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Graphic card buying guide!

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Nvidia
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 11, 2003 3:16:42 AM

I'm thinking about making a Version 2 of this FAQ. I need all the help i can get!

Please sign up here with the method to contact you all

here's a basic idea.
- Clock/ram speed for all cards
- technology explaination for each brand
- 3D mark 2001/ 3Dmarks 2003/ Aquamark3 benchmark #s
- Brand benefits
- Up to date news

If u want a piece of the project sign up!


RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!

More about : graphic card buying guide

October 11, 2003 6:41:42 PM

you're all poo poo heads!! help out~

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 11, 2003 7:13:25 PM

Patience, CS, even though it might appear otherwise, I don't actually hit the refresh button on the THGC Graphics Card Forum every 30 seconds 24/7. :lol: 

Of course I'd absolutely <font color=purple><i>LOVE</i></font color=purple> to contribute. I've alway wanted to do something for THGC. In fact if I get let in on this project I'll drop the lame "THGC Forum Cemetary" idea.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by UFO_WARVIPER on 10/11/03 03:14 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Related resources
October 11, 2003 7:33:37 PM

Also, I don't think we ouught to have more than one sticky in this forum considering all the frequent traffic that the Graphics Card section has. If we can somehow have a link on the Buyer's Guide or add the info into the guide itself under a new heading, & rename the Guide to another title since it would be more than just a "buyer's guide" at that point. I would be greatly honored to help sponser this. Let's see what spitfire & <b><font color=red>Fredi</b></font color=red> thinks about this.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 11, 2003 11:22:27 PM

Okay, but we can't leave all the researche & web maintance soley up to you. If we are a devoted community to the Graphics Forum, than several people (including myself) are going to have to share the burden. It's only fair & right.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 12, 2003 12:23:20 AM

basically V2 will replace V1

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 12, 2003 12:33:32 AM

Hi CS & Spitfire, its good to see both of you here.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 12, 2003 12:34:08 AM

I have an idea-

Guide V1 will not be modified.

There will be a link after every recommended card

The linked page will contain detail facts about the card (the facts you wanted to list in the V2)

I will host the additional webpages in my Geocities account.

----------------
<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86" target="_new">My Website</A></b>

<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new">My Rig & 3DMark score</A></b>
October 12, 2003 12:37:03 AM

What will be my job in this Dept?

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 12, 2003 1:42:44 AM

nah~~~ noobs are lazy ass people....... just replace V1~ and we can add some technical FAQ stuff too *cough* Grape, WS, GW, Eden, flamethrower, DH, rcpilot, and many more, JOIN IN!! u poo poo heads!! *cough*

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 12, 2003 1:48:09 AM

Like Features, Chipspecs, Capabilites, onboard connectors, etc , and that sort of stuff?

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 12, 2003 1:49:05 AM

ur not assigned anything until we get more people ;) 

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 12, 2003 1:51:36 AM

Okay, comeon Everyone, see what's up & join in on the project. It'll be fun guys!!

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 12, 2003 3:01:31 AM

i am *technically* a newbie, but would be more than happy to assist.
Im a 3D Animator with a 5900Ultra, dont seem to be many NV fans here (everyone slagged them off since the DX9 thing)

Jeez, i think NV did a fine job with the FX series of cards, its just that Ati did a FANTASTIC job with their current cards, if people followed their hardware a little closer, they would see its all swings and roundabouts!!!!
DX9 is BRAND NEW if ANYTHING could keep up with it, its a bonus! all ATi owners should consider themselves very very lucky :) 
Anyhoo, i think the whole *FX SUXORZ* thing was a little harsh, they are very capable cards.
Just my 2 Euros. :) 

............................................
Render times? You'll find me down the pub...
October 12, 2003 3:18:35 AM

