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Never-ending video card advice...thanks in advance

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 14, 2006 4:23:43 AM

I'm planning on upgrading to an X2 3800+ (AM2) system come August, and I've got everything pretty much picked out...but I'm a little stuck on the videocard; it's basically between the 7600GT and the 7900GT (maybe ATI too, if so persuaded).

I don't really play FPS...the only one on my computer is COD2, and I haven't even played that in months. Yes, ideally I would get the 7900...but I play mostly racing and flight simulations like GTR and Flight Simulator 2004. Obviously, I want the best bang/buck I can get, so considering that I will probably never play Oblivion or F.E.A.R, and that I have a 21" Samsung LCD (and would like to play at native 1600X1050) could I get away with the 7600GT and not be dissapointed? Or should I step it up a notch?
July 14, 2006 4:42:09 AM

Well, it really depends on how future-proof you want your new system to be. I will probably never play oblivion either (I've heard waayyy to much talk about it, i'm sick of it already). It's probably a good idea to make the jump to a 7900 or X1900 because there's a huge difference in performance. The high-end 900 cards (Both ATi and nVidia) way outperform a card like a 7600 when it comes to high resolutions in the 1600's. Note that the X1900 is currently the "best of the best" you can get in video cards. It hardly looses very many FPS's when swithcing from 1280x1024 to 1600x1200.

On This page you can get the X1900XT for just under $400 :)  . That's a very nice price considering there's ony one version of the card that's higher (The XTX)

-Cheers!
July 14, 2006 5:21:44 AM

The person there is absolutely right that the card 7900 or 1900 performs much better and considering the pric they are a great buy ,but if you are an indian the 7900GT may be short in supply .
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July 14, 2006 5:24:23 AM

I'd get the 7600GT if that's all you're planning on using. If you're still playing those games, then I doubt you'll need anything more (but there is a new Flight Simulator coming I think).

BTW, is the Samsung monitor you have the 215TW? If it is, mind giving me your opinion on it? I'm looking into it as a all in one solution (display for my upcoming build using DVI, Xbox 360 via VGA, GameCube on component, and PS2 on S-video). I'd just like to know if you can actually do everything nicely on it... it's a $500 choice and I'd like to make a good one.8O
July 14, 2006 6:01:23 AM

Quote:
I'd get the 7600GT if that's all you're planning on using. If you're still playing those games, then I doubt you'll need anything more (but there is a new Flight Simulator coming I think).

BTW, is the Samsung monitor you have the 215TW? If it is, mind giving me your opinion on it? I'm looking into it as a all in one solution (display for my upcoming build using DVI, Xbox 360 via VGA, GameCube on component, and PS2 on S-video). I'd just like to know if you can actually do everything nicely on it... it's a $500 choice and I'd like to make a good one.8O


Thanks for the opinions all...I'll still got some time before the build, so I'll see where my finances and the price drops take me.

Vinny, I do infact have the Samsung 215TW...bear with me as I list my thoughts:

I have to tell you, I love it. In terms of general usage, it's incredible...all that extra real-estate is addictive. I can have two full-size documents fill the screen, web browse and watch TV/videos, or just have a full 21" TV. The colors, IMO are excellent: you might want to make a few color adjustments as I did, but it's really not necessary...right off the bat, it's beautiful. The auto-rotation feature is pretty nice, and the color adjusment, and picture adjustments (brightness, contrast, presets, etc.) can all be configured using the mouse as well. I don't use the PIP at this point.

Haven't used all the inputs yet...I wanted to make sure I could hook up a PS3 to it via component (and have HDCP, though it's moot now) next year, but I need to try my PS2 on the S-video as well. I'll try it out and let you know how it looks.

In terms of gaming, the only one I've played on it is Tomb Raider Legend, which looks fantastic at native resolution (though with a 9600 XT, the detail isn't maxed)...no problem with ghosting or anything. I haven't tried a FPS like COD2 on it yet (like I said, haven't played it recently), but GTR looks great too.

HD video looks amazing as well...I've played quite a few 720p and some 1080i (it'll play 1080p as well, but I think it officially supports up to 1080i) vids. Part of the reason I'm upgrading to is to get better gaming and HD video performance from my current A64 3000+, so I'm definitely looking forward to my new system.

Couple bits of advice: if this is your first large widescreen-monitor, be sure to move it back from your old monitor's usual position. The 215TW has a 1000:1 contrast ratio; i.e. it's bright as hell. Combine that with the larger size, and your eyes will hurt within minutes...crank the brightness down and move it back!

I read a lot of posts to research what monitor I was going to buy, but nothing beats going down to the store and looking at it. That said, a lot of stores have these monitors on VGA cables, which looks like absolute crap compared to DVI. I would advise you get it from a store and try it out on everything you normally do. That way, if you find it's not the right one for you, or there's an initial problem, you can bring it back immediately and try something else.

This is getting a little long, so I'll end here. Let me know if you have any other specific questions...I'll be glad to help.

And yeah, Flight Simulator X should be out come December...definitely looking forward to that!
July 14, 2006 7:03:26 AM

It sounds great.:D 

I almost bought a Gateway FPD2185W because it fit all my needs. I didn't know about this monitor but happened to it by luck. This thing has all the same exact features as the Gateway but with a 3 year warrenty rather than the crappy 1 year warrenty (and you'll need that warrenty).

I'm really glad its a good monitor, exactly as I expected. If you don't notice any ghosting on a racing game, then I doubt it'll be there on an FPS.

It'll be another month before I get mine but I can't wait. If you do get the change to try out your PS2, let me know how that works out. 8)
July 14, 2006 7:27:49 AM

You are exactly where I was two months ago...I almost bought the Gateway too, until I learned about the Samsung (wasn't really well advertised at that point). They both use the same panel, I believe. I think the Gateway's panel surround looks just a little better, but it's more expensive, and you would have to pay for a longer warranty...garbage. I'll take Samsung any day.
July 14, 2006 2:19:05 PM

Flight sims you might be bottlenecked by your processor sometimes anyway, unless you need real high resolution the 7600 GT would probablu do you fine.

Nvidia cards tend to do better with sims, I haven't seen benches of the newest cards in MSF so you might want to google that...
!