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Minimum Vid Card Required for Bioshock!!?!?!?!???!

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September 5, 2007 3:58:43 AM

so my 6600gt is starting to show its age

and bioshock can't even play at low settings


so whats a good card that would let me play bioshock at medium-high settings on a 1024x768 screen.

budget is less than $200.



Thanks!
September 5, 2007 4:17:45 AM

Is it AGP or PCIe? You could give the X1950 Pro a try.
September 5, 2007 4:18:29 AM

Is your motherboard AGP or PCI-e?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2007 4:43:10 AM

x1950pro/xt if you can find one cheap. Currently it's getting harder to find them, along with an amost comparable 7900gs. Here's one to look at, if it's a pci-e card that your looking for.
7900gs for cheap! $126 shipped!!
PNY VCG7900SXPB GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

x1950pro $166 shipped - $40 MIR = $126!! same as 7900gs, but just a tad better.
HIS Hightech H195PRF256DDN-R Radeon X1950PRO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That would be the best under $200 right now. Hopefully you have a competent PSU to handle the GPU, so keep that in mind.
September 5, 2007 5:02:49 AM

Thanks guys its pci-e


lunyone - those 7900gs are clocked 50 mhz down to agp speeds for some odd reason i've checked them out

also will x1950pro work on a 570sli mobo?

and another thing...will it run bioshock on max or just medium-high?
September 5, 2007 5:07:53 AM

my psu is 520Watt on 34 Ampere single rail config

it should handle it right?


if not i can get the thermaltake 5.25 inch PSU and shove it in my system to power just the card
a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2007 5:09:11 AM

teh_boxzor said:
Thanks guys its pci-e


lunyone - those 7900gs are clocked 50 mhz down to agp speeds for some odd reason i've checked them out

also will x1950pro work on a 570sli mobo?

and another thing...will it run bioshock on max or just medium-high?

Don't know if it will run on max settings or not, since I don't have Bioshock :(  . For the amount of $ that you want to spend, the x1950pro is the best bet. The 7900gs's don't require as much power, but are just a shade slower than the x1950's. Any PCI-e mobo should support either the 7900gs or x1950. Not sure why you would have a problem with either, unless your talking about doing SLI (which is nVidia's version of AMD's crossfire). If your thinking about doing SLI/Crossfire, I wouldn't do it. I don't think you can SLI two ATI boards, you would need a Crossfire board to do that. You would be better off getting a 8800gts for about the same $ of a SLI setup and still have better performance.
September 5, 2007 5:19:08 AM

thanks for the help.

no im not going to Crossfire an ATi Card with a nvidia chipset.

i know better than that. haha.

i was just wondering since the chispet is an nvidia chipset that was made specifically to SLi Nvidia cards i thought it wouldn't take even 1 Ati card.
a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2007 5:19:44 AM

teh_boxzor said:
my psu is 520Watt on 34 Ampere single rail config

it should handle it right?


if not i can get the thermaltake 5.25 inch PSU and shove it in my system to power just the card

Not a problem. I think I read somewhere that the x1950pro only needs something like 26-28A max on the 12V rail. So I'm assuming you would be fine. Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong.
a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2007 5:21:12 AM

teh_boxzor said:
thanks for the help.

no im not going to Crossfire an ATi Card with a nvidia chipset.

i know better than that. haha.

i was just wondering since the chispet is an nvidia chipset that was made specifically to SLi Nvidia cards i thought it wouldn't take even 1 Ati card.

Nope. You can use whatever PCI-e card in that mobo. It's only when you want to SLI them is where you'll have a problem (as you noted earlier).
September 5, 2007 5:57:47 AM

just finished the demo a few minutes ago (game was kinda creepy near the beginning, but still fun). XP pro x64 sp2, X2 3800+, 2GB PC3200, 7800GT (all at stock speeds), @ 1024x768 res, other ingame settings on high (they were all the default settings and res for the game), and manual driver settings as well (8x AF, gamma correction on, multisampling on, threaded opti on, AA and verticle sync controlled by app, etc). gameplay was around 20-25 FPS it seemed, so it was definetly playable either way, no stuttering that i noticed. if you want perfectly smooth fps though with a similar gpu (such as the ones that were being recommended), you may need to turn a couple settings down some below max.
September 5, 2007 7:28:34 AM

