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View Full Version : Need Help Upgrading my Video Card.


legameboy
07-26-2004, 02:48 PM
I need help from you all on upgrading my video card.

I'm willing to spend up to $250 dollars on one (I'd prefer to get one around $200, but if it's worth the extra $50, I'll go for it).

I've looked at lot's of different cards ranging from a GeForce FX 5500 256MB DDR AGP Graphics Card to a ATI Radeon 9600 XT 128MB DDR AGP Graphics Card.

I honestly need lot's of help.

If you all could suggest a good video card that could run Half-life 2, Doom 3, and any other current game smoothly and at high settings. That would be great. Also, a year of longevity for the card (it would survive all the games being thrown at it for a year), would be good.

So yeah, if you all could suggest a card, tell your experiences with one you have, and maybe even give me some info about how to upgrade and how I know it's compatible, that would be great.

I just want to make sure I make a good investment.

Thanks in advance.

Tyrion
07-26-2004, 03:03 PM
Good god you're in luck, Legameboy.

I'd recommend the 9800 Pro.

http://shop1.outpost.com/product/3628345

That's 170 dollars, and will easily run Doom 3 at the high settings. It's what I have, and runs every game I have beautifully.

legameboy
07-26-2004, 03:10 PM
Yes, I love my job! :D

I've really had my eye on the 9800 pro. I've heard it'll be able to run Farcry, Doom 3, and Half-life 2 on the highest settings. A video card like that should last me a while.

Only 170 bucks though? I've seen some for 250, or 200, or 215, that's weird.

Any other suggestions and advice would be great, on this video card and others. :)

manoman81
07-26-2004, 05:48 PM
Tyrion's right. I would go with the Radeon 9800. IMHO, you can't go wrong with ATI (I don't want to start another ATI vs. GeForce fight). I wish I had the money and an AGP port to get one. One thing, keep looking around for the best price. http://www.newegg.com www.pricewatch.com www.compusa.com Sometimes Best Buy will have an awesome sale on cards. Watch for the ads in the newspapers.

Tyrion
07-26-2004, 06:07 PM
'course, he could just order it for 170 dollars from my link. 170 is pretty tough to beat, I got mine at Christmas for 300...

Just noticed...

I love ninjas with all of my body (including my pee pee).

:eek:

Sam Fisher
07-26-2004, 06:20 PM
I'm waiting for the Radeon X800...

legameboy
07-26-2004, 08:02 PM
Alright, so I guess the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro is the way to go? Anyone else think the same way?

Also, while I'm upgrading my video card, I'm also going to upgrade my hard drive from 50 Gigs to 80 or 100 Gigs. Does anyone know any good manufactures of hard-drives and how I can tell if one is compatible with my computer or not?

Crow_Nest
07-27-2004, 03:31 AM
For a safe bet, get a 6800 GT or X800 Pro. They both perform very well on most games you see today. If you cant aford it, get something like a GeForce FX 5700 Ultra or Radeon 9600XT.

Oh and one more important thing, if you ever plan on getting the nvidia card, do not get the cheap OEM from nvidia, they suck in the benchmarks. Instead get one from another manufactuer

Eg. MSI, Asus, Gainward, Gigabyte, Alberton, XFX, eVGA, BFG, Ledtek.... etc

legameboy
07-27-2004, 09:05 AM
I don't think the X800 pro fits into my 250 dollar budget. Don't tell me the Radeon 9800 Pro can't run Half-life 2 at full settings...

Oh, and why does it matter which manufacturer I get the video card from? I'm confused in that area.

Crow_Nest
07-27-2004, 09:20 AM
Originally posted by legameboy
I don't think the X800 pro fits into my 250 dollar budget. Don't tell me the Radeon 9800 Pro can't run Half-life 2 at full settings...

lol, dont worry it will, so will the 9600. :)

About the manufactuers, you see nvidia lost to the benchmarks cause the testers used the cheapstake OEMs stright from nvidia. I realized this when i saw the 6800 benchmark, nvidia's OEM lost to the X800, but it got owned by the Ledtek 6800. :cool:

Now that i've mentioned it, no flame wars about ATI VS Nvidia pls

Originally posted by manoman81
Tyrion's right. I would go with the Radeon 9800. IMHO, you can't go wrong with ATI (I don't want to start another ATI vs. GeForce fight)

Look not to start a flame war here, but ATI usually have quite alot of problems in most games because the Catalyst drivers are screwed with certian games, nvidia never had such problems with their drivers.

Anywho, both ATI and nvidia has their own strengths and weaknesses, like ATI is better at Direct3D and nvidia is better at OpenGL. There will never be a winner......

