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Should I wait on the video card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 7, 2006 1:37:28 PM

I'm building a new pc and I have a spare pci-e card. It's a crappy x300se just for backup incase a card blows but I was wondering if I should just use it for the new build until the dx10 cards come out? I'm not exactly sure when they come out and if there will be a big price drop in the dx9 cards (im wanting a x1900xt). I've never used the x300se so I don't know if it will be bearable for too long a time. :) 

Would love to hear someone elses thoughts.

More about : wait video card

August 7, 2006 1:42:10 PM

Do you play a lot of games? What games do you play? What's the rest of your system?
August 7, 2006 1:51:10 PM

Right now I mostly just play battlefield 2. But yea I play lots of games typically. Smile

I'm giving away most the parts of my current system to my brother and the new system will be something like...

athlon 64 x2 3800+ (am2)
2 gb ram
blah blah blah... Smile

Just dont know if the price drop will be significant enough to wait. I'm imagining using this x300se will be painful?
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August 7, 2006 1:58:37 PM

Get the card you want. DX10 is still a ways out. Do you want to be miserable for the next year? I love my x1900xt.
August 7, 2006 2:08:07 PM

Well without knowing what your current vid card is I can't tell you how painful it will be. It is a p.o.s. as you know however I can tell you that a Geforce 6200 256 MB plays battlefield surprisingly well. My friend plays with it. He can't turn stuff up of course and has to leave almost everything on low if he wants really good frame rates but it plays it fairly well so I imagine your crappy X300 is about the same. As for direct X10 cards.....that all just kinda depends on when Mickeysoft decided to release Vista. There are more rumors that are saying they are behind schedule again. Even Mickeysoft is saying that it may be later than the first of the year. Supposedly DX10 will be for Vista only so, when Vista is released then the cards will released...likely.
Put some arctic silver 5 on the GPU heat sink and also put some RAM sinks on the RAM chips. It makes a BIG difference. And put an active fan on the heat sink if it does not have one. A trip down to the local computer shop for a small fan will do the trick just stick in on with some tacky putty. Thats what I have done in the past with crappy vid cards and it always help immensly. I would get a halfway decent card for now but don't spend a lot of money on a 1900XT.
August 7, 2006 2:09:05 PM

DX10 is still a ways off. I'd just get an X1800XT for $230 and that will play any game until you upgrade to DX10. If you want something cheaper, go with a 7600GT or X1800GTO.
August 7, 2006 2:19:33 PM

oh I'm currently playing with a 9800 pro. I can play around medium settings.

So is the 1900xt not worth it and I should get a 1800xt? I saw the 1900 had 3x the pixel shaders but I'm not sure if that is worth the higher price? I also looked at the 7900gt but in seemed to mostly just win in the flight sims which i dont play. :)  Also is it worth going to 512 mb vs 256mb ?
August 7, 2006 2:36:52 PM

Nah, a 256mb X1800XT should do just fine. Of course, if you have $330 burning a hole in your pocket , go ahead and get the X1900XT.
August 7, 2006 2:54:30 PM

Pipelines [edited.. thx strangestranger] aren't a good indicator of performance anymore. You want to look at the clockspeeds and memory bandwidth (best price/performance is 256-bit). They are better indicators of performance.

512 MB video RAM won't boost performance in all games. It helps mainly when you have game with a lot of textures to load... it can decrease load times on some games, but it won't boost the frame rate.
a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2006 3:35:00 PM

Get yourself a 7900GT...I just made the switch to PCI-e with an EVGA 7900GT KO and it stomps the crap out of my old AGP 6800GT Ultra...don't wait for DX10, get the card you want to play games on today, not a card that you might be able to play games on tomorrow...
August 7, 2006 3:41:57 PM

I agree with Strangestranger, if you can afford a X1900 XT (about $300., Newegg), get it and be happy. If you don't have quite that much money, teh X1800 XT is still a good card. Don't worry too much about DX10 and Vista. DX10 is directly tied to Vista, and Microsoft keeps coming up with new problems and delays with Vista. That just means game development will be later, not sooner, for DX10, so you can enjoy a DX9 card even longer.
August 7, 2006 4:32:49 PM

well i can get this x1900xt for 289 after a $100 rebate but anyone know if there is something bad about this card that is the reason for the rebate?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814127206
after rebate that is not much more than the x1800xt...
also is this psu good enough for this card?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16817103464

@chunkymonster: I looked at the 7900gt but the benchmarks all showed the 1800xt beating it in pretty much all but flight sims, correct me if I'm wrong?
August 7, 2006 4:47:56 PM

ok I guess I can do that psu, same price. I'll take your word for it that it's better. I see it's higher watts but I don't know much else about the difference. I know antec has a good rep but I have actually had one that blew out on me...probably just bad luck.
August 7, 2006 5:14:31 PM

Two things: Already have a case?

