Best Graphics Card - £130-£200

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by jezzer256, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    Hi

    Just wondering which graphics card to buy with some of this year's christmas money. I am more familiar with nVidia cards, and am currently looking at the 7900gs. However, what would you recommend? Is there an ATi card with similar price but better performace? I like the look of the x1900 series but not sure on their performance.

    Thanks, and Merry Christmas :)

    Jezzer
     
  2. Simon D

    Simon D
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  3. ChrisF999

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  4. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    I have a 6600gt at the moment. Thanks for all the help guys, really appreciated. I will take a look.

    Great benchmark site - I see the x1950 pro comes in a little under the 7900GS in the 3dmark06 score (1280x1024, http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/graphics/charts.html?modelx=33&model1=607&model2=582&chart=230).

    Any other suggestions for a bit more cash maybe?

    Jezzer

    EDIT: Just seen the Connect3D Radeon X1950XT (http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/119729/rb/23979254338). Looks like a good deal at under £160 - maybe this is an option? I'm worried about the fact that it needs an extra PSU line into it - not sure whether my alienware PSU has this or not. All the cables are too well tidied away I can't see :D.
     
  5. ChrisF999

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    Not sure what you mean about an extra PSU line - most cards do these days. Unless you have the 6600gt silent pipe then your existing card would have needed one too?

    There is almost always an adapter in the box in any case - it fits onto your HD power lead.

    The 1950pro needs one too in any case!

    That looks like a great deal - it's what I'd go for had I not bought the pro a couple of months back.
     
  6. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    Well my XFX 6600gt (128mb, standard HSF cooled) hasn't got any cables feeding it at the moment - it's getting all its power from the PCI-E slot. That is, unless I installed it incorrectly - but surely it would not work at all if that was the case?

    It's reasurring that all it needs is a standard molex connector (+ the adapter). I should be able to cut about 100 cable ties that Alienware have used to get one from somewhere.

    Well, the 6600gt is going for sale on here in a minute (if the parents allow me to spend my christmas money so quickly!), after I've checked out a little niggle it's been having recently. On startup, something in the case makes a rather annoying buzz, which is a bit odd - it's usually died down by the time I reach the windows logon screen. Just making sure I don't sell anyone a not-100%-functioning graphics card and get bad feedback :thumbsup: .

    Cheers for all the help, and it looks like the x1950gt will be the one I'm getting. I just hope the price doesn't go up before I can buy :D .

    Jez

    UPDATE: Well, the mystery noise. I took the 6600gt out, booted up and the noise didn't happen. There was a lot of dust built up in and around the HSF, so I cleaned it all up and put it back in the PC - still the same noise. Only happens for about 5 seconds before it quietens down to what it should be (well what I think it should be). I guess I'll have to mention it in my selling post (just about to do it) - doesn't affect the performance at all, so shouldn't eat in to the price I can get for it :).
     
  7. starman0147

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    Personally I would wait till vista is out, the ATI Radeon X1950 is very good card but will be almost obsolete when vista is released due to the technology power it brings.
    The X1950 is only a single chip card and most cards that will be able take benefits of vista will be dual chipped.

    I am in the same position as you; I am also looking for a card in the region of £150 - £200 but will wait a little longer. I currently have an ATI 9800 se AIW modded to pro which once was a beast but now is feeling the strain.

    Another thing once the PS3 is released I would expected graphics cards to tumble considering you would be getting a powerful HD gaming machine with blu-ray for around £350 which is the price of a high end graphic cards.
     
  8. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    Very interesting. Maybe I should wait for DX10 to fully establish itself - although I'm afraid that will be too long. My problem is, I play CoD2 and am starting to suffer the low frame rate with my new 1440x900 monitor. I'm averaging around 30fps, but the lag in smoke etc is really annoying. Also, my rate of fire on semi-automatics (& pistols) is awful, meaning I am greatly disadvantaged in an intense pistol fight.

    As a teenager I can always find something else to spend my money on - I'll be looking around :). I'm not sure about your idea with the PS3 - after all, when the Xbox 360 came out it has 3 3ghz processors, and that didn't tumble the price of CPUs.

    I still maintain console gaming and PC gaming are quite unrelated, and offer very different experiences. I won't be buying a PS3, especially as I could build a budget PC for that sort of money.

    Jez
     
  9. alphaomega16

    alphaomega16
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    Selecting a Graphics Card depends on your Motherboard and whether it supports nvdia/ATi or both and whether its PCI-E or not (Which I am assuming it does).

    Also it depends on what graphics card you have now.

    I tend to only upgrade if there is something my computer wont play the last game I had to upgrade for was either Soldier of Fortune 2 or SC3 Chaos Theory I cant really remember but my last system was

    XP2400+ AMD Processor
    2GB DDR Memory (Which was capped at 333mhz due to processor :( )
    Geforce 4 Ti4200
    Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Sound Card (Which is in my current PC til I can afford an X-Fi)

    My New syste
    AMD64 3500 Processor
    2GB DDR400 Memory
    Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
    SB Audigy 2 Sound Card
    nvidia 7800GTX Graphics Card 256MB

    Nothing is overclocked and atm there is not a game I am interested in that it wont play.

    I dont plan on upgradeing til I encounter a game I want to play but cant.
     
  10. ChrisF999

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    I have to say I disagree with the point about graphics cards prices falling on the release of the PS3. This hasn't happened before and the markets are entirely different.

