Started to build my comp can’t decide on a video card

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I started order the parts for my new computer and I'm trying to decide what video card I should go with, I'm using the computer for engineering design and playing game like half life 2. I basically have a $500 budget for the card, which one would be the best for the money.

Abit "FATAL1TY AN8" NVIDIA NF4 Ultra Chipset Motherboard For AMD Socket 939
Ultra X connect 500w power supply
AMD Athlon 64 3500+
PDP Patriot "Extreme Performance" Low Latency 1gb memory
Maxtor 300GB 16mb buffer 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
Plextor 16X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW SATA Drive
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS
Windows XP pro


Posts: 1,360   +2

What does your engineering design involve? How complex? Would a good gaming card be good for engineering design?
Yeah the programs are fairly complex but a good video card will be fine.
Some of the cards I am looking at are
eVGA nVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra
HIS Excalibur RADEON X800 PRO
Sapphire ATI RADEON X800 XT


Posts: 7   +0
any of those models are great cards, there is also the x850xt now
but I would go with a better manufacturer...
original ATI (not saphire), MSI, or LEADTEK, PNY, ASUS.. but evga isnt too bad though.. I would see what card has the better software bundle included..unless your going OEM that is
I'm thinking about going with

HIS Excalibur RADEON X800 PRO IceQ II Video Card, 256MB GDDR3, 256-Bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "ICE80PN-2I-ZAM" -RETAIL

Model# ICE80PN-2I-ZAM
Item # N82E16814161119

Chipset/Core Speed: ATI Radeon X800 PRO/475MHz
Memory/Effective Speed: 256MB GDDR3/900MHz
Ports: VGA Out(15 Pin D-Sub) + TV-Out (S-Video) + DVI
Support 3D API: DirectX 9, OpenGL 1.5
Max Resolution@32bit Color: 2048X1536@85Hz
Cable/Accessories: DVI-I to VGA adapter, S-Video cable, Power Cable, Manual,

$420 got good reviews, comes with counter strike


Posts: 325   +0
How about the X800XL or Nvidia 6800GT

Both are better than the X800Pro, and priced about the same....

I'm leaning towards the X800XL
Yeah the ATI Radeon X800 XL looks like a good card for the money. At $320 its a lot cheaper and only seems to run about 5 fps slower then the XT
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