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HELP: Video Card Selections???

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by LAWDOGKMS, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. LAWDOGKMS

    LAWDOGKMS

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    Okay guys,

    I bought my first PC game (other than MS Flight Sim, and it is Half Life 2, with Counter Strike: Source.

    Counter Strike Source seems to be an awesome shooter game, rescuing hostages etc..and I love it so far..

    Anyway, I have a Dell Dimension 4700
    2.8 ghz Pentium 4
    1.5 Gb Memory..

    and a Radeon X300/550 video card that was the "upgrade" card that I paid extra for when I ordered the PC.

    The games run great in 800 X 600, but a little jerky in 1024 X 768, which has a better picture..

    I want to upgrade my video card...so I can run in the higher quality settings.

    Also, I tried MS Flight Sim X, and I cannot play it on my PC, it is way too jerky, but I heard X was so graphics intensive, it would only play well on 1% of the systems out there..

    I looked on ATI's website, and I see them as high as $800!!!!

    I'd like to ask opinions on the best video card that will work with my system, in the "less than $150" range..

    I like the ATI products, as I've had good luck with mine in the 2 yrs I've had it..

    There are a lot of things I don't know, such as whether my card is AGP?.. PCI???

    Can someone help me make a decision on a good performing ATI Video card that fits in my budget?
     
  2. Darkmage

    Darkmage

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    Umm... what is your budget?

    Additionally, how old is your Dell? If you can, find the original packing receipt or specifications and it should list what kind of graphics slot you have.

    Edited to add: Doh! I see it now. $150. Hmm...

    According to NewEgg, $150 will get you a Sapphire x1650 Pro with 512MB of RAM. Looks like a pretty good card to me!
     

  3. g29andy

    g29andy CLM

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    Check crucial.com. Plugging in Dimension 4700, it says you have PCI-Express video slot.

    They have a selection of video cards to look at.
     
  4. Philipp2

    Philipp2

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    I just upgraded my "New" Dell 5150 that has a PCI-E slot and fairly low end card. The first thing that I replaced was the power supply as the Dell one (305 W) did not have a separate PCI-E power plug. I upgraded to a 630W PS. I just installed an EVGA e-GeForce 7950 GT 256M card and got more than double the video performance. Well worth the money. Of course, for everyday use, you can't tell any difference in the computer speed. Anybody need a Dell PS and PCI-E card?
     
  5. LAWDOGKMS

    LAWDOGKMS

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    So....am I going to need a separate PCI-E power plug?

    How do I know if I have or don't have one?

    My service tag shows I have a 128 MB Radeon X300 SE PCI-E installed, so I should have the appropriate plug....right??

    I believe after reading lots of reviews that I want to purchase this card:

    XFX 6600GT PCI-E

    Review of it: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/159/1/

    [​IMG]

    Numerous articles point to it as one of the best cards for the $$..
     
  6. malkore

    malkore

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    There's no separate plug, PCI-express should be powered off the PCI-express 16pin slot, not a 4-pin power connector like older AGP based cards needed.

    I can also vouche for Sapphire made cards...they are good stuff. Just make sure your VPU fan never stops moving, and if it does, power down and replace that fan ASAP. unless you game hard the vpu shouldn't overheat when the fan dies too quickly.

    i had an ATI manufactured card die on me recently because the fan died over thanksgiving and when i got home the chip had cooked for 2 days.
    But both my Sapphire cards...never an issue. and you'll save like $50-80 going Sapphire brand over ATI for the same card.

    I think I got my sapphire brand radeon 1600XT for $120 from newegg.com
     
  7. Philipp2

    Philipp2

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    I am not familiar with that brand or card, but the reviewer seems to like it. It apparently does not require a separate PCI-E power plug, which means that it is powered through the PCI-E slot on the motherboard. Looks like it should work in yours as well.

    I usually go to www.newegg.com to see what the specs are and to get some real users opinions about a product. They do not appear to carry this board, even though the do carry a number of the higher end XFX cards.
     
  8. LAWDOGKMS

    LAWDOGKMS

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    Thanks for the replies guys...you answered my questions...:)
     
  9. LAWDOGKMS

    LAWDOGKMS

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    I'm hoping "crossed fingers" that I have a big improvement with the 6600GT over the Radeon card that Dell installed as a "factory upgrade"..

    If I don't, I'm going to be upset..
     
  10. Tvov

    Tvov

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    Just one thought... It looks like it is a 128mb card? Can you get it as a 256mb card? I don't know a whole lot about this stuff, but I have heard that higher "mb" can make for better graphics.
     
  11. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    Not really. Only if the game uses very large textures. Usualy it's just a sales tactic and most don't have the bandwidth to really use the extra space. That being said I did get the 256 meg version of the 6600 as the game I was playing at the time was VERY memory hungry Vid and otherwise.
     
  12. Philipp2

    Philipp2

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    Just as a reference, I just completed a new gaming machine for my grandson. Used a 640 Mb 8800GS card from EVGA It required lots of power to run, like 26amps to the card. Their 768 Mb card requires TWO PCI-E power plugs directly to the card.
    Obviously this is overkill for most users, but he is already thinking about doubling up the cards and running two of them. Right now he can run the most graphic intensive game out with everything turned all of the way up. :thumbsup:
     
  13. Darkmage

    Darkmage

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    Just for the record, the higher-end graphics cards will require a separate power connection from your power supply directly to the graphics card. This is usually a standard molex connector like you see on your DVD drive for AGP video cards, but newer PCIe video cards have their own connector. Your power supply should tell you whether or not you have a PCIe power supply plug available.
     
  14. LAWDOGKMS

    LAWDOGKMS

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    Thanks for the replies guys..

    I changed my mind and ordered this one this morning..

    It should be a huge improvement over the old Radeon X300 I have now...

    XFX GeForce 7600 GT XXX Edition / 256MB GDDR3 / SLI / PCI Express / Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Darkmage

    Darkmage

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    Yeah, you're gonna love it.
     
  16. Dandapani

    Dandapani

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    If your PS doesn't have the PCIe power connector, most video cards that require the extra power will have an adapter that you plug into any regular (like HDD) available power supply plug/cable.
     
  17. LAWDOGKMS

    LAWDOGKMS

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    I believe this one runs directly from the MB and requires no extra power supply..

    From 35+ reviews I read, the consensus on this card is that if you have a decently modern system (in my case 2.8 ghz Pentium 4, and 2 GB Ram), that you can run "any game" on the max settings with this card.

    I'll have to see for myself, but I couldn't find one bad review..
     
  18. Darkmage

    Darkmage

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    Just looking at the picture of the card, there is no connector for an external plug into the power supply. He'll be fine.

    :rofl: That's so cute!
     
  19. LAWDOGKMS

    LAWDOGKMS

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    I don't get it....what's cute?

     
  20. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    I know you've already ordered, but just for the record, I bought a couple months ago an X1900GT card for $200, and recently saw it on newegg for $150 - a really excellent card for the money, and most importantly, quite quiet - I really hate hearing video card fans scream...

    I'd highly recommend it for anyone looking for a midrange card at decent $.