I know nothing about video cards.....

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by BouncingSoul, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. BouncingSoul

    BouncingSoul Stranger Than Fiction Political User

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    Alright so the title pretty much speaks for itself. Anyways, I'm in the market for something new. Currently I have a GeForce 4 MX440, I got it cause it was dirty cheap and it shows. I mean I have good & fast processor (P4 2.4) plenty of ram (1gig) but I still get choppy game play. So that being said I want something new and affordable. I'm looking to spend under $200 if possible and Nvidia seems to be the way to go to accomplish that. I just don't want to get stuck with an FX card that is worse than a Ti. Pricewatch only lists 1 Ultra card .. a 5600 FX Ultra... which I'm guessing is like a Ti for the FX series so it would be better than just a normal FX card. Am I on the right track here or no where close? Maybe I could sum this all up in one sentance.... what is the best Nvidia card out there for under $200? thanks in advance.
     
  2. Taurus

    Taurus hardware monkey

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    uhh.. okay, couple things:

    1) have you updated your driver recently? make sure you're getting the most from your card first.

    2) the geforce4 series included the MX (dx7) and TI (dx8.1)... then instead of "geforce5", they called the next generation geforce FX (dx9). hope that clears that up.

    3) each FX "Ultra" card just means it's slightly faster than the non-ultra of the same number. for instance, a 5600 ultra is just a bit faster than a regular 5600.

    4) the 5700 ultra 128mb (475/900) is probably your best bet for that price. here are good deals on an Albatron and a Gainward, both of which are great brands.
     
  3. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    Mid price range (for gaming cards) $150-200:

    Nvidia FX 5600/5700 Ultra w/128 RAM is a good card.
    ATI 9600 Pro w/128 RAM is a good card.

    You can get both cards from multiple vendors. Stay away from PNY on the Nvidia. A friend has been through a lot of returns. PNY has done several exchanges and even upgrades but they shouldn't have to be.

    Stick with the Pro or Ultra versions since they are well within your price range.

    Stay away from anything that looks cheaper in price and has an SE or something similar tacked onto the back end of the number. The SE usually stands for substandard edition...

    There is a big cat fight going on between between ATI and Nvidia about performance with the next generation (full DX 9) games and "driver cheats" to improve benchmarks. That has pretty much been thrashed out now but there is still a lot of bad blood so don't get scared if you see a doom and gloom article about it.
     
  4. m3th0d

    m3th0d Guest

    aight well right now ive got a pos geforce 4 MX 420 and i just ordered a Sapphire Radeon 9800 XT =] My pc specs are:

    P4 processor (2.53Ghz)
    512mb DDR Ram
    SoundBlaster Live! Sound Card (pos)
    and few others but those are useless to list

    although the card i just bought cost me out the ass, im hoping that it should be enough "bang for my buck". Please respond to this is ya think I should be set at least for a little while lol.
     
  5. Taurus

    Taurus hardware monkey

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    what does any of this have to do with the thread? :confused:
     
  6. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    the ultra is a decent kick above the non-ultra's... but yah the 5700 ultra is a better bet than the other lot that nvidia have on offer..

    the other option you might want to check out is the 5900 NON-ultra...

    their prices have been declining steadily over the past couple of months and they offer slightly better performance than the 5700ultra's and have the added benefit of oc'ing (not in all cases though... check out links Taurus has provided... those are good AIB's...

    5900's can oc if you are lucky to 5900ultra or 5950 levels...
     
  7. Heath3n

    Heath3n OSNN Addict

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    I'm voting for either the ATI 9600xt or 9600pro. Price range is 155.00-210.00 with the XT being on the lower end of the range. Both are excellent cards. Throw in the Omega drivers and you'll be screaming in joy and elation.:)
     
  8. Taurus

    Taurus hardware monkey

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    *old thread alert*
    anyway... 9600xt > 9600pro.
     
  9. BouncingSoul

    BouncingSoul Stranger Than Fiction Political User

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    Yes indeed this is an old thread. So old that I forgot I opened it! Anyways... I went with the 9600XT. Its very nice, only cost me $180 and I get a free copy of HL2 so thats cool. I get like 3500 on 3dmark03 ... have no idea if that is good or what but who cares. My games finally work! Thank you all for your help.
     
  10. Heath3n

    Heath3n OSNN Addict

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    I know. However when I searched for prices I got lower prices on the XT.
     
  11. Black-Syth

    Black-Syth Comalies

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    What are the Omega Drivers? I have a 9700pro with the Catalyst 3.9s, will the Omegas give me better performance, or overclockability?
     
  12. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    The Omega drivers are from independent developers (i.e. hacked software, though with ATI knowledge).

    They will give you an invalid warantee for sure.

    Improvements possibly.

    Quirks probably.



    http://www.omegacorner.com/
     
  13. Black-Syth

    Black-Syth Comalies

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    Would you recommend them?
     
  14. Anakist

    Anakist Way too much time here...

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    I have had many improvments and no quirks. But that is with an Nvidiot mx440substandard edition.

    I have been recommended Omega drivers for ATI.

    James
     
  15. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    Haven't tried them myself. Have heard a lot of people say they are good.

    Let me know if they trash your system or work...

    :)
     
  16. Heath3n

    Heath3n OSNN Addict

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    These drivers are recognized as one of the best modded drivers available. They are optimized for gamers. Go to the site and check them out. I've used them for well over a month now on games like UT2k3 and NFS Underground with NO glitches and they run great.

    Here is a quote from Terry Makedon when he was interviewed by a German Magazine:

    "ATI supports the enthusiast community wholly. Omega Drivers are in fact a good example of ATI’s user community at its best. What they are in principle are CATALYST drivers with different settings enabled via registry keys and other such methods. This provides users an alternative to ATI’s CATALYST default settings. While there are a few different modification drivers out in the community our relationship with the creator of the Omega Drivers is of the highest working standard. The author of these drivers is part of the CATALYST beta driver testing team, and also in direct contact with ATI. In fact we would go so far as to say that if a user chooses to go the mod driver route, they go with the Omega Drivers."


    If your curious about these drivers, you should talk to ppl who have actually used them instead of the ignorant masses who spout off whatever they think without having any actual knowlege of the subject at hand other than what they have formulated in their little oxygen deprived mind.
     
  17. Anakist

    Anakist Way too much time here...

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    Hehehe yeah well. I use them and love them.

    James
     
  18. Black-Syth

    Black-Syth Comalies

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    I didn't like the Omega drivers, I saw a bit of slowdown, and I lost about 1,000 3dmarks. Not too good, I've got the Catalyst 3.9s back in.
     
  19. Heath3n

    Heath3n OSNN Addict

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    I don't play 3dMark on my computer. I play games. I saw a great improvement in the gaming aspect. I guess if you're hung up on a benchmark score then maybe they aren't the drivers for you after all.

    It is odd that you saw a slowdown though with the types of specs your computer has. I never saw a slowdown on mine.

    AthlonXP 1600
    512 DDR PC2700
    Radeon 9700
     
  20. Xie

    Xie - geek - Subscribed User Folding Team

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    I always thought/read that Omega's were for image quality and not about speed?

    *Edit* - by speed I meant benchmark scores ;)