Which Graphics Card?

By vega · 43 replies
Jan 11, 2003
  1. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    A fairly comprehensive list of online shops including uk can be found here
  2. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Thanks for the links Arris - I'v found quite a few retailers offering prices from £115 up so thats savings for me and kudos to you!:) :) :) :)
  3. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    My view is that if ur a overclocker (video or system) or u use win xp or BOTH then i wouldnt go for an ATi card - there drivers are not known for there stability, esp in win xp. Personally i would wait till the GeForce FX comes out then look at the ASUS Ti4200 that has extra cooling on (cant remember the model number soz) but it comes PRE overclocked to 4400 speeds and goes up to 4600 speeds no probs - just my thoughts

  4. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I'll try XP when I get the chance. When I first got a GF3 the detonator drivers that were out have problems with Half Life, some stability issues. There are always problems to be resolved with new hardware/software. From what I have heard and read the drivers from ATI have improved tremendously. I myself had gone from Voodoo2 -> TNT2 32mb -> GF3, so the last two cards I had used were Nvidia and I had grown used to using the detonator drivers and experienced the problems with new versions where people were generally using x.x version and not necessarily the latest and greatest. I was apprehensive about switching sides and joining the ATI Camp but I haven't had anything apart from pleasure in my experiences so far.

    With AA and AF activated you can't beat the ATI offerings of 9500 and 9700 at the moment and their driver support isn't that far off from rivalling Nvidias in my opinion (having used both recently).

    Also I've seen many people with 9700 Pro cards running the core and memory overclocked @ 200fsb. Not seen much about the problems with XP, I'll have to investigate that. But from what I have seen overclockers aren't having much of a problem with ATI. Plus the 9500 non pro to 9700 software mod is pretty good overclocking if you ask me!!!
  5. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Having just chased up and hassled anyone owing me money , I'v managed to scrape together enough money to pick up a 9500 pro at £146 from 'the overclocking store' and have ordered one today.
    Just writing to let you know, these people are'nt called the overclocking store for nothing - they provided me with a wealth of information concerning the customising of the 9500 and how to do it safely - if it were any other store, I would have been told to just get a 9700!
    As soon as the item in question arrives, I'll let you know how well (?) it performs.
    Also, thanks for all the views, its nice to get a different perspective from people who are REALLY into getting the best out of their rig.
  6. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Looking forward to hearing how you get on :)
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    What ever happened with the Nvidia Infinite Loop crap that was so prominant on message boards when XP first came out. Did that stuff get cleared up with drivers and OS updates? I used to get them with my GF2MX but now since I haven't played a 3d game that was made after 98 in several months I don't know if its an issue anymore.
  8. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147


    After my hands had stopped shaking with excitement, I ripped out my geoforce 2 Ti and slammed in my new ati connect 9500 128 meg card (£139), uninstalled the nvidia driver, installed the new drivers and the first thing I ran was the demo that arrives bundled with the card - totally awesome!
    As much as I liked my previous card, you'd be a fool not to admit that the radeon is a totally different beast - the rendering capability and Dir x 9.0 capability really make the graphics truely a sight to behold, I only hope that future games can take advantage of this technology.
    Running games was a revelation too - I can run most of my recent titles with anti-aliasing switched to max but I usually eschew this feature for maximum usable resolution resulting in pin sharp, detailed, and smooooth graphics.
    I hav'nt had a chance to demo some of my more recent titles but the few games I'v tried run superbly and I can confidently say that its worth every penny - as if this were'nt enough, it can be overclocked to 9700 standards!

