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Video Card for 200$

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Luna64

Guest
#1
Thats really all I can spend on a new 3d card.

At the moment I am using a Geforce 2 MX (Dell) which I kinda stole my dads Dell machine :). I gave him a Voodoo 3 2000 PCI card cuz he does not play games at all.

Anyway, I have been using that card for about a year now, and I am getting mad at how slow it is. Crappy FPS at anything over 800x600. Detail is ok, but could be better.

So I guess the big question is Nvidia or ATI ? I can spend over 200$ if needed but not much over. I know there is the Radeons, and the Geforce 4.

I have yet to look at prices for any of these, but which brand/model is going to give me the most speed and detail for my money ?
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#2
best bang for your buck would be the new radeon 9500 PRO... do not get the non-pro...

the 9500pro is targeted as a gf4 ti 4200 beater and actually competes well/beats the ti4600...

if you want to see the cards bench numbers go to the front page of www.ntfs.org and check out the hardware news and the video card roundup...

the card should be available sub-200 usd... shop around for it :)
 

Taurus

hardware monkey
#3
EVIDENCE

the 9500pro beats the 4200's, but falls just short of the 4400. the 9500pro has dx9 support, but nvidia cards always overclock better.

i say invest in a decent 4200 and overclock it to 4600 speed. unless you're tickled by dx9, then get the 9500pro.
 
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Luna64

Guest
#6
Hmm, they are reall close.

The ATI has just a little edge over the 4200, but as you say, it can be overclocked very well.

Looks like this will be a tough one. The 4200 also costs less. Though I have always wanted to try an ATI. Hmmmmmmm
 

Taurus

hardware monkey
#7
yeah, i know what you mean. i've always been a hardcore nvidia fan but recently i've been considering trying the competiton. i want to witness this 'better image quality' that people claim. especially since their driver issues are supposedly a thing of the past.

but i bought this card recently so i'll stick with it for half a year or so til i get get a hammer/fx setup.

but anyway, that asus card i showed you would be quite a bit faster than the 9500pro because of it's upped memory. plus it's basically guaranteed to run faster than a 4600 once you overclock it.

speed? quality? *shrug*
 
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Luna64

Guest
#8
Well if I can find a 9500 Pro that I can afford, then I will buy it.

I know the 4200 you showed me will be faster and cost less :)

But I just need to try out ATI for once. And if I don't like it, ill just save up and get the Fx when it comes out ;)


And if I really don't like the 9500, I'll just return it and get that one you showed me. Though I just have this feeling that I need to try it out.
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#11
Originally posted by taurus
EVIDENCE

the 9500pro beats the 4200's, but falls just short of the 4400. the 9500pro has dx9 support, but nvidia cards always overclock better.

i say invest in a decent 4200 and overclock it to 4600 speed. unless you're tickled by dx9, then get the 9500pro.
what the hell are you talking about? since when has 3dmarks been the way to judge the speed of a video card? just look @ the performance of the 9500pro v/s the gf4 ti cards in GAMES that are NOT cpu limited... geez...

has anyone here gone through what I posted on the hardware news posts ?

also if you care www.tomshardwareguide.com has a radeon 9500pro review

also at www.anandtech.com

lemme show you some things...review

ATI is very concerned about making sure the Radeon 9500 Pro is a success, as it targets a much larger volume price point. Thanks to an improved driver, new board design with an optimized layout and a full 128MB of memory the card is able to compete with the GeForce4 Ti 4600 instead of being just barely faster than the Ti 4200.

Getting this card to market in time is crucial for ATI, because although NV30 (GeForce FX) was delayed - both NV31 and NV34 are on track for their scheduled release. NVIDIA's NV31 will be what's pitted against Radeon 9500 Pro but we'll have to wait and see about the performance of NVIDIA's as yet unannounced part.

If ATI can indeed get their Radeon 9500 Pro cards out in quantity before the end of the year they will have at least a 2 month lead on NVIDIA. Putting pressure on NVIDIA in this ~$200 market segment combined with their uncontested Radeon 9700 Pro, ATI has truly proven their ability to deliver on promises - a welcome change from the ATI we saw during the days of the 8500.