Soz that was a little off topic (im a wee bit tipsy) but anyway if you need FX5900Ultra benchies/details gimme a shout! (as long as i dont have to hear that Ati are better.... i know already you damned 9800Pro owners, you!)
Oh (as no one knows me!) my rig is a P4 3.Ghz-ish (208FSB i think)(no big oc's here, im afraid) 2Ghz Corsair TwinX 2-3-2-5-8, 160G x2 HD (Raid 0 ... 320Gig) SB Aud. 2 okish cooling.
Um. Hope i can be of help. :) 

............................................
Render times? You'll find me down the pub...
October 12, 2003 3:28:38 AM

i dont think we can use ur benchmarks... ur system's too 1337 -_-

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 12, 2003 3:59:36 AM

haha i think not... i have seen benchies using AMD 64 technology! Does anyone know ANYONE who owns that stuff?!!!
But i do have pretty little lights.... :) 

............................................
Render times? You'll find me down the pub...
October 13, 2003 7:39:45 PM

BUMP!!! ARG!! YOU PEOPLE!! do i have to do this on my own AGAIN?

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
October 14, 2003 12:56:09 AM

Captain Obvious says yes!

Though the Captain did read a thread about a graphics card clock speed table.

<b><font color=red>Captain Obvious To The Rescue!!!</font color=red></b>
October 14, 2003 2:35:51 AM

I would like to help out if i can.

Im not all to sure what you would like from me, but give me some suggestions and i'll see what i can do.

BTW My system is below this is my <A HREF="http://www.cty.ca/image/mecca-w.gif" target="_new">CASE</A> with side fan and a Enlight 420W Powersupply

ASUS P4S8X - P4 2.4B - 2 x 512M DDR333 - ATI 9500 Pro(Sapphire) - WD 80G HD (8M Buffer) - SAMSUNG SV0844D 8G HD - LG 16X DVD - Yamaha F1 CDRW - Iomega Zip 250 int.
October 14, 2003 2:48:05 AM

is it just me or am i the only guru here that's NOT LAZY!!??

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 14, 2003 2:54:33 AM

Yeah it's you all right! :tongue:

--
<A HREF="http://www.lochel.com/THGC/album.html" target="_new"><font color=blue><b>This just in, over 56 no-lifers have their pics up on THGC's Photo Album! </b></font color=blue></A> :lol: 
October 14, 2003 2:56:08 AM

On a serious side-note, if only the guide had a website version, so you can use some good Word editing. I'd be much obliged to help out do the editing, as I've had some good experience in some more abstract MS WORD features in my MM College program. I'd definitely give some colors and attitude to your guide and all you have to do is tell me what you'd like and sit back!

But yeah, we'd need a website lol.

--
<A HREF="http://www.lochel.com/THGC/album.html" target="_new"><font color=blue><b>This just in, over 56 no-lifers have their pics up on THGC's Photo Album! </b></font color=blue></A> :lol: 
October 14, 2003 3:33:00 AM

hmm i think i've got some webspace on my Shaw account.... anyone wanna donate webspace?

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 14, 2003 4:06:29 AM

This is just a big-ass spam thread, disguised as a buying guide. Nothing the matter with that, but lets not try to decieve ourselves here:) 

<b>I help because you suck</b>
October 14, 2003 4:08:35 AM

oooh come on GW , stop thinking every big thread is SPAM :D 

u gonna help out? LAZYASS?

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 14, 2003 4:31:34 AM

Well, when Grape made an <b>actual thread</b> about an <b>actual graphics card</b> review, everyone pissed in it, claiming that it didnt deserve to be posted.
So after being kinda pissed after reading that thread, I jump into this thread, which is (sorry to say) a spam thread. Everyone here, including you CoolSquirtle, are able to do anything they want. Just dont expect me not to bitch about things that I view as not being right.

