AGP ain't dead yet!

David_L6

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I decided to upgrade an older computer I have to use for nothing but distributed computing (World Community Grid), CF2, and FS9. It had a Leadtek A380 - 5950 Ultra video card. I installed a 7800 GS card a few days ago. It's almost UNBELIEVABLE how much difference there is between those two cards!

If you have a pretty good computer (CPU, PSU, RAM, etc.) don't listen to those that tell you to junk it and build a PCI-E system because yours is obsolete. You can upgrade your old video card and see a performance increase right now and upgrade to the latest and greatest DX 10 stuff in a year or so after things settle down a bit.

If you have an Intel P4 system take a look at eBay for good deals on CPU's. The Intel CPU's have dropped in price quite a bit and if you are careful you can get a CPU that would have cost you ~$500 a few months ago for less than half that amount. You can upgrade that old AGP system with a new video card and maybe a CPU for a lot less than a new PCI-E system will cost.

I switched from a 2.8 GHz Northwood to a 3.4 GHz Northwood at the same time I switched the 5950 Ultra for the 7800 GS and my 3DMark06 scores jumped from ~ 500 to ~ 3000. Cost, including shipping, was a tad under $400 and I still have both the 2.8 CPU and the 5950 video card. Haven't decided whether or not I am going to sell them (probably) or keep 'em for spares.


I still have my PCI-E system with a P4 670 and a 7800 GTX if I want to run something that needs a little more horsepower. (I'm also in the process of building a Conroe system and will be using some of the parts from this PCI-E system in it eventually.)
 

LeeJend

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The 7800 GS is a $280 AGP card.
For $240 I can get a 2x faster 7900GT.
A new MB with PCI-e is $50-60.
For $20 more than the 7800 GS I can get a new PCI-e MB that uses the old P4 socket and DDR RAM for compatibility AND 2x faster graphics card.

The AGP slot is half the speed of a PCI-e slot and chokes the performance of the video card.

Not a good investment. Let AGP die in peace.
 

Tuffgong4

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The 7800 GS is a $280 AGP card.
For $240 I can get a 2x faster 7900GT.
A new MB with PCI-e is $50-60.
For $20 more than the 7800 GS I can get a new PCI-e MB that uses the old P4 socket and DDR RAM for compatibility AND 2x faster graphics card.

The AGP slot is half the speed of a PCI-e slot and chokes the performance of the video card.

Not a good investment. Let AGP die in peace.
100% true ( you have the nicest way of raining on someone's parade Lee :) )
 

ray_gillespie

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I got a 7800 GS a while ago, and it's the bomb. If you can get it for the right price, and you have a decent system apart from the graphics card, there's no need to upgrade to PCI-express really. NVIDIA made it look like AGP was dead in order to force loads of people to buy shiny new PCI-express boards and generate demand in the market. Truth is, there's nothing better about PCI-express at the moment, AGP is still fast enough to cope with the best graphics cards out there and will not choke them, and there's no reason that SLI couldn't have been implemented with AGP, it's just that they chose not to so they could force a shift in the market. AGP is still very much alive, and if it's dying it isn't through any failures in AGP itself, it's because it's being killed off by graphics cards manufacturers.

That said, obviously if you're building a new system you'd be mad to use anything but PCI-express.
 

Lazer

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The 7800 GS is a $280 AGP card.
You don't say? And the OP was witing about? :rolleyes:


A new MB with PCI-e is $50-60.
For $20 more than the 7800 GS I can get a new PCI-e MB that uses the old P4 socket and DDR RAM for compatibility AND 2x faster graphics card.
What if one wants to upgrade only the video card in his/her Dell, E-Machines, Gateway? Do you know where he/she can buy a PCI-e MB for $50 that uses the old P4 socket, DDR RAM, and will fit into one of those cases without modifications to something?


Not a good investment.
I take it that you are using onboard video and sound in your computer?

Computers and computer parts are an investment for the end user? :s
Take the same amount of money and deposit it in a savings account. In two years what's worth more, your computer or your savings account?
 

ShepsCrook

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That and the X850Pro card is a better performer than the 7800GS. And it's about $150 LESS. And if you really want to get the best performing AGP card. It's the X850XT AGP
 

LeeJend

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You don't say? And the OP was witing about? :rolleyes:
Computers and computer parts are an investment for the end user? :s
Take the same amount of money and deposit it in a savings account. In two years what's worth more, your computer or your savings account?
Any capital expenditure is considered an investment, in your business or personal productivity, or recreational activities. If you don't look at it that way expect to be screwed every time you walk into a store.

