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X1950PRO vs. 8800GT for 1920x1200

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November 25, 2007 9:05:20 PM

Hey Everyone,

I need some advice before I finalize my upgrade. I'm looking for a solid video card, but I'm finding it hard to decide for price vs. performance. I'm going to be doing a lot of photoshop/web dev, so I bought a 24" monitor (love it!). But, I want to start playing some new games soon, as well, so I want to plan for that. I won't be a hardcore gamer, but I want to run the OrangeBox software smoothly at the highest resolution possible (within my budget). I'm on a bit of a tight budget (didn't want to pay $200), but I don't like upgrading a lot. I've narrowed it down to 2 (I hope), but I can't decide if the price difference tradeoff is worth it.

So, here are the cards I'm considering...(Also, what about the difference in brands???) :

  • x1950pro 256MB @ $135 (Sapphire)
  • x1950pro 512MB @ $170 (Powercolor -- has a $40 MIR, which would bring price to $130)
  • GeForce 8800GT @ $270 (?? Depends on when I can find it and where)


    I'm really serious about running smoothly at 1920x1200, but I don't know if that is reasonable for my price range right now. Will the 256MB vs 512MB make a big difference here, whether in gaming or in everyday use? Or should I really wait for the 8800GT (since it's gotten such great reviews) and just eat the extra cost? Again, I won't be doing hardcore gaming, but I really do want to get back into it. Oh, and FWIW, I don't plan on watching movies on it.

    I'm planning on putting it in this setup:

  • Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R
  • Core 2 Duo E6750
  • Crucial Ballistix -- 6GB
  • PC P&C Silencer 610


    Any advice is GREATLY, GREATLY appreciated!!! :) 
    November 25, 2007 9:14:34 PM

    1) the 8800 is best out of those if you can take it.......the difference in brand is mainly support and warranty

    2) More video memory helps with larger screens

    3) whats with the 6 Gigs of RAM.....why do you need that much...are you getting Vista? (if not...XP only allows 2.5 ish)
    a c 1410 U Graphics card
    November 25, 2007 9:25:12 PM

    have you considered the hd 3850 and hd3870 both are better than x1950pro
    Related resources
    November 25, 2007 9:27:10 PM

    Silverion77 said:
    1) the 8800 is best out of those if you can take it.......the difference in brand is mainly support and warranty
    2) More video memory helps with larger screens
    3) whats with the 6 Gigs of RAM.....why do you need that much...are you getting Vista? (if not...XP only allows 2.5 ish)


    I'm planning on running Vista Business Edition, and I do a lot of Photoshop/Dreamweaver/etc. work. So, those type of apps combined with Vista warrants more ram.

    I guess I'm not completely sold on using Vista yet...I love XP, but I got Vista about 6 months ago at a store closing sale for a STEAL, so I've been itchin' to try it out. I'd be using the 64 bit version.

    Also, I'm stuck between prices of other components right now vs. the 8800GT. Maybe I give up 2GB of the RAM to go towards the 8800GT, but that still puts me about $75 out because of the great price on the ram right now. Not to mention I would have to wait to put everything together if I bought now. I dealt with this about 4 months ago when I was looking to upgrade, and the prices of the components vary so much that if I wait for the 8800GT, I may have to completely change what I'm buying to make it fit my budget. I'm shooting for below $850 overall, and right now (after shipping) I'm at $842 (added a Seagate HD), which is pretty good for the setup.


    So, considering what I said at the top, what do you think?


    Thanks for the help!!
    November 25, 2007 9:27:14 PM

    you can get a 8800GT from DELL for $210-235...seriously. free shipping also
    November 25, 2007 9:31:27 PM

    qmalik said:
    you can get a 8800GT from DELL for $210-235...seriously. free shipping also


    I browsed the Dell website, but couldn't find the 8800GT. Could you link, or PM me with the link??
    a b U Graphics card
    November 25, 2007 10:01:44 PM

    Quote:
    no, 32 bit os's only allow about 3.25 at most, 64 bit os's regardless of which one allow god damn loads.(i can't remember the exact number)

    Couple of billion gigs :lol: 
    November 25, 2007 10:20:02 PM

    Hi thephatp,

    I run a X1950 Pro (512Mb) under Windows XP 64 and it is a sweet card...

    But lets be honest it is for those on a budget and ATI have stinted on some of the vertex and texture units:
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/content/386/2

    The 8800GT with its unified model:
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/470/2/
    does get much better framerates

    Everyone is saying the 8800GT is a beast and good value so I would go with it if you can't afford a 768Mb 8800GTX (which is what I would get if didn't want to play newer games at 20 fps @1920x1200 ;-) )...

    I only play games at 1600x1200 and I suspect the performance of the X1950 Pro would start to die at true HD resolution!! It does play back Blue-Ray disks and HD x264 (p720) without much complaint/CPU load (and I only have dual Opteron 248's - vintage AMD!!).

    256Mb cards are a joke!! Just compare any GPU architecture with 256Mb/512Mb variants and the framerates always die at high resolutions for the 256Mb versions. For someone about to invest in 6Gbytes of system RAM I am sure you must appreciate the importance of GPU memory!! I don't even think PCIe 2.0/3.0 will make a difference to this as they may be very fast but the off-die latency is still a killer (it's like taking a rocket to the local shops - you've still got to start the engine!!)