    There might have been an argument for this on the launch of the Xbox360, but again there did not seem to be a correlation.

    The Vista argument is more appropriate, but the cards being released now that support DX10 are over £350.

    Remember, a game would have to only support DX10 - and hence cut out the vast majority of gamers - for this to be an issue. In addition, you are presuming that MS -or indeed a third party - will not release DX10 for XP.

    Do some more digging around on the likes of Toms Hardware, blogs and sites such as www.pczone.co.uk .

    The 1950XT is a great card at a great price.

    I remember somebody telling me they would not buy a ZXSpectrum as they were expecting a "ZX83" along any time soon. Needless to say, they waited a long time and missed a lot of computing pleasure for their pains :rolleyes:

    My advice? Buy the card. You will never purchase if you wait for "the next big thing".

    Incidentally, if a motherboard has the correct slot it doesn't care if the card is made by Nvidia or Radeon. Some, however, only support having 2 of one make of card (via "SLI" or "Crossfire") - this is a different issue.

    edit: by the way - your existing card fan probably just needs a bit of lubrication. Now, there's a right way and wrong way to do this and I can't remember what is best. I'm on dialup temporarily so can't really do much digging for you, have a look via Google at lubricating graphics card fans and see what turns up - it'll probably cost quite a bit on the eBay auction if it is making a noise; it's often a sign of it being on its way out.
     
  11. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    I was thinking that I should not wait for 'the next best thing' - after all, it will never come. Or when it does, there will be another 'next best thing' looming on the horizon...

    Well I have found a mate willing to buy my 6600gt off me, although I'm going to give him a trial run first to see whether he likes the noise :thumbsup: . In fact, I'm going to take a look at lubricating the fan, and hopefully that will sort it.

    As I said, I cleaned all the dust etc out of the HSF yesterday, but that didn't make much difference.

    :eek: :eek: :eek: It just made a little noise just while I'm typing this! It's never done that before - always stopped after startup. Well, lubricating it is - here I come google...

    The x1950xt looks like the one to get. Decided I don't care about DX10 for now, if it becomes mainstream then the prices will have to drop, and I'm sure they will - does anyone remember when DX9 first came out? I guess it all happened rather similarly?

    Jez

    P.S, Crossfire or SLi is not an option as I don't have the right mobo, or the right bank balance! Would be nice though, although with the about of games supporting dual graphics I don't think there's much point. On Tomshardware, the single graphics and dual graphics of the same card often come next to each other in the game benchmarks, because of the lack of support.
     
  12. Simon D

    Simon D
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    DX9 is about 3 years old now that from a review of DX 10 in this months PCW
     
  13. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    Cool, I guess I should read the Custom PC's article about DX10 - didn't seem interesting reading at first, but now I'm looking for a new card I better had. Just need to wait till dad gets home then I can ask him where to find some suitable lubricant for my 6600gt's fan. Any suggestions?
     
  14. ChrisF999

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    re: lubrication

    You need something very very light - it may even be that you shouldn't put anything on them. A new fan at £5 might be a better option than eBaying with a noisy one.

    I'll dig around later - I read a long article about it in one of my regular mags - either Computer Shopper or PCZone - but it was a while back.
     
  15. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    Well maybe I'll just take the fan out (if possible) and clean it all up inside there - last night I only cleaned what I could get to with the fan still in.

    I'll see how it goes and keep you posted.

    Jez
     
  16. starman0147

    starman0147
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    Maybe I should rephrase, the dual chipped cards will not but certainly the single chipped cards will, but this will also co inside with the release of vista.
    In terms of the market it’s as close as it ever been, but in a years time PCs will be far ahead of the ps3 and so would the technology.
     
  17. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    Well lads

    Taken the 6600gt totally apart, got the fan off - didn't really seem any way to lubricate its mechanisms :( . However, put it all back together again, plugged everything back in, booted up and the noise has definitely got a lot quieter. Trouble is, there is a (tiny tiny tiny) clicking noise coming from the PC now - probably from me putting it together not quite right, but hey, no one will notice it apart from me. I have to get closer to my PC case to hear it properly, so it really isn't a bother.

    I guess it looks like i'll have to save some more cash for a new card & not bother selling this one - unless anyone wants to buy it off me having heard exactly what's going on. Nothing a new HSF wouldn't solve, and it's full funtional anyway! People put up with a lot louder cards than this baby!

    Jez
     
  18. ChrisF999

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    TBF, I don't see what would be wrong with you selling it on eBay - it is in full working order and, unless it is really loud, some noise from a fan is quite acceptable.

    Anyhow, good luck with it all:)
     
  19. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    Shall I mention the problem when selling? I guess this would cut the price down a fair bit. Booted it up this morning and it was much quieter than it has been before, and the ticking seems to have stopped. I may completely dissemble it once again this evening, clean it all up as much as possible and see if that makes any difference. After all, it did the first time, even though I didn't get round to lubricating the fan itself.

    Jez
     
  20. ChrisF999

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    I don't think it's a "problem" - that's my point.

    All fans make noise at the end of the day - you only notice it because you've had the card for a long time. It could well be that yours started off quieter than most.

    Unless it is impacting on performance, it's not a problem. No need to mention it in my view.
     
  21. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    I think I'll put it for sale on here first, see if anyone wants it - if not then it'll go on eBay.

    Wish me luck :thumbsup:

    Jez
     
  22. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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