TechSpot

Buying Graphics Card... 8800 GTS?

By British_Command
Mar 14, 2007
  1. I am hopefully going to get a new computer soon with 1GB Ram, 320GB, 1.80ghz dual from DELL, anyways i wanted a decent graphics card aswell. So doing a basic search of top graphics cards i found an 'about' website with the top 10, the top being 8800GTX which is way out of my price range but the second is 8800GTS which comes to 260 pounds, or around $580. I am thinking about buying this for Halo 2 Vista and bloody looks amazing!!!

    I want to know if this is a decent graphics card to buy, or if i can get an equally as good one for cheaper, and would 1GB Ram be a reasonable amount for Halo 2? 1GB is recommended but i think for gaming 2/4GB is better but if i was to upgrade the ram it means i would have to reduce my budget on the graphics card.

    Please tell me if this graphics card is good!, Suggest a better/equally as good one for cheaper price! 1GB OK? or does it really have to be 2GB?

    Having to do with a ****e Nvidia FX5200 PCI ooooh can just about play HL2 lol,

    thanks for any help,
    its appreciated,
    Thanks!
     
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

  3. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 883

    Yes, you would want more ram. 2GB should be sufficient for Halo and anything else you throw at it for awhile. If you are thinking of adding the GTS to your Dell you will almost certainly need a new power supply. Dell does not use powerful enough power supplies to power that card. Also make sure that the GTS will fit in your case as they are very long.

    You may be better off looking at the 7900 series of gpu's (or ATI's equivilent 1900's). They are less expensive and you can still game just fine on them.
     
  4. Rayss523

    Rayss523 TS Enthusiast Posts: 121

    You MUST upgrade your PSU to be able to safely run that graphics card.
     
  5. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 544

    Not only will he need space because the card is long, it is also built with the intake/exhaust ports, which will take up 2 PCI slots. You better make sure that the Dell you are purchasing has two open slots to accommodate these ports.
    I don't know if Newegg ships overseas because he is obviously from England, so the $299 pricetag may not apply.
    I've been running the 8800 GTX since my recent build this past Christmas and since the GTS is just the "little brother" of that card, and I can tell you that if you want to purchase it, go for it. If it will fit in the Dell case, you don't want to even look at any other series of cards as the performance is inferior. Not that the 7900 series is a bad card, but after running the 8800 GTX for the past 3 months, I look at other rigs running lower series cards and can immediately tell the difference. It just makes 3D apps look so "Pretty"!!
     
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Given that you've been "content" with an FX5200 for so long, a PCI version of it in fact, I reckon you don't need to upgrade to such a high end card and still be happy with its performance.

    I'm NOT saying that the 8800GTS is not a good buy, but a lower end card may be more appropriate. Like what sghiznaneck just demonstrated, going to such a high end card probably would mean you'd have to keep upgrading your card in order to keep playing with the same high settings you're used to on new games.

    Sometimes, not knowing that it could be better is a blessing.

    A lower end card will still be able to play all the new games coming out, sans super details. Besides, really high end cards like the 8800 series really shine at high resolutions, something available only on Xlarge LCD monitors (>24"). If you're playing on a 19" (most people today are), don't feel the need for all the extra detail, or AA, or AF (Do you even know what that is, much less tell the difference?), you probably don't need the 8800GTS right now.

    Now I'm going to be flamed by all the high-end users out there :hotouch:
     
  7. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 544

    Not at all. The only problem with going with high end cards is that when you reach that "cutting edge" with one piece of hardware, it increases your cost of having to upgrade other pieces of hardware. The 8800 series as an example; requires a more powerful psu, to optimize, the one gig of RAM threshold now requires two gigs in order to optimize, and, as you stated, in order to fully appreciate the difference, you need a larger LCD monitor for all the hardware to "click" and compliment each other.
     
  8. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    Here I come at you CMH...

    GET THE 8800GTS!!!! IF YOU GET ANYTHING LESS, EVENTUALLY YOU WILL READ BENCHMARKS ABOUT THE 8000 SERIES CARDS, AND YOU WILL SEE HOW MUCH BETTER THEY ARE, AND YOU WILL FEEL BAD THAT YOU DIDN'T GET ONE WHEN YOU COULD.

