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a good Videocard for RTS Games?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 25, 2006 3:44:28 AM

hi guys,

just want your input on what Graphics Card to buy for RTS gamers like me? can be AGP or PCI.

bec i dont want to get top cards and be paying for features/power that i wont be needing...

thanks
August 25, 2006 4:01:30 AM

First of all, to be able to help you, I need to know two things:

1) What are your system specs?
2) What RTS games do you play - system requirements vary widly.
August 25, 2006 4:13:45 AM

Quote:
hi guys,

just want your input on what Graphics Card to buy for RTS gamers like me? can be AGP or PCI.

bec i dont want to get top cards and be paying for features/power that i wont be needing...

thanks


Some new RTS games can be VERY taxing on even the lastest hardware. I haven't played many RTS lately, but the last one I played was AOEIII and it brought my rig to its knees (amd 64 3000, 1 gig corsair pc3200, 6800ultra) @ 1680*1050. Granted, my rig is far from high end, but it is no slouch either.

I have also heard that LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth (2?) is very demanding. I also imagine that the upcoming Command and Conquer 3 will require some serious muscle.

RTS arent the lightweights they used to be. Not only to they require a beefy GPU but they can be very stressful on the CPU as well, especially AOEIII with all the physics calculations and AI going on.
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August 25, 2006 4:19:50 AM

When it comes to RTS games, like the guys said above, it varies widely. One thing you should be sure of is that RTS games do not have revolutionary models. But what you do find in RTS games when it comes to rendering models are TONS of simpiler 3D or even 2D billboards of characters. Today you would be more likely to see 3D characters but if you ever played Shogun Total War... all those troops were 2D billboards that appeared 3D. Either way what I am trying to say is that you would probalby benefit with a large amount of Video Ram over GPU processing power. My suggestions to you would be:

AGP
Radeon X1600 PRO 512mb GDDR2 -- $133.00

AGP -or- PCI-X
NVidia 7600GS 512mb GDDR2 -- $150.00

PCI-X
Radeon X1800GTO2 512mb GDDR3 -- $200.00

These are all high Video Ram cards and are all reasonably priced. If your looking to spend a little extra the X1800 is a great choice. You could also go with the 7600GS and go SLI with that for an incredible gig of videoram! Which is probably ultra overkill. Really 512mb is ohmost overkill in my opinion. Either way you wont go wrong with any of those 3 cards and you wont be breaking the bank doing it! Goodluck in making your decision.
August 25, 2006 4:44:40 AM

Quote:
When it comes to RTS games, like the guys said above, it varies widely. One thing you should be sure of is that RTS games do not have revolutionary models. But what you do find in RTS games when it comes to rendering models are TONS of simpiler 3D or even 2D billboards of characters. Today you would be more likely to see 3D characters but if you ever played Shogun Total War... all those troops were 2D billboards that appeared 3D. Either way what I am trying to say is that you would probalby benefit with a large amount of Video Ram over GPU processing power. My suggestions to you would be:

AGP
Radeon X1600 PRO 512mb GDDR2 -- $133.00

AGP -or- PCI-X
NVidia 7600GS 512mb GDDR2 -- $150.00

PCI-X
Radeon X1800GTO2 512mb GDDR3 -- $200.00

These are all high Video Ram cards and are all reasonably priced. If your looking to spend a little extra the X1800 is a great choice. You could also go with the 7600GS and go SLI with that for an incredible gig of videoram! Which is probably ultra overkill. Really 512mb is ohmost overkill in my opinion. Either way you wont go wrong with any of those 3 cards and you wont be breaking the bank doing it! Goodluck in making your decision.


Refrain from posting if you don't know what you're talking about. SLI just for the sake of SLI is a bad idea, you'd be better off going with a single card that costs the same as both the crappier cards put together.

