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Old 06-19-2007, 02:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default need help upgrading graphics card


I'm looking at upgrading my computer with a new graphics card and more memory. Right now I have an ATI Radeon X600 with 128MB of built in memory.

The guys over at PC Club want me to buy one of the latest and greatest cards with 512MB of memory and lots of bells and whistles, but I don't know if I want to pay the $130 for it. They claim that the cheaper ($50-$80) cards wont make much of a difference in my PC gaming, but it seems to me that 256MB card, which has double the onboard memory of what I currently have, would produce quite a bit of difference.

What I want to know is if they are right. Will the cheaper cards make much of a difference, or are they just trying to push a more expensive product?

Any help would be appreciated.

My System, right now anyway:

GigaByte M51GM motherboard
AMD 64 X2 Dual Core Processor (3800+)
ATI Radeon X600Pro Graphics Card with 128MB of DDR memory
1 GB of memory
450W Max power supply

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Old 06-19-2007, 03:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: need help upgrading graphics card

Just because it has double the memory doesnt make it better. The way to judge a card is through its benchmarks and what it has in terms of ability. When I say that I mean shaders 4.0 instead of shaders 2.0 and other things like that.

They are not trying to push a more expensive product, they are trying to save you the money and hassle of having to upgrade that card again and spend twice the amount of the card they recommended you.

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Old 06-19-2007, 04:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: need help upgrading graphics card - EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail

this is an 8800 GTS the cheapest on the site. It will future proof youre pc for quite some time. As for the memory thing it doesnt matter my 1950xt has 256 mb but that doesn't mean a x1300 with 512mb is going to get a better pc mark score. - G.SKILL Value 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory - Retail
this is good if your mobo is only ddr - CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory - Retail
this is good if its ddr2.
Alienware Full Tower Aurora Case
Amd X2 4800 socket 939
CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)
2x 500gb Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s (running at 1.5 Gb/s)
Radeon® X1950PRO AGP Xtreme Gamer Edition AGP x8
Logitech Z-5500 Digital
Creative SOUND BLASTER X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS 7.1 Channels
VIGOR GAMING CLT-M2A 92mm Thermal Electric CPU Cooler
SeaSonic M12 SS-700HM ATX12V (700 watts)
Logitech G15
LG Flatron Wide 24in
Razer Copperhead Green (First Edition)
AHS 615 Gaming Headset
Windows Vitsa Ultamite (running at 32-bit)
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: need help upgrading graphics card

If they are trying to sell you a low end card with a lot of memory, they just have no clue what they are talking about. The speed of the memory is more important. In most cases (in low end) the cards will not even use the extra memory (256 vs 512) and the 256 versions with faster memory will outperform the 512 versions.

If you are looking for a good card for $80, Newegg has a 7600GT for $80.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,479
Default Re: need help upgrading graphics card - EVGA 256-P2-N615-TX GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Posts: 103
Default Re: need help upgrading graphics card

Just to echo some other posts, they're is a lot more about a vid card than just the size of memory. Just as a way of understanding, in ATI and Nvidia cards, the 1000's digit represents the series and the 100's digit represents the level in that series. So the 7600 GT is last series' mid-range card from Nvidia. They're on the 8000 series now and ATI is on the X2000 series. Very basically you can use this to get an estimate of comparability of a card.

The PCCLUB guys were probably right, I would stay away from low end older cards like Nvidia 7300 LE, Nvidia 6150, ATI X1000, etc. Low end cards like these don't do much more than integrated graphics.

I think you can usually find better deals online for video cards (or used on Craigslist) and Newegg has excellent deals usually. The best budget cards are usually last series' 600 or up lines like the Nvidia 7600 GT or the ATI X1950 XT. And make sure you're buying for the right connection (AGP vs PCI-e).

"To err is human - and to blame it on a computer is even more so." - Robert Orben
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