Anyone who bought a Dell or emachines has got the upgrade path they paid for (i.e. none). Those machines are built and priced "as is" with no intended upgrade path after sale. Every part of them is bare bones minimum for the exact config bought. If you expect to drop a high end AGP card into an Emachine or Dell without buying a new PSU ($89 if it will fit the case) you got a rude awakening coming.

I had a friend ignore this advice and drop $350 on an AGP 850 XT a few months ago because he didn't want to go through a new MB install. He is already regretting going AGP.
 

ElementalDragon

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no..... AGP could NOT have handled SLI, for pretty much the same reason the old Voodoo PCI sli'able cards didn't work out so well. the AGP slot is basically a bunch of PCI lanes bunched into one, shared with the rest of the PCI slots. PCI express is it's own separate connection to the chipset/CPU, and is a much faster bus..... least i think that's how the whole thing went.

it is true that PCI-Express is a lot faster than the AGP bus, but we don't even use the full dual x8 slots in SLI, let alone 16. the main thing it's good for is that the bus can easily handle SLI as opposed to AGP's bus.

as for upgrading to PCI-Express or not..... it would have been better for you to upgrade to a low-end PCI-Express motherboard that still supported your CPU (or a CPU similar in price to the one you bought, or maybe an Athlon 64) and buy a 7900GT than keep your motherboard, upgrade the CPU a tad, and buy the 7800GS. if i remember correctly, a single 7900GT performs quite a bit better than a 7800GT, and almost as well as a 7800GTX. not sure where a 7800GS falls into play.... but it still wouldn't be faster than the 7900GT.

either way it's destined to come to an end anyway. when the 7900 series came out, i think NVidia said they weren't going to be releasing any AGP versions of the cards. guess they figured they'd give AGP one last run?

Look at other hardware we have that doesn't really get used to it's full potential very often. Hard drives... we now have SATA2.... which still never hits it's 300MB/s transfer rate except possibly coming close to it in bursts. is it necessary to buy a SATA2 hard drive if you have a SATA2-compatible motherboard? no. but usually a hard drive is bought anyway. why? why not! what's the point of having SATA2 if it's not being used to it's potential? Dual Core CPU's have been out for quite some time now.... and there's still next to no games that are optimized for Dual Core.... and Quad-Core/Dual Dual-core is just around the corner.....

and Lee is exactly right. you can't buy a brand spankin new video card for a brand-name PC without buying a new power supply, and that, in turn, usually ends up forcing you to either a) buy a new case to throw all the hardware in EXCEPT the power supply, or b) cut the crap outta the brand name case.... making the whole thing look like ass, and making you want a new case anyway. Brand-name PC's typically come with a power supply just strong enough to handle what the computer originally came with.... and that should handle maybe a bit more RAM.... nothing major. i should know. my old Sony Vaio PCV-RX540 killed a GeForce 4 Ti4200 after a month or a few due to lower than required power. woke up one morning to one helluva artifact filled screen. Speaking of which, i HOPE your computer isn't one of those brand name computers we speak of.... if so, i'd check your power supply wattage and report back to us with the info.

edit: and no, that 7600GS 512MB isn't really that worth it. yeah, it has 512MB of video memory.... but it's only GDDR2. new GPU on old memory.....
 
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rotjong

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I had a friend ignore this advice and drop $350 on an AGP 850 XT a few months ago because he didn't want to go through a new MB install. He is already regretting going AGP.
Your friend was silly to spend that much on the card, period. To simply get a better video card is no reason to rebuild a system. A better AGP card can help some people who want to play games that their current AGP card can't handle without buying a new motherboard, etc, so they can purchase a nice shiney PCI-E card. Your friend's lack of sense isn't a reason enough to say staying with AGP is silly, IMO. They should have waited for the price to fall. In the end it comes down to what the user wants to accomplish and the money and time they are willing to spend now. It's personal preference.

rotjong
 

LordOfLA

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all you ranting on the advice to go pci-e missed the point.

It is often cheaper to go PCI-E (thats board and lower end vga card) with better performance over the AGP system than a high end AGP card.

