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Best Low-Budget Card From This List

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 17, 2009 12:08:02 AM

Hi,

I wish to purchase a card in India & my budget roughly works out to $40 - $60 US. I know it's not much of a budget but that's all I can spare atm. I'll be wanting to play racing sims mainly such as LFS, GTR2, GPL .... & similar.

I don't mind setting the eye candy down. [I'm used to gaming on my integrated Ati xpress 200]. My monitor has a native res of 1280x1024. My CPU is an Intel p4 3.06ghz, Motherboard is an Intel d102ggc2, RAM is 512mb [will be adding another gig pretty soon] & OS is XP.

The choices I have here within the budget include- {I realise these are considered HTPC solutions & not gaming cards but then money matters!}

1. XFX 7300GT 512MB DDR2

2. XFX 8500GT 512MB DDR2

3. Palit 9400GT Super 512MB DDR2

4. Palit HD 2600PRO 512MB DDR2 W - HDMI

5. Sapphire X1650 Pro 512MB DDR2

6. Sapphire HD 4350 512MB DDR3 [not too sure whether Sapphire did bring out a DDR3 version or it's a mistake]

So which would you suggest is the best of this lot? & how much of a performance/ FPS advantage would that card have over the next best card in the list?

I'm also open to suggestions for better performing cards at the same price point, though I'm not too sure I'll be getting that same card at that price here. [Cards are comparatively cheaper in the US, hence the above list of cards for the sake of clarity]

Please bear with this newbie. [I've never purchased/ installed a GPU before].

Thanks. Your help is much appreciated.

More about : low budget card list

April 17, 2009 4:47:46 AM

Thanks for your reply Razbery. The link is very helpful. My previous attempt at looking for it had turned up a Page Not Found error. Going by the charts, it is the 2600 pro then.

One question though. Is the 2600 pro mentioned on the charts a ddr2? Won't a 4350 gddr3 be on par with the 2600 pro ddr2? If so, I could save some money.

Thanks!
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a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2009 5:24:00 AM

Ya know... there were a couple other guys from India talking about some websites or stores where they found inexpensive PC parts. Their names were phoenixankit and hellraiser06. You might want to contact them personally. Perhaps they can help you find a dependable, inexpensive supplier.

Now as far as comparisons between a 2600Pro DDR2 and a 4350 DDR3, I don't know which would win, but considering how lowly ranked on the list the 4350 is, I'm thinking it wouldn't do too well.

What about a 4650 or 4670? Both are much more current cards and available w/ GDDR3, with a few models having GDDR4. Maybe a 9500GT GDDR3 would be in your budget? I suggest these because they're newer cards and offer solid lower resolution performance. They also use very little power, so there's often not too much to worry about when it comes to power supply issues. That is, unless yours has very weak 12V output.
April 17, 2009 6:08:04 PM

Thanks Razbery, I'll look into the cards you've suggested.

Any software that can give me the specs of the PSU?

Thanks.
a c 268 U Graphics card
April 17, 2009 6:27:04 PM

kidrow said:
Thanks Razbery, I'll look into the cards you've suggested.

Any software that can give me the specs of the PSU?

Thanks.


All psu's should have a label affixed to them that give the electrical specs. You are looking for the amperage on the +12v rails.

I would look at more modern cards than the 2600 and 1650. They were good when they were introduced, but newer parts run cooler with less power draw.

Among the cards you listed, the performance differences are comparable. The 2600pro/x1650 might be a bit better.

It might be best to wait until you can get a current generation card like r-bandit suggested.

April 17, 2009 8:17:24 PM

Go to this site:
www.lynx-india.com

Get this Geforce 8600GT. It will beat the crap outta all the cards that you have mentioned.
And it costs Rs. 3150.
http://www.lynx-india.com/index.php?productID=1399

Or the 9500GT
http://www.lynx-india.com/index.php?categoryID=201&sort...
or another 8600 GT DDR3
http://www.lynx-india.com/index.php?categoryID=201&sort...

OR THE MOST INSANE DEAL:
http://www.lynx-india.com/index.php?productID=3631

The most powerful card is at the bottom of my list and as you move upwards, it gets less and less powerful.
April 24, 2009 6:18:54 PM

Hey hellraiser06, geofelt & Razbery, thanks for your replies!

Sorry I've been away for a while & couldn't reply earlier.

@hellraiser06, I'm in Mumbai & the prices mentioned on theitwares.com seem a lot better compared to the links you've mentioned. But thanks anyway. Just mentioned itwares so you have another vendor to consider before you make your next purchase.

Now, since everyone is exhorting me to save up for a 4670 at least, I've decided to wait. However, I've two concerns-
1. Will my CPU be a bottleneck?
2. Will my current PSU be enough? Here are the specs of my PSU -

Xtech LWT 2505 400W A2.03
Input
115v 6A 50/60Hz
240v 3A 50/60Hz
Output
+3.3v +5v +12v -5v -12v +5/SB
16A 30A 14A 0.5A 0.5A 20A
400 W Max

Thanks!
a c 268 U Graphics card
April 24, 2009 6:37:05 PM

kidrow said:
Hey hellraiser06, geofelt & Razbery, thanks for your replies!

Sorry I've been away for a while & couldn't reply earlier.

@hellraiser06, I'm in Mumbai & the prices mentioned on theitwares.com seem a lot better compared to the links you've mentioned. But thanks anyway. Just mentioned itwares so you have another vendor to consider before you make your next purchase.

