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View Full Version : Decisions, desicions...(GPU ones for that matter)


Negative Sun
08-24-2007, 07:22 PM
I could go on for ages but I'll keep it short...

I'm gonna take my chances with the HD2600 PRO from Ati (at some points lolz)...I'm just wondering, what is gonna whoop more behind:
256Mb GDDR3 vs 512Mb DDR2?

Now comparing the specs on the PRO vs XT versions it kinda looks like this:
Clicky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_ATI_Graphics_Processing_Units#Radeon _R600_series)

Armed with this info my question is this:
Am I best to go for more/better memory in the PRO series? Or lower memory range in the XT series?

The price difference between the equivalent memories is about $80-$100 sometimes...So Im just wondering what would be the best allround performer for a decent (futureproof, or kinda) Vista-based system?

Astrotoy7
08-25-2007, 08:48 AM
Its a DX10 card, considering what DX10 games/app are likely to be, DDR3 is the way to go. Still, the 512MB framebuffer will always give youa but more grunt it must be said.

If you could wait, save and get yourself a 512mb ddr3 card, then you'll be future proofing a bit more effectively. (DX10.1 arguments aside)

That is of course, my 2c(and Ive tried my best not to show my nvidia bias!)

mtfbwya

stingerhs
08-25-2007, 09:49 AM
well, if you really want to wait, AMD is expected to release the 2900Pro sometime soon. its a downgrade from the XT, but it would be much better for gaming purposes than the 2600, and i think its supposed to have 512MB DDR3 on it to boot. if i'm not mistaken, its also supposed to use the 65nm version of the GPU which will keep temps and power consumption down much lower than the current XT model.

anyways, that's just my addition to Astro's two cents. ;)

Negative Sun
08-25-2007, 05:19 PM
Good points there...but since I got fired today (for which I will sue unfair dismissal) it'll have to wait a wee bit longer probably :(

Astrotoy7
08-26-2007, 09:59 AM
Good points there...but since I got fired today (for which I will sue unfair dismissal) it'll have to wait a wee bit longer probably :(

ouch ! sorry to hear that dude :( Unless you were playing up and knew it was coming, being fired is a pretty unpleasant experience... especially if you have a shyteload of bills and rent to pay :(

good luck man ! bugger the gfx card for now. Important things first ;)

mtfbwya

Negative Sun
08-26-2007, 03:35 PM
ouch ! sorry to hear that dude :( Unless you were playing up and knew it was coming, being fired is a pretty unpleasant experience... especially if you have a shyteload of bills and rent to pay :(

good luck man ! bugger the gfx card for now. Important things first ;)

mtfbwya
I was gonna go back to a DX9 one anyways, found a sweet X1950Pro with 512Mb of GDDR3 for a bargain, just the day before they told me the bombshell.

I never saw it coming man, and they have no valid reason to do it...Which is why they will feel my wrath through some legal aid (hopefully, lolz)

The bills scare me the most, but I'm gonna start looking for something else ASAP...

Q
08-26-2007, 10:42 PM
The X1950Pro is a great value, but you might be able to find an X1950XT for not very much more. Both are power hogs, so you'll need a good PSU to feed them.

Negative Sun
08-27-2007, 04:55 AM
The case comes with a 500W one, sufficient you think?

Astrotoy7
08-27-2007, 10:20 AM
The case comes with a 500W one, sufficient you think?

should be ok, as long as you arent running some power hungry peripherals or watercooling setup :D

You'd need more if you ever contemplated a x-fire setup :D

mtfbwya

Negative Sun
08-27-2007, 08:25 PM
Nah I don't see the point in spending money on two cards, I might as well save up and get one that's most capable...

Q
08-27-2007, 10:33 PM
More than wattage you need to find out how many amps are available on the 12V rail. That matters more than the total wattage. I don't know how many either card would require, but their being higher-end ATI I would venture a guess of at least 30A.

Astrotoy7
08-28-2007, 04:35 AM
More than wattage you need to find out how many amps are available on the 12V rail. That matters more than the total wattage. I don't know how many either card would require, but their being higher-end ATI I would venture a guess of at least 30A.

