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80 posts

Master Geek


# 18940 30-Jan-2008 15:15
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Hi

I'm a noob - but seriously need a new graphics card for my shiney new Dell (well sort of new - May last year!)

I currently have nVidia 7300LE 256Mb (ick), which seems to be letting me down in places... like Overlord :) Oh if I only I knew how silly THIS was when selecting my Dell's specs...

I have read Toms Hardware reviews and looked at their VGA charts (as I'm no expert on Graphics at all), and came to the conclusion I'm still just as confused as what to get. Need real people input. Also been all over the place on Pricespy - as I'm a cheap monkey :P

As like most people, I have a budget - and am by no means a 'gamer' so don't need high end graphics.  Around $200 - $250 I'm thinking, DDR3, and no generic brands. 

Would it make that much difference to have 256 or 512Mb RAM on it? Will I have enough power to run the thing?

Suggestions for RELIABLE brands please??? I've noticed Palit is cheap, is it reliable? I'm guessing XFX is good?

Should I be looking at Radeon or GeForce?? Recommendations for around this price? Have read the 8600GT is slow? Is HD 3850 better? Any info helpful :)

Current machine:
Dell Dimension E521
Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 4200+ 2.2Ghz
2Gb DDR2 667Mhz RAM
320G HDD
Power (after having a wee look) 300w
20"LCD
Vista Hm prem 32bit


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  # 107558 30-Jan-2008 15:57
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I think it's probably hard to overlook an ATI 2600 at present. There is the Pro and XT models - they are 256mb vs 512mb as the 256 is faster RAM.

A 300W power supply could be a small issue however, it may run but most new cards really recommend a 400W supply.

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  # 107564 30-Jan-2008 16:06
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GeForce 8800 GS, 384MB, DDR3, PCIe-16, TV out, DVI, HDTV, SLI ready, Alpha Dog Edition$343.98 incl GST (freeshipping)
This looked very nice, but it's a $100 more than you wanted.

I have a Gigabyte HD 2600XT 256MB GDDR4, that I really like, it plays cyrsis very nicely, hd no problems with ram. And Around $200

The ATI Radeon HD 3850 256MB, looks kind of nice of nice for the price. But that's all I can say about that.

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 107649 30-Jan-2008 22:37
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hi snonoz

i have a very similar machine to you...

athlon x2 dual core 4200+
2gb corsair ddr2 ram
32inch samsung lcd
vista ultimate 32bit

i've been using a ati radeon x850xt platinum edition (256mb) ever since i upgraded about a year and a half ago. its been superb, runs all the games i've thrown at it, bioshock, crisis, call of duty 4 etc. i watch a lot of HD content and also dabble in music production and it works well in all areas. also because its a bit older than the newer cards its a hell of alot cheaper and well within your price range. i picked mine up for about $350 on trademe brand new and that was back when i upgraded in 2006. it also out performs the ati HD 2600xt in the overall gaming chart on toms hardware. it will likely run fine with the power supply you have unless you add another hard drive or something. i have a 500W but i'm running 7 hard drives and 3 disc drives in my machine so my 500w psu is fairly justified.

however i'm sure the newer cards have advantages that i've overlooked which i'm sure someone will point out very shortly if not, by morning :P

peace

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  # 107651 30-Jan-2008 22:45
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We sell truckloads of graphics cards. All of the GeForces for the simple reason that they are more reliable than the ATI cards. We've had runs where 9/10 ATIs would come back burnt out or just dead.

It is hard to look past a 8600GT/GTS or even the 8800GS/GT



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Master Geek


  # 107654 30-Jan-2008 22:51
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Eeek - that card is still $450+ (X850 XT) - must be good ;)

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 107655 30-Jan-2008 22:54
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i've had 6 different graphics cards in my lifetime for my home desktops and all have been ati and i have never once had one burn out or die on me. i think it really depends on the usage and maintenence of the gpu and the machine its installed in. this guys not looking for a high end gaming card and is also on a budget so i would definately recommend ati.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 107656 30-Jan-2008 23:00
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snonoz: Eeek - that card is still $450+ (X850 XT) - must be good ;)


hmmmm i would assume those are newer upgraded models on pricespy. mines only around 500mhz but those ones on pricespy are around the 1000mhz mark. couldn't find any on trademe but i did find this, runs better than my card and is super cheap.

 
 
 
 


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  # 107659 30-Jan-2008 23:06
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dnb4life: i've had 6 different graphics cards in my lifetime for my home desktops and all have been ati and i have never once had one burn out or die on me. i think it really depends on the usage and maintenence of the gpu and the machine its installed in. this guys not looking for a high end gaming card and is also on a budget so i would definately recommend ati.


Well in my opinion the Radeons are unreliable. As someone who deals with them on a daily basis and I go through several graphics cards per month I can tell you I would pick a GeForce every time. I've always been disappointed by the Radeons.

