New PC, New Gfx Card..??


I've just purchased the following system after using an Amd K6-2 400 for what seems like an eternity.....

AthlonXP 2400+
512Mb DDR Memory
80GB Western Digital HD (8MB Buffer)
19" Monitor

The Gfx card which is currently in this machine is Geforce 2MX 32MB.

When I went to purchase my new machine on Monday I was going to get a Geforce 4 MX 440 64MB but there was none in stock (reading these forums has made me realise what a lucky escape I got).

My point is that I don't have much money to spend on a decent Gfx card unfortunately and the kind of thing I'm looking for is something which

-Plays Command & Conquer Generals in a 800x600 or 1024x768 which has most if not all of the effects turned on with no lagging

-Plays various other things like Splinter Cell and other first person shooters in a manor similar to the above

-Displays my Windows desktop in 1600x1200 or maybe a touch higher in 32Bit colors

There a few other factors which would be useful but not essential and would probably require more money.

Like I said above I had it in my head to buy a Geforce 4 64MB, friends have recommended me them to me and said they are excellent cards. One friend in particular has the TI4200 128MB and says it's excellent but his old machine which has a Geforce 4 64MB plays just about everything with no problems.

I was curious about what ATI had to offer and I've been through the Vga Charts and posts regarding Geforce 4's and ATI Radeons numerous times this evening and I'm just looking for a little advice.

For the money I'm looking to spend (which isn't much more than about £60) I could get a Geforce 4 MX 128MB DDR or a ATI Radeon 9000 Pro. I've been looking around eBay to try and get either a decent deal or a good second hand card so I can get a bit more for my money. Does anyone have any other suggestions as the 8500/LE/Pro seem to be more expensive??

Mainly I would just like to know other peoples responses to what I've described above and what your thoughts are. Also would the cards I have mentioned above (preferably not the Geforce 4 after seeing what a dislike people here have for them) will it be able to cope with things like C&C Generals at a decent res??

Is the Radeon 9000 Pro the one which has support for DirectX 9 thus future-proofing my investment more than if I bought a Geforce?? If it does then does that mean that the card simply processes various things rather than the cpu doing it, thus allowing the cpu to be busy with other things related to the game??

I'm planning on building a home brew Media Center (similar to the Micro$oft one which has just been released), has anyone here come into contact with it yet as I would very much like to discuss it with them.

And lastly, why do most here seem to hate the Geforce 4's with a passion? Reading through some of the comments it makes me wish that people in general looked the same way at Linux as most of you do at the ATI Radeon's ;)

Thanks in advance for any information or advice that you can provide me with.


BTW, sorry my message is so long. As you can probably tell I work in Tech Support so I explain everything more than I should do just for the benefit of all the plebs who I frequently speak to ;)
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  1. R9000 Pro/9000 doesn't have DX9 hardware support. In fact a 250/250 clocked R8500LE is better than R9000 Pro. For $70 to $80, you can get a R9500 Pro.

    If you can spend $100 to $130, then buy GeForce 4 Ti64 MB.

    If you can spend $180 to $200, then buy Radeon 9500 Pro. It has DX9 hardware support.

    Compared to GeForce4 Ti series, R9500 Pro is much better. It's a new generation card, costs less than GF4 Ti4600/4800 and faster. When Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering enabled, it can be 2x faster than GF4 Ti4600/4800. And it's going to perform better than GF4 Ti cards in future DX9 games. This is why people like R9500 Pro over GF4 Ti cards.

    <b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b>
  2. You seem to be a bit confused. Your friends GeForce4 Ti4200 has nothing in common with the GeForce4 MX440. In fact, the MX440 isn't even a GeForce4 card, it's a renamed GeForce2! So when you say guys in here seem to hate GeForce4's, well, the GeForce4 MX440 isn't a GeForce4, just a renamed GeForce2.

    Also you say your friends Ti4200 set your mind on a GeForce 4 with 64MB. This again means nothing since the 440MX doesn't use a GeForce4 chip!

    You'll find the MX440 gives around twice the framerates than your current card. The Radeon 8500 should give you over three times the framerates of your current card, and it's has DirectX 8 features, while the MX440 is a DX7 card.

    <font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
  3. If I was price shopping right now, I would definitely take a long, hard look at the Radeon 8500 LE. It's a real good performer for the price, and should be able to do all the things you mentioned, especially coupled with a fast processor.

    This might be a good time for you to show some extreme patience and wait 1 month. The reason I say that is this: In one month, the GeForce FX Ultra will have shipped (theoretically) and the new Radeon 9900 (R350 core) should be in the pipelines. THe R9500PRO will have proven itself far superior to the GeForce4 Ti4600...and you MAY see the price on the 4600 drop.

    nVidia is in an awkward position now. After seeing a couple reviews, I would definitely choose the 9500 PRO over the Ti4600. So what's nVidia's $180-$200 midrange card going to be? Certainly not the 4600. Would that be the regular FX? Is nVidia even going to produce the FX in quantity?

    I hate paper releases. I know I, personally, would not buy any graphics card right at this moment unless I was desperate to get a system running. There's too much new stuff right around the corner, and it could effect pricing.

    I want to move to space, so I can overclock processors cooled to absolute zero.
  4. It's really starting to look like the 5800 Ultra will never make it to the streets beyond those that they get to pre-orders.