<b>I help because you suck</b>
October 14, 2003 4:46:27 AM

wow calm down dude, i was just joking :D  besides this forum would be pretty died without SPAM :D 

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 14, 2003 4:57:53 AM

Not to worry CS, I'm backing you 100% with your new idea. I've had so many lame posts at the "Other" section (I think its high time that I actively participate in a community project. Give me the tasks & I'll see what I can do.

I've gotta hand it to CS, even though some of his posts are half-baked (like some of mine), We would not have the THGC Graphics Card Buyer's Guide if it weren't for his initiative to start the project. GW, was joking with ya I beleive CS. But if he wasn't than this is what I have to say: this is NOT a spam thread. IF CS creates a thread for a community project, I think there's plenty of tangible evidence that he would only do so if he were sincere about the project. Again, I'm backing Coolsquirtle 100% on this one. Since we can't have a website on the THGC Front page, there IS an alternative. We can post a link to a website inside teh Buyer's Guide, (or DHlucke can edit his first post in the "Read Me First" thread to include the link. I beleive Captain_Obvious has indicated to me via PM that he was willing to take on the project. But with his usual overuse of brevity in his messages I'm not able to confirm this 100% for sure. I really want to see this thing take off. If anyone's noticed my relative absenteeism over the last 48 hours its been because I've been extremely busy with my School Work & lots of deadlines to meet. But I'll definiitely be able to squeeze in time for this project. CS, if its just you & me, CDpage, and maybe some others working on this, then so be it. It would really make my day if I were assigned some responsibilites and tasks for this.

<b>Now this is just a thought:</b> we might need an objective, non-biased person with lots of experiece & great leadership skills to oversee the work & progress of each of the fellow members involved in the project. Does anyone have any suggestions of a person who would adequately fit such a profile & be willing to do this? Oh yeah, & just because somone gets elected to this postition doensn't mean they have more authority or higher status @ THGC or anything like that. It should just be a person who sees through that Each Page & Concept Idea is regularly kept up to date & makes sure the overall goal of the Graphics Card Community Project is an overall coherent series of guide, that complement, & not contradict one another.

This project is going to require alot of hard work & solemn deidication of each member involved. Only those that are willing to stick with this to the end should consider joining. TO see this successful would be one my greatest dreams cone true. I've always wanted to work with a collective on a technology project, & post the results of my work. I don't give a crap if I don't get paid. I'm doing it because I want to help other people out & be of contribution to the Internet Hardware Community. I kind of feel that's why most of us stay here regularly, just to fulfill that purpose, & to have a good time of course :smile: . If this were to go through, we would perhaps be one of the most dedicated Grahics Communities on the Net ot helping others out. I'm all for this, what about you guys?

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 14, 2003 5:04:52 AM

This thread is now halfway through it's <b>fourth</b> page. What have you guy's got acomplished so far?...nada.
Show me I'm wrong and put something cool together. I'm not gunna hold my breath though.

<b>I help because you suck</b>
October 14, 2003 5:08:39 AM

I don't see why this would be a spam thread. This is the development of a Community Concept of working together in an effort to achieve a goal that probably never has been accomplished by any English-speaking forum on the Net. I think you took what we said to TGGA about that review a little out of context. We didn't say it did not deserved to be posted. All we really said was that the information presented was really nothing new, although useful to others who haven't seen older similar news post threads. I can't say I am spamming in this thread. My heart is 100% devoted to creating resources to help those out who need help in the Graphics Card Community. I don't understand why you are so fiercely opposed to this sort of an idea. Its going to be more than just a buyers guide, but an entrie Graphics Card Resource Center. Don't get me wrong GW, I'm not upset with you at all, I'm just confused why you perceive our legitimate attempts to develop Graphics Card Resources as nothing more than just mere SPAMMING.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 14, 2003 5:20:37 AM

