New PC, deciding on video card

im not sure when the Quad core cpus will be out probably in 2008, but i cant really wait that long for a pc. So i was thinking about getting a alienware PC, or a dell xps, I do go to school full time, but i can't really play games in class. So i dont think i really need to have a desktop replacement that much. So i was thinking alienware, yes i know its expensive, but i rather have it expensive built by pros and have a good warrenty system.

so heres the question

Which would be the best for me to use,
Im also will mostly get the
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz 4MB Cache 1066MHz FSB
since its better then AMD right now, i believe.

512 MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 7950 GT
512MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 7900 GTX
1024MB NVIDIA® GeForce 7950 GX2
Dual 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 7950 GT - SLI Enabled
Dual 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 7900 GTX - SLI Enabled

I know that Dual 7900 GTX will beat all of those, but in the future I could put another 1024 7950GX2 when its available. If im going all out might as well try to think ahead.

Any advice would be appriecated.
28 answers Last reply
More about deciding video card
  1. What resolutions are you going to play at?

    If below 1600x1200, then go for a 7900GTX.
    If above 1600x1200, then go for dual 7900GTXs.
  2. im not really sure what res, i know that FPS games, usually its better to aim and stuff at lower resolutions, for counterstrike that was the case for me. But i havent really thought about resolution,


    why not the 7950, doesnt that beat all the cards solo? with no Dual 7900s, just one 7900 against a 7950
  3. The 7950GX2 beats all single gpu cards by a fairly wide margin, but only at high resolutions. It is roughly 5-15% slower than dual 7900GTX's, but consumes less power than that. Quad-SLI is finally being better supported by drivers and some software, but it will be at least, I dunno, 2 years? before mainstream software is completely optimized for parallel processing. If you're going to go all out, go ahead and get the 7950GX2, then get yourself another one. It'll be overkill for a while, but impressive overkill.
  4. now what about DX10 when it comes out with Vista, will i be laggying far behind?
  5. im going to have to say what the previous guys said was stupid. There is no point in getting a 7950gx2 because: 1. They arent any better than anything else becuase of bad drivers, and 2. They are a shit load of money. If anything I would get a regular 7950gt and wait for dx10 to come out because by then a 7950gx2 will be obsolete. Also might I recomend not buying a dell or alienware was you will pay twice the price for the same performance.
  6. Quote:
    im going to have to say what the previous guys said was stupid. There is no point in getting a 7950gx2 because: 1. They arent any better than anything else becuase of bad drivers, and 2. They are a **** load of money. If anything I would get a regular 7950gt and wait for dx10 to come out because by then a 7950gx2 will be obsolete. Also might I recomend not buying a dell or alienware was you will pay twice the price for the same performance.


    Which drivers are bad? 91.47? 91.33? I remember a few months ago the 91.31 drivers didn't fully support Quad-SLI, but like I said, that was months ago Are you going to support your claims about our stupidity? Or were you just throwing that out there? They're really not that much, price/performance-wise, you know. But you probably couldn't afford one anyway, so I suppose that's beside the point. I will concede that DX10 changes things, but cards that support DX10 haven't been fully unveiled yet, so what benefits they will bring to the table has yet to be seen.
  7. Quote:
    now what about DX10 when it comes out with Vista, will i be laggying far behind?

    No, not all games will be made for Vista and DX10 only right away. Next year at this time, I think it'll be the thing you need if you're a gamer.
  8. 2x7900GTX > 7950GX2 > 7900GTX > 7950GT

    Also, I wouldn't go with Alienware, as I've read some very bad things about their customer support.

    What is your budget for this computer?
  9. my budget around 3000-3500

    thing is, i could try and put it all together myself, but id rather have it built by someone else, and get a nice warrenty with it. Im going for the c2d of course, its just the Vcard im worried about. I know i can upgrade the vcard easy when dx10 cards come out, just hope i dont have to upgrade any other components like CPU or mobo. I im going all out i suppose, but i dont one what choice for Vcard would be best.

    but if anyone whos really smart in putting a pc together and can give me some links to newegg, on specific Hardware choices i will definitly look into it.
  10. Quote:
    my budget around 3000-3500

    thing is, i could try and put it all together myself, but id rather have it built by someone else, and get a nice warrenty with it. Im going for the c2d of course, its just the Vcard im worried about. I know i can upgrade the vcard easy when dx10 cards come out, just hope i dont have to upgrade any other components like CPU or mobo. I im going all out i suppose, but i dont one what choice for Vcard would be best.

    but if anyone whos really smart in putting a pc together and can give me some links to newegg, on specific Hardware choices i will definitly look into it.


    In that case, I'd go with Monarch Computer. THey have some really nice stuff, and they let you choose every individual component.
  11. Avoid Alienware like the plague. We have a few Alienwares working for the AFRL, and most of them are glitchy, unstable, and unpredictable.

    About the only good things about them is that they work with Dell's 30" displays and the Dell notebooks don't, but I'm pretty sure that's more of an ironic problem for Dell than a boon for Alienware.

    With that kind of budget, you could afford a Falcon Northwest machine, which would leave Alienware in the dust. They're more expensive, but you get what you pay for.

    Personally, I would say build your machine. But then again, I and most of the people on here are the DIY type when it comes to computers, so you won't get too many thumbs-up on the buying question.
  12. Buy from Dell or Alienware because you obviously don't know what you're looking for.
  13. Quote:
    With that kind of budget, you could afford a Falcon Northwest machine, which would leave Alienware in the dust. They're more expensive, but you get what you pay for.