    Whatever they ship is gonna be a few thousand at best, worldwide.

    Hopefully it'll induce a price drop though.

    <font color=red>
    <A HREF="" target="_new">The French are being described as cheese-eating surrender monkeys.</A></font color=red>
  5. I think we can officially say: Something is not right in Santa Clara, CA.

    I want to move to space, so I can overclock processors cooled to absolute zero.
  6. The Nvidia has either

    being taken over by horny crazy monkeys


    they have been partying too much
  7. Well, they make a good chipset!

    Maybe they forgot to R&D graphics cores. It almost sounds like they engineered the nforce2 chipset using nVidia methodology of three or four years ago (you know, actually trying) and just turned over the GPU department to the 3DFX guys. I mean, the GeForceFX really is reminiscent of the Voodoo 5.

    I want to move to space, so I can overclock processors cooled to absolute zero.
  8. D00d, check They have a R8500LE for £68.14 inc. shipping, and it's next day delivery in the UK.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Here's the spec </A>

    I'm pretty sure you can squeeze 8 extra pounds? Better than a steaming turd of an MX!
  9. Thanks very much for the info from everyone, and my apologies if did confuse anyone.

    I've ordered a 8500LE and it should hopefully be here within the next day or two.

    I'm going to go and have a read now on Overclocking the card to see just how much more I can get above and beyond how it is out of the box.

    Thanks again everyone..!!
  10. A fine choice! Enjoy!
  11. Apollo,
    I'm not an expert, but I hope you haven't ordered the Crucial 8500LE from UK's website. This card is clocked @ 250/166, yes 166!!!!
    I was thinking about buying it when I found that out...
    BTW, you can get the R8500 275/275 from the UK...

  12. Argh..!!

    I've already ordered it today and had confirmation of the order come back to me so I presume it is being processed.

    Please excuse my ignorance but you mentioned that the card is clocked at 250/166, what kind of knock effect does this have as I'm new to the world of buying decent gfx cards ;) Would I notice a vast difference say if I was playing C&C Generals?

    The FSB of my motherboard and cpu is set to 133 I think. Are the motherboard, cpu, memory and gfx card clock speed all related?

    Also, someone mentioned in an earlier thread about overclocking the 8500LE. I have not read much about it at the moment but am I right in presuming that if the clock speed is 250/166 could this not be upped to something higher or am I just going off on a tanget??

    Worst case scenario, I could always sell the 8500LE on eBay and hopefully get my money back.

    Thanks again.
  13. apollo,
    basically this LE model isn't the fastest. Besides it isn't much overclockable, once the memory is 6ns. But if the performance sastisfy your needs, it's fine.
    I bought the Jetway R8500 275/275 a month ago for £80.
  14. Ordered the card at 10:30am Friday and it arrived just after 9:00am on Saturday morning, excellent service..!!

    Installed it and it runs C&C Generals beautifully, althougth I've not tried anythign else with it yet but Splinter Cell will be next :)

    The card can run up to (and maybe beyond) 1600x1200 and my Geforce 2 used to run in 1600x1200.

    The Radeon is connected to my Tv and when I try and put the resolution higher than 1024x768 it things it is trying to extend my desktop to the Tv or it does display my desk on the PC in 1600x1200 but I have to move my cursor to the edges of the screen which moves it around the deskop.

    I have had a look around the settings and tried to find out more info on it and I'm struggling, I'm currently kicking myself as I know I will have overlooked a setting somewhere but I don't know which one.

    Can anyone please help?
  15. Isn't the 128mb version slower than the 64mb version? It also says nothing about clockspeed.

    I would choose the Geforce4 Ti4200 over the 8500/LE right because a Ti4200 will not vary in speed. The 8500/LE can vary because you don't know the core clock and memory clock your getting. The original speeds for the 8500 are 275/275 and le is 250/250. Manufactures are now trying to put slower core clocks to save money and make the card appeal to consumers. So now the ranges are from 230/230 to 275/275. If you are going to get a 8500/LE make sure the core clock speed and the memory is at lesat 250/250.
  16. What did I tell you guys? is blowing out its Ti4200 64 meg cards for $110 to $120. It's always good to put off buying when new graphics cards are right around the corner.

    <-----Insert witty sig line here.

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Twitch on 03/03/03 04:01 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  17. You can get a sapphire radeon 9100 for $73 or a sapphire 9100pro for $84 at newegg. But if you're a diehard Nvidia fan, then you can pick up geforce4 ti4200 for about $110 like the last poster said.

    Call me Caine.
  18. Doh. Sorry, in my haste to post something useful, I didn't realize you already bought a card, Apollo. Don't feel bad about your 8500LE. Remember, video cards come and go.

    Call me Caine.
  19. Actually, the 9100 might be the best deal of anything out there right now. I would still wait a little longer to see how far prices come down on higher-end stuff when the FX and R350 hit the shelves.

    <-----Insert witty sig line here.
  20. You are right, but all he really wanted a new card for was to play games decently. Memory timings, although important (at least, I think so!) aren't the overriding factor in this situation. He wanted a decent graphics card for a fairly low price, and he got one. The card works, plays all the games he wants. Job done!
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