Sunday, October 19, 2008

graphic card upgrade !!!


i am planning to buy a kick-ass gaming rig with all the bells and whistles that the latest technology could offer including 64 bit OSes, multi-core processors, dual-GPUs, EAX 5.0 audio solutions etc.... next year.

i am going to buy those next year, when i move to tokyo for work.

and that leaves me with my 5 years old crappy Pentium 4 computer at the moment, and this is not good because i still want to be able to play the latest games with a decent visual quality in a decent FPS count.

there are tons of amazing games that is coming before i got my new kick-ass gaming rig next year. games like dead space, saints row 2, diablo 3, red alert 3, far cry 2, left 4 dead, CoD: world at war, star craft 2, fallout 3, barbie horse adventure: riding camp... i could go on and on and on!

this year is going to be a great gaming year for pc, and i don't want to miss it.

and that wish is impossible to achieve with my current radeon x1980 pro. the card was a beast once, several years ago. now its just a weak old card not capable of running crysis proper even in low settings.


i want to still be able to play games, but i am not ready yet to flush big money for a big upgrade; so my only temporary solution is to change my current video card to a better one. it should be reasonably priced, and of course it should be powerful enough for the new games coming this year.

so i went into the cyberspace that some people call the internetssss, to find the solution to my problem, and immediately i could see that the sapphire radeon hd 3850 is my new savior.

a little note here. since i bought my dell dimension 8300 back in 2003, the motherboard is as old as madonna and it only support AGP configuration and single-core processors. i cannot upgrade my processor to intel core 2 duo because of this, so i am only left to find the most powerful AGP card available... since they don't make AGP cards anymore these days. man i wish i had picked a PCI-Express motherboard instead that day in Shinjuku Bic Camera when i purchase the dell... ;(

the new card cost me 16000 yen, which is right in my budget. as you can see in the picture above, the cooling system used in the hd 3850 (above) is quite similar to the x1980 pro (below).

my old radeon x1980 pro before getting thrown away after years of dedicated and awesome service in satisfying my gaming rage. thanks a lot old dude, now make way for the newcomer !!!

i had no trouble installing the hd 3850. i only need to change to power suppy connector from the 3 pins to 4 pins installation, and i am done.

after the hardware-part is done, next is the software department. i downloaded the latest catalyst driver from ati and everything went smooth sailing. now for the real test: gaming.

first i loaded up call of duty 4, and it was just fantastic. i was able to play at 1280x960 in high settings with no problems like the hiccups that i would experience with my old radeon x1950 pro. it was brilliant.

then i tried loading stalker clear sky, and i was really satisfied with the quality/performance the the x-ray engine 1.5 is showing on my screen. i've never played stalker this beautiful with such a steady FPS. awesome.

pro evolution soccer 2009 played brilliantly. so does the witcher enhanced edition.

then i tried brothers in arms hell's highway. the minimum spec for this game includes at least a dual-core 2.66 ghz processor, versus my crappy 2.8ghz Pentium 4; and my worst dream (i'm exaggerating here) had come true, although my GPU is powerful enough, my pathetic processor is bottlenecking the whole system, i'm only getting 15-30 FPS throughout my play through.

then i tried crysis warhead, and the result is the same: stutters and poor performance probably because of the pentium 4 bottlenecking everything. although the game is still playable in medium settings, it would really be awesome if i could play in high settings, and experience all the fancy lighting and the advanced particle/shader tech that the game engine has to offer.

well, one cannot hope for EVERYTHING to be great, but it sure would be nice. with that said, i am still pretty satisfied with my purchase, and hopefully the new hd 3850 could hold all the beatings that i am going to give it, before i bought a new gaming rig.

man... i still got ps3 and xbox 360 games that i need to finish... bila nak buat kenkyu?


  1. Anonymous11:22 PM

    yo you still have your old graphic card...maybe you could sell it to me...james JB.

  2. sorry dude, i gave the old graphic card to my younger brother!

  3. Anonymous12:03 AM

    aiight....thx man...


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