Video Card Choice Help!!

Hi, I am looking to replace my OLD and crapped out Nvidia Geforce 7950GT 512mb ddr3 with a new card.

What option would be a better choice for me as of right now and in the not too distant future?

duo core 2 3.0ghz (I will OC)(I have already)
Upgrade to 3gb pc6400ddr2
keep windows XP pro
upgrade to either a Geforce 9800gx2 or gtx 280
650 Watt PSU (only 9 months old)

duo core 2 3.0ghz (ditto from above)
upgrade to 4gb pc6400
upgrade to windows vista 64-bit home prem
upgrad to a gtx 260 SSC or ati 4870
650 watt PSU (ditto from above)

I am a gamer and I do some music stuff and Homework on my computer

which is good for present to not too distant future and I am trying to cut costs by not upgrading to vista 64-bit and 4gb if not really needed yet. What do you guys think, the option 1 has better video card and alittle less ram and no vista yet.

Thanks for your concerns
26 answers Last reply
More about video card choice help
  1. I would upgrade PSU if need be for high end video cards in choice #1
  2. I'm thinking my CPU/motherboard is good for now and IDK if I need 4gb of ram yet, I think 3gb of ram would be a good choice for now and Vista can wait because I'm just a gamer really and stuff. I would upgrade the PSU and video card to like top end though, but IDK tell me what you guys think
  3. What 650W PSU do you have?
    Also, what motherboard do you have.
    What is your budget?

    In either situation, it would be better to keep 4Gb of RAM so it will run in duel chanel mode.
  4. well I have 2gb x2 1gb and 1gb, I can get 2 512mb ddr2 pc6400 so it runs in dual channel
  5. I have an Antec 650Watt PSU and an EVGA Nforce 650i Ultra motherboard I don't SLI
  6. Basically I have a

    Duo Core 2 3.0ghz
    2gb pc6400 ddr2
    Evga Nforce 650i ultra motherboard
    old 7950gt 512mb ddr3 (I will upgrade no matter what)
    650 watt ANTEC PSU

    what should I get, I am a gamer and I will just be getting music and some other things on it but mostly gaming
  7. Since you have a SLI Mb, you really should use it.
    Two of These will outperform a GTX 280 for $240 after MIR's.
    It would offer you the best performance for your $$.

    As you can get a 2x 1Gb kit for maybe $10 more than a 2x 512Mb kit, I would recommend that as it will give you more room to grow. If you decide to go Vista 64 or Windows 7 64 in the future, it would be better to have the full amount over 3Gb. What you propose will work just fine also so it is all up to what you decide here.
  8. I don't it's NON-SLI
  9. Ahhh....
    Sorry I misread.

    In that case, the 9800GX2 will give you the highest level of performance in most games. The GTX 280 is neck to neck with it but in most games it will loose by a small amount.

    You may want to wait another month for the 4870x2 if you want maximum performance. It will walk over the GTX 280 and will be the fastest single card you can buy.

    If you must buy now, I would recommend the 9800GX2 as it can be had for less than the cheapest GTX 280 after it's rebate.

    Here is one for $399.99 with no rebates to worry about. Even has a factory overclock.
    Here is another one for $370 after $50 MIR.
    The cheapest GTX 280 you can get is This one for $420 after MIR.
  10. I would go with the GX2. BTW, theres almost no diffrence between 3 and 4 GB of ram and 32 bit systems, because you only get 4GB TOTAL (counting the Windows Page file and GPU RAM).
  11. You are on the right track.
    A 32bit Os is only able to address 4Gb of RAM total.
    This includes all system devices with onboard memory, GPU, Sound card, BIOS, ext.
    With a 1Gb video card, Xp will only be able to use a little less than 3Gb of system RAM.
    So far you are correct.
    The page file, however, dose not count towards the RAM cap.