Your agp suggestions aren't that great either. Since the OP doesn't really care if it's agp or pcie, the only way to go would be pcie. None of the agp solutions really stand up to any decent pcie choice. And in that case, a 7600GT or 7900GT would probably be best, or X1800XT for an ATI choice, even an X1900xt if funds allow.
August 25, 2006 4:48:14 AM

If playing Age of Empires III at 1280x1024 or higher, you'll want an X1900XT and for good a reason; OpenEXR HDR looks fantastic on this title, really bringing the game to life. It's best to minimize the UI and increase the zoom distance so you can really get close or far away from the action. :D 
August 26, 2006 10:19:44 AM

Quote:
First of all, to be able to help you, I need to know two things:

1) What are your system specs?
2) What RTS games do you play - system requirements vary widly.


the games i am looking at are:
1) Battle for Middle Earth 2 (yes very demanding on my geforce 5600)
2) Command and Conquer 3
3) Joint Task Force
4) Dawn of War - winter assault
5) Act of War - High Treason
and future RTS games

not into AOE 3.

i usually play on the 1024x768 res for now. maybe more in the future if videocard permits.

thanks for the replies!
August 26, 2006 10:24:51 AM

Quote:
Quote:
And in that case, a 7600GT or 7900GT would probably be best, or X1800XT for an ATI choice, even an X1900xt if funds allow.


hi would like to ask:

would an upgrade from my FX5600 to an Inno3D 7600GST a good upgrade?

would i notice a performance improvement? (by your estimate, how many percent?)

thanks
August 26, 2006 11:26:22 AM

Sounds like a great upgrade, but we really do need the rest of your system specs to know definitively.
August 26, 2006 2:40:48 PM

An ATI card will do you better since most of those games seem to be shader heavy.

This should be a good card for you:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

If you don't like buying open box items, go ahead with the retail. I just chose this one since it is $30 cheaper.
August 29, 2006 3:28:14 AM

Quote:
Sounds like a great upgrade, but we really do need the rest of your system specs to know definitively.


my FX 5600 runs on P4 2.4, 512mb memory, P4b533-V mobo.

for my 7600 GST, I am planning to upgrade to E6300, 1gb mem, no choice yet on the mobo (any suggestion would really be appreciated. i dont plan to SLI.) that is the plan for now.

thanks
August 29, 2006 12:41:53 PM

OK OK ,i`m a RTS Gamer too 8)
as always the most important thing to play a RTS game is the CPU !!
i upgraded from AMD 3000 2.1GHz to 4000+ 2.6GHz and now i can play Dawn of War : Winter Assault @ 1600x1200 with much more frame rate :D 
as for Lord of The Ring II ,i should say it`s a demanding title ,i play it at 1024x768 but with 4xAA and the frame rate is also good...(but i dont want to play with 8 players)
so i think you should spend your money on a great CPU such as Core 2 Duo E6600 Or AM2 X2 4800&5000...
on the other hand Graphic Card is also important but not as much as F.E.A.R.
a 7600GT or X1800GTO would be enough for Playing Dawn of War :WA @ 1600x1200 or Lord Of Ring : The Battle For Middle Earth II @ 1280x1024 With Max Quality...
Aslo one of the best RTS game that is for sale now is Dragonshard (it`s like WarCraft III) and it needs much more power than the others...you should try that too... 8)
August 31, 2006 12:13:01 AM

do i really need a E6600 for RTS Games?

by the way, i can play dawn of war: winter assault with my old setup. performance is very good. i play 1280x1024 & high settings with no problems.

on Battle for Middle Earth, my old setup it is barely playable. everything is on low settings.

thanks for the input!
August 31, 2006 1:33:55 AM

rts..blizzard..need i say more? starcraft is god
August 31, 2006 10:11:45 AM

Quote:
rts..blizzard..need i say more? starcraft is god


I HEAR THAT, most replayable game ever

Only thing i don't like is the selection... 12 at a time isn't enough for the way i play so i always make heavy use of groups. The best game and company for selection for me is red alert 2 and such, and westwood as i can easily selct all the units on the map. Crappy resources in that game though, run out so quick... ah hell they all have pros amd cons...
August 31, 2006 10:50:21 AM

you should try Dawn Of War : Winter Assault... This is the best RTS game in the world...
Red Alert2 , Generals , Lord Of the Rings ,DragonShard ,Star Craft...nothing can even get close to Dawn Of War... :twisted: [/quote]
August 31, 2006 1:19:38 PM

Just so you have a reference point, my son plays most of those games and has a 6800GS on a Athlon XP 2800+, 1.5GB of RAM. He hasn't complained about slow downs. Big Warhammer battles look smooth to me. I have a X1600Pro (slower than a 6800GS) but I can play Dawn of War and Middle Earth 2 fine at 1024x768. Now the 6800GS seems to be off the market so look on Newegg for a 7600 for about $145. Avoid a PCI card and also start saving for your next system.

