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What should I get with $170

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May 2, 2007 9:41:50 PM

I just got my $170 and I was wondering what would be the best card for around this price?

Thx

More about : 170

May 2, 2007 10:03:14 PM

What do you want to do with it and what kind of system is it going in?

It's slightly over your budget, but this card is a steal although it's hard to tell if it is compatible with your needs.
May 2, 2007 10:24:55 PM

Quote:
What do you want to do with it and what kind of system is it going in?

It's slightly over your budget, but this card is a steal although it's hard to tell if it is compatible with your needs.


Ya beat me to it. Seconded.
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May 2, 2007 10:26:35 PM

Quote:
It's slightly over your budget, but this card is a steal although it's hard to tell if it is compatible with your needs.

Yea, that's the best deal around now.
May 2, 2007 11:58:07 PM

I plan to do mild gaming and it will be paired with my x2 4200+ which is basicaly a budget build.
May 3, 2007 12:06:50 AM

Yea, that would be a great card for your needs.
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2007 12:22:37 AM

Quote:
I plan to do mild gaming and it will be paired with my x2 4200+ which is basicaly a budget build.


The only thing I add to the other suggestions of the X1950XT which is a great deal/value, would be if you're looking at only mild gaming, maybe the X1950Pro is for you instead. Sure it's no XT, but it will likely do what you need for $50 less with them selling at $130-135, and should be a solid gamer for another 2 years.

Just a suggestion, in case you have reservations with regards to your budget.
a c 140 U Graphics card
May 3, 2007 2:09:43 PM

I third the x1950xt.. Great card and that is CHEAP.. if not then the Pro
May 3, 2007 2:23:56 PM

Dito! Great card for the money. :lol: 
May 3, 2007 8:17:31 PM

Sorry, you are all wrong, the 7900 series cards are neck-and neck, with better drivers for Linux and CAD and Stereoscopic 3D (granted none of that may appeal to you now, but you never know).

Add to that the fact that they overclock like mad, my $120 ebay 7900GS is sporting a 650mhz core clock for the last 4-5 months (the chip is 650mhz rated in the GTX, and that is admittedly a real steal). Unlike the ATI cards, which don't clock as well.

This is also a little out of your range, but imagine how well it would overclock with that heat-pipe Zalman :D .
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=010&ss...

This:
http://cgi.ebay.com/EVGA-256-P2-N624-AR-GEFORCE-7900GS-...

Or this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-BFGR79256GSOCE-BFGR79256GSOCE-G...

Or This:
http://cgi.ebay.com/BFG-Tech-GeForce-7900GS-256MB-GDDR3...

The best for last, the link directly above me is for a $130 (+$9 shipping) card that is a stock 526mhz OC edition, no need to do anything.

So ATI or Nvidia, of course if you are a pure gamer who doesn't overclock or tinker the ATI might be your best choice, but I like the nVidia.
May 3, 2007 8:23:20 PM

Umm, an X1950XT will eat a 7900GS alive. Ditto for the 7900GT. The 7900s are great cards, but for the money the X1950XT is the clear choice.

The OP didn't mention Linux.
a b U Graphics card
May 3, 2007 11:18:35 PM

I agree with you. A X1950XT 256MB can match a 7900GTX, never mind a 7900GS.

You know what, I found it interesting in FS's new 8800U review, the X1950XTX (not XT 256MB) totally smokes the 7900GTX, by way larger margins than the 640MB 8800GTS smokes it. Look over each game: http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800...
May 4, 2007 12:01:33 AM

You must be a fan boy, no one in their right mind (save for yes, a linux user) would recommend an equally priced 7000 series nvidia card over an ati. The image quality difference is dramatic, and if you can't tell the difference then you shouldn't be spending that much money on a card in the first place.
May 4, 2007 1:06:21 AM

OK, I seem to have ticked some people (??) off.