Anthony
07-27-2004, 09:48 AM
I have a 9600 pro 256MB card, and it works very friggin well at a res of only 1024x768 (max my cheapo monitor can go, but its a LCD so no complianin here)

I'm gonna suggest any ATI card above a 9600 pro, because according to PC gamer thats an 'entry' level system, and a mid range system is a 9600 XT, so I'd get that right now, but if you wait for a bit (say a month or so) you'll be able to get a 9800 pro for less money that now methinks.


I want an X800XT P.E.....

(I don't like the Nvidia 6800 thing, dual slot, 480 watt PSU, 2 12 volt leads = eek.)

legameboy
07-27-2004, 09:58 AM
I like Nvidia, heck, I've never had any driver or compatibility issues with my Geforce 4 Ti 4200.

I just always thought that the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro and any ATI card above that would just plow through graphic-supreme games such as Farcry, Half-life 2, and Doom 3.

Now with all this advertising going on, with Nvidia going for certian games, and ATI doing the same... bah, I'm so confused.

I don't want to have compatibilty or driver issues, I want to be able to play all of the games I have now plus max out Doom 3 and Half-life 2...

*sigh*

This is such a tough decision...

Anthony
07-27-2004, 10:06 AM
If you don't want driver issues or anything, do a search for Driver cleaner on google, and just before you upgrade your computer, clear out the old graphics card drivers (by the way, what card is it?)

toms
07-27-2004, 10:24 AM
http://www2.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NjQy

I've been having the same problem picking one. As far as i can tell, Doom3 will play a few percent better on Nvidia cards than ATI, but halflife will play about 40% better on ATI cards than Nvidia.

SO, unless you can afford a X800 or 6800 (which are pretty much even) i'd recommend going for an ATI card.

9700 Pro is supposed to be very good, but hard to find. Can overclock up to 9800 Pro speeds apparently.

9800 Pro is not much more expensive and also supposed to be very good.

9800XT is even better, but overpriced IMHO.

Personally, after some research, i'm almost certainly going for either the 9700 Pro or 9800 Pro depending on price.

Toms Hardware do a good (if a few months old) price/performance comparisson. Also look in the Doom 3 gone gold thread below for doom and hl2 benchmarks and thoughts on cards.

Hard OCP are supposed to be doing a more indepth doom3 hardware guide later this week, so im waiting for that. But i think it will be one of the two cards i mentioned above for me...

legameboy
07-27-2004, 10:42 AM
I'm probobly going to go with a 9800 Pro then (I believe it also comes with a coupon for a free Half-life 2? I just found out about that).

I just hope some of my current games (Farcry, JA, DoW Beta, Counterstrike), still run fine.

Thanks for the advice, toms!

Oh, and since you seem to be the hardware expert, do you know what I should look for when searching for a new hard-drive? MY current one is way too small (only 40 Gigs).

You all just keep chugging the advice at me, I need as much as I can for my first upgrade experience. ^_^

Oh, and Anthony, I currently use a GeForce 4 Ti 4200.

toms
07-27-2004, 12:20 PM
Not much of a hardware expert i'm afraid... i've just been looking for answers to exactly the same question over the last week.

Not sure about hard drives. I don't think there are really huge differences between the good ones (maxtor,seagate, etc...). The bigger the cache the better, the faster the speed (7200rpm vs 5x00rpm) the better, but also the noisyer.

SATA seems very popular among the geeks at the moment, but i don't have the motherboard for it, and im not clear on the benefits anyway. For a gaming rig i'd just go for the cheapest, fastest, biggest, biggest cached one you can afford, whatever the make. If you are worried about noise then you willhave to start looking for reviews....

I hope i get a HL2 voucher too..:D

KBell
07-27-2004, 12:54 PM
I got myself a cheap Radeon 9600 XT and I can't wait until I use it.

Jed
07-27-2004, 04:04 PM
My relatively new desktop came with a ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB, and it plays Far Cry, Painkiller, and all of my games just fine. ;)

TiE23
07-27-2004, 04:22 PM
I got the new nVidia driver the other day (It came out last week) and when I played the FarCry Demo, everything was blue (cool huh, could make a cool song) and I put the the older one that came out in April. So just a heads up for nVidia using FarCry players :)

And at the lowest possible settings with the lowest rez, FarCry ran at like 40 fps :D
and it still looked really good

TiE

RoxStar
07-27-2004, 05:05 PM
While were on the subject....

Is this (http://www.globalcomputer.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=763670&sku=P56-2690) a good card?

Sam Fisher
07-27-2004, 05:22 PM
Er.... was... 5 years ago....

legameboy
07-27-2004, 06:17 PM
That's it, I'm getting an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro.

I can't wait till I can crank all of the settings up to max on all of my current games, plus Half-life 2 and Doom 3! :D

I'm so glad a card like that is cheap enough.

