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Card for occassional gaming @ 25x16 (or 19x12)

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  • Gaming
  • Dell
  • Performance
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 2, 2007 11:32:30 AM

I'm considering experimenting with gaming on my rig (specs below), heck, why not? I have a 30" Dell 3007WFP-HC and I'm interesting in a card that would offer enjoyable performance @ 2500x1600 (I can settle for 1900x1200) for, say, Lost Planet, BioShock. I bought a 8600GT when I got the Dell monitor 2 weeks ago, but realize that its not a gaming card (at least not at the resolutions I'm considering), so I'll give it to my 8-year old for her rig.

I'm not married to nVidia or ATI, though I typically have used nVidia. Would a 2900Pro with 1GB DDR4 give me passable performance or is there something more that I need to look at (2900XT), I don't want to spend more than $400, including shipping. I thought the 1GB RAM might help for the 25x16

************
Specs:
E6850 @ 3.33
8GB Corsair XMS2 @ 5-5-5-15
Samsung 214T 21"
Dell 3007wFP-HC 30"
2xWD800 Raptors (RAID 0)
2xWD250 (RAID 0)
1xWD500
X-Fi Fata1ity Pro
Vista64
************

I don't want to waste anyone's time, if someone can give me advice OR a link to a thread that discusses this, specifically, that'd be tremendously helpful. When it comes to PC gaming, I'm a noob.

Thanks for your time.

More about : card occassional gaming 25x16 19x12

a b U Graphics card
October 2, 2007 12:06:11 PM

OK, since youve always helped with anything soundworthy, Ill take a swipe at helping you. The 2900 pro should be fine, as its maybe the only card that meets the req price wise (unless you can find an xt for that price) The 8800gts 320 wont do it, the 640 would tho. So you have maybe 3 choices. Check the reviews for these cards with those games, youll find what you need/like. Make sure your psu can handle this upgrade, as these cards pull some juice, especially the xt
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 2, 2007 12:12:20 PM

I'd go for the 2900 pro 512mb, 2900 pro 1gig, or the 8800gts 640mb for the resolutions that your talking about. As jaydeejohn says, make sure your PSU is up to the task. I think the 2900 pro 1 gig might have the most promise, but haven't seen enough benchies to make the judgement yet.

Edit: forgot to add a link for the 2900 pro 512mb vs. 8800gts 320mb, just to give you an idea. Not everything your looking for, but it'll let you see what happens as the resolution goes up.
2900 pro 512mb vs. 8800gts 320mb benchmarks
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/1189/1/page_1_introduc...
October 2, 2007 12:55:27 PM

Sound advice above, so I'll back it up. The newly released 2900PRO looks to be the king in this price segment currently, so that's the best buy you can make. It will only set you back $280ish, so that will leave you a little spare to upgrade that PSU should you need to.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 2, 2007 2:20:36 PM

Xbit Labs did a recent review using the Dell 3007 and reviewing the 2900XT 512MB/1GB versions compared to the 8800s. While it didnt include the 2900Pro you already know the 2900Pro is just an underclocked XT (600Mhz vs 742Mhz). The XT reviews should give you a an idea what you can expect from the 2900Pro @ 2560x1600.
It also does a good job handling the 512MB vs 1GB question.
Xbit Labs Review 2900XT vs 8800s at 25x16

Bioshock 25x16 review @ FiringSquad
Lost Planet 25x16 review @ FiringSquad


October 2, 2007 4:05:14 PM

You guys are awesome. Thanks..this is why I love this forum. I'll take some time, marinate and read through the links you've provided and come back with any questions.

P.S. My PSU is a Thermaltake 700W modular unit. Could this be a cause for concern, I'm not considering X-Fire or SLi.

Thanks again

- Brad
October 2, 2007 4:43:18 PM

Your PSU should be fine. Also, My recommendation would be to go with the 1gb 2900pro. It seems to fit your price requirements and should outperform the 640mb GTS (from what I have heard).

You may also want to consider waiting until November when Nvidia (and I think ATI) will be releasing the new chips. However, then you may not be able to find a 2900pro as I hear they are in limited supply.
October 2, 2007 4:46:42 PM

Wait for a short amount of time for the RV670 to come out, really short amount of time its selling atm I believe at one odd place.

edit: re-read article.. very funny it was...
October 2, 2007 4:51:29 PM

Okay, okay, here I am back after reading the links. My impressions are that peformance wise I should get a 2900XT...as I can afford one according to NewEgg ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103036 )...but the 8800GTS w/640 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150215 ) is right there in price too and seem to do well in BioShock. It looks like I can kind of forget gaming @ 25x16 at my price point as I think I read that you really need at least 30fps for smooth play (don't forget, I'm a PC gaming Noob). Oh well, this was only for occasional gaming anyway.

2 things that are important for me.... Noise and Heat. Its seems the 2900XT loses here as does the 2900 Pro. Even the 8800 GTS performs lower in several tests it seems cooler and quieter. It looks like if I can live with 19x12 the 8800 may be the card for me to get...again, since noise and heat (meaning noise) are the issue. While I know I'm going to hear the card while gaming I don't want to be distracted by the noise or have to crank up the volume to drown the noise from the card's fan out...so the quieter card is pretty important to me.

