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View Full Version : Best card for x16 slot that is wired x4


Fishface
May 20th 07, 06:19 PM
A co-worker picked-up one of those Fry's special $200 computers
on Friday to replace his eMachines Celeron 1Ghz dinosaur. It has
an ECS 945GZT-M motherboard which has an x16 PCI-E slot which
is only x4 electrically.
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135046
It came with a Celeron D 352 (3.2 GHz) and will have 2 x 512MB ddr2
running dual channel. He might eventually replace the Celeron with a
C2D, since the board supports it.

He likes to play games and would like the best gaming experience
possible under the circumstances. He has a CRT and will likely play
at lower resolutions.

What would be the best card he could get that would not be wasted on
this board's x4 ability? The x4 slot has a maximum bandwidth of about
1000 MB/s, according to what I have read. I was thinking a 7600GT,
then discovered the x4 and figured I'd better ask. Thanks for any help!

Fishface
May 20th 07, 07:11 PM
Sorry for the double post. One of my message rules which
attempt to filter off-topic messages had a serious flaw. The
message was also not in my Sent folder so I mistakenly
assumed it had disappeared into another dimension.

Mr.E Solved!
May 20th 07, 08:06 PM
Fishface wrote:
> A co-worker picked-up one of those Fry's special $200 computers
> on Friday to replace his eMachines Celeron 1Ghz dinosaur. It has
> an ECS 945GZT-M motherboard which has an x16 PCI-E slot which
> is only x4 electrically.
> www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135046
> It came with a Celeron D 352 (3.2 GHz) and will have 2 x 512MB ddr2
> running dual channel. He might eventually replace the Celeron with a
> C2D, since the board supports it.
>
> He likes to play games and would like the best gaming experience
> possible under the circumstances. He has a CRT and will likely play
> at lower resolutions.
>
> What would be the best card he could get that would not be wasted on
> this board's x4 ability? The x4 slot has a maximum bandwidth of about
> 1000 MB/s, according to what I have read. I was thinking a 7600GT,
> then discovered the x4 and figured I'd better ask. Thanks for any help!
>
>

What are his three preferred game titles? Get the card that meets all
other criteria and will run those games best.

Do not worry too much about "4x" or "16x" with a single card, the lower
bus speed 533/800MHz will hamper performance enough, but running at low
resolutions (1024x768) will avoid those performance issues, as long as
the card isn't one of those dreaded turbocache cards and thereby
impacted by the less available bandwidth headroom.

That board is a sled and it isn't suitable for high end gaming, say
Oblivion, but I bet it and a 7600GT can run BF2 and other FPS games well
enough.

To put the performance loss of "16x" to "4x" (at moderate resolutions
with correct hardware) to scale, it is greater than the performance loss
of going to CAS5 from CAS4 DDR2, but less than the performance loss of
going to a 533MHz from a 800MHz FSB. How much less varies.

Fishface
May 20th 07, 11:40 PM
Mr.E Solved! wrote:

> What are his three preferred game titles?

I don't think he has played any real games yet!

> Get the card that meets all other criteria and will run those games best.
>
> Do not worry too much about "4x" or "16x" with a single card, the lower
> bus speed 533/800MHz will hamper performance enough, but running
> at low resolutions (1024x768) will avoid those performance issues, as
> long as the card isn't one of those dreaded turbocache cards and
> thereby impacted by the less available bandwidth headroom.
>
> That board is a sled and it isn't suitable for high end gaming, say
> Oblivion, but I bet it and a 7600GT can run BF2 and other FPS games
> well enough.
>
> To put the performance loss of "16x" to "4x" (at moderate resolutions
> with correct hardware) to scale, it is greater than the performance loss
> of going to CAS5 from CAS4 DDR2, but less than the performance
> loss of going to a 533MHz from a 800MHz FSB. How much less varies.

I found a comparison of the AGP and PCI-E capabilities of the
ASRock 775Dual-VSTA. On this board also, the PCI-E is x4.
They say there is at most a 10% performance penalty incurred by
a high-end GPU on this board. I imagine that the Intel chipset board
would at least be no worse.
www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2814&p=4
www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2797&p=14

Mr.E Solved!
May 21st 07, 07:32 PM
Fishface wrote:
> Mr.E Solved! wrote:
>
>> What are his three preferred game titles?
>
> I don't think he has played any real games yet!
>
>> Get the card that meets all other criteria and will run those games best.
>>
>> Do not worry too much about "4x" or "16x" with a single card, the lower
>> bus speed 533/800MHz will hamper performance enough, but running
>> at low resolutions (1024x768) will avoid those performance issues, as
>> long as the card isn't one of those dreaded turbocache cards and
>> thereby impacted by the less available bandwidth headroom.
>>
>> That board is a sled and it isn't suitable for high end gaming, say
>> Oblivion, but I bet it and a 7600GT can run BF2 and other FPS games
>> well enough.
>>
>> To put the performance loss of "16x" to "4x" (at moderate resolutions
>> with correct hardware) to scale, it is greater than the performance loss
>> of going to CAS5 from CAS4 DDR2, but less than the performance
>> loss of going to a 533MHz from a 800MHz FSB. How much less varies.
>
> I found a comparison of the AGP and PCI-E capabilities of the
> ASRock 775Dual-VSTA. On this board also, the PCI-E is x4.
> They say there is at most a 10% performance penalty incurred by
> a high-end GPU on this board. I imagine that the Intel chipset board
> would at least be no worse.
> www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2814&p=4
> www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2797&p=14
>
>

Yup yup, good link. You should now feel confident in recommending the
7600GS. It is a reasonable card for a person with no set gaming
preferences and a pokey mobo! :)