I want to buy a new Graphics Card, but need advice..help?

By torrenter · 51 replies
Jul 20, 2007
  1. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Anytime. Just be sure to tell me what you get in the end. And thanks for the kind words, much appreciated. I hope you like your new card. :)
  2. torrenter

    torrenter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 166

    Sorry to go all over this again Rage, but I was about to go on and purchase a 7900GTX card but came across this detailed, but negative view on the card:


    The reviewer raises what seems like a valid case against the card. If I was to purchase this item on eBay, of course I would want my system to be stable after installing the hardware. What's your opinion on this, first of all?

    Also, because of this review and your earlier recommendations on two other models, which only came with 256MB onboard, I wanted to see if those models came in 512MB-onboard version aswell.
    Could you tell me if the following gpus could be installed on my motherboard, without being bottlenecked in any way. They are:




    If they're not likely to be bottlenecked in any way, which would you say is the better card?

    I just have one last question that's been bugging me here. Is the difference in GPU memory of your earlier suggestions and the one's I'm raising here, likely to make much of a difference in gameplay?

    I do have 3GB of motherboard RAM and am not sure whether it's more important to have sufficent motherboard RAM and very high GPU RAM, or lots of motherboard RAM as I do (maybe unnecessarily high), and sufficient GPU Ram.
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Looking at the problems that poster faced, I'm sure it was mainly due to the fact that the 7900GTX has a heatsink that expels some of the heat from the GPU into the casing inadvertently, which can raise the ambient temperature in the case quite a lot and give issues like artifacting. The X1950XTX is much better in that respect, since its cooler occupies an extra PCI slot, using it to blow all the hot air completely out of the case. The X1950XTX is also the better card. I recommended the 7900GTX since you specifically asked for an NVIDIA card.
    Your RAM is more than sufficient. Having more RAM is definitely better, so no worries there. (Check out my PC in my profile to know why I'm saying this ;))

    As for the video card's RAM, it's only used for loading textures etc. so that the PC's RAM remains free. Between a 256MB GDDR3 and 512MB GDDR3 version of either card, you'd see a performance difference of about 5%. If the RAM is different speeds though, that's a completely different issue. But it's not the case here.

    P.S. -> In case you're wondering, the GDDR4 on the X1950XTX doesn't make much difference in performance, but is a nice bonus. Games will also look prettier with the X1950XTX, since it can do HDR and AA at the same time, giving spectacular lighting and image quality.
  4. torrenter

    torrenter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 166

    Hi Rage, I'm now looking to buy this card, the X1950 XTX. But could you tell me what the differences are between the X1950 XTX and the X1950 Crossfire Edition, if there are any? I can't where they lie. The XTX version says it's Crossfire ready anyway. So what's the difference?

    Also, we've established that my system should be able to run with the X1950 XTX on it fine, but could you have a look at these test results of my PC from Performance Test v6 and 3D Mark 06? I want you to see, if you see anything unusual, that might look out of place, or be a possible problem in the future.

    The .zip file, "SI" stands for "System Info" from the 3D Mark 06 program. I hope you can view it. Tell me if you can't.

    Thanks again!
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Crossfire is ATi's name for dual-GPU technology, much like NVIDIA's SLI. The Crossfire Edition is simply a moniker, nothing more. The two cards will be exactly the same. As for your PC, the only thing you'd need would be a faster HDD maybe, but it's not immediately necessary. With the new PSU and video card, it should run perfectly fine. Good luck with your purchase and don't hesitate to contact me again. :)
  6. dlcampbe

    dlcampbe TS Rookie

    I need some info too.

    The video card I now have is an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro agp. I need to upgrade to a PCI card that is at least as good, any suggestions?
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Why would you want to upgrade to a PCI card when you have AGP? If you mean PCI Express, do you have a PCI Express slot available for the card? First, give me your PC's exact specifications using Everest Home Edition or SIW (Google for them) and also tell me the brand and wattage of your PSU, including the number of amps on each rail. Then give me a budget and your country of residence and I'll see what I can do for you.
  8. torrenter

    torrenter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 166

    A Question if I can, on Crossfire Technology...

    Hello again Rage. With your help, I've obviously decided that the X1950XTX is the card I really want. But, already I'm looking to the future, when I either get a new PC or motherboard and get into modding.

    If I wanted to use this card with another Crossfire-ready card, on a Crossfire-ready motherboard, would it have to be another X1950 XTX exactly, or could it be another ATI crossfire-ready card?

    The reason I'm asking is that I'm not sure whether Crossfire/SLI is similar to RAID HDD drives in that you lose some of the extra storage capability or gpu power possibly in this case, if the cards aren't an exact match.

    I'm not sure you see whether I should get an two X1950 XTX cards (£££!!) while they're still around, or just wait to see how technology changes. This card will also be an enormously leap from my X600 PRO card and I've had that for at least 2 years.
    I don't think I'll be changing the X1950 XTX, or adding another gpu for at least 1-2 years, if I do indeed get it.