Quote:
First of all, to be able to help you, I need to know two things:

1) What are your system specs?
2) What RTS games do you play - system requirements vary widly.


the games i am looking at are:
1) Battle for Middle Earth 2 (yes very demanding on my geforce 5600)
2) Command and Conquer 3
3) Joint Task Force
4) Dawn of War - winter assault
5) Act of War - High Treason
and future RTS games

not into AOE 3.

i usually play on the 1024x768 res for now. maybe more in the future if videocard permits.

thanks for the replies!
August 31, 2006 4:01:32 PM

Quote:
Just so you have a reference point, my son plays most of those games and has a 6800GS on a Athlon XP 2800+, 1.5GB of RAM. He hasn't complained about slow downs. Big Warhammer battles look smooth to me. I have a X1600Pro (slower than a 6800GS) but I can play Dawn of War and Middle Earth 2 fine at 1024x768. Now the 6800GS seems to be off the market so look on Newegg for a 7600 for about $145. Avoid a PCI card and also start saving for your next system.

First of all, to be able to help you, I need to know two things:

1) What are your system specs?
2) What RTS games do you play - system requirements vary widly.


the games i am looking at are:
1) Battle for Middle Earth 2 (yes very demanding on my geforce 5600)
2) Command and Conquer 3
3) Joint Task Force
4) Dawn of War - winter assault
5) Act of War - High Treason
and future RTS games

not into AOE 3.

i usually play on the 1024x768 res for now. maybe more in the future if videocard permits.

thanks for the replies!

On the contrary, the 6800GS has popped back onto Newegg and tigerdirect for about 160 bucks. Good buy, but the 7600GT is better, and costs a lot less.
a c 359 U Graphics card
August 31, 2006 4:09:46 PM

Quote:

Your agp suggestions aren't that great either. Since the OP doesn't really care if it's agp or pcie, the only way to go would be pcie. None of the agp solutions really stand up to any decent pcie choice. And in that case, a 7600GT or 7900GT would probably be best, or X1800XT for an ATI choice, even an X1900xt if funds allow.


The OP stated "AGP or PCI", not "AGP or PCI-e". Big difference.
September 1, 2006 12:10:00 PM

guys, im thinking of getting the Inno3D 7600 GST bec of its good price to performance ratio and good reviews too.

whats your comment on this card?

thanks!
September 1, 2006 2:10:01 PM

7600GT is my pick, mighty powerful card for little money.
Plays a good deal of games with even antialias on.
September 1, 2006 2:13:54 PM

This could be a good rig...
E6300 - $193.
Asus P5B - $148
OCZ Gold Series 1GB (2 x 512MB) - $92
Saphire 850XT - $116
Total - $549. The rest of the computer varies depending on your preferences.
September 1, 2006 2:20:50 PM

Go with the 850XT, it has 16 pipelines unlike the 7600GT's 12 and it also has a 256-bit interface unlike the 7600GT's crippled 128-bit. I used to have a 7600GT until switching to the 1900XT and my friend had a 850XT. His rig smoked mine in almost all games, I even had a better processor than him. Besides, 128-bit is going to severely cripple the 7600GT for future games like C&C3...
September 1, 2006 2:28:09 PM

The x850xt only supports shader model 2.0, not 3.0 like the x1k series and most Nvidia cards. You may want to consider this before making a purchase.
September 1, 2006 2:31:17 PM

Quote:
The x850xt only supports shader model 2.0, not 3.0 like the x1k series and most Nvidia cards. You may want to consider this before making a purchase.

True,7600GT may not be as powerfull as X850XT but it supports PS 3.0 & some future game like C&C3 will need it...
BTW, i still say that you should spend most of your money on CPU rather than GPU ,RTS games are so CPU limited , unlike FPS games...
September 1, 2006 7:26:43 PM

My initial recommendation was for the 7600GS since you originally mentioned AGP or PCI.

I read your other message stating that you are getting a new mobo with a E6300. An E6300 is more than enough for what you need. If you need a more powerful CPU, you can always upgrade a year or 2 from now.

Since some games will need shader model 3, the following 7600GT is your card: BFG 7600GT - $120
!