Something about video cards...

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The computer I just got was configured with an ATI Radeon X1600Pro PCI-E 512mb card. The store says I'm free to try it out and if I want to change it they'll do it it for free within two weeks, and I just pay the difference for the different card.

So it seems the natural choice would be the nVidia 7600 GT PCI-E 256mb, because its only $20 more than the Radeon, and I'm hearing better things about that one. Not only that, but my motherboard is SLi ready, and compatible with nVidia cards, so the option of getting another 7600 GT later would be there.

Do you guys see any reason to keep the Radeon? Or should I go ahead and swap for the 7600 GT? It'll cost me a grand total of $20.

PS, my motherboard is an Asus P5NSLi, and I plan on getting a 22" widescreen LCD monitor...

posted by  Mathew

Are you sure it's not a 7900GT? A 7600 should probably cost less than the X1600.

posted by  jedimario

I realize something here....

My card is an Asus Radeon, and the card in question is an EVGA 7600 GT

I don't get it. Why do they have different versions?

Heres the specific info:
eVGA 7600GT 256MB DDR3 PCI-E - 560 MHz GPU - 128 bit - 20 Pixel Pipelines - DVI-I, DVI-I, HDTV-7

Item #:
eVGA N615

Price/ea:
$160.00

And mine -
E AX1600PRO/TD/512M
RADEON X1600PRO,512M DDR2,128

Item #:
Asus EAX1600PRO/TD/512M

Price/ea:
$139.00

posted by  Mathew

A couple fo questions:
do you play any games?
If so, what type(RPG, First person shooter.....?),
do you use your cpu for vid editing?
are you gonig to run a digital line out to your tv?
What are you trying to achieve with this tower? (gaming, last 10 years, cook dinner for you?)

Just a few common questions, want to see what you are looking for.

posted by  Voda48

1. Yes. I'm not really a gamer, but that has partially been because I haven't had a new computer in about 7 years. I will play games, but not to the extent of obsession. I'm enjoying Half Life 2 right now.

2. Mostly first person shooters, I don't like anything I have to really get into (like RPG's) because I don't have a ton of free time. I do like Sim City 4 though.

3. Not really, but who knows.

4. No. However, I do intend to get a high end LCD monitor, most likely 22". In the future I may want to connect to a TV...so maybe.

5. I do want this computer to last for a few years. I mainly use it for MSN/surfing, playing music (going to get a nice 5.1 speaker system soon), watching movies, and some gaming. Basically everything.

If it matters, this is my computer:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
Asus P5N SLi Motherboard
1 GB PC5400 DDR667
320 GB Hard Drive SATA2
16x DVD Writer
Radeon X1600Pro 512 MB PCI - E Video
8 Channel audio (integrated)
Integrated gigabit network
17" ATX Tower
Logitech Cordless keyboard/mouse
XP Pro


Thanks in advance for your advice....

posted by  Mathew

Ok, I was wondering hy they gave you a ATI card first, if you do in fact have SLi, but that doesnt really matter. The cards are good, I ahve the X1600 Pro and I like it a lot. The drivers are much better (ty catalyst) but I had been an NVidia fan for along time.

This used to be the case, but no longer:
If you play first person shooters, go ATI
If you play RPG type games, or ones with huge 3d worlds go NVidia.

They used to be geared for that back in the day a lil more. Now, if you get a good enough card it doesnt really matter, I just like have decent drives personaly.

Ask them if this card is available as well:
http://www.buyxg.com/store/item.asp?key=VC-155-104

Or see if they have any 8000 series NVidia that are modest.

I would look into the warenty of evga, I like BFG bevcause they have a lifetime warrenty no quiestions asked. You can fry the card on purpose, take it into a BEst Buy and get it exchanged for a new one. Love that fact.

Overall I would say the card you have currently is great, however you are going to get inot gaming more, being able to buy a second card and pairing them is convienient (and it is only a extra ~$20 more you said,, not bad for that option)

~Ps what is the power supply that you have in there? Is it at least a 430+

posted by  Voda48

I don't think that card is available, but if it was, it would be far more expensive. The current Radeon I have is $139 CAD and the 7600 is $160 CAD.

