Budget Gaming Card

By Maxïmo
Aug 15, 2005
  1. Hey guys. Anyone who's seen my other thread can guess whats coming (if you didnt get it from Budget Gaming Card ;) ) Anyhow, I'm building myself virtually a new system, and have ~£75 (~$135) to spend on a graphics card. I'm hoping to play the likes of Half Life 2 at a good level (who isnt?) and was hoping someone in here might know which card I should buy. If possible (really pushing it now), I'd like the card to last a couple of years, cos being a student I don't know when I'll be able to afford another upgrade. Also, I'm in the UK, so newegg and zipflyzoom are out of the question, but I'm gunna order a bunch of stuff off Novatechs' website, cos they're the cheapest I could find, with a frankly brilliant reputation.

    My build will hopefully look something like this:
    CPU: £76.36
    AMD Athlon 64 3000 Venice Core 512k 90nm Socket 939Pin
    RAM: £31.73
    400MHz 184Pin 512MB PC3200 DDR RAM DIMM 2.5V 3.2Gb/Sec
    MoBo: £57.28
    Foxconn nForce4 Socket 939 PCI-E Dual DDR400 5.1Sound GB LAN SATA Raid, ATA
    What does Micro ATX mean btw?
    PSU*: £14.10
    400W ATX Is apparently quite noisy, but I'm not too worried about getting a silent rig.
    OS: £65.93
    Win XP Home with SP2 OEM
    Fan: £8.95 (Not exactly sure about this though)
    AMD 64 - Arctic Cooler Heatsink & Fan - Upto 64-3400

    This gives a grand total of £260.21 inc VAT and Delivery

    Is this gunna last a few years?

    Many thanks in advance. Will
  2. harrisdurrani

    harrisdurrani TS Enthusiast Posts: 159


    Hey thats a pretty good system...But i'd recommand you get a atleast 1 gig ram and as far as a good video card is concerned you can either get a Geforce 6600 GT but if your willing to spend a Few extra bucks not much though you can get a Geforce 6800 128 mb ( plays bf2, doom 3, and hl2 on high settings on my computer....But if you have a 1 gig ram )which is a really good card and they are pretty cheap aswell.. OR if you want any ATI video cards and you have a PCI-e i'd go for the Radeon X800 pro or X800 XL but i think those are really expensive as compared to the budget you stated so i would go with the Radeon X700 XT ....

    well the conclusion....I'd go with the Geforce 6800 (Vanilla) ..its much better than Geforce 6600 GT
  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    That is the form factor. "Form factor" tells you the size (and to some degree the specs) of your motherboard. In simple terms, MicroATX is a cheaper version of the ATX. It is also smaller. If you are going to go for a microATX motherboard there are a few things you need to confirm:

    1. Whether or not your case has the propper holes for the microATX sized motherboard.
    2. If you powersupply has the right connectors for microATX

    Also, you should just be aware that in order to make the motherboards smaller, they typically do a lot of integration of parts. If you are not a high end "frames per second" junky, then you probaby won't notice a thing.

    But probably the biggest concern about microATX is the limitations it puts on you for expanding your system down the road. They typically have fewer PCI slots than their ATX counterpart.
  4. Maxïmo

    Maxïmo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    I dont know if its got the proper holes for microATX. How can I check? Im not after high frame rates, just ones that are gunna make the game look good. theres lots of debate I know, but apparently anything above 60fps is good? The MoBo I found has only one (thats right one!) DIMM socket, but I shouldnt need more RAM should I? Which brings me to another point. I thought 512Mb DDR was equivalent to 1Gb SDRAM? I'm having real trouble finding somewhere in the UK with reasonably priced Graphics Cards, the best I can find are Novatech.
    Theres this MSI card for £80, but its not the GT version:

    Would it be any good?
  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    You have to look at the specs of your case (check the maker's website) and it will tell you. Also, I can't seem to open the link you provided for your motherboard.

    As you already know, this system you are building is not going to be a fps monster machine. On the budget you are looking at, and the specs of that system, I'd say you'll be able to run the newest games at mid-low settings (to get some good frame rates) for about another year maximum, then your settings will have to drop lower and lower as the newer games come out.

    For a gaming machine, the (arguably) most important piece is your vid card. If you upgrade to 1 gig of ram, and get the 6600gt, I think it would help you last a little longer.
  6. harrisdurrani

    harrisdurrani TS Enthusiast Posts: 159


    dude 1 Gig is a me i was playing bf2 on a Geforce 6800 128 with a 512 mb ram it worked great on mediam settings but after installing a 1gig ram now everything is on high with a 1024x768 resolution
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