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Confusion: Graphics Card for 1680 x 1050 Res...

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February 12, 2007 2:08:34 PM

Hello all,

This is my first post on the forums - I have been following many threads here and now that the time for my first build/purchase is drawing near, I need some advice.

Basically I am going to get a 22" monitor. My question is whether or not it is justifiable to get a top-end graphics card for the native resolution of 1680 x 1050. To the best of my understanding you need more graphics power to drive higher resolutions. If this is the case, then is there any point in going for a 8800 GTX over a GTS (for example)?

If both cards can max out the available options at my chosen res, why not go for the cheaper one? Or am I wrong in my (admittedly inexperienced) evaluation?

Thanks in advance all... :p 
February 13, 2007 7:26:57 AM

Some games will not support that resolution, and will have to scale the resolution down. Other games will run at 1680x1050, but you will likely need to run at a lower quality, depending on the video card.

I ran Farcry on my X1950pro at 1680x1050 at low quality. If I wanted more quality and AA or AF, I set the resolution lower. My viewsonic VG2030wm scaled nicely and the game looked good. I would imagine if you got the 8800 series card, it would handle most current generation games at 1680x1050 and high quality.

On another note, I decided to crossfire my X1950pro's. I had been playing guild wars at I think 1024x768 or some other interpolated resolution at high quality. With crossfire, I am running 1680x1050 resolution with highest settings, at 60fps. Still you should even see more performance out of one 8800 series card than my setup.
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February 13, 2007 7:32:30 AM

Thanks a lot for you reply :) 

I guess I am just trying to be as cost effective as possible here. I would rather not buy an overpowered graphics card (does such a thing exist lol?) for a monitor that will not go to 1080p.

A 22" monitor that maxes out at 1680 x 1050 surely does not require the same power to drive higher resolutions. However, I suppose the next wave of games will bring a host of new special effects that may justify getting a top end card.

Does anyone else have thoughts on this?
February 13, 2007 7:58:52 AM

I would consider 1680x1050 in the catagory of monitors with higher resolutions. I say that because I came from a lowly CRT with a max res of 1280x1024. Many people still game at 1024x768 or 1280x1024. Fewer people game at 1600x1200 and rarer yet at 1680x1050 or higher. I think though that widescreen resolutions are becoming more popular.

I built my computer and bought a 1680x1050 resolution widescreen to play games at the monitor's native resolution. I got one X1950 pro thinking that it would drive all my games at that resolution and high quality settings. I found out that this card would work better for 1024x768 or for 1280x1024 with high quality settings, and that's why I had to reduce the resolution and/or quality. I decided to get a second X1950 pro to up my total power, and now I can play my games which support 1680x1050 at that resolution and high quality. I really wanted to just use one card until Ati's R600 arrived, but I guess I'll sell my X1950's when R600 comes around.

In your situation, you may want to look at the 8800 series card, or you may be disappointed that you can't play all of your favorite games at the native resolution and high quality. Also as far as an overpowered video card, I think extra headroom is good for video cards and future games.
February 13, 2007 3:26:03 PM

The games which I struggle to play with a 7900GS @ 1680x1050:

- Rainbow Six vegas-HDR ON, no AF everything on low (eye candy stills there)
- Oblivion at medium settings HDR ON

Everything else runs just fine.


@ ira176
My 7900GS runs FarCry at good settings, everything max (water high, not ultra) with HDR and AA 2x, AF 16x (patched) 1680x1050 no problem whatsoever. Your performance seems too low for that card.
February 13, 2007 5:29:04 PM

Yes that's what I thought too. Maybe the X1950 pro having fewer pixel pipelines than the 7900 GS hurts a bit more in farcry.
February 13, 2007 5:49:27 PM

Quote:
Yes that's what I thought too. Maybe the X1950 pro having fewer pixel pipelines than the 7900 GS hurts a bit more in farcry.


X1950 PRO has 36 pixel shaders and 12 TMUs

The 7900 GS has 20 pixel shaders and 20 TMUs

1680 x 1050 in Farcry should be doable at Max Detail on an X1950 PRO... what framerates are you getting? Giver FRAPS a try and let us know.

P.S.
Quick benchmark search shows the X1950 PRO beating out the 7900 GS in Far Cry at 1600x1200, almost 70 fps with 4xAA enabled:

http://www.techspot.com/review/28-radeon-x1950pro-vs-ge...
February 13, 2007 7:45:22 PM

Quote:
I guess I am just trying to be as cost effective as possible here. I would rather not buy an overpowered graphics card (does such a thing exist lol?)


I'm running an e6600@3.2 with an 8800gtx on a 1680*1050 display. I've been playing Rainbow Six Vegas and I definitely do not feel overpowered. With every thing maxed (v-synch turned off) the game has some points where the frame rate was in the twenties.
My suggestion is buy as much graphics as your budget can reasonably afford.
February 14, 2007 4:29:02 AM

I can give it a try. Can I disable crossfire in the control center by unchecking the crossfire box, or do I need to actually remove the second card to try this Fraps test?
February 14, 2007 6:18:43 AM

Quote:
I guess I am just trying to be as cost effective as possible here. I would rather not buy an overpowered graphics card (does such a thing exist lol?)


I'm running an e6600@3.2 with an 8800gtx on a 1680*1050 display. I've been playing Rainbow Six Vegas and I definitely do not feel overpowered. With every thing maxed (v-synch turned off) the game has some points where the frame rate was in the twenties.
My suggestion is buy as much graphics as your budget can reasonably afford.

Apparently R6 Vegas is a poor port and doesn't run very easily on PC... Although I think your 8800GTX would be able to handle it...
!