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meade95

Video Card for GRAW?

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Generally, they mean different processing speeds and a different number of pixel pipelines enabled.

For example:

6800 GS -- coreclock-425MHz / memoryclock-1GHz / pixelpipes-12

6800 GT -- coreclock-350MHz / memoryclock-1GHz / pixelpipes-16

7800 GT -- coreclock-400MHz /memoryclock-1GHz / pixelpipes-20

7800GTX -- coreclock-430MHz /memoryclock-1.2GHz /pixelpipes-24

These are, to the best of my knowledge, NVidia's reference design numbers. Various manufacturers will have cards with higher mem and core clocks, which is basically just a factory overclock.

For the cards out now, within a given series(6800, 7800, etc.), the GTX outperforms the GT, which in turn outperforms the GS.

--Logos

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Generally, they mean different processing speeds and a different number of pixel pipelines enabled. 

For example:

6800 GS -- coreclock-425MHz / memoryclock-1GHz / pixelpipes-12

6800 GT -- coreclock-350MHz / memoryclock-1GHz / pixelpipes-16

7800 GT -- coreclock-400MHz /memoryclock-1GHz / pixelpipes-20

7800GTX -- coreclock-430MHz /memoryclock-1.2GHz /pixelpipes-24

These are, to the best of my knowledge, NVidia's reference design numbers.  Various manufacturers will have cards with higher mem and core clocks, which is basically just a factory overclock.

For the cards out now, within a given series(6800, 7800, etc.), the GTX outperforms the GT, which in turn outperforms the GS.

--Logos

And to complicate it more the 6800gs agp version is clocked lower but can usually be unlocked to 16 pipes.

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Ok, now for the debate:

6800 GS or x850 pro?

Yeah, but this is the sucker's debate. Cards are within $30 dollars. Performance is very close together. This is one of those that comes down to whether you're an ATI or NVidia person.

--Logos

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I've always had nvidia, but to me it seems that as new games come out, that people with ATI cards do not have to upgrade as much. That ATI cards will seem to last longer as different software is developed.

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x850pro is clocked higher than the GS.

x850pro also clocked higher than the x800xl that shows the GS backwheels in benchmarks. You and I won't notice the difference in games.

I find it more obvious to focus on the combo:

a) SLI boards +Nvidia or

b) Crossfire boards + ATI.

You'd expect manufactureres optimize their products for their own hardware, not the competition's.

ATI's Crossfire boards haven't really broken through yet, the RD420 is OK, the RD580 is being finetuned these days and said to be really good.

Here's a hint from November last year:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2609

Edit: The above of course does not concern oldfashioned (?) AGPers like myself

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Dean, the only forced upgrade on nvidia that i have seen has been for battlefield 2. I have a TI4600 ultra that wouldn't play it, but kicks the crap out of my other pc's fx5800 on all other games (160fps as opposed to 60 or less in GR for example)

Even the cheaper 6600GT's can run almost every game out there at 1024x768 on high, even BF2 with no video lag.

The only forced upgrades besides that is those that bought cheap mx cards that can barely keep up. You get what you pay for rather with ATI or Nvidia. go for the 150-200 and up range and you will get a good 4 years + out of your card. (my TI4600 is 4 years now)

Edited by ROCOAFZ

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Dean, the only forced upgrade on nvidia that i have seen has been for battlefield 2.  I have a TI4600 ultra that wouldn't play it, but kicks the crap out of my other pc's fx5800 on all other games (160fps as opposed to 60 or less in GR for example)

Even the cheaper 6600GT's can run almost every game out there at 1024x768 on high, even BF2 with no video lag.

The only forced upgrades besides that is those that bought cheap mx cards that can barely keep up.  You get what you pay for rather with ATI or Nvidia.  go for the 150-200 and up range and you will get a good 4 years + out of your card. (my TI4600 is 4 years now)

Y'all keep this quiet now, as I wouldn't want it to get out, but I actually agree with Roco ! !

