have a 3200+ and I WAS using an 850XT and I noticed the difference right away in NFSMW, F.E.A.R. and MoH2. 16AF all the time is a very nice thing and for you, you can run 4xAAA or better in all games.
 

Netrat33

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Stellar said:
..because anything from an X800GTO2 to a 7800 GT can handle that resolution easily, and it's more CPU bound. An X1900XT is way overkill.

Most people will invest $500-600 on more screen space (e.g. an LCD that does 1600x1200+) before they go slapping down $500-600 on a GPU. The monitor is more important.

Really? I just bought a 19inch that "only" does 1280x1024. People act like 1600x1200 is a WORLD of difference. Most new games barely are consistant at that resolution. You have a card that can handle 1280x1024 like a hot knife through butter, it's going to last a lot longer.

I actually like to go back and play older games, 2000x2000 isn't going to help me much when I fire up Fallout.
 

Stellar

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Netrat33 said:
Really? I just bought a 19inch that "only" does 1280x1024. People act like 1600x1200 is a WORLD of difference. Most new games barely are consistant at that resolution. You have a card that can handle 1280x1024 like a hot knife through butter, it's going to last a lot longer.

I actually like to go back and play older games, 2000x2000 isn't going to help me much when I fire up Fallout.

As far as desktop screen space, it IS a world of difference. I'm not just speaking about gaming resolution though, but also desktop space for your OS. I don't buy a monitor with just gaming in mind, if I did, I would've never picked up this widescreen.

I will say this, my overclocked X800XL handles most of the games I play at 1680x1050 OK, I just have to leave AA and AF off.

Point is a X800XL or a 6800 GS can "handle 1280x1024 like a hot knife through butter" as well, so why spend $550 when you can spend $230? Those $500 cards are specifically designed with fill rates and optimizations to handle 1600 and 1920 with AA and AF enabled.
 

Fanofnone

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You will gain more frames per second by spending the money on a new cpu/motherboard combo ;) Please dont waste your money on the X1900XTX, its a great card but will go to waste with your current rig.
 

Frostwake

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Not only can you keep playing future games longer (as the above poster mentioned), but you can also turn on more features like higher AA/AF and HQ AF/AD AA when you run games a a lower than 1600x1200 resolution.

Exactly, and whoever says otherwise is rich or a bit dumb, this is the reason why 9700/9800 became an instant legend card...they're 3-4 years old AND still handle current games at 1024x768 some even with AA on... thats why its worth buying a high end card to play @ 1280x1024, also i prefer 1280 with 4x AA then 1600 without it, longevity really is the key here
 

DeChache

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Frostwake said:
Exactly, and whoever says otherwise is rich or a bit dumb, this is the reason why 9700/9800 became an instant legend card...they're 3-4 years old AND still handle current games at 1024x768 some even with AA on... thats why its worth buying a high end card to play @ 1280x1024, also i prefer 1280 with 4x AA then 1600 without it, longevity really is the key here

That is the exact reason I would buy a X1900. I bought my 7800GT hoping it will last 3-4 years till im out of school. Some people dont need the lastest and the greatest and cant afford to upgrade every six months to the lastest and greatest. I had the same thoughts when i bought mine is a waste but if you want it to last it really isnt.

I hope I didnt offend anyone just my thoughts if you can afford the lastest and greatest then all the power to ya.
 

Nidhogg

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a x1900 will last you a long time at 12x10

but you would end up with a better card in the long run if you buy a $300 card now and another $300 card in 2 years. just depends on how much power you want from now until your next upgrade.

i personaly would just save and build a new system a year from now
 

Slo Gun

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I dont see why people say its a waste of money if you can only run at 1280x1024.
At the end of the day the faster & more powerful the card the higher in game settings you can run at, the more aa/af you can have and the more consistent frame rate you can aheive regardless of the resolution.
I play at 1280x1024 because i am restricted by monitor.
Did i notice a differnce going from 6800gt to 7800gtx? YES
Did i notice a differnce going from 7800gtx to X1900XT? YES

At the end of the day it depends if you are bothered about running your games at the highest settings with aa/af.
To me games cannot be played on full wack smoothly with anything other than the best card.
 

