Need help in 3d card selection

Hello, I am new here, just looking for help in choosing a 3D card. I have a 2 year old P4 Intel motherboard,1.4mhz,1gbRambus, with an old Rage 128 card. I dont do a lot of gaming but mostly flight sim and racing sim software. I dont know where to start but I want something in the <$100 catagory. I dont know what 2x, 4x, 8x is but I know my ATI Rage 128 card is AGP 4X........does this help? If someone can point me in the direction, I would greatly appreciate it. I will probably purchase a used card on ebay most likely unless I can find a better deal elsewhere. With a baby on the way, I dont have much to spend but hate having to always turn off my detail levels to accomodate my current card. Thanks for any assistance you might have. Rob
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  1. Flight sim and racing sim = Gaming.

    A good gaming card for $100... well, the Radeon 9600XT is probably your best bet. It's an absolutely fantastic card for $100.

    For a few bucks more ($120-ish) you can score a 9700 PRO though, that is markedly better than the 9600XT because it has twice the memory bandwidth. This would allow you to use low levels of antialiassing which is nice.

    (The $140 range) you could score a 9800 PRO, which is basically a faster 9700 PRO.

    Any of those cards would be great, but if you can afford the jump to the 9700 PRO or better, it's worth it.

    <b>Geforce <font color=red>6800 Ultra</b></font color=red>
    <b>AthlonXP <font color=red>~3300+</b></font color=red> <i>(Barton 2500+ o/c 412 FSB @ 2266 Mhz)</i>
    <b>3dMark05: <font color=red>5,275</b>
  2. Ditto what Cleeve Said, except I'll add the $80 Radeon 9600 pro in as a good starting point. Above that, the 9700 pro's are as low as $120, and 9800 pro 256-bit for $130. These are all new prices online in the USA. If you decide on buyinf used, be careful, but you should be able to get a radeon 9700 pro or 256-bit Radeon 9800/pro for under $100.

    Keep in mind, the Rage 128 is far less powerful than the original radeon, never mind any of the cards we are talking about here. <A HREF="" target="_new">Just look</A> what a rage 128 pro (rage fury pro) does compared to 9600 pro-9800 pro. UT2003, the 9800 pro scores 122 fps, the 9700 pro score 116 fps, the 9600xt scores 94 fps, the 9600 pro scores 86 fps, and the rage 128 pro scores 1 fps. Anyway, not to mention better features/compatibility/drivers, as you can see even the 9600 pro is amazing in comparison. I think you'll be quite pleased. And I wouldn't spend more than $150 on a video card for that system anyway as the P4 1.4 GHz will be a bottleneck in many games.

    As far as AGP 4X/8X, all of these cards work in 4X or 8X AGP, so if your current card is AGP 4X, then there is no problem. What you might have to check is that you power supply has enough juice for the new card. You should be able to read the wattage on the power supply label, and also read what power supplied to the 12v rail.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
  3. Paul brings up a good point about your platform - especially since you're into sims and not shooters.

    Fight sims traditionally require alot of CPU power, much more than most games... so upgrading to a faster CPU should definitely be on your list of things to buy after the videocard.

    But the videocard is the best start.

    <b>Geforce <font color=red>6800 Ultra</b></font color=red>
    <b>AthlonXP <font color=red>~3300+</b></font color=red> <i>(Barton 2500+ o/c 412 FSB @ 2266 Mhz)</i>
    <b>3dMark05: <font color=red>5,275</b>
  4. Yeah Cleeve, and with 1GB of Rambus in there, I'd feel almost obligated to find the fastest P4 that mobo can support, rather than thinking about replacing the motherboard. He can use the toms interactive cpu charts to compare the cpu's.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
  5. Here is a refurb 9800 pro 128mb 256-bit from newegg <A HREF=",+128MB+DDR,+256-bit,+DVI/TV-Out,+8X+AGP+-BULK+Specifications:Chipset/Core+Speed:+ATI+RADEON+9800+PRO/380MHzMemory/Effective+Speed:" target="_new">here</A>

    Pretty sweet deal for only $110
  6. Thanks again guys, I think Im on the right track now. Im going to look into the Radeon 9600-9800 and see what kind of deal I can get.
  7. <A HREF="" target="_new">256-bit 9800 pro</A> (Avoid ones with 128-bit memory interface as they are far slower.)

    <A HREF="" target="_new">9700 pro</A>

    For the 9600 pros, the main thing to watch for is a real 9600 pro should be clocked 400 core and 600 RAM (effective). Many of them out there now have slower memory, clocked at 400 (power color EZ, GeCube) or 446 (Sapphire). Get a card clocked 400/600.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Sapphire 256MB 9600 pro clocked 400/600</A>.
    as opposed to
    <A HREF="" target="_new">Sapphire 9600 pro clocked 400/446</A>

    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> Handy online price site for USA.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Pauldh on 05/05/05 02:59 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  8. make sure you check out some of the links you are given here because they are reputable stores and good prices for what you need.
  9. OK, best deal I have seen to date on one of these cards. New Sapphire 256-bit 9800 pro clocked as it should be for $127 shipped free, and from one of the best online sites to deal with in the USA. If I hadn't just bought the Rosewell $130 9800 pro, I'd definately have gone for this one.

    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    <A HREF="" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
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