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gurgyfruut

what's the best cheap graphics card?

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hey i''m going to build a computer and i''ve not got a lot of $, so i was wondering what you guys think is the best graphics card for between $50-$150 (preferrably around $100). i''ll be upgrading from an ati rage fury 128 thanks!

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Hmmm I dont think you will be finding a 9700 for 130 bucks.
You can get a geforce t1 4200 for 75 bucks and over clock it to be as fast as a 4400 or even 4600.

At that price range I wouldnt worry about geting a dx9 capatible card because you will be running at 2 fps in stuff requiring it

If you want to spend over a 100 there is a 9600 for 110 bucks, It''s a pretty good card.

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best performance to value is the ATi 9600 pro. Maybe the 9600XT now.

The ATi 9600 non pro is cheaper and still a good card, compared to the NVIDIA dustbuster cheatenator "ForceWare" offerings.

Whatever you do, don''t get the nvidia FX series cards, generation 4 was good and the Ti4200 is/was good value for price.



I would recommend the ATi 9600. You can also look into the 9200 (I think it might have also been a dx9 gen card, might be wrong though).

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Any FX card is good, i would get the FX5950, but that's probably not in your budget(but it does kick ATI cards in the nut's when running openGL).
i got my FX5600 for around 150$ and im pretty shure they are cheaper now.

Don't get ATI, their drivers are.. um... sucky.
Besides they cheat way to much, just read the last FX5950 review at tomshardware.
In some test's (aquamark in particular) they basicly disqualified the ATI cards because the drivercheats where way to apparent.
So for once nvidia comes out on top when it comes to visual quality.

[edited by - lc_overlord on October 25, 2003 7:45:01 AM]

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"Don''t get ATI, their drivers are.. um... sucky."

Not in the past year and 1/2. They have really turned it around.

lc_overlord, go back and read that artical again. It''s Nvidia who is making the faulty drivers that cheat.

http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/20030918/aquamark-08.html

I used to like Nvidia a lot, now they have fizzled. The FX series was a huge disapointment. Nvidia is now the company making faulty driver.

The TI''s are still great cards for their value. But If your going to spend the big bucks go ATI.

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quote:
lc_overlord, go back and read that artical again. It''s Nvidia who is making the faulty drivers that cheat.

stop being lame, i dont want to start a flamewar, but have you ever seen nvidia doing FSAA not FS etc? and do you know, that ati is cheating with precisions? No? i dont think you know so, otherwhise you wouldnt post such an statement.


back on-topic, he could actually find a high-end gfx card somewhere for low... just ask some friends etc if they have one and dont need it, and check out some real-prices so your ''friends'' dont fool you.


T2k

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If you want the card for OpenGL programming you should buy a Radeon 9500, 9600(XT), 9700, 9800(XT) or a GeForce FX (any except FX 5200 is ok). They all support Pixel Shader (in OpenGL fragment programs (ARB) or fragment shaders (OpenGL 2.0)).

Personally I would recommend you an ATI card because they have a better DirectX 9 (pixel shader) performance now. But a GeForce FX is also ok.

If you want the card for gaming you should increase you budget! :-)

--------------------------------------------------------

"If it looks good, it is good computer graphics"
"If it looks like computer graphics, it is bad computer graphics"

Corrail
corrail@gmx.at
ICQ#59184081

[edited by - Corrail on October 25, 2003 1:58:45 PM]

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quote:
Original post by T2k

stop being lame, i dont want to start a flamewar, but have you ever seen nvidia doing FSAA not FS etc? and do you know, that ati is cheating with precisions? No? i dont think you know so, otherwhise you wouldnt post such an statement.




Easy there sport, I was just saying read it again. It shows that Nvidia is the one with cheating drivers. I''m not being "lame", he mis-refrenced the results, and I''m pointing it out. Thanks for the flame.

Both card companies "cheat," its called optimizing. Nvidia has done so more at the cost of vissual quality, as of late.

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So nvidia might have cheated in september but no they have these optimation guidelines that inshures that they will not tamper with image quality when they optimize their drivers.
ATI on the other hand clearly cheat, just look at the images in this article.
You can read it all here.

http://www.tomshardware.com/graphic/20031023/nvidia-nv38-nv36-19.html

In any case, they need to start playing fair.

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sorry but I just got to post on this, even if I end up being flamed.


Firstly, I haven't checked tomshardware for month's now along with a few other sites. Why you ask, because they are so biased.

From the Tomshardware FX5800 review

quote:

Nevertheless, enthusiasts will, without a doubt, love the GeForceFX 5800 Ultra. It is a monster card! And it has a look that is similarly spectacular to the 3dfx Voodoo5 6000 at the time of its launch.



We all know that FX5800 was a total failiur. Wtf is with that review???

It's look, wtf it's as loud as a vaccum cleaner, takes up a PCI slot and requires an extra power connector. It looks ugly (some of you might like it, I dont).


Secondly, ATi cheating thing. Don't you find it a bit odd that those rumors were started at an Nvidia event. Don't you find it weird that ATi is "cheating" in those games that NVIDIA lowered the IQ to the unplayable setting? NVIDIA still hasn't commented on their "optimizations".

quote:

stop being lame, i dont want to start a flamewar, but have you ever seen nvidia doing FSAA not FS etc? and do you know, that ati is cheating with precisions? No? i dont think you know so, otherwhise you wouldnt post such an statement.



ATi is cheating with precision? You don't know what you are talking about. ATi runs in 24bit precision while the FX can run in 16 and 32. 16bit mode looks ugly as hell and 32 is slow as hell. DX9 spec says that you must have atleast 24bit precision, so the FX will most likely be using the 32 bit mode to achieve similar image quality, only run slow as hell.


