i'm looking into a midrange video card ($100-150, the cheaper the better) to replace my integrated. i've looked at NVidia cards exclusively, because i'm biased from a good past experience with them. i've been considering the 7600GT and 6600GT (mostly because it's cheaper). but i haven't really considered any ATI cards. for the sake of looking at all sides before making a purchase, keeping price range in mind, what would be some comparable ATI cards to the ones i listed?
AMD Athlon X2 4200
2 GB RAM
current video: Integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200
and this is pretty important: 300 W Power Supply
Since you're pretty limited with your PSU, I'd say go with NVidia.
ATI isn't bad, not at all, but what you should be looking for here is consumption.
When you'll buy one of these cards, look for a 6-pin PCI-E Power connector. If the card has that, then it'll draw more power than the slot can deliver (more than 75W).
You're probably going to have to upgrade your power supply either way. Both the 7600GT and the X800 series require a minimum of 300W, with some requiring 350W. Also, ATI.com has some good deals in their Clearance section.
What brand is your PSU, and how many amps does it deliver? That is important. If you're running all that on a 300W PSU, you're probably nearing the end of its limit. I would recomment buying a new PSU, probably Antec.
if that psu is a solid brand w/ plenty of amps on the 12v rail(s) then you may be ok. Post your specs.
That 7600gt is a nice card, no argument here. The x1800gto is the real competition to that card though, so unless you can find the gto at the same price I would stick w/ the 7600. the 1800gto will oc a bit better from what I hear but may be more $
7600GT is very good option, MUCH BETTER than a 6600GT.
i realize that, but for me i'd like to save money where possible, and it's much more accomodating for my PSU.
it seems like many 7600GTs need at least 350W. i could opt for a 7600GS, but it seems like the performance really takes a hit from GS to GT, but...i can go fanless and run on 300W.
i might consider a new PSU, but...it's an additional cost, one that if i had another option i would avoid it. that and my PCs an OEM (HP Media Center), so i dont know how the experience of changing it out is going to be.
so....given that, what else do you guys suggest? do i even need to consider ATI at this point since i've got enough to consider with my current setup? what other options could i go for that might be more powerful than a 6600GT, of course still staying within my price range? or would a 6600GT do pretty well?
So looks like the GF7600GT is a better option all around.
so....given that, what else do you guys suggest? do i even need to consider ATI at this point since i've got enough to consider with my current setup?
Due to your power concerns, that kinda rules the X1800GTO out, although really it draws as much as that GF6600GT, the GF7600 just draws less, and while the GTO is a good overclocker, that pushes the GTOs power draw into the X1800XL league which would start to cause you more concern if you were falsely worried about the GF7600GT IMO.
or would a 6600GT do pretty well?
Nah forget the crap GF6600GT and get the GF7600GT. Heck I think if anything we've shown the GF6600GT should be considered, period. 8)
well i'll be darned...i was just going by the fact that it seems like some 6600GTs can run on 300W PSUs while the 7600GTs i've seen need at least 350W. so that doesn't really address one of the big issues i have...my 300W PSU and what to do with it. i'm not feeling good about replacing a PSU because of cost and the fact that it's an OEM case and mobo. with the $50 minimum it'll take to get a reasonable PSU, i could really up the graphics. again, i'm on a pretty tight budget...
get the 7600gt, it should be fine on that 300w. If you have issues then you can look into changing that psu. If you are more paranoid than that, then just get a new psu w/ the card and change them both out. Make sure you google up any standards differences that hp might have. I know Dell does and you cant use an atx psu w/o an adapter but I have no idea about hp.
thanks for all the help so far guys. i'd just like a few more opinions on what to do with a 300W PSU. so what do you guys recommend as alternatives that would run on 300W? an older card is fine, as long as performance is acceptable on games like BF2, CoD, UT2003/4 etc. at 1280 x 960. i don't usually and dont plan on buying new games, but it would be nice to have a few years of practical use on a budget.
regardless of the card, on the calculator here all the cards, from x1600 to 7600 you sit at the limit of that psu. It will work, but it is debatable how long... Assuming you have 2 opticals, 1 hard drive and a sound card w/ no other components.
Try different configs and you may come up w/ something, but the video card choice of the ones that will actually run bf2 decently are all about the same for power +/- a few watts w/ the 7600s taking the lead and the 1800s the tail.