    Bob





    November 25, 2007 11:10:26 PM

    Ok. Let's all be honest here. The 8800 GT is WAY ahead of the x1950pro. If you're getting such a good proc and that much RAM, another $100 for a video card that will probably double your FPS (and even more at 1920x1200) is a no-brainder. Put the extra $100 in there and enjoy all the latest games at playable framerates.
    November 26, 2007 8:52:29 PM

    forsayken said:
    Ok. Let's all be honest here. The 8800 GT is WAY ahead of the x1950pro. If you're getting such a good proc and that much RAM, another $100 for a video card that will probably double your FPS (and even more at 1920x1200) is a no-brainder. Put the extra $100 in there and enjoy all the latest games at playable framerates.


    True, but at $130 for the x1950pro vs. $270 (if I can actually find one that cheap) is $140 difference. It's only $80 if I give up 2GB of ram, but that still means I have to wait to buy everything else (I don't want to get everything but the video card and not know if something doesn't work). Since I won't be hitting the gaming really really soon, and everything else is so cheap right now, I may just go with the x1950pro and then upgrade later. I want to minimize upgrading, and the 8800GT would definitely get me that much, but at least the video card would be the only thing I'd have to upgrade at that point.

    However, I would like to know, will I be sorely disappointed in the x1950pro at a medium resolution in gaming?

    Thanks again!!!
    November 26, 2007 9:02:37 PM

    I'm running a 512mb x1950pro @ 1920*1080 and it handles everything I've thrown at it at that resolution - except for Crysis. My 1950 pro handles: Dark Messiah of MM, Bioshock, Medieval 2: Total War, STALKER, HL2, BF2142, Oblivion (with about 3Gb worth of mods) - however it wont deal with Crysis very well at all (although that may be my E2140), and I've yet to try stuff like Supreme Commander, COD4, Hellgate: London. Thats my experience. I'm not entirely certain that you care, but the point is: what games you looking at playing? Cause some will do it (or at least my experiences suggest they will) and others won't.

    Oh yea - go for the 512Mb versions. Higher resolutions = bigger textures, and you want some left over for AA.
    a b U Graphics card
    November 26, 2007 10:02:14 PM

    At anything above 1680x1050 (or 1600x1200) a 512mb card would be handy as mentioned above. It probably won't run COD4 all on max at that res, but turn off AA and drop the shadows a bit and it should run fine. Crysis it will run if all on low :lol: 

    "Smoothly" is a very subjective word, some people find 18fps smooth, others can't play under 40fps. It also depends somewhat on the game. FPS games generally require higher framerates, whereas games like Sup Com you can run lower framerates in general. There are a few games which actually base the game speed and time on framerate, like the command and conquer series, so you must get over 25fps (30fps is max due to a framerate lock) to run the game at a reasonable speed.
    November 27, 2007 12:47:59 AM

    3850 512mb version will be released soon.
    November 27, 2007 1:17:33 AM

    if you dont want to spend over $200 try to find a 3870 or even a 3850 if you can, as both will be better than the PRO by a longshot.
    a b U Graphics card
    November 27, 2007 1:18:46 AM

    Yea, if you can find a 3850 for a similar price to the x1950 pro, even better.
    November 27, 2007 1:22:15 AM

    well, having bought the orange box awhile ago, i can tell you that if you want to play Team Fortress 2 at its highest settings and at 1900x1200, then the 8800 GT is the card for you. it definitely has the fastest GPU out of the cards you listed and its 512mb should be plenty to run current games at that resolution.
    November 27, 2007 1:35:20 AM

    I'd get the HD3850. At $180 it's pretty much a solid choice.
    November 27, 2007 1:58:04 AM

    justinmcg67 said:
    I'd get the HD3850. At $180 it's pretty much a solid choice.


    the 3850 is a great card for the price, but it only includes 256mb of RAM. Since he is going to be playing at 1900x1200, 256mb just wont cut it. I mean, im running an 8800gts 320mb at 1600x1200, and when i play games like TF2, UT3 or Crysis I use every last bit of that onboard RAM, which sometimes causes the game to "lag" at certain points. so to the OP, if you were to go the AMD/ATI route, then i would definitely suggest the 3870 over the 3850.
    a b U Graphics card
    November 27, 2007 2:34:18 AM

    I think in your situation, you have 2 choices. The first one would be the 8800gt (when you can find one) and then the next choice is the 3870. Yes the 3850 would be better than the x1950pro, but not sure if the 256mb of GPU RAM is going to cut it at 19x12. Also you might want to consider going with a e6550 and save the $20 now and put that into the 3870 GPU. With 2gigs less and the cheaper CPU you would save ~$100. This $100 of available $ would put your budget for a GPU to ~$230, which should be enough to get the 3870 512mb version. If you want to wait for the 8800gt's to come back into stock and become more affordable than I would take that route, but that is up to you.

    P.S. If you want to have the e6750 speeds, than you could just do a slight OC to the e6550 and have the same performance for $20 less :)  Just a thought.
    a b U Graphics card
    November 27, 2007 3:34:35 AM

    jumpman said:
    the 3850 is a great card for the price, but it only includes 256mb of RAM. Since he is going to be playing at 1900x1200, 256mb just wont cut it. I mean, im running an 8800gts 320mb at 1600x1200, and when i play games like TF2, UT3 or Crysis I use every last bit of that onboard RAM, which sometimes causes the game to "lag" at certain points. so to the OP, if you were to go the AMD/ATI route, then i would definitely suggest the 3870 over the 3850.

    Yea but the 8800GTS 320mb is a weird card. Often a 256mb x1950 pro can play at higher resolutions than it can (though extremely slow, it can still run them).
    !