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Old 24th Mar 2006, 07:56 AM   #1
Convict
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Icon16 Oblivion upgrade

Hiyas I was thinking about maybe upgrading and getting Oblivion if it's only a bit of upgrading to be done (e.g. just a video card).

I used the System Requirements Lab and I got passes on everything BUT we all know that my Radeon 9600 XT (256Mb) video card won't run Oblivion well. I only want to buy it if I can run it well - it would ruin it for me if I can't.

(Relevant) Specs at the moment:
 Quote:
Minimum: Pentium 4 or Athlon XP or better
You Have: 2 processors running - Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz

Minimum: 2 GHz
You Have: 3.0 GHz

Minimum: 512 MB
You Have: 1023.2 MB

Minimum: 128MB Direct3D compatible video card (NVIDIA GeForce FX+ / ATI Radeon 9500+)
You Have: GeCube RADEON 9600XT (ATI RADEON 9600 Series AGP (0x4152)).
So how well would it run if I merely upgraded my AGP video card (and the inherent difficulty of that also...)? And how would I find out my RAM speed to see if that is good enough?
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 08:03 AM   #2
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Upgrading your Card to something like mine (x1600pro 512) would make a massive difference. I've just made the same jump (9600pro -> x1600).

3dmark05 with 9600 = 571
3dmark05 with x1600 = 4700
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 08:50 AM   #3
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did u get the AGP or the PCIe?
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 08:51 AM   #4
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AGP - which is a problem.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 09:22 AM   #5
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 Originally Posted by Convict:
AGP - which is a problem.
Wrong, There are AGP Cards out there which outperform some PCI-E Cards. AGP is not dead yet. Mine is an AGP card.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 09:39 AM   #6
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AGP will be dead within a year or two. Choice of AGP cards on retail sites is already declining, and they'll only be able to outperform some PCI-E cards to a limited extent, with growing expense until they become unviable for manufacturers and retailers.

I'm barely keeping myself afloat with a 256Mb Geforce 6600. I'm not aiming for that to last another 9 months. When I go for another upgrade, I'll start it with a good PCI-E motherboard, because it's either go for a PCI-E system, or go for increasingly expensive AGP cards, then the PCI-E system pretty soon after.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 09:42 AM   #7
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The question is really, however, if all I do is upgrade my video card, will I be able to run Oblivion well?
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 09:54 AM   #8
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I'm not worried, in 2 years time I'd update my PC anyway, this AGP card I have now rips through anything I through at it so it'll do for me.

Convict, in response to your question. Yes, even if you do get an AGP card. Something like mine or better (850XT) will kill oblivion and rape it's corpse. (run smooth)
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 09:59 AM   #9
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Yeah. On the other hand a PCI-E system will be cheaper in two years
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 10:14 AM   #10
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PCIe SLI MOBO with 2 x1600 512's... that should tide you over at least until next January
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 02:50 PM   #11
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7800 gs agp, will easily play obl0vion with your rig =)
If not that you might want to try a 6800gt for the extra pipes, or 6800gs for a good match with the x1600
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 03:31 PM   #12
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If you're on a budget these don't look like too bad a deal:
link

Ebuyer are doing them cheap in the UK right now too:
link
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 07:18 PM   #13
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Could someone plz tell me how I check my RAM speed?

I was looking at www.scorptec.com.au and I saw the XFX PV-T40B-UDF3 Geforce 6800GS, AGP8X, 256MB, Dual DVI.

Specs:
Graphics Core
256-bit
Memory Interface
256-bit
Memory Bandwidth
32 GB/sec
Vertices Per Second
531 Million
Pixels per Clock (peak)
12
Textures per Pixel
12
RAMDACs
400 MHz
Fill Rate
5.1 Billion Texels/sec.
Memory Date Rate
1000 MHz

Memory Clock
1000MHz
Engine Clock
350MHz
Chipset
GeForce 6800GS
Memory
256MB
Bus Type
AGP 8X
Memory Type
DDR3
Memory Bus
256-bit
Highlighted Features
Dual DVI Out , TV Out


Is the DDR-3 compatible with my computer or is that completely internal to the video card?
What do you guys think about it - will it run Oblivion well?

Here is an AGP video card comparison guide from TomsHardware
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 07:46 PM   #14
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Actually, if you buy a 6800 non-ultra/gt, there's a chance the extra pipes are intact. All you need to do is unlock them. I did this with my own card some time ago and got quite a healthy boost in 3dmark score.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 09:00 PM   #15
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So is that card better or worse than a 6800gt (it wasn't in the Tomshardware table)? And how do you unlock them.


Plz remember I am noob and most of all this I don't understand. What I do understand is that higher numbers = better card!
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 10:09 PM   #16
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6800 GS is better in some aspects than a GT, and worse in others.



It will run oblivion quite comfortably with your current specs.

I have two 6600GT's in SLi and i can run Oblivion at 1280*1024 , high textures at around 50 fps
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 10:37 PM   #17
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I want to buy this while it's cheap, because I need a new graphics card for Oblivion too (I'm still using a Geforce4ti4600 DX8). I want to stick to AGP, because I can't afford a full-on upgrade at this time. I just want a good video card.

