I've been researching for a while now and from what I can tell, the X1950 XT seems to be the best bang for the buck around my price range ($175-225 or so). However, I've had an extremely difficult time finding the 1.8GHz versions (the vast majority I've come across so far have been 1.6GHz) and the ones that ARE 1.8GHz have all been 256mb rather than 512mb. So this being the case, I have a few questions:
a) Is there even such a thing as a 1.8GHz 512mb X1950 XT?
b) Does the extra 200mhz really make that much of a difference?
c) Does the extra 256mb of memory make that much of a difference?
and d) Is there another perhaps better card at this price point I am overlooking?
Also if it helps, the computer I am upgrading was just given to me by my uncle (he constantly buys new systems and gives me his old ones). The motherboard and chipset are unknown (I haven't had a chance to turn it on and look at the specs-- but it's a Dell so who knows), but otherwise the vitals are as follows:
3.2 GHz Pentium IV
2GB DDR400 RAM
250GB Maxtor SATA-150 (though I believe the motherboard is 3.0 compatible)
FireGL V3100 PCIe x16
2. Only a about a few fps... probably like 5, 10 at most.
3. Not unless you want to play at 1920x1080 or higher. And even then, it'll b ea minuscule boost. But certain games can actually make sure of the extra memory (I think Ghost Recon Advance War can increase texture res if you have 512MB). If you plan to keep this card around for a year or two, it might be worth it as I hear more games will make use of the extra memory.
4. Honestly, the Sapphire X1950XT (at Newegg) is the best $170 you can spend.