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Now = Ti 4200, upgrade to ??? ($100)

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July 15, 2006 10:00:47 PM

I presently run at GeForce Ti 4200 128MB - I am no expert, but I get the impression that this card is held in reverence, though it is outclassed these days.

I am looking to upgrade to a card that operates on DX9, can play BF2 (which I can't now), but I don't want to go too cheap - I constantly see bad things about low-end GeForce 5 and 6 series cards. I'm weary. I'm also confused by all the little suffixes at the end of cards (LE, TC, GTO, etc.), which can seem to indicate an otherwise good model series has been altered to piece of crap. So, if you can recommend a precise model and manufacturer, that'd be cool.

I have no need to go too high - pref $75 to $100, maybe a bit over, and something that will deliver significant increase over my present setup. I must stick with AGP, my rig is older. My power supply is 430 Antec. I know some of these cards gobble that stuff up...

I was thinking GeForce 6600 or ATI 9800 -- or, whatever. You tell me. I can't tell right from left after looking at this stuff for 3 hours...

Thanks![/b]

More about : 4200 upgrade 100

a b U Graphics card
July 15, 2006 10:25:49 PM

A 6600GT would beat out a 9800 pro in just about everything. A 6600 would be behind a 9800 pro. Anyway, here you can see just how well the X800XL does in BF2 compared to a 6600GT, which basically costs the same in AGP as that X800XL I linked to above. Cranking the resolution and details, and the X800XL will offer a 100% boost over a 6600GT. Just make sure you have a minimum of 1GB RAM for BF2.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2466&p=3
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July 19, 2006 3:19:45 AM

Well, when the Ti 4200 came out in 2002, it indeed was reknowned for providing good performance like the rest of the GeForce 4 Ti cards, but at $250US, at a price people could swallow. shame that nVidia had its rear end handed to it a few months later by Ati's Radeon 9700.

Nowadays, that card means that you PROBABLY have an AGP x4 slot. That will fit any AGP card out on the market today. For a little bit of money, you could go for a used 9700pro or 9800pro, as tons of people made a rush on them in years past, and have since moved to other things; you could probably pick one up for less than $50US, and roughly double your gaming performance across the board.

For more money, you might be able to go to cards like the Geforce 6600GT or Radeon X1600pro. In all honesty, though, their performance is not much better than the 9800pro; they merely offer SM 3.0 support (for HDR in most games) over the 9800 series.

And as Pauldh said, if you can push it, either of those two cards will do amazing, perhaps quadrupling your graphics power. Those would probably be the very best to get. But even the cheaper ones would play Battlefield 2 excellently; just beware that the game is EXTREMELY RAM-hungry, so have a lot of that.

As for the suffixes, the real trick is to note that ATi and nVidia use them DIFFERENTLY, to intentionally fool people. For ATi, their suffixes go, from worst to best:[*:8b263f200d]SE - avoid this, it usually means the memory interface is halved, and the card isn't worthy of the number.
[*:8b263f200d]Hypermemory - The same as SE, but it also can snag some system RAM if it needs to, just like interegrated memory. no real performance difference.
[*:8b263f200d]GT - Usually marketed as a bargain-bin variant, as it's significantly cut down in some ways, but retains some key performance points, like RAM speed.
[*:8b263f200d](no suffix) - Cards without a suffix aren't technically standard; they still tend to use watered-down specs.
[*:8b263f200d]GTO - these are fairly top-end, and are the same as XL, but with some pipelines disabled.
[*:8b263f200d]Pro - Designed as high-end, this usually brings all of the performance specs one would expect. In the X800/X850 series, though, it's a bit watered-down.
[*:8b263f200d]XL - Just as featured as an XT, but with lower clock speeds; runs cooler, uses less power, and costs less, at a bit of a penalty in performance.
[*:8b263f200d]XT - The standard "flagship" model. Full performance.
[*:8b263f200d]XTX or XT PE - The very best of the best. Only a handful of chips that come out of the fab can actually work at this level, hence the much higher price for a small increase.And for nVidia:[*:8b263f200d]LE - Stay away from these cards, simply put.
[*:8b263f200d]TurboCache - The same as LE, but it also can snag some system RAM if it needs to, just like interegrated memory. no real performance difference.
[*:8b263f200d]XT - A drastically weakened card, usually one that claims a lot of memory as a selling point, but performs weakly.
[*:8b263f200d](no suffix) - Like ATi's no-suffix cards, these technically aren't "standard," but are watered-down.
[*:8b263f200d]GS - Made as a "bargain" version of a high-end card. Actually rather price-effective.
[*:8b263f200d]GT - The standard "high-end" now. Extremely popular.
[*:8b263f200d]Ti - No longer used, but used to signify a powerful card that wasn't terribly expensive.
[*:8b263f200d]Ultra - Phased out, but two years ago, was still used. This tends to mean an extraordinarily expensive card that produced high performance, but needed two slots, a lot of power, and produced a lot of heat and noise.
[*:8b263f200d]GTX - The new top-of-the-line.
[*:8b263f200d]GX2 - Not one card, but two.
July 19, 2006 3:36:16 AM

Quote:
Nowadays, that card means that you PROBABLY have an AGP x4 slot.


might be a bit of a bottle neck, what CPU and motherboard do you have??
July 19, 2006 3:48:33 AM

Quote:
might be a bit of a bottle neck, what CPU and motherboard do you have??

Well, the speed of the slot actually isn't much of a bottleneck. I said that merely because they COULD also have an AGP x8 slot. (the GeForce 4 Ti is AGP x4, and although you can put an AGP x8 card in a x4 slot, you can't put a x4 card in a x2 slot)

However, if you take a look at that, and come to the conclusion that if the motherboard is old enough to have only an AGP x4 slot rather than a x8, that it might have plenty of other older components, that's a very valid concern.
July 19, 2006 4:08:14 AM

sounds to me like a trip to eBay might be in order. id be suprised if an old board and CPU would be able to handle both game and browsing...

sounds to me like a dual core job. for once.
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