So its on its 4th page (2nd Page on my browsing settings), that's not such a big deal. We're still drumming up support & we're discussing the concepts. It takes a bit of time to get all of this done. Sure, I'm not pleased with the amount of support currently drummed up either, but its getting better & better. IThis thread might be on its 20th (or higher) Page before something actually gets posted. Like I said this is going to require alot of recruitmetn & careful planning to make sure the operation proceeds smoothly. I couldn't exactly call these last 40 posts "careful planning" yet. We are still in the recruitment stage of the process and that's going to take some time to find dedicated members who are willing to stick to this project. I think CS is serious about this. Look at his posts expressing frustration about how little interest there seemed previously if you don't beleive me. He made the Graphics Card Buyer's Guide happen & he'll probably make this happen as well. WHile he is often to silly in many of his posts(perhaps the greatest flaw in his character on these forums), there are definitely some very strong points to CS's character that I truly admire in him as an individual and that includes the determination to actually accomplish something. Back when I was a "Newbie" and saw these actions on CS's part, seeing this kind of dedication on part of THGC convinced me to reside here, hence part of the reason I'm still here today, because people here are willing to work hard to get things accomplished.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 14, 2003 5:34:21 AM

::yawn::

<b>I help because you suck</b>
October 14, 2003 5:40:31 AM

And what's that supposed to mean?

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 14, 2003 5:47:57 AM

And seriously, what's with the lack of support, I thought we we're all chums here so to speak? Mark my words - I'm going to work to make something of this, my hearts in wholly into this. The only way I'm not going to to this is if we can't drum up enough support, & you're severe pessimism isn't contributing at all to our plans. If anything, your bringing morale down at the moment. I've always enjoyed your input and opinions in particular, but why are you so quick to judge us as lame spammers? sure, I've had some spamming in the past, but I know my feelings about this are sincere & so is everyone elses' who desires to contribute to this. I don't want to argue, & I can probably place a hefty bet that I am comming across snappy, or agrumentive today, & I apologize for this. I've just been extremely busy.

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 14, 2003 5:55:52 AM

Your acting really weird, if you dont see it, then your in trouble.

<b>I help because you suck</b>
October 14, 2003 5:56:53 AM

ding ding
GW VS UFO!

i put my bet on UFO cause all GW is doing is yawning :D 

PLACE UR BETS!!

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 14, 2003 5:58:40 AM

5th PAGE!! SUCK THAT GW :D 

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 14, 2003 6:07:30 AM

I admit I was pretty grouchy in my last couple of posts, but that doesn't change the fact that some of just <i>might</i> actually be sincere about completing and following through with this project. Look, I don't want to argue, and I shouldn't have been so defensive in my last posts. I just want to collaborate and work together with everyone who is willing & wish you wouldn't be so pessimistic about this idea. If you have any ideas or anything you would like to see included in the project plz spill them out. :smile:

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by UFO_WARVIPER on 10/14/03 02:09 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 14, 2003 6:18:19 AM

I think a lot of people would like to contribute, however, i believed (like myself) is hard to "always" find the time to dedicate to a project like this.
I have a suggestion, why don't u, I mean, persons who will be overseeing the project set up the Guide at some web site, make a link to here, and we just simply go to that site and contributed by sending email to a dedicated email address whenever we can?

System Integration...yeah right, thanks to marketing, more confusion
October 14, 2003 6:29:25 AM

but in some way that will be like going against THG.... i dont wanna get banned like spuddy >< i'll think of something........

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 14, 2003 6:40:16 AM

So far i think the THG has been great, but the project that u mention, I think it will take a fair bit out of Toms' available resources...why don't we just ask him?
If he is the hardware guy that i think he is, then he should be more then happy to help us out here????

By the way, I would also like to contribute, but not until end of nov, cause by then, I should be on cable, right now, still on modem, and it is slowwwwwwwww..............