HALF-LIFE 2 AT MAX SETTINGS FOR ME! WOOHOO!

Thanks for the harddrive advice toms, Jed, Crow, and everybody.

I'll keep you all updated.

manoman81
07-27-2004, 07:18 PM
Go to pricewatch. There are some listings for Western Digital for cheap prices there.

Crow_Nest
07-28-2004, 02:58 AM
Originally posted by TiE 23
I got the new nVidia driver the other day (It came out last week) and when I played the FarCry Demo, everything was blue (cool huh, could make a cool song) and I put the the older one that came out in April. So just a heads up for nVidia using FarCry players :)

And at the lowest possible settings with the lowest rez, FarCry ran at like 40 fps :D
and it still looked really good

TiE

hey tie, have you gotten the Far Cry patches? PC Gamer said it improves performance in nvidia cards. :)

toms
07-28-2004, 10:07 AM
just so you know, you won't get to max out doom 3 on a 9800 Pro, as you will need a 256mb card for uncompressed normal maps, and a 500mb card to run in "ultra" mode. But then NO ONE is going to be able to run it at a decent speed at on today's cards with all the options on.
It is supposed to look pretty good even on old hardware, and i don't think you will notice a lot of differences between "normal", "high" and "ultra" modes.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/07/26/news_6103458.html

I'd still go for the 8500 pro though. :D

legameboy
07-28-2004, 10:17 AM
8500 Pro? Did I miss something or am I still best off with the 9800 Pro?

Lol.

Samuel Dravis
07-28-2004, 11:13 AM
I don't think you'd want a 8500 Pro. :p

Tyrion
07-28-2004, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by legameboy

Thanks for the harddrive advice toms, Jed, Crow, and everybody.

Thanks for ignoring me! :thumbsup:

RoxStar
07-28-2004, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by Tyrion
Thanks for ignoring me! :thumbsup:

It happens to me to Ty. Especially on those damned "lists".

On a side note. Is this (http://www.globalcomputer.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=686471&sku=C460-7006) a good card?

Tyrion
07-28-2004, 10:58 PM
Originally posted by RoxStar
It happens to me to Ty. Especially on those damned "lists".

On a side note. Is this (http://www.globalcomputer.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=686471&sku=C460-7006) a good card?

On a scale of 1-10, -infinity.

Really really awful. I had an 5200 Ultra and that was bad, although I heard that the 5200 was ALOT worse than the Ultra varient.

(the 256mb of ram is a gimmick, the 5200 can't use the extra textures stored without the game being a slideshow)

RoxStar
07-28-2004, 11:08 PM
So what shuold I get?:confused:

TiE23
07-28-2004, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by RoxStar
So what shuold I get?:confused: uhh, I would get the ATI 9800 Pro or XT or nVidia 5700 Ultra Clicky (http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=6800gt&page=6)

Originally posted by |GG|Crow_Nest
hey tie, have you gotten the Far Cry patches? PC Gamer said it improves performance in nvidia cards. :) *cough* Its the demo :o

TiE

Crow_Nest
07-29-2004, 07:02 AM
Originally posted by Tyrion
On a scale of 1-10, -infinity.

Really really awful. I had an 5200 Ultra and that was bad, although I heard that the 5200 was ALOT worse than the Ultra varient.

(the 256mb of ram is a gimmick, the 5200 can't use the extra textures stored without the game being a slideshow)

The 5200 Ultra is only good if you're the kind who upgrade every year. I wouldnt recommend it unless you're REALLY low on cash and not really those kind of gamers. Get something like a 9600XT (but i would recommend the 9800 Pro now since its only half the price of the orginal) or 5700 Ultra. Like Tie said

legameboy
07-29-2004, 02:01 PM
Eep, sorry Tyrion, you helped me a lot. I shouldn't have forgotten about you, lol.

*goes prone and starts kissing Tyrion's feet*

legameboy
07-31-2004, 09:55 PM
What does anyone think of this (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=22-152-017&DEPA=1), as a hard-drive?

Does anyone have any recommendations a good, solid, and fast 120 GB hard-drive?

Agen
07-31-2004, 11:16 PM
Not much of a Hardware guy at all.. especially when it coems to HDD's but judging from user reviews... looking good :)


I have my own question acutally... What's the catch in this (http://www.dabs.com/uk/Search2/Product+Details.htm?quicklinx=3750&searchphrase=Radeon 9800) ?

Also, what do you guys think of this rig-

AMD Athlon 64 3000 512kb (so fast...)
Radeon 9800 128mb Pro
512mb Ram
100 gb hd

Should run Doom 3 pretty well imo. :P

Crow_Nest
07-31-2004, 11:54 PM
Dont get any SE versions, their performance is even worse than the normal versions cause they are just being downclocked by a bit.