To qualify, IF you ever want to try:

Linux
CAD
3D stereoscopic DirectX and OpenGL gaming. (Each eye will see a different image, accomplished by differing methods)

Then an ATI card is not the right choice.

My 7900GS is custom-flashed with a 650MHz core and a Zalman with Ramsinks. It will murder a X1950XTX, IN THE GAMES/APPS I RUN, for instance ATI has Zero support for stereoscopic 3D.

I notice you guys/gals seem to be harping on the Linux comment. I rarely use Linux or CAD, but 3D stereoscopic drivers are important.

He mentioned $170, a mid-range price point, I assumed he was looking for "bang-for-the-buck", and thoughts of overclocking immediately came to mind.

My points are valid, if he just wants to game and not tweak or do anything else, get the ATI. If he wants to do anything else or overclock, the 7900 is a much better deal.

Take a look at these results, 7900 kills ATI:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...

Take a look at these, ATI kills 7900:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...

I take that as see-sawing for the lead, and depending on your needs one or the other will be ahead, also your system makes a difference.

Do you need a low-power usage card that doesn't contribute a lot of heat to your case? The 7900 has about half the power usage of the ATI card, just something to take into consideration. Probably also why it is such a good overclocker.

7900GS/7900GTX?? It is the same card people, just because it has 1 Vertex and 4 pixel shaders turned off doesn't mean it is worse, it is an identical chip. If you don't game at 1600x1200 or above you just don't need the extra power, and for $100-170 you really shouldn't expect it to run at those resolutions (in fact, how are you buying a display that runs those resolutions with that kind of budget). The 7900 series is faster at the lower resolution (who knows why, maybe the memory bandwidth is faster, and the shader power is less, and that is why the flip positions at higher resolutions)

If I didn't do all the stuff I do I wouldn't need a 7900 series, that is why I put in the disclaimers, my situation is not his situation, I was only pointing out the options in the price range.

Ironically TomsHardware has a monthly guide for people who ask this question:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/05/01/the_best_gaming_...

I personally found my 7900GS for $120, that makes it an absolute bargain (It helped that the second-hand store had a NIB Zalman cooler for $5 when I went the next day, but there are deals on eBay as I posted).
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2007 1:52:37 AM

Quote:
OK, I seem to have ticked some people (??) off.

I doubt you ticked anyone off, they just want to set you straight so the OP doesn't think the 7900GS is better than it is.


Quote:
To qualify, IF you ever want to try:

Linux
CAD
3D stereoscopic DirectX and OpenGL gaming. (Each eye will see a different image, accomplished by differing methods)

Then an ATI card is not the right choice.

You missed running surround gaming resolutions, which NVidia supports 3 - 1024x768 and 1280x1024 monitors, and the X1xxx's max out at 3 800x600 screens. The X800's can't even do that in 3D. But come on, 3d stereo, surround gaming, and linux make up a tiny % of gamers. It's worth mentioning, but is not a reason for picking a slower card, with less features/IQ unless that is your specific need. As you probably know, the 8800 series doesn't have NVidia 3d stero drivers that support it because the latest NV stereoscopic drivers are ancient. But 99 out of 100 gamers wouldn't care and would rather have an 8800GTS than a 7900GTX. I use a wimpy 7800GT with my 3D glasses and an 8800GTS for surround gaming, and the X1950XT in a spare machine.

Quote:
My 7900GS is custom-flashed with a 650MHz core and a Zalman with Ramsinks. It will murder a X1950XTX, IN THE GAMES/APPS I RUN, for instance ATI has Zero support for stereoscopic 3D.

Yeah, And My Ford Superduty Truck will murder a Corvette Z06 in the quarter mile!!! WHEN BOTH ARE PLOWING SNOW AND CARRYING A 2500lb PALLET OF ROCK SALT. Again, that's good for you but doesn't mean squat to the other 99 out of 100 people. Look at my link above and the X1950XTX destroys the 7900GTX in every game at the kind of maxed out IQ settings people would use them at.