Logical? ...or am I off base here?
October 2, 2007 5:02:35 PM

I have the 8800 gts 320mb edition......sound of any fan? Cant hear any. According to the charts on toms hardware, the framerate at 320mb and 640 on the 8800 gts is the same, but its likely there will be less stuttering in the 640mb version. Unless youre going SLI or Crossfire, which youre not, dont expect more than 40fps at max at that resolution, no card can do that. Ultra dosent count :) 
October 2, 2007 5:10:31 PM

Yeah? The reason why I'm anal about noise is that I also have an 7600 GT OC and even Vista's Aero would make it sound like a vacuum cleaner. I don't know how people could stand that card...so I modded it with a Zalman fan which took care of that. While I can use an aftermarket cooler (hmmmm...) I was hoping not to have to...but to get the noise levels where I want them I might have to be bothered with that.
October 2, 2007 5:26:56 PM

I actaully cant distinguish between the gfx card fan and the 4 other fans in there =/
October 2, 2007 6:26:19 PM

Guys, my goal was gaming @ 2500x1600. If I go with less than that I'll feel I cheated myself. It seems I need an 8800GTX for that. I'm going to grudgingly go for it. Thanks for all your advice. ...better get this card before I get married and its not an option. :-)

Cheers
October 2, 2007 6:28:10 PM

halcyon said:
Guys, my goal was gaming @ 2500x1600. If I go with less than that I'll feel I cheated myself. It seems I need an 8800GTX for that. I'm going to grudgingly go for it. Thanks for all your advice. ...better get this card before I get married and its not an option. :-)

Cheers


I suggest you wait until the next range of nVidia cards come out, im not sure a GTX will cut a resolution like that
October 2, 2007 6:30:20 PM

lol, enjoy it
October 2, 2007 6:56:29 PM

ShortRef said:
I suggest you wait until the next range of nVidia cards come out, im not sure a GTX will cut a resolution like that


Don't say that, the links WR2 posted seemed to show the GTX could do it. Doesn't have to be the very fastest, I just wanted it to be smooth enough so I could enjoy gameplay. It looks like Lost Planet may take a bit more than the GTX to achieve 30fps, but...but...man, I can't do JACK with this 8600GT, I've gotta get something...how long do I have to wait for nVidia's new toys...and I'm pushing it now @ $500+ (the fiance would lose her mind, if she knew....).

...anyways, I think I'd better go for it now while I don't need approval from The Committee.
October 2, 2007 11:13:09 PM

You're right about the GTX at that resolution, except that you said 'occasional gaming' and had a budget of $400.

If you've got the money though, go for it - you know you want to :) 
October 3, 2007 12:13:29 AM

I'm going to sleep on it and likely order the GTX or XT in the AM.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 3, 2007 12:39:47 AM

Good luck. Tough decision's to make.
October 3, 2007 9:19:05 AM

This is what I went with ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125049 ). I know its not the best but I should be able to try some games @ 25x16 and enjoy them @ 19x12 :??:  Thx for all the advice. I know there'll be audible noise from this card and good amount of heat (more noise) but if its unbearable I'll move the card to my Dell XPS600 (3.2Ghz Pent D)...which would of course...bottleneck the card.

I'm babbl'n. Thanks again for the advice. WR2, thanks for the Lost Planet & Bioshock benchmark links, I've looked at them over and over and over again. ...bought Lost Planet too.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 3, 2007 11:03:24 AM

You won't be disappointed with the GTX, you should be able to play at 25x16 without too much trouble.
October 3, 2007 12:43:28 PM

Absolutely. The worst thing is to spend $400 more and be disappointed with your purchase.

The GTX is top of the pile at the moment - you get better future-proofing for your money, so it will be longer before you have to go begging to her indoors for the cash.
October 3, 2007 1:06:28 PM

Yeahp. I also scaled the Dell 30" down to 19x12 and 16x12 and even though those aren't the native resolutions they still look pretty durned decent so I don't think I'll mind playing Lost Planet and Bioshock at them if I'm not satisfied with the performance @ 25x16. Now, if NewEgg will just ship that puppy today....
October 3, 2007 2:26:28 PM

The 8800GTX will run Bioshaock fairly well at 650/1050 clocks res 1920/1680. Now that is in XP SP2 under DX-9c. Vista running DX-10 is going to have a definite impact on performance.
a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 3, 2007 2:30:18 PM

halcyon said:
I also scaled the Dell 30" down to 19x12 and 16x12 and even though those aren't the native resolutions they still look pretty durned decent so I don't think I'll mind playing Lost Planet and Bioshock at them if I'm not satisfied with the performance @ 25x16.
One trick to get better performance is to play the 19x12 and 16x12/10 resolutions in a window on your 25x16 screen.
There is overhead to calculate which pixels to turn on/off when games are stretched to fullscreen.
I've seen games perform -worse- when scaled down to a lower non-native resolution & run full screen or when a 4:3 aspect game is stretched to a 16:10 screen.

I'm almost certain you'll get better Lost Planet performance than shown in that article I posted. It was a beta game benchmarked and games usually get performance tuning before being released. Also there's been an update that I think also improves performance. Driver updates can help performance too.

Check back in and give us your impressions after you've had a chance to wring out the new video card. Good luck.

October 3, 2007 3:44:52 PM

WR2 said:
One trick to get better performance is to play the 19x12 and 16x12/10 resolutions in a window on your 25x16 screen.
There is overhead to calculate which pixels to turn on/off when games are stretched to fullscreen.
I've seen games perform -worse- when scaled down to a lower non-native resolution & run full screen or when a 4:3 aspect game is stretched to a 16:10 screen.

I'm almost certain you'll get better Lost Planet performance than shown in that article I posted. It was a beta game benchmarked and games usually get performance tuning before being released. Also there's been an update that I think also improves performance. Driver updates can help performance too.

Check back in and give us your impressions after you've had a chance to wring out the new video card. Good luck.



Will do, will do. Thx again.
!