What should I buy as far as graphics

By RogueDragon ยท 13 replies
Jan 23, 2009
  1. Ok i want to upgrade my graphics card on the cheap if i can mainly would love to get the best card for anywhere from $100-180. I've been looking at an MSI 3850 ati card but i'm not sure if it is much better than the Asus 8500 GT silent i'm running. well here are my specs on the machine i'm running now and i'm open for sujestions/critisism.

    1. Motherboard - Asus P5K-E deluxe w/ Wi-Fi app

    2. Graphic interface - PCI Express x16 x2 (one at x16 and one at either x1-x4)

    3. Memory - 4GB Gskill ddr2 800

    4. CPU - Intel Pentium D 925

    5. CPU Speed - 3.0 GHz

    6. Power Supply Make/Model - LEC LPG2-43 630W

    7. Watt output/Amperage- 600W with 2 +12v rails the +12v1 is at 19A and the +12v2 is at 23A

    So that is what i am working with right now and you know my budget range. I am living in the USA. What i would like to do is use if for games and not just the Sims 2. I play WoW atm (mainly cause it is easy on my machine) and would like to bust into some FPSs such as crysis (but i know with my proc i probably won't for a bit) So i'm open to sujestions like i said would like to keep it closer in the $100 range but willing to go up to about $150 or a bit more if there is a large speed gap. Also as you can tell my cpu is a bit outdated and i know this isn't the place to post for that but feel free to comment on it as well and again in about that price range.

    Thank you guys so much i know you all work hard at this site. :p

    Peace out!

    P.S. running XP Pro and thinking of dual booting with Vista Ultimate
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    What you are running is good enough for now. As you become more experienced in Games, you will know better what is the best choice for you... and with this economy, the price will be better as well.
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Your PSU is a low-quality build that is not recommended for a new card. That being said, if you want, you can get a new PSU and snag a 9600GT as well, if you game at any resolution upto 1440x900. Beyond that, you need to spend at least $200 for a good PSU and video card. The above assume that you will play every game at maximum detail with the greatest image quality possible (AA notwithstanding).

    Also, please out your profile with your location and your current system specifications so we can help you better.
  4. RogueDragon

    RogueDragon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I know that it is good for now but i would like it to be a bit better and would like to get a card that has dual DVI output not just single since i'm running dual monitors (forgot to mention this)

    Edit: So what psu and gpu combo would u suggest? I see you said a 9600GT but who which one would u say? like an eVGA or a MSI or some other brand?
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Well the LEC isn't that bad with its two 12V rails... for the type of card you are discussing. It isn't terrific, but it should give you good service for a couple of years... and since you already have it, that keeps the next costs down.
  6. RogueDragon

    RogueDragon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So the PSU that i have should be ok to run a 9600GT or an ATI 3850 for the time being but it would be better to upgrade when i can? Alright so what would be better for the price/performance ratio then?

    I was also looking at an ATi 4850 by MSI also but i don't think that my PSU would support it very well and I'd prefer not to go and upgrade both right away so i'm thinking no for now on it. But if i did decide to do that what would be a good PSU to go with?

    Alright I think I've made my choice but before i do I have 2 last questions. 1 is there any noticabal difference between a 9600GT and a 9800GT? And second is there going to be a noticable difference between a 512 MB card and a 1 GB card? The 3 I'm considering are:

    MSI 9600GT 512MB

    eVGA 9600GT 1GB

    MSI 9800GT 512MB

    which would be the better of the three do you guys think? Sorry if i sound needy just don't want to get a card and find out i coulda got something better at the time.
  7. nissanman

    nissanman TS Maniac Posts: 247

    Go for the MSI 9800GT, Its faster then the 9600GT and has Tri-SLI support if you ever wish to do that in the future. Dont get an ATI card. ATI drivers are very very bad. Also i think your PSU will handle the 9800GT just fine. 600watts with 19 and 23 amp 12v rails should be enough for that card.

    Apparently, the 1GB 9600GT is slower then the 512MB version. I think this is because the 9600GT's core is not fast enough to utilize 1GB of video memory efficiently.
  8. RogueDragon

    RogueDragon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright i was thinking the same thing since the 1gb 9600GT card is the same price of the 9800GT and the latter is faster then yeah i don't mind spending the extra $40 :p thanks for all your help guys i'll probably bug you all for processor info soon as well :D
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    ATI drivers are much better than NVIDIA's (especially with the green team's rubbish policy of only improving support for their current flagship card series), and the HD 4830 trumps the 9800GT by and large, while being about 20-30% slower than the HD 4850, which is a lot of performance for that range. Grab any HD 4830 you can get.
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    A statement like, "...Dont get an ATI card. ATI drivers are very very bad..." deserves a full explanation. We have found more problems with NVidia than with ATI drivers. ATI may or may not have other problems, but you would need a strong justification to say that ATI drivers are very very bad.
  11. RogueDragon

    RogueDragon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well rage i was looking at this here:


    and the only thing that a 4830 has over the 9800 is FLOPS while the 9800 has 400 more mp/s and 15000 more tp/s which is pretty significant but i know that the 4830 does have a large margin on the flops but i don't even know what that is or does... could you or someone explain it to me cause the link on that site seems to be broken. And even so would there be any huge advantage to having that over the other 2?
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    FLOPS is a measure of computing power (floating point operations, to be precise). More FLOPS always translates into better performance. Pixel and texture throughput are not as important IMO.
  13. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    IMO the 9800gt and 4830 are the same really in performance to little to make a difference. but i think the 4830 is cheaper so makes it the better buy.
  14. RogueDragon

    RogueDragon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well looking at it the 4830 is a bit more spendy if you go the same brand (MSI) i am gonna look and see what i can get price wise but i think it'll be one of those two chipsets.

    EDIT: nevermind the 4830 is a bit cheaper (was looking at the 1gb edition XP) hmmm makes a tough choice though now. i like the look of the 9800GT a bit more than any of the 4830 but of course appearence don't mean **** on performance.

    well i think i'm gonna stick with the 9800GT i've had issues with 3 ATI cards before and I haven't had any issues with the Nvidia cards that i've owned. So thanks for the input guys and I'll probably be back soon :p
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