SHHHH!!!!! :ph34r::whistle::ninja:

(Anyone who knows our history will understand, eh, Roco?) :rofl:

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Dean, the only forced upgrade on nvidia that i have seen has been for battlefield 2.  I have a TI4600 ultra that wouldn't play it, but kicks the crap out of my other pc's fx5800 on all other games (160fps as opposed to 60 or less in GR for example)

Even the cheaper 6600GT's can run almost every game out there at 1024x768 on high, even BF2 with no video lag.

The only forced upgrades besides that is those that bought cheap mx cards that can barely keep up.  You get what you pay for rather with ATI or Nvidia.  go for the 150-200 and up range and you will get a good 4 years + out of your card. (my TI4600 is 4 years now)

In the rate the computer graphics get updated I wouldn´t recommend buying a low end card and hoping for four years of gaming. Well, maybe I shouldn´t say that because some people might like their 320x480 resolution and their 20fps at that setting.

I would like to see someone with a 6600gt run FEAR and COD2 at 1024x768 with high settings. BF2 is hardly as taxing as these games that truly runs like crap on most rigs.

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No one said to buy a low-end card.

We merely suggested not going highend and the latest thing out, nless you havve that kind of money laying about thatyou don't need.

No one said run out and buy a 60.00 video card. We just siad it was unnecessary o go top of the line.

Edited by Specter

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Well I upgraded to an ATI x850 XT, for $230.

I think I made a good purchase.

Thanks for everyone's help.

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I've always used one of the GeForce cards and haven't had any problems. I'm currently using a GeForce 4600ti and it's been great for every game up until recently.

Anyway, with GRAW on the way I figured it's time to upgrade. I've read through all 6 pages of this posts and looked at many of the sites referenced. I don't do any bench test and that, I just like to play the games. So, not being a highly technical person and being on a budget here is what I've determined.

I'm either going to buy the GeForce 6800GS or the Radeon X850. These seem to fall within my budget of $250. I read the post about the difference between these to and it seems to be that it's only personal preference.

My question is this. For $250 are these two cards the best for that range? Is there another card I should consider? Also, my CPU is only a AMD 2400+ and I'm running 1gb ram. Will this be sufficient or should I consider an upgrade in one of those areas as well?

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I'd prefer the ATI X850XT to the 6800GS. You may wanna wait a few weeks to see if the price drops for the recently released Nvidia 7800GS for AGP.

RAM: xbitlabs just released an article about RAM. The only thing I miss in these benchmarks is a setup with 512MB to see how big the difference really is (believe it IS big though with the latest games):

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/2gb-ram.html

Your processor will do - depending on your mobo's upgrade options you can swap it for a 3000+ or 3200+ Barton or even the cheaper Sempron at some stage.

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Currenly I've got 2 512 ram sticks. Would there be any problem with filling my 3rd slot with another 512 stick, or should I go with a 1gb stick.

In other words, would there be any adverse side effects to having 1.5 gb memory as opposed to 2 gb?

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Currenly I've got 2 512 ram sticks.  Would there be any problem with filling my 3rd slot with another 512 stick, or should I go with a 1gb stick.

In other words, would there be any adverse side effects to having 1.5 gb memory as opposed to 2 gb?

No adverse effects at all. Just make sure the speeds match.

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I have the original receipt from the first two. I'll buy the same stick from the same maker (Crucial).

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Sorry for dragging up an old thread, but I'm in the process of getting a GRAW-capable machine and I've just found this very interesting thread. Some things to note before I continue:

1) where I live, anything deemed to be a luxury (a PC for example) is hellishly expensive. If it costs you guys $200, you can gaurantee that my price is effectively $350 (working backwards with the exchange rate)

2) the range of electronic good we get here is somewhat limited - a good number of the cards I've seen mentioned on this thread are NOT available to me.

3) I'm a 30 something person who USED to be up to date on technology - my attempts at researching a new PC have made me realize I'm now effectively clueless.

First question: what is the difference (performance wise) between AGP and PCI-e? There is a notable price difference here, just not sure what, if any, performance difference exists.