What do you guys think of this? From overclockers.co.uk:

Sapphire X1600 Pro 512MB DDR2 AVIVO TV-Out/DVI (AGP) - Retail (GX-120-SP)

- Powered by ATI Radeon X1600 Pro - 500MHz
- 512MB-128bit 4 channel DDR2 memory - 800MHz
- 12 Pixel shader processor
- 5 Vertex shader processor
- 8 Geometry Pipelines
- Ultra-threaded SM 3.0 Engine
- 256-bit Ring-bus
- ATI Avivo™ (Video-In Cables not supplied)


Available This Week Only for just £84.95 +VAT.

Is it a good deal?
I've noticed the Nvidia cards are a lot more expensive, but they're all 256 MB (at least on overclockers.co.uk).

Is this actually a good card? It just seems suspiciously cheap.

Thanks.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 10:42 PM   #18
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This is what I mean...same type of card, but it's more expensive just because the quality of the ram is higher (GDDR3 as opposed to DDR2):

Sapphire ATI Radeon X800 GTO 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/DVI (AGP) - Retail (GX-122-SP)

- 400MHz GPU Clock Speed
- 256MB 980MHz GDDR3 memory accelerates the latest cutting edge 3D applications
- 256-bit quad-channel GDDR3 memory interface
- Twelve pixel pipelines
- Six programmable vertex shader pipelines


Available This Week Only for just £109.95 +VAT.

Is it worth going for the 256 MB with the higher quality ram, or the 512 MB with the lower quality ram?
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 11:34 PM   #19
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 Originally Posted by Rodent:
6800 GS is better in some aspects than a GT, and worse in others.



It will run oblivion quite comfortably with your current specs.

I have two 6600GT's in SLi and i can run Oblivion at 1280*1024 , high textures at around 50 fps
OK what does two 6600GT's in SLi mean? You have two cards running? I prob don't want to spend more than $300 and something but prob not less either (I will do a full upgrade in the future and give this comp to my mum to check her emails). And when you say run comfortably, you mean with high detail?

Also is XFX a good brand?
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 11:39 PM   #20
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I don't think you need 512MB video RAM Athel... I expected Oblivion to run terribly and thought I'd have to upgrade, but this old system from last year runs it nice and smooth and looks good. Using A64 3200+ and an X800 256MB with 1GB RAM. Still, I can't wait until I upgrade for UT2007 so I can max some of the shadow and water settings
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 07:06 AM   #21
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By the time there's games that really need 512MB of graphics memory, the card you have won't be fast enough to run them properly. It may make sense if you're going for some uberproultra or SLI setup, but otherwise, meh, don't bother.

Also, which card's good? Google for benchmarks. There's new models just about every week so i've stopped keeping up with it. Stats like megahertzes, megabytes and pixel/vertex/shader/whatever pipelines aren't always the full picture, they are only indications of performance.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 07:27 AM   #22
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 Originally Posted by Athelstone:
Is it worth going for the 256 MB with the higher quality ram, or the 512 MB with the lower quality ram?
Any Radeon cards with "Pro" on them are basically slower, cheaper versions of other Radeon cards. Some benchmarks of a 256Mb 1600XT here; not looking too rosy against the X800, and the Geforce 6800 they tested tends to outperform them both.

That said, the lowest resolution they use is 1280 x 1024 and CoD2 makes them all struggle at that. The 1600 range are probably fairly adequate performers, but not for long.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 08:29 AM   #23
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Thx for the website link Nach - this GeForce 6800 GS review seems quite positive with framerates comparable to the 6800 GT.

EDIT: So I think I'm gonna go for it since this gives my specs "recommended" if I get that card.

Is framerates per second the end point of performance measure? Can I just look at that and ignore everything else (apart from memory I assume)?

EDIT: Also I can't seem to find what Shader Model the 6800 GS has? It seems from the Oblivion forums that you should have SM3.0?? (I'm not sure about that though)

Last edited by Convict; 25th Mar 2006 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 08:43 AM   #24
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Kind of. FPS compared to settings is the benchmark for games. FPS will vary somewhat according to the rest of the stuff in your system, and if your CPU and RAM aren't sufficient it can cause massive performance hits no matter what the card.

With a gig of RAM and a 3GHz CPU, that shouldn't trouble you for now though.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 12:13 PM   #25
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FPS is real world performance where everything else is a synthetic statistic. It's not the end point, there is no such thing, because FPS is influenced by factors that may be important to you (cpu performance, settings, and which specific game), but it goes a long way.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 02:52 PM   #26
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but you really want a x1xxx card or a 6600 or better, to get those yummy sm 3.0 shadows and hdr.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 04:06 PM   #27
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You could consider that an image quality argument, but HDR is a rendering technique and doesn't rely on any specific hardware support beyond cheapass programmers not bothering to write the implementation for anything else.

Granted though, sm 3.0 will actually be useful so it's an important feature to consider - but an exception at that. Most novelty features are irrelevant in their first gen hardware implementation. Like FSAA on the Voodoo 5, anisotropic filtering on the TNT-2 and texture compression on the S3 Savage.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 04:42 PM   #28
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About how much RAM is enough these days, just thought I'd add this from the Construction Set readme:

"It is strongly recommended that you have at least 2 GB of RAM to use
the Heightmap Editing, and at least 1 GB of RAM for any world and level
building."

But for playing 1GB seems to be enough, and loading times are very low. Although I'm sure another 1GB wouldn't hurt
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 06:56 PM   #29
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Of all components ram's the easiest to upgrade though, as you don't necissarily have to pull the old parts out. Just make sure you go with the highest density modules you can afford - so you won't run out of slots.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 07:07 PM   #30
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I thought mixing RAM was bad?
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