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Which of these video cards are better for gaming

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
October 22, 2008 2:57:24 PM

Hello all,

I currently am on a athlon 64 3800 machine with this video card:

MSI RX9600Pro-TD128:

The specs are here:

I have a buddy that gave me this card:

EVGA 256-A8-N313-LX GeForce FX 5500 256MB

specs here:

I'm playing City of heroes, and DDO (stormreach) and thinking about warcraft. It wouldn't make sense for me to install this new card if it doesn't perform better. Not sure what to think based on the specs...

Any advice? Which do you recommend?

More about : video cards gaming

October 22, 2008 3:04:39 PM

2600xt agp is your best bet for modern performance. Out of those cards, i think the 9600 is a bit faster.
a b U Graphics card
October 22, 2008 3:19:19 PM

Related resources
October 22, 2008 3:47:22 PM

The Nvidia FX series was pretty much considered a bust... the 5500 and 5700 ESPECIALLY. Definitely not a high point for Team Nvidia.
October 22, 2008 4:11:32 PM


2600xt agp is your best bet for modern performance

Why would this be my best bet as opposed to say the HD 3850 like the one found here? :

I've been looking at this card, and I like to game, but to be honest, probably not as educated in video cards as I should be. Thanks for any help.
a c 130 U Graphics card
October 22, 2008 4:18:29 PM

Its about Value for money or Bang for the Buck if you like. The 2600XT and its updated brother HD3650 are what would be considered to be the best match for your system. The 3850 would be restricted by your CPU. Thats not to say its a bad idea as you will be able to run lots of extra detail AA/AF etc, its just that if you dont need that much power why pay out for something you wont see the full benefit of.

a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 22, 2008 5:05:56 PM

The CPU would hinder the 3850. Still, for only $30, you might as well get the 3850.
a c 275 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 22, 2008 5:11:13 PM

The 3850 is about the strongest agp card available. It will in no way reduce the capability of the cpu. You will always get better performance out of a stronger vga card. The issue is, how much more, and is it worth it? If the cpu is underpowered, it will not be able to deliver frames to the vga card. It is not clear if this will apply to you. If you want to run at higher resolutions, and more effects, the cpu becomes less important than the vga card.

I like the HIS card because it has a nice dual slot cooler which will keep your cpu and other parts cooler.

Either of thest two cards will be a nice jump for you.
a c 130 U Graphics card
October 22, 2008 5:20:55 PM

No i didnt say it would restrict the CPU its the other way around, the CPU will restrict the GPU.
very basically the GPU will have X amount of computing power. It relies on the CPU to feed it information on what is coming next. Now your CPU can only do that so fast which means that roughly speaking your FPS will be capped to the Max speed you CPU can do this instead of the max speed of the GPU.
The X amount of power the card has to use can be used various ways. You can run a bigger resolution with less details or lower resolutions with more details.
In this case the GPU isnt using all its power as its being held back by the CPU so it has spare to use on extra detail like AA and AF. This is a good link to explain it properly
Anyway for $30 differance its clearly better to go with the 3850. It wont do anything bad to your system to have an overpowered GPU in it but you will want to be sure the power supply is up to powering it first.

a c 275 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 22, 2008 5:31:49 PM

jive01 said:
Ok, so now its a debate between this card: (the 3850)

and this card:

There is a $30.00 difference. This would be worth it to me if I can push the card for some extra detail. What is AA/AF? I know you say the HD3850 would restrict the CPU, but would it stress it or hinder the CPU's performance?

@mactronix: I was referring to this quote by the OP.
Your full explanation is right on.
October 22, 2008 7:12:34 PM

Here are the PSU Requirements:

450Watt or greater power supply with 30Amps on 12 volt with 2x4 power connector recommanded.

And Here is my PSU output
+3.3V@24A,+5V@30A,+12V1@20A,+12V2@20A,+12V3@20A, +12V4@20A,-12V@0.8A,+5VSB@3.0A

I don't see 12V and 30amps... Should I be concerned about this. I just ordered the card...
a c 275 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
October 22, 2008 8:02:44 PM

30amps usually refers to the total of all the 12v rails. If a quality psu has two pci-e connectors, it will be able to deliver full power to each, with enough left over for the rest of the system. You are fine there.
October 22, 2008 8:12:56 PM

Awesome. I ordered the Card. You've been a great help. Thanks!