New Video card: Advice required

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Minerva
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New Video card: Advice required

Postby Minerva » Wed Jan 02, 2002 6:33 pm

I'm planning to upgrade (well, almost building a whole machine, really) my pc. I have a fair idea for motherboard with Athlon CPU, but need a bit of help for the graphic card.

My main use is browsing internet and Word, and I don't play much games (don't touch shooting games or such). Therefore, I don't need the state-of-arts, newest, and fastest card, but I want just enough to play BG series and its cousins, and Civ series. Of course, I don't have much money to spare either, as I need to replace motherboard+CPU at the same time.

Any advice on either products or chipsets will be very much appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
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Postby HighLordDave » Wed Jan 02, 2002 7:36 pm

What do you want the card to do? How much can you afford to spend?

Once you answer those two questions, you will have a pretty good idea of what kind of video card to get. Since you say that you don't need a top of the line card, there are lots of good cards out there in the $100 (retail) range.

A guy who works downstairs in my building swears by Voodoo cards, but I don't care for them; they run hot and I think you're paying a lot of money for the name, not necessarily the product (like a Mercedes or Jaguar).

I have had good luck with ATI cards and I recommend them to everyone I talk to (note: I am not compensated in any way for my endorsement of ATI video cards); my current machine has an Rage Fury Pro card in it that runs most games satifactorily (I like games like Civ3, Baldur's Gate II, X-Wing Alliance, Stronghold; in other words, non-graphics-intensive games). You can get an ATI Radeon card (which is a step up from the Rage Fury chipsset) at [url="http://www.thenerds.net/productpage.asp?c=55&sd=Video+Cards+%2DAGP&pn=ATIRADEON7200"]thenerds.net[/url] for $85 plus shipping.

No matter what you pick, retail stores don't like to sell video cards for less than $100. So you can go out on the internet and look for a lower price or just pick up whatever you find at the store.

PS--I have other friends who love nVidia and geForce cards; [url="http://www.thenerds.net"]thenerds.net[/url] carries a number of products at fairly reasonable and competitive prices, so check them out (note: I am not compensated by thenerds.net either, although I should be for the amount of business I send their way).
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Postby Aegis » Wed Jan 02, 2002 9:10 pm

Contrary to HLD, I do not endorse the Radeon... Evil card.. I have one now (came with comp.) and it's very twitchy with games, even if not graphic intense. My advice is to go with a Nvidia GeForce 2 64mg card. You can get them for about $100-$150.

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Postby THE JAKER » Wed Jan 02, 2002 10:34 pm

Yeah you pretty much have your $100, $200 and $300 dollar cards. The $300 ones are great but that's just too much - it's a ripoff. I built a computer last month and got a $200 one - 'Leadtek Gforce 3 ti 200' - it performs beautifully on the newest shooter games like Wolfenstein and Ghost Recon, and I believe it will continue to perform adequately for awhile.

I think that to play BG2 and CivIII (and soon Neverwinter Nights!) you would be fine with the level of card Aegis specced - Gforce 2 64 mb memory.

I sort of agree with the anti-ATI sentiment. the Nvidia type cards seem to be a little less troubleprone, and there is just one set of drivers for all of the Geforce cards so you run into a little less confusion downloading those. Leadtek and Gainward are good manufacturers of Geforce cards, there are other good manufacturers too but I can't remember which ones.

I think that investing the $100 or so in one of these will provide plenty of long-term enjoyment, until the prices on the GF3ti500s come down a little ;)

[ 01-02-2002: Message edited by: THE JAKER ]
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Postby Dottie » Wed Jan 02, 2002 10:42 pm

If you dont play shooters and such you can probably manage with less then a GF2. Im currently using only a TNT2 Ultra and games like BG2 and IWD run smothly without any problems. Dont think they still sell old cards like that though.

My advice is to go to a friend that plays shooters and have alot of money and convince him that he needs a new video card, then you can steal his old without any bad conscience.
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Postby Sailor Saturn » Wed Jan 02, 2002 11:17 pm

I don't know what my video card is, other than that it is a 3-year-old, 2-4 meg card, and I'm not even certain about the megs; but I'm also planning on upgrading later this month. So far, I've no idea what I'm going to get, though I'll probably end up going with the lowest priced 64 meg card so my dad doesn't get mad at me for "wasting money." :rolleyes:
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Postby Gruntboy » Thu Jan 03, 2002 2:15 am

My vote goes to nvidia/geforce.

You can pick up a second hand geforce quite cheaply Minerva - do you have a Computer Exchange shop nearby?
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Postby Minerva » Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:37 am

Thanks, everyone. :)

I'll probably spend upto $150 on Video card. My main concern are: 1) Getting a new card and it becomes obsolute within a year; 2) Cannot play my old games, like BG1. For the former, I wonder if 32mb card is a good choice, as I know it's a lot cheaper than 64 mb.

