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Geforce FX 5200 upgrade?

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First post, by amxcs

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Hello,
I was given an old computer with the following parameters:
AsRock P4i65G
Pentium 4 3Ghz / 1MB
Ram: 2x512MB
Video: Geforce FX 5200 128MB
Monitor: Benq LCD 1280x1024

I decided to install win98 and XP on it for retro games until around 2005-2006.

Everything is fine and I like it a lot, I just think that the video card is weak for games like Hitman 3 / GTA 3 on resolution 1280x1024.

I looked at the market sites, I liked a Radeon 9600 128MB video card for $10. If I get it, will the games run better or should I go for a better one for the AGP slot?
https://imgur.com/a/mlxQBSj

Reply 1 of 36, by Gmlb256

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Hello.

Yes, the Radeon 9600 is superior to the GeForce FX 5200. On the other hand, it will be slightly less compatible with games from the Windows 9x era.

Last edited by Gmlb256 on 2023-01-03, 18:19. Edited 1 time in total.

VIA C3 Nehemiah 1.2A @ 1.46 GHz | ASUS P2-99 | 256 MB PC133 SDRAM | GeForce2 GTS 32 MB | Voodoo2 12 MB | SBLive! | AWE64 | SBPro2 | GUS

Reply 2 of 36, by aaron158

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the best ati card u can get that will work with both 98 and xp would be the 9800 pro. the 9600 card is ok but its was a budge card back in day it was a cut down version of the 9500 pro. the 9600 and 5200 preform about the same.

if u keep an eye out u can get one 50ish bucks a bit more then the 9600 but the 9700 and 9800 pros were pretty beast cards for back then.

Reply 3 of 36, by Gmlb256

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aaron158 wrote on 2023-01-03, 18:17:

the 9600 and 5200 preform about the same.

Nope, the FX 5200 was inferior when it comes to SM 2.0 stuff that was introduced in DX9. nVidia did really cheat with the drivers during this moment, with games looking worse as a result.

The main reason why people currently GeForce FX cards is because it is poor man's substitute for the GeForce4 MX (Geforce4 Ti to be more specific due to having at least support for shaders).

VIA C3 Nehemiah 1.2A @ 1.46 GHz | ASUS P2-99 | 256 MB PC133 SDRAM | GeForce2 GTS 32 MB | Voodoo2 12 MB | SBLive! | AWE64 | SBPro2 | GUS

Reply 4 of 36, by swaaye

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Really that system is a 2003-2004 box and that's if you put in a Radeon X800 or GeForce 6800.

With a FX 5200 it would be a nice 2000-2001 machine. A Radeon 9600 is most comfortable with 2002-2003 games.

For 2005-2006 you are going to want a Core 2 CPU with a GeForce 8800 or Radeon X1900. Or modern hardware.

Reply 5 of 36, by Repo Man11

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The game I've been playing recently is Half-Life 2 and even though it was released in 2004, I've found that it's too much for both my P4P800 and my 8KRA2+ systems at 1280x1024. This is with a 3.2 P4 @ 3.5 GHz and an XP3200+ @ 2.365 GHz combined with a 6800 Ultra. I even tried my HD 3850 AGP in both systems, but that only confirmed that in both cases it's a CPU issue; both had the same issue of a frame rate low enough to affect game play happening in a couple of spots when set to that resolution.

Meanwhile, the Dell Vostro 420 that I found set out by the curb with its Core 2 quad q8300 and a GTS 250 that I had collecting dust can effortlessly run the game at that resolution with 6x anti aliasing enabled.

"I'd rather be rich than stupid" - Jack Handey

Reply 6 of 36, by Gmlb256

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Reminder: 60 FPS with hardware from 2000s wasn't a thing. It became common during the 2010s when hardware became more powerful.

P.S: I'm not saying that it wasn't possible (especially with older games), but developers weren't targeting that at the time.

VIA C3 Nehemiah 1.2A @ 1.46 GHz | ASUS P2-99 | 256 MB PC133 SDRAM | GeForce2 GTS 32 MB | Voodoo2 12 MB | SBLive! | AWE64 | SBPro2 | GUS

Reply 7 of 36, by Repo Man11

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2023-01-03, 23:07:

Reminder: 60 FPS with hardware from 2000s wasn't a thing. It became common during the 2010s when hardware became more powerful.

P.S: I'm not saying that it wasn't possible (especially with older games), but developers weren't targeting that at the time.

If I had been playing it in 2004, I would have settled for a lower resolution since that would have been the only way to resolve the issue at that time. If you die because you couldn't aim and fire at a Combine Elite before he kills because of the frame rate, your frame rate is too low.

"I'd rather be rich than stupid" - Jack Handey

Reply 8 of 36, by Gmlb256

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2023-01-03, 23:46:
Gmlb256 wrote on 2023-01-03, 23:07:

Reminder: 60 FPS with hardware from 2000s wasn't a thing. It became common during the 2010s when hardware became more powerful.

P.S: I'm not saying that it wasn't possible (especially with older games), but developers weren't targeting that at the time.

If I had been playing it in 2004, I would have settled for a lower resolution since that would have been the only way to resolve the issue at that time. If you die because you couldn't aim and fire at a Combine Elite before he kills because of the frame rate, your frame rate is too low.

Yep, settling for a lower resolution was an option considering that many played on CRT monitors at the time.

