When to upgrade?
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Thread: When to upgrade?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    186

    When to upgrade?

    I have a PII 450 with 128Mb RAM, 21" monitor and CL TNT, yadda yadda yadda. Every game I have runs great. I guess the newest graphics engines I play are Half-Life and Quake 2. (I do not have Unreal. I'd like to get it but am in no hurry.) Anyway, my question is, since I can run both of these games at high resolutions with all the details turned on is there any reason to upgrade video cards now? If my current games already look great, then they can't look any better with a TNT 2 or a Voodoo 3 can they? I know I'll get better frame rates but I don't need better frame rates because I haven't had any frame rate problems so far. Right?

    On the same note, I'm sure I'll need to upgrade if I want to play Quake 3. I tried the beta and it was pretty sketchy. However, Half-Life: Team Fortress 2 and the expansion pack should run just as well as Half-Life shouldn't it? Or do you think the developers will take new technology into consideration when setting polygon and texture size limits for the new levels?

    The idea behind my questions is that I think I can still play with maximum performance for 6 months or so with my current configuration. Maybe that will be enough time to have the new cards drop a few bucks.

    Any thoughts? What are the rest of you TNT and V2 owners going to do?

    Thanks!

    BTW I'm not interested in a video card technology debate, just when a good time is to upgrade to one or another.

    [This message has been edited by Valdin (edited 06-03-99).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    13,269
    I guess a good time to upgrade will be when the AGP 4X comes out and when the TNT2 and the Voodoo3's become cheaper. So far, there are no AGP 4X motherboards out. I guess wait for that?

    Otherwise, stick with what you've got!

    That's the only thing I know to date!

    ------------------
    It is now safe to turn off your computer

    ? Quantum Physics ? Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Posts
    156
    I currently have a Hercules TNT and I'am having problem running Halflife(it look sketchy). Let me know what are your video setting in Halflife. I've just install a Voodoo3 3000 and I did not have to even touch any setting and it look amazing. My system is a P3-500, 128MB, Asus P2B, SBlive!(Full Version). I'am still very interested in getting my TNT card to work properly and might consider taking my Voodoo3 back.

    [This message has been edited by Tonka (edited 06-03-99).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    186
    Tonka,

    I'll double-check my settings when I get home but I'm sure these are it:

    OpenGL
    1024 x 768 (Same as my desktop.)

    Are there any other settings? If so, I'm sure I have 'em set to the highest available.

    If you are using the D3D that could explain your problem. I think there is a fix for that but I never looked into it.

    I have virtually the same machine as you. I have the same motherboard, RAM and soundcard. My vid card is a CL TNT so I don't know if that makes a difference. My processor is a PII 450 like I said but I doubt that Half-Life takes advantage of the new intructions in the PIII. So, you have about 50MHz more than me which should be a big boost with the TNT card. It is pretty processor dependent.

    I'd start by making sure you are using the OpenGL setting with the same resolution as your desktop. If that doesn't help see if there are newer dirvers for the Hercules card or try other cards drivers or ones straight from nVidia.

    Hope this helps.

    Toolbox/Anyone,

    How will using a 4X AGP card, such as the TNT2 and the V3, in a 2X AGP slot affect the cards ability to perform? Is it a wasted upgrade if you don't have a 4X AGP slot? How much of a performance differnce are they predicting between the 2X and 4X AGP slots?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    1,002
    That's an interesting point about the AGP 4x Valdin. I wouldn't consider it a wasted upgrade (feature) because it will be supported on the new mobos BUT won't 2x AGP also. What would there be any performance difference on a TNT2 on a 4x board as opposed to a 2x board? I hope someone can explain this and, of course, right now this is all theoretical.

    To respond to your original questions (not answer them because I don't have any) this is what I did faced with the same decision. I have a Celeron 300A at 464 and a V550 and the only 3d game I played was Half Life, which already looked good. I bought a V3 3k and wasn't too impressed with it even when overclocked. I built an AMD 450 around the V3 and it looks great. This left the TNT in the 464A, which still looks good. I have a Savage4 in another machine (small monitor so low resolutions) which arguably looks the best of the three. I have no idea where this is going, I suppose in hindsight I should have waited.

    I guess this is the moral of this long *** story is to consider this--I would not upgrade right now to a V3 or TNT2 unless you are only interested in speed. If what you have is working good for you right now keep it and save money till the "new" hardware comes out this fall. At that time you might want to go with one of these because they will drop significantly in price.

    G400, Savage4, and Permedia3 have the bells and whistles so you might consider these as alternatives. Again, I would wait long after release so prices drop, drivers mature, and software (games) catch up.

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