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Old 04-21-2004, 07:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying New Video Card! NEED HELP!

Hello all! My first post on your boards!

I am looking to get a new graphics card in a month to 6 weeks from now (when college break begins and I have more time for power-gaming, <grin>).

I was wondering what you guys think would be a good card in the $200-300 range? I'm currently using a ATI Radeon 7500 64MB series. P4PE Asus motherboard, P4 2.4 gHz processor. 1 GB of ram (this summer I'm upping to 1.5GB because I do a lot of high and gaming and I do lots of image editing, etc, due to my major).

I've been looking into the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro series, either 128 or 256. But I'll be honest I am hardware illiterate and I don't know how to tell what card is better than any other; I know more memory the better but no clue actually WHY, lol. From what I've been hearing ATI has far surpassed nVidia and the new 6800's will be way overprised when they do come out so I'm not even sure if its worth getting an nVidia reguardless.

Would someone please explain to me WHY each card is different, and better for that matter.

I am also looking into a new power source (I have an antec case and its frickin massive, my powersource doesn't even screw in on both sides because the case is so big), so any info on that would be great too.

Also, also ... is there a way to reinstall all my drivers/clean off my harddrive of all files, short of reformatting? I don't have my Windows XP disc anymore (DOH, I'm stupid). Lately I've been having problems with my computer restarting due to software errors and I don't know why. I've ran all updates and done tons of virus scans with current virus definitions and I am totally lost. I've noticed a decrease in performance of my computer, in terms of time it takes to boot up (and I have like 3 things in my start up slider; it takes longer to go from the windows loading screen to selecting an account and loading the account and I'm not even sure how that is possible . . .).

My IM name is PhaleProof if anyone can help me with any info or any of these problems! HELP! I'm a computer N00BLET!!!

- Ryan

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Old 04-21-2004, 10:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The video card, you should buy a 9800 Pro 128Mb. You won't really notice a difference vs the 256Mb model (that statement is bound to stir up anger against me). When you upgrade the video card, you'll probably see no need for more ram (if your mobo will even support that much)

Windows XP has a driver rollback feature. You get there by going into the hardeware manager and double-clicking a device. the rollback feature is in the driver tab. However, this won't make your computer faster, it will only help you isolate your problem to a specific driver.

I'd recomend updating all of your drivers instead of uninstalling them.

To speed up your computer, try defragging it. You could also delete files you don't need and if you think it's needed, uninstall and reinstall all 3rd party apps.

You say you lost your Win XP cd, but if you still have the code, you're not SOL. You can borrow a friend, but make sure it's the same version (OEM or Retail). OEM comes with a computer you bought from a company like Dell, Retail is what you bought at the store.

Buy an Antec PSU. Reliable and not too pricey. Make sure it fits your case's form factor, though.

Sorry I had to make the message so long, but I needed to give my 2 cents

My PC:
AMD Athlon 64 3200+
512 MB 2700 (Soon to be 1gb PC 3200)
ATI Radeon 9500 Pro (Soon to be ATI Radeon AIW 9800 Pro)
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Until the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 comes out (sometime this summer?), the Radeon 9800XT (ATI) is the king of the hill. However the 6800 is SUPPOSED to be a quantum leap in improvement over the present video cards. NDIVIAS 5950s is supposed to be just as good as the 9800XT but I think they are still having a reputation hangover from what happened when they first released the 5900. Why one is better than the other would take too long. I personally think it just comes down to a better implementation of drivers.

You may have all kinds of spyware, adware and all kinds of stuff running. If you run a file sharing program like KAAZA, then somebody smarter than me will have to help you.

There is one thing you can do right now though. At the START button click on RUN and type MSCONFIG. The STARTUP tab will list the programs being loaded. The COMMAND and LOCATION will give you an idea of what the program is and if you want it to run. If you don't have a clue then do a GOOGLE search of the STARTUP ITEM name. Uncheck the box of any program you don't want to load at startup.

It's kind of hard to do a cleanup without an XP CD
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Old 04-22-2004, 01:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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the GeForce will come out some time in may but ATI is also comin out with a new card to so just wait and see which card will be king
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Old 04-22-2004, 04:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd say Radeon 9800 XT rather than Pro
XT overclocks and underclocks itself when neccesary
when you get the new card it should come with drivers, if not try hereyou won't need 1.5GB of RAM, the vid card will take off a lot of the load - sometimes your CPU is used for graphical processingas for your performance, delete what you don't need, defrag, and run Ad-Aware 6
see if you get an improvement
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks . . . is there a way to view my windows serial number that I'm using inside of windows (I lost the CD and CD key)?

I haven't defragged in a month or 2 so I think I'll do that today...

someone mentioned a "format reinstall" but I'm not sure what that means and if thats different than reinstalling Windows. anyone wanna lighten the area for my n00b self please? lol.

also is there an easy way to upgrade ALL my drivers at once? where can I find a list of my drivers at that my computer is using?

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Old 04-22-2004, 12:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i would definitely go with a ATI 9800 XT if you are ;looking to get a card sooner than later. However, if your willing to wait and spend more money, I would go with te new Nvidia 6800. You will need to worry about fans and such however from the reviews i have read it wil be worhth it if you are willing to spend the money.

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Old 04-22-2004, 06:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Someone wanna help me out with my questions in my previous post please?

(This is an inadvertance way to /bump it up, snicker)
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Old 04-22-2004, 07:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Downloading Spybot: Search and Destroy and Lavasoft Adware 6.0 will normally remove all third party programs from your computer.

Downloading Service Packs from the Microsoft site should also improve performance (theoretically).

As for graphics cards I would recommend the Radeon 9800XT as soon as they drop price.

I can't really recommend what you do about your PSU, and my case is fairly big but not massive - I have no problems.

You can also use the msconfig programs to remove any suspicious files from your "Startup" protocol.

There is an ATI Catalyst remover .exe file downloadable from that removes drivers properly aparently.
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Old 04-22-2004, 09:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The reason nobody is answering your question about your CD key is that I don't think this forum answers Wharez type of questions. As for the drivers, that is something you will have to do one item at a time. Sometimes Windows Update will list new drivers for your system. Some people like to use the Windows XP provided drivers, some like to use drivers the manufacturer provides. Sometimes they are one and the same.

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