Video Card - What To Buy?

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Video Card - What To Buy?

Postby Kalah » Mar 3 2008, 23:55

I thought I'd open this thread to see if I could get some advice on this; it worked great with the RAM chips. I am in the market for a new video card; the one I've got seems to do the job well in just about everything I need, except for high-end graphics games. I'd like to get something that can handle just about anything, without spending too much money. I also want to be able to hook it up to my TV in the future, and simply use my TV as a computer screen. I'll list up some of the relevant specs:

My PC:
1. ...is a Dell Dimenson 9100, 3GHz Pentium4.
2. My current video card is an ATI Radeon X600 256 MB HyperMemory card.
3. My screen (if that's relevant) is a Samsung SyncMaster 913N (19" LCD), 1280x1024, 75Hz.

I want a card:
1. ...costing no more than about $300-400.
2. ...enabling direct hookup to a TV, using it as a computer screen.
3. ...able to run games like X3 and Heroes5 at high capacity and speed.

Any ideas?
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Postby Pol » Mar 4 2008, 0:31

Hmm, both big producers are planning to throw on the market new generation of chips soon. (In next quarter)

So you may got cheaper older card, when they will be emptying stores or wait a bit to get something more innovative.

I'm a bit unsure here but one of the innovative solutions will be 'dual card'. Not only more chips per one card but one card integrated on the MB and another in slot which power would be added up when called for. (which isn't possible now and it would require new MB)

In fact it sounds neat and ati is currently having better stepped on, with cooler design.

able to run games like X3 and Heroes5 at high capacity and speed

In case of H5 it will be limited by quality of drivers. Remember? Older cards worked like charm with H5 (nvidia5x,6x,), newer aren't getting such of gain how theirs hardware would promise. Drivers are late.


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Postby Corribus » Mar 4 2008, 16:13

I wouldn't worry about the TV. Most reasonably good video cards will allow you to do that.

When I bought my laptop 1 year ago, I bought a high end card with it. Note that high end laptop cards are probably equivalent to mid-to-high desktop cards. That was a year ago, and my card will allow me to hook up to nicely to my HDTV with the highest possible resolution. I would think that any current-gen card will allow you to do it.

One recommendation is to get one with an HDMI port if they are available. Mine only has a VGA port, which is fine as far as video quality goes, but VGA won't carry sound. HDMI will.
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Postby asandir » Mar 5 2008, 0:11

8800GT, hands down .... awesome card, not that pricy, but that really shouldn't be your priority when looking at video cards

check here for an easy breakdown of best price/performance of current cardshere
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Postby Kalah » Mar 5 2008, 0:15

That's a good link, I like it.

Detailed graphics card specifications and reviews are great - that is, if you have the time to do the research. But at the end of the day, what a gamer needs is the best graphics card within a certain budget.


My point exactly.
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Postby asandir » Mar 5 2008, 0:18

Kalah wrote:That's a good link, I like it.

Detailed graphics card specifications and reviews are great - that is, if you have the time to do the research. But at the end of the day, what a gamer needs is the best graphics card within a certain budget.


My point exactly.


so go the 8800GT!
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Postby Kalah » Oct 22 2008, 19:05

*bump*

Still haven't bought anything. Any more tips? Any developments in the markets I should consider?

What do you think of these?

- Gainward GeForce 9600GT 512MB GDDR3, PCI-Express 2.0, 2xDVI/HDCP
- HIS Radeon HD 3850 512MB GDDR3,IceQ3, AGP8X,2xDVI/HDMI/HDCP,Turbo

I'm currently looking at this page... tell me if you see anything I should go for.
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Postby Asheera » Oct 22 2008, 19:14

I have to agree with Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GT. It looks like an excellent video card from what I've read.
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Postby Borsuc » Oct 22 2008, 19:15

and takes a lot of power and $$$ too :P

(coming from a nerd with a 5200 that is more than fine for him :proud:)
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Postby Asheera » Oct 22 2008, 19:18

Borsuc wrote:and takes a lot of power
Ehm... a PC doesn't use much power anyway, so the difference is negligible.
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Postby Borsuc » Oct 22 2008, 19:23

shouldn't it be the other way? I mean if the PC took a lot of power, the difference would be negligible? (less "percent")
All humans do is to go to a place, bountiful of nature, and live there. Then the human multiplies and sucks all the wonders there. They move to the next. There is one thing that works the same way as that: a virus.