On the memory. You want to get something that has CAS4 or below. CAS is latency, latency is delay, lower latency = lower delay = faster computer. Not a perfect way of saying it, but...CAS5 murders AMD processors or hurts them pretty bad. Any way to squeeze some CAS4 in? OCZ is possible, but have been issues...

~Ibrahim~
August 7, 2006 6:06:54 PM

yea i have an antec lanboy case, should be fine it's aluminum and big fans.

I guess I was thinking of the possibility of upgrading to SLI down the line but now that I think about it that probably won't happen. Can you recommend a good single slot board?

I don't know about the RAM but it was recommended to me. Isn't all the ddr800 stuff high CAS?
August 7, 2006 6:47:41 PM

Well, most DDR2-800 is usually CAS5 or CAS4, though a few can hit CAS3. I like this memory:

OCZ Platinum 4-5-4-15

I think it requires a BIOS update, though. Not 100% on compatability. 667Mhz memory, though, hits CAS4 easy and OC's pretty well to 800, though it isn't a sure-thing...

~Ibrahim~
August 7, 2006 6:53:45 PM

That seems pretty good and it's a bit cheaper so that's always good. I'm thinking of moving to this mb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813127007
do you know if that ram works with it. also it doesnt say that is a matched pair so will it work in dual channel?

Thanks for the feedback.
August 8, 2006 12:39:11 AM

Yeah, it might work. I hate to say it: I'm not sure. The stickys at the top of this forum should explain everything:

OCZ Memory Support Forum

They seem that updating your BIOS will fix it, but I'm not sure how you can do that with those two sticks. You could buy cheapo DDR2, update the BIOS, then put in the OCZ, but it is too much hassle. Based on what you read above, I say it is your call. You can try it, it could work, no gurantee, may not work. Worst case scenario is that it doesn't boot at all with either stick. It is said that sometimes just putting in one stick will fix it, though. Confusing problem, but OCZ is working to fix it.

Sorry.

~Ibrahim~
August 8, 2006 3:13:56 AM

Quote:
Those are about the cheapest DDR2-800 2x1GB 4-4-4-12 1T RAM you can get.
Great for running 3-2-2-xx 1T at DDR2-533 for AM2s.

There's a slight problem with those DDR2-800 CAS4 RAM (applies to ALL mobo). You have to manually set vDIMM to at least 2.1V (with another RAM) before putting them in to boot.
That's why you see those retarded comments on NewEgg about how they don't work with P5B, 965P-DS3 and AB9...ect.


Well wouldn't that mean buying another stick of ram just to activate 2.1v whatever cause I dont have any ddr2 lying around or does old ddr work too?

@Flopmouth: I'm most likely getting the x1900xt with the $100 rebate.
August 8, 2006 12:35:04 PM

Quote:
Those are about the cheapest DDR2-800 2x1GB 4-4-4-12 1T RAM you can get.
Great for running 3-2-2-xx 1T at DDR2-533 for AM2s.

There's a slight problem with those DDR2-800 CAS4 RAM (applies to ALL mobo). You have to manually set vDIMM to at least 2.1V (with another RAM) before putting them in to boot.
That's why you see those retarded comments on NewEgg about how they don't work with P5B, 965P-DS3 and AB9...ect.


Is there any place that shows all known incompatibilities between DDR2-800 and the AM2 motherboards? Not all CAS4 memory requires the volt change, right? Just certain brands?
August 8, 2006 12:45:51 PM

@Wusy

Why can't the mobo makers just fix this annoying problem? I'm sure an updated BIOS would be able to do it, right? Or they just haven't been able to get all the old BIOS motherboards out yet and new ones are coming?

