Video Card for BP6

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Lycaon
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Video Card for BP6

Post by Lycaon » Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:34 pm

I have read through a number of the posts on this board and I can't find a definative answer. So being lazy I ask it here.

What is a good Video Card upgrade for the BP6, at the moment I am using an old Geforce 2 with 64Mb. I don't want to spend a fortune just get something that would help speed things up a bit.

What are your thoughts



Lycaon

Luistervink
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Video card

Post by Luistervink » Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:14 pm

BP6 only supports AGP 1x, so any fance board is useless.

I use matrox G 400 millenium.

Try to find a secondhand good board and don't pay too much.

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Post by phaedrus » Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:58 pm

Even still, the board will run 1x, 2x and Universal AGP 4x cards. The problem, as noted, is that the slot only goes at 1x (rated to 66MHz, but with SoftmenuII you can boost it to 100MHz, giving you AGP 1.5x ;)), which puts a limit on the bandwidth of the slot, which limits how much you can ship to your video card. The problem with running a fast AGP 4x card in your BP6, is that it will spend a decent bit of time just spinning its wheels doing little to nothing. So, you could get much more performance on a board with proper AGP 4x support, you could still see a speed boost from a faster card (you just have to get a card that really needs a bus faster than AGP 1x). I upgraded to a GF4/Ti and it owns my old Voodoo3.

My real reason for getting an AGP 4x card is certain features are only available on those cards, for instance, individual pixel shaders. I did this realizing that I would be taking a speed hit due to bandwidth on the port.

The other thing is that the AGP 1.0 slot runs on 3.3V which is what AGP 1x and 2x cards are rated to. An AGP 4x card is designed to run at 1.5V optimally, but a Universal AGP 4x card should be designed to run at 1.5V or 3.3V. For this reason, you might want to look into better cooling for the card. My GF4 runs pretty hot.

AGP 8x cards will not run on the BP6--they won't even fit into the slot, and it really isn't worth it--the 4x cards already need the extra bandwidth.

My advice is to ask yourself what software you want to run on your BP6, and then ask yourself if there is a feature you need that you don't currently have? If you just want more speed, where is the point of diminishing returns? Your GF2 is probably pretty close to that point, and you may or may not notice big/any returns from getting an AGP 4x card. If want certain features, a more modern card might be worth it.

Jeff
"If it ain't broke, mod it till it is"
They said... and now my BP6 needs new processors... D'oh
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Luistervink
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@ Jeff

Post by Luistervink » Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:25 pm

I once used a AGP 4x card Creative 3D Blaster, but from time to time the computer hung, so I did not try it again.

InactiveX
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Re: Video card

Post by InactiveX » Wed Mar 02, 2005 6:56 pm

Lycaon wrote:I have read through a number of the posts on this board and I can't find a definative answer. So being lazy I ask it here.
Hey, laziness is a virtue! Us lazy people spend our lives thinking up ways to make things easier, which benefits everyone. :D :D :D
Luistervink wrote:BP6 only supports AGP 1x, so any fance board is useless.
Actually, the BP6 supports AGP 1X and 2X.

If you ask me Lycaon, your best bet is to stick with what you've got. That or spend a few more £$£$£$s on other parts. You have to balance the components in your PC, and the BP6, as much as I love it, is a little long in the tooth. A faster card will not benefit you.

If you really want faster GFX performance, then you'll need a newer motherboard and CPU.

Sorry if that's a little disappointing. :cry:
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Post by Dave Rave » Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:57 am

can you post which utility tells you what agp mode your vodeo card is running in ?

not all vga cards have proprietary utils to tell you all the xyz factors available.

Lycaon
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Post by Lycaon » Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:37 pm

Many thanks for the replies.

I figured that it may have come time for me to upgrade the computer but was hoping to put it off for a little while longer. Suppose i better start looking at new Mobo/CPU combinations.

I could always turn the BP6 over to SETI crunching.


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Post by InactiveX » Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:11 pm

Dave Rave wrote:can you post which utility tells you what agp mode your vodeo card is running in ?

not all vga cards have proprietary utils to tell you all the xyz factors available.
CPU-Z will do that, and a whole lot more.
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Re: Video card

Post by phaedrus » Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:24 pm

InactiveX wrote:
Luistervink wrote:BP6 only supports AGP 1x, so any fance board is useless.
Actually, the BP6 supports AGP 1X and 2X.
The BP6, as we all know, runs on the BX440 chipset. AGP 1x is defined as running at 66MHz, and having a dedicated path from the chipset. AGP 2x runs at 133MHz, and likewise, 4x and 8x run at 266MHz and 533MHz, respectively. I've pored over the BX440 specs and google my brains out trying to find a definitive answer on what AGP speeds the BX440 actually runs at, not just supports. The Intel docs just say "supports AGP" as if written before AGP 2x.

The BIOS on the BP6 has only two settings for the AGP clock, 1/1 and 2/3, presumably for use with the 66MHz FSB and the 100MHz FSB, respectively. Which means, our beloved BP6 has a 1x AGP port only. It supports 2x cards, they just run at half bandwidth. It also supports 4x Universal cards, but they run at quarter bandwidth.