    Thanks for helping me choose this card - just can't wait for doom 3!!!
  9. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    And the TechSpot team scores again!
  10. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    After a couple of days of benchmarking, testing and familiarising myself with my new card, I think I'm now ready to do a bit of tweaking and perform the magical transition from 9500 to 9700 - before this, I made sure I looked at all the issues concerning this and some of the issue resulting from this move but after seeing the massive leap in performance experienced by 9500 'tweaakies' feel that I'm now ready to proceed .
    Can anyone tell me what this entails?
  11. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

  12. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Thanks for the link ISS.
    I downloaded the tuner and after installation and tuning (a very painless process), rebooted and can say to any doubters - there is a VERY SIGNIFICANT increase in performance - I've yet to do a benchmark but can instantly see the boost in speed - the mod works well with my ati connect 9500 128 meg card, I was afraid that there might be problems with glitches and artifact which appears to be fairly commonplace but can report complete success.

    VIVA RADEON!:grinthumb :grinthumb :grinthumb
  13. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    More information regarding the mods and the software mod can be found here at HardwareCentral. One of the moderators of Hardwarecentral got himself a 9500 128mb card, but he was one of the unlucky ones and suffered artifacting :(

    Glad its all working well for you Vega! ;)
  14. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    For any doubters who might be wary of the worth of modding a 128 meg radeon chipset board from 9500 to 9700, here's my benchmarking results - standard board - 9802 (3d mark 2001) , moded board - 11,204 and no artifacting!
  15. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    On installation of the above components, I can now play jedi >knight with ALL graphical tweaks at 1600 res - soldier of fortune >2 is played at the same resolution and is superbly smooth, and >medal of honour can be played at 1280 with all tweaks on - I >never use anti aliasing features as this has quite a dramatic 'hit' >on performance, instead, I tend to go for the highest possible >resolution without compromising on the quality of gameplay.

    eh.... how are you basing graphics on games like those? they dont work that hard on your graphics card.

    btw, jedi Knight II.. omg.. man.. they ruined that game. the graphics are terrible and the level designs are a -100 on the 1-10 scale. Its AWFUL. argh. glad I didnt pay for that game. Only spent like 30 minutes playing it then threw it in the garbage.
  16. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    eh stupid reply box. that first part was a quote and the 100 is suppost to be -100
  17. vega

    vega TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Acidosmosis-- I agree with you on Jedi 2 - graphics are pretty much 'samey' and some of the levels were tedious but being a star wars nut, I would have bought it regardless.

    I don't agree with you when you state that some of the games I mentioned don't stretch the capabilities of my setup - just implementing full shadows on jedi 2 can really bring the system down to its knees - at least, that was the case before I got my latest card - now, it runs like a dream. Medal of Honour IS a real hoot of a test game especially the omaha landing sequence but given that I only have 256 DDR memory, is a bit of the jerky side (thanks to constant hd access) but as I'v ordered another 256 of ram (£29 from eclipse computers), this should solve the issue.

    I'm currently running unreal tournament 2003 (demo) at 1600 resolution with everything on barring AA and AF and it flies like brown stuff off a shovel - this IS a current game and I have absolutely no issues with performance on my machine.

    By the way, Novatech are selling generic, Radeon 9500 (128 meg) cards for £109 - worth checking out.
  18. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350


    I am planning on buying the Radeon9700 Pro very soon, within the next 2 months. I dont feel like bothering doing a OC. You can get a Radeon9700 Pro off pricewatch sellers for $230. Awesome price. I think it's OEM or somethin though. I dont care though. Not interested in having the box or anything i just want the card.

    I played Jedi Knight and it was just.. awful for me. I even tried using noclip cheats to get through levels and in some levels I STILL couldnt figure out where to go. Bored me to death.
    There is a Star Trek Deep Space Nine game out that I played the demo for.. was pretty cool, if I can only find the full game somewhere so I can buy it. It's single player but its pretty neat lol. Only Star Trek game I ever liked playing so far.
  19. sdialect

    sdialect TS Rookie

    I'm not sure how late this news flash is coming out but, I just found the Geoforce FX 5200 w/128mb ram on www.newegg.com for 90 dollars. Now If Radeon has a card for 90 bucks that runs on par with the GF FX 5200 128mb, I might re-think my next purchase but, if not for 90 buck it's a great piece of hardware.
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