trek554

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Slo Gun said:
I dont see why people say its a waste of money if you can only run at 1280x1024.
At the end of the day the faster & more powerful the card the higher in game settings you can run at, the more aa/af you can have and the more consistent frame rate you can aheive regardless of the resolution.
I play at 1280x1024 because i am restricted by monitor.
Did i notice a differnce going from 6800gt to 7800gtx? YES
Did i notice a differnce going from 7800gtx to X1900XT? YES

At the end of the day it depends if you are bothered about running your games at the highest settings with aa/af.
To me games cannot be played on full wack smoothly with anything other than the best card.
you are missing the point. the x1900 will get about the same fps at 1600 as it will at 1280. if the maximum you can run your monitor at is 1280 then ther is no real reason to get an x1900. you can get a cheaper card and get about the same usefulness out of it. the x1900 can even play plenty of games above 1600 but you would never be able to take advantage of that either. he is also going to be cpu bound at 1280 so thats even more reason not to get a x1900 with that current monitor.
 

pandora's box

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Slo Gun said:
I dont see why people say its a waste of money if you can only run at 1280x1024.
At the end of the day the faster & more powerful the card the higher in game settings you can run at, the more aa/af you can have and the more consistent frame rate you can aheive regardless of the resolution.
I play at 1280x1024 because i am restricted by monitor.
Did i notice a differnce going from 6800gt to 7800gtx? YES
Did i notice a differnce going from 7800gtx to X1900XT? YES

At the end of the day it depends if you are bothered about running your games at the highest settings with aa/af.
To me games cannot be played on full wack smoothly with anything other than the best card.
just out of curiousity, what settings do you use in your games? (far cry, hl2, cs:source, fear, quake4)
 

pandora's box

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trek554 said:
you are missing the point. the x1900 will get about the same fps at 1600 as it will at 1280. if the maximum you can run your monitor at is 1280 then ther is no real reason to get an x1900. you can a cheaper card and get about the same usefulness out of it. the x1900 can even play plenty of games above 1600 but you would never be able to take advantage of that either. he is also going to be cpu bound at 1280 so thats even more reason not to get a x1900 with that current monitor.
ok so your saying he should get, for example, a x800xt to play at 1280x1024. 6 months from now UT2007 comes out. Oh no guess what! x800xt cant play UT2007 with aa and af at 1280x1024 (if it can i will be shocked). But if he spent 200-250 more and got the x1900xt he will more than likely be able to play UT2007 with 4XAA 16xAF at 1280x1024
 

Slo Gun

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I always try go for 16X AF and supersampling with the nvidia card, adaptive aa with ATI Card.
I think with the 7800GTX i played fear at 1024, and had to turn down the aa to 2.
I dont think all ingame settings were set to full either, aside from the computer settings, i.e. number of corpses etc.
i did a fair bit of tweaking to get a good balance to what i considered to be playable, but with the best possible graphics settings.
I cant stand hiccups and lag.
I also always have vsync enabled beacuse i hate the image tearing.
With the ATI card i have FEAR on full settings with 4xadaptive aa and 16af.
I had a few lag issues with quake 4 and remember turning some of the settings down, i think it was AA, dont think i used supersampling with that, think i also had it on high rather than ultra.
Cant remeber the last time i played half life. Although i originaly played through the game on my 6800GT.
I have since played the lost coast demo on my 7800GTX.
Dont playe cs source.
Remember struggling wiht far cry at full settings on my 6800gt although i had a different sytem back then.
Now have everything set to full.
FEAR on my old sytem with the 6800gt was simply unplayable.
Basically i am quite picky. If i find my game lags i exit it and tweak the settings.
Most of my mates can sit there and quite happily play quake 4 on a 9800XXL (i belive this is some kind of modified radeon pro.) with appaling frame rate and no vysnch and it doesn bother them.
P.S.
I often use the hardocp playable settings as a guide, and end up goin lower, but obviously this is tailored to meet my system, aswell as what i feel is an acceptable and playble experience.
 

morningreis

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You will get very good performance at whatever settings, but not the best your video card can do because your CPU will be a bottleneck. Do a severe OC on the processor to aleviate the problem a bit.
 

bobzdar

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My x800xt can't run everything at 1280x1024 with full AA and aniso on my 19" lcd, and if I were upgrading I don't see why I'd go for a lesser card if I could afford it. However, it's not worth upgrading for me to go from 2xaa (which I can run most stuff in) to 4x adaptive aa at this point (and I can't fit a 2 slot cooler), but in a year I can see wanting to, especially as hdr becomes more prevalent (and actually well integrated). I may be tempted to go for the 1900 non-xt if it has the same specs as the 1900 aiw and can o/c reasonably, but we'll see when it comes out.

