Okay - silly me. Upon looking at her MB it turns out some previous tech put in a PCI card when there was a perfectly good AGP 2x slot in there. I assumed that it was a PCI system since I saw the video card in the #5 PCI slot from the backside. Heh.
Anyways - so that means she gets my old Ti4400 - aka the little bulletproof beast, since it has both notches in the connector and is AGP 1-4x compatable.
I get - something simmilar to replace it. Now the fun part.
I have $129. I managed to locate a Radeon 9600(non-ultra) for $129 with 256mb. This seems to be a good comparable card to the Ti4400 with 4600 speed memory(ASUS).
The other card I found was a Nvidia 5700. It has 128mb, though it seems to test a bit faster and for $10 over my budget, has a tv/fm tuner built in. Essentially an all-in-wonder clone.
I know both will do better than my old ti4400 in DX9, or at least no worse - but which is a faster card? I'd heard that 256 Radeons were a bit slower than the same model 128 meg versions - is this true? According to this site, the 5700 eeks out the 9600, but not the 9600xt. (Of course if I could find a 9600xt for $129... (grin) btw - again, is there a difference between 128 and 256meg in the xt?
Both seem to have about the same image quality as my Ti4400, so that's not really a big issue. The Radeon is made by VisionTek and the 5700 by PNY(direct clone of the Nvidia 7000 personal theater model). Neither brand seems to instil huge amounts of confidence. Any know problems with these vendors - other than VisionTek having the lamest website ever?
256 megs is pretty much useless on cards in this class. Plus, you're right, 128-meg cards usually have higher quality (and speed) memory.
A 128mb Radeon 9600 PRO would be the best alternative for you if you can find one. I'd stay away from the FX5700... it shows well in some benchmarks, but the fact is that it's pixel shaders are weak compared to the 9600, and this is becoming more and more prevalent in advanced games that are coming out.
I decided on the 5700 as it is the non-LE version and has the video suite/tuner card with it - for $142 at Best Buy. At this price range, I can't possibly get anything faster. 30 days return policy, at which timer I will upgrade to the GeForce 6600 GT(AGP version) - which is a very fast card.
FX5700 = a bad buy. Why do that? In alot of games you just stepped down from that Ti4400!!!
I agree with Cleeve. R9600 Pro for around $100 USD is your best bet. If you want a TV tuner built in, you can find a BBA AIW R9600XT for cheaper than that FX if you look through the Sunday ads hard enough. One was just $125 AR recently. Or buy a R9600pro and a separate tv tuner card.
I ran all sorts of tests on this 5700(note - not an LE version) and in my system it is allowing me to play all of my games like my ti4400 but with the settings up a notch.
Take Pacific Assault. The mission where you are at Pearl Harbor is very taxing on the machine, though not half as realistic as D-Day was in the first game. It used to get under 10fps, which was unplayable, when you would fire off the quad flak gun - from all of the smoke. Now, it runs four times as fast. I played CS as well on it and ten smoke grenades did nothing at all to it - a first for me. So far, it is running twice as fast in every game and is DX9 compatable.
In any case, yeah - for a bit over $140, this is a smoking deal. I can certainly sell it or return it in a month for no loss since the card is $200 all over town. Even if I wanted *to* keep it, $140 for this card isn't a bad deal.
The TV tuner is nice as well. I watched a whole bunch of TV and Anime on my TV last night thanks to the superb A/V patch box, which includes analog video outputs as well as your typical S-Video and so on. In any case, way better than the AIW cards. Good enough to tide me over. Heh. I know people talk all the time about Radeons, but I like the way the NVidias render, so yeah - the 6600 GT AGP is kind of a no-brainer in 2-3 weeks.
BTW, when is ATI coming out with a X series AIW? Or an AGP version of the X series? The 6600 GT seems to be a winner for us people with the slightly older AGP slot - 80% the speed of the original 6800 GT for almost half the price(and that only because they underclocked the memory to "protect" PCI-E sales. OCing the 6600 12% to stock memory speeds should be a cinch).
Given that 95% of PCs still have the older AGP bus, it would seem like a smart move to see more AGP offerings, since 8x AGP is functionally simmilar to PCI-E right now, and is likely to be so for the next few years. I must have heard a dozen people this week talking about how it sucked - they wanted a new card but getting a new MB and processor in addition was suddenly a $700-$1000 proposition. The marketplace isn't buying PCI-E cards in the numbers it is AGP, and most people aren't seeing more than twice the speed for 2-3 years of "progress" - at least on AGP boards.
It's rare, but I disagree Cleeve, as $142 on a card "to tide you over", especially an FX5700nu, still seems like a waste of money.
If I were him, I'd return it pronto and head to CompUSA for a <A HREF="http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?produc..." target="_new">$200 GF6800</A>...faster than the 6600GT and only $60 more than that FX5700. Shoot, even if you totally dispise and won't do mail-in rebates, $230 is 6600GT prices anyway.
I knew about it, but I called every store in the So Cal. area and no dice - all gone or never received any. Otherwise, I'd have bought it instead. The online "check availability" is flat-out wrong. None of the stores actually have one in stock.
I loathe CompUSA, actually. Terrible service, in-store only, and never actually have it in stock when advertized. Would it kill them to take online orders and let you deal with the mail-in rebate? Sheesh. Best Buy does this, as do most other places.
That stinks. My local stores both say in stock too, but who knows. Closest one is 20 minutes away and I can't get down to check it out. I doubt a phone call would help. (not a huge compusa fan myself except for occasional hard to beat bargains). If it were a $300 GF6800GT, I'd make the time to go get one. But R9800 pro to GF6800 isn't a very good upgrade choice. If I needed a card, I'd sure try and get that $200 6800.
OK, gotcha. If he does return it in time for a full refund, I see what you are saying. I thought it was odd to so <b>dis</b>agree with Cleeve. :smile: It sounded like he thought it was a great deal and worth keeping even if he gets a 6600GT. That's where my eyes bugged out as for $140, there are better cards available.
The problem is - holiday season and finding a 6600 AGP that isn't selling for sometimes *more* than MSRP. This will be fine for a week or two until I can track down one - or maybe drive 100 miles and get the last remaining CompUSA "deal" left in CA.(though that would be Thursday, after my paycheck clears, since Best Buy seems to take a week or two to actually refund exchanges from past experience - there aren't likely to be any at all in stock short of driving to the middle of nowhere)
As for speed, the original choice was $120 for a card - and suddenly it's $100 more than that, but I'd have to buy the CompUSA card first to make sure I wasn't without anytihng in my machine. She's happy, though - so that's worth my going through a little angst I guess. Heh.
As for "not worth it" - it is an A/V card, so that is some of it I guess. I looked online yesterday and the cheapest I saw after rebate was $175, so reselling it at worst for a $10-$20 loss to get that 6800 if I can find it, or the 6600...
Somehow reminds me of my ti4400 - I missed out on a 4600 deal and got the 4400 instead, which was perfectly acceptable compared to my aging TNT2 it replaced.
Look at these <A HREF="http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/digest3d/1104/itogi..." target="_new">HL2 benchies</A> in the new Nov Digest. The must have forced the FX cards to run in DX9 (at least I hope so for their sake), but anyway, the FX5700 scores 6.5 fps while the R9600 pro manages 36.5 fps. The once mighty FX5950 only manages 13.5 fps, LOL, making the 9600se and X300se almost 50% faster.