Yes, I should have mentioned that too !! Though something that ships as a 500W PSU should have that type of compatibility, especially if its a modular PSU that is described as "SLI" or "X-fire" ready

what PSU do you have negsun

mtfbwya

Negative Sun
08-28-2007, 04:45 AM
It's the one that comes supplied with this case (http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=10614&category_id=54&manufacturer_id=0&tid=sagitta921wbp#), which is advertised as a "gamers" case...

stingerhs
08-28-2007, 01:53 PM
now this is interesting: the model you pointed to comes with a 500W PSU, but in the US, its only available with a 450W PSU. :confused:

anyways, thanks to a NewEgg screenshot, the PSU is a RaidMax RX-450K which is a pretty cheap PSU. it lacks a lot of good features, and the single 12V rail isn't going to be up to spec for a high end card since the output isn't close to 30A.

sorry if that wasn't something you wanted to hear, but its better to find out now than later. ;)

Negative Sun
08-28-2007, 04:28 PM
Hmmm, good point stingerhs, and you're right, better now than later on...

Is it difficult to fit a different PSU in a case? If no I'll just get a better one and replace it myself.

stingerhs
08-28-2007, 05:34 PM
just make sure its an ATX Form Factor PSU. the ATX standard has specific size guidelines for the PSU, so it should fit just fine. the hard part is routing the wires, and for that, i recommend that you use zip ties as they're very versatile, and they won't look out of place. just make sure you have a set of wire cutters on hand to trim the excess and for cutting any errantly placed zip ties.

as for the new PSU, i'd recommend looking for a PSU that is 80-Plus Certified. its a basic certification that guarantees that the PSU will maintain at least 80% efficiency at 10%, 50%, and 100% loads on the PSU. they will be more expensive, but that's countered by the fact that the higher efficiency translates into a small electric bill.

the last thing to check for is that the amperage ratings on the 12V rail(s) is at 30A or higher. you want to make sure that the PSU is going to perform, and high amps is needed for that to happen.

anyways, i hope that helps. and good luck with all this stuff. :)

Negative Sun
08-29-2007, 11:41 AM
Cool stuff, never knew any of that...Thanks

Any brand/make in particular you would recommend?

Edit:
Since it looks like I might be out of serious dough for a while, I'm thinking of getting a cheapo AGP card to replace this dinosaur GeForce 4 MX 4k, but I don't wanna spend to much...I just want a card that's better than the one I have and will let me play KotOR and TSL at higher settings than I'm doing now...(I'll upgrade some RAM too btw)
Any suggestions?
I've heard poopy things about the X1550, that it doesn't support some things or what not, but it's cheap lolz
Otherwise there's nVidias 6300 or 7300 series that are in the same price range.

Also the card I have atm is passively cooled, if I go for one with a fan, will it create problems to connect it with my PSU etc?

Q
09-07-2007, 08:24 PM
Sorry that I haven't kept up with this thread lately, NS. My bad.:(

To answer your question about a cheap AGP vidcard upgrade I would look at both ATI & Nvidia from two generations ago, namely the ATI X800/X850 series, and the Nvidia 6600GT/6800GT series. If you can find them, any of these cards would fit the bill and not cost a lot of scratch.

I have a used EVGA 6800GT that I bought off of Fleabay almost a year ago in my ancient Dell right now, and it's been great.:)

Negative Sun
09-08-2007, 12:26 PM
I cannot find anything for the X800 series here in the UK, so I'll have to throw my fanboyism out the window lolz

I'm looking at either a 256Mb 7300GT or a 512Mb X1550, both DDR2 and same kinda specs, so it's the good 'ol Nvidia vs Ati again...

What I don't know and can't seem to find out is this:
Both these cards seem to have fans, what I've got just now is a passively cooled card, does the fan require an external connection with my PSU?

And also:
Will I need to find out if those cards are gonna put more strain on my PSU or is it negligible?

Q
09-08-2007, 03:08 PM
Unless you have a really crappy PSU you should be fine. And yes, those cards will probably require a 4-pin molex connection to your psu. If all of those are used up, you can get a splitter pretty cheap.

Negative Sun
09-11-2007, 08:08 PM
Well apparently my PSU is crap cause it doesn't meet the minimum requirements for both those cards (about 350W or more, mine is 300W with 15A on the 12V rail)

Sooo, after some extensive browsing around the best I can find is a 6200 (full SM 3.0 support) with 128Mb of DDR memory or a 9550 with 256Mb of DDR memory (but no SM 3.0 support, only 2.0)

There is a 6200 out there for the same price as the one mentioned above but with 256Mb of DDR2 memory, which I would like more, but it says on some sites that it needs 350W, while others say 300W, so I'm a bit confused about that one and I'd rather not risk it...

