Hello everyone. I know there are a billion threads here asking for video card recommendations. However, I have a pretty specific question.
A new game called Vanguard is coming out and my wife and I need to upgrade from our FX5200 and FX5700. But I'm on a tight budget because I need to upgrade 3 machines. I dont necessarily need the best card available (cant afford it anyway)...just need a good card to get us by for another year or something...until we can upgrade to PCI-E rigs. I also dont necessarily care about being able to run at max settings either...it would be nice I guess, but not critical.
I've read the "Best Card for the Money" articles and looked at the benchmarks and done some more research. Seems the best two options for me are the 7600 GT and X1650 PRO.
I know the 7600 GT (XFX 580 MHz core, 1400 MHz DDR3) is a good card and costs about $180...and it seems like the 7600 GS an 7300 GT aren't worth the price.
The X1650 PRO (Saphire 600MHz core, 1300 MHz DDR3) isn't as good as the 7600 GT, but its also not as expensive...costs about $130.
So, basically I can get 3 7600 GT cards for $540. Or 3 X1650 PRO cards for $390.
So...the question is....is the 7600 GT worth the extra $150?
I also welcome opinions/suggestions on other cards. Thanks.
The article you're referring to is a good basic reference, but you need to know that these prices are changing daily. Browse through a few of similar threads, and you'll see tons of recommedations with links & prices.
In your price range, considering that you're limited to AGP, I would say the 7600GTs are worth the extra 50$ each.
In the end, it all depends on how long you plan on keeping your 3 current (AGP) rigs, and how soon you'll be doing complete upgrades.
If it's within 6 months or so, then I guess you can easily "tough it out" with x1650Pros. Unless this game you're talking about is as demanding as Oblivion, they should do fairly well at resolutions 1280 (medium details, low aa/af) and below. However if you're not planning these upgrades any time soon (1 year +), then spending extra for the 7600GT is worth it.
Be aware however, that if the systems you're upgrading are significantly old (<2Ghz P4, <Athlon XP 2100+), the CPU will become your main source of bottleneck.
You should be aware that a 2.4 is listed as the minimum CPU speed for your game (I checked). Thats a little alarming, since most companies are usually very generous when it comes to assigning minimum system specs. However since it's a MMORPG (right?), it's still more dependent on graphics than on raw CPU speed.
I'd say go for the 7600GTs if you plan on keeping your rigs for at least a year.
Reasons why is that the Leadtek goes fast and the other reason is it only requires a 300watt psu to run it where other cards ( even the 7600gs ) might require you to get a more powerful psu to run it right. This should be the smart buy for the 7600gt.
Thanks for the heads up doubletake33, I was in the same boat as rjohmit and wondering what video card to purchase for my computer. I also had a FX5200 AGP card that seriously needed updating. I decided to go with the Leadtek card you recommended and I also had to purchase a new powersupply, because the old one had a max of 300W. Now I just need to find 1gig of ram that will work and not cost me an arm and a leg, but I've heard that the prices of ram have gone up so I'll just have to wait for awhile.
The 7600GTs are worth the extra cash easily outperforming the 1600s. They are also a lot more OC friendly so you'll likely get more life out of them before another upgrade is necessary.
OT: Cool to hear you're interested in Vanguard. I've been messing around in beta for a little while now. Wish I had more time to devote to trying different classes out etc but my play time currently is little. It does hold more promise than I've seen from an MMO in a good while. Looks like they're attempting to rekindle the social aspects that have been lost on current MMOs. "Almost" brings back good memories of AC1 back in the day. Its not THAT good but its much closer to that feel than current games. Ah well enough off topic. Get you some 7600GTs I just recently ordered a Sapphire 1950Pro 512mb btw. Should be coming tomorrow according to tracking. Can't wait, its the only AGP out right now that will give me a good boost over my 6800GT WOOT!
Too bad you missed out last week, the X1650XT AGPs (edit: HIS brand even which is SWEET with the IceQ cooler) were selling for the same price as the GF7600GT, and the XT beats the GT in as many titles as the GT beats the Pro, and it would've been for the same price.
You may still be able to find an X1650XT sale somewhere and it's worth looking for.
Otherwise it depends on the games you're playing and the resolutions you play at whether the difference will be significant enough to justify $50/each or $150 total diff. On an individual basis the GF7600GT to me is usually worth it, but that's because $50 is like 2 visits to the pub, or the cost of a game. But when it's 3, that's the cost of multiple games, or a whole keg, or hockey tickets.... etc, and it's starts to be more relevant.
As for the mention of the PSU, all GTs with similar specs require the same power draw (what does someone think it's a different spin of the chip and memory?), one company may recommend larger but it won't matter they will draw the same at the same speeds. And the GF7600GT draws less than the GF6600GT. So don't worry about brand for power requirements.
If it's within 6 months or so, then I guess you can easily "tough it out" with x1650Pros. Unless this game you're talking about is as demanding as Oblivion, they should do fairly well at resolutions 1280 (medium details, low aa/af) and below.
Actually your choice of demanding game is funny since the X1650Pro would be a better choice for Oblivion, for performance and features, but it's a rarer exception.
IMO pretty much 90+% of the time the GT will outperform, but for Oblivion and a few other exceptions the Pro will win. The main question is how much performance gain for that $50.
IMO, just say no to the GF6800XT, it's rare that they are any good.
I'd take a GF7600GS and X1650Pro over the GF6800XT.
The GF6800XT would only perform similarly in certain situations, but it's not as efficient and architecture as the GF7600 and X1650 and options like HDR and such really stress it out more.
The reason you'd be looking at these cards instead of a cheap X800/850XT would be for the added features, so why lose that with the GF6800XT which get crippled when that's enabled?
Just my opinion, but I'd say you main options are
Cheap X800/850XT (limited newer features, but great DX9-PS2 performance)
GF7600GS/X1650Pro do they perform well enough that the savings to you are worth it?
GF7600GT/X1650XT same question except instead of savings replace with cost.
It really does depend alot on the overall games, and I think any of those bundles are good for what they do, but personally I'd be future looking and stick to the GF760 and X1650 series, and I'd lean towards the lower end simply to save money for my next refresh. But if you're reselling the GT and XT may have abetter value retention.
At least with the PCIe you could turn them into phsyics cards.
To me the deciding factor is this, how long do you want to game with them about a year then the GS/Pro over a year then the GT/XT. That's just my two frames' worth, others may differ.