I have the pny grforce 9500gt and tiger direct has a xfx geforce 9600 gso for 80 , and zotac has a 9800gt for 120, I have a antec 500 basiq so the power is ok for any of them,I really cant go over a 100, should I get the 9600 gso or stay with the 9500gt, and whats the diff with gt and gso.
BEWARE THE GSO! There are many different cards with that name. The only good one is the 9600GSO that is a rebadged 8800GS. This will have DDR3 memory, 96 stream processors, and a 192bit memory bus. There are others with a 256bit bus, but with slower clocked DDR2 memory, or others that have less SP. These should be avoided.
The best sub $100 cards are the 9600GT and the 4670. The 4670 should be less then $80 by now, the 9600GT might need a mail in rebate to hit that price point. The 4670 is weaker then the 9600GT, but I would look to one of these cards at least. Yes the 4670 is from AMD, but it will work fine on your Nvidia or Intel chipset board if thats what your worried about.
I saw a zotac 9800gt for 100 with gddr3 after a rebate so this should do it right, ZOTAC ZT-98GES3P-FSR GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
I'm not sure I'd say the 4830 is better then the 9800GT per se, but they should be equals. Each card scores its own wins against the other depending on game and res, but the 4830 is usually cheaper due to AMDs pricing system.
They have a different number of Stream Processors (SP) due to the difference in SP that AMD and Nvidia choose. AMD went with simple SP, but a high number of them to do the work. Nvidia went with more complex SP, so they don't need as many. You would think that 640 > 112m but due to the abilities of the SP, this isn't really true. Its been said that as a rough estimate, it takes 5 AMD SP to do the work of one Nvidia one. 640 / 5 = 118, so 118 ~ 112 is much more believable.
As for your last question, this is a lot harder to answer. With my limited knowledge, let me try to explain. First, a pixel pipeline is different from a pixel shader. In the old days you have one pixel shader per pipeline, so an 8 pipeline card like the 9800pro had 8 pixel shaders. It wasn't until the x1900 line that ATI started attaching more then one shader per pipeline. (the x1900/1950 series had three per pipeline, Nvidia never put more then one shader on a pipeline.) This gave ATI/AMD great pixel shading abilities, but they tended to lack the Vertex abilities of Nvidia.
What people noticed is that while cards had seperate Pixel and Vertex shaders, the math behind it all was similar. So similar in fact that one properly programed shader could do the work of either. This is basically what a SP is, a shader engine that can do the work of either a pixel shader, or a vertex shader or the new geometry shader. Its different from a pixel pipeline, but very similar to the pixel shader because they do the same work. I'm not sure that makes a lot of sense, perhaps someone else can do better.
well I bought a agp for my sons computer its a 2600xt 512 ddr2 and it was a nightmare to install, had to use the hotfix, and the physics doenst like to run with the ati cards that I have like the hd2600xt and the x1650 pro my daughter has. I can get any card for around 100-110 so the ati is like 10 cheaper, but the nvidia is the one I trust the most even though I had the x1650 pro for a year with no problems. But I just like Nvidia.
I've used both, never had a problem. From what I understand, the AGP versions of the newer cards have some issues. I've used the 9600 pro and the 9700pro, which are both nativly AGP. I only used the x1800xt, and that was on the PCIe bus. Now I use the 8800GS/9600GSO, which is also PCIe. Basically I avoid any converters or adapters, you never know whats going to happen.
why can't you spring the other 20 for the 9800 GT? The problem with setting a strict limit is that down the road a few months you may wish you had that little something extra. I, for example, wish I had the 9800 GTX+ for $30 more than my 9800 Gt
I would have bought the 4830. There are several models on Newegg for less then $100. Some without rebates, some with free games. (including STALKER Clear Sky and Vegas2.) I'm sure your card will work fine, enjoy playing with it.
The 9500GT is the 8600GT, just with a different name. You don't state what resolution you'd be playing at, or if you'll be playing in DX10 or DX9 mode. (if it allows DX9 mode) From what I know of the game, I doubt the 8600GT will be able to provide playable frame rates at any modern resolution.
the 9500gt played crysis on med high settings quite well, my wife bought me the zotac overclocked 9800gt amped ddr3 and its awsome. the pny 9500gt is a good card but the 9800gt is way better from a 4400 score to a 8100 score