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Radeon vs. GeForce - Which one of these video cards do you recommend, and why?

By Leopardson
Oct 21, 2008
  1. [EDIT: Read bottom of post.

    Hi, I am looking to get a new video card for under $90 untaxed from this store.
    Link to store: http://www.hypertechcomputer.com/ (You can access the video cards page by going to Video card/Video conference-->PCI-Express (My type). I would supply the link, but the website is frame-based.)

    The two I am eying are the ATi Radeon 3650 and the Geforce 8600 GT, for around the same price.

    I am currently using a Geforce 8400 GS that has died on me.

    AMD Sempron 2800+ Processor.
    1gb DDR Ram (Buffalo).
    400 watt peak power supply w/ 25amps on the 12+ volt rail.
    Windows XP/Kubuntu 8.04 Operating systems.
    K8N Neo3 motherboard I believe, has a PCI-Express x16 slot.
    I use it primarily for 3d modeling and playing games such as Counter Strike: Source and Half life 2: Episode 2 level games.

    My previous video card, before death, could not handle Counter Strike: Source on a reasonable resolution without lag, and had a lot of trouble with multiple moving objects on the screen.

    I would prefer an ATi card, my past experiences with NVidia have all been negative considering every video card I have purchased from them have failed within several months, and were not purchased from the same store.
    The only ATi Radeon card I have owned was an ATi Radeon 9700 pro, which ran faster then my Geforce 6200 for both CAD and Gaming at the time, lasted over two years, until the video card had coffee spilled on it by my friend.
    My case is well-vented.

    I am open to other suggestions, but I would prefer not to order them from online, and all the chain retailers nearby overprice video cards like crazy.

    Which one do you recommend I get, and why?


    Well, I made a deal with the owner, that I would buy both cards, and he'd take the one I liked least back, since they were the same in-store price.

    I tested them all on 4 different things. The ATi was faster on everything but Battlefield 2. Both cards made my 8400 GS seem like a dust-collecting rat that needs to be put in a chest and discovered a couple hundred years from now.

    Here are the results for the three cards - The new cards both made a big difference.

    Battlefield 2 @ 1280 x 980, high settings, no AA
    8400: Fail, under 10fps.
    8600: 60fps
    3650 HD: 45fps
    Counter Strike @ 1280 x 980, high settings, 2x AA
    8400: FAIL, system crash.
    8600: 30fps
    3650 HD: 60fps, zero change.
    Oblivion @ 1024 x 768, 2x AA, high settings
    8400: FAIL, 10 frames per minute.
    8600: 35FPS
    3650 HD: 55FPS
    Call of Duty 4 @ 4096 x 4096, 8x AA, Ultra high settings
    8400: SYSTEM CRASH, took 4 minutes to BSOD.
    8600: SYSTEM CRASH, also took 4 minutes to BSOD.
    3650 HD: SYSTEM CRASH, took 3 minutes 30 seconds to BSOD.

    Doom 1:
    8400: 30fps
    8600: Error message: "Go get a voodoo you *****."
    3650 HD: Error message: "You're kidding right?"

    I took the 8600 GT back, and am enjoying the 3650.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    I use the 8600, I stopped using ATI some time ago but I am running Vista
  3. Leopardson

    Leopardson TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Update: Chose the 3650, was able to try both.
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