I'm currently using an ATI Radeon 8500 64MB card on a MSI Ultra 845 AR motherboard with a P4 1.8GHz processor & Maxtor 30GB 7200rpm HD. I'm not real happy with the performance of the 8500. I don't want the shell out the $300+ for a radeon 9700 pro(plus I think ATI still has some driver issues), I'm wanting to stay around $200. So I'm torn between switching to the GF4 Ti 4200 64MB, Ti 4200 128MB and the Ti 4200 128MB 8X AGP.
I've read umpteen reviews on these 3 GF4 cards as well as many posts here about them. I'm very much a speed freak and am looking to get whichever of these 3 cards will provide the smoothest performance in games, such as Dark Age of Camelot, which I play exclusively.
I'm looking for some input please from anyone who has experience using these 3 cards, as in, which is best, fastest performance that will last me until I upgrade next summer to a faster card.
Also, what manufacturer do you recommend? I'm leaning toward the Leadtek GF4 Ti 4200 128MB 8X AGP, simply because if I upgrage my board too, I'll have th 8X AGP card already.
The best buy for you is Radeon 9500 Pro. It doesn't worth to spend $130 to $160 for a GeForce4 Ti4200, since you have Radeon 8500. Radeon 9500 Pro will give you much faster frame rate with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic filtering tunered on (compared to GeForce4 Ti4600)
If he doesn't need Antialiasing at all, sill Radeon 9500 is a better buy. It's a DX9 GPU and both Radeon 8500 and Ti4200 are DX8 GPU. R9500 Pro will surely have better image quality and higher performance in DX9 games (over Ti4600, in standard conditions).
Although I also definatly recommend the 9500pro, if you do however descide to go with a Ti4200, here are somethings you should keep in mind:
First off, when trying to descide between a 64 and 128mb card, I would go for the 128mb every time. Although the 64mb TI4200 has slightly better performance than the 128mb version, that extra performance will soon be overshadowed by the need for more memory. For instance, in the upcoming game doom 3, there will reportedly be 80mb of memory needed, therefore already making a 64mb card inadequate.
Also, 8xAGP (for now) is just a marketing ploy to make the card look more impressive for those who only look at numbers on the box. If you look at the benchmarks everywhere, you will see extremely little improvement over the 4xAGP version. There is no way to justify the big price jump going from 4xAGP to 8xAGP (on current cards anyway). Im not saying a 8xAGP mobo is a bad idea (infact it is a good idea in order to have a more future-proof board [I suggest the new Asus a7n8x as a mobo upgrade if your going AMD]), just for now the 8xAGP versions of video cards aren't.
(plus I think ATI still has some driver issues)
ATI may have some driver issues NOW, but don't forget driver issues can be solved with a simple update, whereas hardware inferiority can only be solved by spending more $$$ on a new card, and right now nvidias video cards are inferior compared to ATI's (and by quite abit IMHO)
As far as the best brand names for the 4200: albatron ti4200-turbo is at the top, but it comes at with little higher price tag. MSI is also a good board at a good price. (but i still recommend the ATI Radeon 9500pro)
<font color=red> Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question... just stupid people. </font color=red> :wink:
I had an 8500LE myself before and i feel the only upgrade worth your while would be a 9700 really. No one with a good 8500 needs to upgrade anyway, but having a 9700 is very nice since i can play most games at 1600x1200 6xaa now =P