TechSpot

Need a new ATI PCI-e

By Beclour
Feb 5, 2006
  1. Well it seems my video card is a lemon so I need a new one.

    I'm a big fan of ATI cards and I'm hoping to stick to that chipset.

    My budget is $200ish and my hopes are to be able to stay up-to-date
    for quite some time.

    I want to be able to play most of the modern games, namely Halflife2 and
    Black and White 2 at fairly high settings with little to no stutter.

    Since my old card is crashing left and right, another concern for me is
    stability. I have no intrest in overclocking (the instability and risk of the
    card just doesn't seem worth it to me) and absolutely no intrest in even
    slightly buggy tech. I want a card that works!

    Also, I want to stay away from this brand, Connect3d. I've heard some bad
    things about them on this forum and others.

    Here are my computer's current specs:

    400W no-name PSU
    Biostar i945PA7 Socket 775 Motherboard
    Intel Celeron 346 3.06Ghz 533FSB Socket 775
    Corsair Value Select 1024MB PC4200 DDR2 533MHz

    I intend to upgrade to 2GB of ram within six months.

    For those of you interested, the stats on the lemon card are:
    Connect 3D Radeon X700 256MB PCIe w/DVI/TV-OUT

    Any advice at all is very welcome.

    *PS* I'm considering the ATI Radeon X1300 All In Wonder 2006 Edition / 256MB GDDR3 but I'm not sure if it's worth it. I hear that the pipelines are
    low and the memory has a small bus width (although I have no clue what
    that means in relation to performance). Anyone know if this is a good choice?
    Or recommend another?
     
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Are you SURE the problem is your video card, and not your PSU?

    No name PSUs are bad news, and cause really hard to diagnose system crashing, ESPECIALLY when gaming.
     
  3. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 462

  4. Beclour

    Beclour TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I've done a bit of research, and I think I can get one that's just a bit
    above my budget which would be an extreme boost to my system.
    What do you guys think of this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102505

    If you can think of a better one in this price range, just let me know.

    Also, I'll try and get up the money to replace my power supply.
    Does the following look good? And would it have the proper connector
    for the above graphics card?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817148027

    Thanks for all your help everyone.
     
  5. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

  6. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer TS Rookie Posts: 394

    If you refuse to get a Nvidia card :suspiciou then the X850 series is pretty good. No pixel shader 3 of course :hotouch: .

    Get a Antec psu. They are the 2nd most reliable (the 1st being PC power and cooling, but they start at $250 :eek: .

    Good Luck.
     
  7. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 462

    Without a stable PSU you will never have a stable computer. Here are my choices for a PSU, good to best:

    FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX450-PN, 12cm FAN, version 2.0, 2 SATA, PCI Express, 450W Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104954

    Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103931

    OCZ ModStream OCZ52012U ATX, BTX, SATA, P4 and EPS12V 520W Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104155

    The FSP has two 18 amp 12 volt rails. Unbelievable deal!
     
  8. Beclour

    Beclour TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Thanks for everyone's help.
    I think I've finally decided on some parts for my computer.
    I'll be buying these next week and I'd welcome any input/warnings before I end
    up dishing up this huge chunk of cash. (way beyond my budget, have to borrow).

    Graphics card (Based on what I've read here and specs):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102505

    Power Supply (Based on Mirob's recommendation. Although I wish I could get more
    than a 450w):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104954

    Extra fan (I figure I'll need more cooling with a monster video card):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811998121

    Extra Extra Fan (More cooling still, plus, cool-gadget factor):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835888602

    The PCI fan above i added in cause my case has 8 slots and my mobo only has
    3 PCI and 2 PCIE.. I figure, why not use an extra slot or two for bonus cooling?
    Besides, it's cool.

    Is a 450w good enough to handle that video card and my setup?

    I'd appreciate any additional comments. This is a big step for me, and most likely
    my last computer purchase for the next six months or so.
     
  9. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer TS Rookie Posts: 394

    That is a good video card, and 450 watts will run almost. I like the extra fans, never can have too many.
     
  10. YellowC4S

    YellowC4S TS Rookie Posts: 107

    Personally, I would stay away from anything with ATi's name on it.
     
  11. Exscind

    Exscind TS Rookie Posts: 26

    ... There's nothing wrong with ATI products, not sure why anyone would want to stay away from it.

    As for power supplies, I suggest the Enermax 535W.

    http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merc...&Product_Code=100122&Category_Code=ps-enermax

    SLI certified, 34A combined on dual +12V (Yes I know, specs list 18A each. 18 + 18 = 34 in Enermax's strange math universe).

    It won't win any beauty contest, but it is a rock solid performer. At $80, it is the best I know at its power range. Not sure where you live, but if you're in one of the states where Newegg charges tax, it kills any deal they potentially have. Monarch only taxes if you live in Georgia I believe.

    As for video cards, with $200 budget and sticking to ATI, I'd look into the x800 GTO or the GTO2. As someone have said, no shader model 3.0, but still good card around your price range. Good luck.
     
  12. Beclour

    Beclour TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Thanks for the info... Couple questions.

    Why the x800 GTO/GTO2 instead of the X850? Isn't the X850 newer tech?

    And I do happen to live in Georgia.. so Monarch is kinda ruled out :(

    Oh.. and $80 for a power supply is out of even my extended budget. I'd have
    to skimp on my graphics card, which is something I really don't want to do.

    Can someone explain the difference between x850, x800GTO and x800GTO2 in
    semi-newbieish? You don't have to dumb it down too much, I've built quite a few
    computers, I just don't have much experience with the actual tech of a graphics
    card.
     
  13. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 462

    GTO2 had faster memory(overclocks better) and can unlock all 16 pipes to become a x850xt, it just needs a BIOS flash. The GTO is a x850pro, some could unlock all 16 pipes but it seems not anymore. That x850xt has the dual slot cooler, so it should clock higher, but cooler is louder than the single slot one. The GTO's are from ATi getting rid of old stock of r480 cores.

    I have that FSP 450w PSU, and a x800gto agp. I like both of them. The PSU is quiet and powerfull.

    If you take the risk of buying a refurbished one, you can get both for $200.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102595R
    no accessories.
     
  14. Beclour

    Beclour TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    So basicly the only difference between the GTO/GTO2 and the x850xt is that the
    GTO/GTO2 must be overclocked/tweaked to reach the same specs as the x850xt?

    And the x850xt's fan is a little louder? (Not a concern for me)

    I'm sorry for being dense.. but doesn't that mean I should just buy the x850xt if I
    want to avoid overclocking?
     
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