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Budget gaming machine?

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April 17, 2007 1:10:01 PM

I am currently building a budget gaming machine, so far I have an abit motherboard with an AM2 4600x2 and 1GB RAM but I am struggling to decide on a graphics card.

The card basically needs to run Far Cry and Call of Duty etc on very high detail and needs to last me 2 years but I do not have the budget for anything too powerful. Were talking PCI-E by the way.

Would a 7600GT do the job or do I realistically need to spend a bit more on something like a x1950pro?

Thanks for the help.

More about : budget gaming machine

April 17, 2007 2:25:20 PM

Depends a lot on your monitor's resolution. The 7600GT is a decent budget card, as is the eVGA 7900GS KO (depending where you get it). What's your monitor's res?
April 17, 2007 2:58:22 PM

I don't think it's reasonable to assume your 7600GT will be a viable gaming card for two years.
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April 17, 2007 3:11:36 PM

what is your budget range. How much can you spend. I am currently building a budget computer that costs 1000.
April 17, 2007 3:31:34 PM

It won't play games 2 years from now at high quality, for sure, but it'll probably play most games at low quality and resolution and it'll do Call of Duty 2 and Far Cry except at higher resolutions. I recommend the eVGA 7900GS KO or x1950Pro though they're around $50 more expensive.
April 17, 2007 3:42:35 PM

I am running at 1024x768. The 7600GT is £63 the 7900GS is an extra £30. My old PC was running an AGP 6800 Ultra so I want a good improvement over this and I am not convinced the 7600 GT will do the job. The x1950 Pro looks really good but its £100.
April 17, 2007 4:14:41 PM

An X1950pro will last you a lot longer than a 7600GT, as well as giving you quite a bit better performance. If you're planning on this lasting you as long as you say, the X1950pro would be extra money well spent.
April 17, 2007 4:16:29 PM

Quote:
My old PC was running an AGP 6800 Ultra so I want a good improvement over this and I am not convinced the 7600 GT will do the job.


Going from a 6800 Ultra to a 7600GT would be somewhat of a downgrade.
April 17, 2007 8:40:26 PM

Yup, go with the X1950pro, not only is it basically a quicker card but also far quicker when u start to use AA and Aniso.

Another option is to hang fire a week or two and see what the nVidia 8600 GTS looks like in price and performance. Initial reviews say it sucks when playing older dx9 games (versus both nVidia and ATI cards at that respective price point) , but seems to be really really good with newer games that use a lot of shaders (such as Oblivion), and as new games coming out will continue to use more shaders this might be a good investment with future proofing in mind.
April 18, 2007 9:05:30 AM

Well im ordering the rest of my components today leaving just my graphics card to decide on. I think I will wait a week or so to see if there is any movement in the market. What are peoples thoughts on buying second hand cards off ebay?
April 18, 2007 10:10:05 AM

I play Far Cry @ 1680x1050 with all settings maxed + HDR patch (v1.4) + 4xAA, 8xAF. Frame rate drops to about 35-40 in the worst situations, and stays above 80 most of the time. I think the 7600 would struggle, not to mention it can't do HDR+AA.

Definitely get the 1950PRO if you can afford it. It is the best card in its price range.
April 18, 2007 1:20:39 PM

Just ordered the x1950 Pro to go with my 4600 x2 and gig of RAM. Hope I dont regret buying this card as the 8600GT is out shortly and is available for the same price.
a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2007 1:41:45 PM

Quote:
I play Far Cry @ 1680x1050 with all settings maxed + HDR patch (v1.4) + 4xAA, 8xAF. Frame rate drops to about 35-40 in the worst situations, and stays above 80 most of the time. I think the 7600 would struggle, not to mention it can't do HDR+AA.

Definitely get the 1950PRO if you can afford it. It is the best card in its price range.

With Fraps and fps showing, take a screenie with 4xAA + HDR, 0xAA HDR and 4xAA no HDR and compare them. Review sites bench it, but I still have never seen it work. 2xAA+HDR works, but when set to 4xAA AA doesn't seem to work. For me it's (4xaa+HDR) always been the same framerates and jaggies as 0xAA +HDR.

Besides that, I definatetly say $135 X1950 pro over a 7600GT for sure if he can stretch his budget that far.
a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2007 1:44:09 PM

The 8600 GT's are available now. Did you get the $135 AR Sapphire X1950 pro? The X1950 pro will easily beat the 8600GT and if you are in the USA should be cheaper if you count the available rebates.

EDIT: never mind, I see you are in the UK.
April 18, 2007 1:49:10 PM

cost me £93 not sure what that is in dollars. I'm not really sure what AA etc means or what differences these features make. On previous graphics cards I have seen the option to set them but have never really understood them. Also I take it games look better if you play them at the highest possible Res but your frame rate will drop??
a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2007 2:04:17 PM

AA or FSAA stands for Full-Screen Anti-Aliasing and without getting technical, it basically removes the jagged edges of diagnal lines making for a smoother more realistic image. Typically the lower the resolution, the more obvious and annoying these jagged edges are.

As far as resolution, yeah the higher the resolution the better looking the image and the more demanding it is on the video card.

Higher res is better looking except in the case of LCD's where you want to run a native resolution. A native 1600x1200 LCD should be run at 1600x1200, and may actually look better at 800x600 (it's native divided by 2) as opposed to 1024x768.
a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2007 2:15:29 PM

For fun take a look at these two blow-ups I took in Oblivion. It shows the benfit of a card that can run HDR lighting and FSAA at once.

no FSAA:


4xFSAA:


Note the jagged lines that make up the edge of the mans face and hair, also the edge of the stone column. The harsh jagged lines are greatly reduced and appear smoother when FSAA is used.

ANyway, enjoy the card! :D 
April 18, 2007 2:26:57 PM

Ok I'm starting to understand some of this. So when I get my system built I should run the highest reslotuion which my 17" LCD will support and use 8x AA and enable HDR etc. Thanks for taking the time to advise by the way.
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