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Old 03-31-2004, 18:49   #1
Chuck Perry
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Need a new graphics card

My 64mb card isn't cutting it for gaming anymore, so out it goes. What is a good graphics card with a $200 budget? Are the 256mb cards necessary, or is 128mb ok? I have to admit I am pretty confused about all the variations there are right now. I see 128mb cards starting at under a $100 and going up over $200.
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Old 03-31-2004, 19:03   #2
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For most of the stuff out now an ATI 9800 pro would probably be good for you. I'm not sure if they have a 256mb card out, but I don't think it's really necessary at this point. If you're into hardcore flying simulations then you'll probably want it, but that's the only type of game that I've heard it really pushed on. I _THINK_ it's down to around $200.. it's just under the best cards out right now. It was knocked out by the ATI 9800XT which goes for $400+. I think a 9800 pro is your best bet.. check out newegg.com, they usually have good prices. Stick with ATI, they're king right now.

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edit: I'm awaiting the release of doom 3 and hl2 before buying a new computer/vid card. Those will be a good standard to judge cards by for a while.
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Old 03-31-2004, 19:08   #3
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check out newegg.com
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Old 03-31-2004, 19:18   #4
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If you're a gamer better check out the boards for your games. Some games work better with some cards and not others.
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Old 03-31-2004, 19:25   #5
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I have the ATI 9500Pro and have had it for awhile now. I have never had a problem with my card and I play some graphic intensive games, both by myself and online. Id also suggest the 9800Pro if it in your budget.
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Old 03-31-2004, 19:27   #6
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128 mb cards work great for me. Not alot of gaming just graphics intense acad.

The biggest plus for me has been the dual monitor capability of most of the 128 mb cards.

Once you go dual monitor, it will be hard to go back.
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Old 03-31-2004, 19:28   #7
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I would get an ATI or Nvidia. Mine is a 256mb Nvidia and I play Halo PC with it great. I wonder if it helps that I have a gig of memory???

I think I saw a good ATI card the other day at Best buy for about $150 or so. It was a 128 but it was better than my 256 Nvidia, I think. RAM is not the only thing.

I second www.newegg.com because you can get great prices there and they ship pretty fast.
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Old 03-31-2004, 19:49   #8
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I agree with kcin. I have a Geforce3 right now and it seems to be getting the job done on Battlefield 1942 but it might need to be replaced for games like Half-life 2 and Doom 3. When that time comes I plan to get the 9800 Pro in 128 mb. Newegg.com has one for $212 last time I checked (I'm hoping it goes even lower by the time I need to buy). From what I've seen of benchmark scores of systems similar to mine (1.7GHZ P4), the slight improvement in performance you get from the 256mb 9800 pro or XT, does not justify the upwards of $400 price.
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Old 03-31-2004, 20:03   #9
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I have a 9800 pro and its absolutely incredible. They definatley beat Gforce using DirectX9 , Stick with ATI and go with newegg, I had a sapphire and the fan siezed up, newegg replaced it right away no questions asked. I think its around $229
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Old 03-31-2004, 20:43   #10
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The ATI Radeon 9600pro is a pretty good card w/256 meg of DDR and a 128 bit bus.
It will be light years better than what you have now.

About $170.00
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Old 03-31-2004, 20:49   #11
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Anyone playing farcry right now? This game rocks,absolutely blown away by all the detail. I run with a Nvidia FX 5950,and it works great.;f ;c
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Old 03-31-2004, 20:51   #12
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I second the 9800, and I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend newegg.com ...

but don't neglect superior sound. With a good system and subwoofer, you'll be completely immersed!
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Old 04-01-2004, 15:50   #13
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I've got just about every new game that's come out in the past six months (LockOn, Battlefield: Vietnam, FarCry, JointOps Demo, etc.), and they all run great on my ATI 9700 with their settings on "high".

The ATI 9800 Pro 128MB version is available at a store here on the west coast for $189. You may be able to find it for a similar price somewhere online. This is an excellent card (better than mine), and for the dollar, it's worth it, considering I paid something like $390 for mine (I bought it the day it came out like 1.5 years ago).
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Old 04-01-2004, 16:08   #14
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9800 Pro. New Egg.