The cards themselves still run at full speed--the clock speeds on a video card are independent of the AGP bus from what I've seen. The AGP bus speed just determines how fast data can run between the CPUs, chipset, RAM and video card. So, if you have a 2x card and you're running at 100MHz FSB, switch that AGP/FSB ratio to 1/1 to overclock your port and get AGP "1.5x." It's as fast as the board will go, normally.

The only way to get any more speed out of your AGP port is to overclock the BX440. It is not an easy path, and it is not even gauranteed to work. I've seen screenshots of a BP6 POSTing at 124 and 133 MHz FSB, but I do not know what the AGP multiplier was set to. Theoretically, if you set the AGP/FSB clock to 1/1 and overclocked the BX440 to 133MHz, you'd have an AGP 2x port, but again, I've only seen screenshots of a BIOS POSTing at these speeds. I get a big nothing on my board right now when I try to run at 124 or 133. (This is my other reason for insisting on trying to get my BP6 to go all the way, I want that bandwidth to the AGP port).
InactiveX wrote: If you ask me Lycaon, your best bet is to stick with what you've got. That or spend a few more £$£$£$s on other parts. You have to balance the components in your PC, and the BP6, as much as I love it, is a little long in the tooth. A faster card will not benefit you.

If you really want faster GFX performance, then you'll need a newer motherboard and CPU.

Sorry if that's a little disappointing. :cry:
Alas, I have to agree with this one. Unless there is some new feature that you want and not more speed, you need more bandwidth to the video card, and that just means a new motherboard and processor. A dual PIII system probably won't set you back too far, and the power consumption is still reasonable. For that matter, Athlon MP's will run hot, but they aren't unreasonably priced (as for me, I'm never running a single processor system again--when I started using my BP6, I touched fire, and don't want to let go).

Jeff
"If it ain't broke, mod it till it is"
They said... and now my BP6 needs new processors... D'oh
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purrkur
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Re: Video card

Post by purrkur » Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:59 pm

Luistervink wrote:BP6 only supports AGP 1x, so any fance board is useless.

I use matrox G 400 millenium.

Try to find a secondhand good board and don't pay too much.
Luistervink: If you can convince me that there is a tremendous amount of real performance difference between AGP 1x and AGP 8x then I will definitely recommend you as a sales person at ATi or Nvidia :)

I think that the evidence is clear that the speed differences between the different AGP standards is almost non-existent in practice. In theory you can say a lot but the huge load of tests between 1x vs 2x AGP, 2x vs 4x AGP and 4x vs 8x AGP shows that the performance difference is marginal in practice, although on paper it looks like is should go twice as fast.

I agree with phaedrus that a person should decide what he wants to do with his BP6 and from there decide what graphics adapter to buy. for phaedrus, he was looking for technical aspects that were not found on his previous card, so why not buy a new one if he has the dough to do it?

As for AGP speeds, I have only used Nvidia 4x AGP cards on my two board with good success. However, I would consider your G400 to be a great match for the BP6 if you are not going to (try to) run games.
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KliK
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Re: Video card

Post by KliK » Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:33 am

purrkur wrote:
Luistervink wrote:BP6 only supports AGP 1x, so any fance board is useless.

I use matrox G 400 millenium.

Try to find a secondhand good board and don't pay too much.
Luistervink: If you can convince me that there is a tremendous amount of real performance difference between AGP 1x and AGP 8x then I will definitely recommend you as a sales person at ATi or Nvidia :)

I think that the evidence is clear that the speed differences between the different AGP standards is almost non-existent in practice. In theory you can say a lot but the huge load of tests between 1x vs 2x AGP, 2x vs 4x AGP and 4x vs 8x AGP shows that the performance difference is marginal in practice, although on paper it looks like is should go twice as fast.

I agree with phaedrus that a person should decide what he wants to do with his BP6 and from there decide what graphics adapter to buy. for phaedrus, he was looking for technical aspects that were not found on his previous card, so why not buy a new one if he has the dough to do it?

As for AGP speeds, I have only used Nvidia 4x AGP cards on my two board with good success. However, I would consider your G400 to be a great match for the BP6 if you are not going to (try to) run games.

on the other hand, you can try good old KYRO2 chipset...it runs better than the ATI or GeForce2 in it's class...and doesn't have glide, which is perfect for one thing, but that comes later! better than than those cards and your AGP 1.1 version on BP6 wouldn't notice...remember that u got only 1x and 2x multiplier...and with 75MHz FSB, 1/1 multiplier on bridge, you've got a nice transfer, best you can get!

first, i've a hercules prophette 4500 tv-out kyro2 card with 64mb of vram...it is working neat, and hasn't got any problems in the game...

the thing is that kyro2 doesn't have glide option...only opelGL & d3d, so i've put 2 voodoo2 boards with 12mb ram, and sonnected with SLI cable...work great with PSXemulator and futher more, works better in some games than kyro2 or old GeForce2 mx400 i've gotten before...
:D

so the real question is, what do u need your computer for?!
mine is a beast for those things...and works like a good old charger!

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