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Video Card woes

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 12, 2006 2:25:26 PM

I have recently decided that my current video card (A MSI Geforce 6600 128 mb ram) just doesn't cut the cake anymore. On my little adventure to find a new suitible video card I've been not so happy to see that the newer video cards require massive amounts of extra juice from the power supply, juice my puny 305 watt supply can't provide.

I am looking for any recomendations for a newer video card that has some punch to it that doesn't need a 450 watt power supply just to run the damn thing, but I would prefer not have to shell out $150 and just get a 'slightly better' card. Any suggestions?

I do not really wish to replace my power supply all that much unless absolutely necessary.

More about : video card woes

June 12, 2006 2:49:06 PM

Are you running AGP or PCi Express? If you have AGP, your choices are much more limited, although there are AGP cards out there that are way more powerful than your 6600.

What are your system specs? Is your PSU high-quality, like Antec or Fortron, or is it generic?

You may be able to install a beefier graphics card without power problems, but it depends on the power draw of the rest of your system.

Try using this power supply calculator. It is only an approximation- not the final word on your power consumption- but it will give you an idea of how much power your system is using.
June 12, 2006 2:55:26 PM

Yes, I have PCI-X on this system. If it didn't I'd definately be building a new system instead of upgrading it.
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June 12, 2006 3:10:18 PM

$150 should get you an X850 XT, which will deliver a huge performance leap over the 6600 GT.

For any video card that will give you a performance increase over the 6600 GT, a better-than-300w PSU is a necessity. You can try to run it on your old PSU first, but if it crashes or locks up during a game, you'll know why... a 450w+ brand name PSU is a requirement for any newer PC to perform stably and reliably.


PS: PCI-express is abbreviated PCI-e, not PCI-X
PCI-X is a different, older bus.
June 12, 2006 3:21:23 PM

X850's are where its at for 150. They get 7800GT level performance in Oblivion. My X800GTO was unlocked to an X850XT and overclocked to those levels, and let me tell you, it's a beast.
June 12, 2006 4:09:57 PM

If your PSU is high quality, you might be able to get away with it, depending on how many peripherals you have in your system.

Don't forget also that the X850XT has nearly double the mem. bandwidth of the 7600GT (256-bit mem. interface)...
June 12, 2006 4:21:01 PM

Quote:
$150 should get you an X850 XT, which will deliver a huge performance leap over the 6600 GT.
Actually, he said he has a 6600.
Quote:
They get 7800GT level performance in Oblivion.
Maybe if the 7800GT is using the newer shaders the X850XT doesn't support.

Either way, an X850XT or 7600GT would be his best bet.
June 12, 2006 4:41:44 PM

Quote:
Actually, he said he has a 6600.


6600, 6600 GT... doesn't really matter, either way the X850 XT slaughters 'em. :) 
June 12, 2006 7:45:22 PM

Like Heyyou said, I have just a plain 6600. Also, I'm willing to spend more than $150, just the cards that dont require a bigger power supply seem to be in that price range.

On ATI's website, they have a 'card advisor', basically you give them the system specifications or maker (in this case a Dell Dimension 4700, please don't kill me, but it was a gift after my old computer died) and they give you a list of cards that could be appropriate.

http://buy.ati.com/productinfo/ua/index.asp

I get a whole list of things, including some rather beefy cards that I'd be wondering about since I would assume they would need extra power that my current power supply cant handle. Any idea if this 'selector' is just trying to sell me shit I don't need or what?

One final note, would this possibly be a good choice?

http://www.allstarshop.com/shop/product.asp?dept%5Fid=2...

Doesn't seem to have extra power needs, but I have no idea on the specs. I've been out of the area of computer parts for so long I have no idea whats good anymore.
June 12, 2006 8:09:16 PM

The X1600 XT would be notably better than a vanilla 6600, but it wouldn't be an upgrade I'd recommend most of the time because the boost isn't so phenomenal that it's obviously worth it.

But if power is a chief concern, the X1600 XT isn't a bad choice. You can get them for $133 on newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

And as low as $109 for an 'open box' card, if you don't mind that.
June 12, 2006 8:17:28 PM

From what i have heard Atii's x8xx's series are great except i really dont like that the GTO doesnt have SM.3
why dont you try the 6800 series?
June 12, 2006 8:42:25 PM

At the $150 price point, Nvidia has nothing that comes close to the X850 XT.

It's not worth the SM 3.0 compatibility (which will be of limited use in a slower card, anyway) to get, say, a 7600 GS instead of an X850 XT, because the X850 is so much more powerful.

The 7600 GT is a great card, but it's more in the $170 range, maybe worth the extra $20 for SM 3.0 capability though, but that's debatable.

If you want SM 3.0 very badly, then the X1600 XT looks even better. It's cheaper, and uses little power.
Also about the same performance and price as the X1600 XT is the 7600 GS, which shouldn't be a power hog either.

And don't forget the X800 GTO 128mb, a sub-$100 card that's almost as powerful as the X1600 XT/7600 GS, but without SM 3.0
June 12, 2006 8:50:35 PM

Always with the X850XTs or 7600GTs.

Yah, I'm cheating with the mail-in-rebate thing, but somebody's gotta stir the sh!tpot and the CPU forum is a wasteland of AMD/Conroe slag.

Edit: He's running a Dell so that 305W PSU number he tossed out is probably the sustainable wattage, not peak. He should be good with either card.
June 12, 2006 9:04:29 PM

Quote:
Yes, I have PCI-X on this system. If it didn't I'd definately be building a new system instead of upgrading it.

It is spelled "definitely".

STUDY HARDER - FOOL!

You wouldn't "look into the infinate space between the stars"
You can't "be so definate about things".
Your "Abs aren't as definad as they could be".

I suppose you think you are an "intelagint Humen Bean" too.

*sigh*
June 12, 2006 9:23:20 PM

Quote:
Yes, I have PCI-X on this system. If it didn't I'd definately be building a new system instead of upgrading it.

It is spelled "definitely".

STUDY HARDER - FOOL!

You wouldn't "look into the infinate space between the stars"
You can't "be so definate about things".
Your "Abs aren't as definad as they could be".

I suppose you think you are an "intelagint Humen Bean" too.

*sigh*

You win the "Unnecessary A-Hole of the Day" award! :trophy:
June 12, 2006 9:38:59 PM

Jesus christ, man. This isn't an essay contest, it's a forum posting.

For the love of god, it's a simple spelling mistake... human beings make them all the time. No need for the beratement.
June 12, 2006 9:56:28 PM

Mobius is always in a bad mood. That why we wuv him.
June 12, 2006 10:07:47 PM

I think the 7600GT would be better for him. Yes is only 128-bit memory bus, but the extremely high clockspeed helps to cope with this.
June 13, 2006 4:17:16 AM

It requires a bigger power supply, something I'd like to try to avoid if at all possible.

I saw the x1600 pro today and it doesn't seem like it requires too much extra power (no need to plug it directly into the power supply). Can anyone confim this? Are they good cards or just okay?
June 13, 2006 4:49:07 AM

The 7600GT does not require an external power cable.
June 13, 2006 2:43:11 PM

Yes but almost all of the cards (7600gt) are advertised as requiring a 450 watt power supply or more.
June 13, 2006 3:49:26 PM

X1600 PROs are definitely OK cards, but once again, the 6600 is almost an OK card, so you're spending your money for very little benefit.

If you're really worried about power, go with a 7600 GS. Uses alot less power than the 7600 GT, but it's still a decent gamer. Probably a bit better than the X1600 PRO.
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