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New Video Card. Which To Buy?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 22, 2007 7:14:35 AM

So i've had enough of my ATi Radeon x300se.... well actually I have an ATi Radeon x600se(friend took out of his dell comp and gave to me) that replaced my x300se, not much of a difference from my x300se thought.

Current Specs:

Windows XP Pro SP2
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Venice 1.8GHz (Had it OCed to 2.1, but temps went over 45*C, too high for me)
DFI nF4-DAGF Motherboard Scoket 939
1gb ram @ PC 2700 (512mb Corsair Value Select PC 3200 stick, 512mb PC 2700 stick taken out of friends e-machines)
Western Digital 250gb HD 16mb Cache SATA
ATi Radeon x600se
NEC DVD Burner
Rosewill 600Watt Power Supply



A pretty cheap set up i built last year, its okay. I was on a budget ^_^

I use this computer for gaming. Games i usually play are CS 1.6, and CS: Source.

I also like to do some video editting, since i like making CS frag videos.

Im looking for a new card because, im not getting a stable 100 FPS in CS 1.6 anymore, its only occasionally.


I'm having huge trouble deciding what card i should get.


But you guys can help me decide right? Anyways heres what i want the new card to be able to at least handle.

List:

-AF and AA maxed on CS 1.6 with still 100fps stable for Video editting purposes.
-Being able to play CS:Source @ High Settings @ at least a 1024x768 resolution with at least 70 fps.
-Will last me the next year or so.
-Has HDCP on it
-Won't Be Bottlenecked by CPU
-Something my Power Supply can handle
-Don't want to have to spend over $215 unless i REALLY HAVE TO


I want to try and spend least as possible, although im kinda picky. I 've been looking around for the past month. I've looked at the 7300gt, that card probably wont do me good in CS:Source. 7600gt looks okay, i dunno if it will last me 1 year though since dx10 has came out.

Cards ive been looking at:
8600gt(It's DX10, and on the best card for the money list)
8600gts(A buddy has one of these, played on it, LOVED IT)

Not really an ATi fan. I don't really like the latest drivers out for my card because the latest drivers lock my keyboard and mouse up in game, so i had to use old drivers because that problem doesn't happen with them. So i'll give nVidia a shot.

Kinda leaning towards the 8600gt because it is DX10, but still not sure. Not really in a rush yet, i've been researching for the past month just trying to decide which card and here i am.

Hope you guys can help me out, thanks!

edit: lol forgot to mention, looking for PCI-Express x16 card, not agp :D .

More about : video card buy

June 22, 2007 7:52:34 AM

I'm happy with the 8600GT i bought awhile back. It's quiet, draws all it's power from the PCIe slot and plays games pretty good(1024X768 or 1280X1024). Think the bigger monitor is maybe next on the to buy list.
Also if you like video editing it does seem to make video files look better than the older 7 series cards.
June 22, 2007 8:37:13 AM
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June 22, 2007 3:14:41 PM
June 22, 2007 9:12:31 PM

kinda leaning towards the 8600's because they are dx10. I'm not sure if i will regret buying another dx9 card.
June 23, 2007 4:01:14 PM

i know the 7950gt's and the 1950xt's are better than the dx10 8600gts's, but is it better to go for the 8600gts just cause of the DX10?
June 23, 2007 5:49:29 PM

Well i decided on the 8600 because it has the new video decoder thingy so it's good to go with the new HD stuff.
I think it all depends on how long you are going to be using the PC and card though, my stuff tends to be passed about with family so i bought that it's DX 10 and in the future it will be at least able to run DX10, it's just a matter of how well. That said though the games for younger kids tend to be less demanding on graphics cards so as long as they support the right generation of shader model they are good. So i think the 8 series card would show it's value in the later stages of it's usefullness. Thats not saying it isn't a bad card now.
June 23, 2007 6:00:25 PM

$149 for a 1950 XT?

Wow. If decent DX 10 cards don't come down soon I'm gonna drop some cash on one of those.

I'm sure it would last me for a while until DX 10 becomes mainstream.
June 23, 2007 6:29:11 PM

If you are worried about DX10 and Vista for video editing and gaming I wouldn't go lower than 8600gts and I would also think about getting a couple 1gig sticks of matched ram .That will help a lot.
June 23, 2007 11:53:39 PM

i dunnooo....

i just dont think the 8600 will get you any more than 20-30fps on most dx10 games.

so your call.
June 24, 2007 12:01:09 AM

He said he only wants to spend 215 bucks,that doesn't leave too many choices .Haven't seen anything about Dx10 to impress me anyway.I'd get a 1950pro myself and to hell with Dx10 till all the fallout settles.
June 24, 2007 7:31:23 AM

i want this card to last at least until the next year. I've had my Radeon x300se, had many rants about its performance when games like CS 1.6 start dropping in FPS, it but i still put up with it, was very annoyed but still put up with it.