    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    F-NW Talon

    For $2453, you get:
    -Core 2 Duo E6600
    -2GB Corsair DDR2
    -GF 7950GT 512MB
    -WD 250GB SATA2 HDD
    -X-Fi Xtreme Music
    -LiteOn DVD Burner
    -WinXP Home
  14. And don't forget, their cases, wiring, and warranty are the best in the business. Second to none.

    And you get tons of free stuff. Lots of caffeine. As a student, you know all the benefits of that...

    And how much performance are you looking for? If you don't consider a Core 2 Duo with a 7950GX2 a desktop replacement, what are you comparing it to?
  15. my thing is warrent issues and stuff like that and also i dont want ot have to upgrade everything again in a year. I can understand upgrading a vcard for DX10 and stuff, thats no biggy, but the rest can add up. That talon will blow away my P 4 3.0 and ATI X850 XT out of the water. Looks like i will get that Talon, but should i get the GF 7650 Gt, 7950GX2, or (2) GF 7600 GTs
  16. Get a single GF7950GT now. Powerful for now, midrange later, and you'll save money so you can buy a DX10 card when released.

    And because you're getting a massive 750W Silverstone PSU, you can be sure you'll be able to handle the heavy power needs of a DX10 power hog...I mean video card.

    Am I starting to sound like an advertisement for Falcon? I think I am.
  17. For a single card go for x1950xtx DDR4 I paid $450 with free shipping from microcenter.com. Its the fastest single gpu card out there. Waiting for crossfire version to come out its going to have the same speed as the this one. I have to say ots freaking tight. Games I play are fear and prey at the highest setting with no sturting.

    Ghostmann
  18. Falcon isn't offering the X1950XTX in the Talon. You have your choice between the 7600GT, 7950GT, the 7950GX2, and 2 7600GTs in SLI mode.

    The last option is bull. SLI in its current incarnation does not allow the two cards to reach their full potential, i.e. twice the power of a single card, for twice the money. Nice option to have, but not useful unless you need more power beyond what the fastest card can offer. And the 7600GT is not the fastest card nVidia has to offer.

    The 7950GT is the best option. You don't need the power of the 7950GX2, the 7600GT is too weak for the amount of money you're paying, and you don't want to SLI two midrange cards.
  19. In my opinion (which is not always that good) people who buy a build are suckers. Spec out a machine on Alienware, Falcon, whatever and then look up the components on newegg and add up your cart 8O . Who needs a warranty when newegg will replace any faulty parts?

    Another advantage is that you will learn so much about your computer that you will be your own tech support in the end and not have to deal with crappy 3rd party support AND the next time you have a question like this you will most likely be able to come up with the best solution on your own.

    Again, Just my opinion.

    -Kain
  20. would 2x GF 7950 GT in SLI beat a 7900GTX in SLI?
  21. 7900GTX SLI > 7950GT SLI.

    7900GTXs are slightly more powerful then 7950GTs.
  22. how hard is it to put 2 vcards in SLI mode? does the retail box have the parts for you to do it? Or does the mobo have it.
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    $1,837.93 Thats how much that system will cost. I didnt add in stuff like keyboard, mouse or DVD drive which is cheap so. But curious how you guys think that setup is?
  24. Quote:
    how hard is it to put 2 vcards in SLI mode? does the retail box have the parts for you to do it? Or does the mobo have it.


    Most high-end motherboards come with an SLI bridge, which is the only independent piece of hardware you need to run SLI. They are also included with some video cards. Once the cards have been physically installed it is simply a matter of loading the correct drivers and then enabling SLI within the driver. Difficulty on scale of 1-10....maybe a 3 or a 4. Pretty easy. Just don't lick the gold contacts on the cards or anything and you'll be fine.
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    $1,837.93 Thats how much that system will cost. I didnt add in stuff like keyboard, mouse or DVD drive which is cheap so. But curious how you guys think that setup is?


    Pretty solid, I'd trade out the thermaltake PSU for an OCZ GamerXstream 700W, and if I were you I'd put in a 76 GB Raptor for operating system and a few select games, it does make a difference. They're about $120 or so I believe, have to look it up.

    Also, and this is MAJOR, the DQ6 doesn't support SLI. It supports the GX2 or any single card, but getting SLI to work on the 965 chipset requires some high-level hacking. I'd personally go with the GX2, but I game at high-res. I love mine, I can crank pretty much everything to the max with nary a stutter. If you're going to use standard-res, just get an X1900 or 7900 or something in that range.
  26. I hope that by "most high end motherboards" you meant ALL SLI boards. Yeah, what he said, just plug the two cards in, connect the bridge to the place on top of the cards, boot up Windows, and the driver should automatically tell you that you have two cards.

    Now, on my SLI board, if you didn't have a second card, it would tell you that the second card was removed, or something. Duh, I never had one in the first place. After some googling, my friend who had the same board found a registry fix that would disable that balloon when you turn on the computer. Pretty nift, never bothered me again after that.
  27. Hahaha, sorry, I've only ever bought ONE SLI mobo, so I didn't feel comfortable vouching for ALL of them. You seem to be in the know though, so I suppose I'll trust you.
  28. Quote:
    how hard is it to put 2 vcards in SLI mode? does the retail box have the parts for you to do it? Or does the mobo have it.
    Setting up SLI is quite easy.
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