Now, since everyone is exhorting me to save up for a 4670 at least, I've decided to wait. However, I've two concerns-
1. Will my CPU be a bottleneck?
2. Will my current PSU be enough? Here are the specs of my PSU -

Xtech LWT 2505 400W A2.03
Input
115v 6A 50/60Hz
240v 3A 50/60Hz
Output
+3.3v +5v +12v -5v -12v +5/SB
16A 30A 14A 0.5A 0.5A 20A
400 W Max

Thanks!


If I read your psu specs correctly, the +12v amperage of your current psu is 14a.
That is an indicator of a very poor quality psu. Less than half of the power(168w) is going where it needs to. Compare that to a 400w corsair which has 30a(360w) on the 12v rails.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It might work, and perhaps it might be worth trying, but I would not use it. An overloaded poor quality is just asking for trouble when you load it up. Not only might the psu fail, which is no loss, but it might take some other components with it.

I think your cpu is ok for the cards you are considering.
April 25, 2009 2:46:48 AM

Thanks geofelt. Yes, You read the specs correctly. [Was a table, but couldn't format it proper while posting it...my bad]

So now I'm looking at a GPU as well as a PSU [which will set me back by about as much as I had originally intended on spending on the GPU]. So I'll be postponing my purchase for a while so as to save up some moolah. :( 

1. But don't the GPU manufacturers give the specs of the amperage required from the 12v rail? I could not get any such info anywhere.

2. Also, which would be the best graphics card for my current PSU? [Cos saving moolah is gonna take a long time!] Maybe a 9500gt gddr3 or a 2600 pro ddr2? Or won't any modern day cards be able to run smoothly on my current PSU?

Thanks!
April 25, 2009 7:10:00 PM

geofelt said:
Here is an example from EVGA for a 9400GT:
http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=512-P3-N94... 9 Series Family
Note that even though a 300w psu is ok, it requires 18a on the 12v rails, which is 4 more than you have.


Uh oh! So I definitely need a new PSU. Here's postponing my purchase further.

Thanks geofelt for your prompt reply. But the spec regarding the amps on the 12v rail are not as forthcoming from the manufacturers, it seems. Cos I can't seem to find that spec for the 4670.

Anyway, thanks for all your help.
a c 268 U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 7:55:32 PM

Here is a link to the ati official recommendation:
http://ati.amd.com/products/Radeonhd4600/requirements.h...
It recommends a 400w psu, saying nothing about the 12v amps. They assume a decent modern psu I think. The vga vendors tend to be conservative in their psu recommendations, perhaps to avoid disappointment if the buyer gets a low quality psu.
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 7:57:35 PM

Manufacturer specs for required amperage are ALWAYS higher than is necessary often to a very large degree. They are also based on the entire system not just the video card. Honestly I would ignore them entirely.
To compound the issue, unless you have a very good brand of PSU, the specs listed on the unit are often just as unreliable.
For real power usage of video cards I've found this to be fairly reliable;
http://mark.zoomcities.com/images/gfx/GFXpowerchartby3d...
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 8:02:45 PM

FYI that chart is for the video cards by themselves, not the entire system. To calculate amps keep in mind power = voltage x current so divide the wattage by 12.
April 26, 2009 3:31:19 AM

jyjjy said:
FYI that chart is for the video cards by themselves, not the entire system. To calculate amps keep in mind power = voltage x current so divide the wattage by 12.


Thanks jyjjy. That's real helpful & a big relief! So if I understand correctly, the chart gives the wattage at peak performance for various Graphics Card. So in order to calculate the current [amp] drawn on the 12v rail, I've to divide the provided figure by 12.

So as per the chart, the 4670 draws a max wattage of 65W. So the amps drawn off the 12v rail would be 65W/12V = ~5-6A! Ooh, if my reading is proper, then I can probably make do with my current PSU!

Going by the same formula, the 9400 Gt would require ~3-4A on the 12v rail! The Evga link provided by geofelt lists a minimum of 18A for the 9400 Gt!

[Too many exclamation marks, I know. But I'm shocked!]
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 7:54:35 AM

It's not quite that simple. It would be if the video card was the only thing that used the +12v rail but that's far from the case. My main point was that both power requirements and PSU specs are often massively overstated and you will never know until you actually try it.
That said, yes, an HD4670 should use about 6 amps max and the rest of your system appears to be fairly minimal so it very well could work as long as the specs listed on your PSU aren't a total lie(which they very well might be.) It seems like you were planning on saving up for the HD4670 + a PSU. Just buy the card when you have enough money and see if it works and you might be lucky.
April 27, 2009 3:33:15 PM

Thanks jyjjy. You'll have been great. Just one last query. Is there any danger in trying out the 4670 on my current PSU? I've heard that other components might get damaged if the PSU isn't able to take the load. [In fact, geofelt has already warned me in this same thread]. If that's true, then I wouldn't want to take the chance & I'd rather buy the PSU first. Thanks!
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 28, 2009 8:34:20 AM

It's highly unlikely there will be any problem unless it's a VERY poorly made PSU. If the card needs more power than can be delivered the system will most likely simply not start up at all or shutdown when you start up a game. Then just put the old card back in and it should be fine.
April 28, 2009 6:36:32 PM

Thanks a lot jyjjy! So here's looking forward to a 4670 then. Hopefully, I'll have it pretty soon.

Once again, I'd like to thank all the members for taking the time to reply to my queries & being so patient. Take care. Ciao!
!