gfx card help

By dc186
Dec 4, 2005
  1. I am going to upgrapde my nvidia riva tnt2 model 64 (which is like 5 years old), to a nvidia 6800 series or similar. I am doing this to improve the, at present, ridiculous fps i am gettin out of Half Life 2.

    I know that it must be my graphics card that is holding the game back, as i am presented with a screen when the game starts, saying that my current gaphics card is unsupported by the game. Also i have a 2.2mb broadband conection, so i doubt that is the problem.

    The only other aspect that i could think of was that my processor is 1.5ghz (pentium 4), this I will be upgrading soon, to a 3.0 ghz P4.

    Basically i am wondering which card out of the 6800 series or any other card for that matter would suit my needs best. For the graphics card alone i have a budget of around £150 - 200, at the very most.

    Any suggestions or help welcome, please reply,

    Thanks D
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    If you can wait a little while, the new nvidia 6800gs will be available in agp version. It has good performance for it's price, it should be about L150 when it is available. Here's one for preorder.
    (a 6800gs is better than a 6800xt, 6800, 6800le, etc, it's similar to a 6800gt but costs less).

    Another possibility would be the ati x800xl agp card, if you don't mind ati cards.

    You need to find out what agp type you have though first as tnt2 m64 cards could be 2x or 4x. If you have 4x you should be able to use modern agp 8x/4x cards, but if you have 2x, you probably won't be able to use newer cards.
  3. gary_hendricks

    gary_hendricks TS Rookie Posts: 107

    Hi dc186,

    Yes that RIVA TNT2 is way too old! You need to upgrade it.

    I agree with vnf4ultra - the new GeForce 6800 GS is definitely something you want to consider. I may buy one myself too - coz my ATI Radeon 9600 is getting a bit old too.

    If you've checked around the web, you'll know that the GeForce 6800 GS - the new member of the GeForce 6800 family - is way faster than its older cousin, the GeForce 6800 GT. Some say the increase in speed is as much as 30-40%!

    The closest competitor to the GeForce 6800 GS is the ATI the RADEON X1600 XT from ATI Technologies. The few reports I've read say that these two graphics cards have more or less the the same speed in most applications and games.

    Personally, given the identical price of these two graphics cards (about $250), the GeForce 6800 GS enjoys a complete victory, making the RADEON X1600 XT a much less appealing product for gamers.

    I tend to lean towards the GeForce 6800 GS because the RADEON X1600 XT:
    • Suffers from insufficient driver optimization.
    • The RV530 graphics processor in the ATI has a performance-negative feature: it has only four texture-mapping units which automatically become a bottleneck in games that operate with high-resolution textures.
    • Another drawback is the 128-bit memory bus.

    Working at 690 (1380) MHz, it has a maximum bandwidth of 22.1GB/s, while the 256-bit memory bus of the GeForce 6800 GS clocked at 500 (1000) MHz easily provides 32GB/s and positively affects the performance of the card in high resolutions and/or with enabled full-screen antialiasing.

    I think if the price of the RADEON X1600 XT remains the same, it will not stand a chance against the GeForce 6800 GS, except in applications where low power consumption and advanced video support are crucial.

    The GeForce 6800 GS is already shipping while the RADEON X1600 XT will be coming to market in mass quantities only starting from early Dec 2005.

    As for the ATI RADEON X800 XL (mentioned by vnf4ultra), I've read that the GeForce 6800 GS is slower in some cases, mostly when FSAA and anisotropic filtering are turned on.

    The excellent overclockability of the GeForce 6800 GS needs to be mentioned, too. The combination of the GeForce 7800 GT printed circuit board with the 0.11-micron NV42 chip is going to prove to be very overclocker-friendly.

    I feel that he GeForce 6800 GS is a high-performance solution at a relatively low price. While there is some room for further price reduction - considering that the NV42 is produced in mass quantities and the chip yield is high, the price of GeForce 6800 GS graphics cards may go down by a few dozen dollars in a few weeks after the release.

    Hope this helps in your decision making, dc186. Let me know if you've any questions. :)
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