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Advice on buying new video card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 25, 2008 9:44:50 PM

I have a dell XPS 600, 3ghz, 6g ram 64b vista with 7800GTX 256 in SLI right now(nforce chipset i think)

I wanted to update the video card(s) so i could take advantage of directX 10.
from what iv read the 8800 series seem good but should i go SLI still or just 1 beefy card?
dont want to spend more than 200 though and my MB isnt PCIe 2.0 (at least i dont think it is) so im not sure how much of a bottle neck it would be.

any advice would be greatly appreciated. I do want to stick with Nvidia cards if possible as im a creature of habit.
a c 164 U Graphics card
December 25, 2008 10:15:19 PM

As always seeing as everyone forgets to tell us this, what games do you play, and what resolution do you play them at? Without this data, its hard for us to tell you the best card. The big problems with your system as I see it is your older CPU, and your Nforce chipset. (unless your computer is new and you've been carrying over those video cards.) Seeing as you only have $200 to spend, you won't be able to address all three problems.

The GTX260 would be a great card, but its just above the $200 limit. The same is true for the GX2. Both cards would be around $210-$240 depending on which you get. This leaves you with the 9800GTX at around $150ish. You would be better off getting the 4850 for the same price, or even better the 4870 for <$199. But if you want to be stubborn and stay with the weaker card, thats your call. At some point you'll want to get rid of that P4 and most likely Nforce 4 or 5 chipset, but you can do that latter. Unless of course you like playing RTS games, at which point I'd do that now.
December 25, 2008 10:23:33 PM

i need more info 3ghz what P4 or C2D or P4 dual core what is it????

as soon as i know what mobo you have and what processor you have i can help and btw what memory you got?? DDR2 right??
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a b U Graphics card
December 25, 2008 10:28:39 PM

If you are still running a P4, I gotta go with save your money for total rebuild. There is no new graphic cards you can buy that are not going to be bottlenecked pretty bad with your processor. However, if you really want to upgrade 1 last time, a 9800GTX for $150 is a great card. It will easily be over 2 times faster than your current SLI'd 7800's.
December 25, 2008 10:39:39 PM

p4 dual core , ddr 667 memory. mainly play FPS and warhammer online. Performance has been great on games like crysis, Fear, CoD ...etc mainly only have to tune down shadows to have the performance i want. I play at 1024x768 resolution usually sometime higher but not usually.

Full system upgrade wont happen. wife will kill me as a already bought a dell XPS M1530 so i can play some games while at work (im a paramedic).
Like i said Iv been real happy with performance so far just want to get that last year or 2 out of the system and take advantage of the latest graphics i can within my limits.

thanks for all the input!

a c 164 U Graphics card
December 25, 2008 10:58:33 PM

Its not a dual core, its a P4 with Hyperthreading. There is a difference. If an upgrade is at all possible down the road, I'd get the 4870. It will carry over to a new system better. If you have no idea if you will be able to, might as well get the 9800GTX/4850. Fits the budget, and should provide a boost.
December 25, 2008 11:10:46 PM

P930 dual core ? shows 2 cpus in perfmon..anyway

so what makes the 4850 better? Iv been an Nvidia/intel man all my life, but what the hell.
December 26, 2008 1:17:15 AM

Its a Pentium D 930(dual-core). Find your answer by checking charts for the 4850
a c 164 U Graphics card
December 26, 2008 1:49:55 PM

Sorry, I thought you said you had a 630, which is not a dual core. The 930 is a DC. I must have been remembering a different thread. As long as you aren't playing sim or RTS games, you are ok with this CPU. There are better out there, but its not the pressing thing I thought it was.

As for why the 4850 is better then the 9800GTX, thats a complicated subject. There are many reasons, some of which are hard to understand, and/or I can't convey well. If you don't believe me, go check some benchmarks. The 4870 is the best card under $200 you can find. Trust me on that.
December 26, 2008 4:50:04 PM

I went with a 4850 because of the price and performance. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the 4850 is slightly shorter then the 9800GTX. Size was an issue for me as the bigger cards would require me to modify my hard drive bays.
December 27, 2008 4:57:53 PM

well i went with the 4850 and i am not disappointed. I can run all the games (Cod4, L4D, Legendary, Fallout3, Farcry2, DMC4....) all at maxed settings at 1280x1024(most my flat panel will do)
no performance problems at all. everything runs perfectly.

thanks for all the advice you guys were a great in helping me decide.
a c 164 U Graphics card
December 27, 2008 11:57:13 PM

NP. Just don't forget about the next bottleneck, then the one after that, etc.... :D 
!