20-25 fps and it was smooth?!? =) lol

with 200$ i think u can get a 1950xt 256mb .. wich is a pretty damn good card. I played STALKER 16x12 with all maxed with it.... wasnt perfect smoothness but it was definately playable... after i switched it with 8800gts 640.. to be honest i didnt see much improvement :(  if u can believe that...
September 5, 2007 7:34:16 AM

slickku said:
20-25 fps and it was smooth?!? =) lol


lol, well, it was definetly playable overall, there were only a few places where it could actually be considered smooth though (40+ fps or so im guessing, given what the settings were). with fraps i could probably give more accurate numbers.

edit: well, i was fairly close anyhow... fps hovered around a high of 30 fps on average, but rarely above that, and dipped to 19-20 on occasion in more demanding areas, capped at 60 fps max in non demanding areas, due to vertical sync (verticle sync tends to reduce performance some when enabled, so either way). yeah... with driver options disabled, fps is around 30-40 on average, so smoothness is there, but you sacrifice additional visual driver settings to get that consistantly.
September 5, 2007 9:52:11 AM

7800gt is just playable @1024 x768 with high settings
September 5, 2007 10:13:46 AM

i play the full version it with a gainward glh 7800 gs agp(570-1500) a 3700+amd @ stock windows xp 32 an a nforce 3 ecs motherboard muskin level one pc3500 @221 mhz ..all setting were on high after install and i dit not need to change them..lovely graphics but do not my frame rate..see y and good luck
September 5, 2007 10:16:13 AM

sorry forgot mention:monitor samsung 940 bf 2ms @ 1280-1024!
September 5, 2007 12:07:31 PM

lunyone said:
Here's a link for video card comparison between 8600gts and x1950pro. You will have to decide which works for you.
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...


those are old drivers.
They use drivers from 6 months ago and run a vga chart. They need to update their charts so people don't get the wrong idea.


Hardware
Processor: Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, 2.93 GHz
Motherboard: Intel 975X - Intel D975XBX2
Memory: Vitesta DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 533 MHz
Graphics Card: PCI Express Card
Hard Disk: 2 x Hitachi 120 GByte SATA, Cache 8 MByte
Network: Intel 1000 Pro
Audio: Intel High Definition Audio
Software
OS: Windows XP, Build 2600 SP2
DirectX: Version: 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Chipset Driver: Intel 8.1.1.1010
Graphics Driver ATI Catalyst 7.1 / Nvidia Forceware 93.71 / Geforce 8 Nvidia Forceware 97.92
Network Driver: Windows default
Audio Driver:
Other Driver: none

We are up to 163.44 drivers. ATI is 7.8?



modern drivers and recent tests


http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/video/g84-3-page4.h...

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8600...
September 5, 2007 12:36:12 PM

I have the x1950 pro on AGP and I play bioshock at 1024x768 as thats my normal res. At that res i max out the in game settings and its flawless...no jitter or any such thing. Runs nice and smooth. The lowest my fps has got was about 35 but its usually in the 50-70 range going upto over 100fps at places. If you get the XT it will be ever better. so your call.
September 5, 2007 12:36:13 PM

I got Bioshock up and running on my ZX speccy! Only works on low res though - (1.5" pocket Casio TV..) Ahem.. Anyone seen the man with the cold beer yet?? Cheers!
a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2007 12:42:32 PM

blade85 said:
I have the x1950 pro on AGP and I play bioshock at 1024x768 as thats my normal res. At that res i max out the in game settings and its flawless...no jitter or any such thing. Runs nice and smooth. The lowest my fps has got was about 35 but its usually in the 50-70 range going upto over 100fps at places. If you get the XT it will be ever better. so your call.

What's the rest of your specs? My son's computer is needing upgrade on the GPU to streach the build another year or so. He's got a P4 3.2g Prescott, 2gig's DDR 3200, 9600xt (was 9800pro until it crashed :(  ), Asus P4p800se, 450w PSU with 28A on 12V rails :) .
September 5, 2007 12:47:10 PM

bioshock loves dual core processors. You will get low base frame rate if you have single core cpu
a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2007 1:14:46 PM

marvelous211 said:
bioshock loves dual core processors. You will get low base frame rate if you have single core cpu

How's your FPS on your GTS that you have?
September 5, 2007 2:24:10 PM

lunyone said:
How's your FPS on your GTS that you have?