I'm also still confused. I remember it used to be like ATI, nVidia, Voodoo, or whatever. But why are there different versions of the same card, by different companies like eVGA, Asus, BFG etc? And they all vary in prices...

My power supply is 400 watt. So would I have to upgrade for SLI? What about cooling?

Another note, I want to get a TV Tuner card for my PC, and also currently I have a TV hooked up (with an S-video to RCA adapter. It was sort of just an experiment because I have never had dual monitors...but it would come in handy...). Should this affect my choice in cards?

posted by  Mathew

http://www.genericcomputer.com/shop/category.asp?catid=81&sortby=items.pric e

Here's the list of cards from the website. Prices are CAD. I don't know if they would do the swap for free if I got the card from another store, and I don't think they would take back my card. So I think thats my choices.

posted by  Mathew

If you go SLi, you prob will need about 500W give or take depending on how many drives and extras you are running.

I am having trouble coming up with a good analogy for the diff manufatuers. It is kind of like there are two different companies that make processors(well 2 bigger ones at least) AMD and Intel. Think of it that way. Just like ATI and NVidia. Just like the those processors, there are many comapnies that build pcs around them (Gateway, HP, Sony...) but they use that processor as their core to build around. Same with graphics cards, and just like pcs, some are built better than others, more on board memory, better memory (DDR, DDR2, GDDR3..) that is why the same "model" from two diff manufatuers can vary a little.

Does that help at all?

posted by  Voda48

Thats kinda what I suspected. I guess this started happening after I stopped being interested in video cards and stuff...

posted by  Mathew

Ok heres another angle:

I can get an eVGA 7950 GT KO 512mb, for $320 CAD. That means the difference I pay is $180 to swap out my Radeon X1600 Pro. That would put me at a point where I won't have to upgrade for a lonnnnnnnng time. And, I'm ready for SLI should I ever need it. Also, I may be able to upgrade my 400 watt power supply to 500 watts for about $14. So what do you think of this new idea? My motherboard should be ok for that, yes? And I imagine since I'll be getting my 22" LCD monitor, it should help to have the better card....


I just want to be happy and done with it. I don't want to have to upgrade in 6 months....What do you think?

posted by  Mathew

7950 GT KO will hold you out for quite some time. I just bought an eVGA 7950GT KO for $288 USD.

And voda, I have no idea where you're getting this nividia for this, and ATI for this thing...unless you have charts to back it up, I'm going to have to tell matthew to ignore that statemebnt.

You don't want to buy a X1600 or a 7600. They're both crap for their price. Bump it up to a 7900/7950, and you wont be sorry at all. The extra hundred dollars is worth it.

SLI is pretty much useless for planning in the future, because you have to buy the EXACT same video card. That's kinda hard to do 18 months down the line. It's only good if you're going to buy it now.

7950 GT KO is fine for you, matthew. Buy it.

P.S, your monitor will do fine with any video card out there. It's the resolution, not the monitor that matters. The only time you need to base your need of a video card off your monitor is when you're getting one of those 30" ones.


http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html

posted by  Godlaus

Alright, thanks for the advice! I might swap my power supply for the extra $14 if they'll do it anyway, just to be safe. After the two weeks is up, I can't swap anything, without paying full price for the new thing and being stuck with the old thing.

posted by  Mathew

Your link pretty much proved it. Go look at HL2 running 1600x1200 and oblivion running the same specs. If you disregard the 8800 (b/c it is freaking new, and of course it would blow away everything.) that statement still runs true.:thumbs:

posted by  Voda48

Well I got the eVGA 7950 GT KO 512mb. Its great! Plus I got the Samsung 22" LCD and Logitech 5300e 5.1 speakers. I'm all set :thumbs:

posted by  Mathew

Pics? :mrgreen: lol

posted by  chris_knows

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