Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Which FX card for Rome and beyond?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
October 5, 2004 9:23:56 AM

I need some advice on spending my cash!

I have no more than £200 ($350) to spend on a new Graphics card. I made the mistake of buying a FX5200 last time around (really enjoying seeing it at the bottom of the tables!) and want to make a good choice this time. I have to go for AGP as I cant afford to upgrade my whole system.

My short term goal is to give ROME:Total War (outstanding game) the power that it deserves so I don't have to limit myself to small forces or poor textures. Of course I'm hoping to be future proof at least enough to hold out for PCIe and 64bit to be established.

I've always used Nvidia, as I have had very little problems with them and have a little more knowlage of the cards but I am willing to try the Radeons. I have had a look around for some cards and this is the short list I can afford:

XFX GeForce FX5900XT 128MB AGP DVI-I VO
Sapphire Technology Radeon 9800Pro Ultimate 128MB AGP DVI-I VO
Inno3D Radeon 9800Pro 256MB AGP DDR DVI VO
Asustek GeForce 6800 128MB AGP DVI-I VO
Inno3D Radeon 9800XT 256MB AGP DDR DVI VO

Something I don't understand is what effect the Maker has on the quality of the card. I'm not to bothered about the bundles or over clocking (not that confident) so do I just look at the chip and not the card?

Thanks in advance

More about : card rome

October 5, 2004 11:16:20 AM

The maker has little, if any, impact on performance. The Sapphire 9800Pro cards are very good value for money at the moment (around £140), just be sure to get one with the 256-bit memory bus (the 128-bit one is crippled, but is not really that prevalent now). I have the sapphire one and R:TW and it runs fine with max details @ 1280x1024.

<A HREF="http://www.overclock.co.uk/customer/product.php?product..." target="_new">This store is pretty reasonable (£148)</A>
<A HREF="http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=122901&view=deta..." target="_new">Bit cheaper here(£134)</A>

If your budget allows though, the 6800 is a better performer, on the whole. Depends how much you want to spend. If you went for the 9800Pro, you could probably then afford some more RAM or something, which might help as well.

I've bought loads of stuff from those two sites I've listed, and they've not yet cocked anything up.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @200x10 (~2Ghz), 1.4 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL/1x512Mb Corsair XMS PC4000 2.5-3-3-7
Sapphire 9800Pro (VGA Silencer Rev3) @418/742
October 5, 2004 12:27:44 PM

Id throw a extra 50 bucks in, get the 6800 GT, and own Rome total war.

Asus p4c800 Deluxe,1 Gig Mushkin PC3200 Dual Channel 400 Mhz(222),Pentium 4 3.0 512k 800fsb HT, Thermaltake Xaser III, Thermaltake Spark 7+, Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Pro, eVGA GeForce 6800 GT
Related resources
October 5, 2004 2:40:35 PM

Quote:
get the 6800 GT

He said he has a certain budget and the 6800GT is wayyy beyond that. "Bucks"? Are you talking about pounds or dollars? They have the VAT in England on top of inflated prices for electronics, so the 6800GT is the equivalent of around 450-500 USD.

Athlon 2500+, Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2, 768Mb Corsair XMS 5-2-2-2.5, Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, Seagate SATA 80Gb, Fortron-Source FSP400-60PFN
October 5, 2004 3:14:10 PM

Yeh the Joys of tax!

You have to add 17.5% on top of the price so i guess for U.S. prices it would be a maximum of $295.

I suppose my big question is; Is the straight 6800/X800 worth the money?
October 5, 2004 3:45:10 PM

The prices in the links I gave above include VAT.

The second link (with the cheaper 9800Pro), stocks an MSI 6800 NU for £207 inclusive of VAT, so it'll be around £210-£212 with shipping. That's as cheap as I've seen one, but I haven't really looked very hard.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @200x10 (~2Ghz), 1.4 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL/1x512Mb Corsair XMS PC4000 2.5-3-3-7
Sapphire 9800Pro (VGA Silencer Rev3) @418/742
October 5, 2004 4:59:32 PM

The best card on that list is the 9800XT. They say that Ati has gotten a performance boost out of the next drivers for cards with 256mb, although I haven't seen the results on a 256mb9800XT, the 9800XT is still running faster than those other options.

