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Which Graphic Card is the best for my $130 budget

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January 12, 2007 2:27:46 AM

Which Graphic Card is the best for my $130 budget with this system I
custom built.

It has to be at least better than the card I have in it now:

Custom Built Desktop
WinXP PRO w/service pack 2
ECS Mobo 865G-M8 AGP
Intel Dual Core 3.4G processor
2 GB Dual DDR400 SDRAM Memory
2 S-ATA-150 x 160GB cold swap HDD
ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128
HP 21" LCD Flat panel
WinTV-PVR-150

I have an Circuit City gift card and this is what they have that I'm considering:

PNY GeForce FX 5200 AGP
Diamond Multimedia Radeon 9550 AGP 256MB DDR
ATI Radeon® X1300 Pro
ATI Radeon® 9550
PNY 6200 256MB AGP
ATI All-In-Wonder™ 2006 Edition
EVGA e-GeForce 6200 LE
January 12, 2007 3:03:20 AM

none of those are better.
January 12, 2007 3:13:22 AM

PNY GeForce FX 5200 AGP - This is a step down from your current card

Diamond Multimedia Radeon 9550 AGP 256MB DDR - This is a step down from your current card

ATI Radeon® X1300 Pro - I think this is a step down as it is a crippled X1000 series card but I could be wrong

ATI Radeon® 9550 - This is a step down from your current card

PNY 6200 256MB AGP - This is a step down from your current card

ATI All-In-Wonder™ 2006 Edition - I have no idea as you did not list the model.

EVGA e-GeForce 6200 LE - This is a step down from your current card (the LE stands for Lame Edition :)  )

Since you are AGP (I'm assuming) your choices will be quite limited but I did find this card:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102057

Edit: Of course you wouldn't be able to use that shiny circuit city gift card but that's the best you'll do for that price range I think...
Related resources
January 12, 2007 3:14:44 AM

Wouldn't pick any of them honestly... if thats all you want to use the GC for I'd go with the X1300. Best value of the bunch... but it your card that you have now could be better... I never trusted ATI. I'm an nVidia guy and I know they X1300 had some issues with drivers. The others on the list are 2-4 yr old cards (the FX 5200 is really old ... came out new in 2003 just after the 5900 and 5800s). Good thing the GC isn't your money, otherwise for $150 you can get a card 2x as good that will work with an AGP slot online. Next year ask for a NewEgg gift certificate. :D 
January 12, 2007 3:25:38 AM

Do they really have newegg gift certificates? 8O Damn I should have asked for that for christmas :( 
January 12, 2007 4:01:43 AM

Quote:
PNY GeForce FX 5200 AGP - This is a step down from your current card

Diamond Multimedia Radeon 9550 AGP 256MB DDR - This is a step down from your current card

ATI Radeon® X1300 Pro - I think this is a step down as it is a crippled X1000 series card but I could be wrong

ATI Radeon® 9550 - This is a step down from your current card

PNY 6200 256MB AGP - This is a step down from your current card

ATI All-In-Wonder™ 2006 Edition - I have no idea as you did not list the model.

EVGA e-GeForce 6200 LE - This is a step down from your current card (the LE stands for Lame Edition :)  )

Since you are AGP (I'm assuming) your choices will be quite limited but I did find this card:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102057

Edit: Of course you wouldn't be able to use that shiny circuit city gift card but that's the best you'll do for that price range I think...

Gee, now I'm confused... another forum, on the one game I play, FS2004 told me my current card SUCKED and to get another one. You'd think that a 256mb card would outperforum a 128mb one, but what do I know?

I guess I will keep my card and hold out for a better one when the prices come down...
January 12, 2007 4:23:43 AM

More memory does not mean more performance. Performance is all about chipsets and clockspeeds.

1. Go to newegg.com

2. get an X1650 PRO or 7600 GS for about $130... much better than all the cards you listed. :) 
January 12, 2007 2:00:23 PM

All of those are worse than what you currently have. Spend that gift card on something else at Circuit City. If you had $130 cash, I'd do what Cleeve suggested.
January 12, 2007 2:45:12 PM

Or sell the cards for $120 Bucks outside of Circuit City.
Then go spend the $120 at NewEgg :>>

You can often get good deals on Computer Packages at BestBuy/Circuit City if you are a non-gaming Web surfer. However, computer parts are way over-priced. The same really for just about any brick/mortar computer store. I cant think of a one that has decent prices unless you find a killer sale.
January 12, 2007 2:53:03 PM

Quote:

PNY GeForce FX 5200 AGP
Diamond Multimedia Radeon 9550 AGP 256MB DDR
ATI Radeon® X1300 Pro
ATI Radeon® 9550
PNY 6200 256MB AGP
ATI All-In-Wonder™ 2006 Edition
EVGA e-GeForce 6200 LE

How can the ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128
be better than all the cards listed above? My current card is over a year old and only has 128mb memory. The cards above in quote are all newer and have 256mb memory. Boy, am I confused.
Anyone care to explain?
January 12, 2007 2:57:38 PM

More memory doesn't equal performance, that's why. The amount of memory is a marketing gimmick.