Second: with my budget I'm looking at a Raedon X1600Pro (PCI-e version?) as about the most expensive card I can afford. I'm currently using a GeForce 5700, so I presume the new card would actually be a step up?

Lastly - the system I'm intending to get is an AMD Athlone 64 3500+, 1 GB of DDR400 (not that I actually know what that means) RAM, an nForce4 motherboard (PCI-e version), an Audigy 4 soundcard and the Raedon X1600Pro graphics card. Are there any major hassles with any of these components? Anything I should perhaps consider changing to something else? I'm most concerned about the graphics card, but any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.

Again, sorry for the bother - but buying a new PC is not easy for non-techno junkies these days!

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good choices on everything bro. I would double check and make sure the x1600 is actually better than say a 9800 pro agp. If you can, go for the x850, and I believe even the x800 are better but its been a while since i looked at the benchmarks. 1600 though is not that impressive and is leaning tword being a lower mid class card,..... still should run GRAW well enough though.

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If you're on a budget I'd initially forget about the soundcard and use the onboard sound. Today's motherboards have OK onboard sound chips and it's better to spend the extra money on the vid card.

The basic difference between AGP and PCI-Express is that the latter opts for 2 video cards in your system. PCI-E also requires a power supply unit that is compatible. (NB: never compromise on the quality of the power supply unit)

Even though PCI-E is the latest and greatest, this does not mean that you cannot use an AGP system the next couple of years.

Development goes towards multithreading where game developers get a lot of new options to put into the games. This demands more from the hardware and therefore we see dual core processors and the dual vid card setup hit the market.

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If you're on a budget I'd initially forget about the soundcard and use the onboard sound. Today's motherboards have OK onboard sound chips and it's better to spend the extra money on the vid card.

Agreed.

The basic difference between AGP and PCI-Express is that the latter opts for 2 video cards in your system.

No, no. Opting for two vidcards inyour system is SLI or Crossfire, which most PCI-E motherboards do NOT have. The difference between AGP and PCI-Express is more complicated, but insofar as videocards go, which seemed to be the question, the basic difference is bandwidth: 2.1 gigabytes/sec for AGP 8X vs. 4.0 gigabytes/sec for PCI-E 16X.

Even though PCI-E is the latest and greatest, this does not mean that you cannot use an AGP system the next couple of years.

In this case where you're building a NEW system, it would be a mistake to build an AGP system.

--Logos

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First question: what is the difference (performance wise) between AGP and PCI-e? There is a notable price difference here, just not sure what, if any, performance difference exists.

PCI-E has greater bandwidth and thus will allow GPU makers to make bigger and better GPU's in the future. Currently, while there are excellent midrange, even high midrange videocards available for AGP, the true highend cards are PCI-Express only.

Second: with my budget I'm looking at a Raedon X1600Pro (PCI-e version?) as about the most expensive card I can afford. I'm currently using a GeForce 5700, so I presume the new card would actually be a step up?

That x1600pro is a budget card. I agree completely with greyhaired -- use onboard sound for now and put that extra money toward a videocard. I don't know what your price would be, but here I would pay about $130 for a x1600pro, but only $190 for a 6800GS, and for $60, the 6800GS is going to last you longer and be a better buy.

Lastly - the system I'm intending to get is an AMD Athlone 64 3500+, 1 GB of DDR400 (not that I actually know what that means) RAM, an nForce4 motherboard (PCI-e version), an Audigy 4 soundcard and the Raedon X1600Pro graphics card.

Soundcard/vidcard -- ditch the soundcard, put extra cash to vidcard

1GB DDR -- good

NForce4 -- warms my heart

Proc -- good, but 3500+ would cost me $201 and 3700+ would cost $233. The 3500+ has 512 KB of L2 cache vs. 1MB of L2 cache for the 3700+. Games like L2 cache a whole lot. For the prices I would pay (I know you're different), $30 more for the 3700+ and twice the L2 of the 3500+ would be worth it. It's not NECESSARY, but it's a nice little upgrade for not much money.