Quote:
I notice you guys/gals seem to be harping on the Linux comment. I rarely use Linux or CAD, but 3D stereoscopic drivers are important.
As it is to me, but I sure wouldn't want to use my 7800GT CO over my X1950XT if not using the 3d glasses.

Quote:
He mentioned $170, a mid-range price point, I assumed he was looking for "bang-for-the-buck", and thoughts of overclocking immediately came to mind.

7900GS is a nice OC'in card if purchased cheap. it's still not a X1950XT killer though.

Quote:
My points are valid, if he just wants to game and not tweak or do anything else, get the ATI. If he wants to do anything else or overclock, the 7900 is a much better deal.

Not sure what the anything else is. Most people buy these cards to game. And a max overclocked X1950XT will beat a max overclocked 7900GS. So a better comment would be like GrApe said above, if the X1950XT is out of desired budget, then he could look at the X1950 pro or 7900GS. For $180 he won't beat that X1950XT though.

Quote:
Take a look at these results, 7900 kills ATI:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...

Take a look at these, ATI kills 7900:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...

I take that as see-sawing for the lead, and depending on your needs one or the other will be ahead, also your system makes a difference.

LOL, so a 1024x768 no fsaa win for NV = the high res FSAA win for the ATI? That's a noob error to point to 10x7 no fsaa results. tsk, tsk. :roll: And no offense to Tom's but those charts kinda suck IMO anyway. I'd rely on other reviews (from say XBit or even the FS I linked to above) more if there is a discreptency between the two.

Quote:
Do you need a low-power usage card that doesn't contribute a lot of heat to your case? The 7900 has about half the power usage of the ATI card, just something to take into consideration. Probably also why it is such a good overclocker.

Um, correction needed. Lower power is true for sure and makes the 7900GS a nice card for those who's pSU won't take the X1950XT. But the X1950XT's heat is pumped directly out of the case by it's dual slot/rear exhaust cooler, and not circulated within the case like with the 7900GS, so that part is wrong.

Quote:
If I didn't do all the stuff I do I wouldn't need a 7900 series, that is why I put in the disclaimers, my situation is not his situation, I was only pointing out the options in the price range.

It never hurts to offer good alternatives and state why they are good. Like you said, it probably won't benefit him anyway though. I'm holding onto the 7800GT just for the 3d glasses, but I am hoping for a long overdue driver for the 8800 series so I can use that instead, as both the X1950Xt and 8800GTS spank that 7800GT by so much it blows to use the GF7. Luckily 3d glasses and Oblivion don't mix well anyway, as the 7800GT is unbearable after using those other two cards in that game. The IQ difference in my games at max playable settings is huge!

Quote:
I personally found my 7900GS for $120, that makes it an absolute bargain (It helped that the second-hand store had a NIB Zalman cooler for $5 when I went the next day, but there are deals on eBay as I posted).

Not a bad find and I'm happy for you and your OC. Game on. But It's still $125 for a used card which right now isn't as good a deal since both the X1950 pro and 7900GS have been $130 new. But shoot, my His X1950XT iceQ Turbo was $260 I think, and now many months later this reference cooled X1950XT is $180 no rebates. Oh well, it's bound to happen almost every time.
May 4, 2007 1:57:23 AM

If he said he had special needs, then sure you'd have a valid point. I'm sorry but squeezing out higher frame rates is utterly worthless in comparison to the image quality difference.
May 4, 2007 3:31:37 AM

Look man, nobody is dissing your card. The 7900GS is a very respectable card but it simply doesn't hold up against the X1950XT even when overclocked. You got a good deal on a great card and if the OP had stated what's the best they could get in the $130 range I would have said 7900GS or X1950Pro depending on what games they want to play. However, for slightly over the OP's original budget of $170 they get a card that efficiently smokes any card in that price range including the 7900GS.
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