Thanks in advance for your opinions and help here.
The situation is I just built my first custom rig and need help deciding which graphics card to go with. The motherboard itself, GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) has ATI Radeon 3000 onboard. However, I have an older Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT card from my old computer as well. My assumption was that the Nvidia card would be the better option but I wanted to get the experts advice. I know the Nvidia is an older card. Could the ATI onboard actually be better than the Nvidia card I have from just a few years back?
Just in case it's important, I would be using the graphics mostly for gaming.
Almost any discrete card is better than the on-board 3000. Your 8600 GT is about the equivalent of the Intel HD 4000 on-die graphics of the newer Intel IB chips. Roughly twice the speed of the Radeon 3000. Besides, that will be a good way to test out the motherboard's PCIe system. Then do the integrated to be sure it works too.
Overclock the 8600GT with GPU Tool .. Answering your question. No, The 8600GT is in fact a lot better than the radeon 3000 on board. In fact any discrete card with dedicated memory is better than on-board.. well any discrete card from the past 5 years that is.