Need Video Card Suggestions

By NovaBomb
Oct 30, 2005
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  1. I'd like to be able to play a few games like Guild Wars, UT2004, Black and White 2, and Battlefield Vietnam for sure, and then possibly Doom 3 and Elder Scrolls Oblivion(if Oblivion isn't too much for my PC to handle) while I wait for the Playstation 3 to come out. Here's the basic info on my PC:

    Celeron D 533MHZ/2.4GHZ processor
    512 MBs of RAM(2x256MB sticks)
    Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2 Value/5.1 T5400 speakers
    350 watt power supply
    The following motherboard:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813130489

    With those games in mind, about how much would I need to spend on a GPU, and can somebody suggest some GPUs for me to look into? Also, what can I really expect in terms of performance and longevity with my current "work PC" setup?
  2. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

  3. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,348

    i would also suggest getting another 512mb of ra because most games run smother on 1gb of ram, and the 9800 is an exelent choce if you chose it

    good luck on your viedo card hunt, and welcome to techspot
  4. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    The problem I see is that your motherboard is agp 4x. Modern agp cards are 8x, but many support both 4x and 8x. I found a 6600gt that would be a good choice.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814122206
    A review says it works with agp 4x, so that's good.
    It has 1000mhz memory(most agp 6600gts are 900mhz).
    It's fairly cheap. ~$150
    Mostly good reviews.


    6600gt benchmarks.
    doom3
    http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20050705/vga-charts-pcie-07.html
    Ut04
    http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20050705/vga-charts-pcie-03.html

    It should be a good fit.

    Adding more memory so you'd have 1gb would be good, but it's up to you.
  5. NovaBomb

    NovaBomb Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    You guys are great, thatnks for all the help. After looking at those benchmarks, I think I like the 6600GT. I checked Newegg for prices and such and found this one for only $120ish: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150089


    Is that one going ot be compatable and is there any differences between it and the EVGA model listed earlier? And about the RAM, my roommate has a PS2, so I might just sell mine and possibly use the money that I get from it to look into a RAM upgrade. I'm going to see what happens with 512MBs first though.
  6. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,348

    yea 512 will work but i hear theat 1gb will give faster laoding times, the only problem i see wirth a 6600gt is your psu which is 0nly 350 watt, do you know who makes your psu
  7. NovaBomb

    NovaBomb Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I pulled this off of the Raidmax website: "350watts PS2 ATX12V Power Supply(US SPEC)". So if that's going to be an issue with the 6600GT, is there a similar card that would work well with my power supply? Here's the product page if it helps: http://raidmax.com/product.php?pid=17
  8. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

    Either the 6600GT or 9800 Pro should work okay with a 350W power supply provided it's strong, not flakey old or a cheapie model not fully delivering a solid 350W.

    On the memory issue- I'd really strongly recommend to upgrade the mainboard before upping the memory to 1 gig. Mainly for two reasons:
    1) You'll have to throw away your 2x256 and buy 2x512mb sticks as your mainboard only has 2 DDR slots.
    2) A good quality, dual-channel Socket 478 mainboard will likely only be a small upgrade between having to buy 2x512 vs. 2x256 and a mainboard. Dual-channel will improve memory bandwidth/cpu performance measurably.

    Of course, then your upgrade will be much bigger- assuming your case can indeed fit a 3rd party mainboard (which it should given the mainboard you've linked already)... and an OS re-install would likely lead to the best/easiest results.

    Example:
    2x512 DDR memory ~ $120
    --or--
    Asus P4P800SE or VM ~ $90
    2x256 DDR memory ~ $45

    So for a little bit more, you can go to a mainboard that can take 400, 533 or 800mhz Socket 478 CPU's (so down the road, you can snap in a P4-3.4ghz with 800mhz FSB if you wish).. as well as dual-channel DDR (double the memory bandwidth). It would also be AGP 8x.

    You'll get better memory performance from your Celeron now... and have a nice open upgrade path (i.e. just snap-in pieces) down the road if you find you need a bit more performance for Morrowind Oblivion, B&W2, etc.etc.

    Edit- I did this style upgrade for my girlfriend's PC. She had a Celeron 533/2.4ghz.. From a single-channel mainboard w/512mb to an Asus P4P800SE and 1 gig. It went from 2084mb/s bandwidth to well over 3100mb/s... which made a SIZEABLE improvement to how well Sims2 plays for her... BIG difference... same CPU.. just dual-channel DDR memory.
  9. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,348

    if you want to keep what you have go with a 6600gt its a nice card and your psu should probobly do the job you could use this wattage coulater to add up your pc and see if itll make power output for your needs
    http://extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp
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