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Building first pc and wonder what Video card would be best

By Grigser
Dec 14, 2004
  1. First let me say that I am working on a budget and am not looking for a top of the line card. I might do some gaming but that will be very very rare but will do some camcorder video to DVD type stuff. I will be running some kids games but nothing like the top notch games that alot of guys play online.

    I am looking at getting a AMD Athlon 64 2800+ with an ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe and haven't decided on memory (either 2-256k or 1-512 of probably Corsair?).

    It seems that the Radeon is the best way to go with the MOBO and CPU. I was wondering what experiences people have had with the video cards and what recommendations can be made for me. I am not set obviously on any certain card.

    Thanks in advance for any and all help with this.
  2. marcothy

    marcothy TS Rookie

    On your memory-I would recommend going with the 512 stick for upgrade purposes. If you go with 256, you limit yourself to upgrading in 256 increments. By the time you may want to add some ram the price on 512 will be much more tolerable probably(if your doing a lot of video work-you will want to upgrade it eventually).

    Or-look at it this way, 2 x 256MB sticks will run you $70-$80. Typically a 512MB stick will run just below that. I am basing those prices off Kingston-a cheaper than Corsair name-brand.

    For video cards, I recommend Nvidia for a few reasons. For a casual user, I find Nvidia easier to tweak and adjust than ATI cards. I went from a 128 MB Ati Radeon 9800 Pro to a BFG 256 MB Nvidia 6800 Ultra. I enjoy my nvidia much more, and there are certain things that it renders better IMO than ATI cards. Ati can generally crunch the FPS hogs better-but I enjoy what I see as better visuals from Nvidia.

    Also, occasionally you can run into compatibility problems with Ati cards. Namely when new DirectX updates are released. Ati is known for less than stellar customer service and releasing patches. So-in general, I am an Nvidia fan partly because I find them more stable.

    Just my 2 cents worth anyway.
  3. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Posts: 147

    I'm not au fait with memory so I'm going to skip straight onto the gfx card.
    If your on a budget, by far, the best value cards are definitely the ati 9800 series - and no - I'm not an ati fanboy, I own a nvidia 6800!
    Over the past two years, they've proven themselves excellent performers and with ati's new X series range of cards on the market, are superb value for money.

    The new nvidia and ati budget models look to be good performers but are generally more expensive, check out a couple of benchmarks to determine what cards are suited to your needs - Toms Hardware Guide is an excellent site which offers plenty of hardware benchmarks.

    OK, I'm not big on memory but I'm happy with 768 megs of generic ddr ram, sure its not by some big name like corsair etc but I've bought cheap memory for years and have never found reason to buy otherwise - remember, the more memory, the better (particularly if your into gaming) so go for 512 minimum.

    My rig (AMD 2400, 768 generic ram, nvidia 128 meg 6800, asus A7N8X-X & onboard soundchip) run doom 3 at 1600x1200 in high quality mode like a dream - if anyone could convince me that buying a 'name' memory module would increase frame rates, I'd make the change but thus far, it aint happened but here's something to chew on - 768 meg of generic ram outperforms 512 of corsair easily and they're probably the same price!
  4. marcothy

    marcothy TS Rookie

    The only thing with memory is there are some bogus brands out there-they do exist, but they don't dominate the generic market as some would have you think. I buy comparatively-if a generic saves me boat loads of cash-I go with that. But typically, you can find Corsairs and Kingston memory for a decent price from the right people.

    If you buy generic-just buy from a company you trust or that came recommended from someone who has used it.

    I have 1 GB of a matched pair from Corsair, and I have 1 GB of a matched pair that is generic.

    the difference between Corsair and Kingston etc vs. generic is their memory is tested and guaranteed at certain latency, speeds etc. Generic there is a small risk-but there are good companies out there that will allow you to get some bang for not so many $$.
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