Best performing video cards under $200 as to Nov 08

By pioneerx01
Nov 14, 2008
  1. Hello,

    I am looking to buy new video card under $200 shipped. That is my only limitation.
    State your picks...

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    So did you find one?
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    The best pick under $200 would be either a Sapphire Toxic HD 4850 or an HIS ICEQ4 one.

    Do make sure you have enough power on the +12V rails before you buy a new card.
  4. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 274

    I am probably going with this one:

    As I have Nvidia chipset motherboard, I don't want to mix.
    Right now it is $180 shipped with rebate. I am hoping the price will go down by thanks giving and/or Christmas.

    OK now power, someone walk me through it.
    That video card requires 450W PSU and 24A with 2x 6pin
    I have 630W dual12V rails one with 16A and other with 18A.
    My question is if you combine the amps (16+18=34) or do I need one both rails to go over 24A?

    note: I did some research and you combine right?
  5. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    its combines, you will be fine.
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    No, PSU rails do not add up that way, since the numbers given are for the maximum current on each rail, so if either rail is drawing it's maximum rated current, the other will draw the rest of the combined available current, which can be found by dividing the maximum combined power on the +12V rails (usually given) by 12. The combined current is what you're looking for.

    And FYI, you can mix ATI cards with NVIDIA chipset boards and vice-versa without problems. THe HD 4850 is still superior to the 9800GTX and the Sapphire Toxic and HIS ICEQ4 editions come with third-party coolers already installed to facilitate lower temperatures and overclocking.
  7. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 274

    Ok, so assuming that my system does not draw more than 10A without video card I should be OK for now. Correct?

    I have checked out this article. HD 4850 is very evenly matched to 9800 GTX+. One runs some game better than others and vice verse. HD 4850 seem to run hotter that 9800 GTX+.

    What tips you toward HD 4850 and not 9800 GTX+?
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Lower power consumption and better cooling (on the cards I mentioned only) than a stock 9800GTX+, as well as a smaller PCB length-wise for an easier fit in any case (around 9.25-9.5 inches for the HD 4850 compared to 10.5" for the 9800GTX+). Also, the HD 4850 has newer architecture, better driver support and better HD video acceleration as well, besides out-performing the 9800GTX+ in the majority of games when AA is enabled at high resolutions (1680 x1050 and above).

    Lastly, you can find reference HD 4850s for much cheaper than 9800GTX+ cards. And note that these HD 4850s run hot only because the default fan speed on the cards is quite low. Jack it up to around 65% using a widely-available tweak and you'll have a cool-running card in no time. Even so, the temps with the default fan speed conform to AMD's specifications, so it doesn't mean that the card will overheat and die soon.
    I can't say, unless I know what kind of PSU you're currently running. Gimme some specs and I'll get back to you on them ASAP.
  9. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 274

  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    It should run either card fine, although I'd recommend a better-quality PSU like the Antec EA500 instead. But if you can't spend the extra cash, your current one will do, although it isn't a PSU I'd recommend for use in a gaming system.
  11. pioneerx01

    pioneerx01 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 274

    Well, back then when I bought it it was good enough, but right now I have bought a new car, and that is holding my wallet hostage.

    Thanks for all your help
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