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Sub $200 card, need of opinion 256 or 512 Pro/Xt = confused

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 16, 2007 12:32:35 PM

Alright I have done a lot of research before posting this but I still have a couple of questions.
I am in the process of a new build. Projected specs are
C2D 4300 OC'd (To whatever it will give me..LOL)
P35 Mainboard (Leaning towards P5K Deluxe)
2GB (2 X 1GB PC6400) G.Skill Ram
Ultra X-Finity 600W PSU (Already have, was Free after rebate)
22" V7 Monitor 1680X1050 native res. (Also already have)
Antec P180B case (Sitting on my desk!)

Alright I am wanting to piece this together fairly soon, and may wait for more P35's to come out from the woodwork, or the somewhat official NDA to pass as of the 21st.

After reading the May edition for graphics card I have thought that either the XT, or Pro 1950 would be good choices. I am personally not much of a gamer as of late, but I think that is going to change in the near future.

Now under $200 (or around) it seems I can either get a 256mb XT or a 512mb Pro card. Now it seems to me the best way to run games would be at my native resolution so I would need good performance @ 1680X1050.
Now would the XT work out better with less ram, or would the Pro do better because it would have the extra space for textures and such?

I am up for suggestions and have no big preference towards ATi or Nvidia so either would work well. I looked into the 7900G's a bit, but it seemed the Ati's offered a bit more for the price..

So opinions would be great... DX10 to me doesn't seem too important, cause seriously Vista can go #%$@ itself!..

Thanks for any input
May 16, 2007 1:22:44 PM

1950XT is significantly faster.
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May 16, 2007 4:05:38 PM

Unless I am mistaken(If so, Im sure someone will flame me for it) PRO's are generally stripped down versions of their parent card.
May 16, 2007 4:59:04 PM

Buy the XT for sure. I bought a 1950pro for my GF. Not a bad card mind you, but weak vs. an XT.

The pro is based off the value/mainstream R"V" core, where the XT is the flagship "R" core. The XT has more clock speed, RAM speed and pixel shaders.

Lots on RAM on a value/mainstream card is pure marketing. People see the 512MB on a 1950pro/7600gs/X1600XT and assume its faster.

Having a larger amount of video RAM is only benefitial at res., which the mainstream cards don't perform as well in because of the lack of gpu/RAM speed and shading power.

Thats why changing onboard video in BIOS from 128MB to 512MB doesn't do anything. Just sounds way better to the average consumer.
May 17, 2007 12:29:17 AM

Thanks for the replies..
I was figuring the XT was a better choice, but the fact that I am hoping to run at my native res. was why I was thinking the 512mb might be the better option.

The link that you sent was the exact one I have been looking at. In fact I swear the price went up $10, which wouldn't surprise me after the whole 2900XT release and people waiting, and now deciding it is better off to buy something else.

Do you feel that spending the extra $50 for the 512mb XT would help much at the given res.? I am hoping to get by on this video card for a little while, and if the 512mb will help that enough to justify the extra expense I think it may be worth it.
May 17, 2007 1:36:06 AM

I'd say either get that 256mb x1950xt or get the $270 evga 8800gts. Its not worth $50 extra for the 512mb x1950xt, even at that resolution. It might get you a few extra fps at best, but nothing worth the extra $50.
May 17, 2007 1:39:08 AM

The XT can actually make use of the RAM in some situations.

Not all games will benefit by it, but I would get it if you want to run everything at 1680.

Here's a good example with the X1800XTs.

X1800XT 256 vs. 512

X1800XT 256 vs. 512 Game 2

EDIT: One game it makes a difference, the next is does not. Mileage will vary :) 
May 17, 2007 2:24:44 AM

That makes sense.

Also I am noticing that the X1900XTX can be had for around $200 used right now. I have been out of the loop for quite some time, but the 1900's seem to be pretty much on par with the 1950's from what I see, other than the ram speed lacking somewhat in comparison. Plus the XTX only came with 512mb, so I may look into those.

Being used is somewhat of a worry, but I may be willing to take the chance. I may have to do a bit of research though as I haven't looked to see if there are any real differences between the 2.
!