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video card purchasing help

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mcseguy9, Oct 14, 2003.

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  1. mcseguy9

    mcseguy9 Thread Starter

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    okay, i want to buy a new(er) video card for my pc. i have a p3 700 w/256mb ram. the only real reason i want to buy a new video card is to be able to play a couple of games that require it. they don't require much more than what i have now, which is a 32mb matrox agp card that's as old as the pc (i built the pc about three years ago). for the sake of saving money, i'm going to probably get a card with 64mb ram instead of 128mb ram.

    i want to spend as little as possible as this isn't a necessity. i only game a little bit (mostly playing games that are older anyway, like jedi knight 2, alien vs predator 1 and 2, etc.) so i don't need something really high grade. i just want something that will allow me to play these games as well as on another pc i've played them on (it has an intel 82845G graphics controller w/64 mb ram, but also has a p4 2 ghz processor).

    i have a few web sites that i can use to find the card i want. the problem is that i don't know which name brand to get (ATI, etc.). i also don't know about the agp standards. i don't know what my computer will support by way of agp, agp 4x and agp 8x (or whatever)? i do know my system supports agp as that's the type of card i have right now. if i'm right, will newer agp cards be compatible with older agp slots? are they backward compatible?

    any help with this will be much appreciated. thx.
     
  2. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    Seeing that your PC is only 700mhz, it wouldn't matter if the new card was backwards compatable or not, it would be held back by the speed of your PC making it not worth purchasing a newer card. I'd recommend getting a older Geforce 2 MX400 or higher card for around $20-$30. Save your money and upgrade to a new PC later.
     
  3. mcseguy9

    mcseguy9 Thread Starter

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    on that cheery note (haha) i've looked at the card you mention above and notice that many manufacturer's produced cards with that chipset. does it matter which manufacturer is chosen? will a card with the same chipset from one work better than another? as an example i saw leadtek, asus, etc. and the prices are different (ranging from $30 and upwards of $50).
     
  4. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    I'd try to get one useing DDR memory instead of the slower SD ram, and if you can find one of the Ti models. Should live out the life of the PC.
     
  5. mcseguy9

    mcseguy9 Thread Starter

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    thx for the help, gotrootdude. i'm going to take this info and find me a card! :)
     
  6. mcseguy9

    mcseguy9 Thread Starter

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    gotroodude (or anyone else), you mention that i should go with a card that has ddr ram and not the slower sd ram. i've seen some cards that have ddr sd ram??? what's the difference (if any) between ddr ram, sd ram and ddr sd ram?

    also, i've seen some cards that offer data width of 64 bit, 128 bit and 256 bit. to me it's obvious that the larger the width the better, but i just want to check and make certain of this. thx.
     
  7. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    DDR is similar to SDram, the main difference is that DDR ram can transfer info on both the rise and fall of clock cycles allowing it to transfer twice the amount of info in the same amount of time. SDram only tranfers once per clock cycle, DDR transfers twice.
     
  8. mcseguy9

    mcseguy9 Thread Starter

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    okay, that makes sense. thx for the info. what about the data width (i think that's what it said) where you can get 64 bit, 128 ibt and 256 bit (at least on the cards i'm looking at). am i right in thinking that bigger is better?
     
  9. suesman

    suesman

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  10. mcseguy9

    mcseguy9 Thread Starter

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    i'm sorry for bugging the heck out of you guys, but i have another question.

    right now i'm looking at two different cards, one PINE Technology and another by Gainward. Here are the links to them:

    http://anandtech.bizrate.com/marketplace/product_info/details__cat_id--405,prod_id--7588092.html
    http://anandtech.bizrate.com/marketplace/product_info/details__cat_id--405,prod_id--8782980.html

    the one at the first link looks like the better card, but it's a geforce 2 and the other is a geforce 4. does that make a difference in performance or anything really?
     
  11. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    Performance wise, you'll find they're about the same. The Geforce 4 has DVI output, so unless you have a monitor with DVI input, it's not a option. Also, gainward had a bit of trouble in the past with low quality memory causeing errors and dead cards. That may be why it's so cheap.

    On the other hand, don't expect to overclock either card. Pine is a generic and doesn't offer much in the way of support.
     
  12. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    In a choice between the two, I'd get the Geforce 2 MX400...
     
  13. mcseguy9

    mcseguy9 Thread Starter

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    i guess when it comes down to it, whatever card i get will be better than my (at least) 3 yr old 32MB card that i have now. this is such a pain the butt trying to decide between so many different options. :)
     
  14. mcseguy9

    mcseguy9 Thread Starter

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    with regards to the radeon's, does it matter if it's a 9200, 9000, 7000, etc.?

    also, check this out and tell me if this is a no-brainer or if i'm just cross eyed. i found a radeon 9200se w/64mb ddr ram for $47. right below it on the same page was a link to a radeon 9200se w/128mb ddr ram. is there a reason i would not want to get the same card with twice the memory for only $3 more?

    better yet, is there a reason why i wouldn't want to get any card that has 128mb ddr ram over a card that has 64? i'm talking with the two chipsets everyone's been telling me to look at (geforce or radeon). for instance, if i find a geforce whatever with 64mb and a radeon whatever with 128 for just a few bucks more, is there a reason i'd want to get the 64mb card? is there a reason it might actually be better or work better?
     
  15. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    In my experience, anything with PINE on it has a detency to be crap.

    If all else on the 2 9200's is the same, then by all means go for the 128MB version. The 128MB card will offer better performance. Do both have DDR? Maybe one has some extra monitor/video inputs/outputs? This isn't at all uncommon though.

    Also if you plan on upgrading your computer, you don't have to buy a cheap card because you can reuse the card in a new system, which if you're heavy into games you'll need to do.

    If you want to compare ATI cards take a visit to ATi's website - they offer comparisons between their cards.
     
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