I have mine overclocked what you see in my sig. I get away with 1440x900 everything on high. It does get slow at times but playable. My lowest frame rate is 25fps and average around mid 40fps.
September 5, 2007 3:01:43 PM

lunyone said:
What's the rest of your specs? My son's computer is needing upgrade on the GPU to streach the build another year or so. He's got a P4 3.2g Prescott, 2gig's DDR 3200, 9600xt (was 9800pro until it crashed :(  ), Asus P4p800se, 450w PSU with 28A on 12V rails :) .


if you clicked on the little computer sign ontop of my post it would tell you :p  hehe

but just for you:

asrock 775 dual vsta mobo
E6600 @ stock
2gb ram
250Gb HDD
x1950pro 512MB (AGP)
380 watt Tagan PSU

need any other info?

a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2007 3:05:10 PM

blade85 said:
if you clicked on the little computer sign ontop of my post it would tell you :p  hehe

but just for you:

asrock 775 dual vsta mobo
E6600 @ stock
2gb ram
250Gb HDD
x1950pro 512MB (AGP)
380 watt Tagan PSU

need any other info?

Sorry, still trying to get used to the newer format :) . I'll pick up on it better now, thanks for the info :) 
September 5, 2007 3:08:01 PM

no worries....oh and im still using windows XP forgot to put that in.
September 5, 2007 3:12:11 PM

Depending on how often you want to upgrade, a 2600xt or 8600gt might be a good choice. For those, settings you sould be able to run the game fine. Also, you could save some cash and be able to buy a better card in ~ 1 year when those cards are out of date at that resolution.
September 5, 2007 3:22:07 PM

X1950 PRO would be the best Bioshockbang for the buck.

Actually, a sub-$200 X1950 XT would be even better, if you can still find 'em...
September 5, 2007 4:38:09 PM

I agree. 1950PRO 512mb is just fine for Bioshock. Single core cpu and 1 gig mem. too. VERY playable @1280x960!
All settings defaulted to MAX. 1950XT 512mb would ROCK this game inside out!!! I'd even venture to guess that 256mb cards would do pretty well. As for the MIN. req. video card... X1800 series on up, Geforce 7800 series on up for playability at 1200x? resolutions. For higher resolutions I'd recommend 1950XT or 7800GTX level cards.
All with in 200$ (+/-).
September 5, 2007 4:44:32 PM

lunyone said:
WOW!!! Last time I checked the 8600gts's were over $200. Now I can get one for $140 shipped after $20 MIR.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


you can do cheaper. go for evga with life time warranty.


EVGA OC 8600gts 130.99 before ship AR
http://promotions.newegg.com/PayPal/OCT_paypal/index.ht...


Link to Product: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...




Coupon Code = PPAL808VGA01


Original price = 179.99
Instant rebate = 9.00
MIR = 15.00
Promo Code (Paypal) = 25.00 (Instant)
--------------------------
Final cost = 130.99 (+5.86 S/H)
September 5, 2007 5:58:27 PM

it plays fine on my x1950 pro 256mb at 1024X768 on my 19crt
amd 4200x2, 1gig ram

dont know the exact fps but it hasnt stutterd yet with all max setting
September 5, 2007 7:44:09 PM

It runs fine on an 8600GTS on max settings, both windowed and fullscreen modes. 1280x720 and 1280x768. Had to download nVidia's beta drivers. Framerate rarely drops below 30. And when it does I'm talking about very slight stutters that last no longer than a quarter-second. (These kinds of stutters are commonplace on consoles. I'm not sure if anyone notices them.)

btw with a Q6600, cpu usage for this game NEVER goes above 30%, and rarely goes above 15%. I feel cheated. From that, I would guess that this game would run just perfectly with a $100 AMD 4600 cpu, a $60 AMD mobo, 1GB of ram, and a $130 gpu (1950 pro or 8600gts etc).
September 5, 2007 8:45:07 PM

lunyone said:
WOW!!! Last time I checked the 8600gts's were over $200. Now I can get one for $140 shipped after $20 MIR.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



It's strange the Best Buy's and Fry's over here had the 8600 GTS less expensive than the 2600 XT.

You would need 8800 GTS to have an enjoyable experience for Bioshock for DX10 at 1280x1024.

The game is practically unplayable for the X1950 PRO @ 1600x1200 max settings.
a b U Graphics card
September 5, 2007 10:07:45 PM

marvelous211 said:
you can do cheaper. go for evga with life time warranty.


EVGA OC 8600gts 130.99 before ship AR
http://promotions.newegg.com/PayPal/OCT_paypal/index.ht...


Link to Product: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...