Performance is primarily affected by the chipset, and by the clockspeeds/memory bandwidth.

The 9800 PROI is an 8-pipeline architecture. All of the cards you listed are 4 pipeline...

Have a look at the videocard heiarchy chart in the 'best cards for the money' thread at the top of this forum to get an idea of how cards perform relative to one anoither.
January 12, 2007 3:08:56 PM

Well, if you want to watch TV on your computer or make a multimedia center out of your computer, you can go for the All-In-Wonder card. But I think that card has a ATI 9600 GPU in there, which is a step down from what you have.

Use your gift card on games or other stuff, and ask for cash next year.
January 12, 2007 3:15:03 PM

Quote:
More memory doesn't equal performance, that's why. The amount of memory is a marketing gimmick.

Performance is primarily affected by the chipset, and by the clockspeeds/memory bandwidth.

The 9800 PROI is an 8-pipeline architecture. All of the cards you listed are 4 pipeline...

Have a look at the videocard heiarchy chart in the 'best cards for the money' thread at the top of this forum to get an idea of how cards perform relative to one anoither.

Thanks for taking the time to explain. I know how to build computers, do websites etc, but sure didn't know piddly about graphic cards. Man, those stores like Ciruit City, Best Buy have a lot of false hype about their cards...
January 12, 2007 3:18:48 PM

My pleasure sir! :) 
January 12, 2007 3:20:26 PM

Quote:
Which Graphic Card is the best for my $130 budget with this system I
custom built.

It has to be at least better than the card I have in it now:

Custom Built Desktop
WinXP PRO w/service pack 2
ECS Mobo 865G-M8 AGP
Intel Dual Core 3.4G processor
2 GB Dual DDR400 SDRAM Memory
2 S-ATA-150 x 160GB cold swap HDD
ATI RADEON 9800 PRO 128
HP 21" LCD Flat panel
WinTV-PVR-150

I have an Circuit City gift card and this is what they have that I'm considering:

PNY GeForce FX 5200 AGP
Diamond Multimedia Radeon 9550 AGP 256MB DDR
ATI Radeon® X1300 Pro
ATI Radeon® 9550
PNY 6200 256MB AGP
ATI All-In-Wonder™ 2006 Edition
EVGA e-GeForce 6200 LE

Just a thought: perhaps you should get a PCI-E board, just for the sake of getting PCI-E cards (much cheaper and faster than AGP)
January 12, 2007 3:24:43 PM

Quote:

Just a thought: perhaps you should get a PCI-E board, just for the sake of getting PCI-E cards (much cheaper and faster than AGP)

I just built my system a couple months ago and don't want to start over now. I'd have to change too many things.
January 12, 2007 3:27:29 PM

Quote:

Just a thought: perhaps you should get a PCI-E board, just for the sake of getting PCI-E cards (much cheaper and faster than AGP)

I just built my system a couple months ago and don't want to start over now. I'd have to change too many things.
Ah. Well if I were you, I would exchange that BestBuy card to eBay or an online retailer that will allow you to sell/trade it. BestBuy is the biggest rip off, ever.
January 12, 2007 3:35:25 PM

Good ol 9800's.

Your 9800 is the beast of 2 years ago. Don't insult it by comparing it to the new garbage from ATI or NVidia.

Love it. Protect it. It is your 9800.
-cm
January 12, 2007 3:42:32 PM

Quote:
Good ol 9800's.

Your 9800 is the beast of 2 years ago. Don't insult it by comparing it to the new garbage from ATI or NVidia.

