View Full Version : Vid card ?'s
01-20-04, 08:42 AM
I am working on upgrading my current computer, which means what I dont gut, the wife gets for her PC. Since the vid card that I have now will be migrating to a new case, she will be using the one she has now (an old geforce 2 mx400). I would like to upgrade that card to something newer, but nothing close to top of the line. I am thinking in the 60-90 dollar range. Any sugguestions? I am fairly clueless in regards to bang for the buck.... Name brand does not matter to me, I also dont care if I get an nvidia or ATI card.... samey same. Just want a little better card than she has now.
01-20-04, 09:23 AM
ATi 9600, or if you can find one on the web in that price range a ATi 9600 Pro.
GREAT bang for the buck, but DO NOT get a 9600 SE.
$60 to $90 isn't much to go on in the way of gaming cards; I'd suggest either a 128mb Radeon 9100 (get one clocked to 250/250, or '250/500' using DDR-speak) or 128mb Radeon 9000 Pro, both for around $75, or a 64mb GeForce4 Ti4200 (usually in the $90 range if you can find one).
Here's a graphics card review of many budget cards over the past few years, with which you can compare your old GeForce2 MX400's performance and whichever cards you're interested in. One thing to note is don't buy a GeForceFX 5200 or 5600 because they say "full Dx9 support"; Dx9 is an almost useless feature in today's low budget cards because they're not fast enough to render Dx9 with a decent framerate.
For Dx9 the absolute slowest cards with which Dx9 would be of use would be a Radeon 9600 (non-SE) for ATi or a GeForceFX 5600 Ultra for nVidia. I know the 9600 is much slower than the 5600 ultra in the benches of the review above, but the 9600 loses very little speed when switching to Dx9, while the GeForceFX series takes quite a large performance hit. The easiest way I can explain it is to say ATi's Radeon 9500 series and above are Dx9 cards, while nVidia's GeForceFX series are Dx8.1 cards which can also run Dx9. A subtle difference, but the difference is there.
This Half-Life2 preview may also help define the differences between the two companies' architecture when running Dx9, though I think this is a 'worst case scenario' for nVidia and performance numbers will probably be improved by the time the game ships.