It would be nice if the card lasted the next 2 years though :D . I just need more suggestions before i make my final decision. The thing is, i think DX10 will become mainstream within the next 2 years, im afraid i will have to upgrade once again because of something new that came out.

As for Vista and DX10, i will most likely upgrade to Vista once most of the driver issues are fixed and SP1 is released for Vista.
June 24, 2007 8:20:40 AM

I am running vista ultimate right now and just looking at the desktop uses 33% of my 2 gbs of ram well you do the math. Buy more ram if you want to run vista, Trust me.
June 24, 2007 9:09:48 AM

Of late, I find it to be a very bad time to purchase a new video card. Unless you're going for the high end stuff which boils down choices to a few offerings, picking up a mid end card is tough. I guess this always happen when the technology is going into a transitional phase. At present, I don't find the mid end DX10 very impressing performance wise but they offer the newest stuff. On the other end, card such as the 1950 pro or 1950 XT and others in the same league offer very decent performances but lack support for DX10. It's a tough decision which I'll have to take myself in the up coming month or two.

That said, I am not sure I would buy the 8600. If you can wait and you're budget allows, I would go for a card like the 7600GT or The 1650 XT and see what the market offers in a couple of months. IMHO, either of these cards will offer much improved performances over what you have now at a pretty cheap cost ,by the time you really need DX10 the market should have had enough time to settle. Well, just my 2 cents, tough call really.
June 24, 2007 3:17:01 PM

it really is a tough call right now. :/ . Actually i've had this x300se for a year and 7 months x.x almost 2 Years!!

as for the ram part, im still in the PC 3200 stages as you can see in my specs on my first post. Will PC 3200 be enough ram speed if i have 2 gb in my system?
June 24, 2007 4:06:56 PM

go buy a x1950xt for 150bucks will beat the crap out of 8600series, DX10 will become a mainstream in a about a year or maybe two and by that time 8600 will be beaten by more powerful DX10 mid-range cards, also to note 8600series even now cannot beat even a 7900gs.
June 24, 2007 9:17:45 PM

i want to get the x1950pro, but i've been having driver issues with my ATi card, keyboard + mouse keeps locking up when im playing CS. Issue is not the mouse or keyboard because when i used older drivers, the keyboard and mouse work just fine.

Also will the x1950pro/xt, 7900gs bottleneck my system?
June 24, 2007 9:55:18 PM

i doubt it will, and i think you have other problems with your system if that is happening because i doubt it is ati's driver doing that.
June 24, 2007 9:57:14 PM

whenever I update my drivers to the latest one, that problem starts occuring. When i revert it back to the older drivers, the problem goes away. :/ 
June 24, 2007 10:16:36 PM

Quote:
kinda leaning towards the 8600's because they are dx10. I'm not sure if i will regret buying another dx9 card.


DX10 support it pretty useless in the 8600's. They are woefully underpowered, and even if u got a game to run in DX10 mode, it will have so little eye-candy that it will look better in DX9 with a more powerful card.

Get an ATi X1950Pro or X1950XT.
June 24, 2007 10:46:06 PM

looks like i will be getting the x1950pro. :p .

btw can my power supply handle this card? the psu link that i have is on my first post.
June 24, 2007 10:52:20 PM

yes, your psu should be fine.
June 25, 2007 12:15:24 AM

Quote:


Also will the x1950pro/xt, 7900gs bottleneck my system?


Not trying to be too nit picky, but it's whether your system will bottleneck those cards, not the other way around. 8)
June 25, 2007 12:34:53 AM

Quote:


Also will the x1950pro/xt, 7900gs bottleneck my system?


Not trying to be too nit picky, but it's whether your system will bottleneck those cards, not the other way around. 8)

yea thats what i mean't lol sry.

so will my system bottleneck those cards? o.O
June 25, 2007 1:14:31 AM

Personally, I'd avoid the 8600GT because for $50 + less you can get a 7600GT, yet it will perform about the same. You can find X1950 Pro cards on Newegg for $135 with a $20 MIR making them around $110 or so, which will wipe the floor with the 7/8600 GT series. As for the 8600GTS, a 7950GT or a Radeon X1950 XT 256MB will send it home crying to mama for the same amount of money (if not less depending if you get an OC'd one or not)

You can grab this superclocked 7900GS off of Newegg for $149:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's clocked at 550MHz core and 1.4GHz memory so really if you're looking for the best bang for the buck in this price range you can't beat it.

