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Are you thinking about buying a 3850 AGP?

mnm222876

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#1
Hey guys,

I just replaced my x1950 Pro with the 3850 AGP. Here’s what I have to report.

I’m running all stock speeds and all stock cooling. The performance of the 3850 took me up 25-35% in 3d games over the x1950 Pro. In 3dMark06 I got a 8226. I was expecting a little bit more. I’m guessing that I am now CPU bottlenecked, which means there’s no more upgrades for this machine. Performance in ATiTool (the fuzzy cube benchmark) went from 570 fps with the x1950 Pro, to 825 fps with the 3850. That’s quite an increase, and kind of what I was expecting overall, but I don’t think ATiTool stresses the CPU like 3dMark06 and only gives GPU performance. This shows the true difference in performance of the two GPU’s without the CPU dependency of the other benchmarks.

I was worried about power when I first installed the 3850 AGP because I’m using the stock 250w PSU, but the reduction in process size to 55nm did a lot to reduce the power consumption. The 3850 was nearly identical to the x1950 Pro at idle (122 W total system draw), and at full load the 3850 was actually a few watts less than the x1950 (at 210 W total system draw for the 3850 and 221 W for the x1950 Pro). Measurements were taken with a Kill-A-Watt.

Drivers were an issue. I could not get any of the standard ATi drivers to install and had to use the Sapphire 8.3 Hotfix drivers.

Not sure if it was worth the $240 but oh well. Next upgrade will be an all new system and run Vista SP1.
 

Kursah

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#2
Nice...have you increased your AGP BUS Speed to see if you can get some incentives there? I know there's generally an AGP/PCI 66/33 setting...on my G/F's rig with a P4, AGP x850xt pe just going to 68/34 gave a increase worth a few FPS in games.

3D marks don't matter as much as your games tho, at least in my opinion. That's a decent increase...but for the cost that kinda hurts a bit...I'd hope for more than 25-35%...but even at that...there's a decent increase.

Interesting results! :toast:
 

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#3
thanks for the heads up. im sure there are a few people in the forum who still run AGP systems & are looking or have been waiting for a decent AGP card to upgrade to.


Im sure that theres a 400w psu made for SFF systems i cant remember who makes them but i remember seeing them on a website some place. I will have a look & see what I can find.

on a side note. its a real shame that you cant overclock your CPU (im gathering with your current setup its running at stock speeds as any increasse would really chew up your psu)
being a sandy & all you can get that up to at least 2.8-2.9Ghz maybe even more with the right setup.

EDIT:

if you got time add a few screenies of 3dmark & possibly CPUZ of your rig (im curious) :)

EDIT: EDIT:

I know the prices are in UK sterling but you can still use it as a reference etc.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-012-EN&groupid=701&catid=123&subcat=

sorry i only had time to look for one as ive got to go out
 
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mnm222876

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#4
thanks for the heads up. im sure there are a few people in the forum who still run AGP systems & are looking or have been waiting for a decent AGP card to upgrade to.


Im sure that theres a 400w psu made for SFF systems i cant remember who makes them but i remember seeing them on a website some place. I will have a look & see what I can find.

on a side note. its a real shame that you cant overclock your CPU (im gathering with your current setup its running at stock speeds as any increasse would really chew up your psu)
being a sandy & all you can get that up to at least 2.8-2.9Ghz maybe even more with the right setup.

EDIT:

if you got time add a few screenies of 3dmark & possibly CPUZ of your rig (im curious) :)

Not only would OC'ing probably kill my PSU, but I don't even know how to OC anything... The only OC'ing I've done is via ATiTool.

Those type of PSU's don't fit in Shuttle cases. Shuttle uses small server type PSU's specially adapted for their cases.

Here's screenies:




 

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#5
Not only would OC'ing probably kill my PSU, but I don't even know how to OC anything... The only OC'ing I've done is via ATiTool.

Those type of PSU's don't fit in Shuttle cases. Shuttle uses small server type PSU's specially adapted for their cases.
Well if you can afford an AGP 3850, you can afford to get a better PSU...I've seen small PSU's with better than 300W before...I'll have to start digging!
 
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#6
All I can say is - you have balls running your system with that PSU... If your drawing 210 watts then that psu of yours will be workin damn hard...

Quite often when a psu dies it will take other components with it man.. ie nice shiny 3850!!!

do yourself a favour and try grab a bigger psu. If you can't fit a standard psu in there you could look at one of those thermaltake express 250w 5 1/4" bay psu's specifically for gfx cards....
 

mnm222876

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#7
All I can say is - you have balls running your system with that PSU... If your drawing 210 watts then that psu of yours will be workin damn hard...

Quite often when a psu dies it will take other components with it man.. ie nice shiny 3850!!!

do yourself a favour and try grab a bigger psu. If you can't fit a standard psu in there you could look at one of those thermaltake express 250w 5 1/4" bay psu's specifically for gfx cards....


Shuttle PSU's are server PSU's and are very robust. They can often be taken right to their rated wattage and sustained there for long periods of time. This is quite normal for Shuttle SFF's.
 

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#8
I am betting that CPU score around 1820 in 3DMark 06?
I have been looking at numbers for a little bit now and have graphed CPU vs 3DMark 06 Score for 3850s over here. Just updated with lots more data points. (over 250)
http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?p=705750
 

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#9
Shuttle PSU's are pretty damn good, I've heard the same about that as you mnm. I've also had a few cheap PSU's die on me, one blew a cap and leaked all over my 9600PRO...cleaned up the gook, 9600PRO was fine...system was fine.