VIA C3 Nehemiah 1.2A @ 1.46 GHz | ASUS P2-99 | 256 MB PC133 SDRAM | GeForce2 GTS 32 MB | Voodoo2 12 MB | SBLive! | AWE64 | SBPro2 | GUS

Reply 10 of 36, by Sombrero

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2023-01-03, 23:46:

If I had been playing it in 2004, I would have settled for a lower resolution since that would have been the only way to resolve the issue at that time. If you die because you couldn't aim and fire at a Combine Elite before he kills because of the frame rate, your frame rate is too low.

You could force the game to use earlier DirectX back then, no idea does the current engine still support that. I played HL2 back in 2004 with Athlon XP 3200+ / Radeon 9800 Pro, it didn't run great with DirectX 9 but forcing the game to DirectX 8.1 made the game run very well. The visual difference wasn't otherwise massive but water reflections did get very blocky. That didn't bother me, I remember even kinda liking it.

Reply 11 of 36, by RandomStranger

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The gaming performance of the FX5200 is on the level of an MX440 or 460, but with DX8 and 9 support which actually often makes it slower. For example in my experience GTA 3-VS-SA is faster in DX7 mode on any MX than in DX8/9 on an FX5200 (is there a way to force directx version with these games?). The FX5200 is just the kind of card from which even a downgrade is an upgrade.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 12 of 36, by timsdf

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For 10$ it's a good upgrade. All nvidia cards that are comparable a lot cost more and have noisy active cooling. 9600 is ~20% below ti 4200 in DX8 titles but on par or better in DX9 titles.

You can try to overclock core from ~320mhz to 400mhz with a fan directed at the card. Memory speeds are usually limiting factor on these. It should still give a nice 20% more performance.

Reply 13 of 36, by amxcs

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After a more detailed search with the keyword "video card" I started to find more interesting models again at the same price.
What about the:
ATi Radeon Asus A9600 Pro 256MB DDR 128bit AGP
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128 MB 256 bit AGP

Reply 14 of 36, by stef80

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RandomStranger wrote on 2023-01-04, 08:54:

The gaming performance of the FX5200 is on the level of an MX440 or 460, but with DX8 and 9 support which actually often makes it slower. For example in my experience GTA 3-VS-SA is faster in DX7 mode on any MX than in DX8/9 on an FX5200 (is there a way to force directx version with these games?). The FX5200 is just the kind of card from which even a downgrade is an upgrade.

Back in the day, real upgrade from FX 5200 was GeForce3 Ti 200 😁.

amxcs wrote on 2023-01-04, 13:16:
After a more detailed search with the keyword "video card" I started to find more interesting models again at the same price. Wh […]
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After a more detailed search with the keyword "video card" I started to find more interesting models again at the same price.
What about the:
ATi Radeon Asus A9600 Pro 256MB DDR 128bit AGP
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900XT 128 MB 256 bit AGP

Radeon 9600 with 256MB is so so (slow vram) .... go with 128MB with BGA memory chips (600MHz).
FX 5900XT is fine card, although 9600XT or 9500 Pro could probably eat it's lunch in DX9.
I'd go with 9500 Pro if on budget (could be obtained under 30 $/€) just because you can push GPU +100MHz in most cases 😀.
You can also search for 9700TX (Dell OEM) or FireGL X1-128 .... those pop up from time to time on *bay. Like any R300 card, good aftermarket cooling (Zalman VF700/900) is must if you intend to use them long term.

EDIT: Just saw you target 2005-2006. In that case Radeon X800/X850 AGP or GeForce 6600GT / 6800 AGP may be more appropriate. Check availability and prices.

Reply 15 of 36, by amxcs

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stef80 wrote on 2023-01-04, 13:16:

FX 5900XT is fine card,

It's sold 🙁

This one is 128MB but no BGA chips 🙁
GeCube R9600 Pro 128MB DDR 128bit AGP, GC-R9550U-C3H v1.1
128MB/DDR/128bit/TV-Out/VGA/DVI-I
Core Clock 425 MHz
Memory Clock 200 MHz
Effective Memory Clock 400MHz
RAMDAC 400 MHz
https://imgur.com/a/pwX5X8W

EDIT: X800/X850 will work wit Windows 98?

Reply 19 of 36, by Ozzuneoj

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amxcs wrote on 2023-01-04, 14:57:
It's sold :( […]
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stef80 wrote on 2023-01-04, 13:16:

FX 5900XT is fine card,

It's sold 🙁

This one is 128MB but no BGA chips 🙁
GeCube R9600 Pro 128MB DDR 128bit AGP, GC-R9550U-C3H v1.1
128MB/DDR/128bit/TV-Out/VGA/DVI-I
Core Clock 425 MHz
Memory Clock 200 MHz
Effective Memory Clock 400MHz
RAMDAC 400 MHz
https://imgur.com/a/pwX5X8W

EDIT: X800/X850 will work wit Windows 98?

Normally a 9600 Pro would be an excellent card, but I don't think that's really a 9600 Pro, despite the name. The core clock is really high at 425mhz, but the memory at 200mhz/400mhz DDR is more in line with the low end generic cards like the 9550... So it's no surprise that the model number of the card has 9550 in it.

It's certainly going to be significantly faster than a 5200, but I wouldn't spend much on it. Your system would likely benefit from something much better than that card.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.