Don't skimp on your power supply.

--Logos

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As I mentioned before, if you're upgrading an existing system with a new vidcard, you might want to wait until the end of March or beginning of April so that the release of NVidia's two new highend cards will drive down prices of existing cards a bit.

***

On the other hand, if, like Trident-za, you are thinking about a whole new system, particularly AMD, now may not be the best time. AMD is releasing their new processor socket-type -- AM2 -- in late April, early May.

If I were building a new system, I would wait until June or July and go with the new socket-type. There will be no NEW socket-939 processors released by AMD. What we see now is the end of it, which means what we see now is as powerful a proc as will ever be available for socket-939. With socket-AM2, you will have better future options, at least, of upgrading your processor, and much farther into the future, at that.

Even if you decide to go with socket-939, the release of AM2 should drive down prices for s939 a bit. Additionally, AMD has price-cuts on procs every 3 or 4 months. They had price cuts for their dual-cores a few weeks ago, but they haven't cut prices on single-cores in 3/4 months depending on the proc, so all the single-cores are due for a cut soon. :thumbsup:

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As I mentioned before, if you're upgrading an existing system with a new vidcard, you might want to wait until the end of March or beginning of April so that the release of NVidia's two new highend cards will drive down prices of existing cards a bit....

I think if your going to wait for anything 'new' to come out, you wait about 6 months until you buy it and work with it. The reason for this is two fold. One, the prices ussually drop dramatically after a 'new' item has been out for that long. And second, and to me more importantly, you get 6 months of history that determine if the new item is as great as its supposed to be and it's also had 6 months of use by others who have found all the bugs and problems associated with the new item. At 6 months the manufacturer has ussually had time to fix these problems and has released new drivers.

So, unless you enjoy trying to figure out why your brand new system is crashing all the time, I would suggest you go with technology that is at least 6 months old and leave the all the potential problems and headaches to all the super geeks out there who enjoy that kind of stuff.

Just my 2 cents. :wall:

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So, unless you enjoy trying to figure out why your brand new system is crashing all the time, I would suggest you go with technology that is at least 6 months old and leave the all the potential problems and headaches to all the super geeks out there who enjoy that kind of stuff.

I wouldn't call these two new cards new technology. It's a revision of existing technology. It's a new manufacturing process 90nm vs. 110, but the G71(7900GT & GTX) is still basically a revision of the G70 (7800GT & GTX). I wouldn't worry about being a "beta-tester" for new technology with these one bit. They'll run fine out of the gate.

Even for those who would worry, they will still drive down the cost of the current cards, which I imagine is what most people will be buying anyway, so people should wait for their release before upgrading their vidcards. That was my point.

As far as a six month wait goes. It's not necessary. Not six months. If hardware is that faulty, people will figure it out much sooner than six months. All those professional reviewers out there are typically very good at finding bugs pretty quickly, and typically even BEFORE the hardware is on the shelves.

With an OS? Yes. Other software? Yes. But hardware? No. Not six months.

--Logos

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Whenever you buy a new piece of hardware, one thing is sure: tomorrow it'll be cheaper.

But at some stage you have to make the decision. I'm still happy with my Radeon 9800XT 256MB and see no reason to replace it, just because something newer and faster is on the market (faster compared to what you experience on your monitor?)

Of course software gets more demanding and within 2 years or so, there's probably no way out; on the other hand the X1800XT or equivalents will be cheap as the quad cores have taken the lead in development. Hehe.

Whereas graphic cards are pretty well tested and can partly be improved through the drivers, hardware like motherboards is more tricky and I'd prefer to wait some time to see how these function.

Dual core processors: xbitlabs has an interesting test of an AMD Opteron that they - by easy overclocking - got up to same frequency as the FX60. The cost is below usd 300. Definitely worth considering if you go for high-end dual core processors. Here's the conclusion of xbitlabs:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/displ...eron-165_9.html

Benchmarks were done with default settings, i.e. no overclocking.

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