Granted with price fluctuations, discounts, special offers, etc you may find it costs less to stay AGP, however I think you will find that a rarity unless you're aiming at really low end.
 

LeeJend

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They should have waited for the price to fall. In the end it comes down to what the user wants to accomplish and the money and time they are willing to spend now. It's personal preference.
rotjong
You missed what I said. The prices on high end AGP cards are not dropping, many have doubled in price this summer because they are almost all out of production and the supply is dwindling.

Lord
same comment. The price thing is the reason to avoid AGP. Aside from a few mid range cards AGP is dead. It was the decision of ATI and Nvidia to drop and screw all AGP owners into buying new MB's (probably with ATI and Nvidia chipsets on them).

If you see an AGP card cheap now it is a low to low middle end model, refurbished, or is the last gasp inventory clearance.

If you buy a cadr now and it dies do not expect to be able to get an equal or better part under warantee. The supplier may not have any, except a 3 year old refurb.
 

ShepsCrook

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You are all missing the point. Repeating a suggestion for moving to PCI-E is not helping the original poster. YES it is a better upgrade to go to PCI-E. BUT the OP is looking for AGP: His other systems show that he has PCI-E and better cards anyway. Moving to PCI-E may not be all that worth it anyway. Whereas he can just put his AGP machine to the max it can do.

Anyway, to the OP, like I said. X800Pro or X850Pro will be a lot better than a 7600GS or whatever the 7xxx series AGP is.

Good luck with your upgrade once you figure this all out.
 

LeeJend

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Actually, if you had read the original post you would realize he is not asking for help but rather making a recommendation that AGP upgrades are a good idea, which you just agreed they are not.

He had already bought a card at the time he posted. The responses from multiple people has been to counter the original concept that AGP is still alive and well. It is not, the AGP cards available are low to mid-range performance at best.

The manufacturers have all abandoned performance AGP cards except for the 7800 GS which costs twice what it's performance justifies.
 

David_L6

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if i remember correctly, a single 7900GT performs quite a bit better than a 7800GT, and almost as well as a 7800GTX. not sure where a 7800GS falls into play.... but it still wouldn't be faster than the 7900GT.


...i'd check your power supply wattage....

The 7800 GS is about the same as a 7800 GT.

My power supply is a 425 watt PC Power & Cooling.
 
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David_L6

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Oh well...... To each his own I guess. I agree with my original post (AGP ain't dead yet!) and with Lazer (I don't see toys - and that's what computers are for most people - as an investment. I race hydroplanes also. They are not an investment either. They are toys!) I already have a pretty good PCI-e system. I wasn't doing much with my old AGP computer. I upgraded it and am now using it and have it as a back up. I'm also going to rob some parts from my PCI-e computer to complete the Conroe system that I have been buying parts for.

New in box parts for the Conroe system in the works:

Cooler Master Stacker, Zalman CPNS 9500, 2 X 150 GB Raptors.

Parts that I plan on re-using:

PSU, 7800 GTX video card, X-Fi sound card, RAM, optical drives.

When I'm done with the Conroe system I'll either sell off the left over parts (P4 670 and 2 X 74 GB Raptors) or rebuild it as I upgrade the Conroe system (faster RAM, 8800 GTX video card), and/or maybe upgrade my AGP system some more (with the Raptors)..........

While I'm playing with the "latest and greatest" PCI-e stuff I'll still have an AGPsystem that will run anything that I run at an acceptable level. Just like I do with my racing...... I have a couple of damned good motors, but I'm almost always planning/building another (hopefully faster) one. While I'm building/testing the "latest and greatest" motors I still have the old ones in "reserve".
 

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Mainframeguy

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Believe it or not I just bought an FX5500 - don't ask why ;) - so no, it is far from dead, unlike my old 9700 pro, which died :dead:
 

ElementalDragon

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....and i believe you just TOLD us why you got an FX5500.... so why would we have to ask?
 

ElementalDragon

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and if you judge by the ABIT Fatal1ty socket AM2 motherboard.... PCI is damn near dead. that freakin thing only has 1 PCI slot, right under the second PCI-Express x16 slot. who in their right mind would buy such a board with very VERY limited PCI-Express cards? i sure wouldn't (let alone the fact that it's also a Fatal1ty product)
 

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