You'll love it.
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Old 04-01-2004, 16:17   #15
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Last edited by stick430; 11-20-2004 at 18:41..
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Old 04-01-2004, 17:24   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by stick430
Watch out with NVIDIA, I made the entirely unreasonable assumption that a Geforce4 is better than a Geforce3. Wrong - G4 is basically a glorified G2. Yes I'm cheap and thought I was getting a bargain, but I won't be buying any NVIDIA based card again, no matter how good the deal looks.
Care to explain a little more in terms of the specific cards you are referring to... because your statement as it stands implies you don't know very much.

What GeForce 4 card did you buy and what GeForce 3 card were you upgrading from?
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Old 04-01-2004, 17:34   #17
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If you're looking to get the 9800 Pro, check out ATI's web site at http://www.ati.com/buy/traderebate/tradeup.html . They're running a promotion where you can get an ATI-manufactured 9800 Pro for $199. You do have to send in any old graphics card though-it can be the one you're using now or some old one you have lying around. There's a $50 deposit on the trade.

You end up getting an ATI 9800 Pro for less than newegg or pricewatch, if it's worth the hassle to you.
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Old 04-02-2004, 21:23   #18
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Last edited by stick430; 11-20-2004 at 19:09..
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Old 04-02-2004, 21:46   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Soujurn
The ATI Radeon 9600pro is a pretty good card w/256 meg of DDR and a 128 bit bus.
It will be light years better than what you have now.

About $170.00
Agree, and should be less than $170.00. I spent around $135.00 for my ATI 9600 a few months ago.
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Old 04-02-2004, 23:13   #20
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Don't be swayed by misleading numbers and fancy boxes. Do some research on video cards before you buy. Try here: http://www.anandtech.com/video/index.html

a little homework will avoid a regrettable video card purchase.
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:30   #21
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Would have replied a little sooner, but I was out of town for the weekend.

Quote:
Originally posted by stick430
Your comprehension skills need a little work, along with your attitude. Nowhere did I state that I was upgrading from a GF 3 card. I had an aging Matrox, the model number of which I can't remember. When considering its replacement I was looking at the NVIDIA cards and saw a GF 4 based one (MX440SE by Inno3D) at a lower price than the GF 3 cards.
Thanks for the extra detail. Now that you've actually posted something that makes sense my inference skills don't need to be worked so hard. ;g

If you knew anything about video cards you'd know that each new line of cards has multiple market segments targeted. Low-end non gaming cards, mid-range/value based cards, and high-end enthusiastic gaming cards. Even from there they have different models that even further chop up the targeted market which in turn, affects the price of the card.

I'd put a GeForce 3 Ti 3500 up against a GeForce 4 MX any day because the Ti 3500 was the high-end gaming card for the 3 series nVidia cards. Just like I'd put my current GeForce 4 Ti 4600 up against any GeForce FX card model number sub 5800. It's one of the best videocards ever produced. Saying: "G4 is basically a glorified G2." ranks as the most inane statement I've heard this year. Especially since the GeForce 4 series cards were probably some of the most innovative and industry driven line of cards to date.

So really, it has nothing to do with comprehension or attitude. It just has to do with knowing what I'm talking about as opposed to.... well... not knowing.
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Old 04-05-2004, 18:05   #22
Chuck Perry
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The ATI 9800 seems to be the winner, so next question. The Tiger Direct catalog came today and confused me a bit more. What is the difference between the Sapphire 9800SE and the ATI 9800 Pro, besides $80?
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Old 04-05-2004, 21:45   #23
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DO NOT GET THE 9800SE!!!!

for that matter do not get any "SE" version.

The 9800 Pro is a MUCH MUCH better offering. It offers 8 rendering pipelines and faster core and memory speeds.

The 9800SE only has 4 rendering pipelines and slower core and memory speeds.

If you can't spring the extra $80 go for the 9600XT version. That or a 9700 Pro.

As I mentioned before go to Anandtech (link below in my other post) and do some research before you buy. They offer many video card tests and reviews.
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Old 04-05-2004, 23:39   #24
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Don't forget that you can overclock the Radions and they really smoke. Far Cry is the nuts!

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Old 04-06-2004, 03:34   #25
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Actually you can overclock anything, just be careful how much you overclock it.
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