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GeForce Or ATI Radion for my system? Help Please!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 29, 2008 10:04:41 AM

Hello everyone, I hope somebody can offer me some advice on a pretty simple issue...
I'm just about to buy my first standalone graphics card, and was directed to this site... I've looked around and with my budget I've narrowed it down to 2 cards...
Either
GeForce 9800 512 meg, models available: Asus hybridpower, Zotac, OcUk and EVGA

or
ATI Radeon 4830 512mb, models available: Asus, HIS


1st question: I've heard that certain systems are better set up to use either GeForce or ATI cards, is this true? If so which would be suited to my system? The onboard graphics is an ATI setup, full motherboard specs below:


2nd Question - what do the different models mean? For example I can find Asus and HIS models for the radeon card listed abouve, both specs seem to be identical - what is hte difference?



Many thanks everyone :) 
Jack


My System:

Field Value
Computer
Computer Type ACPI Multiprocessor PC
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
OS Service Pack [ TRIAL VERSION ]
Internet Explorer 7.0.5730.13 (IE 7.0)
DirectX 4.09.00.0904 (DirectX 9.0c)
Computer Name JACKSDESKTOP (Studiocomp)
User Name Jack Wiles
Logon Domain [ TRIAL VERSION ]
Date / Time 2008-12-29 / 11:46

Motherboard
CPU Type DualCore AMD Athlon 64 X2, 3000 MHz (15 x 200) 6000+
Motherboard Name Jetway M2A692-GDG (2 PCI, 1 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Video, Gigabit LAN)
Motherboard Chipset AMD 690G, AMD Hammer
System Memory [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DIMM1: Kingston 9905316-005.A04LF 1 GB DDR2-667 DDR2 SDRAM (5-5-5-15 @ 333 MHz) (4-4-4-12 @ 266 MHz) (3-3-3-9 @ 200 MHz)
DIMM2: Kingston 9905316-005.A04LF [ TRIAL VERSION ]
BIOS Type Award (11/16/07)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port Printer Port (LPT1)

Display
Video Adapter ATI Radeon Xpress 1200 Series (512 MB)
Video Adapter ATI Radeon Xpress 1200 Series (512 MB)
3D Accelerator ATI RS690
Monitor Hyundai IT X71S [17" LCD] (X71SI6AL80924)

Multimedia
Audio Adapter Realtek ALC880(D) @ ATI RS690 Chipset - High Definition Audio Controller
Audio Adapter Realtek ALC880(D) @ ATI SB600 - High Definition Audio Controller

Storage
IDE Controller ATI IDE Controller
IDE Controller Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
Storage Controller SCSI/RAID Host Controller
Disk Drive SAMSUNG HD501LJ (500 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)
Optical Drive AE3311K CCW458V SCSI CdRom Device
Optical Drive Optiarc DVD RW AD-5170A (DVD+R9:8x, DVD-R9:8x, DVD+RW:18x/8x, DVD-RW:18x/6x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/32x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK

Partitions
C: (NTFS) [ TRIAL VERSION ]
F: (NTFS) 348.6 GB (40.9 GB free)
Total Size [ TRIAL VERSION ]

Input
Keyboard HID Keyboard Device
Keyboard Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse HID-compliant mouse

Network
Primary IP Address [ TRIAL VERSION ]
Primary MAC Address 00-16-0A-13-0A-09
Network Adapter Sweex Wireless Lan USB2.0 Adapter 54Mbps (192. [ TRIAL VERSION ])

Peripherals
Printer Symantec Fax Starter Edition
FireWire Controller VIA VT6306 Fire II IEEE1394 Host Controller (PHY: VIA VT6307)
USB1 Controller ATI SB600 - OCHI USB Controller
USB1 Controller ATI SB600 - OCHI USB Controller
USB1 Controller ATI SB600 - OCHI USB Controller
USB1 Controller ATI SB600 - OCHI USB Controller
USB1 Controller ATI SB600 - OCHI USB Controller
USB2 Controller ATI SB600 - EHCI USB 2.0 Controller
USB Device Generic USB Hub
USB Device Sweex Wireless Lan USB2.0 Adapter 54Mbps
USB Device USB Composite Device
USB Device USB Human Interface Device
USB Device USB Human Interface Device
USB Device USB Human Interface Device