Love it. Protect it. It is your 9800.
-cm

My dumbass friend bought one about last year, when 6600gt's and 6800gt's were out. ahahaah
January 12, 2007 3:45:36 PM

Still a good card, despite your friends idiocy. (is that spelled right??)
-cm
January 12, 2007 3:48:44 PM

Quote:
Still a good card, despite your friends idiocy. (is that spelled right??)
-cm

It was great, 3 years ago. Then the Geforce 6 series came along and made it look like a toy.
January 12, 2007 3:53:47 PM

Quote:
Still a good card, despite your friends idiocy. (is that spelled right??)
-cm

It was great, 3 years ago. Then the Geforce 6 series came along and made it look like a toy.
which card you talking about now?
January 12, 2007 3:55:24 PM

Quote:
Still a good card, despite your friends idiocy. (is that spelled right??)
-cm

It was great, 3 years ago. Then the Geforce 6 series came along and made it look like a toy.
which card you talking about now?
9800 series
January 12, 2007 3:59:34 PM

Quote:
Good ol 9800's.

Your 9800 is the beast of 2 years ago. Don't insult it by comparing it to the new garbage from ATI or NVidia.

Love it. Protect it. It is your 9800.
-cm

If the 9800 is better, how come it is not listed on Tom's Frame rate chart?
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html?modelx=33&m...
January 12, 2007 4:00:58 PM

Quote:
Good ol 9800's.

Your 9800 is the beast of 2 years ago. Don't insult it by comparing it to the new garbage from ATI or NVidia.

Love it. Protect it. It is your 9800.
-cm

If the 9800 is better, how come it is not listed on Tom's Frame rate chart?
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html?modelx=33&m...
pretty sure he's joking.
January 12, 2007 4:15:39 PM

The 9700 Pro was used in the "AGP Platform Analysis, Part 1: New Cards, Old System" test:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/10/agp-platform-ana...
Quote:
Frankly, I'm still impressed with the old-but-revolutionary Radeon 9700 PRO we used in these tests. Paired up with an Athlon XP 2500+, there wasn't a title the old girl couldn't play at 1024x768. The benchmark scores didn't look very impressive, but the card delivered playable performance, better than a lot of new cards like Radeon X300s or Geforce 6200s. Not bad for a card released 5 years ago.
January 12, 2007 4:34:10 PM

Besides my current 9800 Pro 128, I also have setting on the table my old (ATI RADEON 9600 PRO)

Circuit City has the XFX GeForce 7600GT XXX Edition Graphics Card for $189, but I don't want to spend the extra $40 to get it...
(my $130 gift card)

Circuit City cards
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Video-Cards-and-Adapters...
January 12, 2007 4:46:12 PM

For AGP that would be about the right price for that card (a little higher, but close), but it's PCI-E, and a total rip off for that price. PCI-E versions of that card run in the low 100s.
January 12, 2007 4:46:13 PM

What about the PNY GeForce 7600GS AGP card for $149.99 after $30 rebate? A decent AGP card that is not much more than your $130 gift card.
January 12, 2007 4:57:46 PM

Quote:
The 9700 Pro was used in the "AGP Platform Analysis, Part 1: New Cards, Old System" test:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/10/agp-platform-ana...
Frankly, I'm still impressed with the old-but-revolutionary Radeon 9700 PRO we used in these tests. Paired up with an Athlon XP 2500+, there wasn't a title the old girl couldn't play at 1024x768. The benchmark scores didn't look very impressive, but the card delivered playable performance, better than a lot of new cards like Radeon X300s or Geforce 6200s. Not bad for a card released 5 years ago.

Yes, but 6200's and X300's are...worthless.
January 12, 2007 4:59:08 PM

Quote:
What about the PNY GeForce 7600GS AGP card for $149.99 after $30 rebate? A decent AGP card that is not much more than your $130 gift card.

7600GS is probably the best card for the money you can buy, especially since it's a good overclocker.
January 12, 2007 5:00:51 PM

Quote:
What about the PNY GeForce 7600GS AGP card for $149.99 after $30 rebate? A decent AGP card that is not much more than your $130 gift card.

That would be $180
(remember that is cash NOW rebate money back in 3 months)
January 12, 2007 5:05:59 PM

Jack,

If you are in the Chicago area I will loan you the $30 until the rebate comes in!

Jim :?
January 12, 2007 5:13:45 PM

Quote:
Jack,

If you are in the Chicago area I will loan you the $30 until the rebate comes in!

Jim :?

Thanks my friend. But I live in the NW near Seattle.

I think I will sell my 9800 pro, 9600 pro and tv card on ebay, then use that money to get a Good card like you guys mentioned.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2007 5:21:33 PM

Quote:
Or sell the cards for $120 Bucks outside of Circuit City.
Then go spend the $120 at NewEgg :>>

You can often get good deals on Computer Packages at BestBuy/Circuit City if you are a non-gaming Web surfer. However, computer parts are way over-priced. The same really for just about any brick/mortar computer store. I cant think of a one that has decent prices unless you find a killer sale.


