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Old 09-18-2003, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A little advice about upgrading for Half-Life 2

I built this system about a year ago for around $1000.
Specs:
Athlon XP 2000+
Asus A7V333
512 PC2700
GeForce Ti4200 128MB
Audigy 2 Platinum

I want to get this thing ready for HL2 for around $200. It does well now, but I don't want to be turning down graphics options or anything.
I was planning on buying a Radeon 9600 PRO, but i was just doing a little research here and it seems the 9600 PRO doesn't perform much better than mine, sometimes worse.
Can anyone recommend a card or another way I can significantly up my benchmark scores? I don't want to spend more than $200 on a graphics card, if I am going to spend more, I would probably get a Asus A7N8X and Processor, and then I could build another system with my old stuff.
Any advice is appreciated
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Iowa...sometimes
Well judging from that link, I would not get the 9600. But yeah, I've got the same basic system specs as you and also am looking to upgrade, so I'll be watchin this thread too for any ideas. Good luck and let us know what you finally decide.
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Old 09-19-2003, 09:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Houston, Texas
Unfortunately I think Half-Life 2 is going to be the first of many games that are going to require a top of the line system to run at full detail. I don't know that there's a card out there for $200 or less that will greatly increase the performance of HL2. All of the benchmarks thus far have been using 2.8ghz processors with 800mhz fsb, 1gb of ram, and then several high end graphics cards. Even with those specs and a 9800 pro, the average framerate at 1024x768 was only 60fps. I would bet that in high detailed areas (like city-17 with firefights) that those numbers drop to the 40's or less.

The days of getting extreme framerates with your games are over. Espcially if you want all the bells and whistles that come with DirectX 9. I think that if you want to see a dramatic increase in performance, you're going to have to fork over some dough.
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Old 09-19-2003, 09:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You have one option get a 9800np and falsh the bios on it to a pro ver you can pick up the np from $189 to $220 go to www.futuremark.com theres plenty off threads on there about how to do this
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Old 09-19-2003, 12:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Central Coast CA
it will run on your system it is saposed to throttle the game to fit your system down to 400mhz PII
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thanks cj for the info about the 9800 i might consider that. I wish there was a way to estimate what the actual boost in 3dmark score would be.
I think I might just wait and see how it runs on what i have. for now, i think it's DVD writer time
Thanks for the help
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Old 09-19-2003, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, the game shoudl have scaling available, and shoudl run on lower than spec systems. Sure it won't look utterly fantastic, but you'll get to continue the story. I'm upgrading from a P3 1G, so I really have no choice if I want to see it. But to see every detail and texture.....might not be the highest priority.

As for your question, $200 huh....I'd look for some kind of ATI product. Really. ATI's support of DX9 is no joke.
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Old 09-20-2003, 09:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Iowa?
I don't for sure, but I also doubt that your video card will fully support DirectX 9. That may be one reason to go to the 9600, as I think it does. You may want to check a little further on that, however.
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Old 09-20-2003, 11:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Springford, ON, Canada
The 9600 pro should actually run about the same speed as your card, but it will be running it using all the available DX9 options rather than the DX8 path which will result in a better looking game. Somewhere on Anandtech they have benchs which show the 9600 kicking the 5900 ultra's ass when using true DX9, rather than the FX's bastardized Mixed-Mode path.
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Old 09-20-2003, 04:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, your 4200 is not DX 9 compatible. I have a 9500 Pro. I'm going to wait and see how the new games play before upgrading.
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Old 09-20-2003, 08:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Berkeley
Quote:
Originally posted by scavengertype

I was planning on buying a Radeon 9600 PRO, but i was just doing a little research here and it seems the 9600 PRO doesn't perform much better than mine, sometimes worse.
I've seen that THG webpage floating around a lot lately. What I haven't seen is the very next page, where the Ti4200 is turning in barely acceptable 30 FPS. Barely acceptable because these are the average frames per second. Meanwhile, the 9600 Pro is pushing almost 50 FPS. And the gap only gets wider as you increase the resolution.

You can still buy the 9500 Pro from Tiger Direct even though it's been officially discontinued by ATI.
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Old 09-22-2003, 07:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Ok, could I get a recommendation?
a 9500 PRO for $200, a 9600 PRO for $190, or a 9800 non-PRO for $225 and flash the BIOS (sounds risky)?I think I'm leaning towards the 9500.

Last edited by scavengertype; 09-22-2003 at 07:47 AM..
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