First post, by Shishkebarbarian
This post got a little lengthy so i went back and added this line here with the hope that someone can help me: i'm looking for advice/download links to legacy Catalyst drivers for XP that run well w/ X850, X1x00, X2x00 cards. I know some had AGP "hotfix" versions since all of these cards are (or at least had) PCI-e bridge versions. I have Catalyst 10.2 and 12.x with the hotfix but i heard there is an 8.x that is supposedly best for X850? i just can't find it. Any insight or help is appreciated. Now, onto my ramblings:
Lately i've been trying to grab all the AGP cards I want/can afford before prices get too insane. I have about a dozen cards now between 3dfx, nvidia and ATI. High end Nvidia GeForce AGP cards have jumped the shark a while ago and it's damn near impossible to find GF3 Ti500, GF4 Ti4800, FX59x0, 6800 etc cards let alone for an affordable price (if anyone has any extra, chat me up!). Even Voodoo 5 comes up for sale regularly! However ATI Radeon cards are still somewhat approachable and pop up relatively frequently. SO anyway, i've been messing around with some benchmarks with the following ATI Radeon AGP cards:
My test bench is running XP w/ 1GB RAM & Athlon XP 2500+ CPU and AGP 4X. similar to what i was running back in the day before jumping onto the AM2/AM3+ platforms.
A few observations:
1] 9700PRO and 9800PRO - in 3Dmark03 and '01SE, the difference in cards is around 10%. This is good to know as 9800PRO cards are drying up and are usually significantly costlier than 9700PRO. I dont have 9700/9800 cards to test but i wonder how they compare to their PRO counterparts. there are a *lot* of 9700 (non-pro) on ebay as a lot of sellers have a hard time distinguishing the difference.
I ran these w/ Catalyst 4.3
2] X850XT - the card i tested yesterday. I initially ran this with 7.11 drivers as i read that later drivers break support for early openGL games like KOTOR1/2 (i read this here on vogons in the driver library). However i was very surprised to see that it performed *worse* or the same as the 9800PRO in 3DMark03. This was shocking to me as i had the PCI-e version of this card back in the day and i remember it kicking ass. So i re-ran the benchmarks with Catalyst 10.2 and my results were 2x-3x better than under 7.11. This actually is what sparked me posting this thread in the first place.
3] X1650 Pro - One of the first cards i benchmarked and I used Catalyst 7.11. The results looking back now are abysmal compared to X850 XT (10.2) but better than X850 XT (7.11). I will have to rerun every test with Catalyst 10.2 tonight and see how they do. EDIT: i tested with drivers 9.1, 10.2 and 12.3, all results are basically the same. this card really is much weaker than the X850XT (the 850 is almost twice as fast!!!)
4] 2600XT - i did not notice a difference in performance in 3dMark03 noAA test between Catalyst 7.11 and 12.3 Hotfix, but I will go back and run the tests again at higher AA, for science. This card performed 2x better than X1650Pro (7.11) in noAA and about 1.5x better with 2xAA. Compared to X850XT (10.2) this card is within 10% so i definitely need to re-run the tests with updated drivers. I heard this was a bad line of cards for ATI...
5] HD4670 - Catalyst 12.3 Hotfix, comparable to X850XT (10.2) at 4xAA, and to 2600XT (7.11) at noAA and about 20% faster in 4xAA. I know this is a beast of a card so I'm guessing i hit the CPU bottleneck here. Still though it seems 7.11 drivers for the cards above stink and i should redo all the tests with 10.2 or 12.3HF.
I am missing the HD3870 AGP card which i hear is the fastest and but considering its cost and my other cards i dont see any reason to get it.
My Geforce AGP collection is pretty lame. I have a GF3 Ti200 which has a couple bloated caps that need fixing, a Quadro 4 with the same problem. An FX5700LE needs a new fan as well. My functioning cards aren't impressive either: GF4 Ti4200, FX5600 & 6600. The GF4 beats the FX5600 in 3DMark01SE but they both (understandably) suck at 3DMark03. the 6600 beats them both at everything and gets ~30fps at 3DMark03 with noAA. These cards will be more thoroughly tested in a Tualatin P3 rig in the future against some Voodoo cards in win98se.
which card would you leave in this Athlon XP rig? What would be your ideal build for these ATI AGP cards?
I look forward to reading your comments!