First post, by fellthrutmewarp
Hello, first time posting here! Been a casual PC tinkerer for years, but recently got into watching Phil's Computer Lab videos, which has gotten me playing around with my piles of computer parts again.
Anyways looks like Phil often uses a Radeon HD 7770 for high-end WinXP builds (when using AMD). Was surfing ebay and I ended up impulse-buying an ASUS Radeon HD 7850 1GB for 33USD total. (is that a decent price? I have no idea 🤣. I'm located in US)
Went to install the WinXP driver from AMD website (Catalyst 14.4 pack 2 dated 4/25/2014) and found it installed everything except the actual video driver. Found a video from Phil that mentioned using Snappy Driver to fix this issue, and that worked! Thanks for that Phil!
Anyways, I'm using the 7850 with a Dell XPS 410 (aka Dimension 9200) core 2 duo E6600 (2.4GHz) and 4GB DDR2-800, mainly because that is the best I have on hand which can run WinXP and fit the card inside without hitting the OEM cooler. (32Bit WinXP Pro SP3, fresh install on aligned SSD)
Video driver 9.00.300.3010, Video BIOS 015.018.000.001 dated 2012-05-23, Catalyst 2013.1223.216.3934 (not sure where the "14.4" from the AMD website comes into play on any of that, but ok)
Finding the card doesn't really run all that great, I'm assuming because the CPU is really holding it back. (but could you confirm?) I'm mainly testing with Need for Speed Underground 2. Previously I was using an AMD FirePro V3900 1GB low profile card that I had on hand (which is same/similar as a Radeon HD 7570) but found it would have abrupt lag moments with Vsync on, and average just barely 60fps with Vsync off. (Full details, 1280x1024, centered timings, 4x AA 4x AF) Also worth noting, the game would sometimes crash now and then on the V3900 with Vsync off and these settings applied.
Thought the HD 7850 would help the situation, but found I can't really push past 4x AA and 4x AF either. Found the Vsync-on performance to be a bit better with less noticeable lags, but with Vsync off the game reliably crashes after 15 seconds or so of gameplay.
Also found GTA Vice City would not load at all with the HD 7850. When starting a new game it just sits and idles with a blank screen at the first cutscene. Doesn't lock up the computer, just acts like it's waiting for user input. This game seemed to generally work fine on the V3900, but I didn't test it extensively.
Another thing I noticed on the 7850 is the AMD Overdrive section in the Catalyst control panel is greyed out/disabled. Is this to be expected? (maybe it's not available in WinXP and/or this driver version?) Under Win7 it's available on the adrenaline control panel, so was able to at least test out the fan by using Win7. (FirePro doesn't list an overdrive section at all, I assume since it's not a Radeon card)
And finally, noticed the 7850 card makes a funny whistling/hissing sound when sitting idle. Not SUPER loud, but can be slightly annoying. Comes and goes with varying loudness. Doesn't really change with "load". (but NFSU2 may not be loading the card very much...) Speakers drown it out easily. Not coming from the card's fan - it occurs even when the fan is off. EDIT: seems to go away when the fan IS running
I am guessing a capacitor is screeching? Is this a sign of impending failure? (I could return the card still...) Or is this common and benign?
Sorry if that's a long post haha... Thanks in advance for your thoughts and help!!