System Integration...yeah right, thanks to marketing, more confusion<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by augustus108 on 10/14/03 02:45 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 14, 2003 6:41:45 AM

hmmmmm......... well maybe......... anyways i gotta crash :D 

be back next week or something

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
October 14, 2003 6:42:16 AM

Special GeForce FX notes: All GeForce FX cards are temporarily removed from this buyers' guide due to their serious performance problems in Half Life 2 and unimpressive performance with other DX9 games. If Detonator 50 driver solves the problems without cheating, we will again add GeForce FX series cards in this buyers' guide.

Till then, avioid all GeForce FX cards by all means.
<font color=red>Removing the FX cards form the buyers guide is a joke, of the 200+ popular games on the shelves being bought, the FX cards have trouble with only a few. I wouldnt even call it having trouble, I would merely say that they dont perform as well as the competitions.
FX5900's are uder $250.00dollars in stores now, and I personally think thats a good deal </font color=red>

FAQ
~~~

#1) What does "FAQ" means?
Ans: Frequently Asked Questions

#2) Should I read this guide before I'm going to ask a question about buying graphics card?
Ans: YES!

#3) I don't understand the techincal things of this guide
Ans: A technical FAQ is coming, it should make everthing clear.

#4) There's no list of recommended card manufacturers.
Ans: See at the bottom of the guide.

#5) Where can I search for prices?
Ans: See at the bottom of the guide.

#6) I think this guide is "x" brand biased!
Ans: Of course not!

#7) I have comments/suggestions/flames about this guide.
Ans: See at the bottom of the guide.



_______________________________________________________
Start of the FAQ



_____________________

Value Cards (upto $150)
_____________________



Recommended Cards


Best buy: GeForce4 Ti4200 (64 MB version)
<font color=red>The Radeon 9600Pro is as low as $139.00 in stores, this should be at the top of the list.</font color=red>

Other good cards in this price category: Radeon 8500LE/Radeon 9100, Radeon 9200 Pro/non-Pro,


GeForce4 Ti4200

Pros- Fastest out of all those cards, cheap
Cons- No DX9 support, AA/AF can hurt performance
Sidenote: There are three types of Ti4200
Ti4200 64mb 4x/8x- cheapest, second fastest(clocked higher), better quality ram
Ti4200 128mb- slowest out of the three, said to have cheap ram to reduce cost(clocked lower)
Ti4200-8x 128mb- 8X AGP, slightly faster than Ti4200 64 MB, uses good ram

Radeon 8500/8500LE/9100

Pros- Cheap, full DX8<font color=red>should read full DX8.1 support</font color=red> support, good image quality
Cons- No DX9 support, not so fast, 8500/8500LE are discontinued product


Radeon 9000 Pro/9200 Pro

Pros- Cheap, full DX8 <font color=red>DX8.1</font color=red> support, good image quality
Cons- No DX9 support, not so fast



Cards to Avoid


SiS Xabre 600/400

Pros- Cheap
Cons- Speed comes at the cost of heavy quality loss, very slow when quality on par with ATI/nVidia cards, poor driver support


GeForce4 MX440
<font color=red>The MX440 shouldnt be in this catagory, it's a $50.00 dollar card, and performs good for that price. Not everyone reading this is a hardcore gamer.</font color=red>
Pros- Cheap
Cons- No DX8 support, basically turbo charged GeForce2 MX with Video processing engine. Slow in DX8 games


Radeon 9500 (non-Pro)/Radeon 9600 (non-Pro)
Pros- DX9 support, Best AA and AF performance among value cards
Cons- Radeon 9500 (non-Pro) sometimes can be very slow due to it's 4 pixel pipeline design. Radeon 9600 (non-Pro) is bandwidth limited and unlike the pro version, not good overclocker.<font color=red>It does too overclock good</font color=red>



Special notes for budget graphics card buyers:

Avoid 128 MB versions and save money. All of these budget cards aren't powerful enough to make use of 128 MB memory. Moreover, many 128 Radeon 8500LE/9100 cards are slower than the 64 MB version, because they come with slower memory.




__________________________

Midrange Cards ($150 to $300)
__________________________


Recommended Cards


