TechSpot

The ideal graphics card...

By Zeox
Oct 17, 2006
  1. Hi all! I know there are quite a few of these threads going, but I really need some help with a video card upgrade. My PC is currently living off a Nvidia Geforce 6200SE Turbocache - which is feasting away at my system memory to power it! All I want to know is if anyone can come up with a card that beats this one by far in the £100 - 120 range. I'd basically like one that could handle todays games on a medium to high setting. I don't want all these fancy features like SLI, or high end anti-aliasing capabilities. I just want to be able run the likes of BF2, WoW, F.E.A.R and the rest without any problems or glitches.

    I'd preffer one made by Nvidia, as I'm used to their card "language". However I'm willing to give ATI a go if I must.

    Here are my system specs:

    HP Pavilion A1215.uk
    512 Ram
    Intel Celeron D 3.2 GHZ
    400W power
    VGA monitor bus
    1 PCI-E x16 slot vaccant (or soon will be)

    Thank you very much for your time in helping me out.
     
  2. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    There is the Ati X1600, the GeForce 6600, maybe a GeForce 6800.

    The Ati Line goes as follows:

    X1950
    X1900
    X1800
    X1650
    X1600
    X1300 (not great)


    X850
    X800
    X700
    X600
    X550
    X300 (not great)
    X200 (Integrated)

    9800XT
    9800Pro
    9800
    9700
    9600XT

    I wouldn not go further down than that for models...
    The top are the best, although there are different models for each model (I.E X1600, X1600Pro, X1600XT). Sorry if I'm missing a few models, I haven't been up to date on the models.
     
  3. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    The ATI X850XT is great! If you can find one, get it. I got mine at just $119.99 american dollars, I don't know about £££....

    If you can't find it, a Geforce 7600GS, GTS, or GT would be good.

    Regards :wave:
     
  4. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    It's able to play Oblivion on mid-high graphics with the right ram, right?
     
  5. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    What card?
     
  6. triiifashions

    triiifashions TS Rookie Posts: 129

    i love my ge force 6800 gt
     
  7. Zeox

    Zeox TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    WOW! That ATI X850XT looks monster and I've just found it on Ebay for £105! I might just go for that. 3 more questions:

    1) is it easy to swich a Nvidia with an ATI and run it with no probs?
    2) Am I guaranteed to get better performance than my 6200SE by far?
    3) Can someone tell me what sort of quality I'll be able to play todays games in?

    Thanks a lot to everyone who's contributed to this thread!
     
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    This would be a better choice. 105 pounds for an X850XT is a complete ripoff, so don't buy it. This would be the best choice but I'm not sure if the buyer's trustworthy or not. But avoid EBay like the plague, it's a waste of money and time.
    To answer ur question, yes both the above cards will give upto 10x the performance of ur current one. And yes it's easy to switch. Only thing is, you'll need to use ATi's notoriously unhelpful Catalyst Control Center. But other than that, I don't think you'll have any problems if u uninstall the NVIDIA drivers properly. And you'll be able to play most of the games maxed out with full AA and AF at resolutions of upto 1280x1024. 1600x1200 will certainly show lag but I doubt 1280x1024 will.
     
  9. mung

    mung TS Rookie

    I bought my expertvision ge force 6600GT 256ram for $270.00 australian.
     
  10. Zeox

    Zeox TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    If I can push my budget that far, then I would most definately consider that X1800. I found it cheaper for £112 on pcgiant.co.uk. Thanks also for telling me how efficient the card will be to my current one, as that was something I really needed to know.

    Can I just ask whether my monitor will work with it? Those aren't VGA ports. Does it come with an adapter or something? Thanks a lot!

    By the way, I was also considering going further to get the X1900. It's only about £10 more and it's desribed as being able to play games the way manufacturers intended - which does sound very tempting for the price. Anyway, if there's anything bad about the X1900 card, please let me know, although I haven't come accross any bad points yet...
     