    Thanks again Rage.
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Crossfire will work with any two identical Crossfire-capable cards, which most are. Only drawback is, you'd need a Master Crossfire X1950XTX to run your second XTX in Crossfire. You'd need both cards to be the same however, since you can't mix and match with Crossfire (or SLI for that matter). So all in all, if you get a Crossfire-ready mobo in the future, you'd need to buy a second X1950XTX Master card to run it with any other X1950XTX.
    As for my opinion on it, adding a second video card isn't worth it unless you're willing to spend extra cash on cooling both cards and getting a PSU that provided enough power to them and the rest of your system. Dual-card solutions also prove their worth only when it comes to very high resolutions. That being said, two X1950XTXs in Crossfire roughly match an 8800GTX in performance, so unless you're willing to get a more powerful PSU, some better HSFs for the cards and a monitor capable of ultra-high resolutions above 1920 x 1440 and onwards (all of which would mean spending more than what an 8800GTX costs), forget the idea of Crossfire. Instead, if you change to a DX10 card in about 2 years as you described, you're likely to get a better deal since DX10 will have been more optimized and more DX10 cards will have been released, giving you a wealth of choice to choose from.
  10. torrenter

    torrenter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 166

    Thanks again Rage. How many times do I have to say?:) You seem an absolute expert on all this.
    What I think I'll do then, is just go for the one X1950XTX and the PC Power and Cooling PSU you recommended earlier. It was 600W.

    I'm just praying they'll both fit in. I've heard the X1950 XTX takes up TWO PCI-E slots. Does that mean it somehow slots in both slots, or just covers over the second slot? I think I have just one PCI-E slot, which the X600 PRO is slotted into.

    And just a quick couple of questions on Crossfire. On ATI's or the manufacturer's websites like Sapphire, there's no talk about them selling an X1950 XTX MASTER card, separate to an X1950 XTX SLAVE card. Do they look different? If not, and if the X1950 XTX HAS to matched with another X1950 XTX, how do you make one Master and one Slave? Just curious. I'll probably go NVidia SLI in 2-3 years.
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Thanks a lot mate, I really appreciate it. Just glad to be of help. But there are others here who're more knowledgeable than me, you just haven't met them yet. I daresay you will though. ;)
    As for the card, it takes up one PCI slot next to the PCI-E slot for the cooler. The Master card looks exactly like a regular card, but has Crossfire enabled via hardware. Other models like the X1600 don't need a master card since they have Crossfire enabled via software. The X19xx series also needs a dongle that needs to be attached to both cards to fully activate Crossfire. More on it here. I'm glad you've finally made a good decision and I think you'll enjoy your new card very much. See you around! :)
  12. dlcampbe

    dlcampbe TS Rookie

    Sorry I wasn't clear about the PCI slot, it is a PCI Express 16 slot. I'm using an Asus P5B-VM motherboard, but my wife doesn't want to use the onboard graphics. She has the Radeon 9800 Pro in her current computer and wants something equal or better, I don't know if the Intel X3000 graphics is as good.

    The power supply is a Coolermaster 450W RS-450-ACLX max combined +12V is 12V@22A, I live in the US and want to spend no more than $100. I really just want something equal to or a little beter than the 9800 Pro.

    Thank you for your help.
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

  14. dlcampbe

    dlcampbe TS Rookie

  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Anytime. Do post back if you have any problems with it. I hope you don't though. :)
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    @torrenter, get an X1950XT instead and save yourself the trouble. The difference between it and the X1950XTX is negligible. Here is a link. It's cheap at £104.99 inc VAT and shipping is free. You can also OC it to XTX speeds anyways, so no problems there.
  17. torrenter

    torrenter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 166

    Hi Rage, long time no speak. Here's what I got as a hand-me-down from my Dad, while he got a 8600 GTX (I think:)) - nVidia 7600 GT!

    Just to remind, I've got a XP system with Pentium 4 (3.4GHz) processor and 2GB RAM. Would it be fine to run Medieval Total War 2 (and it's Expansion pack)?? All I get on System Requirements is "Must have Direct X 9.0c compliant, 128MB card" That's not enough info:(
  18. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    if you have all the hardware installed then go to System Requirements Lab and try their test, it'll look at your pc and tell you if it'll run it or not :)

    they have a massive list of games so it should be there
  19. torrenter

    torrenter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 166

    So, I have a result a little higher than Recommended Specs:D Still does not go into clock speeds and would be great if it gave an idea where my GPU stands in the market, in terms of clock speeds et al. But cool enough site:D Thanks Dave.
  20. swen

    swen TS Rookie Posts: 27

    your posts were so long ago it would be nice to know exactly what upgrades u made from your original computer before someone could really answer that. feel free to post your upgraded computer specs and ill get back to you.
  21. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    no problem mate ;)

    the 7600 is pretty much the middle of the 7 series range, and the 7 series is still pretty good even with the 8 series out now

    there are some 7600gt specs here, but it lists everything but clock speed really :confused: do you know what make it is? e.g. evga, xfx, bfg etc
  22. torrenter

    torrenter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 166

    Swen, was your post to me? I don't understand it. I've got a 7600GT anyway, and it works fine with my 300W factory PSU, when gaming:) It's strange. I was being told I needed huge wattage for more powerful cards and my games work fine:p
  23. torrenter

    torrenter TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 166

    To Daveskater, my 7600GT card given my Dad was BFG, as far as I remember.
  24. vinsver

    vinsver TS Rookie Posts: 19

  25. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    oops, just noticed i forgot to put the link in my last post ;)

    Here's a link to the 7600 GT's specs on the BFG site. You have to click on Detailed specs to get the specs up, though.

    The 7600GT is still a pretty good card so you'll be alright with it for a while :)
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...