Best buy: Radeon 9700 (non-Pro)/9800 (non-Pro)

Other good cards in this price category: Radeon 9500 Pro, Radeon 9600 Pro, GeForce FX5600 Ultra rev2.0


Radeon 9700 (non-Pro)/9800 (non-Pro)
Pros- DX9 support, Fastest out of all those cards, good price/performance ratio, very good AA/AF peformance
Cons- Most expensive among listed cards, 9700 (non-Pro) is quite hard to find <font color=red>www.pricewatch.com&lt;/font color=red>


Radeon 9500 Pro

Pros- DX9 support, Inexpensive, Speedy, good price/performance ratio, very good AA/AF peformance
Cons- Discontinued product, Hard to find<font color=red>not where I live</font color=red>


Radeon 9600 Pro

Pros- DX9 support, Inexpensive, Speedy, very good overclocker,<font color=red>some are</font color=red> good price/performance ratio, very good AA/AF peformance
Cons- slower than Radeon 9500 Pro



Cards to Avoid

GeForce4 Ti4800/4600/4800SE/4400
<font color=red>These cards can be had for cheap. I disagree that they arent worthy of consideration</font color=red>

Pros- Inexpensive, Runs most games smoothly without AA and AF
Cons- No DX9 support, Get wasted by Radeons, not really worth the price anymore


Special notes for midrange graphics card buyers:


Don't think about buying 256 MB version GeForceFX 5600 cards. They aren't fast enough to utilize 256 MB VRAM.

GeForce4 Ti4800 = GeForce4 Ti4600 + AGP 8X; GeForce4 Ti4800SE = GeForce4 Ti4400 + AGP 8X







__________________________

High-End Cards ($300 and up)
__________________________



Recommended Cards

Radeon 9800XT

Pros- DX9 support, fastest card, very good AA/AF performance
Cons- very expensive, only little faster than Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB, no new features compared to Radeon 9800 PRO
<font color=red>I guess dynamic overclocking and temperature monitoring arent new features?....c'mon dude</font color=red>


Radeon 9800 Pro (128 MB version)

Pros- DX9 support, very fast, very good AA/AF performance
Cons- Expensive


Radeon 9700 Pro

Pros- DX9 support, not much slower than Radeon 9800 Pro, best price/performance ratio in this category, very good AA/AF peformance
Cons- none



/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\



Recommended Brands: (sorted alphabetically)


For ATI based cards:
Best: Built by ATI, Hercules
Good: Gigabyte, Sapphire
<font color=red>I would take Sapphire over Hercules any day.....better ram</font color=red>
For nVidia based cards:
Best: ASUS, MSI, Leadtek, PNY
Good: ABIT, Gainward


Brands to avoid: (sorted alphabetically)

For ATI based cards: Gigacube, PowerColor<font color=red>(huh?)</font color=red>

For nVidia based cards: Daytona Palit<font color=red>(huh?)</font color=red>, and any unknown/less known brand
<font color=red>While telling people which card is better is good, it still doesnt tell them why one is better then another. When you tell an average person that one card has DX8 support, and one has DX7 support, you arent telling that person a whole lot. Somewhere in this guide, there needs to be a brief description of pixel/vertex shaders, memory bus width, what DX spec calls for(not just DX9, but DX8.1, DX8, DX7) I wouldnt go as far as trying to describe the fundamentals of floating point precisions in modern architectures, but there's alot that needs to be covered if you guy's want to make this guide really great. I think that a full description of what each generation of graphics card is capable of(fillrate/shader performance/poly count/which shaders the card uses/memory bandwidth etc.)would be of more use to the new people then just telling them which card is better. I would want to know 'why' that card you recomended is better. Unless a person can get that answer in the buyers guide, their only going to start a thread about it asking the question anyways....and stopping the same redundant questions from being asked is the reason why we wanted the buyers guide in place to begin with.</font color=red>


<b>I help because you suck</b>
October 14, 2003 6:58:39 AM