If you can't run what you have at 1280x1024 with AA and aniso cranked up and that's what you want to do, I say go for it if it's in the budget. The xt's are pretty cheap considering they're brand spanking new and very high end, and at 1280x1024 they'll last you quite a while.
 

Stellar

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pandora's box said:
ok so your saying he should get, for example, a x800xt to play at 1280x1024. 6 months from now UT2007 comes out. Oh no guess what! x800xt cant play UT2007 with aa and af at 1280x1024 (if it can i will be shocked). But if he spent 200-250 more and got the x1900xt he will more than likely be able to play UT2007 with 4XAA 16xAF at 1280x1024

Well, you could spend ~$550 now and hold on to the same generation card for 1,2,3 years as you say, or.. 6 months from now you'll have a whole other generation of cards out, you can take your 7800 GT you bought for ~$300 and sell for ~$200, take that $200 and buy the next best thing (7900 GT) at ~$400, and only be out ~$200.

It's like leasing vs. buying you only pay for what you use and you get ahead by building equity.

Keep in mind that with new generations will also come support for new methods of video processing such as adaptive and transparent AA, enhanced AF, the recent switch to SM3, the increasing prevalance of HDR, etc.

This is PC technology we're speaking of, anyway, it progresses at an exponential rate.. you want to set yourself up for upgradeability as much as possible, not dump all your budget into one generation and hang on to it for as long as possible.
 

pandora's box

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Stellar said:
Well, you could spend ~$550 now and hold on to the same generation card for 1,2,3 years as you say, or.. 6 months from now you'll have a whole other generation of cards out, you can take your 7800 GT you bought for ~$300 and sell for ~$200, take that $200 and buy the next best thing (7900 GT) at ~$400, and only be out ~$200.

It's like leasing vs. buying you only pay for what you use and you get ahead by building equity.

Keep in mind that with new generations will also come support for new methods of video processing such as adaptive and transparent AA, enhanced AF, the recent switch to SM3, the increasing prevalance of HDR, etc.

This is PC technology we're speaking of, anyway, it progresses at an exponential rate.. you want to set yourself up for upgradeability as much as possible, not dump all your budget into one generation and hang on to it for as long as possible.
hmmm good points there. i think im going to go buy a x1800xl or a 7800gt instead of a x1900xt.
 

trek554

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Stellar said:
Well, you could spend ~$550 now and hold on to the same generation card for 1,2,3 years as you say, or.. 6 months from now you'll have a whole other generation of cards out, you can take your 7800 GT you bought for ~$300 and sell for ~$200, take that $200 and buy the next best thing (7900 GT) at ~$400, and only be out ~$200.

It's like leasing vs. buying you only pay for what you use and you get ahead by building equity.

Keep in mind that with new generations will also come support for new methods of video processing such as adaptive and transparent AA, enhanced AF, the recent switch to SM3, the increasing prevalance of HDR, etc.

This is PC technology we're speaking of, anyway, it progresses at an exponential rate.. you want to set yourself up for upgradeability as much as possible.
very well put. :D i agree by the time an x1900 has trouble running a game over 1280 there will be a new generation of cards with better features. if he cant take advantage of the hi res gaming then i say get a cheaper card. if money is no object then there is no need to use logic anyway.
 

1RadDad

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Seems like @ the end of the year, or whenever DX 10 Comes out, Everyone will want to sell their cards they have Just bought, for ones w/ DX 10 support, that's what holding me back from upgrading my vid card right now, that is the deal breaker for me currently. :eek:
 

ryuen

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Thanks for the input so far guys, my 850xt can't handle FEAR or EQ2 at the settings I want so I'm definately going to want to upgrade now while I can still get some money for the old card.

The reasons I'm only considering the x1900 are rather simple:
-shader power will benefit my EQ2 more
-price difference with x1800xt is negligable (less than 30$)
-easier to get than an nvidia card

Gonna think about it for a bit longer...
 
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