    How could you tell him something like that CMH??! What's wrong with you?!?!?! ;)
     
  9. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 544

    Call the firemen!!
     
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    lawl.

    They are alot better, and you'd also appreciate, alot more expensive. You get what you pay for.

    Also, bear in mind that high end stuff drop in price much faster than mid-end stuff. You'd come up ahead in terms of cost if you got yourself something mid-ranged (I think the X1950pro is a good spot, and will personally get it within a month) now, and upgrade later. You can sell the card for a small loss, and get an 8800GTX then for a much cheaper price. You'd be able to appreciate it better then, since all the other components needed would probably be cheaper too (especially that LCD).

    Of course, if you got money to burn, why not?

    Edit: I love the way people online flame others without real reasons to back up their claims :D
     
  11. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 544

    I understand both points. After years of upgrading below that cutting edge, I realized that by doing so, you never really hit the cutting edge because of how fast technology leap frogs. That's why my most recent upgrade back around Christmas I finally decided to just hit the mark and spend the extra jingle. I don't suggest this for anyone on a budget, but after 6 years and 4 major upgrades, I decided to "bet the farm" and spend more. It cost me $1500, by far the most expensive upgrade to date. Problem is, now prices are dropping (which I don't mind because I knew they would when I did it), but now NVIDIA is releasing info on the G90 chip with Shader Model 5.0. (There's that leapfrog effect).
    Hey, if you have the money, then by all means buy the hardware. I know that even though I could have saved a few hundred bucks by waiting until now to upgrade, I don't regret it because with the 8800 GTX, a new AM2 processor AND an LCD monitor (my first), I enjoy the h--l out of this system. All my games look gorgeous, and just like the reviews that I have read, one 8800 GTX outperforms two 7900 series cards in SLI mode, so I see no need for me to even consider purchasing another to run in SLI. That would just be insane. So, my only advice to British Command is that if he wants the 8800 GTS, AND is prepared to up his RAM and power supply, he won't go wrong NOR will he regret it. But, if he's not a hard core gamer, it might just be a waste for him at this time if all he wants to do is play Halo 2. Personally, I have two Vista Home Premium disks here, but until NVIDIA and Creative get the drivers right and Service Pack 1 is put out by Microsoft, I'm content with XP SP2 and DX9! But, that's another issue.
     
     
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Out of topic, but why did you buy Vista in the first place? Like all comp items, it'll probably drop in price, but not as much as hardware... And you have that extra hassle of upgrading.

    By the way, I did mention that if he has the money to burn, go ahead. I totally agree with sghiznaneck's last post. You won't go wrong buying it, or regret the purchase. I'm just offering another alternative, something thats much more sensible IMO.
     
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    The main thing I wanted to ask is, why are you getting a computer from Dell? You can easily build your own for a much lower cost than getting one from Dell.
    As for the video card, the 8800GTS is powerful, but pricey. I still use two X1900s in Crossfire and I'm very happy with their performance. You could get one GeForce 7950GT or a Radeon X1900XT/GT if you want to save some cash. Otherwise, the 8800 series is ur best bet if u want the current cream-of-the-crop graphics card (seeing that the X2800 series is around 2 months away).
     
  14. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    There are some good reasons why you should buy from Dell. Although its not good enough for me to buy one from them myself.

    If you know nothing about computers, and don't mind spending money for high end computing, Dell is probably the way to go. They provide pretty decent after-sales support, and their XPS line is nothing to laugh about. They also send the computer to you ready-to-use, so no need to waste an afternoon installing XP or Vista or whatever it is you want to use on it.

    Of course, you're paying extra for that, and I don't really need that after-sales support. But yeah, you'd save yourself a bunch by building it yourself.
     
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    IMO the after-sales support is quite crappy compared to other vendors like HP and Gateway. But yes, their XPS line is top-notch. In any case, they do have pretty inflated prices and when you calculate the price of a build whose parts you're gonna get yourself, it starts to make a lot more sense.
     
  16. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    mainly for people with money, and they don't particularly want to mess around with the insides of their system.... I wouldn't immediately discount the idea of buying a Dell.
     
