Upgrading Video Card

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TS Rookie
So I'm looking to replace my Video Card, it died on me. You can read all about it in my other thread. I read the guide to asking for suggestions so I am following that format.

At the moment I am not playing anything much, I mostly enjoy a couple hours of arena on World of Warcraft :p

I'm looking to spend around 100, I want to stay around that.

Motherboard - M2N - Sli
Memory - 2 x Crucial 1GB, 240 - pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-5300
CPU - AMD Athlon 64 x2 6400+
CPU Speed - 3216.6 MHz
Power Supply - Cooler Master eXtreme Power RP-500-PCAR 500W
Wattage output/Amperage - It has 2 +12v Rails and they are both at 16A so 32A

I must admit right now I am quite amateur, barely keeping my head above water so thanks for all the help and patience as well as knowledge.

I was looking at this Video Card http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4035118&CatId=1558 but I don't think it is much better than my Card that just broke. My Card at the moment but doesn't allow me to play games is a BFG 512 8800 GT OC. It's Core Clock is 625MHz, Shader Clock 1566MHz, and Memory data rate is 1800MHz. I don't need a 1GB card, got a shitty monitor.

Hope that is enough information guys, thanks in advance. Doh, I'm in Canada.


Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe
Hi boyontherun.
you are right , that card is not even close to the card you have now. dont let the Nvidia numbering system fool you. for a $100, this is your best bet. see if you can find this from a site that ships to you.
or this,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102822&Tpk=hd 4830
if your stuck on nvidia, get another 8800gt, any of them will do exceedingly well for the gaming you do :)


Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe
yes , that one would be massively better than the 9500, and the 8800 gt for that matter, why? well not to be self promoting, however i wrote a guide on building a gaming machine , here is an excerpt from it. basically the 4850 out powers the 9500, and the 8800 gt on all of these capabilities. hope it helps :)

if you want to read the whole thing

10) The Gpu
A few years ago cpu frequency doubling speed every 18 months came to a flying halt at about 4Ghz due to a limit in manufacturing process and the inability to dissipate the added heat that came with speeds above 4.0Ghz. the industry then turned to putting multiple cores on the same die. It was also around this time that GPU development garnered a lot more attention and R&D by manufacturers and the result is a hyper competitive market. for the purposes of a budget game build, the sweet spot at this time is in the area of $80-$120. there are really a great selection of powerful GPU's that can be had in this price range. don't get me wrong, the GPU is a critical component to your budget game build. games now are more GPU dependant than ever, and will remain that way, however , don't get carried away and purchase a GPU that your new system will not be able to use to its fullest extent(again the diminishing return factor).

I often see a couple of faulty assumptions in the area of selecting graphic cards. 1) folks making a choice based only on core speed, core speed is way down the list as far as purchasing considerations for a GPU. 2) I have seen many folks not get a Nvidia GPU because they compared the 'streaming processor' count of the ATI products with that of the Nvidia. the problem with this is that the ATI and the Nvidia GPU architecture are of completely different design and not comparable. it has been generally accepted by the industry that approximately 200 of the Nvidia SPU's are equivalent to 800 of the ATI SPU's. Right then. here are some of the things that I take a hard look at when selecting a Gpu, other than the reviews and bench tests of course.
A) SPU count : streaming processing units,(sometimes referred to as 'unified shaders') once you do the conversion between the Nvidia's spu's and the ATI spu's, this can give you an indicator of a cards capability.

B) The 'FLOP'
short for 'floating point operations (per second) this stat can be a little difficult to find, but entering 'detailed specs 'on the cards you are considering into Google or the like, will usually yield you this spec, and is useful in comparing the 'processing power' the card has. the higher end cards these days have crossed the gigaflop barrier and are usually somewhere in the 1-2.5 teraflop range, with the midrange cards in the .5-1.0 teraflop range
C) memory bus width
I am not usually taken with a card that has less than a 256bit memory bus width, however ATI has made an art (or game) depending on how you look at it, of hitting a price point of trading 256bit bus width for the an 128bit bus width by using DDR5 in lieu of DDR3, and the performance comes real close to breaking even. but that aside, usually cards that have a 256bit bus width and up are the ones that are more powerful .
None of these alone is the end all for determining how the card will perform in your real world desktop, but they are good indicators as to the 'horsepower' a card has. as an illustration that the core speed is not a very important tool in determining the card you should be considering...consider this, the most powerful graphic card on the planet is the Nvidia GTX 295, and runs at maybe the slowest core speed of all the high end cards @ 576Mhz. and to tie it in with the above it has 480 shaders (1800 in ATI terms) 1.79 Teraflops and has a 896bit bus width (2x448)


TS Rookie
All the help is greatly appreciated guys, thanks again. Can you post a link to your guide as well? did you post it on the site?

I'm going to go with your guys suggestion, thanks again.


TechSpot Paladin
you wont regret it man the 4850 is a beast of a card for the money i think it is the best overall budget card in the $100 range followed buy the 4770 and the gts 250
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