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Low end video cards - advice wanted

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 1, 2003 2:29:25 AM

So I'm in the market for a new video card but on a limited budget. However, there are some features that I want, namely DX9, and decent AA performance. I don't need HUGE OMG ITS SO PHAT 100|< 47 7H053 PHR43M3 R4735!!!!11 kind of performance, just decent (1024x768x32). I went over to pricewatch.com and of course the illustrious newegg.com to pricematch and it seems the following are the highest performing cards in my budget ($50-$90):
Ti4200
R9000
R9000 Pro
R9100
R9200
R9200SE
FX5200
FX5200LE

Now I understand that the speed of these cards varies dramatically, depending on what ram is used, how much ram they have, AGP 4x/8x, chip revision number, who puts the card together and so on. Of course the price varies accordingly (a Gainward Golden Sample card will cost more than a similar card by somebody else, but is much faster (and overclockable!)).

So what I really want to know is, how do these cards stack up? Assuming DX9 performance is important, but not a make or break litmus, what is the best bang for my buck? Whats the low down on hacks and nifty things you don't read in press releases? Which one offers the best AA performance? I'd read that somewhere that the R9000, though DX9 compliant, is actually SLOWER (fps) than a 8500. I give a rats ass about Photoshop performance, just image quality, game performance (first person shooters), and of course price.

Thanks.

-Zim


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?! <--- indicates clueless excitement.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Zim on 08/31/03 07:33 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 1, 2003 2:53:19 AM

How does the Ti4200 stack up with 2 or 4x AA against the 9200?

Also, image quality is important, and from all the reviews I've read, the new line of Radeon cards have much better image quality.

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September 1, 2003 3:34:44 AM

You have a major problem, of all those cards only the 5200 series supports DX9, but it's so slow that you'll have to turn off those new features in your games just to get playable frame rates!

The fastest card of all those is the Ti4200, but with AA enabled you'll still have problems with some games at high quality settings, etc. And it's only a DX8 card.

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September 1, 2003 3:38:05 AM

The FX5200 cards are the only cards on your list that were engineered with DX9 features. However, because of their slow performance in DX9 titles, you would be ALOT better off witha 64meg Ti4200 for DX9 games. If your wondering "I thought the Ti4200 was a DX9 card, how can it run DX9 games? To answer this, the engines that are being developed for DX9 games, are scalable back to DX6 or Dx7 based cards. Even though the Ti4200 won't be able to load up the DX9 eyecandy, it should be able to play the games fine & look decent.

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September 1, 2003 3:39:42 AM

The Ti4200 I'm looking at is for $85. Its VGA only and has 64mb. Will the lack of memory make a big difference (vs the $35 more expensive 128 + DVI version)?

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September 1, 2003 3:40:05 AM

Dang Crashman, you beat me to the punch.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
September 1, 2003 3:44:40 AM

Not at all, there is no justification for paying $35 more for a 128meg version of the same card. At that price it would be worth it to pay $20 and get a Radeon 9600, a decent Direct X 9, component. But since your on such a tight budget, stick with the Ti4200 64 meg. I just bought 3 of them myself.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
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