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Help! confused on which graphics card to get

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 8, 2007 4:29:01 PM

I currently use a BFG Tech 6800 OC AGP Graphics card.

It’s core speed is 350MHz & memory speed is 350 MHz (700 effective) & has 128 MB DDR memory.

I’ve tried unlocking the extra 4 pipes & the vertex shader with Rivatuner but I get artifacts in 3DMark05,'06 & games.

My current config is off Athlon 64 2800+ s754, MSI mobo with VIA K8M800 chipset, 2x512MB DDR400 memory (it runs at DDR333 speeds coz of the processor limitations)

I’m upgrading to a Athlon 64 x2 3800+ s939 processor, Gigabyte motherboard with NForce 6150+ NForce 430. GA-K8NPVMT-9

My graphics card options are

Galaxy 7600 GS 256 MB DDR2 memory
Palit X1300 Pro 256 MB DDR3 memory
Sapphire X700 Pro 256 MB DDR3 memory
Galaxy 7600GT 256 MB DDR3 memory

I’m going with the 7600GS but the thing is this... I’ve always wanted an ATI card but never ever owned one.

So if I go with an ATI card I’m leaning towards the X1300 Pro it’s a terrible performer for games but it has very good image quality as the online reviews suuggest.

It’s 3DMark 06 score on the VGA charts is almost as same as the X700Pro (433 v/s. 436 for the X700Pro)

There are a couple of things which have been confusing me like crazy

Now if I’m going with the X1300 Pro it will surely be a downgrade compared to my current card.

The same scenario seems true for the X700 Pro.

Going with the 7600GS is almost equal & maybe a bit better than my current card.

7600GT will be rocking.

The reason I’m going with low price cards is that Direct X 10 cards come pretty soon.
So my next graphics upgrade will be sometime between July – October

I’m a casual gamer, mostly my computer is for downloading, music, surfing the net & watching the occasional movie.
I mostly prefer FPS & Racing games. I currently play games like NFS Carbon @ 800X600 with 2xAA. FEAR @ 800X600 with 2xAA.

So what will y’all recommend?

Shall I go with the X1300 Pro because of the image quality as online reviews suggest and it’s an ATI card & sacrifice my gaming needs to an extent in doing so?

Go with the X700 Pro because it’s an ATI card (always wanted an ATI card) but have poor gaming performance compared with my current card & poor image quality than X1300 Pro?

Go with the 7600GS because the gaming performance will almost be the same & maybe a bit better than my current card but it won’t be an ATI card & the image quality won’t be upto ATI’s standard’s as the online review’s suggest.

Go with the 7600GT get super gaming performance, just splurge the money & forget about the future to live for the moment!

I can’t go with any other card’s as the only these models fit my price range & only these models are available here (I’m in India) at my price range.

Here’s the price list –

7600GS costs Rs.5,800
X1300Pro costs Rs.4,800
X700Pro costs Rs.4,500
7600GT costs Rs.9,000


Thanks for all the help it's greatly appreciated.

More about : confused graphics card

January 8, 2007 4:42:20 PM

The 7600GS is your best bet for the money if you're going to upgrade in between July and December. Pricewise, it is right in the middle of what you listed and it will destroy the X1300Pro and X700. I'm not sure which review you read but nVidia has come a long way with IQ on the 7000 series of cards. You won't be disappointed and you can save some money for a DX10 card while still enjoying today's games at better detail settings.

I noticed you're looking at the Galaxy brand. IIRC, they have a GDDR3 version of the 7600GS which might be worth looking into. Some have overclocked those cards to nearly 7600GT reference speeds but it won't cost as much as a 7600GT. Just something to consider.
January 8, 2007 4:48:02 PM

Get the 7600GT. The 7600GS won't be much of an upgrade if any.
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January 8, 2007 4:52:00 PM

If you had something like a 6800GT, going to a 7600GS would actually be a downgrade. In your case, the GT would give you the noticable performance increase you're looking for.
January 8, 2007 4:54:16 PM

to be honest, i would definitly hold out and wait for DX10. youll be so much happier. Just a appinion, good luck with whatever you get though.
January 8, 2007 5:52:35 PM

Forget about ATI, get yourself a 7600GT :wink: !!!
January 8, 2007 5:59:50 PM

I don't know for sure, but I don't think a 6800 to a 7600GT is a worthwhile upgrade either. I mean it's an upgrade yeah, but it's not a 130$ upgrade. And the best card in the 130$ price range isn't even the 7600GT, it's the X1800GTO.
January 8, 2007 6:22:38 PM