  17. British_Command

    British_Command TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    LoL

    I maybe getting a XPS desktop computer in the next comple of months with a 19/20'' monitor, 2GB Ram, 500GB HD, 1.86Ghz Duo Intel processor, already with a X1300 ATI PCI-e Pro Gfx card. Im going for DELL because im not actually buying the desktop, im 15 and still living with parents and they wnat a new computer, i have to convince them to buy a high - psec computer or a half decent one anyway lol. I am fairly good on computers not a total noob, just a guess AA/AF is Antistropical something i think. Highly appreciate all the help, upgrading the PSU through DELL im a bit confused, can you upgrade the PSU through DELL? PSU = Power Supply Unit i guess. I do currently play xbox 360, wii and soon ps3 maybe on my sony bravia 32'' HD and so convincing me to buy a decent gfx card and i am a hardcore gamer ever since i was a wee 4 year old lol. But anymore help on the PSU would be helpful, i dont know if the desktop will have enough space (should do) but its the XPS desktop which is like really compact and small but hgih spec. PSU i think is a bit expensive to upgrade i think? But if so i dont mind going with a slightly lower series like the 7900 series because they're decent as well. And i mean HDTV and a computer with FX5200 come on!!!! ANNOYING! I definently cant convince my parents to buy a custom built computer even know i could find, put together and buy the parts myself wouldnt be allowed ghey! But anyway PSU Help and if the GFX card will fit, and thank again for all this help!!!

    British_Command
     
  18. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 544

    Reason I have two Vista disks is due to the fact that I run a computer repair shop out of my home, and the previous two purchases of XP disks had coupons; one for a free upgrade of Vista and one for a reduced cost disk. Since I run a shop, I need to have these. One is for loading on the next build that a customer asks for Vista and the other is for me WHEN the driver issue and Service Pack 1 is put out. Since I run a shop repairing and building them, I need to stay on top of what's out there, hardware and software alike. I've worked with Vista and really like the sleek design along with the way it auto categorizes programs, but it's still way to buggy for me.
     
  19. British_Command

    British_Command TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    Same

    i should be getting 2 vista home premium's off dellvistaupgrade.com, i figured i wasnt getting the disks because the credit card had expired, so i renewed it and now i cannot access my account which sucks.
     
  20. foozy

    foozy TS Rookie Posts: 267

    I agree with CMH (what?!) on the fact that the 8800 series is more than likely way more than you need right now, especially for the price. My favorite card right now is probably the 7600 as far as performance per dollar goes.

    I also don't think Dell can be automatically brushed off. Yes, you can build one yourself and save yourself money, but not everyone wants to do that. I take my car to a mechanics when it acts up because I don't want to fix it myself. Would it save me lots of money if it did? Sure, but sometimes that isn't an option.

    Dell does have pretty crappy aftermarket support, though. I'd much rather go with HP. Although I like to think my companies support is better than all of them :)
     
  21. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    I'd really recommend the X1950Pro, and its not because I'm an ATI fanboi...

    But it all depends on what Dell may offer you. I'm not sure about their warranty rules, but changing parts may void your warranty, and after-sales service may also be affected. These may not apply to the XPS line though, cos they're trying to lure enthusiasts to this line, and we do alot of crazy things on our comps, changing parts is probably the least of their worries :D
     
  22. British_Command

    British_Command TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 224

    Thanks

    Yeah thanks man, but it wont need a better PSU will it ? and how much 'mb' does it come with? and i should get 512mb +

    Erm anymore advice??
     
  23. IBN

    IBN TS Maniac Posts: 625

    Do not buy from Dell!!! If you have to buy check out Alienware HERE.
     
  24. foozy

    foozy TS Rookie Posts: 267

    I don't rank Dell very high, but I'd probably rank Alienware lower. Talk about a price premium... you might as well be buying a Mac.
     
  25. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Dell and Alienware are basically the same. And Dell's XPS line is top-notch (never mind their others, they're a waste) so it's not all that bad. Alienware has infinitely bloated prices so if you're getting a PC from them, you're either not willing to build one yourself or you have a lot of cash to throw around and you're feeling lazy. :)
     
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