The real skinny on getting a new vid card?

I've read all the reviews, including the VGA charts and all. Currently have and AMD 2200+ with a 9500 Pro, and 2X512 Ram.

Games I mainly play are Everquest, Planetside, WoW, old Tribes 2 and UT. My current rig plays the old ones fine on max settings as it should. I can play Everquest with most of the settings cranked up excpet for spell effects, as I can't see a damn thing with them all on. Planetside is the real issue. Crowded areas especially in building with heavy combat really kills my framerate. As low as 9-12 FPS if it doesn't stop altogether. When it stops, I have to restart the game, then it works ok for a while, rinse/repeat.

The real question is which card do I really need to get good performance. This is what I'm considering.

E6300 C2D or AMD X2 4200+
2X512 PC 6400 Ram
2X80 GB HDs Raid 0
ABIT SLI Mobo incase I decide to splurge and run SLI in the future.

I know the 7900GT will do what I want it to, now and in the future, but do I really need to go that high? My current rig is getting close to 4 years old, and has served me well, so looking form something that will get me through the next 3-4 years. There may be new games out in the future I'll switch to, but not the likes of Oblivion. Got the Elder Scrolls that came out I guess about 3 years ago, and didn't like it.

Obviously I want a nice card, but I'm starting to think I can save some money on my vid card and be jsut as happy. Have another post under General Homebuilt section with a few more details, but a different question.

Thanks in advance.
4 answers Last reply
More about real skinny card
  1. A good card fits your budget.

    7900GT is a good choice.

    7900GTO and X1900XT are also good choices.

    I would also recommend 2gb of RAM for better performance. Also one good hard drive is just as good as two small RAIDed drives.
  2. Budget aside, a 7300GT with a new rig would blow away my current setup, and could save me more than a few pennies in the process, but would I be happy with it a couple of years from now.

    I think I'm probably going to stick with the 7900GT, but was just looking for some opinions with the games I play as far as a real performace boost.

    I've going back and forth between one 250 gig HD or the raid set up. The raid set up of 2 80 gig drives gives me less storage space, but supposedly faster access times. Considering amy current rig, I'm sure it'll be much faster either way.

    2 gigs of ram is in the future. Mobo has 4 slots. I'll pick up a couple more 512 sticks down the road when the budget does allow. Speaking of budget, I'm wanting to stay around $1,050 or less. Planning to order through CyberPower. For the extra $150 or so it's gonna cost is more than worth the headaches of building it myself. If I were building it, I'd get the X1900XT, but CyberPower has a special on the 7900GT currently, saves me $100.
  3. You can always opt for the 7600GT if you really want to save some money somewhere. Based on the games you play the 7600GT should serve you well.

    However, opting for the 7900GT means you can postpone your next upgrade. That means you can save money over the long term.

    For example, I bought the X1900XT 512MB not very long ago. I think it's a bit of an overkill for my needs, but it should serve me well for the next 3 or 4 years. Also, I think I'm at the end of my gaming years (unless something truly awesome comes out) so I figure I'll go out with a bang and a bigger hole in my wallet.
  4. Quote:
    so looking form something that will get me through the next 3-4 years.

    Does this include doing any upgrades? If you just plan on buying the components once for the next 3-4 years and not touching the computer, then I would wait until the DX10 cards come out.

    If you can't wait, then I'd suggest getting an X850XT PE at Newegg for $119, here.

    If you need SM3, then go for a 7600GT to meet your current need.

    Then when the DX10 cards come out, you can sell either card to recoup some of your cost.

    If you don't plan on doing some OC'ing you can pick up 2x1GB PQI Turbo DDR2 667 memory for $180, here. Otherwise get some DDR2 800 like OCZ, Mushkin, Crucial, G.Skill or Corsair. Whichever is cheapest. Oh and get a CAS latency of 4.
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