They're both pretty close. Unless the OP is planning on OCing, the 7600GT would be a better choice, because they can be had for cheaper than the X1800GTO. For OCing though, the X1800GTO has a lot more head room.
January 8, 2007 6:53:02 PM

All of you need to re-read their post. They have a straight laced AGP 6800 with standard GDDR. It's a 12 pipe card using a 128-Bit interface of slow GDDR1. The OP is upgrading to a PCI-E board. The 7600GS may not be a true upgrade, but it's far better than the lower ATI cards they can choose from. They also plan on upgrading to a DX10 card between 6 - 9 months from now which makes the 7600GT ~$200 (converted) a bit pricey right now. ~$130 (converted) for a 7600GS sounds more reasonable.

The OP has a limited selection. The 7600GS is the best card for the money out of the ones he listed. An X1800GTO would be nice but it's not on his list. I only mentioned the Galaxy GDDR3 7600GS on the off chance that they might be able to find it in India at a decent price since they mentioned other Galaxy cards.
January 8, 2007 7:01:57 PM

Ah, didn't read the initial post as thoroughly as I should have. Just saw the list, and that he wanted to upgrade from his current 6800. The 7600GT is the best on the list, but all things considered, the GS would probably be best for the OPs needs.
January 8, 2007 7:32:38 PM

If you're upgrading again in the somewhat near future better to be patient with the GPU purchase imo. Save couple more bucks up and go 1950Pro. The 7600GT would be an upgrade for you but not a big enough one to toss the $140ish imo. Get a 200ish 1950Pro instead or watch for a rebate or something.

I am anxiously awaiting a 1950Pro in the mail right now. I waited this long to upgrade the system in my sig because there just wasn't a big enough leap in performance for the price before now from a 6800GT. Thats what I'd do anyway. Whats another $50 anyway? lol
January 8, 2007 8:41:44 PM

First off thank you so much for the immediate responses it’s greatly appreciated!

The card which I have has a 256-Bit memory interface not 128-Bit.

Well the X1950Pro is available but it doesn’t fit in my budget it’s costing about Rs.14,000 here. The 7900GS is costing Rs.13,000.
Moreover it wouldn’t make sense to upgrade to them right now anyway.

The Galaxy card with DDR3 memory is not available here.
Believe me I’ve searched my heart out for a 7600GS with DDR3 memory here! Asus makes some & so does Inno3D but none of them are available here.

The Galaxy cards available here are re-branded to the “BIG” name. It doesn’t make a difference on the final product except for the name.

The reason I’m not sticking with my current card is that the 7600GS almost has the same 3DMark’06 score as the 6800GT in the VGA charts(7600GS scores about 50 points less).
And for Oblivion they score the same FPS.

3DMark’06 score which I’m getting for my card are

Shader model 2.0 @ 1024x768 no AA & Trillinear filtering – 834
With 4xAA & 8xAF – 529

Shader model 3.0 @ 1024x768 no AA & Trillinear filtering – 854
With no AA & 8xAF – 721 (AA can’t be switched on coz nvidia cards don’t support HDR+AA)

7600GS scores about 300 points more than my card.


I have another option if y’all recommend in me keeping my current card which would be to get a Core 2 Duo E6300 processor & Asus (865 chipset) motherboard which supports AGP & DDR memory for Core 2 Duo processors.


But since one day or the other I have to get a PCI Express card & get rid of AGP it doesn’t make sense or does it?

Thanks again.
January 8, 2007 9:16:55 PM

Quote:
The card which I have has a 256-Bit memory interface not 128-Bit.

Whoops. My bad. Thats what I meant but I got my wires crossed with the memory size.

I think you're talking about the Asrock (Asus' sister company) ConRoe865PE. I think you'd benefit greater with the switch from AGP/S775 to PCI-E/S939 than you would from AGP/S754 to AGP/S775. IMO, unless you plan to overclock the E6300 I think the 3800 X2 would work just fine for what you plan to do with it. The graphics card has a far greater influence on gaming than the processor and the 3800 X2 will handle the other tasks you mentioned with no problem. By sticking with the AGP slot you're going to severely limit your choices in the future than you would by switching to PCI-E.