Fry's and Microcenter are generally exceptions to this rule, if you are lucky enough to live near one of them... I happen to live near both of them :) 
January 12, 2007 6:18:01 PM

Because its a DirectX -3 hardware.

It's old.
-cm
January 12, 2007 6:34:14 PM

:roll:
January 12, 2007 6:43:42 PM

Quote:
:roll:


Well, it is.
-cm
January 12, 2007 10:03:36 PM

Okay guys, I hope you don't kill me here. I went to circuit city and chewed them down from $179 to $140 (they match the online price) for this card:


VisionTek RADEON X1300 XGE 512MB DDR2 OC AGP Graphics Card overclocked to 600MHZ

http://www.visiontek.com/products/cards/retail/x1300_51...
January 12, 2007 10:27:01 PM

Quote:
Sorry to tell you this, but that's not a good deal. Here's basically the same thing for $112.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Circuit City didn't have SAPPHIRE and they did have the VT listed there for $179.
I'm not whinning as it was only $10 over the gift card I had.

I'm more interested if it is a decent card or not. I can always take it back. You can't do that very well with newegg or whatever.
January 12, 2007 10:50:02 PM

Quote:
Sorry to tell you this, but that's not a good deal. Here's basically the same thing for $112.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Circuit City didn't have SAPPHIRE and they did have the VT listed there for $179.
I'm not whinning as it was only $10 over the gift card I had.

I'm more interested if it is a decent card or not. I can always take it back. You can't do that very well with newegg or whatever.

no its not a decent card.... not within the same time zone as one. it is probably about the same performance as your current card, maybe slightly better or slightly worse.

Basicly what i am trying to say is, for 130 or whatever you paid, you get nearly no difference. total ripoff too!
January 12, 2007 11:45:06 PM

Quote:
Sorry to tell you this, but that's not a good deal. Here's basically the same thing for $112.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Circuit City didn't have SAPPHIRE and they did have the VT listed there for $179.
I'm not whinning as it was only $10 over the gift card I had.

I'm more interested if it is a decent card or not. I can always take it back. You can't do that very well with newegg or whatever.

no its not a decent card.... not within the same time zone as one. it is probably about the same performance as your current card, maybe slightly better or slightly worse.

Basicly what i am trying to say is, for 130 or whatever you paid, you get nearly no difference. total ripoff too!
Well, that was the best I could do at Circuit City with my gift card. Only $10 more out of my pocket.
It would have cost me at least $40 more to get the 7600GS and the 7600GT was over $200.

I'm trying in now as I installed it. It looks more crisp than before. I will try the MS FS2004 tonight. If I'm not happy with it this weekend, I'll take it back and get a different card.
January 13, 2007 12:46:23 PM

How about an X1300 XT?
(test)
January 13, 2007 1:48:08 PM

I hate gift cards, they burn holes into your soul until you go and use them. It might be okay for some places like Newegg but it's still problematic as you juggle in your mind where you are going to use those dollars. This graphics card situation is a good case in point, at least Circuit City got that X1300 off the shelf.

I thought there were some great idea's in this post but in the end he got the X1300. The only thing I'd consider from BestBuy or Circuit city is a new keyboard or maybe speakers. Perhaps a flash drive... but often the prices are only mediocre. They really don't have a good selection of computer hardware at all.

Those 6200 series cards are terrible... really poor. In fact I benchmarked a 5200 / 6200 and an old Geforce Ti4200 and the 4200 beat the pants of the others in every benchmark. It woke me up to how crippled the lower end cards really are. Those flashy boxes and the inclusion of 256 or even 512Mb of memory onboard means NOTHING. The 64Mb on the 4200 was plenty to beat the 5200 and 6200.

Anyway... good luck with your x1300.
January 13, 2007 2:30:56 PM

Quote:
I hate gift cards, they burn holes into your soul until you go and use them. It might be okay for some places like Newegg but it's still problematic as you juggle in your mind where you are going to use those dollars.

Would you tell that to the person who gave you the gift card? :wink:
January 13, 2007 2:38:55 PM

I am totally amazed at the way the boxes advertise these things at the stores. 512Mb, OverClocked - etc. Make sit look like it is the hottest thing out there.
I thought for sure this was a good one till I brought it home and saw the test and the comments here.

Next week, I will scroung up another $50 and take this card back and get the 7600GT
!