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What video card is best


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It's me again. I have a SiS 530 graphics accelerator with 4MB running with an AMD K6 at 450 MHz. I'm thinking that sometime I'll have to upgrade my system. What are some good choices in video cards on a tight budget. I want to bring my VRAM up to at least 16MB. Excuse me for being such a pest on this subject.

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Wayne, there are generally two recommendations you'll get on this. Either go with a card based on the new GeForce 2 or Voodoo 5 chipset. I personally prefer the GeForce based card, but the Voodoo 5 cards are very good too. I've seen a few comments floating around here about issues with Voodoo based cards and CM so maybe do a search on these forums for the word Voodoo to track down those posts.

As far as most of todays games go, I really don't think you can go wrong with either card. When upgrading your video card, if you're going to do it, then spend the extra money and buy a good one. Both these cards have 32MB of RAM along with some models of the GeForce 2 having 64MB.

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If you're on a budget you can't go wrong with a TNT 2 based card with 32 RAM. On good example is the Diamond Viper V770 Ultra which you can get for $170. Of course you can't beat the full-screen anti-aliasing on the newer cards (or so I've heard) but they cost around $300!

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Wayne - I think one limitation you are going to run into with your current motherboard is that you more than likely will not have an AGP slot. I could be wrong, in which case Hemo2's or DrD's advice should work (you may want something less expensive though).

If you have the money then the 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500 PCI would probably be a good bet, but it will probably retail for just under US$300 (and it isn't available right now - just preorders). Being on a budget and requiring PCI I would suggest either a video card based on a NVidia TNT/TNT2 (in PCI) or an ATI Xpert 128 PCI 16Mb going for about US$80 (here's ATI's on-line store http://www.shopati.com/searchresults.asp?dept_id=1 ). Some people have had problems with the ATI drivers, so it is a bit hard to recommend something that is going to be absolutely problem-free given your system restrictions.

[This message has been edited by Schrullenhaft (edited 06-20-2000).]

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Guest MantaRay

I am sure he has an AGP slot, AMD-450's are not that bad!!! I had one. But going with a GeForce 2 or Voodoo 5 will be quite a bit of overkill for your system as your CPU can't keep up with those cards.

Get a DV770 and it will run just fine, and they should be got for $100-140.

Ray

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MantaRay - Wayne doesn't necessarily have an AGP port. His SiS 530 is a video controller built into the southbridge (?) of his chipset. I believe it uses a shared memory scheme where it gets its frame-buffer memory from the system memory. Depending on the board mfg. they may have decided to save a buck and not put in an AGP slot because they assume that the customer will be using the built in video ("value" oriented board design).

Wayne - you need to check the manual of your motherboard (if you have it) and see if it mentions if you have an AGP SLOT (it will probably tell you that you have "AGP video", but that isn't what we're looking for here). If you don't have the manual, then you'll need to open up your case and look inside. An AGP slot will usually be brown in color and will be further away from the back of the computer than the PCI slots (which are often white in color). It will usually be the slot that is closest to your CPU.

Whether you have an AGP slot or not will really affect what video card choices you have. Most of the current high-end cards are AGP, though some manufacturers are still making an occasional PCI video card, but not too often.

By the way. Here are the latest drivers for the SiS 530. They're DirectX 7.0 compatible (v. 1.07). There are eight files that you need to download (get the right set for whichever version of Windows you're running) and copy into one directory. You'll need to extract each of the files (they're all self-extracting archives) and then run the setup program that gets extracted from the first one.

SiS 530:

http://www.sis.com.tw/support/download/530.htm

[This message has been edited by Schrullenhaft (edited 06-21-2000).]

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It is true that with the systemboard & cpu combo listed, a Voodoo 5 & GeForce 2 are overkill. You probably need a PIII-550 or better to realize the potential of these cards. So the question of whether or not Wayne will run this setup forever comes to light. If in the future the plan is to buy a 2nd new pc and keep this one in tact, then go with a less expensive card for this setup now. If the plan is to update the system board/cpu at a later date at just have this one system, then spend the money on the faster video card now, thus preventing having to buy another video card down the road.

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Wayne,

I'm running an AMD K6-2 450 W/128 megs of RAM, TNT-2 32meg (AGP) video card and win98. I upgraded from a 16meg banshee w/64meg of RAM and CM runs very very smooth now and the graphics blow away the older card. If you want a good and fairly cheap system this is what I would suggest with your cpu if you have that available AGP slot. If not then find a motherboard that has agp, super socket 7 boards are very affordable, I've used DFI and FIC, I like DFI better so far.

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"It's a hardball world son. We've got to keep our heads until this peace craze blows over."