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Postby darknessfood » Oct 22 2008, 19:27

i would go for the second card, sure it costs a lot, but you are done for a long while, and you don't have to buy a new one for a loooooong while. Also, it's from Asus, and from my experience, Asus is great stuff :)!
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Postby Kalah » Oct 22 2008, 19:32

If you look at that page again, you'll see that the price is in Norwegian Crowns. They're really weak these days (1/9 to the Euro), and this particular page are demo-goods. That means they've been used in displays and such, and are being sold on the cheap. :)

What about this one?
ASUS VGA-Card nVidia 8500GT 512MB PCI-E TV-Out HDTV HDCP
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Postby darknessfood » Oct 22 2008, 19:36

Also a nice pick Kalah. That one will last long too :)!
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Postby Kalah » Oct 22 2008, 19:42

Will all of them work with my PC? There aren't any that are so "special" they require some special form of main card or something?
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Postby Asheera » Oct 22 2008, 19:54

Borsuc wrote:shouldn't it be the other way? I mean if the PC took a lot of power, the difference would be negligible? (less "percent")
Let's say this card uses twice as much power as an old one. If Video Cards used a lot of power, then this difference would be huge. But if it barely uses any power the difference is insignificant.

@Kalah: I'm confused about all these "special" things and compatibilities as well... ;|
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Postby Angelspit » Oct 22 2008, 19:56

Yeah, make sure your power supply will be strong enough for the card. That has been a problem with Dell in the past.
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Postby Kalah » Oct 22 2008, 19:57

Meaning? I mean, how does a total n00b like me "make sure"?

I'm looking forward to plugging my PC into my dad's 42" plasma screen and booting up X3: Reunion.... :oex:
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Postby darknessfood » Oct 22 2008, 20:05

Well, you basicly need to check the slot in your motherboard. Make sure it's fitable. You don't need any special card or anything, just the right slot/motherboard...
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Postby Pol » Oct 22 2008, 20:19

- Gainward GeForce 9600GT 512MB GDDR3, PCI-Express 2.0, 2xDVI/HDCP
- HIS Radeon HD 3850 512MB GDDR3,IceQ3, AGP8X,2xDVI/HDMI/HDCP,Turbo

Kalah, Kalah...

The first one is a fine pick, just not go lower to 9500 as any one under that line are dead cases. Also here exists passive variant.

Here are or will be soon available a much better cards from ATI surpassing the 3x line so (tramtadadá a big surprise) 4x cards. This is a new generation, small efficient, powerful and cheap. (I promise that I will not repeat the last word again - but it's somehow feeling important.)

Of course you have either PCie 16x slot or AGP 8x, if you're having the modern computer it will be the first one. If not, you're maybe having something similar like in my ancient colossus, thus it will be AGP - today not a good idea to fill it with a card. (hint: Use wiki to identify your slot.)

4670 card may show a good compromise between the performance and price nowadays, although oddly I don't think that here are out many passive models.

Note to the link:
7x from nvidia was outstanding line as it's now cheap it can be a good investment (strictly depends on the price really) can be passive with vga and dvi output. Normal dvi not native, where you couldn't use reduction. It's a bit weak though.

The pci 2.0 and older are backward compatible, it will work only at slower rate.

Here are cheaper variants, talking about the ATI vendor and they are going as follows: 4830(stronger than 4670) and 4550.

More talking about ati - from ati.

So what 'bout this link?

One more thing. The newer cards are much less energy hungry than were the previous models, especially true about 8x nvidia line. As for your computer you have PCIe 16x slot and 375W psu, which should be sufficient for low and mid cards in the previously mentioned latest generation. :D
Last edited by Pol on Oct 22 2008, 20:40, edited 1 time in total.
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