Otherwise, any of those 9800 PROs would come in a close second; the PRO ULTIMATE by sapphire is nifty if you don't like noise, because the cooler is completely silent.

Never, ever buy a 5900XT over a 9800 PRO. Not nearly as good.

________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 332/345)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>3200+</b></font color=red> <i>(Barton 2500+ o/c 400 FSB)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>5,354</b>
October 7, 2004 1:36:35 PM

How does the Asus V9999GT fair? I was looking on the VGA Charts IV, and saw that the difference between the GT and standard is quite a bit (Call of Duty benchmark) I've found it for £235. This is more than I intended on paying but i can go without a night on the beer for the extra FPS if it's worth it! Also I'm right in thinking that the card only needs one extra power lead?
October 7, 2004 2:02:47 PM

Quote:
This is more than I intended on paying but <b>i can go without a night on the beer</b> for the extra FPS

Blasphemy! May the beer gods have mercy on your misguided soul!

Seriously speaking, £235 for the GT is a good deal, IMO, considering it's not that far from the Ultra really, and with a little overclocking would be nearer still.

Like I said though, my 9800Pro performs admirably in R:TW, so if money is tight you could save ~£100. I doubt you'd be dissapointed. But then I doubt you'd be dissapointed in the 6800GT either.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @200x10 (~2Ghz), 1.4 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL/1x512Mb Corsair XMS PC4000 2.5-3-3-7
Sapphire 9800Pro (VGA Silencer Rev3) @418/742
October 7, 2004 2:36:22 PM

Thanks for the note, although the beer gods have taken my liver as a sacrifice! I was thinking of the radeon but i think the PS3.0 of the 6800 has swayed it for me. I'm not going to be able to upgrade for a long time after this (beer gods wouldn't allow it) so i want to be as future proof as possable. The only other thing I need to by is the XP3200+ CPU then i'm pretty much done for 18 months/2 years!! I'll make my final choice tomorrow just in case I can be coaxed by someone else.
October 7, 2004 3:11:43 PM

Don't waste your cash on an XP3200+. Buy a XP-Mobile 2500+ or 2600+ and Just set it to run at XP3200+ speeds (or greater). Half the price.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @200x10 (~2Ghz), 1.4 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL/1x512Mb Corsair XMS PC4000 2.5-3-3-7
Sapphire 9800Pro (VGA Silencer Rev3) @418/742
October 7, 2004 3:28:34 PM

wouldn't i need extra cooling for that or something? I've never OC anything before so I would be abit wary. Also would that run at 400FSB?
October 7, 2004 3:33:40 PM

Stock coolers aren't so good, but a cheap aftermarket cooler will do nicely. I have a Coolermaster Aero7+ and it keeps my 2500+@3200+ much cooler than the stock cooler.

________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 332/345)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>3200+</b></font color=red> <i>(Barton 2500+ o/c 400 FSB)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>5,354</b>
October 7, 2004 3:58:42 PM

The stock cooler would probably be ok - perhaps a little warm but well within acceptable tolerances.

The thing to remember is that all Athlon XP (barton) chips use the exact same core really. They have to down-bin some chips which are capable of much higher speeds, just to fill the lower parts of the product lineup.

The Mobile XP chips are basically hand-picked ones which just happen to be higher quality than most - the cream of the crop basically - this enables them to run at a lower voltage than the average for a given clockspeed (important for laptops - less power drain and less heat). The pleasant side-effect of this is that because they're inherently slightly higher quality than the desktop chips, they also tend to be extremely good overclockers. As an added bonus, because the Laptops need to easily change the clockspeed of them on-the-fly, they also come with unlocked multipliers.

If you look at all the best Barton XP overclockers, you'll notice that every one of them is using a Mobile chip.

