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Graphics Card..? Decisions, Decisions..!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 6, 2006 2:33:59 PM

I was hoping some of you guys could help me out here.

In a few weeks I'll be buying a graphics card. I'm looking at an X1950 XT for about £175... but I'm wondering if it's a good idea to get that?

I would like to be able to spend only £130 on a GFX card... but I want to be able to play games on high graphics, so I've come to the conclusion that I I'm going to have to spend more and get a card like the X1950 XT...

I guess I'm having difficulty justifying spending £175 on that card, and need someone to say "DO IT!" ... or "DONT DO IT" if that's the case!

The system the card is going with:

Thermaltake Silent PurePower 560w PSU
Intel Core2 Duo E6300 (overclocked to ~3Ghz)
1GB DDR2 6400 RAM

...so! Any help here would be good - opinions on what card to get considering my £130-£175 budget? And what kind of performance gain I'll get in comparison from the lower-budget to the higher-budget card?

Like "giraffe" said, I don't want to buy a card and be happy with it for 6 months, and then regret it for 18 months! (I can't afford to upgrade often)

Thanks :D 
December 6, 2006 2:51:49 PM

Actually if you want a cheap card then do like me and get the 1950pro for £130. OR if you want something more expensive then I think you should go with the 7950GT becasue theyve got a step up program going so you can get a DX10 card in the near future for a cheaper price.
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2006 7:58:02 PM

Problem is the X1950XT spanks a 7950GT for the same price (here anyway), to me making the 7950GT a waste of money. SHoot, the X1950 pro isn't too far behind it for less money.
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a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2006 8:13:30 PM

You list nice system specs but don't mention the games you play or resolution you game at. If you want to play most of the newer titles at 1280x1024 and with high detail settings and eye candy like FSAA, AF, and/or HDR, then yes go for a higher end card like the X1950XT. To me it's the best buy in higher end cards for those who can't/won't grab a GF8800 series. It can almost play every GPU intensive game at those settings, including Oblivion. If you game at 1024x768, don't use FSAA and/or don't play the newest titles, then something cheaper like a 7900GS or X1900GT will be more than enough. Those are pretty serious cards too. I think if you go below those to say a 7600GT, you will find yourself hating it down the road like you said you wanted to avoid.

Anyway, look over this review, where the X1950XT should be at the top of the chart even with the X1900XT 512MB.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/evga_e-geforce_7900...

Also, these charts can give you a good idea of how cards stack up in many games and various resolutions.
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/index.html

With those system specs and wanting to game at high details...I say do it.
December 6, 2006 8:32:48 PM

I'll go out on a limb and say, DO IT.
If that is the card you are eyeballing.You may not be happy otherwise :wink:
December 6, 2006 8:50:05 PM

I play games such as HL2 and follow-on episodes, F.E.A.R., Far Cry, Sims 2, Age of Empires 3, Company of Heroes, Monopoly Tycoon (woot), I'm even working my way through "day of the tentacle" :D 

[ Edit: Screen resolution of 1440x900 (widescreen TFT), with Anti Aliasing on ]

TBH I don't spend alot of time on games. I play alot of different games, but I don't play games alot... if you get me. I just want to be able to play games when I see one that interests me, and want to be able to experience that game to the max..! I probably only spend a few hours a week gaming - but with this new gaming rig I hope to change that :D 

I can't find alot of reviews for the X1950 XT... I have come across a few for the X1950XTX, but not the XT.

I'd really like to see it benchmarked in comparison to the X1950 Pro.

More specifically, it's between these two cards:
X1950 Pro 256mb £130
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/455922/art/sapphire_tec...
X1950 XT 256mb £180 note that it's NOT the "XTX" version!
http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/455928/art/sapphire-tec...

But I can't find any comparisons between them. Is the X1950XT quite new? If so I guess that would explain the lack of info on it!

From what you've said though, I'm thinking yeah go for the XT :?
December 6, 2006 9:21:43 PM

Quote:
Like "giraffe" said, I don't want to buy a card and be happy with it for 6 months, and then regret it for 18 months! (I can't afford to upgrade often)

Those cards should provide nice eye candy at MAX settings like you want, but With Vista and Dx10 around the corner, Would 18 month's be too long for an upgrade after this one?
a b U Graphics card
December 6, 2006 9:31:13 PM

The X1950XT is very new. And to be honest I am surprised and a bit annoyed to only see one review so far. In that review, it seems to be equal to the X1900XT 512MB card. It was a limited set of tests though so my guess it may beat the 512MB XT in some and lose in others, but always real close.

One thing for sure is it will be greater than or equal to the X1900XT 256MB all the time as it's basically the same card but with 1800MHz DDR as opposed to 1450MHz.

Both of the cards you list are good and there is enough of a price difference to consider the cheaper pro instead. But look over some games and see for yourself.

Check out these games and look at 1280x1024. Note again this is the X1900XT 256MB with 350MHz slower DDR. Even so it has quite a boost over the X1950 pro in many of these games.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ati_radeon_x1950_pr...

Both handle HL2 fine, but there are more GPU intensive games out there.
December 6, 2006 10:30:03 PM

I would stay away from the Sapphire x1950 Pro... there appears to be an issue w/ the heatsinks, as I am now experiencing and are others. Basically the video card crashes, the pc stays up but the monitor loses signal from the video card and the only option is to reboot.
Check out this site for more info:
http://www.sapphiretech.com/en/forums/showthread.php?t=...
I am currently experiencing this problem and am going to RMA the card and find a different one.
BTW, Sapphire has just introduced a new x1950 Pro "Ultimate" edition that happens to have an aftermarket heatsink attached... coincidence, maybe/maybe not?!?!?!
I would advise against getting their stock x1950 Pro...
December 7, 2006 1:14:11 PM

I've spoken to someone who's "in the industry" and he can get me the Sapphire X1950 XT 256mb for £140 / $275 USD ... so I think that's what I'll be going for :D 

The Sapphire X1950 XT shouldn't have any heatsink problems, right?
December 7, 2006 7:26:02 PM

cool thats great. THe card should be good for atleast the next few years until DX10 becomes more and more of a necessity!
!