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Need help choosing a video card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 27, 2008 8:44:34 PM

I finally decided to build a new PC and I need some help picking out a good video card. I want a card that can run FPS games (like cod4, bioshock, ut3, etc.) at medium settings and average about 40-50 frames/sec. Also, I would like to keep the price under $100.

I found a GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express for $70 after rebate. Would this card satisfy my needs? I've read that it can be overclocked manually to give it near 8600GTS performance.

The other card I was looking at is a Radeon X1950 PRO 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express for about $135 after rebates. Its a little bit more than I want to spend and I'm not sure how much extra it'll give me for the money.

These are pretty much the two cards I've been looking at...please feel free to make any other suggestions. I still pretty ignorant when it comes to graphics cards, so if anyone could help me out it would be great.

Thanks

More about : choosing video card

February 27, 2008 8:52:45 PM

The 8600 is not a "bad" card due to the price. Its a better card imo then the x1950. The real question is what display are you using? What is the native resolution you are running? Please list your system specs in total because building a computer is like a big puzzle. If just one of the peaces is not the right shape the entire system will be flakey.
February 27, 2008 9:26:49 PM

Sorry, forgot about that...

The PC im gonna build is

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L
Intel e2180 (gonna try to overclock this over 3GHz)
2GB DDR2-800
Antec 500W EarthWatts
Monitor - my old Dell LCD that runs at 1280x1024 (I'll probably upgrade this eventually but not right now)


The 8600GT looks like a good deal for the price, but it seems like I only ever read bad things about it.
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February 27, 2008 11:39:19 PM

At that resolution and at mid settings it will be fine, just don't expect much beyond that. $100 just doesn't buy much in the way of graphics performance nowadays.

If I had to recommend one, it would be this:

MSI NX8600GT-T2D512E OC GeForce 8600GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 $119.99 ($20 rebate brings it to $99.99)
February 27, 2008 11:54:25 PM

Try going for this ($130 After rebates or $150 if no rebates) it is a SERIOUS step up from those cards that you mentioned (This card is about on par if not a little better/worse than the HD 3850 I believe (Which in turn is even faster than the old X1950XTX). Truly an amazing deal for $150, but at $130 it's just even sweeter!

XFX PVT88SFDF4 GeForce 8800GS 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

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

On a side note... it's really unbelievable the kind of performance jump you can buy for only $30-50 more over the 8600GT(S).
a b U Graphics card
February 28, 2008 2:07:38 AM

^ I was going to post the same thing emp. Not under $100, but as soon as he mentioned the $135 X1950 pro, I knew this was his card. 8600GT or HD2600XT would probably serve his needs, but like you said look what the extra $50 gets ya. I ordered that 8800GS yesterday.
February 28, 2008 2:12:27 AM

Yep, I really hope this price war keeps going on the real next gen (G100? and R700), so when I get my next PC on 2009 everything will be cheaper than what I expect. Don't really care all that much about the current offerings since my GTS 320 is still giving me all the love I need.
February 28, 2008 2:13:39 AM

pauldh said:
I ordered that 8800GS yesterday.

For what system? Just curious, if you don't mind me asking.
a b U Graphics card
February 28, 2008 2:44:20 AM

Actually none in particular I'm just basically always shopping for what I see as a very good deal price/performance wise. I build a couple systems a month anyway and expect to not hang onto this card for long at this price (fits many peoples budget). But I hope to get a chance to test it in a X2 4200+ system against a 8800GTS 320MB, HD3850 256MB, and X1950XT 256MB.

BTW, you sound like my wife. :) 
February 28, 2008 11:56:11 AM

Thanks for everyones help...I think I'm gonna go with the 8800GS
a c 147 U Graphics card
February 28, 2008 1:22:56 PM

I agree with the 8800GS, it is infinitly better than the 8600GT. Sell some Blood Plasma if you have to, haha. I feel you will be disappointed with the 8600GT with those games. The 8800GS at 1280x1024 should be perfectly fine.

btw, you want COD4 to be cranked up a little to make it look good. Trust me.
February 28, 2008 5:31:21 PM

Hold the phone! That 8800GS is a nice deal. One problem. You are building a brand new system here. That graphics card is not dx10.1 compatable. DX10.1 is the next update for dx10. You will forever be stuck with bad dx10 performance. I would highly recomend the 3850 or the 3870 over that card as both will gain great improvements as all future dx10.1+++ updates will be compatable. FYI there is no dx10.1 solution from Nvidia atm and all 9 series cards are still dx10.0. This might not matter much depending on what OS you plan on using but if you ever go dx10 on your system by this time next year there is a very good chance your 8800gs will not cut it.
a c 147 U Graphics card
February 28, 2008 7:25:44 PM

jerseygamer said:
Hold the phone! That 8800GS is a nice deal. One problem. You are building a brand new system here. That graphics card is not dx10.1 compatable. DX10.1 is the next update for dx10. You will forever be stuck with bad dx10 performance. I would highly recomend the 3850 or the 3870 over that card as both will gain great improvements as all future dx10.1+++ updates will be compatable. FYI there is no dx10.1 solution from Nvidia atm and all 9 series cards are still dx10.0. This might not matter much depending on what OS you plan on using but if you ever go dx10 on your system by this time next year there is a very good chance your 8800gs will not cut it.

Oh boy... Here we go.

OP do not listen to the 10.1 stuff. Currently most games do not even take advantage of DX10 let alone 10.1 (no game is even supporting it that I know of). With this card regardless I would be leary of turning on DX10 because it takes alot of graphical power to run in this mode. You are most likely going to run DX10 games in DX9 anyways until it is really mainstream. DX10.1 is just a standard anyways, many of the components are covered with DX10 cards anyways. Don't worry it is a GREAT deal, don't listen to ATI fanboys. I don't lean either way, my previous card was ATI and loved it. I just go for the facts and best deal.
a b U Graphics card
February 28, 2008 9:22:56 PM

crush3r said:
Thanks for everyones help...I think I'm gonna go with the 8800GS

Good choice. Mine was at my door 40 hours after I clicked submit order. That's one nice thing about having a warehouse an hour away.

!