Thanks for the suggestsion GW! CS, Spitfire, what do y'all have to say about thiss? It looks like GW has some worthy considerations and that the Guide in its current state has some flaws within it. We need to get our plans together & push the next version of this guide out the door ASAP. I don't have time tonigh to comment specifically of GenticWeapons's individual points because I havt to study for a test, even thou its 2:00 AM :frown: . GW, if there were so many flaws within the Guide, that would have been nice if you would have commented sooner. Oh well better lat than never, as the 'ole saying goes! :wink:

My OS features preemptive multitasking, a fully interactive command line, & support for 640K of RAM!
October 14, 2003 7:01:21 AM

Tonight was the first time I read the guide...sorry.

<b>I help because you suck</b>
October 14, 2003 8:59:27 AM

<font color=red>Cards in this buyers guide are going to be ranging from DX8 to DX9. Some of you guys know a little about vertex shaders and pixel shaders, but because these elements of rendering are rarely discussed on these forums, I've compiled a page of what I would expect anyone who considers themselves to be a knowledgable enthusiaste to already know. This stuff is really just the basics</font color=red>
The Vertex shader = Objects in a 3D scene are typically described using triangles, which in turn are defined by their vertices. A vertex shader is a graphics processing function used to add special effects to objects in a 3D environment by performing mathematical operations on the objects' vertex data. Before DX8, vertex shading effects were so computationally complex that they could only be processed offline using server farms. Now, developers can use Vertex Shaders to breathe life and personality into characters and environments, such as fog that dips into a valley and curls over a hill; or true-to-life facial animation such as dimples or wrinkles that appear when a character smiles. People talk about pixel shaders alot these days, but the vertex shader gave birth to the pixel shader, just as important of a discovery then hardware transform and lighting was a few years earlier.

Pixel shaders = A Pixel Shader is a graphics function that calculates effects on a per-pixel basis. Depending on resolution, in excess of 2 million pixels may need to be rendered, lit, shaded, and colored for each frame, at 60 frames per second. That in turn creates a tremendous computational load. Modern cards process this load through Pixel Shaders. Per-pixel shading brings out a high level of surface detail—allowing you to see effects beyond the triangle level. Rather than simply choosing from a pre compiled palette of effects, developers can create their own. Pixel Shaders provide developers with the control for determining the lighting, shading, and color of each individual pixel, allowing them to create some really cool effects.
<font color=red>DirectX 8 brought us pixel shader 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3.
DirectX 8 allowed programmers to write pixelshader up to 12 instructions in length. immediately after DX8's release, it was determined by programmers and Microsoft themselves that 12 instructions werent quite enough. Thats why right after DX8's release, MS gave birth to DirectX 8.1, and introduced us to a new shader...PS 1.4
PS 1.4 allowed programmers to now write shaders at nearly twice the size of DX8 shaders...up to 22 instruction lengths. So now you have to remember that cards that are DX8(Ti series) support pixel shader 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3, <b>but not 1.4</b> Cards that are DX8.1(Radeon 8500 and up) support all of the same shaders as are required in DX8, but also support PS 1.4</font color=red>
PS 1.4 support is why the Radeon 8500 was such a revolutionary card compared to the Geforce 3&4.
I've also seen some people struggle with the understanding of pixel shaders and OpenGL. OpenGL has pixel shaders, but they arent called pixel shaders, they're called ARB_FRAGMENT_SHADERS, but they basically perform the same functions.
I'm starting to lose track of what I'm doing so I know that I'm getting tired:) 
Tomarrow we'll tackle DX9 and all of the fun stuff that entails.
CoolSquirtle and UFO, if I'm typing all of this info out and you guys dont somehow use it in your project, I will personally rip off your heads and shiit down your wind pipes:) 

<b>I help because you suck</b>
!