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Low end card advice

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 6, 2006 7:51:53 PM

Hi. Im looking for a graphics card upgrade from my onboard jobby that ive got at the mo. I read the sticky about the 6600 but its more than i can afford :( 

There are 2 things that i want this new card to handle - Orbiter NASSP and Age of Empires 3. At the mo AOE is ok until the big naval battles when the framerate dies. NASSP sucks at about 4fps!

Ive looked at these cards:

6500, 6200TC, FX5500

Are these gonna make much of a difference over my onboard card, or do i really need to find the extra cash for the 6600?

Thanks for the advice,

Bud

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March 6, 2006 11:06:27 PM

unless you can find some one selling a used card for cheap. I would say expect to spend about $100, I'm not sure how buget your PC is but if you at least plan to keep it for the next 1 1/2 I would get at least a 6600GT or upgrade a bit to X800 cards still 8 pipes but nice OC'ble.

If you can save up the $50 for a upgrade to 6200,6500 etc., just try to borrow or save up another 50 if you borrow it and can pay the person back (assuming parents/family if you can't save $50 on your own) then just pay them like $10 or something. Heck check out some of the refrebished cards at new eggs that could save your like $15-20 bucks too. Good luck.

Edited guessing your running (hoping anyway) a newer card than AGP so old 9700-9800/TI line won't help you.
March 6, 2006 11:15:04 PM

Quote:
Edited guessing your running (hoping anyway) a newer card than AGP so old 9700-9800/TI line won't help you.


For comparison, a Radeon 9500 Pro runs NASSP at about 11fps, pretty much vertex-limited (i.e. doesn't change much with resolution). I'd guess the 9700 Pro would be pretty similar since it's basically just a 9500 Pro with 256-bit memory bus.

That said, it gets 40+ fps after launch when most of the rocket stages have dropped off: I think that saves you about 100k polygons per frame :) . I'm hoping my new 7800GS will manage 30+fps the whole time.
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March 7, 2006 9:54:16 AM

Thanks for the thoughts. Ive decided im just gonna have to spend more £££ so, it looks like being one of these:

X700 128mb £68
X700 256mb £72
X600Pro 256mb £61
6600 256mb £63
6600 128mb £53

Would the 6600 256mb be the best buy?


Cheers, Bud
March 7, 2006 11:19:08 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the thoughts. Ive decided im just gonna have to spend more £££ so, it looks like being one of these:

X700 128mb £68
X700 256mb £72
X600Pro 256mb £61
6600 256mb £63
6600 128mb £53

Would the 6600 256mb be the best buy?


Cheers, Bud



If you can afford it I would strongly suggest a 6600GT which is significantly better than the plain 6600.

If the best you can afford is a 6600 then I guess a 6600 it is.

Keep in mind the 7900 is coming out in a couple of days and will hopefully help push prices lower.

good luck
March 7, 2006 1:21:26 PM

Of those listed I'd say that the X700 would probably be the best, it kind of fits between the 6600 and 6600GT as far as performance goes. Unless SM3.0 is a requirement, then you'll have to get the 6600/GT. If you're budget is that tight and to save a bit, then the 256MByte wouldn't gain you much over the 128MByte, at this level of card anyway.

See http://www.tomshardware.com/site/vgacharts/index.html for some idea of performances.

The 6200/6500 (and especially the 6200TC) probably wouldn't help much. The X600 is basically a PCIe 9600 as an indicator of performance. These are all 4 pipe designs. Those in the 1st paragraph are all 8 pipe designs.

Edit: Don't be tempted by a 6600LE, its just half a 6600 (= 4 pipes). A 6800LE would be good, it has 8 pipes.
March 7, 2006 1:41:05 PM

I agree that 256MB is certainly not worth it.

A 6600GT 128MB is your best bet and sells for about $100 - $130 USD or 57-75 GPB
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