Will 128Mb DDR memory (at 64-bit) be sufficient to play games like Jade Empire? (which is why I'm getting in in the first place)

I wish there was a site or some kind of reference to check what GPU needs what PSU because it's really annoying having to look around everywhere for it...

Q
09-11-2007, 08:46 PM
Don't waste your money on a 6200.

Negative Sun
09-12-2007, 07:45 AM
lolz why is that?

stingerhs
09-12-2007, 10:32 AM
a 6200 is probably going to give you worse performance than your current card, that's why. as cheap as it might be, there are definitely better options out there. even the 8500GT would serve you better than the 6200.

Astrotoy7
09-12-2007, 12:19 PM
unless you want to game likes its 2003, I wouldnt bother with the 6200, or any caching card for that matter. I do have one in a media center pc, but that's all it does so manages it quite well... Upcoming games in particular will kick that 6200s a$$.

If I had to go for a lower end DX10 card, it'd be the 8600 512MB..

mtfbwya

Negative Sun
09-12-2007, 07:18 PM
No can do on a 300W PSU and a shoestring budget guys ;)
The 8 series isn't out in AGP yet here AFAIK...

I'll probably go for the 256Mb 9550 as soon as the next money comes in and the bills are paid (god knows when that'll be lolz), at least it's got SM2.0 and it meets the minimum specs for Jade...

It's amazing how I've had to lower my expectations throughout this thread over and over again *sigh* aw well, at least I'll be able to crank up the settings a bit more on KotOR with a 9550...

Q
09-13-2007, 12:28 AM
You should do what I did and look for a used 6600GT or 6800GT on Fleabay. From a reputable seller, of course. Either one would give you a terrific performance boost in older games and would even allow you to play some newer ones at low settings.

And see if it is at all possible to overclock your CPU. I would have ages ago if I wasn't stuck with a Dell BIOS and RDRAM.:swear: I know that stingerhs managed to O/C his Barton by half a GHZ on stock cooling. You might be able to do the same. It all depends on what kind of motherboard you have, and the performance boost is free.

Negative Sun
09-13-2007, 07:41 PM
Hmmm...The 6600GT is looking very sexy indeed with its GDDR3 memory and low power consumption.
What about the 7300 or 7600 series? I've got a few of those on my radar and the requirements meet my poopy PSU (which has given cool points to nVidia in my book because its Ati counterparts all seem to need much more juice), they any good?
And what's up with this "GS" and "GT" bs, I'm only used to Ati's confusing name calling lolz...I take it GT is better, but is a 6600GT better than a 6800GS? Or are they about equal?
Hmmm did some scouting and I noticed the 6800 has a 256-bit memory interface...does it make much of a difference compared to the 128-bit one?
They're both about the same price...
Thanks for the hint Q, I couldn't find these before but I found a new online retailer that's quite cheap :)

I'll fire some questions towards stingerhs about overclocking then, cause I was thinking of maybe adding another case fan or two because me thinks it's quite hot in there with a passively cooled GPU and only the PSU and CPU fans...

Q
09-13-2007, 09:16 PM
Look here (http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html) and here. (http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/09/05/the_best_gaming_video_cards_for_the_money/page7.html#summary) That should answer your questions about the relative performance of the different cards.;)

Astrotoy7
09-14-2007, 08:31 AM
the 7300 is bollocks, I can tell you that much....its the 6200 of the 7 series :)

mtfbwya

Q
09-14-2007, 03:51 PM
Hmm. Your weak PSU makes any video card purchase consideration rather difficult. You'll need to fix this problem first. Don't worry because you'll be able to use said PSU in your new machine when you build it.

I haven't a clue what's going on in the UK, but here in the USA Ultra Products has been giving away decent PSUs by making them free after rebate. I've managed to snag a couple this way (along with a case), and the even the cheap model is a 500W model with 28 amps on the +12V rail and a MTBF of 100,000+hrs. It resides in my Dell, ATM. The good model is a heavy-duty (and heavy) server-grade 600W dual 80mm fan model with 34 amps on the +12V rail that I will definitely be using in my new rig.

