View Full Version : big diff. between 2x and 4x agp? opinions, recommendations??

06-25-2002, 11:03 PM
hi gang.

i think i've made a boo boo (mistake). The system I had been running - PIII 800, 384MB RAM, Creative Labs Annihilator 2 Ultra and Windows 98 - was getting to be pretty slow for some of the new games, so I went out and picked up an MSI Geforce 4 Ti-4400. Initially, it didn't seem to improve performance at all. After changing over to Windows ME, there is a small improvement (score of 4384 on 3DMark2001), but it's still way behind where it shoud be. I'm wondering, since my motherboard only has a 2x AGP slot, if I could get significant improvement out of a motherboard with a 4x AGP slot, or if I'm gonna have to wait until I can upgrade to a P4

Any other suggestions or comments appreciated!

06-26-2002, 04:29 AM
Your PIII and SDR ram is a bigger bottle neck than your AGP bus.
Is it an 800eb or an 800e? - if it's a 100MHZ FSB (I assume it is since 2X AGP sounds like an i440BX board) then your RAM performance would be even worse.
Try increasing your FSB speed - I bet your 3DMark score will increase proportionately (of course that increases your AGP speed as well :D)

As far as your OS goes - I'm surprised you didn't score lower after switching it ME - My preference would be to go back to a nice clean Win98SE install with all the latest Drivers and Bios files..or go to XP Pro

06-26-2002, 06:48 AM
Yes I agree with RDR about ya processor and memory being your main bottleneck and just as surprised that ya got a better score with ME as 98/98SE is the fastest Microsoft os out there. A fresh install of it as suggested would be the fastest os for your equipment. But I'd forget about the XP Pro though as even high powered PC's will score higher with 98/98SE than with XP (even with the best performance option picked) as os's after 98/98SE have too much bloatware to push around. An AGP 4x would give a better score but with your eyes alone you wouldn't pick the difference. :smokin:

06-26-2002, 07:13 AM
thanks for the replies. i guess my next step will be to go back to a fresh install of 98 se. i checked, and my cpu is PIII 800 EB. I don't know if that's better or worse than just 800 E. What does that mean? If I am ever able to upgrade to a P4, are there e's and b's to be wary of also? I just thought I had to worry about the mhz. And, I sheepishly admit, I don't know what fsb means, although i gather it has to do with the mother board. my current mother board is running the Via 693a chipset. I have one stick of 128M ram (pc 100, i believe) and 1 stick at 256MB, at pc133. i think. ???

So to clarify, other than changing the operating system, i should get DIFFERENT memory for the same motherboard??? Or was that different memory OR a different motherboard? My wife kinda flipped out when I bought the new video card, so I can't afford any real cash outlay....i just have the old video card, plus the old motherboard/ram for trading.

i appreciate the comments though. if merely switching to a motherboard with a 4x agp gives insignificant improvement, then I just won't bother. But I'm so dissappointed after that cash outlay on the card that I'd like to do whatever I could to make the card work at least a bit closer to its potential.

again, any comments are really appreciated!

06-26-2002, 08:31 AM
The EB is better as it uses the 133MHz FSB where the other uses a 100MHz FSB. FSB means Front Side Bus which is the main data bus. If that is a stick of PC100 ya using in it then it must be of good quality as you'd be runnin' that at PC133 rate so it's overclocked to start with. If you try some overclocking that stick is what will probably let you down. Changing the motherboard for one with 4x AGP will improve your scores though you may notice no visable difference. Also if you get a motherboard that supports overclocking via the FSB then it will pay you to get PC150 memory.
P4's do have various models as well with the originals being shown as straight MHz values though they could be socket 423 or the latest socket 478. The next one is the ones identified by an "A" after the MHz rating and these are built on a smaller manufacturing process and are better overclockers than the originals though some socket 423 versions could still be obtained. Both of the first two versions use a 100MHz FSB though with "quad pumping" becomes a 400MHz data rate FSB. Now the latest P4's have a "B" after their MHz rating meaning that these have a 133MHz FSB (533MHz data rate FSB with "quad pumping") and as far as I know these are all socket 478. :smokin:

06-26-2002, 10:10 PM
.....my wife doesn't like me buying new hardware either :D

the system you have now should be capable of running just about any current game at an acceptable frame rate....it may get bogged down a bit with newer stuff like Unreal2 or Doom3

In my opinion getting a new MB would be a waste of money...stick with what you've got until your ready to upgrade your CPU/MB/Ram at the same time with either a P4-DDR or Athlon-DDR set up.

If I were in your shoes I would:

Flash the MB bios to the latest Rev.
do a clean Win 98 install
install the latest Via 4in1 drivers
Install the latest nVidia reference drivers
ditch the PC 100 dimm
crank up the FSB by a few MHZ and/or tweak the memory timings

some of this may require a little research on your part...have fun :thumb:

06-27-2002, 05:33 AM
you're right ....... some investigation definitely required, as I don't have any clue how to get that stuff done..... except removing the ram!

but i'm hoping it'll have some helpful impact, and I'll learn a few things at the very least.

thanx again!

07-05-2002, 05:55 PM
lol all i can say is u really should have spent that ti4400 money on cpu/ram/mobo:p