    Where the extra 1Gb would come in handy is if he decided to get a 4870 or upgrade in the future to a x64 Os. With the 4870, he would have approx 3.5Gb available to Xp and with a 64 bit Os he would have the full amount.
  12. Id get the 4870. Its better than the G260, and the G280 is still overpriced in my opinion. You can do 3 Gigs of ram and still have dual channel, so thats feasible.
  13. I'd still just put 4 gigs in and be done with it. If you install a 1 gig video card, I would be turning to Vista 64 anyway. That way even with my 1 gig video card, I can still have 4 gig of main memory for apps and gaming.
    Personally, I'd get the 4870 AND 4 gig of memory AND Vista 64.
  14. if you have the money wait for the 4870X2 it will out preform every card up there.

    if you don't then gtx 260 or 4870 are great price preform ratio

    if you just want the most power out of the build i would go with a GX2 it trade wins with the GTX280 and you can normally find it for less but make sure it is less.

    hope this helps
  15. Ok So you guys are basically telling me to get Windows Vista 64-bit upgrade to 4gigs of system memory and get the 9800gx2?, I don't have a big display I don't need something if it's not needed, I have an Antec 650 Watt PSU do I need to upgrade that too?
  16. my budget is around 600-700 bucks max 800 for my total upgrade what do you guys think

    my specs as of right now
    E6850 Duo Core 2 3.0ghz
    2gb pc6400 800mhz
    windows xp pro
    geforce 7950gt 512 (broken Need good upgrade)
    antec 650 watt PSU
    nforce 650i ultra NON-sli motherboard

    I think I should upgrade ram to 4gigs, vista 64-bit and a good video card and i'll be good for awhule what u guys think?
  17. I think that would be a good plan.

    If you wanted to save some cash on Vista, get the Home Premium x64 edition. Most of us will never need the full Ultimate version. Cost $109.99 on newegg.

    Looks like your best option for RAM right now is This set for $19.49 after MIR! Damn is DDR2 cheap right now! Or, you could go for a 4Gb (2x 2Gb) kit starting from $56.99 after MIR, Here, and have a total of 6Gb with your 64 bit Os. This would be a little unnecessary now, I would get the <$20 kit.

    GPU is really your choice. I would recommend either the 9800GX2 Oc for $399.99. Until the 4870x2 comes out next month, it will give you the most power possible from a single PCIe slot. For ~$100 less, the 4870 is also an excellent choice. It performs very closely to the GTX 260, or about 25% slower than the GX2.
  18. Ok, my 650 Watt Antec PSU is ok for the 9800GX2? I don't need anything more then that video card thats like the best out now even like on level with the GTX 280 isn't it? My only concern is how big it is and the Power Supply.
  19. Yes, your Antec 650W will have enough power to run any current single card on the market. At least until the next generation comes out :pt1cable:
  20. idk my case has nice fans and I have an AC in my room but I see it gets really hot? Idk Should I just get tge GGTZ 260 FTW edition or the 9800gx2
  21. might get the gtx 280 idk thinking about it too
  22. I think I will get the EVGA GTX 280, Vista 64-bit Home Premium and have 4 gig pc6400 ddr2 ram so my pc specs will be.

    E6850 Duo Core 2 3.0 ghz
    EVGA Geforce GTX 280 SC
    4GB PC6400 ddr2 800mhz
    Windows Vista 64-bit Edition Home Premium
    Nforce 650i Ultra Motherboard NON-SLi
    Antec 650 Watt PSU
  23. idk thats kind of getting costly and I don't need a GTX 280, I dont have a big display or anything lower res and I just want to be able to play everything fluidly and very well with Vista 64-bit and 4gb pc6400 ram, maybe the GTX 260 SC edition? or 4870
  24. Whichever will work well and last quite a bit.
  25. the Visiontek ATi radeon 4870 is a good choice I think, this card beats the GTX260 in like everything anyway.
  26. Yep - the 4870 tends to rather thoroughly beat the 260 in most tests, and it just loses to the 280.
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