Now with that said, Asrock does make the 4CoreDual VSTA that sports both an AGP style slot, a PCI-E slot, and support for both DDR and DDR2 system memory. If you picked up one of those and an E6300, you could still hold onto your existing 6800 GPU and DDR system memory and hold out for the DX10 cards in the fall, for maybe the same cost as a new PCI-E GPU/S939 combo.
January 9, 2007 9:41:15 PM

Right so I went to get the stuff today but it didn’t go that well

The Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Processor has gone out of stock.
The only s939 processor’s available right now are 3200+ & 3500+

To sum it all up now I have 2 scenario’s

Scenario 1 –
Athlon 64 3500+ Processor with the NForce mobo
GeForce 7600 GS or 7600 GT (since I save up the money on processor, I can put the 7600 GT for the graphics card)

The total amount with 7600GS comes to Rs.13,200.
With 7600GT it comes too Rs.16,200

OR

Core 2 Duo E6300 Processor with the Asus mobo & my current graphics card.
The total amount for this configuration comes too Rs.11,500

I’ll also have to add-in a new keyboard coz my keyboard which is a Compaq one only works with Phoenix BIOS motherboards. This Asus board has AMI BIOS.

So the total with a decent enough keyboard will come too Rs.12,500

There are a few gripes though going with this config. Coz this mobo only has 2 SATA ports & they are generation one 150 MB/s (compared to the 4 SATA II ports on the Gigavyte mobo)
I currently have two HDD’s 160 GB Western Digital & 320 GB Seagate both support SATA II interface.

Another gripe is that the RAM runs at 355 MHz in this motherboard even if it’s DDR 400.

It doesn’t make any difference in the benchmarks though as I’ve read the article on AnandTech & according to them the speeds are same as DDR 533 RAM.

Asus also makes a motherboard which supports Core 2 Duo & AGP slot.
The ASRock one with both PCI Express & AGP slots doesn’t perform well compared to the AGP only ASRock mobo which is the same as the Asus chipset.
Moreover the PCI Express slot in it is only 4x so it performs even worst than AGP.
I’ve read it’s article on AnandTech.

Scenario 2 goes like this –
I wait for a month till the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ comes in stock (which is wishful thinking at best but it seems possible) if I’m going with AMD.

If I’m going with Intel & keeping my current graphics card I wait till Core 2 Duo 4300 is released here & prices come down on the E6300 as well. (Will wait for a month for this option as well)


Here’s what I’m feeling at the moment -

I’ll wait for a month & I will go with the AMD config of Athlon 64 3500+ (X2 3800+ if it’s available) & GeForce 7600 GS.

The reason behind it is that I can upgrade to a Core 2 Duo E6600 in July (the price for the E6600 in July will be the price of E6300 now). Get a decent motherboard & some DDR2 memory. For the graphics card I can put in my 7600GS till October then upgrade to a decent DX 10 card.

Also, the Athlon 64 3500+ setup will definitely be faster than my current setup in all situations wouldn’t it?

Going with a 7600GT doesn’t seem okay to me at the moment.


When I come to think about it...I went to get this config off Athlon 64 X2 3800+ about 2 weeks back & I didn’t get itat that time coz none of the ATI card’s I wanted were available (I was looking for a X1650 Pro, it’s not available even now!), if I had gone with 7600GS at that time I would’ve had everything I wanted right now! lol

Anyways it’s in the past now can’t do anything about it.


So what Scenario’s shall I opt for? Get everything right now or play the waiting game?
January 22, 2007 9:08:39 PM

Okay to cut things short now

These are the configs -

Athlon64 3500 + Gigabyte GA-K8N51PVMT-9 mobo + 7600 gs = Rs.13,225

Athlon64 3500 + Gigabyte GA-K8N51PVMT-9 mobo + x1650pro = Rs.15,400

Athlon64 3500 + Gigabyte GA-K8N51PVMT-9 mobo + x1300 pro Or 7300 GT + 512 MB DDR400ram = Rs.14,400 - Rs. 15,200

Athlon64 3500 + Gigabyte GA-K8N51PVMT-9 mobo + 7600 gt = Rs.16,200

Core 2 duo E6300 + Asus P5PE-VM mobo + keyboard = Rs.12,650

Core 2 duo E6400 + Asus P5PE-VM mobo + keyboard = Rs.15,750

Core 2 duo E6600 + Asus P5PE-VM mobo + keyboard = Rs.19,800

Here's the link for the Asus mobo -
http://asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=272&model=1...