Nvidia FX faster in Doom 3, yes since JC developed a special backend to run in its lower precision mode. ATi uses the default ARB extension path.


The FX5600 simply sucks, the 5700 is better because the architecture is updated. Actually gives some competition to the ATi 9600 cards.

ATi cards also run faster in those "the way it's meant to be played games" that got the NV logo and everything. NVidia also optimizes more for benchmarks so they should change their slogan to "the way it's meant to be benchmarked".


Ok before you all go calling me some ATi fanboy, I'll just say that I used to like nvidia cards (generation 3 and 4) but the FX series is a total bust. I go for the best products not what some biased review sites tell me, do the comparisons yourself.


Right now the best products are coming from ATi and I wouldn't recommend the FX series to anyone (not even to the people that I dont like).


*** EDIT: fixed end quote tag

[edited by - particleG on October 25, 2003 5:19:37 PM]

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ATI Radeon 9600 Xt, Half-Life 2 comes with it and has all the features to play that game =)

--
You're Welcome,
Rick Wong
- sitting in his chair doing the most time-consuming thing..

[edited by - Pipo DeClown on October 25, 2003 5:29:46 PM]

[edited by - Pipo DeClown on October 25, 2003 5:30:40 PM]

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always check out pricewatch.com as well. you can find insane deals there. in particular the geForce cards are selling for about zero dollars (i'd check out the manufacturer and read some reviews on CNET before you buy whatever card you find. don't want to get stuck with a lemon)

-me

[edited by - Palidine on October 25, 2003 5:41:24 PM]

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Number one site for reviews IMHO is:

http://www.hardocp.com

these guys dont see the green from nVidia and Intel like Tom does. I''ve seen them swap from ATI to nVidia and back dozens of times. The same with AMD vs Intel. They''re hard core gamers there and just want folk to get the lowdown on whats really going on. Take a look at their reviews... They only do one when they believe the sides are evenly matched for all parties involved. Otherwise, they''ll let you know why they havent done a specific review yet.

As for best bang for the buck, I''d recommend an ATI 9600, or the 256mb FX5600, in that order though...

8^)

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quote:

Number one site for reviews IMHO is:

http://www.hardocp.com

these guys dont see the green from nVidia and Intel like Tom does. I''ve seen them swap from ATI to nVidia and back dozens of times. The same with AMD vs Intel. They''re hard core gamers there and just want folk to get the lowdown on whats really going on. Take a look at their reviews... They only do one when they believe the sides are evenly matched for all parties involved. Otherwise, they''ll let you know why they havent done a specific review yet.

As for best bang for the buck, I''d recommend an ATI 9600, or the 256mb FX5600, in that order though...

8^)




yeah that site is good and not bias like toms, anands, and a few others.

Oh and toms isn''t taking money from Intel only, when the AMD64 was released they had reviews there up to the Intel 3.6Ghz EE, which kicked AMD''s ass in a few more benchmarks. Guess what happened 4 or so hours later, only up to intel 3.2 is reviewed. Maybe it was an accident that those results got released, I dunno.

Back on the graphics topic, If you are buying for the future then get the ATi 9600, the NVIDIA 5600 is an alternative but only for the DX8 generation of games. It wont run DX9 gen games at a playable level.

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Personally I think the 9600 rocks the house. It's way more powerful that the 5600 (from my tests which are VP and FP driven) and the price difference is usually pretty low (sometimes just around 30 euros here).

About ATi making faulty drivers, I would like to point out that I stumbled on 2 (two) driver bugs on NV, both were fatal and not avoidable. I don't really think ATi drivers are worse than NVdia's right now.
I think every company has faulty drivers right now because they need to cut corners I guess.

EDIT:
As a side note, I would not get nothing less than a RD3xx based card right now - FP are way too easy to use and it's not a surprise every future game will use it.

Another thing: a lot of my friends got a really cheap 9600 from a "Sapphire" brand. I don't know if you're able to find it but I would like to let you know that I personally know 5 people which bought one of that... 3 of them returned the video card because it was overheating too much (errors, hangups, one dead card), so take care with that brand.


[edited by - Krohm on October 26, 2003 6:45:12 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Some of the posts mentions the top consumer cards from ATi. Did the posters not read that the question was about cheap cards around 50-150$?
Despite that many belives is the cheapest FX cards from nvidia excellent! Its particulary true for the 5200 that is also one of the best cards for developers in that price range.

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quote:

Some of the posts mentions the top consumer cards from ATi. Did the posters not read that the question was about cheap cards around 50-150$?
Despite that many belives is the cheapest FX cards from nvidia excellent! Its particulary true for the 5200 that is also one of the best cards for developers in that price range.



Ok, well let''s see the 9600 is about 110 dollars. The 9200 is cheaper. The 9600 Pro is over 150 but no one was suggesting that.

As for the FX5200 how do you find it excellent? That thing is slower then the 4200 and more expensive? It isn''t a DX9 gen card unless you want to run at 3fps...

As for sapphire brand, don''t overclock and they run fine. Keep an eye out for the ''Asus'' cards as well, they are coming out with ATi chipsets now but they will still sell the NVIDIA chips as well.

The FX series is NVIDIA''s biggest mistake and instead of coming out and admitting it they dance around it with faulty drivers and then start pointing fingers at ATi optimizating/cheating. Did they ever do a press release about their drivers that lower image quality or how about their drivers that replace part of DX9 dll''s so that it can run faster on NVIDIA hardware. Even NVIDIA''s dawn demo ran faster on ATi hardware, in emulated mode, wtf.

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quote:


As for the FX5200 how do you find it excellent? That thing is slower then the 4200 and more expensive? It isn''t a DX9 gen card unless you want to run at 3fps...




Agreed, get a 4200 if your going to get a cheap nvidia.

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