Coupon Code = PPAL808VGA01


Original price = 179.99
Instant rebate = 9.00
MIR = 15.00
Promo Code (Paypal) = 25.00 (Instant)
--------------------------
Final cost = 130.99 (+5.86 S/H)

Where do you find the promo codes.
September 5, 2007 11:11:19 PM

Cleeve, I need your help in deciding between 2 video cards.

Any is help is appreciated- thanks!

cleeve said:
X1950 PRO would be the best Bioshockbang for the buck.

Actually, a sub-$200 X1950 XT would be even better, if you can still find 'em...

September 5, 2007 11:14:53 PM

_____A-L-E-X_____ said:
Would the 7950GT be closer to the 7900GS or the x1950pro? One thing to remember is the 7900gs is much more overclocker than the other two cards.


I think 7950gt go neck and neck with 1950 pro with modern games and faster in older ones.

Although 7900gs might be a good overclocker you need to clock it 660mhz to even match a 7950gt from 450mhz. Most 7900gs don't do this kind of speed unless you get the more expensive ones that has a stock clock of 600mhz.
September 5, 2007 11:24:02 PM

_____A-L-E-X_____ said:
Cleeve, I need your help in deciding between 2 video cards.

Any is help is appreciated- thanks!


Try to find 1950xt. But they're more close to $200 and is getting harder to find. They are much better than any geforce 7 series because it has 48 pixel shaders while geforce 7 has only 16. Those pixel shaders are really showing its power in modern games while geforce 7 series are getting creamed from oblivion, lost planet to bioshock.

For something cheap. you can go either 8600gts or 1950pro. 1950pro is little faster for this particular game but nothing major.

If you want to do max detail with 20-22" monitor you should go with 8800gts or faster.
September 6, 2007 12:15:50 AM

Thanks for your help, Marv! I have 2 LCDs in dual display mode, but I'll be gaming on only one of them @ 1280 x 1024.

marvelous211 said:
Try to find 1950xt. But they're more close to $200 and is getting harder to find. They are much better than any geforce 7 series because it has 48 pixel shaders while geforce 7 has only 16. Those pixel shaders are really showing its power in modern games while geforce 7 series are getting creamed from oblivion, lost planet to bioshock.

For something cheap. you can go either 8600gts or 1950pro. 1950pro is little faster for this particular game but nothing major.

If you want to do max detail with 20-22" monitor you should go with 8800gts or faster.

September 6, 2007 2:54:48 AM

Check this out. This should be what you need ..

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681

13 pages of benchmarks showing that GPU is whats important in this game and not really your CPU. I recently bought ASUS 8800 GTS 640Mb still playing on single core amd 4000+ so hopefully i will get around 70 FPS on my 1024x768 old crt after i start playing that game :p 
That would be great if all new games were only GPU dependant :D  Then no need for 8 cores ..
September 6, 2007 7:01:33 AM

Well, from that it seems NO card below a x1950xt is ok for playing bioshock at anything but low quality and 1280 x 1024, and anything below high quality KILLS this game:

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681&p=2

Above is the lowest quality in game settings that we tested with, using the lowest tested resolution. This being the case it was very concerning to find that the Radeon HD 2600 Pro for example, managed just 24fps while the GeForce 8600 GT was slightly more impressive rendering an average of 37fps. I have found for perfectly smooth game play around 50fps on average is required, while the game will play well most of the time with an average frame rate of 40fps. That being the case, the GeForce 8600 GTS was the slowest graphics card we would recommend for playing Bioshock.

Surprisingly the GeForce 7900 GT was not a great deal faster and in some cases really was no faster than the GeForce 8600 GTS. The Radeon X1950 Pro delivered similar performance to the GeForce 7900 GT and 8600 GTS though it was significantly faster when paired with the AMD Athlon64 X2 processors, which we found quite odd. The same applied for the Radeon X1950XT which was actually quite impressive in this test, rendering an average of 60fps

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681&p=5


Well, with the medium quality setting in affect we find that the Radeon X1950 Pro and anything slower at 1280x1024 is really too slow. The Radeon X1950XT did well, delivering playable performance at this resolution. The GeForce 8800 GTS was again even more impressive, spitting out 66fps while the Radeon HD 2900XT and GeForce 8800 GTX managed even more!

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681&p=8

Now with the high quality settings enabled the GeForce 8800 GTS regains a little performance due to the reduction in resolution. Amazingly at 1280x1024 the Radeon X1950XT is able to offer playable performance, while anything slower was just too choppy to worry about. Given we are now using the high quality visual settings it is impressive to find the Radeon HD 2900XT still rendering an average of 68fps, while the GeForce 8800 GTX cranked out around 76fps.

