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Best value 3D Card... $130 or less

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  • Graphics Cards
  • 3D
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 12, 2005 8:53:18 PM

My friend is looking to spend as little as possible to get a 3D card for his system, which is a P4 2.4 w/512mb RAM. Games to be played: Half-Life 2, the new Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory... and others to be sure.

Anyway what is the cheapest card that will run all of today's current gen-games relatively well? $130-ish is the price max. There are so many card variations; what are the best few options?



P4c 3.2Ghz @ 800MHz Northwood / ABIT AI7 / 1GB Corsair XMS-Pro CL2 Pc3200 / 160GB Seagate SATA 7200rpm 8mb cache / BFG-Tech Nvidia GeForce 6800GT 256mb / Antec Sonata case w/Antec TruePower 380W PSU

More about : card 130

a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2005 10:15:11 PM

ATI R9600PRO.

They are going for just over $100, and are a better value than most R9600XT.

Make sure it's a true R9600PRO and not a PRO-Lite/EZ , etc. though.

I'd suggest others but that'd be definitely in the $150+ range.

Brands to Avoid, PowerColor, GeXCube/GigaGube, Tyan (their R9600PROs have overclocked memory chips just to reach reference stock speeds).

From NewEgg a good option is the 'Retail' <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">MSI for $106</A>

Sapphire's OK too.

That would be my suggestion for that price range.

Now as a gamble the <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Rosewill R9600XT</A> will give him a little more power (core should even overclock a little more too), but I haven't see ANY reviews of this MFR.
So Is it worth $23 more, I dunno.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
January 12, 2005 11:46:09 PM

Tell him to bump it up another $100 and buy the 6600GT.
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January 13, 2005 12:12:48 AM

It's not that I think your friend is a dumb pwit or anything, but please explain, for gaming, the gpu is more important than the cpu. He needs a good gpu, some very special ram, and a highly sophisticated board, could he get that from Intel for $130?
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2005 2:25:00 AM

I second the radeon 9600 pro as the best buy, or a 9600XT IF priced real close.

Best performance would be going used or refurb. <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Radeon 9700 Pro</A> would be much better and while not as fast, it is priced much cheaper than a refurb <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">real 256-bit 9800 Pro</A>.

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a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2005 4:45:43 AM

Nice find on the R9700Pro, if you're comfortable with Refurb (all my phones are refurbs) then that's the best performance sofar.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
January 13, 2005 1:14:23 PM

Damn, that 9700 PRO is a great deal.

But yeah, if you need new, the 9600 PRO is the best bet.

________________
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<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>3200+</b></font color=red> <i>(Barton 2500+ o/c 400 FSB)</i>
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January 14, 2005 4:26:28 PM

awesome, thanks guys. I'll tell him to go with that 9700pro.. thanks for finding that! And yeah - I'd love to have him to bump it up another hundred to get the GeForce 6600GT... If it was my money I would... but oh well! Thanks again, its much appreciated,

Danny


P4c 3.2Ghz @ 800MHz Northwood / ABIT AI7 / 1GB Corsair XMS-Pro CL2 Pc3200 / 160GB Seagate SATA 7200rpm 8mb cache / BFG-Tech Nvidia GeForce 6800GT 256mb / Antec Sonata case w/Antec TruePower 380W PSU
a b U Graphics card
January 14, 2005 9:28:28 PM

I can't count how many newegg refurbs I have bought. They used to have some amazing deals, but very few good ones now. Before it seemed just a way of getting rid of returned stock...and CHeap. The best deals disappeared within minutes of being posted each day. Me and a buddy would check often, then IM each other with "refurbs up", then it was off to snatch up as many great deals as we could get. Video cards and cases mainly, but also mobos, mem, & cpu. Within a few hours almost all of the video cards were gone. Now though, it's a joke. It's big business now. There are always refurb cards in stock. Some of those cards have been there for ages. Others save you 10% to buy the refurb; no thanks. But there are still occasionally some good deals. Always worth browsing those pages before buying a used card off a stranger.

Anyway, my point to posting, the vast majority of the cards were totally fine. By far my best OC'in Ti4200 was a newegg refurb. My advice when buying their refurbs is: Buy it knowing you are getting a good deal but at a somewhat higher risk of needing to RMA it. Buying just a few, I think you will be just fine. Buy 20, and you are bound to have 1 or 2 problems. So if you are easlily ticked by having the cost/time of rma'ing something, beware. Also, if time is important, you have to realize that an RMA will push you back. Uusally, newegg refunds the money on a refurb and does not replace the card. But that may have changed due to the fact that there are so many refurbs in stock now; it's not just one of a kinds now. So now, you may get a replacement not a refund.

Last and most important. test the refurb right away because I think the time to put in an RMA is 14 days from purchase. Anyway, I'd say you have twice the risk of needing an RMA, but most likely you are getting a perfectly working card that someone rma's because of user error or even a change of mind. Like, those who pop out a GF card and pop in the radeon, installing drivers over each other and have then blame it on a bad card. Or those who upgrade from a GF4Ti to a GFFX that isn't any faster. Or even those who find out after they get the card, that they don't have an AGP slot. :wink:

Man, I just totally forgot who I am responding to with all this. This info is more for the original poster, not Grape, Cleeve, or whoever I may have responded to that may not even be able to buy from Newegg. :redface:

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