Should NVIDIA be worried? Every day that they don't have competing products out in the channel is another opportunity to increase ATI's sales, we'll leave that decision to the market and you.
note the date of the anandtech article though... 27th november... ati has indeed brough the 9500pro to the market in quantity...

also the card is designed to compete with the ti4200... but not only is it a dx9 part (so future proof) it also has better performance for AA and AF...

for the ati haters... I can't believe you don't even give respect to the raw power of this sub 200 USD component...
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#12
k.. once you have finished reading the reviews... I'll put things into context..

if you are looking for a future proof investment... on the market now you will not find a better card than the 9500pro... prior to that it would have been a no brainer to go with the 4200... but now you can't go with the old one... the 4200-se with upped clock speeds and agp 8x support would be the one to get...

oc'ing a card past its designed specs is not always the best thing to do... there is a reason that the card is clocked lower than its other brethren... sure some of the companies make good cards DESIGNED to be oc'd...

currently the nv30 core based cards... such as the nv31 and nv34 would be able to compete better with the ati products right now but they have not reached the market... you can wait till feb/march when the first of the nv3x products are supposed to hit the market en masse also if you so choose... luna...
 
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Luna64

Guest
#14
I don't feel much like waiting.

I think I will go to the store today and pick up a 9500 Pro if it's in stock.

Though I must ask, does the Pro in the name have anything to do with AGP Pro ?

I know the 9500/9700 Pro gives better everything over the non pro, but my Soyo has an AGP Pro slot so it leaves me to wonder.
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#15
Originally posted by Luna64
I don't feel much like waiting.

I think I will go to the store today and pick up a 9500 Pro if it's in stock.

Though I must ask, does the Pro in the name have anything to do with AGP Pro ?

I know the 9500/9700 Pro gives better everything over the non pro, but my Soyo has an AGP Pro slot so it leaves me to wonder.
nah basically in ati cards... the pro has higher clock speeds than the non-pro's

in the case of the pro/non-pro in the 9500 cards... the 9500 non -pro is targeted @ the gf4 MX cards and has only 4 texture processing pipelines v/s 8 for the 9500pro...

both have 128bit memory v/s 256 for the 9700 cards..

clocks should be 275/275 or 275/270 for both the 9500 cards...
 
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Luna64

Guest
#16
Well I get to the store and all the ATI cards are sold out. Tons of Geforce 4 left, but no Radeon. That was crap, I was looking forward to getting that card today.
 

Taurus

hardware monkey
#17
Originally posted by Sazar
what the hell are you talking about? since when has 3dmarks been the way to judge the speed of a video card? just look @ the performance of the 9500pro v/s the gf4 ti cards in GAMES that are NOT cpu limited... geez...
relax. just stating that the ti4200 is a little slower than the 9500pro, but it also costs less. and special faster ones like that asus one i linked are actually faster and still cost a little less.

sure this is based on 3dmarks... and comanche, ut2k3, serious sam, aquanox, etc. they all come up with basically the same results. the 9500pro stands between the 4200 and 4600.

they're both decent buys.
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#18
Originally posted by taurus
relax. just stating that the ti4200 is a little slower than the 9500pro, but it also costs less. and special faster ones like that asus one i linked are actually faster and still cost a little less.

sure this is based on 3dmarks... and comanche, ut2k3, serious sam, aquanox, etc. they all come up with basically the same results. the 9500pro stands between the 4200 and 4600.

they're both decent buys.
:cool:

ok...
 
L

Luna64

Guest
#19
Another thing

What is better, OEM or Retail ?

I am guessing OEM is a card that came with a brand name PC ?

Would it be any slower ?

:huh:
 

Sazar

F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
#20
Originally posted by Luna64
Another thing

What is better, OEM or Retail ?

I am guessing OEM is a card that came with a brand name PC ?

Would it be any slower ?

:huh:
OEM basically comes without the retail box... and therefore the warranty is not as long on the part normally...

also some companies retail products have software bundles and extras'... you may not get that BUT you get a cheaper product :)
 

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