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681&p=1

A lot of the Bioshock wow factor really comes from the lighting and water effects in the game and this next screen shot is a perfect example of this. The high quality screen shot looks great, showing water flooding in from both sides of the door, distorting the textures behind the water. As the water spray hits the few inches of water already flooding the room we see an amazing disturbed water effect.

Going to the medium quality settings really kills this effect and we see far less water gushing through the door. The few inches of water in the room looks far less impressive and much of the lighting that we saw when using the high quality settings is now gone. Then finally the low quality settings remove even more lights, texture quality has now been seriously reduced and the water is only flooding in from the right hand side of the door.

piagio said:
Check this out. This should be what you need ..

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681

13 pages of benchmarks showing that GPU is whats important in this game and not really your CPU. I recently bought ASUS 8800 GTS 640Mb still playing on single core amd 4000+ so hopefully i will get around 70 FPS on my 1024x768 old crt after i start playing that game :p 
That would be great if all new games were only GPU dependant :D  Then no need for 8 cores ..
September 6, 2007 7:17:20 AM

Update: Since they used a 256mb version of the x1950pro for these tests and it beats the 512mb version of the 7900GT they used... Im thinking VRAM is not that important for this game. By the same token, the fps are so close to playable at medium (35fps) and 1280 x 1024 with the 256mb x1950pro, I cant help but think that a 512mb x1950pro might push it over the edge into the playable realm. Although, the visual quality seems to see a drastic drop between high and medium, much more so than between medium and low. Perhaps thats why the fps droppage between medium and low is pretty insignificant (35fps vs 30fps) with the 256mb x1950pro.

_____A-L-E-X_____ said:
Well, from that it seems NO card below a x1950xt is ok for playing bioshock at anything but low quality and 1280 x 1024, and anything below high quality KILLS this game:

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681&p=2

Above is the lowest quality in game settings that we tested with, using the lowest tested resolution. This being the case it was very concerning to find that the Radeon HD 2600 Pro for example, managed just 24fps while the GeForce 8600 GT was slightly more impressive rendering an average of 37fps. I have found for perfectly smooth game play around 50fps on average is required, while the game will play well most of the time with an average frame rate of 40fps. That being the case, the GeForce 8600 GTS was the slowest graphics card we would recommend for playing Bioshock.

Surprisingly the GeForce 7900 GT was not a great deal faster and in some cases really was no faster than the GeForce 8600 GTS. The Radeon X1950 Pro delivered similar performance to the GeForce 7900 GT and 8600 GTS though it was significantly faster when paired with the AMD Athlon64 X2 processors, which we found quite odd. The same applied for the Radeon X1950XT which was actually quite impressive in this test, rendering an average of 60fps

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681&p=5


Well, with the medium quality setting in affect we find that the Radeon X1950 Pro and anything slower at 1280x1024 is really too slow. The Radeon X1950XT did well, delivering playable performance at this resolution. The GeForce 8800 GTS was again even more impressive, spitting out 66fps while the Radeon HD 2900XT and GeForce 8800 GTX managed even more!

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681&p=8

Now with the high quality settings enabled the GeForce 8800 GTS regains a little performance due to the reduction in resolution. Amazingly at 1280x1024 the Radeon X1950XT is able to offer playable performance, while anything slower was just too choppy to worry about. Given we are now using the high quality visual settings it is impressive to find the Radeon HD 2900XT still rendering an average of 68fps, while the GeForce 8800 GTX cranked out around 76fps.

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=681&p=1

A lot of the Bioshock wow factor really comes from the lighting and water effects in the game and this next screen shot is a perfect example of this. The high quality screen shot looks great, showing water flooding in from both sides of the door, distorting the textures behind the water. As the water spray hits the few inches of water already flooding the room we see an amazing disturbed water effect.

Going to the medium quality settings really kills this effect and we see far less water gushing through the door. The few inches of water in the room looks far less impressive and much of the lighting that we saw when using the high quality settings is now gone. Then finally the low quality settings remove even more lights, texture quality has now been seriously reduced and the water is only flooding in from the right hand side of the door.
September 6, 2007 8:43:18 AM

well....i can tell you for a fact that at 1280x1024 the 512MB x1950pro works just fine with 0 lag on default HIGH settings in game. BUT, this may be because i also have a E6600 cpu.
!