need help deciding which gfx card to purchase

By infamy ยท 6 replies
Aug 4, 2003
  1. I'm planning to buy a new graphics card. Im considering the ti4600, ati 9700, ati 9800, or FX5900ultra.
    The problem is if any of these cards would run on my computer. I have a 440BX motherboard with a 100 mhz FSB and the AGP is i believe 1.0 (2x only). The processor is a P3 1ghz slot1, and i have 448 megs of SDRAM (pc100). I dont care if the cards wont run at full potential, because any of those cards is better than what i have at the moment, ati VIVO DDR (~7200). I also have a geforce2mx and tnt2ultra on standby.

    I dont plan on getting a new computer anytime soon, maybe in another 3 years.

    Do the newer cards require more power than the ati vivo ddr? (as in, do i have to purchase a new power supply (i forget what i have now, it came stock with this Dell XTS550)
  2. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350


    I would suggest going with a lower end card since you won't be upgrading soon. As you kind of implied, you won't really see the cards full potential with your current system, compared to paying less for a card who's pull potential you WILL see. Even though you said you don't mind, there really isn't a point in spending a lot more money on a card when you won't see the potential of the card. Though, a higher end card still may perform a bit better than a lower end card in your system, my opinion is that your best option is to probably go with something like a Geforce 4.

    I did a quick search on Google and Dell's websites and didn't come up with any results for the XTS550. Are you sure that is the correct model?

    I would suggest at least a 350watt power supply. Some people have been safe with a 300watt PSU as long as it is a high quality PSU. You don't want your PSU to cause stability problems or worse die on you, possibly taking other components of your system with it. The rails on most PSU's are rated incorrectly and lack around 1v on each rail (the PSU I got with a case did the same for me so I upgraded to a Enermax 350watt -- I'm using the Radeon 9700 Pro).

    The TI4600 should be a good choice as far as cards from the list you gave. You can get it for about $160, compared to around $260+ for the Radeon 9700 Pro and $450 for the 5900 Ultra.
    The 5900 Ultra would honestly be a really bad choice and a waste of money since your system wont see the best performance out of that card and also in 3 years when you upgrade the 5900 Ultra will cost much less (well under $150).

    So thats my advice, go for the Geforce 4 TI4600 :)
  3. infamy

    infamy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yea, i was gearing more towards the ti4600. My friend has p3@800 and he got a ti4200 and a ati 9700(maybe9800). They both performed better compared to what i was able to do on my ati vivo ddr.

    BTW, the Dell model is XPS 550 (originally i t was 550mhz)
  4. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    he can mod a 9500

    to a my thread on the subject and the link :grinthumb
  5. infamy

    infamy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yea, i read somewhere about the process on how to mod a 9500 to a9700. Seems simple and harmless. But then it comes down to either a ti4600 or Ati 9500. Price, performance, driver support, etc...

    I had more problems with ati drivers than nvidia.

    but i'll keep both in consideration, wont be buying a card for at least another month (or less).
  6. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    As far as driver stability Nvidia is the way to go, though ATI's driver's have improved vastly over the 3.2's. As far as performance though Nvidia card's only perform a few percent faster in most games. You just have to decide which is more important. Also take into consideration the problems that are popping up for Nvidia card's lately, but I still say go for the 4600.

    Hope you like your new video card :-D
  7. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    i have a 4400

    it overclocks,................even though i do not need a 4600........and, is supplied with the utility to do it...........but, when doom hits, because, i do not forsee HL2 stressing our cards.........i'm upgrading............and, the prices should be right about what i thought, at least as low as it's gonna get
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