But if you're looking for a DX10 compatible part I'd take a long hard look at a 8800GTS 320MB. Anything less will be a waste of money in the end. You can find them for as low as $260 after MIR. And I'd invest in a X2 (at least a 4200+) and a higher quality PSU while I was at it.
June 25, 2007 5:39:58 AM

as for the cpu, i'll wait till AMD releases its new socket, AM3. PSU should be fine, not a top of the line PC anyways.
June 26, 2007 5:52:47 AM

should i even bother looking at the upcoming HD 2600 series?
June 26, 2007 9:11:32 AM

Quote:
as for the cpu, i'll wait till AMD releases its new socket, AM3. PSU should be fine, not a top of the line PC anyways.


Not sure if this will have any regards to what your aiming for, but you can feel safe buying a mobo with an AM2 socket, i read that AM3's will be one way compatible. Meaning you can put an AM3 CPU on an AM2 mobo, but you can NOT place an AM2 CPU on a AM3 mobo. Of course, even if you do put a AM3 CPU on a AM2 mobo you will still lose the benefit of being able to use DDR3 and Hyper Transport 3, but not all that big of a deal because either way it's good news. It's not taking away anything just adding options if you cant afford to buy a new mobo, ram, and cpu at once. Allows you to buy the CPU then later get the others. I'm upgrading next week and this is definitely good news otherwise I was going to wait till next summer! LOL.

Oh and as for the topic of this thread, I say buy the X1950Pro or the x1950XT without a doubt. It's just up in the air if the XT is $35 better for you. It's louder, but it's also cooled better and obviously gives you a few frames more, but the value is for you to decide. As for my upgrade I'm buying the 1950XT now and waiting for better DX10 cards.
June 26, 2007 9:45:09 AM

hmm i think my cpu and mobo can last another year, i think im just going to buy more ram for now. is there a huge difference between DDR and DDR2 RAM?

I'm starting to like vista for some reason after messing with it on my friends computer, but thats just me, i want to have enough ram but i don't want to buy DDR if DDR2 is a huge difference and EXTREMELY better than DDR

as for the video card, for me its between the x1950pro or the x1950xt.

I read the reviews for both the cards and some people say that these cards run really hot, like 70*C+
June 26, 2007 4:03:38 PM

with vista you need atleast 2 gb memory just to run it properly, let alone play games on it.
June 26, 2007 5:49:54 PM

If you get another 1gb of ram definetly not if you think it will buy a zalman cooler or thermaltake one and overclock it nforce4 just does wonders when overclocking i would sugest getting the x1950xt because it has more horsepower and will last you more and you have a brand 600w psu are you kidding when youre asking if it can handle a video board.
By the way ati drivers have come very far in past years matching nvidia i would recomend installing the operating system after upgrading the video board.
And be shure you get the his iceq version because the saphire one and the ones with stock cooling run(saphires version doesn't have stock but is the same as the others) very hot and are noisy like a vacuum cleaner.
June 26, 2007 8:26:14 PM

Quote:
If you get another 1gb of ram definetly not if you think it will buy a zalman cooler or thermaltake one and overclock it nforce4 just does wonders when overclocking i would sugest getting the x1950xt because it has more horsepower and will last you more and you have a brand 600w psu are you kidding when youre asking if it can handle a video board.
By the way ati drivers have come very far in past years matching nvidia i would recomend installing the operating system after upgrading the video board.
And be shure you get the his iceq version because the saphire one and the ones with stock cooling run(saphires version doesn't have stock but is the same as the others) very hot and are noisy like a vacuum cleaner.


i kinda understand what you are trying to say but not completely.

So DDR and DDR2, theres not a HUGE difference?

And i don't understand what you mean about the psu when you say "are you kidding". i read reviews for this psu and up to now they can handle the 8800gts pretty well.

The HiS IceQ versions are too expensive, i'd rather just go for a 8800gts if i were to buy that card.

And with the heat issue with the ATi cards, i don't think i will want to buy them, kinda leaning towards nVidia(I've never owned a nVidia card before, but i've heard many great reviews from them. All of my friends with nVidia cards absolutely love them. I don't like my ATi cards because of driver issues). My system runs around 40*C inside and anything above 50*C is not acceptable, i don't know how to install those seperate coolers from thermaltake, etc, on a video card, so i just want to stick with the stock cooling.
!