DMI
DMI BIOS Vendor Phoenix Technologies, LTD
DMI BIOS Version 6.00 PG
DMI System Manufacturer Unknow
DMI System Product Unknow
DMI System Version Unknow
DMI System Serial Number [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DMI System UUID [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DMI Motherboard Manufacturer
DMI Motherboard Product RS690-SB600
DMI Motherboard Version Unknow
DMI Motherboard Serial Number [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DMI Chassis Manufacturer Unknow
DMI Chassis Version Unknow
DMI Chassis Serial Number [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DMI Chassis Asset Tag [ TRIAL VERSION ]
DMI Chassis Type Desktop Case
DMI Total / Free Memory Sockets 4 / 2
December 29, 2008 10:48:22 AM

Your system shouldn't impact the card you want to use. The only problems you will see is when you want to SLI or crossfire it, but I don't think your system even has support for either, so don't worry about it.

The best thing you can do is check the games you want to play and see which one gives the best performance for those games. Also check the best gaming card you can buy for your system December on the main page. I'm not sure if one is better than the other.
a b U Graphics card
December 29, 2008 11:01:13 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-char...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-grap...

Look these articles over and compare the 2 to the games you run.
As mentioned, the only time you have to worry about using what kind of graphic card on what kind of motherboard is if you are planning on SLI or Crossfire. Other than than, it makes absolutely no difference. You can put any brand GPU on any motherboard/chipset.

The thing to look at as far as the different brands, this is really personal preference. Look at things like how the vendor handles cooling, does the card exhaust hot air out the back of the case, or into the case, the vendors warranty and step-up programs are the things people consider when choosing one brand over another.
Related resources
a c 175 U Graphics card
December 29, 2008 11:05:33 AM

The 9800GT and HD4830 are on the same tier on the chart at the end of the article. If it is a 9800GTX, that's one tier higher.
What PSU do you have? If it's a cheap one that came with your case, you might be limited to an HD4670, which doesn't need auxilliary power (unless you upgrade your PSU to a quality 450W unit).
December 29, 2008 11:20:52 AM

Hi,
thanks for your responses... I looked at the article of best cards for the money to make my choice, I think possibly the ATI one looks better... I didn't realise power could be an issue - I've had a look and mine simply says LPK2 400w - so I'm assuming this might not be any good for a gfx card that needs auxillary power - could you give me a rough idea of how auxilary power works/is connected?
Thanks,
J
December 29, 2008 11:35:18 AM

Quote:
could you give me a rough idea of how auxiliary power works/is connected


The mother board can't supply the power the card needs so it has to get it's power from the power supply directly.
December 29, 2008 11:47:03 AM

Thanks Baddad - I'm assuming this means there will need to be separate cables coming from the power supply - one to the motherboard as usual and another direct to the graphics card?

Can anybody suggest a suitable power supply to power the graphics cards I am looking at? I may be tempted to go slightly over budget and get a radion 4850 512mb card, so I need something relatively budget, but also I'm prepared to spend a little more as I can't work with a noisy PSU.
thanks again,
J
a c 175 U Graphics card
December 29, 2008 3:42:22 PM

A 4850 needs a good 450W PSU, although in the latest SBM, you'll see that a 430W unit from Antec was sufficient to power it.
I've never read a bad competent technical review (i.e. including load tests, waveform analysis, etc) of any Antec PSU, although some are better than others. Their Earthwatts models would be a good choice; one or another of them is usually available for a good price too. My personal rule for PSUs is it must have Active PFC and must be 80+ efficient.
Lately I've begun drooling over Antec's Signature models; I'll probably get the 650W one next month along with a GPU upgrade of my own.
December 30, 2008 11:59:29 AM

Thanks jtt, that's really helpful... Have a good new year everbody :) 
!