~Ibrahim~
August 8, 2006 1:16:52 PM

I think the newest shipments of the MSI boards have the proper bios on the for the DDR2-800 memory. I think it was posted on the official MSI boards but I could be wrong and don't have the time to look it up right now, sorry!

Any old stick of ram should work AFAIK. You just need to be able to get the system to boot up so you can manually install the bios that was posted on that Bleeding edge forum link. The problem with the DDR2-800 is that the system won't boot at all so you aren't able to change the voltage/update bios.
August 8, 2006 1:36:20 PM

Yeah, BIOS 1.31 is the updated one. I believe they all are good. OCZ is actually willing to send you new replacement RAM with voltage that will boot, and you just have to up the voltage to stock and change a few things. Very good of them.

~Ibrahim~
August 8, 2006 1:47:26 PM

ok so I don't have any ddr2 to up the voltage with. I assume ddr1 wont work cause they have less pins according to neweggs descriptions. I would rather not order ocz and then have to wait on a replacement. I would love to get either the g.skill or the ocz if there was a way I could change the voltage to use them but sadly I guess I can't. So I guess I need to get something that works right away which means either the more expensive ddr2 800 or some ddr2 667 that I can *maybe* OC to 800? hmm
August 8, 2006 1:53:06 PM

Yeah, it is a bit of hassle. True, DDR pin arrangement is different. Why did they have to change it? Guess they needed more for more data..

Actually, 667 memory OC's really well. I know a guy on the forums who has some Corsair 667 up and beyound 800 and can hit 800 on CAS4! At 900ish, he had to go to CAS5, but wow!

So, DDR2-667Mhz should be all right, as it OC's very well.

~Ibrahim~
August 8, 2006 2:46:06 PM

Why would place another memory specificaion so close to DDR2-667? It is hardly higher, weird. I would assume that it would OC to a similar extent.

~Ibrahim~
August 8, 2006 2:54:46 PM

well they didnt have any corsair 667 listed but they had 675, no idea what the difference is myself. Is it more likely the 800 will go to cas 4 or that i can oc the 675 to 800 cas 4?
August 8, 2006 3:43:56 PM

Hmm...I'm not sure. Is there no other DDR2-800 that has CAS4 at stock?

~Ibrahim~
August 8, 2006 4:28:00 PM

Disgusting price they have there....

I'm talking with NewEgg to see whether their ASUS boards are shipping with the 0603 BIOS, the one that fixes this issue, but they don't know. I called ASUS (which is pronounced ah-soose, not ah-sus) and they don't have any information either... It isn't exactly ASUS's fault, except they should've worked more closely with OCZ, because sometimes motherboards can sit in warehouses for months at a time.

Looking at the forums, it doesn't seem to be nessecarily a voltage issue, something about non-micron IC in the memory, meaning OCZ memory in general.

~Ibrahim~
August 8, 2006 5:07:32 PM

It's about time they dropped the price on the X1900GT.
August 8, 2006 6:06:45 PM

Quote:
CHECK OUT THIS LINK

x1900 prices droping...


that's cool, looks like the card with the rebate is still a bit cheaper after rebate though if those prices are acurate...

that corsair ddr2 800 keeps popping back up on newegg as available but then a few min later is out of stock lol. dunno if that's a glitch or the things selling that fast when they get em in...
a b U Graphics card
August 8, 2006 7:09:19 PM

Quote:
oh I'm currently playing with a 9800 pro. I can play around medium settings.

So is the 1900xt not worth it and I should get a 1800xt? I saw the 1900 had 3x the pixel shaders but I'm not sure if that is worth the higher price? I also looked at the 7900gt but in seemed to mostly just win in the flight sims which i dont play. :)  Also is it worth going to 512 mb vs 256mb ?


Oh, the X1900XT is worth it, but if you want to save $100, get the X1800XT.

Is it worth going 356 to 512? Not really. Unless you're playing Oblivion. In most games I've noticed the difference is less than 5% but for some reason Oblivion gets as much as 15% increase in performance. It might be the first game I've seen that uses more than 256MB for textures and stuff.
August 8, 2006 7:19:38 PM

right, i agree i dont really need the 512 now but i plan to have this card for at least 2 years so some newer games may take advantage of that extra ram. That's the idea anyway.
!