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looking to buy a video card, need recommendations

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 13, 2008 6:48:07 AM

i bought a mobo -- Asus P5K-SE mobo --without realizing it didn't have an integrated video card until it was too late. i know, i know ... how could i not realize it ... yea i'm still asking myself that. anyhow, this means i need to buy one and i don't really know too much about video cards and there are so many to choose from. there are two separate computers i might use the mobo for...

#1:
antec 900 case
pc power & cooling 470W psu
asus p5k-se mobo
intel q6600 cpu (planning to OC to at least 3.0)
xms2 ddr2 4gb 1066 ram
seagate barracuda 500 gb 7200 sata

this computer will be used mainly for watching videos with minimal gaming (like the Sims), along with normal web surfing and whatnot.

or

#2:
antec 180b case
pc power & cooling 410W psu
asus p5k-se mobo
intel e6420 cpu
xms2 ddr2 2gb 1066 ram
seagate barracuda 500 gb 7200 sata

this computer is used for the normal web surfing, watching videos, etc.

i'm actually looking for nvidia video cards, bc i've had really bad experience with ATIs. so any recommendations would be appreciated.




a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2008 6:58:42 AM

First, you don't need a 3Ghz quad for The Sims or web browsing. Second, I run a lowly 7300LE and it runs even Photoshop CS2 and The Sims 2 without any issues. If anything, get a 8400GS or at most, the 8500GT.
a c 130 U Graphics card
May 13, 2008 6:59:19 AM

myryo said:
i bought a mobo -- Asus P5K-SE mobo --without realizing it didn't have an integrated video card until it was too late. i know, i know ... how could i not realize it ... yea i'm still asking myself that. anyhow, this means i need to buy one and i don't really know too much about video cards and there are so many to choose from. there are two separate computers i might use the mobo for...

#1:
antec 900 case
pc power & cooling 470W psu
asus p5k-se mobo
intel q6600 cpu (planning to OC to at least 3.0)
xms2 ddr2 4gb 1066 ram
seagate barracuda 500 gb 7200 sata

this computer will be used mainly for watching videos with minimal gaming (like the Sims), along with normal web surfing and whatnot.

or

#2:
antec 180b case
pc power & cooling 410W psu
asus p5k-se mobo
intel e6420 cpu
xms2 ddr2 2gb 1066 ram
seagate barracuda 500 gb 7200 sata

this computer is used for the normal web surfing, watching videos, etc.

i'm actually looking for nvidia video cards, bc i've had really bad experience with ATIs. so any recommendations would be appreciated.


So no gaming at all ? What size/resolution screen do you have.
Something that does stand out to me is the power supplies. I have noticed that there were a few cases about at the moment that are coming with these supplies bundled in. Personally i would want some thing from Corsair or seasonic to name a couple with a 80% power efficiancy and about 30Amps on the 12 Volt rail.
Mactronix
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May 13, 2008 7:07:38 AM

i know 3ghz is excessive for just playing the sims. i'm not building a computer for gaming, bc i obviously don't game often. but i do alot of video converting and cropping etc. and i just wanted to build a fast computer. i didn't intend on buying a video card, bc i'm sure an integrated video card would've sufficed for my needs ... but it's too late to return the mobo.

anyhow my screen for computer #1 is 1440x900 and on computer #2 is 1680 x 1050.

and about my psu. you think it's not enough? any recommendations on an upgrade?
a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2008 7:10:41 AM

<runs an Asus P5LD2, an e2200, 2 DVD+RW's, 2 IDE HDD's, a sound card, 7300Le, and three fans on a 400W without any issues.

On a Quad, it wouldn't hurt to go higher.
a c 363 U Graphics card
a b Ĉ ASUS
May 13, 2008 10:04:51 AM

For what you want to do a Quad is a waste. Unless you have a specific need for a Quad or you wanna brag to your friend. A Quad isn't even necessary to play a simple game like the Sims 2.


I got a Quad, but I got it to encode video. Why? Using DivX 6.7 to encode a movie the results are as follows:

1. My E6600 @ 3.0 GHz on average based on the settings, it can encode a movie at about 45 - 50 frames per second.

2. Using the same settings on my Q9450 @ stock speed (2.66GHz) the average encoding speed jumps to about 100 - 110 FPS.

-------------------------

As for playing games, okay I can see a tiny bump in performance in general, but is so low it doesn't make any difference. I will make even less difference with a weak video card.

Speaking of the video card, get an nVidia 8600GT. It will be more than capable of playing the Sims 2 and Sims 3 (if it gets produced). I would get the GIGABYTE GV-NX86T256H GeForce 8600GT 256MB since it is inexpensive ($50 after a $30 mail-in rebate) and it is also passively cooled so you won't hear any annoying fans.

GIGABYTE GV-NX86T256H GeForce 8600GT 256MB

--------------------------

The power supplies you selected are fine. If they are the Silencer series, then they are made by Seasonic (I generally recommend their PSUs). You will have plenty of power left on tap since you are not a gamer and don't intend on dropping in a high end video card which consumes 100w+ of power.

The video card I recommended consumes even less power than the 8600GTS which consumes 47w of power under full load at stock speed.
a c 130 U Graphics card
May 13, 2008 3:30:29 PM

myryo said:
i know 3ghz is excessive for just playing the sims. i'm not building a computer for gaming, bc i obviously don't game often. but i do alot of video converting and cropping etc. and i just wanted to build a fast computer. i didn't intend on buying a video card, bc i'm sure an integrated video card would've sufficed for my needs ... but it's too late to return the mobo.

anyhow my screen for computer #1 is 1440x900 and on computer #2 is 1680 x 1050.

and about my psu. you think it's not enough? any recommendations on an upgrade?


You will be fine as long as you are sure you wont want to put a beefy card in at a later date, I get why you want a good processsor and its the same thing with the PSU, if you want options available for upgrades later then i would get a better one like i said.
However if you are sure that its only going to be used for the things you said then what jaguarskx has sugested is the way to go. Just base it on a price point. If you can get a 8600GT/GTS for a similar price then get the GTS.
Mactronix
May 13, 2008 3:51:58 PM

ATI HD 2600XT or HD 3650, or nVidia 8500GT, 8600GT or 8600GTS. All will be plenty for your needs, base your decision on price/availability alone.
a c 147 U Graphics card
May 13, 2008 4:11:07 PM

1ST.. I vote system #2. System #1 will just be a waste of electricity. Quads are pointless unless you specifically know what you are doing is going to utilize it. It's like buying a Lamborghini when you are 70 and all you are going to do is drive 35mph and get groceries and prescriptions. It's a waste of power and resources, not to mention money.

Anyways. a e6420 is a completely capable system even for moderate gaming rig. A PCP&C 410w PSU is completely enough for anything you will need it for.

As far as video, you say you will need 1680x1050 res. I'd say you want something just a little more than a 8600 256MB card. Not saying the sims is very taxing at all, but you still want a good experience. You can probably get away with a 8600GT 256MB, but anything higher than that you may as well just get the 8800GS. I know you meantioned you did not like ATI but the HD3650 is a good deal.

!