It has an Intel 865 chipset with AGP slot. I'll be running my old BFG 6800 graphics card if I go with any of the Core 2 Duo processors.

Here's the link for the Gigabyte mobo if ya need it -
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

The reason I add 512 MB RAM with X1300 Pro & 7300 GT is coz if I get that config I will have 2 computer's both with 1 GB RAM. I have a 512 MB stick lying around so I will put that & the new stick in my current computer.
So my current computer stay's as it is.

Reading reviews about the Asus mobo & checking on Asus forums they are mixed bag really... some say it run's problem free while other's encounter ton's of problems. So I'm getting some cold feet coz I'm leaving like 50% for it to work on luck.

Reviews on newegg link -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Asus Forum link -
http://vip.asus.com/forum/topic.aspx?board_id=1&model=P...


I don't wanna spend obscene amount's of money...coz new Graphic Card's come out in March & so do the new Core 2 Duo processor's.

Suggest me something which will give me the biggest bang for my buck.
I do a lil' bit of everything on my PC.... games,music,movies. Games not that much but still occasionally But I require stability the Most coz my PC runs 24x7 downloading stuff.

Now will anyone please please help me out on which configuration to go with? Please!

Thanks.
January 22, 2007 9:40:22 PM

Honestly, I really don't see any of them as worth it if you're considering any of the new graphics cards and CPUs in March. Just wait until then and keep saving your money in the meantime so you can build a new system that isn't going to keep you stuck in a dead CPU socket/graphics card slot/memory standard.
January 22, 2007 10:56:37 PM

Hey! thanks for your immediate response's it's greatly appreciated.

Waiting is good I suppose till March... make it April... but I need your opinion on this say if I "have to upgrade" right now what would you go with/recommend?

Thanks.
January 23, 2007 4:06:18 PM

Core 2 duo E6400 + Asus P5PE-VM mobo + keyboard = Rs.15,750

As far as I know, the only new CPUs due out soon are the Intel budget E4### series. The E6400 is money better spent now in that case since you're not much of a gamer. E6400 can be used in the other new motherboard you'll end up buying anyway when it comes time to upgrade the graphics and memory.

None of those graphic cards are much of an improvement to your current card. So I don't see the point in wasting money on them and since gaming doesn't seem to be a big point to you, I think your current card will work for you until you upgrade.

Like I said though, all of them are really just a waste of money right now. Just hold out and save more money up so you can completely upgrade everything in one shot and see the biggest benefit. The other reasonable option is to keep using your current system (without upgrading it) and buy your new memory, GPU, mobo, & CPU one piece at a time and put it together once you have everything.
January 23, 2007 4:34:57 PM

I personally wouldnt buy anything below the 7600GT, even if your going to upgrade. The performance you will experience with anything less is going to frustrate you. And lets be fair, 7600GTs are still fricken cheap.
January 23, 2007 5:19:02 PM

Quote:
Core 2 duo E6400 + Asus P5PE-VM mobo + keyboard = Rs.15,750

As far as I know, the only new CPUs due out soon are the Intel budget E4### series. The E6400 is money better spent now in that case since you're not much of a gamer. E6400 can be used in the other new motherboard you'll end up buying anyway when it comes time to upgrade the graphics and memory.

None of those graphic cards are much of an improvement to your current card. So I don't see the point in wasting money on them and since gaming doesn't seem to be a big point to you, I think your current card will work for you until you upgrade.

Like I said though, all of them are really just a waste of money right now. Just hold out and save more money up so you can completely upgrade everything in one shot and see the biggest benefit. The other reasonable option is to keep using your current system (without upgrading it) and buy your new memory, GPU, mobo, & CPU one piece at a time and put it together once you have everything.


QFT!

I have to agree with Anoobis here. If you're getting a new GPU in the near future save that $ and get the best you can at that time. My only differing comment would be that the e6600 option "might" be the way to go. It depends on your computer use I suppose. The extra cache 4mb vs 2mb doesn't show any real boost in games but in some applications it does improve things. Now if you're watching movies, web-browsing etc as your main use then disregard that and go for the e6400. I would say e6600 possibly if you do a lot of encoding, editing and so forth that might make use of more cache since gaming isn't your main thing.

If you follow Anoobis' suggestion and get the e6400, a decent mobo and collect parts til you're upgrade time to improve the overall system I think you'll be very pleased with the result.
!