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Choosing a new GFX card...help!

Discussion in 'ATI' started by Andy Turner, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. Andy Turner

    Andy Turner Guest

    Help! Is there a good article I can read on mid-range GFX cards so as
    I can get some advice on what I need? Or can anyone help me?

    Currently I've got
    Intel 2.4ghz P4 (not HT)
    1GB 2700 RAM
    Asus V8200 T2 (which is a GeForce3 Ti200, with 64mb)

    Now then, it would appear that my GFX card is the bottleneck. HL2 ran
    like a pig (lots of texture swapping pauses and it barely supported
    DX8.1, so things looked dodgy at times), and now GTA:SA is running bad
    too. I have to run it in 800x600 with the detail and distance turned
    down and it still looks bad.

    The main requirements I have for a the replacement is that it be AGP,
    have VGA and DVI outputs (not arsed about TV or any other bells &
    whistles), be around the £100 mark or lower and preferably be
    available from www.scan.co.uk (cos it's easy for me to get there!).

    Now then, I just don't get the model numbers by either ATI or nVidia
    and how to compare them. For example am I better off with a 256mb 6600
    or a 128mb 6800?


    And similar questions arise with the ATI range. How come here, the
    256mb model is cheaper than the 128mb model? Is there some other
    difference I'm missing?


    So how the hell can I compare them? Y'know I'd have bought one ages
    ago but the market confusion has put me off a number of times!

    Thanks for any help!

    Andy Turner, Jun 14, 2005
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  2. Nvidia 6600 Gt the ONLY Choice :)

    On your system it will be great mines only and AMD 2.4ghz. And mine
    runs great HL2 at 1024by768 or higher with AA4 AF8.

    Though that was a while ago played it one and finished with it. Played
    battlefirld 2 at 1600 by 1200 with AA4 and runs sweet thats with all
    high detail Holly crap :)

    Hope this helps.
    Jill haoulder, Jun 14, 2005
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  3. Andy Turner

    Rick Guest

    Rick, Jun 14, 2005
  4. Andy Turner

    DaveW Guest

    For that CPU and RAM that you are currently using I would recommend getting
    an Nvidia FX 6600GT card. It would be a good match.
    DaveW, Jun 15, 2005
  5. Andy Turner

    Conor Guest

    Conor, Jun 15, 2005
  6. Andy Turner

    Conor Guest

    Geforce 6600GT.

    Running Athlon XP3200+, 1GB RAM. Running at 1280x1024 I get 53FPS in
    Doom3 Timedemo and in Counterstrike Source/HL2 Video Stress Test, 98
    FPS dropping to 58FPS with 4xAA/16xAnisotropic enabled.
    Conor, Jun 15, 2005
  7. Andy Turner

    Andy Turner Guest

    How does this compare to the 6800LE though? Anyone know? That seems to
    be the decision I'm faced with. From what I'm reading (and *boy* have
    I done a lot of reading this morning!), the 6800LE is often a similar
    price to the same manufacturer's 6600GT. The 6800LE seems to be a
    slightly cut-down version of newer technology, whereas the 6600GT is
    an overclocked version of older technology - resulting in similar
    prices, but what about the performance? If the performance is similar
    I think I'd rather the 6800LE since I think it'll run a lot cooler,
    being 300mhz core speed rather than 500mhz on the 6600GT - or is that
    a bad assumption too?

    Thanks again!

    Andy Turner, Jun 15, 2005
  8. Andy Turner

    ofn01 Guest

    Whatever card you get - make sure your PSU can handle it. For a 9800 Pro
    or a 6600GT you need to have at least a 300W PSU (and a good one at
    that) with at the bare minimum 15A on the 12V rail for a 9800 Pro and
    preferably 18 or 20 for a 6600GT.

    A 6600GT is better than a 9800 Pro but I think it still costs over £100
    You can get 9800 Pros for under or around £100 now
    ofn01, Jun 15, 2005
  9. Andy Turner

    Andy Turner Guest

    And does that also mean that the 6800LE is much more ripe for
    overclocking? Is the 6600GT already overclocked to the max?!

    Andy Turner, Jun 15, 2005
  10. Not sure about this design in particular, but the bottom end of
    any particular number range is usually there for marketing
    purposes only. For instance the GF3 was miles better than the
    GF440MX, despite the GF4 tag, as many gullible punters found to
    their cost.

    Usually you're better off buying at the top end of the lower
    range rather than the lower end of the top range.

    Or something like that. You get the idea.

    Andrew McP
    Andrew MacPherson, Jun 15, 2005
  11. Andy Turner

    Arthur Hagen Guest

    Except that a Molex connector has a maximum of 10A for 12V.

    +12V is usually only used by HD/CD/DVD drive motors, which usually don't
    run all at once. If you use a 4+ drive RAID, you obviously should have
    taken precautions and gotten a better (or extra) power supply already.

    Anyhow, you're more likely to encounter a problem with +5V, which often
    shares throughput with the 3.3V rail.

    Arthur Hagen, Jun 15, 2005
  12. Andy Turner

    ofn01 Guest

    But more than just the graphics card (via a molex connector) are going
    to be drawing on the 12V rail. If your CPU, HD and DVD drives are all
    using up most of your 15A and the graphics card wants another 2A then
    you could have stability problems.

    A PSU may deliver more than a single molex connector could possibly
    supply - but PSU's have lots of connectors yet still only supply the
    same current for that voltage.
    This is not the case. With a 9800 Pro the heavy drain is on the 5 and
    3.3V but all X series Radeons and most of the 5*00 and 6*00 series of
    Nvidia cards do draw at least 2 amps on the 12V rail. Given that the 12V
    rail in modern computers is under load (with modern AMD and Pentium
    chips drawing exclusively on this rail and HD/optical drives also using
    it) you need to have a PSU capable of delivering a decent amount in
    order to make sure everything is stable.

    Check out these articles - the tables for each one show how the 12V rail
    for the higher end cards is loaded up
    ofn01, Jun 15, 2005
  13. Andy Turner

    Conor Guest

    6600GT has a fair bit to go as the BFG OC versions show.
    Conor, Jun 15, 2005
  14. Andy Turner

    John Lewis Guest


    Where have you been in the last 3-4 years? . Take a look at a modern
    motherboard, video-card and ATX power-supply. See the ATX12V1
    connector - that square 4-pin jobbie....

    Please read the following article:-


    ( Notice the date.... )

    A 3GHz P4 takes about 9amps peak from +12V via the motherboard

    A 6800Ultra takes about 7 amps peak from +12V via the Molex at the
    rear of the card.

    Then add the Hard Drives, DVD-roms, DVD burners etc...

    In a modern PC, the lack of enough juice on the +12V is a frequent
    cause of flaky operation, especially when after-market
    high-performance video cards are added.

    BTW, for the really beefy systems ( such as SLI ) the power supplies
    has dual +12V rails. The Enermax 701AX, specifically recommended
    for SLI has dual +12V, 18amp..........IIRC...

    John Lewis
    John Lewis, Jun 16, 2005
  15. Andy Turner

    Bobby Guest

    You should be able to pick-up an ATI 9800 Pro for under £100.
    Bobby, Jun 16, 2005
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