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How does anyone choose?

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July 6, 2009 9:05:00 PM

I am overwhelmed by the amount of graphics cards out there. I hope some of you can help me out. I just bought the ever popular Dell Inspiron 530 with the following specs:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 (4MB L2, 2.33GHz, 1333FSB); 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz- 4DIMMs; Dell S2409W 24" Full HD Monitor

It has a 350W power supply and a PCI-e x.16 slot.

I wouldn't mind spending $100 or less on a card, keeping in mind I mostly only play Sims 3, Flight Simulator X, and DarkStar One.

Thank you very kindly for your help,
Deryl

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a c 235 U Graphics card
July 6, 2009 10:16:53 PM

none of the games you listed require a powerful graphics card, even on a 24 inch LCD
you can spend $55 ($35 after rebate) on the 9600GSO and max all of them out. No need for PSU upgrades. You can then upgrade your card in the future again as you start to play newer games

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For under $100, higher performance cards like the 9600GT, 9800GT, and ATI 4830 can be used since your PSU has enough amps on the 12v for them. Frankly though their performance return on your dollar is below par from the games you listed.

If you want to play the latest games you can go in ausch30 direction above but frankly hes just wasting your money if all you want to do is play Flight simulator and Sims series games.

July 6, 2009 10:54:52 PM

ct1615 said:
none of the games you listed require a powerful graphics card, even on a 24 inch LCD
you can spend $55 ($35 after rebate) on the 9600GSO and max all of them out. No need for PSU upgrades. You can then upgrade your card in the future again as you start to play newer games

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For under $100, higher performance cards like the 9600GT, 9800GT, and ATI 4830 can be used since your PSU has enough amps on the 12v for them. Frankly though their performance return on your dollar is below par from the games you listed.

If you want to play the latest games you can go in ausch30 direction above but frankly hes just wasting your money if all you want to do is play Flight simulator and Sims series games.


I deleted my previous post. It's been a long time since I've looked at the performance of FSX. The last time I looked at it the current cards were struggling with it and from what I researched the newer cards perform even worse. The game is CPU bound and with the OP's quad he should get decent performance. I would suggest a 4850 or 9800GTX+ (which ever is cheaper because they perform the same) but really nothing less, it's just not fiscally worth it.
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July 6, 2009 11:07:45 PM

You guys are super helpful. Thank you very much!

Deryl
July 7, 2009 2:07:22 AM

Ive got an old dell e521 that guests use and it has a 4670 in it. These cards can be found for 64.99 right now on newegg. If you're not playing at super high resolutions it would suffice.

For the extra money go with a 4850.
July 7, 2009 2:58:10 PM

Now that I've narrowed down my choices, I'm leaning towards the 9600GSO. Based on the fact that I have a 24" screen, should I spend the extra $5 and go with the 1GB vs. the 512MB model? I've heard that the extra memory can sometimes hinder performance.

Deryl
a c 235 U Graphics card
July 7, 2009 6:40:00 PM

1. check to make sure the memory is GDDR3 rather then the cheaper and slower GDDR2

2. the card itself is too slow to take advantage of 1GB of memory anyways
July 7, 2009 6:50:58 PM

the gso can be had for 54.99 and the gt for somewhere around 80 I think?

However, EVGA does have a low power 9600Gt for 84.99 that doesn't require a 6 pin connector and runs off slot power :D 

It's not exactly a pretty card but it would do you quite well for the price. I just found it tonight so I didn't recommend it earlier :) 

Good luck. Let us know what you do!
July 7, 2009 7:28:26 PM

AlphaOmegaX said:
the gso can be had for 54.99 and the gt for somewhere around 80 I think?

However, EVGA does have a low power 9600Gt for 84.99 that doesn't require a 6 pin connector and runs off slot power :D 

It's not exactly a pretty card but it would do you quite well for the price. I just found it tonight so I didn't recommend it earlier :) 

Good luck. Let us know what you do!

For about the same price though he could get a 4850 and use an adapter for the 6 pin connector. The 4850 would blow away the 9600GT, in fact the 4830 is faster than the 9600GT and can be had here for $65.
July 13, 2009 10:29:32 PM

I went with the 9600 GSO with 384MB. Several flight sim enthusiasts stressed that FSX does not like ATI cards. I'll post my results next weekend.

Thanks to everyone for their help!
July 16, 2009 11:24:25 PM

Be sure to let us know how it went :) 
July 17, 2009 7:28:59 PM

Again, thanks to everyone for their input.

I'm getting 30+FPS with settings on high (not ultra-high) and I'm satisfied. I have a super fast computer for my taste and I literally paid $35 for my video card. I'm also happy with Windows 7's performance. What else can I ask for?

...well, maybe overclocking in the future, I guess. But I have no experience in that and will take the time to learn first.

prattyyz
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2009 7:43:03 PM

Thanks for the feedback! It helps us all in giving future posters advice.
July 17, 2009 7:47:15 PM

Go for a Radeon 4770 If you can find it... other good options are radeon 4830, geforce 9800gt, geforce 9600 gt... go for anything less than a radeon 4670.. gook luck
July 17, 2009 10:31:44 PM

roco_nights said:
Go for a Radeon 4770 If you can find it... other good options are radeon 4830, geforce 9800gt, geforce 9600 gt... go for anything less than a radeon 4670.. gook luck


If you had read any of the posts you would have noticed that he already bought his card
July 18, 2009 1:18:53 AM

dirtmountain said:
Thanks for the feedback! It helps us all in giving future posters advice.


It's the least I can do for all the free advice I got!
prattyyz
!