The Inevitable first post

Yeah I'm gonna go there. I'm gonna ask the inevitable "which card should I buy?" question even though there is a wealth of information about numerous cards already on here. But what's the point of a forum if you can't ask your own personally tailored question?

I am building a new pc frrom scratch. A budget gaming pc eseentially. My cap is around 800 bucks. I was contemplating an Athlon 64 x2 proc but I realize this isn't the most budget conscious decision as it will consequently affect other costs like higher wattage power supply etc in addition to the extra cost of the proc alone. So I will probably go with a single core 3500. Seems to be the best value at Frys right now. 209 boxed with fan. I'm pretty sure it would suit me fine. Not exactly sure which mobo I'm gonna go with but of course soc 939 to accomodate the Athlon.

That said I am looking at some midrange cards. The GeForce 7600 seems to be a really great value. I've looked at some 6800's but for the price it seems the 7600 doesn't cost much more, sometimes less, and is current generation. For 250 Frys had a BFG OCed 7600 with 256mb. I don't remember which particular version of the 7600 it was. I was too overwhelmed to remember those details. They also had first party ATI x1600 with 512mb on sale for 220. This seems like a really good deal but I have googled some reviews on this card from when it first came out and many have said it's performance is all over the place in comparison to its competition. I don't know how it stacks up now 6 months later and if those issues have been improved upon and if that extra RAM helps. Looking at sheer numbers it seems to be alot of bang for the buck, but that's based on really nothing more than the box rather than putting it to real world tests against the competition. Other than that I'm pretty lost. It's been a long time since I have ventured into the PC gaming community. So keep in mind that I am looking for a great gaming experience with some of the latest games, but world benchmarking records are not something I care about. Nor will I vomit a little in my mouth if I notice a jagged edge on my character model.

Thanks in advance for any help provided. This seems like a great site.
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  1. Hehe $800? for a gaming rig?? Your cuttin it short on performance.$1300 is a good spendage on a GAMING rig but $800 will do.
    The X1600 512mb, is a waste of silicone. MIght as well get the x850pro for way cheap, the only thing it lacks is sm3.0. Try the 7900gt for $320, great card, great performance, and great price. You want to be investing your cash, Yes it may cost more but in the end, you'll be saving $$$$, rather than getting an O.K card, for cheap and then later upgrading it to a GREAT card, you'll just be spending more $$$. A great card for todays gaming I'd say would be the 7900gt, it supports sm 3.0, so clearer pictures more detail, more power> But then again thats just me, it your money :twisted:
  2. Im a nice guy and I do try to say nice things. You almost tempted me to say some un-nice things about this "first post", but because you took the time to type out more than just "whats the best video card thats cheep?" I'll be a good fella and direct you to this helpfull thread on tom's, its a sticky so it will be at the top of the forum list for a long time.

    I could just leave you at that but, as I said I'm a nice guy so click the little link below, find the slot you are gonna use (agp or pci express), scroll to how much money you have budgeted for your video card, then choose that one. If there is two or more just choose the one with the biggest numbers in pixle shaders, pipelines memory and gpu speed, (I assume you dont know a wole lot about vid cards, sorry if this makes me seem like an a$$, but you asked the question).

    And you think I would be all niced out by now, but I'll do you one better. It seems that you are in the $150 to $200 range, and in that range is the 7600 and radion x850xt, my suggestion to you is the x850xt simply because it has a 256 memory bus where as the 7600 has a 128. One of thoes cards will suit you fine I think, but go ahead and take a look at that list, you might find a cheaper card that will suit you just as well and you save some $$
  3. Under $200 in PCIe the best bets are the X850 XT and 7600 GT.

    X850 is a bit cheaper, 7600 GT has a bit newer tech.

    here is a guy(ME) selling a complete computer in the Northwest, Seattle, Wa.

    If you havent already bought your parts you might want to consider this route, oh yeah its my last computer, I built a new one and have no interest in maintaining another computer.

    the price is $799 + shipping from Seattle, wa.

    3800+ 64bit
    windows xp Pro (legit with disk)
    Sli Mobo
    1 gig mushkin
    74 gig raptor
    6800 gt PCI-E 256 mb
    500 w PSU Sli cert.

    full detailed specs are in the link

    PM me if interested , either site.