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  # 107660 30-Jan-2008 23:09
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A friend has a GeForce 7950 GX2 1GB, PCI-Express, he says that COD4 and Cryis both look better running on the HD2600xt, DX10 rocks. The 2600xt may nit be the fastest, but it delivers a very good performance for the money.  I had no problems at all.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 107662 30-Jan-2008 23:29
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bradstewart:
dnb4life: i've had 6 different graphics cards in my lifetime for my home desktops and all have been ati and i have never once had one burn out or die on me. i think it really depends on the usage and maintenence of the gpu and the machine its installed in. this guys not looking for a high end gaming card and is also on a budget so i would definately recommend ati.


Well in my opinion the Radeons are unreliable. As someone who deals with them on a daily basis and I go through several graphics cards per month I can tell you I would pick a GeForce every time. I've always been disappointed by the Radeons.


what's been so disappointing about the radeon cards you've dealt with? i struggle to see how 9/10 ati cards could come back dead or burnt out, it just seems plain untrue. if their record was that bad they wouldn't be where they are today. the only way i see 9/10 of the radeon cards you guys sell coming back is if you keep selling customers with low-end machines high-end graphics cards and its blowing their desktops up!

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  # 107663 31-Jan-2008 00:16
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dnb4life:
bradstewart: Well in my opinion the Radeons are unreliable. As someone who deals with them on a daily basis and I go through several graphics cards per month I can tell you I would pick a GeForce every time. I've always been disappointed by the Radeons.


what's been so disappointing about the radeon cards you've dealt with?


They have not lived up to their hype in terms of performance. The new 38x0's are rather good. But the 2x00's just don't cut it in comparison to the 8x00 series GeForce cards.

i struggle to see how 9/10 ati cards could come back dead or burnt out, it just seems plain untrue. if their record was that bad they wouldn't be where they are today. the only way i see 9/10 of the radeon cards you guys sell coming back is if you keep selling customers with low-end machines high-end graphics cards and its blowing their desktops up!


If it were untrue then I would be lying. The insinuation is not appreciated.

The X1xxx had the highest fail rate of any product we have ever seen. From blown capacitors to burnt out power connectors. It was a well documented problem. It affected cards and system right across the range so it had nothing to do with our ability to properly serve our customers.

Also I have yet to see a desktop blow up.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 107664 31-Jan-2008 00:46
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i quite understand the performance comparison with the geforce cards as it can be seen on most vga charts and i am not trying to argue that point. i believe the cheaper price of ati cards justifies that sometimes they don't keep up with their supposed geforce counterpart. as for insinuating you were lying, it was not my intention and i apologise if you took offence. i can think of atleast 8 friends and workmates that have a x1xxx card and have never had a serious problem with it. is it a particular brand that you're talking about? because i could understand if there was brands out there that had a lower build quality than the rest.

(i also am yet to see a desktop blow up. i meant motherboards getting fried etc. i have seen numerous machines "blow" as such and that is what was meant by the comment.)



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Master Geek


  # 107683 31-Jan-2008 08:11
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Hi all

Thanks for that info - was leaning towards Geforce anyway (as I am worried I don't have enough power to run an ATI card). No other drives installed but 300w is only a baby...

Now that Geforce is the winner, I would love some input into BRANDS??? Is Palit ok? Have heard Asus not so great? Guessing Sparkle, Gigabyte, and XFX are no problem?  Is eVGA, BFG or MSI better is any way? And what about Point Of View cards??

dnb4life: ...this guys not looking for a high end gaming card and is also on a budget so i would definately recommend ati.


Girl not guy, and I agree about ATI being good for my budget but they require 400w power apparantly (?) - and 7 hard drives? Impressed :)

bradstewart: ...It is hard to look past a 8600GT/GTS or even the 8800GS/GT


Oh if only the 8800GS/GS was in my price range... maybe need to sell more stuff on TM and wait!

When the 9 series cards come out, will the 8 series drop in price?

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Master Geek


  # 107709 31-Jan-2008 10:01
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If you're not into serious gaming then the 8600GT is a good card for the price, is targeted towards HD as opposed to gaming.

We've got the Gigabyte 8600GT card in our media pc serving a full 52" HDTV perfectly, absolutely happy.

I've got an Albatron 8800GTS in my pc for gaming and it's perfect.

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  # 107720 31-Jan-2008 10:33
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snonoz: Thanks for that info - was leaning towards Geforce anyway (as I am worried I don't have enough power to run an ATI card). No other drives installed but 300w is only a baby...

Now that Geforce is the winner, I would love some input into BRANDS??? Is Palit ok? Have heard Asus not so great? Guessing Sparkle, Gigabyte, and XFX are no problem?  Is eVGA, BFG or MSI better is any way? And what about Point Of View cards??


The brands I would pick are Gigabyte, ASUS or MSI. I don't think you will find BFG here, Sparkle and Palit and cheap brands and have had some questionable build quality. XFX is excellent but tend to be a little more expensive.

Gigabyte and ASUS both have a 3 year warranty and have been by far and away the best brands we sell.

bradstewart: ...It is hard to look past a 8600GT/GTS or even the 8800GS/GT


Oh if only the 8800GS/GS was in my price range... maybe need to sell more stuff on TM and wait!

When the 9 series cards come out, will the 8 series drop in price?


Yes they will drop but the 9 series is still a little way off.

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