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[by the way. Here are the latest drivers for the SiS 530. They're DirectX 7.0 compatible (v. 1.07). There are eight files that you need to download (get the right set for whichever version of Windows you're running) and copy into one directory. You'll need to extract each of the files (they're all self-extracting archives) and then run the setup program that gets extracted from the first one.

SiS 530:

http://www.sis.com.tw/support/download/530.htm

[This message has been edited by Schrullenhaft (edited 06-21-2000).]

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  • 1 year later...

From Soddball:

CMBB won't demand more than 32MB of video card memory, I'm sure. Even so, a GEForce II MX/400 with 64MB of RAM is around the £70 ($110?) bracket, and it's got enough grunt to see you through

I went searching back through old posts regarding CMBB and found a couple which may be relevant to Soddball's comment, above. Both Posts are from BTS administrators and are from the "(ahem) So what was that I recall about wanting a CMBB bone thrown???" thread, started on 3/1/02.

From Kwazy Dog:

Just to clarify, we cant do light and heavy damaged textures because we have already hit the 32mb VRAM limit (and then some actually), so this is a VRAM issue, not a time issue.
and from Madmatt:

CMBB will autoamtically down scale/sample textures if it detects you are running out of VRAM.

Even so we have a HARD limit in mind when we design textures and this second set of damage textures would have pushed us over that limit.

It's not as easy to just code an " empty slot" for graphics based on conditions as many people seem to think, thats a HUGE misconception about how things work. When we can do this we will try but more often than not it requires too much coding to implement.

Madmatt

I'm not sure what this means in terms of a 32mb vs. a 64mb card, but I think that I will get a 64 mb card just to be safe--unless I'm misreading something here??
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I seem to recall someone in the know (can't remember who or what thread) saying that a 32MB video card would downsample the textures one notch, implying that a 64MB card would be necessary for maximum graphic detail in CMBB.

Since I'll be getting a whole new system very shortly, I'm looking to equip it with a 128MB GeForce 4 4200 or 4400 to stretch the timeline of the equipment a little further into the future.

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Originally posted by redeker:

Since I'll be getting a whole new system very shortly, I'm looking to equip it with a 128MB GeForce 4 4200 or 4400 to stretch the timeline of the equipment a little further into the future.

I've got the GF4 Ti4600 w/ 128MB DDR: as far as graphic quality, aside from the ability to increase the anti-aliasing, I've really seen no games that look any better than with the GF2 64MB DDR Ultra. I suppose as the capabilities of the GF4 are coded into more games, the difference will be apparent. But in any event, the 128MB does make a huge difference with regard to the framerate, even if the graphic quality is essentially the same.
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you should find that the geforce 2 MX400 64mb version will cope more easily with higher resolutions like 1024x860 and over. and this card is quite cheap at the moment.ok, so it's not top of the range but it runs modern games well, runs quite fast and doesn't heat up the way the old geforces used to. heck, it doesn't even have a fan on it [tho i've put one on anywys]... not that it needed it... i just o/clock occasionally.

hope this helps

das

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It does, thanks.

One of my buddies is in the same boat as me - elderly graphics card; keen to play the new game.

We have decided to wait for the new game to actually come out before making that purchase. That way we can be sure the cards we buy will cope; prices are falling all the time; and isn't the 1.0 version of *any* software worthy only of a wide berth?

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Posted by WBS:

From Soddball:

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CMBB won't demand more than 32MB of video card memory, I'm sure. Even so, a GEForce II MX/400 with 64MB of RAM is around the £70 ($110?) bracket, and it's got enough grunt to see you through

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I went searching back through old posts regarding CMBB and found a couple which may be relevant to Soddball's comment, above. Both Posts are from BTS administrators and are from the "(ahem) So what was that I recall about wanting a CMBB bone thrown???" thread, started on 3/1/02.

From Kwazy Dog:

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just to clarify, we cant do light and heavy damaged textures because we have already hit the 32mb VRAM limit (and then some actually), so this is a VRAM issue, not a time issue.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

and from Madmatt:

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CMBB will autoamtically down scale/sample textures if it detects you are running out of VRAM.

Even so we have a HARD limit in mind when we design textures and this second set of damage textures would have pushed us over that limit.

It's not as easy to just code an " empty slot" for graphics based on conditions as many people seem to think, thats a HUGE misconception about how things work. When we can do this we will try but more often than not it requires too much coding to implement.

Madmatt

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm not sure what this means in terms of a 32mb vs. a 64mb card, but I think that I will get a 64 mb card just to be safe--unless I'm misreading something here??

Those comments relate to Macs and their VRAM, and don't affect PC's.
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I bought a GeForce2 MX/400 w/64mb for $85 on Ebay. It was new in a sealed box with a return policy. And this was about 6 months ago. If your patient you can find deals like this. I had to probably bid on 10 different boards over a 3 or 4 week period until I got the price that I wanted.

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