    I would get the 7600 GT CO from EVGA I have seen them for a little over 200 dollars or an x1800XT they are dropping in price lately.
  5. Thanks for the offer. I doubt that I will take you up on it though. It's not a bad deal but I think I will be able to reach the same price point buying the parts myself, which would also include the instant gratification factor. I am also looking forward to actually building my own pc. I have never done it for myself and it's kind of like a working on a car...except not. I will look more closely at your rig though before completely ruling it out.

    Bluntside, I know to most hardcore gamers my budget seems low, but like I said I'm trying to build a budget gaming pc. I know I can put something together for under a grand that more than suits me and I also completely understand if my pc is underwhelming to more seasoned pc gamers. My gaming the past year has been mostly spent on PS2 on a standard run of the mill 20 inch tube tv for the past year. Graphically speaking it's safe to say my current standards aren't profoundly lofty. I have a laptop with a 2.4ghrz proc, 512mb ram and 64 meg radeon mobility 9000 and I played through Half Life 2 about a year ago on it and thoroughly enjoyed it. The game still looked gorgeous despite running at sub par settings. I was still able to run it at settings a decent ways up from the minimum. Most hardcore pc gamers probably would have noticed the frame rate but it was plenty smooth for me. So that should give you an idea of the kind of guy you are dealing with. Though of course once I start getting back into pc gaming I will quickly adapt to today's generation of performance and I will find such things less acceptable, I am generally not as picky as most. All that exhaustive explaination to simply say I think a 7600 will more than suit my needs and the price is right. Also plunking more money down for a higher end card would most likely mean spending more cash on other things, more expensive power supply, maybe even additional cooling et. I will continue to research though.

    Samir thanks for being nice and not calling me not nice things. Thanks for pointing an overwhelmed consumer in the right direction.

    I think that about covers it for now
  6. Instead of spending 250 on an OC 7600 then 1. eather buy one thats normal and OC it

    2. Buy a X1800 GTO and unlock it to 16 pipes and OC to make a XL cheap.
  7. Quote:
    Instead of spending 250 on an OC 7600 then 1. eather buy one thats normal and OC it

    2. Buy a X1800 GTO and unlock it to 16 pipes and OC to make a XL cheap.

    You can get a 7600GS for $125 from newegg.
  8. Ok so I found that same bfg 7600 GT OCed for 189 at compusa. This ends up being the starting point for my system as it is the first thing I have purchased. I will purchase the rest today. So we will see how this thing fares. I feel good about this choice. I think I will get alot of bang out of this for the money.
  9. I'd rather get a X850Xt. Also get a 3700 CPU San Diego core.
    And about your 800$ limit,does that include monitor or not? Because if it doesn't you can still make something worthwhile and well performing.
    First get x850xt
    Get a DFI mobo, good and cheap.
    3700 San Diego
    1 GB mb value ram
    a 120GB HDD
    A branded power source, preferably 450W or more
    case(with good air flow, get some fans)
    x850XT is almost the equivalent of a 7800GT. It may not have SM 3 but it is a very fast card.
    3700 San Diego is a very cost efficient proc. and if you want you can OC it to at least 2.5 on stock voltage and HS.
    And of course DFI makes some good mobos,esspecially for OCing.
    But a 7600GT(the one i see you bought) is good enough.
  10. I've got a monitor for now, until I can save up for a 24inch dell widescreen. So no, I do not need to buy a monitor. I considered an 850xt but they are harder to find, in stores anyways, and I read some reviews that compared this exact card with a radeon 1800 xt and the 850xt as well as the 6800 to compare the mid range current gen cards with the high end of last generation and the geforce fared extremely well. Since I've already bought it I'm going to stick with it as it's the best deal for the money I have found so far. I didn't mention before but my goal is to get everything in store and not buy online as I am paying in cash for everything. Of course I can always deposit that cash but I'm going this route because so far I seem to be coming up with some decent deals. I'm about to head out to get the rest of my system. If it starts to look like I'll save alot more money by buying some of my stuff online then I will hold off, but thus far the price difference in light of having to wait, pay for shipping and tax when purchasing online, and also having to buy from multiple sites, buying in store appeals to me far more unless I find an instance where the online price is significantly less even afer tax and shipping is added.

    Anyways I'm out. Wish me luck.
  11. Quote:

    Get a DFI mobo, good and cheap.
    3700 San Diego
    1 GB mb value ram

    Just be careful with which RAM you use in a DFI board, they are enthusiast boards that are not meant to run with value ram in them. has a list of recommended RAM as well as what you can do if the RAM you use doesn't initially work in your board. You'll just have to dig through the posts to find it.
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