I think some of these higher wattage PSU's cause a severe voltage spike or something when they fail, taking hardware with them. I've replaced many failed PSU's and not once has any hardware been damaged from such a failure...not to say it doesn't happen or is worth the risk though.

But I would say you'd be better off trying to get something in there that is a little more capable and higher on wattage...how warm does your PSU casing get to the touch when under load?
 

mnm222876

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#10
But I would say you'd be better off trying to get something in there that is a little more capable and higher on wattage...how warm does your PSU casing get to the touch when under load?

Well I ran the x1950 Pro in this system for over a year without any issues. And from my tests the 3850 is running cooler temps and lower peak wattage so I'm not really worried about it. :cool:

Since I don't know how to OC my CPU/mobo/memory and have no plans to, I think I'm done putting money into this system. I'm actually quite proud of how long I've been able to nurse it along. Soon I will build a whole new system. :roll:
 

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#11
That's pretty cool, just goes to show that a higher quality PSU at lower wattage can get the job done just fine.

Overclocking is pretty easy...just gotta get familiar with the components and understand what to expect out of them. I build budget rigs that I plan to overclock (extra PSU power and cooling included of course) so I can hit my target performance without killing my wallet if ya know what I mean. Everyone has different methods and opinions, but at a place like this, your rig is in OC friendly territory! But don't know what the braking point for that PSU is, nor do I know what your stock cooling is capable of dealing out. But if you're happy with your current performance, then no need to change anything or possibly damage something.

:toast:
 
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#12
Gumps graphs is interesting...

Basically, you are doing fine with your setup.

Remember those TOP SCORES on a 3850 of 12000+ are OVERCLOCK QUADS and OVERCLOCKED 3850's.

If you were to upgrade your CPU to a QUAD... and not overclock the 3850... you'd probably get around 10-11000. So you are only 20% short. No need to upgrade just yet.

My RULE for upgrading is MINIMUM 50% gain. If you upgrade more often than that... then, according to Moores Law, you'll be upgrading every 3-6 months. My upgrade cycle is once a year (or less).
 

mnm222876

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#13
Gumps graphs is interesting...

Basically, you are doing fine with your setup.

Remember those TOP SCORES on a 3850 of 12000+ are OVERCLOCK QUADS and OVERCLOCKED 3850's.

If you were to upgrade your CPU to a QUAD... and not overclock the 3850... you'd probably get around 10-11000. So you are only 20% short. No need to upgrade just yet.

My RULE for upgrading is MINIMUM 50% gain. If you upgrade more often than that... then, according to Moores Law, you'll be upgrading every 3-6 months. My upgrade cycle is once a year (or less).

My last upgrade was over a year ago. And if I weren't CPU bottlenecked this card would have been a 50% increase over my last. I'm similar to you in upgrading, but there's no more upgrade path for 939 and AGP, so like I said above, this is my last upgrade for this machine. Next will be a completely new system build based on a Intel Quad core CPU, Vista, maybe a 9800 GX2. Probably Q3 this year. That will definitely be more than a 50% leap from this system, probably 100% leap. :D
 

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#14
was just looing for a new case myself & a thought occured to me.....If u still want to keep your current system but want to try get more out of it to hold you off from a complete overhaul for a while then you could theoreticaly transfer your Micro-ATX mobo (since its a SSF) into a much larger case & you can use a much more powerful PSU

most cases full ATX or mid tower cases etc will support Micro-ATXs all you have to do reall is think about how badly you want to hold off from a complete upgrade & if you want to lose the main facter that makes a SFF system SFF

thats an option - i done exactly the same thing with an old PIII system of mine. it was in a tiny SFF case when i dug it out but moved it to a full ATX that i had lying around that wasnt in use.
 

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#15
was just looing for a new case myself & a thought occured to me.....If u still want to keep your current system but want to try get more out of it to hold you off from a complete overhaul for a while then you could theoreticaly transfer your Micro-ATX mobo (since its a SSF) into a much larger case & you can use a much more powerful PSU

most cases full ATX or mid tower cases etc will support Micro-ATXs all you have to do reall is think about how badly you want to hold off from a complete upgrade & if you want to lose the main facter that makes a SFF system SFF

thats an option - i done exactly the same thing with an old PIII system of mine. it was in a tiny SFF case when i dug it out but moved it to a full ATX that i had lying around that wasnt in use.
Hey Freedom, you are absolutely right about that. Migrating all the internals to a mid or full ATX and then adding a powerful power supply would be pretty easy. But since I don't know how to overclock I don't think it would do me any good. If I throw another couple hundred bucks at this system with PSU, larger case, larger HSF for the CPU/GPU, and learn to overclock (maybe), how much performance could I really get out of it? After all, the 939 socket and AGP is nearly dead. There's nothing else to upgrade to beyond this. I've had this system for almost five years now.

I think I will just build a whole new machine in six months time. The X48 chipset is coming, the 45nm CPU's are coming, DDR3 is coming down in price, and the new 9800 GX2 is looking quite tasty. An upgrade like that will give me way over 100% increase in performance and as lemonadesoda mentioned, Moore’s Law is overtaking me on my current machine.