What to look for in a grafix card

By james_k1988
Jun 3, 2005
  1. grafix cards seem to be the only thing about a computer i have so much trouble understanding lol i know what it does etc but my problem lies in identifying how good a card is. At first i thought it wos just how much memory it had (128mb, 256mb) but now i see that it mainly involves its core speed and memory speed. Im planning on buying a good card soon so i scanned that newegg to see what they had to offer, and i hit anotehr problem lol can someone please explain this.
    I came across a card i though would be great, check it out

    # HIS Hightech 96XTP-1H-ZPC Radeon 9600XT 256MB DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card - OEM
    (limit 2 per customer)

    Accessories: Manual, 5 CD, 2 Cable, DVI to D-Sub Adapter
    Core clock: 500MHz
    D-SUB: 1
    DirectX: DirectX 9
    DVI: 1
    Max Resolution: 2048x1536
    Memory Clock: 650MHz
    Memory Interface: 128-bit
    OpenGL: OpenGL 2.0
    TV-Out: S-Video/Composite Out
    # Model #: 96XTP-1H-ZPC
    # Item #: N82E16814161113R

    This card is $132 (bout £70 for me :p )

    i kept going on and came across this card

    # POWERCOLOR XR98T-D3 Radeon 9800XT 256MB DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card - OEM
    (limit 2 per customer)

    Core clock: 412MHz
    D-SUB: 1
    DirectX: DirectX 9
    DVI: 1
    Memory Clock: 730MHz
    Memory Interface: 256-bit
    OpenGL: OpenGL 2.0
    PixelPipelines: 8
    TV-Out: S-Video Out
    VIVO: No
    # Model #: XR98T-D3
    # Item #: N82E16814131231R

    This card wos $256

    But is seems to have lower core and only a bit more memory (well 80) I then recall going on to see more expensive cards with 300- core (although i think they had more memory) Is it a matter of balanceing the 2 out? Is memory more important than core? I;d like to understand all this so i dont end up buying a crappy card lol thanx

    P.S. Does anyone know if newegg deliver to UK as well?
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    MHz is a meaningless number on products. Don't look at it, ever.

    It is the core type that matters - in this case Radeon 9600XT or 9800XT.
  3. james_k1988

    james_k1988 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 163

    u sure the mhz isnt important at all? lol i thought it had some importance

    ANd you say whats important is the core type, so you mean the "9700" or "9800" bit , so the 9800 would be better id imagine. But that cant be all you look for in a grafix card, what else is ther
  4. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    The reason that a card is better can be mhz, but many times it's how many pixel pipelines it has, and it's architecture. Example. A nvidia 6200 and 6600 have the same specs(300mhz core, 500mhz memory), but a 6600 is a lot faster, how can this be? A 6200 has 4 pipelines, while a 6600 has 8. Newer cards have 8, 12, or 16 pipes. Also memory interface(128bit or 256bit) can affect performance. People seem to think that a card's having 256mb makes it better than all other 128mb cards, not true, a 128mb 9800pro/6600gt is better than a 9250 256mb by a long shot. Memory doesn't make a huge difference.

    This page lists pixel pipes for common cards.

    You can't really just look at a cards specs and say how it will actually perform. The way to know is to compare cards in real situations(benchmark), to find the faster card. Several websites benchmark and rank cards like:
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