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    I have two X1900s and am not disappointed with them yet. I'm sure it will be the same way with u too, although I turn up the volume on my speakers to drown out the leaf-blower drone of the fans on the cards! That and the extreme amount of heat generated by it are the only bad points about it. It will play all games out there maxed out at 1600x1200 comfortably enough.
    U can get a DVI-to-VGA adapter for cheap, around 5-10 pounds I think.
     
  12. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    My x850 came with 2 DVI to VGA adapters, so don't worry. Yours should come with at least one, unless you get an OEM version.

    And if you don't like to use the Catalyst control center (I use and I like it ;) ), then just install the drivers, and install Ati tray tools. :)

    Regards :wave:
     
  13. Zeox

    Zeox TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Well thank you to everybody who contributed their suggestions and opinions on this thread. I will probably end up getting the X1900 or the X1800. I'm not to bothered about how much noise they make, as with 5.1 sound, I'm gonna barely hear it.
     
  14. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Good choice man, now just make sure that your PSU can handle the increased load...
     
  15. Zeox

    Zeox TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Hmmmm... Good point. Do you think my 400W supply will be able to hack it? I wouldn't know, as the previous card I bought was for my Dell (a PCI), so it wasn't going to exactly fry my PC. Therefore, I've never really taken power consumption into consideration. I haven't got anything else that uses increased power rates and as HP have placed a PCI-e port on my PC, you'd think it was designed to handle this sort of power consumption.
     
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Why not call up HP Tech Support and ask them if it would work? I'm not too sure, since the card's box says it needs a 450W minimum PSU to run with 30A on the +12V rail for a fully loaded system. So I guess u will be needing a new PSU. FSP Fortron, Antec, Cooler Master, Enermax, Ultra, Vantec, Coolmax, Thermaltake and OCZ all make high-quality PSUs at affordable prices. I have personally used Antec and own an OCZ PSU and can vouch for them both. wolfram has an FSP Fortron PSU and he loves it. I would recommend it too for it's superb bang-for-buck but the other PSU makers are very good in their own right. U have a choice, so make a good one.
     
  17. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Yeah, I love my PSU. Too bad I can't kiss it :dead:

    For your system, this would be great:
    FSP 450W PSU

    Regards :wave:
     
  18. Zeox

    Zeox TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Well I just thought I'd tell everyone that I decided to settle for an ATI X800. It's able to play every game I've tested on it so far maxed out - which is good enough for me. I got it for £64!

    Alas, I just have one last query: It's only with WoW, F.E.A.R and BF2, but I sometimes experience major slow - downs at certain points in the game (this is especially noticeable with F.E.A.R). I think it would be too farfetched to say that it's the card that's causing it because where there is no glitching, the graphics are absolutely flawless. Whatsmore, my old card playing all the games at a lower setting froze in exactly the same places. My guess is that it's my RAM, as I only have 512. However I'm not certain. Has anyone else experienced this? It mainly happens when I turn corners or blow something up. Please help me on this, as it's the only thing that's stopping me having the gaming experience that I have dreamed of...
     
  19. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 403

    For today's games, 512 megs of RAM just doesn't cut it anymore. I was running only one gig of Ultra PC 3200 (400 mhz DDR SDRAM), and had major very noticeable slowdown in FEAR and Oblivion. I purchased another stick of identical RAM and really haven't noticed any slowdown other than in Oblivion but it's because Oblivion is such a system hog.
    Also, did you replace your psu?
     
  20. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    You need 2gb of ram to run any decent game today. Especially in F.E.AR and any Battlefield game

    I don't care what the minimum requirements say.
     
  21. Zeox

    Zeox TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    No, I didn't - which is why I got this instead of an X1900. I checked inside the pc and it said 300W and the X1900 requires 450W. I don't mind though, as this is really as good as I wanted my games to be. Do you know where I can get DDR2 RAM cheap? I'm 14 and only get £10 a week, so it's hard to get anything expensive (another reason for settling with this card). Thanks for the info anyways.
     
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