last minute thoughts on video card upgrade

ok, i have a geforce 2 gts 32 mb(asus v7700 deluxe). i am building upgrading myslef a new computer and have an aproximate $1100 budget. i could get a P4 2.0 and keep my geforce 2 gts. or i could get a 1.6 or 1.8 and buy a radeon 8500 AIW.

the reasons for staying with my geforce would be: i would be able to buy a faster processor, i have no problem with the 3d performance of my current card, i just bought my current card less than a year ago, and i have formed sort of an attachment to my card.

the reasons for going with the radeon: i recently bought a 19"sony monitor and notice that the text quality isn't that great while i run at 1280 x 1024 resolutions and higher, i hear that the radeon will improve my 2d(text) quality and make me happier with my recetn purchase of that sony monitor, all the cool features of the AIW will allow me to watch tv on my computer(although i do have tv in for my geforce card but it's not the coax in), and although i don't have a problem with the geforce card in 3d i think the radeon would still imporve perfomrce and keep me up with future games better.

so if you were in my situation, which one would you chose?

repeat after me, we are all individuals!
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  1. There is a modification that you can do to your V7700 to improve video quality. The primary portion of the mod involves removing surface mounted capacitors, nine (9) of them. The second part of the mod is bypassing six inductors but this can easily be done by painting their tops with conductive paint. Frankly, cutting the capacitors gives 80 percent of the improvement. "Painting" the the inductors wasn't even worth the $8 for the conductive paint (automotive defogger repair paint).

    The amount of video improvement was impressive for my Visiontek Xtasy 5632, Geforce2 GTS-V.

    The auction value of a used V7700 is about $65 so the risk (see links) isn't too bad if you want to try the mod.

    If you want to read user accounts of the mod head over to HardOCP forums and do a search, keywords - Geforce, Quality, and Mod.

    Here is a link to a detailed description of the procedure. (I am not the author).

    <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/porotuner/imagequality.html#26sep2000" target="_new">http://www.geocities.com/porotuner/imagequality.html#26sep2000</A>

    Here are some links to my accounts of my experience.

    <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=faq&notfound=1&code=1" target="_new">http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=faq&notfound=1&code=1</A>

    <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=faq&notfound=1&code=1" target="_new">http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=faq&notfound=1&code=1</A>

    <b>I have so many cookies I have FAT problem!</b>
  2. thankyou for the sugestion, i remember seeing that posted on the graphics posts before. but i don't have the heart to "vandalize" my board, remember i said that i was sort of attached to it. so the only two options are the one i stated above.

    repeat after me, we are all individuals!
  3. Can't say I blame you. Next time I probably would use a Dremel and just cut through the capacitors rather than try to remove them. I wouldn't have tried it, myself, but I was annoyed that the GTS-V wasn't as sharp as my previous Geforce256. When I saw how well the mod actually worked I did the same to that very the Geforce256 and also an old ATI All-in-wonder.

    In actuality (unless one gets really careless) the only risk is that you might have to do more work. If a trace gets broken it's fixable. Just cut out the inductors (in addition to the capacitors) and solder in a bridge. Might even be able to complete the trace with conductive paint after covering up the area with lacquer first.


    <b>I have so many cookies I have FAT problem!</b>
  4. you say you did that to an ATI AIW? doesn't ATI have good 2d? why would you need to modify it? and did the mod work on the ATI AIW as well as the nvidias?

    without the mods, do you see a text clarity different between the geforce and the ATI card?

    repeat after me, we are all individuals!
  5. Quote:
    you say you did that to an ATI AIW? doesn't ATI have good 2d? why would you need to modify it? and did the mod work on the ATI AIW as well as the nvidias?

    without the mods, do you see a text clarity different between the geforce and the ATI card?

    ATI has a reputation for good visual quality, at least now it does, but this is the old original AIW. The quality was mediocre at all resolutions. Before the mods I'd say at low resolution, 800x600 and lower it was worse than either of my Geforce cards. It was better than the Geforce GTS-V at 1024x768 and better than both Geforce cards about 1024x768. At 1280x1024 the AIW was best. I rarely used it at anything higher because its only a 4MB video card and because I only have a 15" monitor. After the mod it has better quality than both Geforce cards but not by much. All the cards are sharp at up to 1600x1024 (the highest resolution of my monitor) except the Geforce2 GTS-V, which is sharp to 1600x900 (It's only value card).

    This is probably hard to believe but even a sharp image can often be better. You might think it is sharp until you try something else.

    By the way the improvements are universal not just 2D. It's better for everything. You just notice it more because you study text and photographs but you only watch 3D, usually. The mod improves focus.

    As I recall, before the mods, text quality was good (or rather good enough) on the Geforce256 up to 1600x900, on the AIW up to 1200x1024, and 1024x768 on the Geforce GTS-V it was only marginal. After the mods, well I already stated the results.

    The only other thing I can say is try to imagine 1600x1024 on only a 15" monitor. With two of the modified cards text is sharp and the GTS-V it is marginal. Standard text looks like 6 pt. typeface yet I read it easily. I think that says it all.

    <b>I have so many cookies I have FAT problem!</b>
  6. i used to have a geforce 256 and damn when i got my radeon, the windows grafix is much better. i have seen nvidia cards but they arento as good as ati in my opionion.

    but the difference of a 1.8ghz and a 2.2ghz is not much. i would go with a slower proserror and get a radeon
  7. i would get the radeon and get a 1.6 or 1.8 p4 with the northwood core and overclock it to 2.0 or higher
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