You're just going to have to use a search engine, shop around, and check out your local tech forums for any deals like this in the UK. Stuff can be had for free.;)

Once your PSU problem is addressed, I'd recommend a 7600GT hands down as the best AGP bang for the buck. It blows the 7600GS away and doesn't cost that much more, at least not in the US. Sure, there are better AGP cards out there right now (such as the X1950PRO), but they cost way more and you're looking to spend the least that you can get away with, right? Manufacturers offer rebates on this card here in the US all of the time. A 7600GT in place of you old MX will be like night and day, and would give you the ability to play newer games (at low settings) if you wanted.

For both the 7600GS and GT you're going to need at the very least 18 amps on the +12V rail. Any less and the card may not function properly. With a new PSU your options will include the ATI DX9 products as well, which can offer a ton of bang for buck as long as you have enough juice to run them.

Of course you could always get the card first and see if your current PSU can handle it. It might be able to, who knows?:)

Last but not least, you'll need to consider whether or not it will be worth the money to upgrade a machine that is already quite old.

Negative Sun
09-14-2007, 06:53 PM
Well atm I'll just get a video card, I've decided (finally I hear some people think ;) ) in theportantly the minimum power requirement is only 300W (for a fully loaded system, whi 6800GS as it is the top notch chipset of the 6-series, has 128Mb of GDDR3 running at 1Ghz, a 256-bit memory interface and most imch I don't think mine is), it doesn't say how many amps are needed on the 12V rail though, so I'm hoping my 15A will do, if not, then I'll deal with it then...And last but not least, it's only 40 ($80), which is quite good here in the UK, especially for a brand new card. So as soon as I've got some money to spend on me, this sucka will be mine!

Like you said Q, the PSU is the only thing I will be able to take to my next rig, so I plan to make that one count, I've got my eye (aka bookmarked) on a 600W one with 32A on the 12V rail and it's about 20 ($40), not bad I think...

After that and when I get my finances sorted I'll look into a new rig...A 6800 should be able to tide me over until then as I don't plan to play any very recent releases really (except Jade Empire and NWN2, which should both work with that GPU)

And I've just been reading an interesting review bout the 6800GS and at my rez (1024x768) and with the games I tend to play it should rip lots!

Q
09-14-2007, 10:14 PM
An AGP 6800GS is a decent card and you may be able to use RivaTuner to unlock the locked pipelines and vertex shader(s) in the GPU to bring it up to the level of a GT. Then overclock it and you have an ultra!:) Not too shabby for $80.00. Probably the best deal you're going to find, and your PSU should be able to handle it.

Are you sure that it only has 128MB? All the ones that I've seen have 256, and you're going to want 256.

Anywho, NS you'll end up with 6800GT-level performance at least, which is exactly what I have.:)

Negative Sun
09-15-2007, 06:21 AM
Are you sure that it only has 128MB? All the ones that I've seen have 256, and you're going to want 256.
That's what I thought, cause the brand is XFX, so I checked out the site and the only AGP that's on there is 256Mb, but hey for that price I can't complain, and if it does turn out to be 256Mb I'll be a happy bunny :)

This (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=118336) is the site where I'll be getting it from and this (http://www.xfxforce.com/web/product/listConfigurations.jspa?series=GeForce%26trade%3B+ 6800&seriesId=41&productId=78640#openLarger) is the XFX page with all their 6800GS models in it...A bit strange huh?

The Scan site says 6800 but then the tech sheet says 6800GS chipset with GDDR3 memory...

Ach well, no matter what, it'll be better than a GeForce 4 MX4000

Q
09-15-2007, 07:44 PM
That's not a GS. It's just a plain ol' 6800 with 128MB of DDR, not even DDR2. You could still unlock the pipelines with RivaTuner, but that crappy memory will just cripple the card. Look on FleaBay or get a 7600GS or GT.

Negative Sun
09-15-2007, 08:06 PM
Nah I'll just go for the 6600GT with the DDR3 memory then, good enough for the time being...Thanks Q, I thought something wasn't right about that.

Q
09-15-2007, 08:21 PM
Hope you find a good deal on one. It will be a dramatic improvement over what you have now.:)

Negative Sun
09-15-2007, 08:24 PM
Aye well it's going for about the same price ($80) on that site, which seems to be the only one around here, they're very much in demand on Ebay as well so I doubt I'd get a good deal there...I wish some american sites like newegg would ship overseas but they don't, poop I say!

It will be a great improvement though, cause I'm only looking for something to play JE and NWN2 and to see some of the games I've been playing for ages now (KotOR, TSL, EaW, etc...) in their full glory, I'm not expecting to be able to turn it on full blast with the newer games, but as long as it looks nice and is playable that's ok with me...