Yes, they will hit 400FSB easily. I've never heard of a mobile that couldn't. Moreover, I've never heard of one that couldn't get beyond 2.3Ghz - XP3200+ stock speed is 2.2Ghz.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @200x10 (~2Ghz), 1.4 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL/1x512Mb Corsair XMS PC4000 2.5-3-3-7
Sapphire 9800Pro (VGA Silencer Rev3) @418/742
October 7, 2004 4:03:15 PM

Oops - forgot to mention that I think the Mobile chips are OEM only so wouldn't come with a cooler anyway :smile: . Any cooler rated for a 3200+ or better would work fine. They aren't expensive.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @200x10 (~2Ghz), 1.4 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL/1x512Mb Corsair XMS PC4000 2.5-3-3-7
Sapphire 9800Pro (VGA Silencer Rev3) @418/742
October 7, 2004 4:18:36 PM

Where you live. Can you buy HIS vid cards? If so buy the 9800Pro ICEQ.
October 7, 2004 4:46:30 PM

first gauss ill tell ya that overclocking a 2500xp is simple... least it was for me on my asus a7n8x board... just make sure u have pc3200 ram and the rest is childs play. ppl saying they have fried their chip. run a search through this forum and see how many ppl actually have overheated and killed their chip??? only a handful.... anyway as long as yur fan is alright overclocking is a piece of piss.

next my advice is go for the straight 6800.

"Its only when you look at ants closely with a magnifying glass on a sunny day that you realise how often they burst into flames"
October 7, 2004 5:54:15 PM

I have the A7N8X Deluxe rev. 2 and an Athlon 2500+, and if I even OC to 1.9GHz my computer starts acting weird. I know it isn't the temperature. Someone told me that I may just have a crappy processor. Other problem is that I can't set my FSB in increments of one, only 133, 166, and 200.

Athlon 2500+, Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev2, 768Mb Corsair XMS 5-2-2-2.5, Sapphire 9800 Pro 128Mb, Seagate SATA 80Gb, Fortron-Source FSP400-60PFN
October 8, 2004 6:29:48 AM

How come you have said the straight 6800? I would have thought the GT was a better choice although £30 more.

I'm not sure about the CPU, I can get a XP3200 for £100 but cant seem to find a 2500-MP cheaper. I have a shuttle AN35N-400. It is sat working nicely at the moment. The problem with this hobby of PC's is that you are never happy with what you have (Unless you are my mate who has a 2 year old GeForce4 Ti 4200 which still runs sweet as a nut)!
October 8, 2004 10:24:52 AM

i have a rev 1 board (i think, i dont want anyone giving out to me over that if there is no such thing)

anyway just go into the bios settings.. and set everything whatever options u can to user defined.... and that unlocks the fsb options.... or should... im not a mad overclocker... i just had the pc, wanted to do it and it all worked out ok for me.

next from what i have read not everything overclocks the same.... the chip might be a poor one, the mobo might be poor (not sure on that one) or yur ram mightnt be suitable... u need pc3200 at least. ill chk when i get home from work and ill post up the settings i have.

and to answer yur question gaussian u never stated the GT in yur list and i havent the patience like some to go check the prices so wasnt aware there was only a £30 difference... if ya wanna go for that go for it. the GT is supposedly cool... its not too fast to be considered wasteful but the straight 6800 is still a great card to the best of my knowledge. My personal view on buying graphics cards is to save up and buy the current best. That usually cures any doubts I have about its performance :)  Cos if ya can save £200 it can't be that hard to save another £200.
But it does also depend on the rest of yur rig.... i usually upgrade my card, then my system then my card repeat......

"Its only when you look at ants closely with a magnifying glass on a sunny day that you realise how often they burst into flames"
October 8, 2004 11:26:09 AM

NOT a 2500-MP, An XP-M(obile). The MP is for multi-processor setups.
<A HREF="http://www.overclock.co.uk/customer/home.php?cat=528" target="_new">try here</A> I've bought plenty of stuff from that site and they've never given me a problem.

Your board should be fine for one of these chips.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @200x10 (~2Ghz), 1.4 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL/1x512Mb Corsair XMS PC4000 2.5-3-3-7
Sapphire 9800Pro (VGA Silencer Rev3) @418/742
October 11, 2004 10:13:47 AM

Thanks for everything guys,
I went for the 6800GT in the end, it was £228 so over budget but hey, I always am.
Thanks for the advice on the processor, it wi'll be a while until i can cough up the cash for that (beans on toast from now on)! fingers crossed installation will go smoothly and I'll be dominating the barbarian hordes in true roman fashion (No! not like that!!! ;) 

Thanks again.
!