Originally posted by Dottie:
<STRONG>My advice is to go to a friend that plays shooters and have alot of money and convince him that he needs a new video card, then you can steal his old without any bad conscience.
Atleast thats what i usally do :) </STRONG>


ROFLMAO :D

@Gruntboy: I can't think of the computer exchange around here. :(

I'm going to Japan in two weeks time, and planning to buy the cards (and probably CPU) there... To avoid paying VAT. :D :D
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Postby Nippy » Thu Jan 03, 2002 5:51 am

Originally posted by Minerva:
<STRONG>Thanks, everyone. :)

I'll probably spend upto $150 on Video card. My main concern are: 1) Getting a new card and it becomes obsolute within a year; 2) Cannot play my old games, like BG1. For the former, I wonder if 32mb card is a good choice, as I know it's a lot cheaper than 64 mb.

ROFLMAO :D

@Gruntboy: I can't think of the computer exchange around here. :(

I'm going to Japan in two weeks time, and planning to buy the cards (and probably CPU) there... To avoid paying VAT. :D :D </STRONG>


@ Minerva

I'm running a Pentium 2 350 with 128 MB of RAM and a TnT2 32MB graphics card from ELSA. BG2 runs brilliantly and I find no problems with similar games.

You could go easily for a 32MB card but beware that gives you little option to use it for only a year at the max. A 64MB card is fine and would serve you well. :)
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Postby Mr Sleep » Thu Jan 03, 2002 6:10 am

The AMD Duron's are supposed to be decent processers if you are thinking about budget and also outstrip the P4's on everything but mp3 encoding :)

Graphics cards, well the TNT2 is a good card for cheap, I personally rate the Geforce chipset above all others.

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Postby Yshania » Thu Jan 03, 2002 6:23 am

Well my graphics card is currently a 32Mb Guillemot Maxi Gamer Cougar - an Nvidia clone running on Nvidia drivers. It is fine and retails at about £75 ;)
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Postby HighLordDave » Thu Jan 03, 2002 6:30 am

Originally posted by Minerva:
<STRONG>. My main concern are: 1) Getting a new card and it becomes obsolute within a year; </STRONG>


Any card you get will be obsolete, not in a year, but in about 90 days.

<STRONG>2) Cannot play my old games, like BG1. For the former, I wonder if 32mb card is a good choice, as I know it's a lot cheaper than 64 mb.</STRONG>


In my "old" computer (before I rebuilt it and gave the old pieces to my mother), I had an ATI Xpert2000, Celeron 500, 128 MB of RAM, and I never had any problem running any of the Infinity Engine games or most other games. My "new" computer has an ATI Rage Fury Pro video card, P3 866, 384 MB of RAM and I have never had any issues related to the video card.

I cannot speak about the Radeon cards, as I don't have one, but my experiences with ATI have been very good. Both the Xpert 2000 and Rage Fury Pro are 32 MB cards which use ATI's Rage 128 chipset and I have been satisfied with both. I would like a 64 MB video card, but I don't have a need for one (just as I don't have a need for a 60" big-screen TV, but it would sure be nice!).

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Postby Mr Sleep » Thu Jan 03, 2002 7:09 am

Originally posted by HighLordDave:
<STRONG>Any card you get will be obsolete, not in a year, but in about 90 days. </STRONG>


Oh you cynic :p :)

Well i purchased a Creative GeForce DDR for £190 ages back, still a very good card, one of my better investments :) Obselete is all relative in the computer market, companies try to make it sound obselete even though it is still a very good product, just to sell one of the flashy new peices of kit.

[ 01-03-2002: Message edited by: Mr Sleep ]
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Postby Aegis » Thu Jan 03, 2002 10:30 am

Well, HLD is right. The way game companies make games, the graphic cards constanly have to be upgraded and improved. It's one of the catch 22.

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Postby Nightmare » Thu Jan 03, 2002 11:57 am

Radeon, from what I heard, I supposed to be good, but you can't use anti-aliasing. I think.

I have a Geforce 2 32MB card, and it runs fine. If you want a card to last though, get a Geforce 3.
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Postby Minerva » Thu Jan 03, 2002 3:41 pm

Thanks, guys. :)

I'm currently checking a Japanese price check site, and sorely confused... :D

Another question: Which should I pay more attention, the chipset or the size of memory? I mean, if there are two cards sold in the same price, one with 32mb mem with newer chipset and the other with 64mb and older chipset, which should I choose?
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Postby GandalfgalTTV » Thu Jan 03, 2002 3:45 pm

Originally posted by Minerva:
<STRONG>Thanks, guys. :)

I'm currently checking a Japanese price check site, and sorely confused... :D

Another question: Which should I pay more attention, the chipset or the size of memory? I mean, if there are two cards sold in the same price, one with 32mb mem with newer chipset and the other with 64mb and older chipset, which should I choose?</STRONG>


mem, when playing non-3d games more memory has a greater impact than more calculating power.
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Postby Minerva » Fri Jan 04, 2002 5:23 pm

Thanks. :)
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Postby Denethorn » Sun Jan 06, 2002 7:29 am

If you're just playing 2d/isometric games then get a nVidia Riva TNT2.

Cheap and they cope with a lot (Anarchy Online).

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Postby GandalfgalTTV » Sun Jan 06, 2002 7:45 am

Originally posted by Alexander Denethorn:
<STRONG>As Gandalfgal The Talking Gibberling said memory is more important.</STRONG>

I see I've been promoted.

nVidia is never a bad choice, great driver support. The latest double the performance of the older cards.
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