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ATI Video Card Recommendation


Bow Down to the King
Political User
Disclaimer: I am partial to ATI so please don't suggest another manufacturer (unless it is a partner of ATI).

Since I just bought a second 20" widescreen display I need a video card that offers dual DVI. I only need 256MB of on board RAM since I am not a huge gamer (currently playing NFS Most Wanted and I will likely pickup the new Wolfenstein when it comes out).

I have a 450W power supply.

I like the X1900 but it is too expensive and likely too much for what I need it for. I've read that the X1800 isn't very good but maybe someone else can shed some light on this situation for me.

Any advise is appreciated. Thank you.
As long as you dont plan using linux then the x1800 is just a touch slower than a 256meg geforce 7800GTX, which I'd suggest if you were vendor neutral. Either way you're unlikely to go wrong with an x1800 of some kind.


Bow Down to the King
Political User
No Linux here. I'm a Microsoft loyalist.

So the X1800? I've read bad things about the card. Was I misinformed?


█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
I have used Sapphire in the past and had no problems. They tend to be cheaper as well if I recall.

Best of luck in your decision :)


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
You can get some used x1800's pretty cheap from newegg if thats the route you want to go.

The performance is pretty decent for the XT. The XL is perhaps not as wise a choice but you can get them pretty cheap too.

Brand should not matter too much. Most use the reference design. Asus has some non-reference designs but they cost an arm and a leg and a pen0s.
DO NOT GET A GENUINE ATI. Read my sig and read my X800XL posts since Thanksgiving.

ATI has the worst exchange policy on earth. If you don't like the card they will give you a whole $50 credit to buy a different one at retail price from them.

They are enforcing this policy on their retail outlets also. See the big print under the ATI cards on Newegg. "Exchange for same type card only."

Check thoroughly into the exchange/return policy on whatever card you buy. The Sapphire/Powercolor/ASUS/MSI branded versions may not be as restricted as the genuine ATI.

That said, next, do not expect the same performance for the same dollars buying an ATI as you will get with an Nvidia. ATI is currently over priced for the performance compared to Nvidia. I was very disappointed. The X800XL in game performance was not as good as I expected based on benchmark reports.

Now. Go buy a 6800GT or a 7800GT. I wish I had. ATI has lost it.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
I have never had an issue with ATi customer support.

It's slow, yes, but they did a bangup job replacing my AIW 9700pro last year.

I can't complain.

Wrt the exchange policy, that is their trade-up policy and it is not intended for newish cards for newer cards. If that policy has changed, I dunno.

Wrt price. The x1900xt is a pretty good buy compared to the 7800gtx 512mb.

I understand YOUR frustration with ATi and YOUR personal experience with them but this is not true for every product out there.

As it is, I believe he already bought an x1900xt so this is all moot now :)

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
This policy isn't restricted to ATI however, but exchanges for same product, etc...can be pretty common.

This happened with a friend of mine, and an Intel proc. To make a long story short, he bought a Pentium II 266, and Intel had given no indication through their dealer channels that the procs didn't support ECC...

My friend, after having bought the system, found this information out online, by checking his CPU's core reference number against the technical specifications sheet for it on the Intel developer site. He went back to the store and inquired this, as he wanted ECC.

The people at the computer store were surprised, though didn't doubt him (and of course the link was on their site). Apperently, Intel never told their developers that this was the case, first they heard of it. So Fred went around to various other OEM shops in town, and asked if they heard of it, and all indicated "no we haven't". He then showed them the documentation my friend found, and informed them "this is so, though the information has not been made available on the dealer channels".

In the end, he pulled in a few favors with people he knew, who worked at Intel, and arranged a meeting between the 2 companies to discuss this matter with them, and also push for them to replace the processor for my friend on grounds that the CPU wasn't as advertized to the dealers themselves...

When he finally got a meeting setup, and had gotten to speak with these people, in person, they first inquired as to why anyone would want ECC. Fred (himself a computer engineer since the 1950s, who only was working in the OEM business to help a lifelong friend who acquired the shop and became business owner several years back); not only told them, but also how Intel could make their ECC implementation better, why they should design it differently.

The Intel reps weren't expecting someone knowledgeable enough to tell them how they can make their products better, so out went any possible counter argument :D In the end, they would not replace the processor, but much like ATI, only did a trade up against the, then current market value to his PII 266, and applied it towards a PII 300 (none of which had faulty ECC).

As said, this practice isn't unique to ATI, but applies to other manufacturers also. As to my friend, the store could not justify asking him for more money for the new CPU, just gave it to him, with no comment on the matter. However, Fred had told me that this was the case, and that they wrote it up as a business expense incurred onto themselves. Discussing it with the owner, he could not see a reason to pass this cost onto the consumer, so never told him...

Intel at least, has made use of this tradeup value also...


Bow Down to the King
Political User
I bought the X1900 XT (512MB). It came to $434 after my discount (20% + $25 off). The X1800 models were all going for between $400 and $500 on eBay (some used, some new) so why not buy the better of the cards?

I respect your opinion LeeJend, however, I am a loyalist and the brands I like are the brands I like.

Thank you everyone.


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
Put your sig back on, in horizontal scroll, in pink and I'll think about it :smoker:

Honestly though, its end of quarter tomorrow, it should invoice/ship if it is in stock by then. If not, it means its not in stock.

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